February 28, 2013

The coverage of the vandalism at the Bonshaw end of the Plan B site from last night's "Compass" is here, featuring public environment monitor Cindy Richards:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2339306264/
Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-02-27/article-3185852/Plan-B-equipment-vandalized/1

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Today, a spotlight on Sylvia Ridgway:

Sylvia Ridgway--
"I am inspired by this unique Island where I live - its landscapes have ‘coloured’ my life and inspire my work.
In this small province, everything is interconnected and fragile: the waters, both surrounding us and running through and under our soil; the fields, so vulnerable to wind erosion, and the slowly diminishing forests and woodlands. This landscape supports a multitude of life - both human and wild.
We constantly need to be reminded of the importance of protecting this rural environment and remember how serene, precious and beautiful nature can be.
The greens, golds and reds of this land, the sparkle of its sea and sky, and the dazzle of colour and light from its gardens and roadsides...."


The art show continues until Saturday, noon to 5PM, and will be open before and during the concert, which is Sunday, 2-5PM.
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The Lands Protection Act Commission holding public consultations about changing the act is in Charlottetown tonight.  I have not heard any news about the Crapaud meeting which was cancelled last week due to weather having been rescheduled (if you hear, please let me know).

Tonight's meeting is at 7PM at the Rodd Charlottetown.

There are still some meetings in March in:

·  Souris - Access PEI 
Monday, March 4, 7 to 9 p.m.

·  Kensington - Royal Canadian Legion
Wednesday, March 6, 7 to 9 p.m.

·  Kinkora - Kanata Club, Seniors Room
Thursday, March 14, 7 to 9 p.m.

·  North Rustico - Lion's Club
Monday, March 25, 7 to 9 p.m.

·  Murray Harbour - Community Centre

·  Tuesday, March 26, 7 to 9 p.m. (As I have a previous commitment tonight, if Crapaud is not rescheduled, I will attend the Kinkora meeting.)

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And, here is a story in today's Guardian about the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner Maria MacDonald, who spoke at the FOIPP workshop the PEI Citizens Alliance put on two weeks ago about her job.
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-02-28/article-3186047/Backlog-leading-to-significant-delays%2C-privacy-commissioner-says/1

February 27, 2013 (afternoon)

It looks like some vandalism was done to the parked giant dump trucks at the Bonshaw end of the Plan B construction site in the past few days, as in somebody shooting at the windows.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/02/27/pei-trans-canada-vandalism-bonshaw-584.html

Roy Johnstone and Cindy Richards are talking to the media.

Of course, folks protesting Plan B condemn this kind of vandalism to any property.

February 27, 2013

Ron Arvidson has been there stating his concerns about Plan B since the beginning.  The wonderful idea for the art exhibit in Hampton in August was his, and he has been instrumental in the A Bet-R Plan Art Exhibit ;-) 

In his own words:

Ron Arvidson --

" 'We have got to adapt and change our behaviour. But nature is the source of our well-being, and our lives, and every bit of it now is precious! We have got to stop the destruction, whether it is created forest that we got or Old Growth Forest. We have got to learn to live within much stricter confines.' - Dr. David Suzuki, November 16th, Symons Lecture, Charlottetown

I have worked in clay on the Island for many years. Through my career a love of form and decoration has been my muse. My pottery reflects my appreciation of landscape, nature and the beauty of the Island. My current concern, and my concern for the future, is the manner in which we are destroying the environment without consideration for the ecosystems of which we are a part. We must learn to live with and appreciate that which we have around us. We cannot destroy nature just for the sake of 'progress'. We must consider what the environment means to the health us all and put a value on that."

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The Art Shows runs today through Saturday from noon until 5PM, and will be open during the Bet-R Plan Concert Sunday, March 3rd, from 2-5PM.  The concert will be hosted by Erskine Smith, feature a very full line-up of incredible talent:

Teresa Doyle and Todd MacLean, Johnny Ross, Wade Lynch, Scott Parsons, and more (tomorrow!).

It will be the last day for sale on both raffles, as the draws will be taking place, too.

Have a great, sunny day!

February 26, 2013

Bruno's link for the YouTube of the Art Exhibit has been changed and is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCJPqww-nnM&feature=youtu.be

The art show is open today though Saturday from noon until 5PM, and will be open during the concert Sunday (2-5PM).

And today here is the poster from the Art Exhibit from

Susan Christensen --

I have frequented the shores and hillsides of my home, Prince Edward Island since childhood. In my twenties, I bought my first 35 mm camera and paid homage to the beauty of my Island home through photography. Although I continue this practice, I am pleased that I am now able to celebrate Prince Edward Island’s beauty through my paintings.

