VIX Sound+Light+Motion

Translink Busker 2016

by on Jan.13, 2016, under Concerts, Events, Music



Please donate to encourage Victoria to continue to play her guitar and sing in Translink stations.

She has purchased a license for the year 2015, so she will be appearing at Waterfront Station, Granville St (Canada Line) and other permitted locations.

“This is a new thing for me to try,” she says, “I really need to support my music somehow.”

Please support her generously with your donation.

Comments Off on Translink Busker 2016 :, , , , more...

Victoria Busking on Translink

by on Jan.13, 2016, under Concerts, Events, Music



This page allows you to donate directly to Victoria if you enjoy hearing her music.

You can now donate directly to Victoria to support these free shows on Translink!

Victoria is enjoying busking in the Skytrain Stations, so please encourage her to continue.




Comments Off on Victoria Busking on Translink :, more...

Vote Canada 2015 – short film

by on Sep.11, 2015, under Projects, Protest, Video

Stephen Harper has to GO! Please sing along in the chorus . . .

In 2011, I wrote a song called “Government of the Canadian People”, for the 2015 election, I have added visuals to support my lyrics.

Full list of links to the articles in the film and the creative commons attributions are listed on the page Vote Canada 2015 — click here

This video is less than four minutes long, so I could not cover all of the dirty details — Canadian voters please pay attention to these news items — I have made it easy for you to check my sources and these are all reliable publications that are mostly mainstream media.

Canadian Economy

If this video receives some support, I will try to find the time to make another with new lyrics and more emphasis on the economic failure that Harper has orchestrated for the country of Canada. Putting multi-national fossil fuel companies first in all of his decision making has hurt Canada badly as the price of these fuels drops and even more as the potential of Green Tech industry jobs languish.

Harper is trying to convince Canadians that he has done a good job with our economy, but in fact Canadians are falling behind in many significant areas. In this video, I cover the “balanced budget” fraud as significant amounts were transferred from Employment Insurance surplus payments, sold off assets and the contingency fund that is only supposed to be used in emergencies. Harper has left the cupboard bare for any incoming government as this fund has been steadily reduced and the deficit has actually climbed.

In addition, I wanted to point out Harper’s royal spending habits. Like Alberta’s former Premier, Conservative Allison Redford, nothing is too expensive for Harper to order for his benefit. I did not even mention the personal groomer and paid staff of documentary video and photography professionals who cover the Prime Minister’s every move at staged events and meetings. However, when the combined salary of the “spin doctors” working in federal communications rivals that of the House of Parliament itself — I think Canadians should pay attention. Flying the bulletproof limo and SUV to India, over-using Challenger jets for himself and to provide transportation to EU delegates who changed their schedules for a Harper photo-op were just too offensive to miss.  He claims to be fiscally prudent, but a brief look shows the opposite is true.

In my research, I have uncovered evidence that under Harper large amounts of money have left the country, investment has stagnated and the tax burden has been shifted to those least able to afford it while letting multi-nationals and large corporations avoid paying their fair share.

Canada – Aid not Bombs

My main focus in this video is the appalling record in Foreign Affairs that is detailed in former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark’s new book, How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change, that is not featured in the video. Instead, I chose to paint with news articles in broader strokes that people can follow up with their own reading of the links to sources provided. In my opinion, Canada is illegally bombing Syria and Iran and helping to create the flood of refugees that Harper refuses to assist. Instead of sending aid, Harper’s military posturing and photo opportunities have encouraged more suffering and casualties. We should be helping Syrians and Iranians within their own countries to lead safe and productive lives, not raining death on defenceless people from the sky.

Canada is traditionally a peacekeeping country that helps with aid, not bombs. We have lost our status in the world as a mediator and diplomatic leader and have turned into a bully. Does Harper really want Canada to become a target for terrorist groups? Bombing innocent civilians without UN sanction or approval is a great way to do that by seeding anger and hatred of Canada as an oppressor.

Harper is such a hypocrite that he tried to use John Lennon’s song for peace and coexistence,  “Imagine” to gain political points as he was changing Canada’s role in Afghanistan from peacekeeping to active military force. Thank you Yoko Ono for removing the video from YouTube via copyright challenge, however a copy still exists on a Harper controlled website as I write this.

Election Cheating

I hope this video will help Canadians make up their minds about Harper!

Unfortunately, I worry about the Conservatives cheating in this election because they have cheated in every election with Harper as leader. I mention “Ignore Robocalls” as part of my voting overview, but in my view it is very serious that Conservative supporters, employees and MP have been charged and in some cases convicted of fraud. See the-cheaters-on-harpers-watch for details. The wheels of justice turn slowly and there are still charges pending from the last election as we go into this one!

The changes to the Election Act will make it difficult for some people to vote, so please check your registration and valid ID.

We must be completely overwhelming so that the Conservatives are a very distant third in every case or they will try to steal the riding from the legitimate winner.


I will continue to write and produce more films. Please look at this information and make your decision based on facts — not on advertising and spin.  I hope we can restore Canada to the generous, helpful nation we have strived to be — caring for the less fortunate and maintaing a tolerant and fair society.


