Public events on the Menu

Public events on the Menu

A month into BC’s phase 3 of re-opening, locals and visitors to Cortes Island are able to enjoy well-loved perennial as well as brand new reasons to gather. Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash On July 1, British Columbia officially lifted its mask mandate, opened up to Canadians for recreational travel and now allows for gatherings of 50 people indoors and 5,000 outside. Although still scaled down compared to pre-pandemic times, Cortes is not only seeing an influx of vacationers, but also regular events. Here is a selection. The Gorge Harbour Marina Resort is delivering live music 5 nights a week for the rest of the summer. The impromptu stage on the Fireside Patio hosts musical acts — some local and some from further afield — from 7:30 to 9:30pm. The Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery is in the midst of their first show of the season, running for two more weekends. Thursday through Sunday from 2 till 6pm, the gallery is open for viewing of the pieces by 24 member artists in a wide variety of media. A Squirrel Cove resident, Reid Wescott, and a few friends set up a volleyball court near the General Store, and weekly games just switched from Wednesday to Thursday evenings. Come from 5pm onwards to play and swim. Wescott says, “It is a great location, and we are hoping for more sand. We always need more players!” At the south end of the island, Cortes Men’s Circle is having another open night on Wednesday August 11 from 7 to 9pm, thanks to a community microgrant. Host Tommaso Biasiolo started the bi-weekly event several years ago on Quadra after being inspired...
Wildfire smoke clouding the skies

Wildfire smoke clouding the skies

The air quality and visibility over the weekend was noticeably affected by particulates in forest fire smoke traveling across the landscape, and will likely be present in the region into Wednesday afternoon. The BlueSky Canada interactive online visual tool shows an animated forecast of wildfire smoke as it’s expected to behave over the next 2 days in specific geographic regions. According to the website, Cortes Island and surrounding area have been experiencing an elevated PM2.5 rating, colour-coded to represent a range of 10-28 micrograms per meter cubed (µg/m3). These elevated levels nevertheless do not cross the threshold considered unsafe during a 24-hour period by Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards. The large cloud of smoke from the interior is predicted to start clearing by early afternoon on Monday. However, the closest fire situated roughly 45 kilometers north of Powell River will likely send more smoke our way as wind direction changes. This fire, which is under control, has an estimated size of 7 hectares and was discovered on June 27. Its approximate location is stated as Daniels River. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, August 1, there were 244 active fires across the province, according to the BC Wildfire Dashboard. Seven were new as of this week, and 6 of those had been added to the total since noon on Sunday. A small fire of less than 0.01 hectares was briefly shown on Vancouver Island between Qualicum Bay and Qualicum Beach on Sunday afternoon, however it was no longer being reported by the evening. There were no other fires on Vancouver Island. In a news bulletin released on Friday, July 30, Campbell River RCMP detailed a vehicle fire that had spread to the...
The legal issues at Fairy Creek, with Tzeporah Berman

The legal issues at Fairy Creek, with Tzeporah Berman

As the RCMP continue arrests of forest defenders at the Fairy Creek blockades, legal and political questions abound following the BC Court’s decision to take over the persecution of arrestees at the request from logging corporation Teal Jones. Credit: Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash “I find it reprehensible that the government is going to be using taxpayers’ dollars and jailing its own citizens, because of its own failure to implement its own policy. I think history will look back on this moment in time in British Columbia’s history and all of these people — these teachers, these scientists, these nurses, these Olympic swimmers, amazing people that I met, who are blockading at Fairy Creek — they are not criminals. They are heroes. And I think that’s how they’re going to be seen.” Long-time activist Tzeporah Berman, founder of Stand.earth, was deeply involved in the Clayoquot Sound old-growth-logging protests in the early 90’s, the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history, with more than 900 arrests of forest defenders. As of Wednesday, July 28, the Fairy Creek Blockade’s official media channel reports 496 arrests to date and counting, since police enforcement of the court injunction granted to Teal Jones Group began in late May of this year. Berman spoke about her arrest and objectionable treatment she received while in police custody on Saturday, May 22, as well as her recent hearing on Thursday, July 8, when she successfully challenged her bail conditions. The latter had prevented her from going back to the entire Fairy Creek area. Although the judge’s ruling applied to her only, she encourages others arrested at the blockades to use her legal arguments, which are...
Powell River city councilor called out for transphobic speech

Powell River city councilor called out for transphobic speech

At a city council meeting in Powell River last month, elected official Jim Palm made unsolicited comments that have been labeled as hate speech against transgender people. Photo credit: Female Athletes at Starting Line by tableatny via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) Palm took issue with a proposed definition of gender for public signage that would include LGBTQ2 persons and steered his criticism toward transgender women athletes whom he compared to competitors illegally taking performance-enhancing drugs. Palm’s lack of appropriate vocabulary to address the transgender demographic suggested a lack of understanding of inclusivity issues. “Whereas on the female side of the equation, females compete, they train and a lot of governing bodies now, not based on biological makeup, are allowing… I don’t know what you refer to them as… somebody that has not got a biological makeup to be able to take female hormones in order to qualify to compete as a female.” Palm’s next remarks anticipated ongoing resistance to transgender women’s participation in female sports; in his words, so as to support female athletes. Screenshot of several comments below Palm’s speech reposted on YouTube. Comments posted on the YouTube video ‘Jim Palm Powell River Disturbing Transphobic Speech’ The reposted clip of Palm’s impromptu discourse resulted in a predictably polarized and inflamed series of comments below the video on YouTube. Bill C-16, passed in June 2017, was cited as legal protection of gender-diverse Canadians against discrimination, including hateful speech motivated by bias or prejudice. Others voiced concern that Palm not only guides the city’s policies in his third term on Council but also directly influences the younger generation in his employment as Career Coordinator at Brooks Secondary School. Links of Interest...
First of two Hybrid/e-ferries arrives in BC

First of two Hybrid/e-ferries arrives in BC

Two hybrid diesel/electric ferries with increased vehicle capacity will begin providing two-ship service on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route starting in early 2022. Top photo credit: Island 4 departing Romania bound for B.C. earlier this year photo courtesy BC Ferries – photo courtesy BC Ferries After a transatlantic journey of 64 days and 10,700 nautical miles, Island 3 – the newest hybrid addition to the BC Ferries fleet – docked in Victoria at 2:42pm local time on Thursday, July 22. Its sister vessel, Island 4, departed from the same port of origin, Damen Shipyard Galati in Romania, about two weeks later and is scheduled to arrive in the port of Vancouver on August 10. These passenger and cargo vessels will be bestowed official names later this year. Their simultaneous deployment on the popular and unreservable Campbell River – Quadra Island route is expected to dramatically improve the speed and volume of service, as well as increase local employment and environmental responsibility. Unfortunately, the Quadra Island – Cortes Island route is only distantly scheduled for a similar upgraded ship in the next decade. Last Thursday, a Smelt Bay resident reported leaving her house at 1pm and disembarking at the Campbell River terminal only 7 hours later at 8pm due to the backlog of ferry traffic. Island Class Snapshot courtesy BC Ferries Nevertheless, BC Ferries is striving toward progress. According to a press release, the Island Class vessels “use some of the most advanced clean marine technology in the world. Once in service, we believe these ferries will be among the most efficient and quietest ferries world-wide,” it said. The eco-friendly design showcases a reduction in underwater noise...