Category Archives: Campaigns

Choose Your Country & Go Vote Banner Rally

On October 9th for one hour from 4:30-5:30 the Harper or Canada? Initiative will join in concert with the Council of Canadians Go Vote! Drive to bring attention to the need for people to be active and prepared for the most important election in Canadian history.


Our ‘Spokes Car’ Flower will be at Pearson Bridge in full blossom and we will be handing out the CoC Voter’s Guide 2015 to all who stop by.


Come and join this high-vibe movement by smiling and waving at motorists along side us and put a bounce in your step by Choosing Canada.



Pearson Bridge/Comox intersection is where you want to be tomorrow Oct 9th at 4:30 and if it’s not on your route, take a detour, so you can honk, wave, thumbs up and smile for us.


Is Our Community Watershed Protected?

jump lake
Jump Lake

The answer may suprise you.

The cities of Vancouver and Victoria own their watersheds and control all of the activity within them, guaranteeing the security and quality of their water supply. But the City of Nanaimo does not own the community drinking watershed that supplies the residents of our community.

The city of Nanaimo owns two dams and two reservoirs, the South Forks dam and reservoir and the Jump Lake dam and reservoir but it only owns a few meters of the land around these lakes. The rest of the watershed land surrounding these reservoirs, including all of the creeks and streams that drain into these lakes, is owned by two forest companies. Island Timberlands, a subsidiary company of the multi-national corporation Brookfiled Asset Management owns 86% of the Nanaimo community drinking watershed and TimberWest another forest company, owns the remaining 14%. The City of Nanaimo does not even have a written agreement with these companies that guarantees the city access to the dams or reservoirs.

Why is this important?

Over the past fifty years there has been increased logging in the watershed to the point where there is no old growth forest left. Logging increases soil erosion, which leads to turbidity in the water. Turbidity makes it more difficult to kill pathogens in the water and increasing chlorine levels creates carcinogenic by-products. Also, it has not always been easy for the city to monitor industrial activity in the watershed. A previous owner, forest giant Weyerhauser, used fertilizer in the watershed that was proven to be laced with heavy metals and toxic chemicals and made tree-planters sick.

The Shawnigan Lake Precedent

The headwaters for the Shawnigan Lake watershed used to be predominantly owned by a single land-owner, a German Prince who believed in sustainable forestry. That land was sold in 1999, completely clear-cut logged and then subdivided. Now there are four mining operations in the watershed and one of the granite quarry’s has a permit for a contaminated toxic soil dump fifteen meters from the main tributary to the lake. The lake is the drinking water source for 12,000 people. This could happen in the Nanaimo community drinking watershed. There are two land-owners in the watershed now but that could change anytime.

The Victoria Precedent

Natural forests are the best filters for purifying water, which is why the Capital Regional District halted all logging and other activity in the Sooke Lake watershed decades ago. The CRD recently purchased an additional watershed, the Leech river, which they are letting grow back to a natural state for future needs.

It’s Time for Action!

A clean, high quality, secure source of drinking water is the most important asset that any city can own. It’s time for the City of Nanaimo to start the process of purchasing or expropriating the important parts of the Nanaimo community-drinking watershed to protect it now and for future generations. The most important sections are the valleys and streams above Jump Lake that flow into the lake.

Contact the Nanaimo City Mayor and Council and the Nanaimo Regional District and let them know that you want the community to own our drinking watershed. Email Nanaimo Mayor and Council at Email the RDN board care of Linda Burgoyne at

For more information visit the Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition website and watch Paul Manly’s documentary “Troubled Water”.

Spread the word! Download & distribute our pamphlet about Nanaimo’s community watershed.

No Pipelines Tanks

AP A AK USA Exxon Valdez

The number one way to ensure that we have “world-class tanker safety and pipeline safety systems” is to ban pipelines and tankers from transporting tar sands bitumen through British Columbia! Come out and voice your opposition to pipelines and tankers on Wednesday December 11th.

Doug Eyford, Canada’s Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure to British Columbia and Alberta First Nations is hosting a meeting in Nanaimo on Wednesday Dec. 11th from 9am to 3:30pm at the Best Western Dorchester Hotel, 70 Church Street. The meeting is to review his recommendations from his report on “world-class tanker safety and pipeline safety systems”.