Comments Off on Vote Canada 2015 – short film more...

Leave the Oil in the Ground

by on Jul.02, 2015, under Protest

It has been difficult for me to concentrate on doing anything else when I fear that the fossil fuel companies will succeed in destroying our inhabitable zone with their insatiable greed. I feel I must do everything I can to inform people so we can stop them from killing us all.

The mainstream media usually acts as a reinforcement system for the wealthy industrialists who own and control the major outlets. My task has been to try and inform as many people as possible using social media to collect news about oil, gas and other fossil fuel related events, plus offer hope in the form of news about sustainable choices and energy alternatives.

 I am placing this link on the sidebar so it will stay current and reachable.

Here is my facebook page — Leave the Oil in the Ground.


#endofoil #savewater I attended the first event in this series and I really enjoyed the affirmation of our shared intentions. ...

Dying of thirst

October 27, 2016, 7:30pm - October 27, 2016, 11:00pm

VIVO Media Arts Centre

**thirstDays: love, intimacy and (com)passion, in a geopolitical context** A monthly series of video, film, performance and ceremony events Project curator/artist-in-residence Jayce Salloum No. 09 dying of thirst Curated by Tannis Nielsen + Jenny Fraser Performance: Lori Blondeau (Cree/Saulteaux) Featuring/video of: Lee Maracle (Stó:lō), Mique'l Dangeli + Nick Dangeli (Tsimshian), Jenny Fraser (Yugambeh), Zoila Jiménez (Mayan), Helen Knott (Dane-Zaa + Nehiyawak), Jules Koostachin (Cree/Attawapiskat), Rona Scherer (Mamu + Kuku Yalanji), Alex Wilson (Neyonawak Inniwak Opaskwayak Cree), and Rita Wong (Cantonese in Canada) With this video program we affirm the urgency of defending land and water, now and for the next seven generations to come. We compel the viewer towards taking action in the protection of our planet and present some of the voices of international indigenous women’s struggle and resistance, safeguarding our inter-connectedness with the sacredness of all living things. These voices speak to the recognition and respect of indigenous sovereignty and against the colonial, capitalist resource extraction industries that rape our ancestral territories. They speak toward the seen and the known; animated in their resistance by the fires of prophecy, the love of the land, the people(s), and all of our relations. By sharing these subjectivities and prophecies we hope to begin to recognize each other, to unify and work together toward building an encyclopedia of international emancipatory strategies. ~ Tannis Nielsen + Jenny Fraser — #thirstDaysVIVO #VIVOMediaArts At: VIVO Media Arts Centre 2625 Kaslo Street, Vancouver (near Broadway, walking distance from Renfrew Skytrain Station) Free admission or stream it live at Upcoming programs curated by Dima Alansari + Cathy Busby, Henry Tsang + Diyan Achjadi, Elisa Ferrari + Stacey Ho. Past programs curated by Raymond Boisjoly + Jordan Wilson, Ali Lohan + Cecily Nicholson, Urban Subjects, David Khang + Phanuel Antwi, Irwin Oostindie + Ronnie Dean Harris, Denise Ryner + Tonel, Ashok Mathur + Jeneen Frei Njootli, T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss + Aaron Rice. Writer in residence: Tarah Hogue. - - thirstDays is a project conceived as the rain falls and covers us in a slick substance transduced from the skies, moist. How can this, how can we, contribute to the establishing of a momentum that may have once been here in waves or pieces but over time was squandered, and defeated, with the imposition of capital triumphantly declaring its colonial (un)consciousness in our enclave by the water. Surrounded by a possible serene beauty, grief and sadness, love and hate, what encounters do we inscribe into our psyches and into our beings, what can art do to fulfil a mandate of hope and agency. What can we contribute. The project takes inspiration from the patterns of existence to look at the mechanisms which we are part of, and relate them to all we end up being, sharing, denying, repressing and preserving. We seek that which compels us: love, intimacy and (com)passion, explorations of the commons/(un)commons; empathy and subjectivities; nourishing sites and situations; modes of agency; and subjectivities of place. We insist on diversity and threads of collaboration, strands of 'collectivity'/affinity, emphasizing works that have a specificity of location with resonances/meanings for others within reach and beyond. There is a socio-psycho imperative here at this site - Vancouver - grounded in what is missing and manoeuvering the gaps while referencing the historic in the present(ness) - and of the moment - with the critical reimagining of the repressed and the projection of empathy and action. - Jayce Salloum JAYCE SALLOUM, a grandson of Syrian immigrants from the Bekaa Valley (Lebanon) was born and raised on Sylix (Okanagan) territory in Kelowna, BC. His work has been exhibited in a wide array of venues, from the smallest unnamed storefronts in his dtes (downtown eastside) Vancouver neighbourhood to institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, National Gallery of Canada, Bienal De La Havana, Sharjah Biennial, Biennale of Sydney and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Salloum is a recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. ACCESSIBILITY INFO > Wheelchair ramp The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. > Door: 8 feet width > Washroom Door: 33 inch width Toilet: 11 inch clearance on left side The washroom has a handrail Washroom is all genders

View on Facebook

#nopipelines #notankers Please support if you are able. ...

