The People Working Tills & Stocking Shelves

The People Working Tills & Stocking Shelves

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. In this episode, we get a deep dive from Eric Hargrave, manager at the Cortes Natural Food Cooperative, and Bill Dougan, manager at the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort General Store.  These are two fellows who run grocery stores and have given a lot of thought to the modern food chain.  They present their insights with wit and charm. Together we explored the impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their lives and their businesses.  I was especially curious about the pandemics impacts on frontline workers — those working the tills and stocking shelves.   We began with understanding all the new stresses, responsibilities and risks associated with the job and how the managers are supporting the workers through this. Image courtesy Cortes Natural Food Co-op Cortes Currents: Max Thaysen interviews Bill Dougan & Eric Hargrave How Society Values Those Workers I wondered how society valued — and compensated — these workers before and how that might be changing now.  Grocery workers on Cortes generally begin around $15-$16/hr, a little above the minimum wage in Canada.  And after years of service, they may expect to climb as high as $18 or even $22/hr.   Bill wondered aloud how this compares to a construction worker, who may begin at $18 or $20/hr and climb quickly to $25 and eventually to $35-$40.  Is this a gender biased valuation of different positions in society?  What does it say about those values grocery workers are considered among the most essential front-line...
The Lessons Of A Virus

The Lessons Of A Virus

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. In this episode we speak with  author and ecologist, Rex Weyler.  He has worked with Greenpeace since its founding in the 70s.  He represents an uncommon and refreshing perspective on the Covid-19 virus.  Strange Perspectives by Wendelin Jacober via Flickr (Public domain) Cortes Currents: Max Thaysen interviews Rex Weyler about COVID 19: The Lessons Of A Virus The Underlying Condition: Overshoot We ask and answer: Is this the worst thing happening right now?  Why is it that we’re reacting so strongly to Covid-19 and are completely unmoved by other, more mundane, daily tragedies that have a much greater impact on the life and health of humans and non-humans.Rex explains, in this one-hour radio piece, how the virus is a symptom an underlying condition: overshoot.  Overshoot is a natural phenomena, quite common throughout nature, where a species reproduces and thrives and extends its number beyond the carrying capacity of it’s ecosystem.  The population then crashes as it hits the limitations on growth.  It might be a food shortage, building materials or a virus. Overshoot includes the habits and practices of a species as well as its numbers.  Rex tells us how we’ve got a problem with both.  Ample Warning We’ve had ample warning of this fact of nature from writers in the 60s and 70s and even earlier than that.  We know that some kind of balance between humans and the rest of the planet will be restored eventually, it’s just a matter of time (and this might...
Legal Observation: The Rule Of Law

Legal Observation: The Rule Of Law

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. Opinions expressed in the article that follow are not necessarily shared by Cortes Currents, its board, or other producer/authors. Trigger warning: The following program contains graphic descriptions of serious human rights violations. Tactical teams with assault- and sniper-rifles dropped out of black helicopters.  Specially trained military-style police demonstrated snowmobile stunt skills.  Indigenous heroes sang songs of love and consequences on a Mad-Max battle-bus.  There appeared to be directors and cinematographers.  It was a high-budget production.  I had a front-row seat and played the role of Legal Observer.  Max Thaysen Cortes Currents: Max Thaysen observing the RCMP raid on Wet’sewet’en traditional territory On the morning of Friday, February 7th, the RCMP moved in to raid the second of four camps along the gravel road that passes through the Wet’suwet’en Nation, Gidimt’en Territory.  The RCMP were enforcing a court injunction that prohibited anyone from blocking access to anyone working on the Coastal GasLink pipeline. I was a legal observer for that raid – a collector of information for the purposes of legal defense.  ACT 1 I spent three days at the camp known as ’44’ – all the camps are named for their distance from Houston, BC along the Morice River forest service road.  44 was the site of the main conflict with RCMP in January 2019, over the same issue.  The Unist’ot’en Healing Centre is at 66, on the far side of the bridge over the Wedzin Kwah (aka the Morice River).  This year, there are camps at 27, and 39 as...