Author Archives: Zoe Blunt

So I filed a lawsuit against this local wingnut

Some of you may know this Ryan Elson guy — he’s been demanding a “debate” with a third-party “judge” or he will do something horrible and sinister to “take me down.”

OK then – it’s on.

The nutjob and his buddies invited a neo-Nazi defender to speak at a rally in October 2012. They started harassing me after I called them out as racists. Dude got aggro with me in public, and I took pictures of him trying to intimidate me and published them.

Well, that really set him off. He threatened to sue me, have me arrested, and worse. (I know, NUTTY!)

Anyway, the situation escalated to the point where I filed a civil suit in BC Supreme Court on November 22. My lawyers are really great, and they detest white supremacist jerks too.

The good news is people in the community got together about these bullies and said “Enough.” I’m not the first woman the dude has targeted – he has a police file for harassment, plus a blog full of poison aimed at local activists and a couple more angry dudes for backup.

So the stage is set, and the court hearings should be loaded with high-level wingnuttiness. I’ll be documenting the proceedings and publishing the highlights for everyone’s amusement. Stay tuned for updates!

Folks who contribute to the legal fund will receive a commemorative copy of the judgement (along with my comedic commentary) as a souvenir.

Please send your support to: Tracie Park (that’s my legal name), care of Catherine Boies Parker, Underhill Boies Parker Law, 1127 Fort St, Victoria BC V8V 3K9.

Thank you for bearing witness to this moment in wingnut legal history!

About me: I’m a writer and non-profit director in Victoria, BC. I’ve contributed to Adbusters, Canadian Dimension, Focus Magazine, Street Newz, The Dominion, The People’s Voice and other journals. That’s my legal name on the notice of claim, but most people know me by my pen name – Blunt is my great-grandmother’s name, and Zoe means “life.”

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Hate mail from haters (now with more hate!)

What can you do with obnoxious racists? Reason doesn’t work, and even baseball bats can’t knock sense into a bonehead. But we can expose and mock them.

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC. Photo (c) 2012 Times Colonist.

In October 2012, members of the conspiracy cult and Occupy splinter group We Are Crazy Victoria announced that lawyer and white supremacist Doug Christie would be speaking at a rally at the BC Legislature in Victoria BC.

No way. That’s not okay. I’d never met any of these nutbars, but we all knew their reputation for harassing women and people of colour. Clearly, we needed to call a counterprotest.

Friends and allies helpfully contacted all the other speakers to inform them they were sharing a stage with Canada’s best-known racist. They had no idea Christie was coming. Five speakers – including the keynote – immediately canceled. In a panic, the organizers dropped Christie from the event – and then blamed me for “censoring” him. Ryan Elson and Josh Steffler scrambled to cast themselves as advocates for “free speech” while vilifying me for infringing Christie’s “rights.” Among other threats, Elson said they would sue me for criticizing WeAreCrazyVictoria, and have me arrested if I showed up for the counterprotest.

That didn’t happen, but it was a hilarious day nonetheless.

Half an hour before the haters’ rally was set to begin, we set up a couple signs at the Cenotaph on the corner of the Legislature lawn, 200 meters from the wingnuts’ stage, and handed out leaflets explaining we were counterprotesting against racism, bullying, and hate speech.

Just before noon, the “free speech advocates” came over to shut us down. Ha! Fat chance.

Tough guys coming for us. Ooh, scary.

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Left: Certifiable lunatic and white supremacist Ryan Elson (alias John Pettitt, StealthC, XtoFury, Fixx_Revolution). Centre: Conspiracy freak and amateur astrologist Philip Livingston (aka Adam Evan Livingston), allegedly a fourth-year psych student at UVic. Right: Slimeball creep “Henry Tudor,” who is dumb as a sack of poop.

They came straight for me, ignoring the rest of the group. Elson got right up in my face screaming abuse. That’s when I got out the megaphone. Elson was trying to get nose-to-nose with me, but with the bullhorn deployed, he got a face full of “Back off racist scum” with the volume cranked to 11.

Trying to get in my face and failing

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Naturally, this tough guy was more interested in picking on me (I’m 5 feet and 110 pounds) than the linebacker-sized ex-bouncers standing around me with the signs. Any one of them could pick Elson up with one hand and break him like a twig, and they were ready in case he laid a hand on any of us.