From Standing Rock to Burnaby Mountain

November 17, 2016, 7:00pm - November 17, 2016, 9:00pm

SFU Harbour Centre

Leadnow invites you to a free public event to hear about the growing, continent-wide opposition to new pipelines like the Kinder Morgan and Dakota Access Pipelines. Thurs. Nov. 17th, 7:00-9:00pm (doors at 6:30) SFU Harbour Centre (515 W Hastings St) (see childcare details below) Canada's federal government could approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline before the end of the year. In both the United States and Canada, the Dakota Access Pipeline faces fierce resistance from Indigenous communities defending land, water, and sacred sites. Can direct action stop these new pipelines? How will fossil fuel companies and governments respond? Join us for a discussion with Indigenous and community leaders about the implications of direct action on stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure. ## Confirmed Speakers: Tara Houska is Ojibwe from the Couchiching First Nation has been involved with the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock. She is a tribal attorney and National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth. In February 2016, Houska was appointed Native American advisor to Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President. Her work is raising the profile of important issues, like the impact of fossil fuel extraction on women, their children and communities and the treatment of Indigenous people by private companies and police. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is the President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, an organization of First Nations that works toward the “implementation, exercise, and recognition” of Aboriginal Rights and Title and the protection of land and water. The Grand Chief was arrested by the RCMP, along with more than a hundred others, during the 2014 Burnaby Mountain encampment opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. ## About the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Kinder Morgan plans to make the Burrard Inlet a major tar sands export terminal by building new facilities including a pipeline and fuel tanks. The changes will add seven times as many tankers per month to Vancouver’s narrow harbour, increasing the likelihood of a dangerous spill of irrecoverable diluted tar sands bitumen. More than 50 Indigenous nations across North America have signed the Treaty Alliance pledging to block all proposed pipeline and tanker projects affecting First Nations’ land and water, including the Kinder Morgan plan. In December, the federal government will make a decision about whether to approve or reject this proposal. ## About the Dakota Access Pipeline If completed, the US$3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline would carry about 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the low-quality, high-cost Bakken oilfields to Illinois. In the largest gathering of First Nations in modern American history, Indigenous peoples have set up a defenders’ camp on land belonging to the US Army Corps of Engineers in North Dakota. In September, private security attacked Indigenous peoples with dogs, sound cannons, and pepper spray at an encampment defending the Standing Rock Sioux tribal burial site. In September, the Obama administration ordered a stop to all pipeline construction on US Army Corp land and called for a “voluntary pause” on all construction activity. Nationwide solidarity actions have mobilized to compel President Obama to revoke the pipeline’s permits. This event takes place on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. We are working on making childcare available at this event. Please send an e-mail to if this is something you require. Thanks!

View on Facebook

Comments Off on Leave the Oil in the Ground more...

Water in BC

by on Jul.19, 2014, under Projects, Protest

A study published in 2011 was one of the first limited studies documenting well water contamination by methane and other gases being more intense and likely close to drilling sites. The waste water from fracking creates a disposal problem that is discussed in this video. This was known in 2011, but fracking still continues.

‘Fracking’ Explained         Uploaded on 15 Sep 2011

Biology professor and geochemist Robert Jackson in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment performed one of the first peer-reviewed studies on the environmental consequences of hydrofracking. In a live “Office Hours” webcast September 15, 2011, he answers questions about his study

Water is our most precious resource, yet we are allowing fossil fuel extraction companies to destroy drinkable water. In addition, British Columbia’s legislature is considering building the Site C Dam, that will flood productive farmland to produce electricity for oil and gas extraction and processing. Meanwhile, California is fining people for washing cars and watering lawns and the article points out that California may not be able to produce as much food as before because of the drought. The article says,

Richard Howitt, an environmental economist at the university and an author of the report, said that while much of the state had been able to deal with the drought economically, parts of the Central Valley, the state’s agricultural heartland, were being hit hard. Huge portions of farmland have been left unplanted.

In BC, much of our food is imported and with the current drive to increased density and population in Vancouver, there will be more hungry and thirsty people here. California is now relying on groundwater for their survival and has prevented fracking companies from injecting their chemical soup into the ground.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells. read more at ProPublica

The entire ProPublica series on fracking should be required reading for BC MLA’s as they decide the future of our water supplies, parks and farmland. Our provincial government has opened up our parks to industrialization, is considering spending billions to build a dam and infrastructure for the industry while destroying valuable farmland and jobs. Follow the latest news on my Facebook page “Leave the Oil in the Ground”  — I have been told it doesn’t come up in a search.

Comments Off on Water in BC : more...

LNG Export Dream is a Nightmare

by on Jul.08, 2014, under Events

Orvis_State_natural_gas_flare_01_-_Arnegard_North_Dakota_-_2013-07-04BC Path to Prosperity touted by Premier Christy Clark is an unrealistic dream that is not based on facts. It is in fact, a nightmare that will extract our non-renewable resources without adequate compensation.

