Bike Count: Count Yourself In



In Brackendale, the count eagles, in Victoria, they count blossoms…

In Port, we’re counting bicycles! In our ongoing efforts to promote cycling, pedestrian and public transportation, the following event is taking place, per Sarah Thomas:



We are recruiting volunteers for the first annual Port Alberni Bike Counts. The counts will take place throughout the city at key intersections on Saturday, April 2, 2016, and on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

By volunteering for the count, you will be helping to gather data on current bicycle use to which will support the development of more cycling infrastructure within the region. 

We hope you will participate as a volunteer by completing the volunteer sign up form at also welcome you to recruit amongst your friends and other people you know who would be good at this.  Please feel free to forward this email on to them. 

What’s involved?

The bike counts involve standing (or sitting) at one particular location and counting the number of bikes and pedestrians that go through the intersection or pass you on the street. The count will take place from 6-9am and 3-6pm with some variation in specific locations. Shifts will be 2 to 3 hours in addition to a 1-hour training session on March 30th where you will receive event materials, counting sheets, etc.

Thank you for your willingness to participate as a volunteer and your help to recruit others!  

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Thomas at 778-679-2303 or email

 Please complete the online application form at if you are available to help with the counts. 


Reflections on Water Local and Otherwise



Tomorrow, March 22, is World Water Day, and it is a little chilling to consider the direction society seems to be taking with regard to this building block of life. In our own community, the City watershed has been cleared of forest, as has much of the areas that furnish water to Beaver Creek, the Beaufort area, and Cherry Creek. Where the purifying action of the forest has been subtracted from the equation, there are also areas subject to highway and industrial run off and agricultural contamination. The degradation of water quality has occasioned the need for increased treatment at considerable expense, while some people have turned to bottled water in an effort to avoid the pitfalls of potential pollution of drinking supplies, though we continue, through treatment, to have considerable access to clean potable water. The plastic bottles are an issue, along with the energy to bottle and transport the product, and many find it irksome to have bottling companies depleting public water resources for their own profit.

Water courses are subject to disastrous interference from industrial missteps, such as the spill of helicopter fuel into a Kootenay Creek and the overwhelming devastation of the Quesnel system via the break in the tailings dam at Mt. Polley mine. These incidents point to a lack of forethought in the care of water resources and to a willingness to let pecuniary factors outweigh the need for environmental protection of streams, rivers, lakes, and stretches of coastal waters where tanker traffic, overfishing and dumping of all manner of marine garbage is having a disastrous effect on the quality of life for marine flora and fauna. The push for LNG terminals, coal ports and pipeline terminus infrastructure for dilbit would not point to an improving future.


We know how to protect our water resources, yet we seem incapable of bring sufficient pressure to bear on the political class to represent the long-term interests of their constituents in this matter. We have seen a drama unfolding in Shawnigan Lake over the last year where the dumping of toxic soil has been approved directly upstream from a creek that empties into the lake, itself the source of drinking water for several thousand people, as well as a treasured recreational resource. This is being done with what can only be called the connivance of the provincial government, the company in question and their partners in getting the environmental assessment pushed through.

World Water Day should be a time to reflect on past actions and future directions in bringing about concerted action to ensure that water will be readily available for us, but also for all the generations to come.