The “back off racist scum” commotion drew two police officers from their post at the Legislature Building. As they approached, Elson pointed and hollered: “Officer, arrest her! She doesn’t have a permit to be here!” The cops said, “Step over here son, we’re gonna explain something to you.” Here’s the little bully, getting TOLD.

Free speech for me, but not for thee? Nope, doesn't work that way

Photo by Zoe Blunt

The nutjobs had no choice but to slink back to their “rally,” which consisted of fewer than a dozen people on the Legislature steps. We serenaded them with rousing chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, racists have got to go!” and handed out hundreds of flyers. The wackjobs got schooled. It was a fine day.

Racist got told

Photo by Zoe Blunt

But it’s not over yet – the haters are setting themselves on fire in a desperate grab for attention. In a long, incoherent blog post, Elson proclaims he’s a “victim” of homophobia and accuses me of somehow outing him as gay, which is news to everyone but his boyfriends, apparently. So now Elson is Canada’s version of the gay conservative who beat himself up. Except that Elson claims he was in the closet before he announced that he’s gay and that makes it all my fault, or something.

Well played, haters! Looking forward to next time.

—– UPDATE November 1 —–

It seems I have hurt the racists’ feelings. So they are calling me a terrorist and howling for my arrest on charges of “criminal defamation.” Funny! I thought they were opposed to censorship. Anyway — bring it, boys. The publicity would be worth the price of admission.

I mentioned that these wingnuts are setting themselves on fire. Here’s an example: According to Elson, this video is irrefutable proof that PAOV (People’s Assembly of Victoria) and I secretly control Facebook. The video was recorded at an October 2012 meeting of WeAreCrazy, and we get to eavesdrop as Josh Steffler and other members discuss things like dealing with the “Zionist-controlled world government” and being called “Holocaust deniers.” Which they certainly are NOT, because you can’t deny something that never happened, amirite?

While you’re at it, check out this video (also from October 2012) of Elson trying to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission about an imaginary future “genocide against white people.”

And take a look at this image Elson posted on the Occupy Victoria B.C. page on Facebook around the same time. It’s a swastika with a photo of Hitler and the text “Last time it was the JEWS, this time it’s white men.”

Of course, just a couple weeks ago, WeAreCrazyVictoria was proud to feature a video of Doug Christie speaking at their 2011 rally — until they realized their racism was showing, and purged him. What a shame! Especially since they were so pleased with themselves for inviting him to speak as a surprise guest at their rally last year. Where is your “white pride” now?

But wait, there’s more. Josh Steffler has made his own video to show us he and WAC are not really racist at all. That’s because there are no “races,” there is ONLY ONE RACE. So that makes us the real racists, because we keep talking about race and racism. DUH. (Bonus: BOLSHEVIKS!)

It’s easy to mock their ignorance, but these idiots are trying to recruit new members and launch new assaults on our friends, fellow activists and “the left” in general.

So IT’S ON, assholes.

Related:
So I filed a lawsuit against this local wingnut

The Judge Should Arrest Me for Calling this Dingbat a Racist

Turfing Out the Racists

How to Oppress Men

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Filed under Hate Mail, Josh Steffler, Legal Battles, Ryan Elson, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

Deep Green Resistance: Words as tactical weapons

Review by Zoe Blunt | Originally published in the March/April 2012 issue of Canadian Dimension  magazine. Subscribe here.

Deep Green ResistanceI first heard about Deep Green Resistance in the middle of a grassroots fight to stop a huge vacation-home subdivision at a wilderness park on Vancouver Island. Back then, it hadn’t really occurred to me that a book on environmental strategy was needed. Now I can tell you, it’s urgent.

Deep Green Resistance (DGR) made me a better strategist. If you’re an activist, then this book is for you. But be warned: at 520 pages (plus endnotes), it’s not light reading. Quite the opposite — DGR dares environmental groups to focus on decisive tactics rather than mindless lobbying and silly stunts.

“This book is about fighting back. And this book is about winning,” author Derrick Jensen declares in the preface to this three-way collaboration with Lierre Keith and Aric McBay.

Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth, opens the discussion with an analysis of why “traditional” environmental action is self-defeating. For those who’ve read Jensen’s Endgame, or who have experienced the frustration of born-to-lose activism, Keith’s analysis hits the nerve.