In addition, the industry will destroy our groundwater, increase the risk of earthquakes, and damage human health.

At a time when many leading institutions and organizations are divesting from any investment in oil and gas, Premiere Christy Clark is committing increasing amounts of taxpayer funds to supporting, or even, subsidizing the oil and gas industry.

My conclusion from reviewing the facts and published studies is that the export of LNG will cost the province more than it will ever receive in royalties. In addition, groundwater contamination and methane leakage will continue from abandoned wells that will not be cleaned up by industry. Some of the damage may be permanent and no amount of money will be able to restore our pristine water. In addition, increased risk of earthquakes, health problems in our population and contribution to climate change all are strong signals to stop fracking. We must put a moratorium on fracking until we know more about this risky process.

LNG Development Facts

Because companies can fully deduct all capital costs before paying the full 7 per cent  LNG income tax, any cost overruns will be paid for by reduced taxes.

This means that all investment, processing and exporting expenses are paid before any tax is paid on the profit from sales. Historically, corporations find many ways to avoid showing a profit that can be taxed. Why can’t we charge a royalty on the amount of gas extracted?  The gas belongs to the citizens of this province and they should be paid for taking it. When I pay for natural gas on my home heating bill, I pay for the amount used.

Based on a more realistic expectation of LNG export volumes and prices, this analysis estimates the fully-implemented LNG income tax is likely to raise between $0.2 and $0.6 billion per year. For comparison, consider that the total annual BC Budget is $45 billion per year.

BC’s current royalty regime has not achieved a good return for the development of this finite public resource, and places more emphasis on encouraging high levels of production:

  •  Natural gas production in BC has increased by one-third over the past five years, even in the face of extremely low North American prices.
  • Yet royalty revenues have dropped significantly during this time due to low market  prices and large credits for deep drilling and gas infrastructure.

This report, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, makes a well supported case that the revenue projections from fracking projects are greatly exaggerated. Now that China has made a deal with Russia to provide natural gas for the next 30 years, the price of BC natural gas will have to be subsidized to compete. Even though the industry is producing more gas, provincial income is dropping because the royalties are a percentage paid on profits. The report concludes:

BC should not proceed full-speed ahead to sign away non-renewable and public gas resources at any price.

Export Costs

Processing and exporting natural gas requires a great deal of investment and much of the cost will not be borne by industry. A recent article explains in the challenges faced by the LNG export industry in detail.

In a special report on global energy prospects, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) warns that expectations for a robust liquefied natural gas industry may fall apart due to bad economics and high transportation costs.

– See more at:

Why should BC taxpayers subsidize wealthy multinational corporations to extract our resources? The cost of transportation reduces profits and the estimates that have been used to paint a positive picture are based on highly optimistic scenarios. Why should we give up existing jobs in farms, tourism and other industries, as the land supporting these jobs is destroyed, for mythical jobs in the oil and gas business?

Taxpayer Investment

The Site C Dam will flood precious farmland and displace many people and animals to supply electricity to the oil and gas industry. It is opposed by First Nations and local residents and even BC Hydro has “not fully demonstrated the need for the Site C on the timetable it proposed” according to Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Joint Review Panel (JRP). This dam will cost billions in taxpayer money (estimates range from 8 – 16 billion) and raise all of our rates for electricity to subsidize oil and gas extraction. However, there is some confusion, because Premiere Clark has made a statement that natural gas will be burned to create electricity to process and compress the gas. This will make the resource processing produce much more pollution, but should negate the costs of building the Site C Dam. However, BC taxpayers will have to pay for this electrical generation facility instead.

Premier Clark said B.C. will use natural gas to generate electricity needed to produce Asia-bound liquefied natural gas. The process will demand as much as four times the electricity consumed by the province’s largest city, Vancouver. – See more at –

Taxpayers will be covering the bill for port expansions, road and highway construction, upgrades and maintenance as well as inspection and regulation costs. The large equipment that must be transported to complete the fracking process is very heavy and requires road and bridge upgrades and maintenance. In the end, our biggest investment will be in clean up costs, as abandoned wells spew methane and leech toxins into the environment. Reports of approximately 1 million abandoned wells in Pennsylvania leaking methane in a study by a Princeton PhD Candidate discussed in this article,

Natural gas is mostly methane, (CH4), a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period. So even small leaks in the natural gas production and delivery system can have a large climate impact — enough to gut the entire benefit of switching from coal-fired power to gas. Study after study, however, finds that the leaks are anything but small.  Read more at -

How many abandoned wells will we have to clean up in BC?

BC’s Climate Action Plan

How does exporting LNG fit in with BC’s Climate Action Plan? We are exporting a greenhouse gas producing fossil fuel and the amount of methane that is expelled into the atmosphere during the extraction and delivery process is a serious concern. Here are three articles that discuss the effects of methane release, a serious pollution threat. Scientific American, The Energy Collective and NY Times all have published articles critical of industry practices that allow the escape of methane into the atmosphere. This problem is not limited to fracked gas, but is widespread over the entire industry.

No one can accurately say how much methane is leaking from wellheads, processing plants, pipelines and other natural gas facilities, but there is a growing body of evidence that the amount is significant. 

