PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

March 28, 2009

The Real Dirt

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 1:12 am

Submitted by the Pender Film Group:

This week we have a timely documentary film about one man’s fight to save his family farm in a small rural community.  Fighting everything from unfounded rumours and harassment to devastating financial ruin, farmer john maintained his dignity and eventually got the farm back running.  Then just as it all seemed like maybe it wasn’t going to work out, ‘john’ discovered the community supported agriculture (CSA farms) and became one of the first CSA farms in Illinois near Chicago where families from the city purchased shares in the farm and came out and helped grow the food that they would have delivered to the city weekly, a win win situation for all…. and I might suggest, not a bad idea to think about here on Pender Island?  Please come and enjoy this documentary and we can have a discussion afterward about farming and food, on Pender for those who are interested.

Film screening: ‘THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN’  this Saturday, March 28th, 7:30pm at the Community Hall.  Suggested admission by donation, $5.  Poster .pdf:  farmer1.pdf

March 27, 2009

Petition to apply the Fisheries Act to fish farms

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 2:38 pm

An open letter, submitted to PenderBlog by Carol Budnyk:

Dear Minister of Fisheries the honourable Gail Shea and Premier Campbell:

As noted in the Globe and Mail this morning, I have been sending you this letter for a month with no reply. What began with 100 signatures from local fishermen has grown to 7,309 signatures from around the world, but predominately British Columbia (5,785).

Premier Campbell, your government has allowed this industry to expand in the face of the most alarming wild salmon declines we have ever seen on this coast.

Minister Shea, this is not a situation of your making, but you have the opportunity to bring reason to this mess.

I will continue to take signatures to help you move past status quo and bring salmon “farming” into compliance with the laws of Canada. BC Supreme Court ruled they are no longer “farms,” they are a fishery.  There is debate now as to whether Marine Harvest and the other salmon “farming” companies actually own their fish when they put them into Canadian waters.

All we are asking is for the Fisheries Act to be applied to this industry. As wild salmon decline all the other related fisheries have been increasingly restricted…..except the marine feedlot fishery.

This is a threat to our coastal communities and the economy of British Columbia.

Standing by,

Alexandra Morton

To sign the petition to apply the Fisheries Act to fish farms the way it is applied to fishermen please click on the link below.

Fish Farms petition

For The Globe and Mail article, Fisheries ignored 500 names. Can it ignore 5,000?  by Mark Hume, March 23, 2009, click the .pdf below:


An update to the Petition to apply the Fisheries Act to fish farms (first post on Mar 27/09):


March 22, 2009

Health Center update…

Filed under: Recreation, Health and Fitness — Jocko @ 6:14 pm


The centre during construction

The new Health Centre is now fully operational.  In addition to the expanded medical clinic, emergency treatment room, practitioner offices, and new inner courtyard, there is now a meeting room used by the Health Care Centre, which is available for community use.  This room will hold 15 to 20 people for activity classes or group meetings.  Please contact (250) 629-3326 for information.

Three new practitioners at the Health Centre are Dr. Mark Wensley, chiropractor, who has moved his Pender practice from its Port Washington location;  Jane McIntosh, the new Community Support Worker; and Tracey Adams, the new nurse.

The Health Centre is a community owned and operated facility that meets ongoing operating costs through practitioner rents, Capital Regional District and Vancouver Islands Health Authority support, and donations.

Community contributions raised before the recent building expansion, helped pay for the operation and equipping of the Centre, but during the expansion all funds donated by the community have been diverted to that need.  The result has been that the Health Centre has drawn down its operating reserve, which needs to be replenished.

The Centre gets considerable support from community organizations and businesses, but is also reliant on support through donations from individuals.  Donations are tax deductible and can be made by cheque or credit card.  Mail or drop off your donation to:

Pender Islands Health Care Society, 5715 Canal Road, Pender Island, BC V0N 2M1.

Your support can truly make a difference.

March 21, 2009

Short term vacation rental debate reignited…

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 6:34 pm

Submitted by Carol Budnyk, President, Pender Island Chamber of Commerce

March 20, 2009

The owner of a North Pender Island resort is being forced by the B.C. Supreme Court to shut down, reigniting the debate over short-term vacation rentals on the Gulf Islands.

Robert Conconi, owner of the Timbers on North Pender Island, has been operating a commercial resort on residential land since 2003, violating an Islands Trust bylaw prohibiting short-term vacation rentals in residential areas.

The Timbers, which sits on 55 acres of waterfront land, has five cottages that accommodate up to six people each. The largest rents for up to $2,900 a week in peak season.