The DGR philosophy was born from failure. In a recent interview, Jensen recounts a 2007 conversation with fellow activists who asked, “Why is it that we’re doing so much activism, and the world is being killed at an increasing rate?” “This suggests our work is a failure,” Jensen concludes. “The only measure of success is the health of the planet.”

If we keep to this course, as Keith points out, the outcome is extinction: the death of species, of people, and the planet itself. Environmental “solutions” are by now predictable, and totally out of scale with the threat we’re facing. Cloth bags, eco-branded travel mugs, hemp shirts, and recycled flip-flops won’t change the world. Wishful thinking aside, they can’t, because they don’t challenge the industrial machine. It just keeps grinding out tons of waste for every human on the earth, whether they are vegan hempsters who eat local or not. So these “solutions” amount to fiddling while the world burns.

Aric McBay, organic farmer and co-author of What We Leave Behind, says Deep Green Resistance “is about making the environmental movement effective.”

“Up to this point, you know, environmental movements have relied mostly on things like petitions, lobbying, and letter-writing,” McBay says. “That hasn’t worked. That hasn’t stopped the destruction of the planet, that hasn’t stopped the destruction of our future. So the point is if we want to be effective, we have to look at what other social movements, what other resistance movements have done in the past.”

Keith notes that a given tactic can be reformist or radical, depending on how it’s used. For example, we don’t often think of legal strategies as radical, but if it’s a mass campaign with an “or else” component that empowers people and brings a decisive outcome, then it creates fundamental change.

“Don’t be afraid to be radical,” Keith advises in a recent interview. “It’s emotional, yes; this is difficult for people, but we are going to have to name these power structures and fight them. The first step is naming them, then we’ve got to figure out what their weak points are, and then organize where they are weak and we are strong.”

Powerful words. But by then I was desperate for a blueprint, a guidebook, some signposts to help break the deadlock in our campaign to save the park. Two hundred pages into DGR, we get down to brass tacks, and find out what strategic resistance looks like.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a guerrilla uprising.

To be clear, Deep Green Resistance is an aboveground, nonviolent movement, but with a twist: it calls for the creation of an underground, militant movement. The gift of this book is the revelation that strategies used by successful insurgencies can be used just as successfully by nonviolent campaigns.

McBay argues convincingly that it’s the combination of peaceful and militant action that wins. He emphasizes that people must choose between aboveground tactics and underground tactics, because trying to do both at once will get you caught.

“The cases of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X exemplify how a strong militant faction can enhance the effectiveness of less militant tactics,” McBay writes. “Some presume that Malcolm X’s ‘anger’ was ineffective compared to King’s more ‘reasonable’ and conciliatory position. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It was Malxolm X who made King’s demands seem eminently reasonable, by pushing the boundaries of what the status quo would consider extreme.”

What McBay calls “decisive ecological warfare” starts with guerrilla movements and the Art of War. Guerrilla fighting is all about asymmetric warfare. One side is well-armed, well-funded, and highly disciplined, and the other side is a much smaller group of irregulars. And yet sometimes the underdog wins. It’s not by accident, and it’s not because they are all nonviolent and pure of heart, but because they use their strengths effectively. They hit where it counts. The rebels win the hearts and minds and, crucially, the hands-on support of the civilian populace. That’s what turns the tide.

McBay notes, for example, that land reclamation has proven to be a decisive strategy. He argues that “aboveground organizers [should] learn from groups like the Landless Workers’ Movement in Latin America.” This ongoing movement “has been highly successful at reclaiming ‘underutilized’ land, and political and legal frameworks in Brazil enable their strategy,” McBay adds.

Imagine two million people occupying the Tar Sands. Imagine blocking or disrupting crucial supply lines. Imagine profits nose-diving, investors bailing out, brokers panic-selling, and the whole top-heavy edifice crashing to a halt.

The Landless Workers’ Movement operates openly. Another group, the Underground Railroad, was completely secret. Members risked their lives to help slaves escape to Canada. A similar network could help future resisters flee state persecution. Those underground networks need to form now, McBay says, before the aboveground resistance gets serious, and before the inevitable crackdown comes.

DGR categorizes effective actions as either shaping, sustaining, or decisive. If a given tactic doesn’t fit one of those categories, it is not effective, McBay says. He emphasizes, however, that all good strategies must be adaptable.

