Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia’

When you have oil pipeline companies, who needs satire?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

giant U.S. oil company and the end of satire

Giant U.S. oil/energy mega-corp Kinder Morgan has applied to triple the size of a pipeline across British Columbia, bringing dirty bitumen-laced oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. “Public” hearings to assess the application have been notoriously non-public. An economist friend of mine found the above excerpt in Kinder Morgan’s application, revealing the company to be capable of Swiftian satire in content if not in literary ability. As another friend remarked: this may mark the end of satire, friends.

“Pipeline spills can have both positive and negative effects on local and regional economies, both in the short and long term. Spill response and clean-up creates business and employment opportunities for affected communities, regions, and clean-up service providers. This demand
for services and personnel can also directly or indirectly affect businesses and livelihoods. The net overall effect depends on the size and extent of a spill, the associated demand for clean-up services and personnel, the capacity of local businesses to meet this demand, the willingness of local businesses and response opportunities, the extent of business and livelihoods adversely indirectly) by the spill, and the duration and extent of spill response and clean-up activities.”

In short, B.C.’s employment crisis will in part be solved by…. oil spill clean up jobs.

Voilà. Farce economics!

SOURCE: Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Application (hard copy). PDF version of the application is here. Opposition from the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby through which this pipeline does and will pass can be read here.

Over 1000 dolphins escort ferry near Vancouver

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Pacific white-sided dolphins

Great video shot on Hallowe’en, October 31, 2013. Over 1000 dolphins swim alongside a BC Ferries vessel on its way to Vancouver through Georgia Strait.

CBC report confirms they’re Pacific white-sided dolphins which usually congregate farther out to sea. Some have suggested that dwindling food supplies have driven them nearer to shore. I saw a pod of about 200 from a ferry in 2011.

Ferry captain is a joker. “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s quite the dolphin show off the starboard side. Tickets can be purchased from the chief steward’s office.”

What temperate rainforest looks like

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

mossiest rainforest in existence

This photo was taken by my colleague Ken Wu, an environmental advocate with BC’s Ancient Rainforest Alliance. The photo was actually taken in Washington State, not far from here. He says this is the Quinault Rainforest in Olympic National Park, “the mossiest temperate rainforest in existence with almost all the record-size trees of the region, just about my favourite place on the West Coast!”

As part of my other design job with a group called Commons BC, I was involved in the fight against Bill 8 which would have privatized vast areas of BC’s forests. Currently 94% of British Columbia is “crown” or public land. Its forests are divided up into “Timber Supply Areas” but if those are converted to “Tree Farm Licenses” entirely under corporate control, BC will not be able to enforce sustainable forest policy – and that’s if we even had good forest policy the way they almost do in Washington State. And we don’t. We won our fight against Bill 8 but now that the resource-happy party back in power after a surprise victory, we believe this will have to be fought all over again. And this time we may lose.

If you want to see what BC has cut on Vancouver Island alone in the last 60 years, look at this before and after map (via Commons BC). Some of the most lush forest in the world, containing streams harbouring numerous salmon spawning runs.

The yellow-green is the original forest cover remaining in 1952. The pink is the logged area. Only a little in 1952; nearly the whole Island in 2012.

1952 to 2012


“Christy Clark just wants your love”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Caitlin Dodds does Christy Clark

It might be hard to fully appreciate the brilliance of this performance unless you’re familiar with the vocal mannerisms of British Columbia’s Premier Christy Clark. But this mimicry is easily as good as Tiny Fey doing Sarah Palin. I’m almost sorry that Clark  and her unliberal “Liberals” will be skunked out of office in the May election because I could watch years of Caitlin Dodds doing Christy. In the Bublé bath. With rosé.

Many more videos by the Deep Rogue Ram collective here.

Deep Rogue Ram spoof of Christy Clark

Surveillance camera map, Vancouver

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Big Brother is watching

Very nice map of surveillance cameras in downtown Vancouver, by the Vancouver Public Space Network.

Disturbing content aside, it’s a very attractive map.



Roy Henry Vickers gallery, Tofino

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino

Roy Henry Vickers‘ gallery in Tofino, BC. The face of the building, similar to the style of a First Nations longhouse or “plank house,” was painted and handcarved by the artist, whose background is Haida, Heiltsuk and Tsimshian.

Historically the abundance of Western red cedar (there’s one in front of the gallery) as well as other resources led to the development of a strong West Coast aboriginal architecture, a form we now see far too seldom. There are some beautiful examples though though which I’ll include later on.

From the Canadian Encyclopedia:

“Plank houses shared a number of structural characteristics, regardless of their builders. All employed varying forms of post-and-beam construction, which typically exploited the large lengths and dimensions of the red cedar. In the south, Salish-speaking peoples developed a shed-roofed variant that was characterized by a single roof pitch that sloped from front to back. The building’s frame system consisted of massive roof beams, often more than half a metre in diameter, which spanned the width of the house and varied in length from 7.5 to 15 m. These beams were supported by two rows of posts placed about 3.5 to 4 m apart. These beams were often carved to represent important family ancestors or supernatural beings associated with the family’s history. Overlapping roof planks were laid over pole rafters attached to the roof beams. Walls were clad with wide split-cedar planks tied horizontally between paired upright poles. In spring, these planks were usually removed and transported to standing frames at summer village sites.” More here.

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino

Below, every element of the front has been hand-carved.

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino

Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Tofino