I would have to say, my three greatest artistic influences have been Georgia O’Keefe, Emily Carr, and Lawrence Harris. It is not so much their style of work that has inspired me, although the work of all three I greatly admire, it is their spirit of exploration and determination that I admire in each one of these people. They were able to continue on and take their art further and further down the road of discovery. Something to which I also aspire.

The painting “Beyond the Trees” I created for this show is about looking forward to the future in hope of a better plan for democracy and sustainability for this beautiful Island.

February 25, 2013

While not related to Stop Plan B specifically, foreign affairs journalist and author Gwynne Dyer is speaking at the UPEI Duffy Building, room 135, tonight, at 7PM.  He column on world affairs runs in The Guardian weekly, and he is a such an interesting speaker.

From the UPEI website: "His public lecture at UPEI will be 'The Triumph of Non-Violence.'
Non-violent revolution is both more common and more successful in the
modern world than the old and bloody version, but few people really
understand it. This is an attempt to explain how and why it works.

This event is free and all are welcome to attend."

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This week the plan is to duplicate the Artists' Statements from the A Bet-R Plan Art Exhibit.  Susan Christensen produced these using the same theme as the poster for the art exhibit and concern.  I have copied the text and then the actual poster, the artist's words are so powerful.

Bruno Peripoli has been in the Stop Plan B movement since things got started, observing with his years of forestry experience, quietly documenting with his camera, carrying healthy hemlock saplings to the steps of Province House for each rally to serve as a reminder, creating and uploading heartrending videos of images of what we were about to lose.

Bruno Peripoli, his words --

"Many people are coming to see that we don’t inherit the earth from our parents and past generations, we borrow it from our children and future generations. When you borrow something you have an obligation to return it in the same or better condition. A problem with our way of living and governing ourselves is that we ignore those principles, we pretend the waste and damage is no big deal. And so, those too young to vote, future generations, our land, our sea and air are taken for granted and taken advantage of. We saved some money by not taking care of the axe we borrowed or sharpening it before we gave it back. Can we reasonably be proud of the state of our island with regular fish kills and dead zones in our rivers. Much of our drinking water is polluted, our rivers still run red with runoff after rain. Our once majestic forests gone. The sea depleted and under threat from drilling. Poor care and no sharpening. It’s hard to accept when bad things happen, it disturbs us yet we must be disturbed enough to want to do better. The movement to Stop Plan B, to save precious human and environmental resources, is a line in the sand, a decision point for many Islanders. Many caring, knowledgeable, responsible citizens want to stop the damage to our Island and want policies to heal and strengthen our natural world. We want sharpen to that axe before we give it back. That is something we could be proud of."

What's free and when you can give:

A clarification: there is *no* admission to the Art Gallery, nor is any donation expected, though there is a box for donations to the Arts Guild always there. Most of the pieces of art work are for sale with a portion of the sale being donated by the artist to the PEI Citizens Alliance.

Admission is by donation to the Concert next Sunday. At the concert:

There will be a cash bar (no profits to the PEI Citizens Alliance!).
There will be a 50:50 draw at the concert, a bake sale, and the final day of ticket sales (and drawing of winners!) for both raffles: 

  • for the painting by Lisa Murphy, proceeds of which are earmarked for helping develop a small renewable energy system for the Camp off Peter's Road,($5,limited number of tickets)
  • for the Basket of Island Treasures, tickets are $20 each for a package worth almost $600.

All proceeds will go to the PEI Citizens Alliance to help with legal and other costs associated with the Stop Plan B movement, and to continue to support the public environmental monitors.

------
And a little about a Plan B community member:
Alie Mills lives in Bonshaw, and this summer had the experience of being chosen to be one of the five members of the "Come Dine With Me" reality cooking show PEI version.  It is playing tonight on W Network starting at 8:30PM.

A lot going on!

February 24, 2013

A Bet-R Plan Art Show -- it is now its last week, with the Concert next Sunday, March 3rd, 2-5PM at the Arts Guild.  Admission by donation for both the art show and concert.

It is beautiful!