To paraphrase a few nuggets of wisdom:

Stay mobile.
Get there first with the most.
Select targets carefully.
Strike and get away.
Use multiple attacks.
Don’t get pinned down.
Keep plans simple.
Seize opportunities.
Play your strengths to their weakness.
Set reachable goals.
Follow through.
Protect each other.
And never give up.

Guerrilla warfare is not a metaphor for what’s happening to the planet. The forests, the oceans, and the rivers are victims of bloody battles that start fresh every day. Here in North America, it’s low-intensity conflict. Tactics to keep the populace in line are usually limited to threats, intimidation, arrests, and so on.

But the “war in the woods” gets real here, too. I’ve been shot at by loggers. In 1999, they burned our forest camp to the ground and put three people in the hospital. In 2008, two dozen of us faced a hundred coked-up construction workers bent on beating our asses.

Elsewhere, it’s a shooting war. Canadian mining companies kill people as well as ecosystems. We are responsible for stopping them. We know what’s happening. Failing to take effective action is criminal collusion.

Wherever we are, whatever we do, they’re murdering us. They’re poisoning us. Enbridge, Deepwater Horizon, Exxon, Shell, Suncor and all their corporate buddies are poisoning the air, the water, and the land. We know it and they know it. Animals are dying and disappearing. There will be no end to the destruction as long as there is profit in it.

This work is scary as hell. That’s why we need to be really brave, really smart and really strategic.

We have strengths our opponents will never match. We’re smarter and more flexible than they are, and we’re compelled by an overwhelming motivation: to save the planet. We’re fighting for our survival and the survival of everyone we love. They just want more money, and the only power they know is force.

As Jensen says, ask a ten-year-old what we should do to stop environmental disasters that are caused in large part by the use of fossil fuels, and you’ll get a straightforward answer: stop using fossil fuels. But what if the companies don’t want to stop? Then make them stop.

Ask a North American climate-justice campaigner, and you’re likely to hear about media stunts, Facebook apps, or people stripping and smearing each other with molasses. Not to diss hard-working activists, but unless they are building strength and unity on the ground, these tactics won’t work. They’re not decisive. They’re just silly.

Of course, if the media stunts are the lead-in to mass, no-compromise, nonviolent action to shut down polluters, I’ll see you there. I’ll even do a striptease to celebrate.

© 2012 Zoe Blunt

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Calling Bullshit on Island Timberlands

Cortes Island
Photo by Island Light

Action Alert: Island Timberlands is preparing to log the forests of Cortes Island, near Campbell River.

As Michael Tippett notes, Cortes Island is a “birthplace of the green movement,” a cradle for Greenpeace in its early days, and home to the influential eco-wellness institute Hollyhock. And Island Timberlands is owned by a Wall Street investment firm.

The green movement vs. Wall Street? This fight is going to be epic.

Island residents have repelled invaders before, but this time it looks serious. For decades, corporations have labeled the forests on Cortes Island “socially inoperable” because of local opposition. Now they’re ramping up the pressure to get the timber out.

Cortes is home to sensitive wetlands, rare species and wild animals, who, through no fault of their own, live on private forestland. That land is now owned by Island Timberlands, which in turn is owned by Brookfield Asset Management, a Wall Street investment company.

Cortes Island
Photo by Paradigm Shift

In 2011, the good people of Cortes Island hosted a weekend workshop to get together and strategize. It was announced weeks in advance in the island newsletter. That’s how Island Timberlands got wind of it. The company quickly set up a public relations schmooze-fest to try and preempt this community gathering.

But things didn’t go quite as planned.

Island Timberlands office Nanaimo
Island Timberlands office, 65 Front Street, Nanaimo. Photo: Google

When the corporate manager arrived by ferry, a sixty-person “welcoming committee” greeted him at the dock with a noise parade, improvised instruments, and lot of “cheering.” The poor schmuck I.T. sent was so undone by this display of free expression that he called the RCMP, who arrived shortly after. (There were no charges, except to the taxpayer, and the RCMP soon departed.)

The schmuck in question – operations dude Wayne French of Nanaimo – was completely unprepared for the “public relations” part of the job.

