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BC extends state of emergency as some claim forest management system may spread wildfires

“They don’t want to talk about this topic because to address it would be to expose the whole fraud of the forest management system.”

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The BC government has extended the provincial state of emergency until 12:01 a.m. on August 18, 2021, in order to “support the ongoing co-ordinated response to the wildfire situation and ensure public safety.”

At the time of the extension, which was issued late Tuesday afternoon, 254 wildfires were burning in the province with 64 evacuation orders affecting approximately 4,305 properties, and 99 evacuation alerts affecting approximately 21,049 properties.

“As we have seen over the past number of weeks, the continued dry, hot weather poses a high risk for potential wildfires,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

The BC government says their decision to extend the provincial state of emergency will support people who remain under evacuation orders and alerts.

“The people on the front lines of this year’s wildfire response are doing everything in their power to protect BC’s communities and keep British Columbians safe,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“Let’s all show our support for them by ensuring that our activities don’t spark any new wildfires.”

While those on the front-lines are undoubtedly doing all in their power to quell the spread of wildfire, some suggest that those tasked with managing BC’s forests are not, and would argue the province’s forest management system is a contributing factor to the proliferation of wildfires.

As part of the province’s reforestation program, thousands of hectares of forest are sprayed with glyphosate every year. Glyphosate – found in Monsanto’s Roundup – is a popular herbicide used to kill certain plants and grasses.

Among the growth that glyphosate kills are aspen and birch, both of which are competitors to the province’s replanted conifers – which is why they are targeted. It is an effective way for the forest industry to ensure cut blocks contain the most profitable trees.

Another means of achieving the same goal is “brushing.” Brushing is where brush saws are run in order to chop down the deciduous growth, or a girdling knife is used to cut the circumference of the base of an aspen, which kills it.

The problem, according to some, is that this system also provides fertile ground for the growth of wildfire.

“It’s not just the glyphosate. It’s the whole plantation forestry concept,” said James Steidle, in an interview with the Western Standard.

Steidle spearheads an organization called Stop the Spray BC.

“A lot of these places that are burning, like in the Okanagan, they weren’t sprayed with glyphosate, but they were brushed. We went into these places and cut down all the fire-resistant deciduous… so we increased the volatility of the burn in these areas,” said Steidle.

“It is an established scientific fact that if you have more aspen on your landscape, the probability of wildfire will decrease. That’s fact number one. It’s undeniable. None of these guys in forestry can deny that.

“Fact number two is we have a reforestation strategy that specifically targets deciduous species for removal and eradication. If you put these two facts together, a logical conclusion can be made that we are making the probability of wildfire worse.

“The reason we allow the amount of logging that we do is because we have these models… these fairy tales of how fast the forests are going to re-grow. It’s all an accounting scheme, and if you allow the deciduous to grow, that’s going to f*ck up the whole model.

“There is something called TIPSY, and it calculates how much timber the land base is producing.”

TIPSY stands for Table Interpolation Program for Stand Yields.

“The assumption of that model (TIPSY) is that you get rid of all the deciduous and have 100% survival. It’s not factoring in any of these forest fires, that’s for sure,” said Steidle.

“They don’t want to talk about this topic because to address it would be to expose the whole fraud of the forest management system, and these fire experts won’t mention it either.

When it comes to combating BC’s wildfires, the gaze of Premier John Horgan and his government is fixed on anthropogenic climate change, often regurgitating the over-simplified talking points of Justin Trudeau, say critics

“We are in a changing environment and climate change is affecting all of our lives,” said Horgan at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We need to amend how we behave. The Prime Minister and I talked about this at some length today.

“Do we need to make changes in British Columbia? Yes, we do. We’ve been doing that through our Clean BC plan.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Anthony Britneff

    August 6, 2021 at 11:48 am

    James Steidl is absolutely correct about the eradication of deciduous species creating flammable plantations and clearcuts This practice also destroys fodder and habitat for moose. But the problem begins with logging, unsustainable logging at a rate that is destroying ecosystems and, together with wildfire, makes the forest sector the single largest carbon polluter in BC of the atmosphere. Clearcuts are flammable but young plantations (<20 years) are highly flammable. Combine this with the greater probability that a lightning strike will ignite a fire in a clearcut and young plantation than in the original forest that covered the area, one has an even larger issue that points to logging as the underlying problem. We need to radically cut back the rate of logging and end clearcutting. It is interesting to note that the recently released White Paper on wildfire by a group of scientists does not mention young plantations as a problem, when the evidence of fires racing across clearcuts and plantations is throughout the Interior. The current forest management model is about corporate profits and needs to be radically changed to give focus to community sustainability and safety from wildfire and climate change.

  2. Darlene Craig

    August 5, 2021 at 7:34 am

    But they freak out about a pipeline.

  3. Left Coast

    August 4, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    AGW = Unproven Hypothesis . . . after 30 years of insane, Wrong Predictions by the IPCC.

    “When it comes to combating BC’s wildfires, the gaze of Premier John Horgan and his government is fixed on anthropogenic climate change, often regurgitating the over-simplified talking points of Justin Trudeau, say critics” . . . lol

    Horgan like Trudope does not have clue One . . . Klimate has Always Changed, was there a time John when it did not? When was that . . . .

    The NDP treats the Forrest like it treats the Economy . . . it tries to Burn it Down.
    It is not Rocket Science to plan ahead for the Fire Season every year . . . but it seems the BC NDP Govt is completely Surprized when fires break out.
    Used to have the Martin Mars Water Bombers, but haven’t seen them for a number of years.
    Why is that?

    Anyone who thinks Gorebull Warming is high on the list of Problems in Canada must be a Politician or a Media fool . . . EVERY 20 Weeks China INCREASES their Emissions by more than Canada Annual Emissions. And NO ONE FRIGGIN CARES!
    We will go Bankrupt worrying about the insane prospect of “Net Zero” . . . completely impossible.

    Didn’t Enviro-Canada report that last Winter Arctic Ice was 27% ABOVE NORMAL?
    Al the fool Gore said the Arctic would be Ice Free in 2012 . . .

  4. luigi

    August 4, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Horgan and his cronies need to pull their heads out of their asses

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.

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Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Chu “categorically” denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling,” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.

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Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.

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Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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