But not so:
The most recent update on the Department of Transportation's website (January 22, 2013)
http://www.gov.pe.ca/tir/index.php3?number=1044551&lang=E

go back a page ("TransCanada Highway Realignment" choice at top of page) and select the "Protect the Environment" button -- from October 2012 -- and on the page is this:

·The ecological significance of all forested land is appreciated and valued. Government is striving to avoid and, where avoidance is not possible, to minimize the impact of this project on forested land. Most recently, the **alignment has been adjusted to significantly minimize the footprint of the alignment on an important old growth hemlock forest stand.** (emphasis mine)

 This looks like a significant boot-stomp of a footprint through Hemlock Grove (photo from their Update page):

February 23, 2013

Yesterday it was lovely chatting with Susan Christensen about her work, and to see what motivates her.
Thank you, Susan!
and I found out that Susan created the fantastic poster for the A Bet-R Plan Art Show and Concert.

There was a lovely feature by Sally Cole in Friday's Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Arts/Entertainment/2013-02-22/article-3182742/A-natural-appreciation/1

I didn't see it, but Cathy Grant and Shannon Mader were on the "Community Events" pre-weather segment on Compass last night (Bruce instead of Boomer). Perhaps somebody could upload it to YouTube?
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Today it is Bruno Peripoli who will be giving a demonstration and answering questions, from 1 - 4PM, at the Gallery in the Guild (downstairs, corner of Queen and Richmond Streets).

And, for a sample of what is there:

Bruno's YouTube regarding the art show--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmMcyUge4uQ
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The A Bet-R Plan Concert is in one week!
Sunday, March 3rd, from 2-5PM, at the Guild. Raffle tickets for the Lisa Murphy painting and for the Basket of Island Treasures will be available and the draws will take place.
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AND, finally, remember how we had to cancel the Plan B Social due to blowing snow?
Well, please mark your calendar for its reinvention: Monday, April 1st, 2 - 4PM - what better day than a holiday Easter Monday that also happens to be April Fool's Day to Discuss Plan B? The Plan B Spring Social! (with thanks to all who cooked up the idea.)

February 22, 2013

Lots of things related to the Bet-R Plan Art Show and Concert happening today and this weekend.

The most beautiful thing today will be watching Susan Christensen working on a painting between 1 - 4PM at the Gallery in the Guild. Drop in any time to say hello, talk to Susan about her work, and see the rest of the show.

Friday, there will also be a feature on the Art Exhibit in the Guardian, and word is that talk of the concert will be with Boomer on Compass, too.

Saturday, Bruno Peripoli will go over his photography skills from 1 - 4PM at the Gallery in the Guild. "Five Steps to Photography" will start at 2PM, and people are welcome to drop in any time.


Sylvia Ridgway, Ron Arvidson, Shirley Gallant, Monica Lacey, Bruno Peripoli, Susan Christensen

Wonderful poster for the Art Exhibit and Concert -- so much information attractively displayed.

February 21, 2013

In yesterday's Guardian was a long article on the Environmental Coalition (ECOPEI)'s Annual General Meeting held two weeks ago in Charlottetown:

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-02-19/article-3180464/Community-of-support-result-of-Plan-B-protest/1

(It's funny that the key words or topics don't include "Plan B".  Nor even TCH realignment.  Makes it hard to track their news stories of the year....)

The reporter, Nigel Armstrong, stayed for the entire meeting and recorded very accurately what host Don Mazer, Gary Schneider, Wayne Corrigan (who spearheaded opposition to a landfill in the community of Tracadie Bay), and I had to say.  He clearly understood the theme of the evening as the importance of building community when working on environmental issues.

The last part of it:

“I remember talking to Chris and saying you have to be prepared to lose but you can’t give up,” said (Gary) Schneider. “This isn’t the only issue. I’m used to losing. I still think it’s tremendously worthwhile.”

Schneider said the past year has been brutal to the environment. He said the federal government is “kicking the devil out of environmental assessment,” and there is “madness going on” with resource exploitation. Locally there as Plan B, watershed siltation, fish kills and a seal slaughter.

People are scared to speak out because of neighbour attitudes, potential political pressure or loss of government contracts or jobs, said Schneider.

People get courage, however, to speak out for the environment when there is support from a community, he said.

“If you going to put your life into something like this, even for a year or whatever it is, you better have people around who make you feel good about that, even if you lose,” said Schneider. “Once people are organized and prepared and have the support of their community, it’s a lot more difficult for people to marginalize you."

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Most of the comments after the story were kind and positive, but this one, from a commenter named "Chucker", has some constructive criticism:

Great. Good, solid, effective protest. It involved people on site and at rallies as well as people doing research, writing letters and web comments, and questioning public officials at meetings. Very well done. But never again do a Plan B message without clearly stating the key facts- the costs, the evidence, the fiscal state of the province, etc. Always repeat the facts that matter most. Always name Ghiz and Vessey and point out the complicity of the feds. Always name the companies that got the work. Make it about them and their decisions. And the motivations for their decisions. Do not make it about yourselves. Their MLAs are still more popular than you in their communities and their family networks. Keep the focus on them--- the government. Celebrate yes but keep the focus, what a stupid waste all of this is for the purposes of political payoffs. Do not get off message. That is where they want you to be--talking about yourselves instead of talking about them.