This is important because methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and a study from Stanford shows that the amount of methane in the atmosphere is much higher than estimated in the US. No similar studies have been completed in Canada, but industry’s own studies show that fracked wells leak more than conventional wells.

 . . .industry studies clearly show that five to seven per cent of all new oil and gas wells leak. As wells age, the percentage of leakers can increase to a startling 30 or 50 per cent. But the worst leakers remain “deviated” or horizontal wells commonly used for hydraulic fracturing.

Estimates show that BC natural gas can be dirtier than coal and create more climate impact, some deposits contain high proportions of CO2 in addition to methane that is released into the atmosphere..

“A 2010 study by Mark Jaccard and Brad Griffin for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions concluded that adding 4 million tonnes (MT) a year to the province’s GHG inventory, at time when the province needs to subtract millions of tonnes, means ‘that the B.C. government will sustain a 20-year Canadian climate policy tradition — failure to meet its GHG emission targets.'”- See more at:

Why do we have a Climate Action Plan if there is no attempt made to meet the targets?

Other Negative Effects

British Columbia is an earthquake zone. There is strong evidence linking earthquakes in Oklahoma to fracking, because they are not in an earthquake prone area. The government of BC  is taking on a very high risk in encouraging fracking in our province. Who will pay for earthquake damage?

Then there are health risks. There is well documented evidence that fracking contaminates groundwater and releases airborne toxins that cause serious health problems including birth defects, infertility and cancer. Who will pay for these extra health costs?

We must stop fracking in order to save our groundwater for future use. With global climate change shrinking glaciers, we will become more dependent n groundwater to irrigate crops and to sustain life. Who will pay for the de-salination plants to make ocean water useable?

Report from Montana listing Dangers from fracking including:

  • Contamination of groundwater
  • Methane pollution and its impact on climate change
  • Air pollution impacts
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Blowouts due to gas explosion
  • Waste disposal
  • Large volume water use in water-deficient regions
  • Fracking-induced earthquakes
  • Workplace safety
  • Infrastructure degradation

It is up to the citizens of BC to know the facts and work to ban fracking in BC.

Comments Off on LNG Export Dream is a Nightmare more...

Direct Democracy for Canada

by on Jul.01, 2014, under Events, Projects

Direct Democracy In Action:

A New Vision for the Senate of Canada

We can use the power of the internet to give people more of a voice in their democratic process. I propose a model that will empower people to be directly involved in government decisions that affect issues they care about.

I propose creating a Digital Senate that will act as a second opinion to the current elected legislators in Canada as a new system for governance. This Digital Senate will be a website community that will exist on the internet and be an economical and efficient delivery system for direct democracy.

The current Senate of Canada is an appointed body that is allowed to propose legislation and may block legislation passed by the elected parliament. We do not think such a body, based on the British House of Lords, has any place in a democratic society.

The powers of the current Senate should be assigned to the Digital Senate, but not the salaries and perks.


A New Model for Governance

The Senate of Canada is in dire need of reform, but old models retain the idea of concentrating decision making power into the hands of the few. The Senate has never been an elected body, but recent scandals have emphasized the problems inherent in granting a Senate seat by the authority of the government in power.

There is wide public support for a change in the Canadian Senate, and some are in favour of complete abolition. However, we need a system of checks and balances in a democracy, so we propose an innovative reform using internet communications.


The Digital Senate

The current level of internet connectivity in Canada, with many public access points in libraries, government offices  and community centers, means that internet access is not a barrier to participation. Part of the funding that is used for the current Senate could provide free internet for everyone in Canada.


A Canadian citizen eligible to vote in Federal elections can be a member of the site

Members of the Digital Senate site can choose to be Senators in order to vote on behalf of others


Issue Based Model

The current system has political and geographical influence in the choice of who will be a senator. Now our country is tied together by the internet, we would like to propose an issue based model, instead of a geographic or political affiliation.

With a Digital Senate, there is no need to meet in Ottawa because the Senate is a web site. This immediately gives national public access to the discussions and issues that citizens are interested in. Our government currently trusts our income tax and other personal and sensitive information to be sent through the internet, so a similar system of encryption and identification can be used to identify Canadian citizens who are qualified to vote.

Each voting citizen has one vote on each issue tabled in the Senate. Each Senator represents one issue of their choice, then voters can assign their vote on that issue to a Senator representative or vote independently for themselves.

The default is to limit each Senator to one issue at a time, but it may be permitted by the Senate, upon application, that a Senator can represent more than one issue, especially if the issues are related.

How it Works

The Digital Senate would be a web site that would enable the citizens of Canada to have direct input into issues or to assign their vote to a representative or proxy.

Citizens of Canada who are eligible to vote can register to be a member of the Digital Senate.

The current Senators will be retired and collect whatever pensions are owed to them. They will be welcomed into the new organization as members, the same as any other Canadian registered to vote.

Members have their own private page that shows who they are supporting on certain issues and where they can manage their votes and proxies. They can sign up for news on what issues are before the Senate so they can be aware and decide their vote.

