Updated with readers photos of their BC** I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy…. I AM saying it is going to be worth it. The future is yours if you rise to the challenge.

DSC_06120033I grew up on moose meat, and the yearly fall hunt was as important as most city people consider their tax refunds if they are so lucky. I’ve known the scent and feel of  the hunt, of knowing what walked before you by the steam off  bear scat, or the water running down in  moose tracks. I know what it means and feels to have a direct connection to the cycle of the land around you.

Seeing the blossoms of huckleberries and knowing that if it is a rainy year, you might not get many because it is too cold for bee’s to pollinate. Knowing that bear use the same paths, sometimes for generations.That the bigger and higher the muskrats build their winter dens is a direct reflection of how hard that winter will be. That often nature is as scared of you, as you are of it. We are intruders to their world… they are not intruders in ours.

I love this province, as much as I love my children.

It might sound corny to those who’ve grown up in the city, but I am as connected to this land by birth as some are by status.

I have felt it, tasted it, lived in harmony with it and shared the bounty in a  reciprocal manner. Had I known as a child, what a gift my parents were giving me, I would have been much more appreciative. What I took for granted growing up, people are paying money for to experience now. Hunting, fishing, berry picking… you can pay for it… it’s so crazy to me … you can pay to connect with something real… or you can, as I have and many others still do… live it.

And that alarms me.

Far too many people have grown up in urban areas that have no connection to this land. It is certainly not their fault, but it certainly doesn’t help when it comes to ensuring good environmental policy, or sustainable resource policy. How many people are making policy in Victoria who’ve never stepped foot in the backwoods of Northern BC?

How many people determining the best course of action for things like fracking, have had to rely on a clean, strong water supply that comes from a river to feed livestock, water crops..and sustain a family? You need to feel and experience what you come to treasure and protect.

However, I have incredible faith in Canadians, and British Columbians.

I now see urban men and women discovering the responsibility behind sustenance hunting. I see young men and women grasping and trying hard to reconnect with this land we live in. And in all of it, as a northern girl,  I see and feel hope for our future. I feel, without knowing or seeing, that the people will rise above whatever politics brings us and will fight for what we must protect for future generations.

Quite frankly, there is no other alternative left.

On the date Jack Layton passed, I saw, unknowing of his death, a shooting star brighter than I have seen in my entire life up north, or the coast, on my way home from a free concert in Whistler on my birthday.

And I cried when I read the news and time of his death the next morning.

I never met Jack, and it doesn’t matter if you agree with his policy or not, or even if you liked the man, because he had that special something that lifted people to the next level.He had that… ‘thing’.. that people felt and responded to, were drawn to.

He spoke from his heart, knowing what was to come for his own life, and I believe people inherently knew that his last words and thoughts, despite what controversy arose, were those of a man who saw the bigger picture. He tried to unite Canadians in a battle most had no clue we were even fighting.

I’ve received so many emails from all over the province from people shocked, angered and disillusioned from the recent election results. And I get that people need to absorb, grieve and then move forward.

I’m not even an NDP member, but hell, everyone has a limit. For a bit, even I wondered how the heck I would endure another 4  years of this government.

I had to go back to my roots.

To Prince George, to my Nechako River, and my Fraser, and my night skies and coyote kills. It is who I am and no matter where I go, or what I do, that is me – in my heart, and in my soul.

I know, for so many of my readers, that is your heart as well, wherever you lay your head at night.

Now that I have lived on the coast for so many years, the sea and the soil here is my heart as well. We can’t turn our back on our agricultural needs any more than we can our roots. The soil here in the Fraser River delta is so rich in silt, in sediment carried down from our mountains, from decaying wild salmon that just laid eggs in a stream not adulterated by Independent power Projects blocking their way…

This circle of life both urban and rural British Columbians rely on, is who we are as a people. It connects north and south like blood when we enjoy our baby greens in  fancy restaurants in the West End…  and when we harvest our moose in the north to fill our freezer.

Herein lies the challenge.

Do the people down here in the lower mainland consider what the impact is of salmon never reaching their spawning grounds? Do they know what it means to find moose and deer riddled with tumours, inedible, because the ticks now over winter due to higher winter temperatures?That the sickness of those moose and deer has an impact on the food chain that trickles down to levels we might not even understand yet?

Do they know that smell in spring that tells you to start harvesting fiddleheads? Do they know the feeling of being such a small part of the universe that seeing the northern lights every night, and hearing coyote packs killing their dinner at dusk gives you?

That was, and is, my British Columbia.

Even now, in my urban, suburban home, I can smell the rain coming and where it comes from. I eat lettuce, now,grown and harvested mere miles from my home that tastes worlds  apart from the imports. My family, we embrace the rain, pick berries on the dykes, and know how precious it all is to us.We love the Canucks, even when they lose. I spent 6 hours on BC ferries to see The Tragically Hip sing Bobcaygeon ahead of schedule courtesy of a crew member on Vancouver Island, in a concert under the most epic lightening story in twenty years.

I’ve  been broke. I’ve been flush. I’ve seen BC from top to bottom and there isn’t much I  wouldn’t endorse to anyone else looking to visit.