Hmm, good points -- **and people are welcome to continue the public criticism by way of letters to this paper and others** about the key issues that have not gone away:  the cost, the evidence (or lack, or distortion of), the dismal fiscal state of the province, and who is really benefiting from Plan B.  These kinds of contributions are still needed, especially now while all looks quiet on site.

Community -- from November of last year, planting hemlock seedlings with a huge group of volunteers, jointly organized by Island Nature Trust and ECOPEI.  Gary Schneider, Jackie Waddell, Shannon Mader and Ruth DeLong.

February 20, 2013

**If I here that the weather preempts either of these events, I will send out an e-mail.**

Some reminders:
This afternoon is the artwork presentation with Susan Christensen, from 1-4PM, at the Gallery in the Guild, in Charlottetown. Come and see this wonderful artist

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Tonight (Wednesday evening) is a Lands Protection Act Public Consultation in Crapaud, at the Curling Club, from 7-9PM.  What does this have to do with Plan B?  On the surface, not a lot, but when you look at a limited precious resource on this island, our land, the connection is made about a misguided project that squanders land to benefit a few, and squandering our land to benefit a few.

This looks like an issue that the PEI Citizens Alliance wants to keep an eye on, and a background page on the issue is here:
http://www.watchpei.org/is/lands-protection

The main points are that the province is revisiting the Lands Protection Act and former MLA Horace Carter is in charge of the commission.  He is hosting some public consultations this month (including the one tonight in Crapaud which is the only one in the Plan B/South Shore area). 


He encourages Islanders to write or call with their concerns, comments or questions (contact info is on the link).  There is another series of meetings planned for spring (in Charlottetown, Summerside, Souris, and a few other places),and he has to submit his report by the end of June.  Issues like the size of a working farm, the definition of a land owner, diversification and the viability of the family farm and encouraging younger farmers need some discussion and comments from *all* Islanders, especially those that witnessed good farmland, woods and homes taken with no public consultation for Plan B.

So consider finding out more, and coming out to Crapaud or other meetings to see what this is all about, and who will benefit from maintaining or changing this legislation.

And let's hope the weather lets these events take place today!

February 19, 2013

How Do They Do It? How does the creativity and talent form such beautiful works of art?

There are fantastic works of art in the A Bet-R Plan Art Show running at the Arts Guild until March 3rd. Such beautiful messages from beautiful, caring people.

You are welcome to come to the Arts Guild any Tuesday through Saturday between noon to 5PM to see **their** work.

This week, two of the artists featured in the A Bet-R Plan art show are inviting you to see **them** work.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20, artist Susan Christensen will be in the Gallery at the Guild from 1 to 4PM working on one of her paintings.

Artist Susan Christensen

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Saturday, February 23rd, in the afternoon, Bruno Peripoli will offer a free 40-minute "Five Steps to Photography" event, and also be available while he does some editing of his own work.

There aren't too many pictures of Bruno *in front* of the camera, but here is an example of his ability to capture a moment, and define a movement.

Hope you can drop by for these sessions, and we thank these talented people for their dedication.

February 18, 2013

We were hedging, in case the forecast changed yet again, but it looks like today is not good driving weather, or hiking around the Bonshaw Hills, so we will **cancel the Plan B Social for today.**

Stay safe and off the roads, since even the newest "standards" of road construction can't make things perfectly safe!

February 17, 2013

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act workshop yesterday in Cornwall was a lot of fun, and of course very informative.

Some things I learned:  The Information and Privacy Commissioner and her assistant realized what a great opportunity it was to spend the afternoon with a bunch of people who wanted to know how the FOIPP Act works on PEI.  Maria MacDonald and Mary-Lynn Smith did a great job explaining what they do and how they strive to be apolitical. 

Information and Privacy Commissioner Maria C. MacDonald

Administrative Officer from the OIPC (Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner) Mary-Lynn Smith.

The Province sent a Powerpoint regarding the FOIPP act, which we can post on the www.watchpei.org website.

I learned former journalists pay attention to the news but still filter information through that lens of *how* it looks, not necessarily what is happening.  Saying that, Ian Petrie's talk was compelling and eye-opening.

Ian Petrie, with Gail Rhyno's "For the Love of PEI" banner on the wall.

