Category Archives: Water

Jun 27 – White Water Black Gold

Cinema Politica Film Series (6)
#2 – White Water, Black Gold

Cinema Politica Nanaimo is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary, “White Water, Black Gold” by David Lavallee at Vancouver Island University.  VIU Faculty Association, Vancouver Island Water Watch,  VIU Students for Social Change and Mid-Island Council of Canadians co-sponsor this film.

An audience discussion facilitated by two speakers Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee will follow the film.

Venue: VIU, building 200, room 203
Date: Tuesday, June 27
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: free (by donation)
For information contact Bill Eadie:
250 758 0218

Web site:


“White Water, Black Gold” is an investigative point-of view documentary that follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across western Canada in search of answers about the activities of the world’s thirstiest oil industry: the Tarsands.

As a mountaineer and hiking guide, David is on the front lines of climate change. Over the past 15 years he has worked in the Columbia Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, and has noticed profound changes in the mountains: climate change is rendering these landscapes unrecognizable.

When David discovers that his province is ramping up growth in an extremely water intensive industry downstream of his beloved ice fields, he is surprised he knows so little about this industry. This necessitates a journey: from ice fields…to oilfields.

In the course of his journey he makes many discoveries: new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce (putting this industry at risk); first nations people living downstream are contracting bizarre cancers; the upgrading of this oil threatens multiple river systems across Canada and the tailings ponds containing the waste by-products of the process threaten to befoul the third largest watershed in the world. Additionally, a planned pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to BC Rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

“White Water, Black Gold” is a sober look at the untold costs (to water and people) associated with developing the second largest deposit of “oil” in the world.


Director: David Lavallée
Editor: Nancy Rosenblum
Cinematographer: Alan Bibby, Pat Morrow & Will Schmidt
Animator: Will Anielwicz
Sound Editor: Luke Martin
Soundtrack Composer: John Tucker-Havelock
Producer: David Lavallee
Narration: Peter Coyote


Apr 7 – Maude Barlow BC Book Tour

Barlow Talks Water in BC

Maude Barlow is coming to BC to launch her latest book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.

Water is one of the most important issues of our time and will be front and centre leading up to the B.C. election this May. Boiling Point is a timely and insightful guide for residents, election candidates, elected officials and environmental organizations seeking to protect freshwater in the province and in Indigenous communities, leading up to the B.C. election on Tuesday May 9, 2017. Hear about issues such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Site C dam, bottled water takings, fracking, NAFTA and gutted water legislation.

Maude Barlow Speaking on BC’s Water Crisis in Nanaimo


WHEN: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm – doors open at 6:00 pm

WHERE: Bowen Park Auditorium, 500 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo

MORE INFO: Bill Eadie, Mid-Island Council of Canadians, 250-758-0218

COST: By Donation

Tour Dates & Cities


  • Comox – April 6
  • Nanaimo – April 7
  • Victoria – April 8
  • Williams Lake – April 10
  • Kamloops – April 11




Feb 27 – Shawnigan Sacred Land & Water Event

Sacred Land & Sacred Waters

Saturday, February 27th  at 9am on Stebbings Road

Traditional Welcoming and Water Ceremony for Shawnigan Lake/Sooke Watersheds as Community Gathers to Stop Contaminated Soil Dumping

Join Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Canada’s youth ambassador to the United Nations, along with Pipe Carriers, Elders and CommUNITY voices who gather/stand in honour of the Lands and Water of our collective future.


Save Shawnigan Water Protest Report

From the Ground

Photos from yesterday’s protest at Shawnigan Lake and a reports from Lynne and John.

The event was well attended and peaceful, and very educational. The tour leaders were able to show us quite a lot of what’s wrong with the operation, apart from being in the wrong place.

During the protest trucks were stopped from continuing to the quarry and the dump site by the large gathering of people on the road…and snowmen.

The picture with a tanker on the top is where trucks presently are dumping toxic soil which is then mixed with fly ash, which creates concern for airborne contamination from the ash.

In the Media


Shawnigan Lake soil dumping protests attract hundreds on Vancouver Island

CHEK – with video

Hundreds protest Shawnigan Lake contaminated soil site, and politicians take helicopter tour of watershed


Rally decries Shawnigan Lake contaminated-soil landfill

Jan 6th 2016 – Stand Up For Shawnigan

Show Up & Show You Care to ‘Save Shawnigan Water’

Jan 6, 2016 from 9am to 3pm


Peaceful Protest & Media Event

This event is hosted by the ‘Save Shawnigan Water’ Community Action Group, and the MICOC is adding their ‘Super Supporter Power’ to this very dire situation. The dire factor being: this is the just the beginning of government permissions to dump contaminated soil near community watersheds.

save-shawnigan-waterThis protest will include some very vocal and optical components that focus both public and political attention on the devastating condition of the Shawnigan Lake Watershed caused by the dumping of contaminated soil at South Island Aggregates (SIA).

sia-shawniganYou are requested to Show Up & Show You Care, because this is just the beginning of this type of contaminated soil dumping on Vancouver Island. There will be experts and advisors from Shawnigan Basin Society and Shawnigan Residents Association on hand to answer questions about the SIA contaminated landfill. There will also be documentation handed out regarding the past and current actions being taken to protect this invaluable drinking water resource.


