All posts by Dan Schubart

Dour doers?

Photo by Sophie Louisnard on Unsplash

I sent a copy of Rebecca Solnit’s most recent essay (it came out in print October 19) to a friend in Vancouver, partly as a thank-you for a favour done some months back, and also because he’s the kind of reader that likes material that tickles the brain. He phoned this morning to tell me that Solnit was going to speak with Matt Galloway on The Current, a conversation you can both find and whose transcript you can read at:

I’m finding that Orwell’s Roses adds a lot of insight, both in my appreciation of the life and work of the Orwellian one, but also, in typical Solnit fashion, in general little life hacks. One of the items she discusses in the interview with Galloway is the incident where Orwell was told by a fellow activist and hard-line socialist, that flowers are bourgeois, and therefore worthy of the scorn of progressive activists. So ought those most persistent in the search for a better world to swear off all forms of pleasure and appreciation that don’t directly add to the effort to tear down the capitalist edifice? Evidently, not according to Orwell himself, given that he planted and tended notoriously bourgeois roses and indulged in the sensuality of gardening, amongst other pleasures without, seemingly, diminishing his efforts to warn us of the rise of authoritarianism and the surveillance society.

My mother Maggie was a long-time activist involved in anti-war protests, advocacy for women, housing issues, voter registration, racial equality and pretty much any other cause that worked for a more just society, but who maintained a passion for art, music, design, gardening (including those pesky bourgeois flowers), food, books, and conversation as belonging in everyone’s more just existence, and often mentioned the thought that beauty and humour needed to feature prominently in efforts to broaden people’s perspectives on social and economic justice. She and Dad were both seriously activist in their attitude, but his outlook was more straightforward and looked to simple facts to take the converts down the road. There are echos of Maggie in a lot of the mental meanderings of Orwell’s Roses, a lot of them reflecting the need for balance in the search for a better life.

Minutes of 2021 AGM


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Alberni Valley Transition Town Society

2021 10 20 at Char’s Landing and via Zoom

Attendees: Janis Nairne, John Mayba, Amber Strouder, Jim Wright, Rob Powelson, Mark Dawson, Dan Schubart, George Bowden, Gail Morton, Chris Alemany, Theresa

Discussion of bursary in Edna Cox’s Name

Amount tba

Treasurer to administer through school board

Acknowledgement of Tseshaht/Hupacaasath Territory

Moved Dan seconded Jim agenda approved

Moved Dan, Rob to approve minutes of Sept 2021

Pressident’s report in condensed form

Move Chris sec Dan to receive report

Treasurer Report

Moved Rob, sec Chris

Question on PayPal service charge. Rob explained that diminution of account due to fees is not a problem as deposits are moved to appropriate section of the CCCU account on a regular basis.

Chris will stand, as will Rob,Dan to become secretary

John to be VP, Mark and Gail and Jim Wright as Member at large, all acclaimed

Moved Dan, to adjourn

Moved Dan sec Jim to adopt the agenda for the regular meeting portion.

Upcoming events. In person City Council meeting Do we attend as a delegation? In person?

Two councillors may be willing to speak to our council as to what a climate emergency declaration might mean for our council and our town.

Guy Dauncy Climate Circle training Nov 17. We can spread the word for an invite through Gail

Education…ongoing film/article via facebook, website, YouTube

Food Group Last meeting with a group of young women, talking about direction. Carly resigned, different candidate, Jeanette Sheehy,  wants to re examine orientation. Unclear direction at this point. Lack of direction following the departure of Edna. Chris lauded new faces.

Cycle Alberni (see online) Tenth Avenue update, elimination of left turn lane. ACA and Rob Dickinson braving the storm. Golden age for active transportation projects so get out the ask.

Ocean Friendly…new mentorship arrangement with Sooke Harbour. Meeting just after Fall Fair. Set something up at one of the Winter Craft Fair. Planning for spring and summer events.

Nature club planted 100 trees. Involvement with protecting Burde St. Ponds.Mushroom foray attended by four. Likely to become recurring.

Jim suggests that AVTTS needs to be involved with OCP update.

AVTTS hosting community engagement so as not to be too guided by the contractor.

Moved Dan to adjourn.