Kevin Arsenault, researcher, spent many many hours working on accessing information regarding the PVYN disaster, and his drive and honesty were infectious; both men had excellent suggestions for how to submit requests.

Kevin Arsenault

Sarah Saunders and I, with good intentions but crummy cameras, apologize for the blurriness of our photos.

As portrayed on the Maritime news, about 14 minutes into the broadcast:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2336008577/

So a good time was had by all, and we hope the share the materials with those who couldn't be there.
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Speaking of being there, Monday's forecast looks a little dicey, so please stay tuned to your e-mail and the usual channels to see if we have to postpone the Plan B Social until next month.

Have a great snowy/rainy day!

February 16, 2013

Just a quick reminder about the weekend's events related to Plan B:

Today, Saturday
Freedom of Information Workshop
1-3PM
Cornwall Civic Centre (behind the Esso, NOT APM Centre), parking is on the side by the split-level entrance, and it is the upstairs level.
free, donations accepted.
Privacy Commissioner and her associate, former reporter Ian Petrie, and researcher Kevin Arsenault to speak about how to access information. All welcome!

Monday, February 18 (Islander Day)
Plan B Social
2-4PM
Bonshaw Community Centre
free, donations accepted.
Come and see some displays about Plan B, maps, hike the area (weather dependent, and please bring your own equipment).
What did we learn? Where are we going?

At both events light refreshments will be served, raffle tickets for "Basket of Island Treasures" and for Lisa Murphy's painting "last Stand" will be on-sale, and memberships for the PEI Citizens Alliance (the organization that had come from the Plan B opposition) will be available for $2. (You are welcome to bring a snack to the Social, if you can.)

On-going (until March 3rd):
A Bet-R Plan Art Show
Arts Guild
Tuesdays through Saturdays,
noon to 5PM
Beautiful works of art by six Island artists, highlighting nature and sustainability.
Special sessions with some of the artists (Details to follow).

Have a great Islander Day weekend. Let's put some meaning into the name!

February 15, 2013

Hemlock Grove, Feb. 14, 2013  (culvert over Crawford's Stream, north end)

Down the dusty road
To the forest church
Let me wander there
Let me wonder why....

--excerpt from Neil Young's song "I Wonder Why"

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day, all!

Jamie Germaine and Marie Nantes displaying The Basket of Island Treasures

Tickets are $20 for a Basket valued at almost $600.

To purchase tickets please e-mail Jamie at  seaclay@pei.sympatico.ca or telephone 658-2415  or contact Marie at  msnantes@gmail.com or telephone her at 658-2846.

**There will also be tickets available at the Plan B Social on Monday, February 18, 2 - 4PM, in Bonshaw.

Basket of Island Treasures

Pottery vase – Seaclay Pottery, Jamie Germaine                                         $35.

2 Jars preserves – Summer Garden, Gail Kern                                            $10 

Photography Note Cards -  Linda Greisbauer                                               $48   

Goats Milk Soap (3) – Kettlegrove Soapworks, Cindy Rice                          $15 

Oak Wood turned bowl – Kettlegrove Woodturning, Karl Meyer                   $28

Earrings – Nessya's Jewellry                                                                         $20 

Spicy Dill Beans – Josie Baker                                                                        $5   

2 Bottles of wine (Rhubarb/Strawberry and Cabernet-Shiraz) 

Jon Hutchinson/Lyette Sansoucy                                                                    $20

Gift Certificate – 2  organic T-bone steaks, Kenny Nantes                              $25 

Gift Certificate – Hair Products,  Brookvale Beauty Care, Becky McCue        $20                                         

Avon Skin Care Products, Marie Nantes                                                          $50

4 small prints, Gweneth Branch-Rice                                                                $80 

Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English, autographed by Terry Pratt          $25

3 books by David Weale                                                                                    $35 

3 CD's – Terry Hatty/Janet McGarry/Paper Lions, Back Alley Music                 $50 

Photograph, Marion Copleston                                                                          $15

Pottery plate, Jessica Hutchinson                                                                      $30 

Timothy's World Coffee cup                                                                                $15

Andalou Fruit Skin Care, Root Cellar                                                                  $20 

Basket, Hearts and Flowers                                                                                $40

                                                                                                          ($586 total value)

February 13, 2013

Here is the Mainstreet link from Tuesday's interview about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) workshop interview (you have to scroll down -- you will see the photo of Roy and me:   http://www.cbc.ca/mainstreetpei/

Yesterday's Guardian printed this immensely enjoyable letter:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-02-12/article-3174899/When-the-peons-demand-rights/1

When the peons demand rights
Published on February 12, 2013
Editor:

Dear Plan B site foreman, RCMP officers and anyone else who was so grossly inconvenienced by those irritating and selfish Plan B protesters who finally got what they deserved in court Tuesday last.Please accept this letter as my personal apology for the actions of these inconsiderate individuals who claimed to be representing Islanders.