We are asking for a respectful presence outside of the meeting to publicly express our opposition to the proposed pipelines and increased tanker traffic along the coastline. Please come down at one or all of the following times – 8:45am, noon & 2:30pm. Thank you!

BC Initiative for Community Control of Drinking Watersheds


The Mid Island Chapter of the Council of Canadians has put together a petition, both online and in official paper form, to push for more local control over community drinking watersheds. The petition wording is based on a resolution passed at the Union of BC Municipalities in 2011. Paul Manly’s documentary film Troubled Water provides a number of examples of why this petition is so important, especially here on the East coast of Vancouver Island.

This downloadable PDF file is the official petition. We will submit the signed petitions to our MLA so they can be tabled during the debate over the new BC Water Act in the spring. Please print the petition and ask your family, friends and neighbours to sign it and then mail the completed petitions to Mid Island Chapter Council of Canadians, Box 1093, Station A, Nanaimo B.C., V9R 2A5.

We encourage you to also join the online petition campaign and circulate it to your friends.

Thank You!

Solidarity with the Elsipogtog First Nation


On October 19th a solidarity march was held – from Swylana lagoon to Nanaimo RCMP headquarters – in support of the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick and their struggle against fracking within their traditional territory. The march corresponded with the global frackdown which saw more than 200 anti-fracking protests in 25 countries. Fracking is a process of fracturing shale formations to free up and extract natural gas. The process involves the use of a mix of chemicals, the full list of which are corporate secrets and some that are known carcinogens. Fracking has contaminated aquifers and water systems all over the world and there are thousands of cases of tap water which becomes flammable and un-drinkable. For more information about the Council Of Canadians anti-fracking campaign visit:

More information about GM/GMOs/GE Free


Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
 To promote food sovereignty and democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and the livelihoods of people in Canada and around the world by facilitating, informing and organizing civil society action, researching, and providing information to government for policy development.


GE Free BC
Our Vision Statement:
GE-Free BC envisions a food-sovereign Canada where no Genetically Engineered life forms are created, patented, approved, bought, sold or traded. Where Canada is a leader in safe and sustainable agriculture and is known as a GE-Free Nation. Where Canada actively secures international agreements that preserve regional bio-diversity and promote food sovereignty. Where community based farmers have the right and ability to farm and save seed from year to year. This vision is aimed to protect the health and sustainability of communities, animals and ecosystems.


DOWNLOAD our print-at-home GM information flyer for distributing in your area. [PDF file 1.7MB]

GM Flyer example

Oct. 12th March Against Monsanto


October 12th is one of the busiest grocery shopping days of the year and the Mid Island Council of Canadians will be leafleting at major grocery stores starting at 10am and then following the march from Country Club at noon. Our leaflets request that local grocery stores provide labelled shelf space for products that are GMO free so consumers can make informed decisions about what they feed themselves and their families. If you would like to join the leafleting action please contact Paul by email for details.


March and Rally Against  Monsanto in Nanaimo
Saturday, October 12th
Organized by GE Free Nanaimo – Facebook Event Page

This is part of a global call to action aimed at informing the public, calling into question long-term health risks of genetically modified foods (GMO’s and demanding that GMO products be labeled so that consumers can make informed decisions.

We are marching to protect our food supply, support local farms. protect our environment, promote organic solutions and protect our families health.

We are marching because we refuse to be Monsanto’s lab rats. We have a right to know what is in our food supply.

There are two routes
12:00 starting at Country Club Mall
(in front of Future Shop)
1:00 starting at the Aquatic Centre
Both marches meet at Maffeo Sutton Park for a 2pm Rally

We Stand Together

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
12:30pm @ MP James Lunny’s office
6-6894 Island Highway, North Nanaimo

Idle No More, the Council of Canadians and Common Causes – Solidarity rally to support the Hupacasath First Nation as they begin the first day of their court challenge against the Canada-China FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement).

The Harper Conservative government signed this ‘corporate rights’ agreement without any notice or consultation with First Nations or the Canadian public. This is a violation of Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. This ‘corporate rights’ agreement will allow corporations to sue governments for the loss of ‘potential profits’ when governments pass laws, measures or policies that protect the public interest or the environment but which restrict corporations.

Please join Idle No More, the Council of Canadians and Common Causes in solidarity with the Hupacasath First Nation as they take on this fight for all Canadians.