I think fighting for B.C is worth it. The greater good is bigger than any political agenda.

I’m not saying it is going to be easy… but I am saying it is going to be worth it.

The future is yours if you rise to the challenge. The only question is… will you?

This is my B.C.  And it’s yours too. So make sure you pay attention to who’s driving the boat.

You can Click on each photo for a larger view.

I welcome the photo’s of “your B.C”. as well.

Thank you to two of my favorite readers in Hixon BC, for sending these lovely photos of ” their BC”  ( yay! The best burgers in the world are in Hixon!)

And some more photos of our B.C from readers in the interior

And this fierce photo from David in Victoria… looks like two giant fiery eyes among the clouds…

Some stunning photos taken by Gordon Judd, who is married to my wonderful friend Priscilla Judd, who created a new Canadian anthem last year that was whisked around the country and garnered media attention. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmiHR_Ll88U  They live in Lumby BC, one of the most beautiful areas of the province.

And this exceptionally beautiful shot of a sea anemone in a tidal pool along the coast comes to us from Ken

Tide Pool Anenome_443

And NVG sent this link to one of his incredible shots of a double rainbow over soaring peaks… WOW!


59 thoughts on “Updated with readers photos of their BC** I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy…. I AM saying it is going to be worth it. The future is yours if you rise to the challenge.

  1. Here’s how to win the election…

    Clark will be parachuted into a “safe” seat and the previous holder will receive a sinecure like Gordo did. Let’s show her that there ISN’T a safe seat – not for her.

    As soon as the byelection is announced, I’m going to volunteer for her NDP opponent and work as hard as I can to see her defeated – again. If that happens two or three times in succession – do you think she’ll get the message?

    It means getting up from the couch or computer and doing some work – can you do that? I will! How about you?


    1. Disagree.

      I do not think the NDP opponent will win anywhere. In particular, a ‘safe’ riding.

      You can go with the NDP…. or you can go with something that has a chance of working. What the NDP supported in the last election…. didn’t do the job provincially, did it?

      You can go NDP in a byelection, or you can go for something bigger and less whipped. The choice is yours. 🙂


      1. On the issue of NDP I beg to differ, don’t get me wrong I am not ready to buy a membership.

        I will not say that this is true in your case or that of a few other people, but I get this real powerful gut feeling that people who lash out at the NDP today, instead of at the Greens, are doing so because they want to use reverse psychology on the NDP. By doing so they might get the NDP to listen and take appropriate steps to change.

        I do call them as I see them, right or wrong its what I see, so its simply my opinion. Barring a PR system that allows a united front after an election we are insane to run 2 parties who will butcher each other at the expense of our environment.

        More than ever we need to ride the asses of anyone who does carry an NDP card to get PR into place, and in the meantime stop splitting environmental vote.


      1. Well, I liked it too. It resonated. Mostly, kinda. Because I have the opposite story. I am – or was – a city kid. Through and through. Didn’t like dirt. Didn’t like bugs. Hated camping and thought hunting was repugnant. But then I aged. Now I am old. I needed to slow down, get healthy. And so I moved to the country. Remote. Like way, way off-the-grid remote. Beyond the coyotes. And I am now a total convert. Like a reformed smoker, I detest the city and all it stands for. To me, it is a jail, an ant hill, a major deaf, dumb and blind behemoth motivated by greed and ignoring the natural world around it. I say to all: Get out! Get out now!! Really. A small town has the city beat and a village is even better. Go feral and it is paradise.


  2. BC Beautifully Represented! Can’t get at my photos – but similar coastal beauty.We can’t have this destroyed – Pine beetles, the moose ulcers I haven’t seen – Heartbreaking – I Loved them up in PG. Dad used to take me hunting too. Snowmobiling – such memories of the Great Out Doors! It is disappearing – The beaches are my respite & the birds here on the farm. Air and Water Pollution are bound to take them away. Coliform counts in White Rock and Deep Cove – even without potential Oil Spills. Air Pollution slinking up the Valley – Vancouver wanting to burn Garbage and Fraser Valley being kept out of decision making??? Those greedy people in Government somehow need to see what they are doing to our Beautiful Province of BC!


  3. Any suggestions Laila? I love what you write. It seems I’m always the last to understand what’s going on around me so I need someone (like you) to help me see a way to use my courage in standing up for BC. Stand up for the salmon, our coast and every other marvel in this magnificent place we call home. How do I put my boots on the ground for the future? I’m still writing songs and that might help but what do you suggest in terms of the political? Help get a Green or an independent elected? Maybe I just need time to get over this feeling of betrayal. PS. I love your pics and I’ll share some of mine too. Art and music seems to help.


    1. You just keep doing what you are doing Priscilla. You are as courageous as they come. Still remember when you first emailed me about the prison in Lumby..lol.. the rally outside the Liberal party leadership meeting.. good memories.

      Truth will prevail my dear.


  4. Its time to start a new Party for the 2016 election in BC.” Diverse Democracy ” .A party that makes the economy , community and environment work for each other.