If a citizen member wants to be a Digital Senator, then they must make parts of their page public, so everyone can see who they are supporting and their network of influence. Senators would be citizens who are experts in the field or otherwise interested in an issue and are willing to work on legislation or other tasks.

A Senator candidate then posts their qualifications on the page that has been created for the specific issue they are interested in working on. They invite other citizen members to assign their votes to them by stating their position and how they plan to act.

Citizen members who are interested in that issue, then go the page to learn the news and to see if there is someone they want to support. There will be public forums and discussion on the issue page.

If a citizen finds someone who has similar opinions to their own, then they can assign their voting proxy to them. If a citizen collects enough proxies, then they are recognized as being a Digital Senator and become eligible for tax deductions and support through the Canada Council for the Digital Senate.

Every citizen can vote on issues directly, or they can assign their vote by proxy to a Senator. If the Senator does not vote the way they said they would, then the citizen’s vote can be immediately withdrawn. If there is a suspected pay off or other reason the Senator did not vote as promised, the citizens who gave the proxy can complain and appeal the vote.

If the citizen finds that the representation is not what they hoped for, in general, they can withdraw and reassign their proxy at any time. If a Senator loses too much support, they revert back to member status and are no longer eligible for financial support. Citizens are encouraged to vote directly, but as each issue will take time, we anticipate that most citizens will want to have the option for proxy representation on some issues.


The Financing

The virtual nature of the Digital Senate will enable us to have many more Senators because there is no direct financial compensation for involvement in the process.

Senators may claim a tax credit using a formula based on the number of people who have assigned their vote. The tax credit could be a refund for those who do not have sufficient income to need this deduction. If additional funding is required for meetings, projects, research or conferences, then a Senator can apply for funding through a system based on the Canada Council for the Arts jury process, called the Canada Council for the Digital Senate.

The Canada Council for the Arts is a proven model used for decades for arts funding, so provides the impartial checks and balances required in a democracy. If this model is considered inadequate for the Senate, then any changes to funding practices for the Senators must also be applied to funding for artists.

We can keep the current Senate Chamber for historical and meeting purposes, but practically, no permanent physical presence is required.

The present Canadian system costs $106,264,111 a year, not including contributions to the pension plan.

That is a lot of money that can be used to establish the administration for a web based community and fund the Canada Council for the Digital Senate. It would be available for information, discussion and voting from your phone, tablet or computer.

If required, it could fund public internet access points or internet for every voter in Canada, specifically to make sure any citizen of Canada can participate. There would be enough money to fund some instructors or resource persons based in the community to assist anyone who wants to participate.




Comments Off on Direct Democracy for Canada more...

Meeting with Moira Stillwell MLA

by on Jun.15, 2014, under Projects, Writing and Editing

 On Tuesday, I will meet with Moira Stillwell MLA who represents Marpole in the Provincial Legislature. We met previously at a Marpole Residents Meeting that was focussed on the re-zoning of our neighbourhood. Moira Stillwell is trained as a doctor and has held many responsible positions in the medical industry. I was impressed by her intelligence and approachable manner, so I can only hope that what I will say will make a difference. I still have some work to do to prepare my submission, but here is a preliminary look.

Five Issues 

1. Oil and Gas

Our Premier, Christy Clark, is closely associated with the oil and gas industry and is heavily promoting the development of natural gas in the province using fracking. The LNG industry is the new gold rush — with the same level of sustainability. Have you seen ghost towns in BC?  Source: Northern Gateway pipeline referendum is now being supported by many BC residents because it is still being promoted by our Prime Minister as a “done deal” despite opposition. plus, Expanded pipelines through Vancouver  (see more below)

2. The Agricultural Land Reserve

Agricultural Land protected under the land reserve is less than 5% of all land in the province of BC.  Now changes to the Act have made it easier to use land in that reserve for other purposes.

Established in 1973, the ALR has successfully halted the conversion of, on average, 6000 hectares of agricultural land per year into residential, commercial and industrial uses – a transformation that is largely irreversible.

A quote from West Coast Environmental Law on a page that contains a great deal of information praising our former Agricultural Land Reserve Act. The changes to the Act have made it easier to do oil and gas exploration on agricultural land in Zone 2, that is central and northern BC.

But farmland advocates are concerned such changes will lead to more development because it will be easier for oil and gas companies to use Zone Two land for activities like drilling for oil and gas. Source: CBC News 

The Site C Dam will flood some of the best farm land in the north of the province of BC. Who is paying to build the dam? BC taxpayers will pay an estimated $8 billion. Who will benefit? The oil and gas industry. BC Hydro reports tell us that BC can meet our on-going energy needs with conservation.

BC Hydro says it is because we need the energy, but we don’t: Hydro’s own reports say we can meet current demands through energy conservation. Site C is not about meeting the electricity demands of British Columbians; it is about subsidizing BC’s oil and gas and mining industries. It’s an $8 billion taxpayer subsidy to a dirty fossil fuel industry that needs cheap energy to expand. Source: Wilderness Committee

3. Water Sustainability Act

Tied in with the oil and gas industry needs is our new water act. We need an Act like this one in BC because water will become increasingly scarce as we loose our glaciers to global warming. Right now, we are lucky to have clean water in this province, but many of us are wondering where the water will come from for fracking and who will pay to clean it after it is contaminated with a cocktail of unknown chemicals?