Wayne French, operations manager
Saturday morning’s walk and talk was set up as a casual getting-to-know-you thing. We met on a dirt road, an easement into I.T.’s private forests. The temperature was mild, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the residents were chatting and joking. Except poor Wayne, who seemed a little tense.

Twenty of us were standing around talking when Wayne freaked out. “You can’t film here!” he barked at a young man with a camera. Everyone turned to look.

“There are people who can’t be here today, seniors and disabled people, and I’m filming it for them,” the young man said. He looked Wayne right in the eye and held the camera steady.

Wayne got louder. “This is private land and I’m telling you, you can’t do that here,” he hollered.

“But you invited the public,” someone piped up. “Yep, public events can be filmed,” agreed another.

The younger man kept the camera’s glass eye aimed at Wayne. “I’m making a record for the people who can’t be here.”

Wayne got red in the face and he gestured violently. “Turn that off, I’m telling you!” The islander didn’t move.

Wayne wound up for another blast, stomping and flailing, and he accidentally set off the alarm on his truck. Two dogs were locked inside, and they started barking and howling and jumping at the windows. Wayne couldn’t shut off the alarm. He aimed the key fob like a TV remote, frantically pressing with his thumb, but it kept sounding. Finally, he had to get in the truck and start the engine. Then the klaxon fell silent and the dogs sat back. Wayne shut off the motor and climbed out.

We all stood there looking at Wayne. He looked around at us, and there was a long awkward silence, which I broke.

“Of course you don’t want to be filmed today, because I.T. doesn’t want to be bound by anything you tell us. Because you guys want to be able to change your minds and do something else if you want,” I said.

“Yes, that’s right,” he replied sharply.

So there you have it.

It was just so much bullshit, although no one said that to Wayne’s face, because we are too polite.

The young man continued to film.  The public relations disaster was just beginning.

People had questions that Wayne mostly evaded with vague answers, like you’d give to a demanding pre-schooler. “That’ll be up to the faller,” he kept saying. “We’ll see what gets decided.”

Several people pressed him to talk about the wetland, ringed by big cedars. There, he did come up with a definite answer: A buffer zone would protect it. “The riparian zone is marked,” he told us. This meant there would be no logging next to the marsh and the watercourses.

We were prepared to ground-truth his statements, so we trooped through the woods and across the streams and down through the towering cedars into the swamp. Once we got there, the flagging tape told a different story. Residents saw the riparian zone markers fluttering in the marsh and realized this wetland wasn’t even on the map. The flagging tape and the maps said the big cedars were going to fall.

The residents turned to Wayne for an explanation. He backpedaled furiously. “This is not the final map,” he blurted. “It’s taken from a twenty-year-old ortho photo.”

“We can all agree this is a wetland though, right?” one woman insisted. Standing ankle-deep in the marsh, Wayne agreed, carefully.

Island Timberlands owns big sections of Cortes Island. I.T., in turn, is owned by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), a Wall Street investment firm. Coincidentally – or not – BAM also owns Zucotti Park, the site of the original Occupy Wall Street camp. Yes, these are the same 1%ers who evicted people from the park. They are corporate raiders out to liquefy any assets they can, including old-growth forests.

In exchange for clearcutting the island, the corporation is dangling the possibility of a few short-term jobs. That’s it. That’s all. No parkland, no amenities, nothing. I’m betting local people will not get those jobs.

Artwork for I.T.

The residents of Cortes Island have pushed back every time the corporate dudes showed up to tell them the forest was going to be logged. The dudes got sent off with a message: don’t try it.

This time, though, the pressure is mounting. Cortesians fear that the company won’t back down and they will have to put themselves on the line.

Local environmental group Wildstands has tried every reasonable path to preserving the big trees and watercourses. It opened negotiations to purchase the land (I.T. won’t sell, not even for double the market value) and launched a petition that already has almost 5000 signatures – not bad for an island of a thousand people! Next, they’re calling for people to come and bear witness.

Meanwhile, another group is recruiting and training legal observers. Island Stance emphasises that observers aren’t protestors; they monitor human rights in encounters between the public and the police.

Who owns the land? Or does the land own us? Will everyone who loves Cortes Island obey the corporate managers? Or will they obey their conscience? Will they give in to authority, or stand up for their island’s wildlife and ecosystems?

We’ll find out. See you there!