I, for one, cannot imagine why anyone would consider it necessary to protect the environment, exercise their rights, stand up for democracy, or monitor in any way the spending of our tax dollars or the actions of those in government and the people they puppeteer.

Clearly, Ms. Lanthier and her cohorts were utterly unreasonable in expecting to escape punishment for assembling peacefully on public land. I shake my head at the nerve of these people believing they had, or deserve, any rights at all on P.E.I. All sane people know that ‘rights’ are for the overlords only.

On a more positive note, I’m sure the fines imposed on these ill-advised hooligans have more than made up for the cost over-runs incurred by the exemplary planning of Stephen Yeo and all the extra police required to subdue three women sitting in a hemlock grove. I hear the project is now firmly back on budget. However, should more funding be required, please feel free to raise the HST a few more percent, and possibly consider taxing the air we breathe. Finally, let me apologize once again for the terrible injustice done to the site foreman, workers, and RCMP. They should have been freely able to coerce, verbally abuse, and threaten physical harm with heavy machinery while completely failing to observe lawful safety procedures. This was only right and proper under the circumstances. It is indeed a terrible state of affairs when government and its shills are queried, challenged, obstructed or held accountable by the peons they control. What is P.E.I. coming to?

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." — George Orwell, ‘1984’

Judith Arnold, Hampshire

February 12, 2013

Gail Rhyno sets the editorial page on fire:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-02-11/article-3173741/Apology-for-Plan-B/1

Apology for Plan B

Published on February 11, 2013

Editor:

In The Guardian recently I read that Darcie Lanthier pleaded guilty, was fined for her part in a 'Plan B' protest last October, and ordered to write apology letters to the arresting officer and project workers. As a show of support for Darcie, here are some apologies of my own. 

Dear RCMP officer,

 With a heavy heart and muddy boots I write to say I'm sorry that you had to carry me out of the Hemlock Grove in October as I exercised my right to dissent in a non-violent manner. Sorry you got muddy, got hit by flying pieces of wood as the buncher/feller operated closely behind us, had to call for help to carry me, and subsequently filled out the paper work incorrectly resulting in my charges later being dismissed. Rest easy knowing that those woods no longer stand, and you'll not have to carry me out of them ever again.

 Dear Equipment Operator,

 I'm sorry that I cared so much about the Acadian Forest and sorry I felt forced to do the last thing I could think of to show this government that people on P.E.I. will not continue to be ignored. I'm am also very sorry you were not the only machine operator but that on other days men who decided to use the machinery in a show of force and intimidation were let at the wheel. I am sure you will find work on future TCH projects, and it will be a pleasure to meet you again.

 Dear Mr. Premier,

 I'm sorry, but because of Islanders like Darcie Lanthier I will be glad to stand in support of all people that seek to protect our Island way of life.

 Dear Darcie and all those who opposed Plan B,

 I am sorry, but I will never regret joining you in protesting the TCH Plan B project. It was one of the most important things I have ever done.

 Gail Rhyno, Charlottetown

_______________

Roy Johnstone and I were interviewed by Angela Walker for CBC Radio's Mainstreet, which was broadcast after 5:30 last night, about the upcoming FOIPP (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy) workshop this Saturday, Feb. 16th, 1-3PM, Cornwall Civic Centre, free.

And plan to come to the Plan B Social,  Monday Islander Day, Feb. 18th, from 2-4PM, at the Bonshaw Community Centre, 25 Green Road, Bonshaw.  There will be light refreshments, displays, good conversation, and people to go hike or snowshoe/cross country ski in the Bonshaw Hills (bring your own equipment).

The Bet-R Plan Art Exhibit runs Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5PM, at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown.

Have a great day -- be careful on the roads!

February 11, 2013

Cindy and others at Base Camp enjoyed the blizzard this weekend! I will get some photos out when I can.

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You may have heard that the PEI Citizens Alliance has organized the Bet-R Plan Art Show at the Arts Guild and the FOIPP workshop this coming Saturday (1-3PM, Cornwall Civic Centre). There may be a feature on Mainstreet about the FOIPP workshop sometime this week.

The PEI Citizens Alliance is the name of the organization that has come about from the Stop Plan B movement. Basically, we hope that the interest and involvement of people like you in the Citizens Alliance will help "Stop the Next Plan B."

