Communities Protecting Our Coast
Our History and Successes
The nucleus of the group developed after several of us presented our concerns to the National Energy Board (N.E.B.) regarding a proposal by Enbridge Pipeline. Other future members joined us after the rally in Comox on March 31, 2012.
Our first project, Cycling to Protect our Coast came together after 6 weeks of detailed creative planning and some apprehension. It was an astounding success. We cycled with support cars from Campbell River down to Victoria in four days touching down at many of the communities on the way seeking to build awareness around the potential for an oil spill should the Enbridge Corporation proposal be successful. On one of our stops, we sponsored a presentation to the Oceanside community by Brian Falconer of Raincoast Conservation. His slides and talk were riveting and strengthened our resolve. At another stop we were received by Elizabeth May. A news clip of our journey was featured on CHEK TV news.
Events and projects from 2012 to 2014:
–The Edge to Edge Marathon in Tofino / Ucluelet, where we disseminated pamphlets and encouraged locals and visitors to sign our petitions. We also mounted a display of a supertanker (see video below) along the final leg of the course. A commanding presence each year is in the July 1, Canada Day parade in Parksville we “tagged on” to the parade and other summer sporting activities such as cycling and running, kayaking and triathlon events . At these venues, we set up our tables with our materials, petitions and our own unique T shirts for sale. We distributed ancillary materials from Raincoast Conservation and the Western Wilderness Committee and were a presence at many summer markets with a similar format as above.
-participated in the Nanaimo Bathtub Race, Denman Sustainability Festival, Gabriola Oceans Day.
-networked with other like-minded organizations and communities in order to build our profile and influence. (Greenpeace, Gabriola AnchorRage, Friends of Clayquot, BROKE from Burnaby, Raincoast Conservation)
-one of our members went to Kitimat to connect with the Douglas Channel Watch group and raise Kitimat folks’ awareness of the strength and commitment of environmental groups outside their community.
Of Special Note We held a spectacular event on July 1, 2014 at Parksville beach. We created the length (330 meters) and breadth (60 meters) of a VLCC tanker in the inter-tidal zone at the beach. Over 300 local citizens, the local running club and visitors participated wearing green shirts. A video was created which received much attention.
In 2015, we turned from activism and protests to a positive endeavour. We held the first green exhibition in Oceanside. Flourishing in a Green Economy (F.IG.E.), our biggest event ever was held in the Qualicum Civic Centre. FIGE drew many folks from Oceanside and the surrounding communities. There were about 60 booths and displays and we held presentations in the surrounding rooms. Tiny houses, electric cars green energy in all its forms and local green products were on display. It was an outstanding success. In 2016, we took off our CPOC shirts and supported the candidates and parties of our choice in the federal election.
In 2017, we continued to be active in stopping the Kinder Morgen pipeline by attending protests in Vancouver and Nelson. However, our focus shifted, as we sought to build awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans. We partnered with Anne Skipsey of QB Town Council. Our event, Plastic Oceans, was very popular with every seat taken in the Knox United Church main hall. We also hosted an event called The Future is NOT Plastic with a film: Battle of the Bag and several presentations. In partnership with Qualicum Beach Town Council we prepared Qualicum Beach to be one of the first towns in British Columbia to eliminate single use plastic bags at the point of sale.
In May, we hosted the film, Directly Affected. This film was controversial but persuasive, outlining the risks to Burnaby citizens and Simon Fraser university students and staff should the pipeline proceed. We were pleased with the attendance and were able to donate about $500 to the film’s creator.
In March 2019, we really took on an expansive event. We hosted, Call of the Forest, a film By Diana Beresford-Kroeger. In the big Parksville auditorium, we had more than 20 display tables, including Arrowsmith Naturalists and the 4 H club. After the film we had John Beaton as moderator with a diverse panel speaking to forestry issues. Once again, the attendance was awesome.
We also supported the Ballenas students when they asked for informative speakers and films and produced a video for them when they walked out of classes on their first climate change march.
What a busy year this turned out to be! A team of fishing buddies including one fisheries scientist, invited us to host the film ARTIFISHAL. We aimed our publicity at environmentally aware community members and for the first time we enticed groups like FISH and GUN clubs to join us. We included a panel of scientists who were articulate and well informed on local issues.
The film, which focussed on the problems related to hatcheries and dams and overfishing, led to our determination to stop the local herring fishery. The outcome was a joint venture with avid fishers called HERRING AID. Once again, the event was very successful and well publicized by CHEK News and our local paper. With such momentum and overwhelming support, we hope that 2021 will be a year to celebrate herring, not for their economic benefit (for fertilizer and pet food, and 12% food export), but for their value as a unique species with an important role in marine ecology.
In March, CPOC invited several of our members to share in writing a news article for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News each month under the title CLIMATE HUGS. Each month we ask one worthy community member to be the recipient. The task is easy as there are so many folks who are committed to addressing the climate issues that we are facing. The article has become quite popular. Our museum is considering using some of our Climate Hugs articles and Elder College has contacted us. Stay tuned!
Ship Breaking on our Island Coast
January 20, 2023.
After some research, we made connections with the Concerned Citizens of Baynes Sound Society (CCOBS) and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards and made plans for two presentations. Barb Murray of Bears Matter took on arranging a presentation to Probus members and CPOC presented Ship Breaking on our Island Coast to the public at Nanoose Place. The presentation was compelling and the issues were shocking to many attendees. We are considering options for assisting CCOBS in their efforts. One very interesting response is in the works!