Fundraising and frustration highlight town hall meeting

October 23, 2015

Being involved in activism, especially if you are passionate about the cause, can be an exhilarating or even thrilling thing. But if it goes on and on, it can get extremely frustrating. Although the ultimate outcome of buying land from Texada and turning it into a park was a good thing, this happened after months working towards a positive outcome for the trees and overall ecosystem near Burgoyne Bay that was threatened by ongoing clearcutting of trees. People, as always happens when activists feel they are ‘spinning their wheels’, after many, many meetings started to get to an emotional ‘boiling point’.

What it came down to was a debate about whether those owning private property should be exempt from adhering to environmental stewardship of the land.

Anyone who reads this, who is interested in organizing activists for a cause, and who has never been involved in activism, can get many ideas of how to go about doing it by reading this article. As a journalist who started writing articles on a university student newspaper at the end of the 1970s,  my blood flows more quickly through me veins anytime I cover these kinds of events:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

June 28, 2000

Fundraising and frustration highlight town hall meeting

by Tanya Lester

New Initiatives and frustration concerning saving Texada Land Corporation property from clear-cutting were threads that persistently ran through the town hall meeting at Gulf Islands Secondary School with 150 in attendance last Thursday night.

“Have we really been standing up there and saying we believe private property is less importants than our water supply?” asked Briony Penn of The Land Conservancy of B.C., alluding to concern over drinking water from Maxwell Lake when Texada begins logging that area.

Penn talked about the frustration she and many are now feeling after seven months work lobbying governments to get environmental protection for the Texada lands.

She talked of being shuffled from the federal government to the provincial government and finding no political will on either level to enforce or legislate environmental protection.

“We are the government,” Penn said.

She added that given this climate, The Land Conservancy saw no other solution than to try and save the land by raising money to purchase it.

Penn spoke candidly after protester David Shebib interrupted the meeting’s proceedings with accusation that included singling out various people for “selling out.”

Despite the interruptions, other speakers outlined new lobbying strategies and initiatives to continue work to protect the environmental amenities of Texada’s lands.

Meror Krayenhoff unveiled a green financing scheme in which people can buy and transfer RRSPs for shares in a corporation. The money would then be used to purchase Texada land.

Murray Reiss said he believes Manulife is starting to feel pressure to divest or more actively influence Texada’s prinicpals.

Continuing on the “Manulife or Manudeath” campaign, Reiss announced a rally at a Manulife-hosted conference of major players in the insurance world called The International Insurance Society Seminar.

The rally will be held in Vancouver… A bus will leave from the Long Harbour ferry terminal …for those interested in attending.

The Raging Grannies will perform, as well as Susheela, Arvid Chalmers and Shilo Zylbergold in their Manulife street theatre piece.

Dominique D’Alessandro, Manulife chief executive officer, will be at the event.

He will be invited to visit Salt Spring Island and to tour Texada’s logging operations.

Elizabeth White announced that Capital Regional District (CRD) and land vonservancy appraisals of Texada property are now in the principals’ hands. She said negotiations are in camera but both the CRD and the land conservancy are asking the company “to agree to a reasonable price.”

Wally du Temple of the Green Party talked about the Green Conscience Fund his party has set up to cover legal expenses incurred by those involved in the protest. Charitable tax receipts can be issued to donors.

Du Temple also announced the opening of a Green Party office for accepting donations in the former Just Imagine building in Ganges.

There was also an announcement made inviting protesters to participate in a photo shoot for the cover of a calendar being produced by the Save Salt Spring Campaign Fund.

Those interested in participating should attend “Stark not naked” at 482 Stark Road…

The group photograph will be on the calendar’s cover. Each calendar month will feature one of 12 naked Salt Spring women involved in the protest against Texada with proceeds going to this cause.

For more information, contact Ruth Tarasoff.

The meeting concluded with several participants in the Spirit Camp or  those who have recently left the camp, talking about the need for community support in a variety of ways.

Many are visiting Salt Spring from different parts of Canada.


Tanya Lester’s other posts on this blog can be found by going  to or

Tanya’ s books include Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader  (that can be purchased by t he author or at, Friends I Never Knew,  Dreams & Tricksters, Friends I Never Knew,  and Women Rights/Writes. These books are in some library systems and the last three are in the Legislative Library of Manitoba.

Tanya is also a tea leaf reader, tarot reader, psychic chaneller, medium and intuitive counselor as well as a reiki master and a housesitter. For more go to    Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. Google.


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