Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Every day needs to be Earth Day

It's wild how quickly the days keep flipping past -- with me only now finally getting around to saying a bit about how I spent Earth Day. Where the theme of this year's observance was Environmental and Climate Literacy, it was appropriate for this to also be the day when scientists marched, with the goal of science being respected again as the basis for decision-making.

As for my day, I was lucky enough to be invited to a conference on Permaculture. It seemed like an appropriate way to spend the day, even though much of the time was spent indoors. Topics addressed ranged from disaster-preparedness (and forming community in our neighbourhoods) to understanding the nature of currency. For the currency session, all 50 of us walked down to nearby Crescent Beach, where our history lesson included rocks and a stick with notches carved into it.

I first heard about the permaculture movement when I lived in Australia, back in 2002. I suppose it's taken a while for it to take hold here. But, the same way I like to think about postings on this blog, better late than not at all.

It was encouraging to see a range of ages represented at this event -- for a nice change, there were more young people than older ones -- certainly a positive sign for our future.

And I was especially happy to come home and be reminded of the ways we practise so many of the tenets of permaculture in our little yard -- our rain barrels, our compost bin and of course, our 'kitchen garden' which will soon again be providing our summer salads. Yep, those tender green shoots in the image above are some of the seedlings we've started for our outdoor salad bar. Yummm!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pot is on the table

At last! It was 1969 that the LeDain Commission was called -- an official government inquiry into the non-medical use of marijuana.

Over the course of the early 1970s their findings were reported, and -- surprise, surprise -- even back then, their conclusions were that it was time for marijuana laws to change.

Finally, with Thursday's Cannabis Act, Canada has begun to move forward towards legalization.

Sure, there are still kinks to work out. I plan to follow as this process unfolds. I'm just hoping there isn't any back-pedaling from the government. Considering how they've backed out of other promises they've made, I'm going to pay close attention.

One thing I am sure of is that next week's 4/20 events will truly have cause to be celebrations!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Women vote, because we can

It was only 100 years ago today that women were granted the right to vote here in British Columbia. The only reason I know this is because Daphne Bramham, one of the excellent columnists for the Vancouver Sun, brought it to readers' attention. Weirdly, I'm not able to find the piece in question online, though many of her other columns show up in a search. I'll do my best to not be paranoid about this.

Something she mentioned in the piece (it does exist; photo is of the print version which appeared on Saturday) is the fact that it was only in 1964 that women were permitted to open a bank account without their husband's permission. Strange though it seems, I recall being asked for my husband's signature when I applied for my first credit card (if memory serves, it was called 'Chargex') in the early 1980s. The thing is, I wasn't even married. My partner was a common-law spouse and wasn't the primary breadwinner in our household. Somehow I worked around this -- or, who knows, maybe I caved.

Today, on another errand, I needed to stop in at my Member of Parliament's office. While there, I mentioned the significance of the date, and I might as well have been looking at the deer in the headlights. Not a clue. And my MP is female.

We need to know more about our history, especially our history as women. And with an election coming up in our province on May 9th, it's important to support whichever party we most believe in.

It's simple: because we can vote, we must.