WildStands at Occupy Wall Street, January 2012

UPDATE

As of spring 2014, Island Timberlands has not started logging its holdings on Cortes Island. The company has quietly withdrawn – until next time.

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Dear Auntie Civ: You’ll just have to die

Auntie Civ

Ask Auntie Civ -- the world's first anti-civilization advice columnist!

Dear Auntie Civ,

I am wondering how a post-civilization society will be able to handle chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease. You see, I have Crohn’s disease and the only treatment that works for me requires me to go to a hospital every few weeks to get a 2 hour IV treatment.

Of course, my situation is kind of a Catch-22. Crohn’s is most likely caused by some kind of environmental factor in so-called developed nations (my guess is it’s the food, but who knows). So it looks like civilization gave me Crohn’s, but I can’t survive without civilization.

I’ve met a lot of Primitivists who have flat-out told me I’ll have to die for their utopia, to which I’ve quickly replied, “fuck you.” Surely there must be some kind of way to do away with civilization without asking me and comrades with similar sicknesses to die.

Thanks,

— Chronic Illness

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Uncivilized

Derrick Jensen

Author and activist Derrick Jensen would consider the label “uncivilized” a compliment. But then, he’s not your garden-variety white California environmentalist. He’s an outspoken anti-authoritarian and vehement anti-capitalist, yet he refuses to be categorized as either an anarchist or a socialist. Instead of controlling the means of production, Jensen calls on workers to destroy the means of production in order to save the planet. “Luddite” fits, but it doesn’t go far enough.

In an interview earlier this year, Jensen said he rejects the term “primitivist” because it’s a “racist way to describe indigenous peoples.” He prefers “indigenist” or “ally to the indigenous,” because “indigenous peoples have had the only sustainable human social organizations, and … we need to recognize that we [colonizers] are all living on stolen land.”

Jensen has fifteen books in print, including Listening to the Land (1995), A Language Older Than Words (2000), As the World Burns (2007), and Lives Less Valuable (2010). His most influential work, the 2006 best-seller Endgame: The Problem of Civilization, is the subject of the 2010 indie film END:CIV.

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Survey: Most Juan de Fuca residents don’t want new resort development


New roads planned along the Juan de Fuca trail. Photo: Alysha Tylynn Jones

A survey of Juan de Fuca residents indicates that the vast majority prefer environmental preservation to real estate development and resort tourism. The poll results show that only 7.5 percent of respondents  support new development and resort tourism in the Juan de Fuca electoral area, while 85 percent prefer habitat and watershed restoration.

A coalition of students and community groups conducted the direct-mail survey of people in Port Renfrew, Jordan River, Shirley, and Otter Point. The Wild Coast Campaign is compiling a report to be presented to the Capital Regional District in spring. Preliminary results will be presented during the Juan de Fuca land-use committee’s public information session tonight at Edward Milne School in Sooke.

The surveys were sent to all 423 households in the rural area via Canada Post in December and January. Residents were asked their opinions about land use in the former Western Forest Products lands in the Juan de Fuca electoral area.

Among other questions, the survey asked “What would you prefer to see happen in the Juan de Fuca forestlands?”

Out of 53 responses, only nine (17%) support resort tourism in Juan de Fuca. Four of these (7.5%) also want to see more real-estate development and subdivisions in the future.

“Resort tourism” ranked 13th on the list of 16 options, ahead of “real estate development and subdivisions” with eight votes, and “clearcut logging” with three.

The top answer, selected by 85% of respondents, was “watershed and habitat restoration.” Second in the multiple-choice poll, with 72% support, was “forest protection.” Third on the list was “park creation,” chosen by 68% of those who answered.

The poll did not specifically query residents on their support for a
proposed resort development on Juan de Fuca trail, now under
consideration by the Juan de Fuca land-use committee.

The survey was distributed to every household in the Juan de Fuca communities via unaddressed Canada Post mail. This is not a scientific poll and should not take the place of full community consultation; however, it represents a fairly random sample of residents.

Here is the question as it appeared on the survey form, followed by the responses for each option.

What would you prefer to see happen in the Juan de Fuca forestlands?