Residents in the area complained “en masse” about the resort, said Gary Steeves, a trustee for North Pender Island.

They were concerned about planes flying in, music from weddings, and strangers driving around their neighbourhood, he said.

It was the first time the Islands Trust has gone to court to resolve what has become a longstanding dispute across the Gulf Islands, between property owners who rent out their idyllic cabins and cottages to short-term guests and the residents who dream of a peaceful neighbourhood without a mini-hotel operating next door.

Sheila Malcolmson, chairwoman of the Islands Trust Council, said the ruling will send a message to property owners that “neighbourhoods are for neighbours.”

But Carol Budnyk, president of the Pender Island Chamber of Commerce, said the decision could threaten North Pender’s tourism industry, a major driver of the tiny Island’s economy. “With the Trust attempting to prohibit short-term vacation rentals, it is definitely detrimental to our economy as a whole.”  See letter to the Islands Trust from the Pender Island Chamber of Commerce here: conconicase.pdf

Budnyk said she hopes the Timbers, whose guests spend money at other area businesses, will not have to shut down.  For the full Victoria Times Colonist story, go here: STVR article

For a thread of past posts on PenderBlog regarding STVR’s, enter STVR in the search box at the bottom of the left hand column of the blog and hit “search”.

Penderites seek MS Walk pledges…

Filed under: Recreation, Health and Fitness — Jocko @ 5:59 pm

 Submitted by Vicki Dutton:


The Pender team of Bob Jabusch, Vicki Dutton, Gaye Jabusch and Ian Dutton, known as Vicki’s Valkyries, will walk in the MS Walk in Victoria on April 5 to raise money for the MS Society of Canada. The funds raised through pledges by team members go primarily toward research into the possible causes of what can be a devastating neurological disease.

The event is geared to those with and without MS so participants can walk or run three-, six- or 10-kilometre routes. Donations can be made online to any members of the team or the team itself at

Please enter Valkyries as the search word.

If you don’t want to donate online, cheques made out to the MS Society of Canada may be mailed to Vicki Dutton, 4714 Buccaneers Rd., Pender Island, BC V0N 2M2 or a donation may be dropped off by phoning 250 629-6387.

Hope for good weather on Sunday, April 5 because although it can be a lovely route to walk, when it’s raining sideways along Dallas Road, it’s downright miserable.

Thank you.
Vicki and the Valkyries

March 20, 2009

Dishwasher debate over?

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 6:32 pm

In her best selling book, Green For Life, author/environmental activist Gillian Deacon tackles the dishwashing dilemma in her second chapter.

“No matter how the dishwashing duties break down at your house, you don’t have to get dishpan hands anymore.  If you’ve been debating whether to invest in an automatic dishwasher, let the earth be your reason to make the change.  Automatic dishwashers use way less water than washing by hand in the sink.  Researchers in Germany pitted the most frugal and judicious handwashing against the modern automatic dishwasher and found that dishpan hands are the least of the problem.  The dishwasher uses half the energy and one-sixth of the water compared with handwashing.  Less soap too.”

Gillian then goes on to discuss what to look for in a dishwasher and how to use it most efficiently.

Green For Life, which contains a wealth of tips, facts, and resources is available at or can be borrowed from the Pender Island Library.

March 19, 2009

Details Emerge on MP Gary Lunn’s Third Party Advertisers

Filed under: News — Jocko @ 3:14 pm

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Gary Lunn with Prime Minister Harper.

Watchdog wants Elections Canada to investigate.

By Andrew MacLeod
Published: March 19, 2009

The co-manager of Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn’s re-election campaign, Byng Giruaud, helped a third-party advertiser get signs to support his candidate.

It’s just one of the details revealed in financial reporting released in recent weeks for candidates and third party advertisers involved in the Oct. 14, 2008 election.

Five months after voting day, questions remain about the role third-party advertising played in Saanich-Gulf Islands, where five previously unheard of groups bought ads to support Lunn. Lunn was natural resources minister at the time, but after the election was demoted to a minister of state position.  For the full story, go here.

March 16, 2009

Media Watch

Filed under: Nature watch — Jocko @ 5:35 pm

The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan!

 By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent, and Daniel Howden at The Independent newspaper, London, UK.


Independent graphic

A “plastic soup” of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting “soup” stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” or “trash vortex”, believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region. Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which Mr Moore founded, said yesterday: “The original idea that people had was that it was an island of plastic garbage that you could almost walk on. It is not quite like that. It is almost like a plastic soup. It is endless for an area that is maybe twice the size as continental United States.” For the complete story, go to “trash vortex”

Can we on Pender make a small difference by reducing our use of plastic?

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