Here are some questions that came up about the PEI Citizens Alliance:

Why doesn't it just stay as Stop Plan B?

Stop Plan B started out as a geographically local issue, though it affects all islanders. The factors that are so *wrong* about Plan B (the lack of consultation, the cost, the complete disregard for the land (and older landowners), and the justification of the project by what turned out to be lies) are the same for other issues. So it made sense to find a broader name.

Are you giving up the highway fight?

No! It could be stopped and the land reclaimed, even now. What the machinery put in, they could dig out, and replant with Acadian forest saplings, add some trails, etc. It would still cost less to stop it than to finish the project. We are still watching it this winter, as it is left now covered with snow, and we will all be watching in spring and as they resume construction.

What other issues is the group looking at?

Continuing to watch Plan B, certainly, but other ones that had a common theme are changes to the Lands Protection Act (Horace Carver's committee), a renewed discussion of Proportional Representation, and of course any additional "improvements" along the TCH that will follow the same "planbook" that Plan B did. This is were there "watchPEI" idea got going, and since there are a couple of organizations with "PEICA" in their website, we chose www.watchpei.org

There is a $2 membership?

When we started selling memberships at the walks along Plan B last year, we set a price of $2, and we are still doing that. Though there will be some small costs of getting an organization started, there are two priorities for donations and fundraising at this point: to help defray the legal costs of those who put their bodies between themselves and heavy machinery, (when all other forms of civil communication with the government had been exhausted), and to support the people who are out at the Camp as monitors to have communication abilities and basic needs met.

What role can I play in it?

Definitely what you are doing now -- reading, talking, getting out, staying involved. Help Watch Plan B and Remember Plan B! Come to events, comment on things you see going on, and don't stop urging our government to be accountable to us.

Why isn't this a co-op?

Originally, it made sense to explore a co-operative since we could register as a co-op, sell shares and have some sort of liability protection if we had been able to mount a judicial review against the approval of Plan B. But when that possibility was scuttled (due to the way the Environmental Protection Plan was written), we realized that any organization to discuss causes like Plan B was going to be too political, and so needed to be a non-profit organization.

Are you affiliated with another political party? Do you just hate the Liberals?

No and No ;-) The PEICA is in no way tied to any Island political party. Our board and our members have the right and ability to be active members of any party, or of none. We *definitely* want to keep dialogue open between the island parties, especially the "third parties", as they tend to be the more foresightful as far and anticipating change but wanting to preserve the best things about the Island. And we don't hate the provincial Liberals, just the way they are behaving.

February 8, 2013

Gail Rhyno, one of the people who camped at Hemlock Grove, was there when the RCMP were called in Friday, October 12th. She declined leaving when asked and was carried out, and given a summary offense ticket. (It was later dropped on a technicality.)

When The Guardian wrote the piece Wednesday on the fines imposed on the protestors, she wrote her reaction to this chapter of the the Plan B story here:

http://www.newsandopinionpei.com/2013/02/apology-for-plan-b-pei-tch-project.html

We love ya, Gail.

------

And it is worth reprinting the photo of Cathy and a special painting in a room full of beautiful art, as this painting is part of a raffle:

Lisa Murphy has donated her painting 'Last Stand' (Acrylic on Board, 16"x19") for a fund-raising raffle.

Tickets are $5.00. Funds will go to supporting the efforts of the public environmental monitors at the Plan B site.

Please contact Cathy Grant at 894-5559 to purchase them. The draw will be at the March 3rd Bet-R Plan Concert [Sunday afternoon 2-5 at the Guild].

Have a great weekend, and stay warm and safe with the coming weather. Word from the Camp is that they are definitely preparing today for the weekend's blizzard! They have been working on a small solar power system and would appreciate people setting aside Canadian Tire money for purchase of some components.

February 7, 2013

Yesterday was very interesting!!

Ryan Ross, who has written some glowing articles about Plan B for The Guardian, writes a unsurprising tone of article on what may be surprising news, that the offenses against those who protested Plan B at the construction came to court this week:

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-02-05/article-3171190/Plan-B-protestors-fined-in-court/1

How the legal timeline worked out and why each of these very committed, braver-than-brave individuals did what they did I will leave for their voices to tell here, another day. In my understanding the black-and-white legal arena was not going to the place to get the *real* point across, and energy was better spent in other directions. I think they know most of us "get" why they did what they did, and would have stood with them, have stood with them, and *will* stand with them. Hats off to them!