In April, the government granted the energy industry regulator — the OGC — authority to issue long-term water licences to natural-gas companies, making the fossil fuel industry the only entity in B.C. with its own dedicated water regulator, a regulator established by the province to speed approvals of industry development applications. Source: David Hughes, Post Carbon Institute

Oil and gas exploration use huge amounts of water that is contaminated and half of the fracking chemical soup is left in the ground to contaminate water in future. Other industries also use huge amounts of water, but contribute very little to support the province or to clean the water after they are finished using it.

4. Development in Vancouver and Affordable Housing

Belacarra cottages — eviction of long term residents Provincial Social Housing in Vancouver

5. The Arts as an Industry for Full Employment


OIL and GAS IN British Columbia

Our Province is embroiled in a teachers strike that is affecting many student’s education and the livelihood of our teachers. Although the government insists there is no more money in the budget to pay teachers, there is money to help the LNG industry bring northern students to an expensive industry conference.

The provincial government and companies working on developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry spent approximately $60,000 taking nearly 60 Coast Mountains School District secondary school students, teachers and chaperones to a Vancouver LNG conference last week.

Funding was given to the school districts at $800 per student to attend an industry conference about natural gas from an industry point of view. The industry sponsored admission to the conference, priced at $1,680 for a full pass.

“The provincial government offered funding to all school districts from the north to attend this conference, and that was the impetus for industry to sign on and fund the rest,” said Coast Mountains school board chair Art Erasmus . . .”

They were among 110 students, teachers and chaperones from the northwest at the May 21-23 provincial government-sponsored conference attended by 1,400 delegates. taken from

Other individuals and groups also are suspicious about this “educational” opportunity . . .

But one local environmental group raised concerns that the students would not receive a balanced view of the LNG industry and its potential impacts. “Students are young minds and easily moulded and they’re forming opinions, and when industry offers an all expenses paid trip to an industry conference when 90 per cent of the speakers are pushing industry, I don’t think they’re getting a very balanced view,” said North West Watch representative Anne Hill. “I think it’s much more than a field trip.”

I agree that this is more than a field trip! As evidence mounts that fracking is an irresponsible practice, Christy Clark is making sure that the industry has an opportunity to make a huge impression on these students. Somehow, I am sure that no research on birth defects caused by fracking, methane leaks, groundwater contamination and other problems were presented. In fact, here is a review of the conference as an opportunity to sell investors on the projects, surely not a time to mention that fracking is BANNED IN FRANCE. Here is a list of other areas that have banned fracking as a potentially dangerous practice.

Clark is focussed on the LNG export business as being an economic saviour, but she is ignoring all the evidence that points to the exact opposite conclusion.

The massive push to frack our pristine wilderness and productive farmlands is creating anger and resentment in BC.

People are seeing the actual jobs they have in farming, tourism and other industries threatened by the mythical jobs that may or may not be created by natural gas. First Nations tribes see this development as further destruction of their ancestral rights. We all worry about contaminating our drinking water and pollution causing climate change. Although natural gas has always been considered a “clean” fossil fuel, studies show our emissions would be 2/3  that of the Alberta tar sands development. What is the royalty for natural gas that goes to the BC government? Only 7% on the PROFIT.

So, in 2012, Premier Clark amended BC’s Clean Energy Act by order-in-council (no debate), to exempt LNG-conversion emissions from being reportable. Source:

With leaks from fracked sites that contaminate ground water and cause health problems, how can we allow industry to go ahead with this destruction of our drinking water?

In a report to the Council of Canadians, Dr. Theo Colburn found that 94% of the fracking chemicals in her database are associated with skin, eye and respiratory harm, 93% with harm to the gastrointestinal system, and 83% with brain and nervous system effects (p.14). Only an average of 50% of frack water is recovered. The other water remains underground.  The concern is when people come in direct contact with these fluids or when these chemicals get into freshwater supplies.  The new fractures can connect with other geological conduits.

Citizens of BC are so upset with decisions that favour the oil and gas industry that we are requesting a referendum to block Enbridge’s Northern Gateway. Source: CBC News

People are protesting the expansion of pipelines through Burnaby and Vancouver and the increase of tanker traffic.


Recently, a law was passed in BC to allow oil and gas exploration and pipelines in our Provincial Parks! Yes, unbelievable, but true. The Park Amendment Act will open the last vestiges of wild areas to the destruction of our last wild spaces. Tourism as an industry? Not in BC. No thought is given to the impact of this industrial expansion into our last remaining protected areas.


It is time for BC to move away from the boom and bust resource based economy. Given the current climate change scenario on our planet, it would be best if the government of BC recognizes that the train has left the station. There will be no amazing revenue stream from exporting natural gas. China has signed an agreement with Russia to obtain natural gas, plus they have some of the world’s largest reserves. Who are the clients? By the time we have the infrastructure in place to export fracked gas, the flow from the wells may have already declined as geologists have confirmed, initial wells provide much more gas than subsequent fracking. Please see Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future by Richard Heinburg.


