Fertig’s new poems

“Poet, publisher and long-time supporter of the writing community, Salt Spring Island-based Mona Fertig (left) has released her first collection of poems in 14 years.” FULL STORY


#68 Annie, get your conspiracy theory

March 31st, 2017

Hi Darlin’:

It’s a beautiful day here. We’ve had blue sky and sunshine. The only bug in the butter is the on-going whup whup of the helicopter as it takes bundles of who-knows-what to who-knows-where. My daydream is to climb on my roof and leave a most rude message up there, one they’d be sure to read as they flew overhead. The first Emperor Trudeau pronounced it “fuddle duddle.”

Who is paying for those helicopters? And what are they doing?

The corporationists and apologists have done a good job of twisting words, so good that “conspiracy theory” has become a real put-down. Well, I’ve seldom met a conspiracy theory I couldn’t admire, if only for the inventiveness of it.

So I’ve got a conspiracy theory for you.

For years ‘n’ years we got our drinking water from McKelvie Creek and for years ‘n’ years not one person was made sick from drinking that water. It was delicious, and we guzzled happily.

Then, out of the blue, there was a dictum from on high. The government decreed we could no longer depend on what they called “surface” sources. A deadline was imposed. Our local council scrambled, much research was done, and the engineers were hired.

Some of the options were so expensive there was no way a village with maybe 300 taxpayers and no industry could possibly afford to even think about them, and certainly no lending source would put up the shekels with such a negligible tax base.

So we wound up going with a well rather than drinking from McKelvie Creek.

And guess what happened next? As soon as we began drinking well water, our watershed was no longer a watershed. We weren’t drinking from McKelvie Creek so all that old growth was no longer protected. And quicker than Jack jumped over the candlestick, there was Western Forest Products with a plan to clearcut.

I cannot imagine anybody is going to convince me there’s no conspiracy in any of that.

Now I can hear Joni singing, “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone.” But we DO know. What’s more, we know WHY it’s going to be gone!

I’m sorry, but I am convinced there was B.S. and heifer dust involved in the whole sad, sick, mess. We had to switch to the well for political reasons, not health reasons.

Those political reasons put the old growth in the watershed on the chopping block.

Corporations have reasons for making generous donations to political parties. Those of us who grew up low-rent call it greasing the wheels. It’s by way of being a somewhat indirect bribe.

Of course, the clearcutting corporations make much about their re-forestation plans and projects. Years ago, we heard a lot of bumph about super trees. The ‘scientists’ had developed this strain of fast-growing wonder tree, why in only twenty years it would be big enough to harvest.

So they raced about like mad rats on a griddle planting these super trees from the North Island all the way up to Haida Gwaii and beyond. Oh, busy, busy!

Except when they finally started to harvest these wonder trees they got a nasty surprise. Yes, they had grown like billy-be-damned, and yes, they were lovely, and yes, yes, yes but… but… no tensile strength. Not good for weight-bearing. No good for construction purposes. Good only for table-tops, window frames, and pulp chips.

So why not try saving all old growth, and growing seed from the matriarchs who have proven how tough they are, and quit exporting raw logs for other nations to mill?

That’s our back yard they’re shipping across the globe! That’s your grandchildren’s inheritance being stock-piled by societies and cultures a bit less stupid than we seem to be.

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.


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