45  Watershed and habitat restoration
38  Forest protection
36  Park creation
34  Public consultation
32  Moratorium on new development
31  More community planning
30  Eco-forestry
26  Eco-tourism
25  Research forestry
22  Traditional indigenous activities
21  Community forestry
20  Education programs
12  Cultural tourism
9    Resort tourism
8    Real estate development and subdivisions
3    Clearcut logging

Related posts:

Why rural residents oppose the Juan de Fuca resort plan

If you can’t trust smooth-talking millionaire real-estate developers, who can you trust?

Update: Committee to reconsider proposed resort on the Juan de Fuca trail

 

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Why rural residents oppose the Juan de Fuca resort plan

A volunteer stands over a septic field test hole near the trailSeptic field test hole near the trail. Photo: Alysha Tylynn Jones

Public comments requested Thursday, March 3 at Edward Milne School, 6218 Sooke Road, Sooke. Hosted by the Capital Regional District.

Residents of Shirley, Jordan River, and other nearby communities are turning out in force to denounce a rezoning proposal that would permit 263 vacation homes, lodges, recreation buildings, septic fields, and roads within 100 meters of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a popular wilderness destination west of Jordan River.

The seven properties in question are former Western Forest Products tree farm license lands south of West Coast Road and adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park between China Beach and Sombrio Beach. The current zoning allows one home on each property.

The resort plan is widely viewed as a threat to the park and the tourism dollars generated by an estimated 300,000 visitors each year. Dozens of critics have also noted that the plan contradicts the Capital Regional District’s Regional Growth Strategy and promotes uncontrolled urban sprawl in designated Rural Resource Lands. Elders from the Pacheedaht First Nation have publicly stated their opposition to the project and their demands for a moratorium on development on the nation’s traditional territory.

West Vancouver real-estate developer Ender Ilkay and his supporters cite “economic development” as the main reason to allow this huge resort to go forward. However, Ilkay’s optimistic economic report fails to address negative impacts on existing tourism operators and park visitors. The report also ignores impacts on wildlife, the risk of damage to the park, increased demands on local volunteer fire and rescue services, and the increased infrastructure costs that would be borne by all tax-payers in the CRD.

Ultimately, five people will decide the future of this plan. A majority of CRD directors have serious concerns about the proposal, but the final vote rests with the CRD’s Land Use Committee A. The members are:

Mike Hicks, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director (who also chairs the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee and has the power to appoint its members)

Denise Blackwell, a Langford councillor and cheerleader for the failed Bear Mountain Resort

Janet Evans, the pro-development mayor of Sooke

Dave Saunders, mayor of Colwood, and

John Ranns, mayor of Metchosin.

Those opposed to the project include MLA John Horgan (Malahat-Juan de Fuca), MP Denise Savoie (Victoria), MLA Rob Fleming (Victoria), and MP Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca), who has long advocated expanding the wilderness park.

Concermed? Send a letter to the directors of the Capital Regional District.

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Ender Ilkay: If you can’t trust smooth-talking millionaire real-estate developers, who can you trust?

Ender Ilkay

Real estate speculator Ender Ilkay, Marine Trail Holdings

Originally published in Focus Magazine.

Ender Ilkay’s proposal for a sprawling resort on top of the Juan de Fuca Trail draws heavy fire.

At his public presentation, West Vancouver-based developer Ender Ilkay was calm and self-assured—until he got angry. Then the claws came out.

Ilkay and his company, Marine Trail Holdings, plan to develop seven parcels of forestland purchased from Western Forest Products—land that, until recently, was part of a publicly-managed Tree Farm License. In 2007, the province’s sudden decision to release 28,000 hectares of forestland from TFL status to WFP without consultation or compensation triggered a storm of controversy and court actions. Complications scuttled Ilkay’s earlier plans to develop two of the parcels.

Now, Ilkay’s back, with an ambitious plan for a sprawling resort that includes a recreation centre, tourist lodge, and 279 cabins stretching along seven kilometres of choice land between Mystic Beach and Sombrio Beach.

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Dear Auntie Civ: Why are vegans so angry?

Auntie Civ

Ask Auntie Civ, the world’s only anti-civilization advice columnist!

Auntie Civ gives advice from an anti-civilization viewpoint. If you’d rather get advice from a vegetarian or techno-utopian, ask one.

Why do environmentalists eat meat? (part two)

Dear Auntie Civ,

You’re so old and senile, you’re not even making sense. Give a proper answer to the vegetarians, or give up and admit you’re losing it.

Another Vegetarian

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