  • Dress warmly and wear good walking shoes
  • Park on only one side of the road
  • If the RCMP ask you to move, please comply peacefully
  • Don’t fly drones over the pit or higher than 100ft


Answering a Plea

Dec 3rd: A plea for help came to the Mid Island Council of Canadians with a link to When will it be enough? in regards to the Shawnigan Lake contaminated soil dumping issue.

“The toxic waste that is coming into our watershed is being barged over from Port Moody to Duke Point and trucked to Shawnigan.

If you could get the word out in Nanaimo that this is happening we would appreciate the support. This is so much more than a Nimby issue in one community.

This is about Vancouver Island becoming the province’s toxic dump. This is about the provincial government forcing their agenda, and their toxic waste, down our throats while they espouse their support for communities.

If they do it here, they’ll do it everywhere.”


The MICOC immediately contacted the group currently known to be active in the cause, which was Action Nanaimo and shared the information to shed more light on what was happening in the pre-dawn hours just 80 kilometres South of us.

Dec 9th: Gratitude from the front lines at Shawnigan Lake.


This thing just gets more ridiculous every day.

My wife was up at the site today and tells me that SIA workers are madly scrambling with tarps, sand bags and hand tools, whatever they can get their hands on to try and control the water pouring off the site.

Your group is another invaluable voice trying to get the minister to see sense.

I’m very grateful.”

This is the kind of activism that gets things done…and it’s surprisingly quite fun!

Dec 21-15 Citizens’ Solidarity Flotilla at Duke Point

One Port, Two Travesties! Solidarity Flotilla–For Walbran Valley Ancient Forests and Shawnigan Lake Water Rights !!!

Land and water protest! Canoes, kayaks, row-boats and paddle boards welcome!

Facebook Event Page


At Nanaimo’s ‘Dirty Port’ at Duke Point!

Nanaimo’s Duke Point is the port of entry for barged off-island contaminated soils bound for a hazardous dump site threatening the Shanwigan Lake residents’ water supply.

It is also the location from which Teal Jones booms and barges ancient forest logs from the plundered slopes of the Central Walbran valley and elsewhere on Vancouver island, to its mill in Surrey B.C.

Shawnigan residents and Walbran valley protectors have both recently been issued court orders enforcing destructive industrial activity for corporate profit, threatening island communities and ecosystems.

Join Shawnigan residents, ancient forest activists and fellow islanders in solidarity against these corporate travesties passing through the port of Nanaimo!

On this morning it is expected that Shawnigan residents and supporters will be challenging the trucks and their toxic cargo.

Get an early jump on the shortest day of the year.

Meet at Jackson Rd near Daholt at Duke Point ( look for the banners!!!) 7 am, December 21st, with banners, water, lunch, pfds– to take to the water or protest on land for healthy island communities and ancient forest ecosystems! Supporters are welcome to join land protests against the toxic soil trucks later in the day.

UPDATE: It appears that the Toxic Soil Barge is not coming Monday. Apparently they think it isn’t the best day. Gee, I wonder why??? Shawnigan/Walbran event is still occuring Monday morning, and people are encouraged to come out Tuesday morning as well. We surely wouldn’t want to miss the trucks!

100% Possible Climate March

Sunday, Nov 29th at 1pm – Maffeo Sutton Park

Along with many organizations, MICOC will be active in this hugely global event under the banner: 100% Possible

Wear Green

All are invited to show up in your favourite shade of green…all over.


Think green! Green is the symbol of renewable energy, so dress in green:

  • clothing
  • posters
  • face paint

Anything and everything goes

Or dress up as the climate solution:

  • windmill
  • solar panel
  • electric car

Get creative!

Build a renewable energy float, paint some banners, or turn yourself into a walking piece of art.

“This is a peaceful, family friendly event to demonstrate to world leaders that we want a real climate action plan developed from the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.” 

Facebook Event hosted by Paul Manly

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.

GASLAND PART II – World Water Day Screening

WWD Gasland Poster

The Mid Island Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition and VIU Faculty Association Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee are pleased to present a free screening of GASLAND PART II in recognition of World Water Day.

In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film GASLAND, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level.

GASLAND PART II shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition GASLAND PART II looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are in Fox’s words “contaminating our democracy”.

WHAT: World Water Day screening of GASLAND PART II
WHEN: Friday March 21st, 7pm Free Admission
WHERE: Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Campus, Building 356, Room 109
Please note: On-campus parking is free after 8pm –

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!