And the A Bet-R Plan art show opened last night at the Arts Guild. It was an energizing, lovely time, a chance for people to see "small" pictures that show The Big Picture. I suspect other pages in the Guardian will get that point. ;-)

Beautiful works of art by Susan Christensen, Ron Arvidson, Monica Lacey, Shirley Gallant, Bruno Peripoli, and Sylvia Ridgway are displayed and for sale. Last night the opening also featured raffle tickets for a gorgeous gift basket (more on that another day) and for Lisa Murphy's Last Stand painting.

Here is Cathy Grant, one of the fantastic organizers, with Lisa Murphy's painting:

And Amalia Peripoli, amazing helper, with cards and other items:

Some of Bruno's and Sylvia's work is peeking out, but do stop by to see how gorgeous the works are. The show runs from Tuesdays until Saturdays, noon until 5PM, if you are near the Arts Guild, and the Concert will be on Sunday, March 3rd, 2-5PM.

Funds raised through the show and concert will help defray Plan B expenses, with priorities being the legal costs and maintaining the public environmental monitors.

The initiative is presented by the PEI Citizens Alliance, which is a non-profit group branching off from the Stop Plan B opposition.

February 6, 2013

Media:

After a snowy, windy day, some other things to think about:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/Compass/ID/2332422987/

about 12:20 into the broadcast.

There is brief mention of the charge issued to the Plan B protestor who tried to stop construction, followed by a nice preview of the A Bet-R Plan Art Show, which opens tonight at the Arts Guild, 7-9PM.

Tuesday's ECOPEI meeting:

Last night was the AGM of ECOPEI and there was a panel discussion afterwards on "Building Community."   It was a small group, which was great in that it allowed everyone to join in an in-depth discussion of building community to challenge horrible government decisions (acute issues) and general bad directions (chronic bad policy).  Wayne Corrigan, who spear-headed the fight to stop the Binns government from putting a landfill in the Tracadie Bay area in the late 1990s, outlined what happened with that issue.  Parallels and profound differences to Plan B. It was great to meet Wayne and hear what happened.

Gary Schneider talked about the challenges and successes of the MacPhail Woods project over the years.

One quote from Gary:

"One way things can change is through building community, a core of people who trust one another, who are committed to making improvements and who are in this struggle for the long run.  One of my favourite definitions of community is that 'it is about place, spirit, belonging and connection.  It is about joy, fear, love and hope. Community is also about friendship, caring and being cared for.' "

That really says it all in regard to the Plan B fight.

Have a great day, and bundle up to come out to the Watershed public consultation from 6:30-8:30 at the Cornwall Civic Centre (behind the Esso), AND the opening of the Art Show, 7-9PM, at the Arts Guild. :-)

February 4, 2013

Last week I showed photos of the box culvert west of Peter's Road (at Crawford's Brook), the berm on Peter's Road, the road in between Crawford's Brook and Hemlock Grove (Crawford's Stream).

Here are some photos taken last Tuesday (when it was cold but much of the snow had melted), from "the top" of Hemlock Grove and walking uphill (east) towards the current TCH  (across from the cut by Fairyland).  Work seems to be at a stopping point here for the winter.

The packed dirt and rock over Hemlock Grove, looking downhill and north, over jute matting, down down down into Crawford's Stream.  The rocks to the left are from what was dug up, but couldn't be broken by excavator or smashed by vibrating rollers. The Grove is still beautiful; the culvert and road -- monstrous.

North side, east of Hemlocks, showing bedrock that's been chewed through by excavators.


Perhaps this could be a location for a kind of Mount Rushmore...with Ghiz, Vessey, Sherry, Docherty...rename it Mount Accelerate?

A real rock "face", with a shopping bag showing scale. South side of Plan B, with gravel placed for drainage of seeps.

A skating rink for the Camp people!  This is at the top of this part of Plan B (east almost to existing highway, dug way down), on a cold day, with no melting....a spring is at work here, and one can see the water welling up.  It's a natural skating rink on a natural spring, right by a projected highway.

https://sites.google.com/site/stopplanbtchbonshawpei/updates/Feb%204%20%236a.jpg

Truck heading west on TCH by Fairyland cut, now way up high since Plan B is dug down into ground for filling in Hemlock Grove.  This photo is taken from road cut east of Hemlock Grove by the skating rink, looking east.  Hope the guard rail is strong.

The view of Plan B stretching west, down over Hemlock Grove, to the hill above Crawford's Brook in the background. Sad.

Ahh!  Now we know what we are in for, thanks to the Busy Sign Folks in the Department of Transportation -- Falling Rock!