The actual cost of oil and gas production is not profitable unless the taxpayers of BC invest in this industry and support it with tax dollars. BC plans to invest in building a huge mega project dam to subsidize the oil and gas industry. Damage to roads and development of transportation systems to bring in equipment is a major expense. Further subsidies in the form of cheap access to water, pollution clean up and low royalties on our resources. In addition, the cost of water contamination, leakage and spills that may never be cleaned up, will be costs that BC residents will have to live with. With the pollution, loss of farmland and the cost to human health it is not worth supporting the oil and gas industry. We should use the billions to support the farmers of BC and changing to sustainable energy instead of building a dam. With climate change an undisputed reality and the retreat of our glaciers, we will need every drop of drinking water that we can get.

Where do you think our water comes from? With groundwater being contaminated, we will be dependent on rainfall — With less snowpack, summers will be very dry. Our rivers flow in summer from snow melt, with no snow — where will we get water to drink and  water our crops?

How can we remove any land from the Agricultural Land Reserve when we have so little arable land and we are increasing the population of Vancouver so exponentially? We cannot depend on drought stricken California to feed us. We have to be self-sufficient, because it will no longer be economic to use fossil fuels to bring us food. We have a food system that is designed to rely on inexpensive fossil fuel, but this cannot continue.

Development in Vancouver is providing housing for many more people. A lot of people are expected to move to Vancouver over the next few years. Where will we get the water and food for this population increase? What kind of jobs will these people have? Job estimates from pipeline development are highly suspect. Economies will contract due to climate change and energy costs. How can we maintain a civil society and have meaningful lives without constant growth? In my opinion, the current grass roots movement to local food production, energy conservation and appreciation of nature should be supported. To create jobs, invest in the Arts. The Arts is an unlimited source of human employment that is very difficult to automate, outsource or replace.

Comments Off on Meeting with Moira Stillwell MLA more...

Inspiring Film maker – Little Mountain

by on Jun.15, 2014, under Films

Social Housing in Vancouver, Canada

There is an on-going problem in Vancouver because wealthy people are using homes as investments. In a time of stock market volatility, the super rich have decided that owning a home in Vancouver, BC, Canada is a safe and profitable investment. This has led to housing prices here that are completely unaffordable for people who actually live and work here. As City Council and the developers work hand in hand to demolish the older, affordable housing stock using the premise that the land is “under utilized”, long term residents are forced out and only wealthy people can afford to live here.

I have issues with the idea that because land is considered valuable it must be completely covered with the highest density possible or it is “under utilized”. I am interested in documentary film as a vehicle for getting ideas to the public, so I learned about The Little Mountain Project, a film project by David Vaisbord.

This film is about the destruction of a social housing project in the Mount Pleasant district of Vancouver, also known as Little Mountain because of the small extinct volcano in the area that houses Queen Elizabeth Park.  David is a film maker who lives close to a social housing project where long term residents were evicted to make way for condo development.

Does Vancouver really need more condos? The whole city is a massive condo development site with towers going up everywhere and the older housing stock being demolished to squeeze two massive houses on to a lot where one used to stand. I will write another blog post on this, but for now, please pay attention to David. Please check out his film project and donate if you can.

If you’ve landed here and want to know where you can go to fund The Little Mountain Film, here’s how.

Go to a new dedicated website at:

or directly to the INDIEGOGO crowdfunding site at:

The funding campaign runs from May 9 to Jun 23rd.

Please come on board and contribute to this project.


David Vaisbord & and my Indiegogo Fundraising Team

It was so difficult to find this film project on the internet. I had to put in the following search string to get any results “film maker evictions social housing mount pleasant Vancouver bc”. On Indiegogo I tried searching “mount pleasant” and other related words, without results. It was only when I entered “little mountain” that I reached David’s film. So I am providing some more keywords here and I hope that the search engines start to consider these types of projects more important.


Comments Off on Inspiring Film maker – Little Mountain more...

The Corporation Movie Ten Year Anniversary

by on May.27, 2014, under Events, Films

Last evening, I attended a screening of a movie that had a profound effect on me when I first saw it ten years ago. The Corporation was a powerful film that revealed a world that had been hidden to me before. This event was a fundraiser, so if you can, please go to their website and donate by clicking here.

We hope you enjoy tonight’s public premiere of a new shorter cut of the film. This evening also marks the launch of our crowd funding efforts to get the film free to 1000 schools.



I am really impressed by the power of this film.

I think every school should show the truth of how children are being manipulated.

It make me think about making a film, but I know how difficult and expensive it can be.

The after party was held at the Pull Focus Film School that offers training in film creation.

It may be possible to learn more about film and find collaborators — I will find out more about their programs.

There are things I am compelled to speak out about and it seems that songs do not have the impact.

I will be posting some of my ideas on this blog because I am starting a new webspace for my work.

This will now be my personal opinion and news blog on and my work will be on a new site.


Comments Off on The Corporation Movie Ten Year Anniversary more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...