  5. The next government will in all likelihood be a minority government.Surely the voter apathy in this province will finally be broken. Then again this is BC.A strong electable alternative will be in the right place at the right time in 2016.The Green Party and Conservatives are to polarized, Independent wont catch the imagination.Electable Candidates for every riding,in a minority government 6 seats may be enough to hold the balance of power,


  6. Laila on some things we agree on other we hotly disagree, when it comes to this article

    If it was a prayer – I would say Amen
    If this was a tear rolling down the cheek of an elderly lady – I would stoop down to kiss her
    If this came from the heart of a First Nations child, I would embrace them

    Truly you have captured the heart and soul of British Columbia.

    The other day I griped about how many seats (ridings) lie in a small corner of (investment British Columbia) and wondered how those north of Hope would ever have a voice in keeping our heritage alive.

    Today I can honestly say, if we’re going to keep it alive, we must bare our souls to the world, as Laila has done here, and yes I think people will understand. On Monday my mother-in-law who is 87 years old knows firsthand what happens when you put the economic needs of some people ahead of the good of all, with almost all natural wildlife in the Philippines extinct in most areas.

    She agrees with me 100% when I said we must fight, regardless of the pain, to keep what we have for our children to pass on to theirs, or we will end up like them, a beautiful country, devoid of its natural wildlife.


    1. A wonderful sentiment, brought emotions to the surface my friend.

      Yes, this is our province, our land, our resources.We have to make it work. And we can, and we will.

      I either have tremendous faith or am terribly naïve. But I believe the right person can bring this province to places that serve us all 🙂


  7. Lovely imagary Laila.

    My heart has been heavy. I wish I could wake from this nightmare.
    Learning about Topp’s business associates was the salt in a raw wound. I feel betrayed.

    I was already deeply disappointed in Green leader Jane Sterk for running against Carol James instead of a Liberal, but that would have been too much work, and money– better to go to a progressive riding, and siphon off votes.

    Her silence about the Liberal ad singing her praises says much.

    I would have expected her outrage, or at the very least, a rebuke at the Liberal’s Machiavellian, vulgar manipulation of the public.

    Christy’s characterization of the NDP has nothing to do with the decent, dear old seniors to the altruistic students that I have met during this campaign.

    You are right, we need a bigger idea, time to think of BC before egos…

    It would be poetic justice to run a Green against Christy.


    1. Courage my friend.

      Jane did speak out about the Liberal ad, it was in several news outlets.I do not believe in green bashing as a justification for the NDP loss. The NDP lost pure and simple. No one can tell another who to vote for, it is their right to vote green, con, ndp or lib.

      The NDP, I believe, have a serious problem to deal with and it starts internally from Moe Sihota down.He needs to go. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biv.com%2Farticle%2F20121211%2FBIV0201%2F312119926%2F-1%2FBIV%2Fmoe-sihota-enterprise-awakening&h=1AQFS-vCE

      In my opinion, no green would win against Christy where ever she chooses to run. Nor will an NDP or Con candidate.

      It will take an exceptional candidate of integrity with a steller team to beat Christy in a safe riding


      1. I agree. This election loss is ten times bigger than most losses because the NDP have been painted as incompetents for the last few elections and this campaign literally proves it. Of course I voted for them because I prefer incompetents to crooks (Incompetents at least have a chance of getting something right. Crooks go the path of darkness all the time.) But, honestly…..how can you run a province if you can’t run even a sure-thing, 20 point lead campaign? Dix has to go. Sihota has to go. All the entrenched NDP have to go. Even the name should go. How the hell can you claim to be new for decades? The Socreds re-made themselves by hi-jacking the Liberal party. The NDP should marry the Greens and call themselves the Sustainable Economic Party or the Natural Capitalists.
        Ooooohh………and I could go on and on………


  8. I grew up in a part of B.C. in a time when the trees were not riddled with Pine Beetles, when seeing a moose was a common thing, deer were seen everywhere and not seen as nuisances . I can remember going with my dad to hay camps in the summer, and being a part of the annual Fall and Spring roundups when the local ranches all got together to round up their wandering herds of Hereford cattle . I have seen a lot of wild life and as a kid learned of the importance of them in the ecology of the land , and of the balance we need to maintain some very unique eco systems . I have seen thousands of new roads opened up because of logging and mining and the lands I knew stripped and left barren . I often wonder when man will have had his fill and leave nature alone. I was really taken aback when they considered destroying Fish Lake 3.5 years ago due to the allure of gold under that small lake , home to a species of fish no where else in the world . How sad is that ? I can see where people think money is the be all end all, but where does that end ? How much money do we have to have and validate the destruction of our environment and run across the lands in our quads, side by sides, and mud bogger machines leaving ruts, garbage of all sorts and broken glass . I remember growing up , hunting and fishing , watching and listening to the sounds of this land. I hear a lot of machines now , see a lot of smoke . I meet people who have never left their cities and do not understand the world outside of it except to treat it like it was disposable. Some day at present rate it will all be gone, unusable to anyone . I will tell people , I remember when there was a time when you could still go for days without seeing anyone on a game trail, or a road of some sorts . I remember when people still respected the forests, and waterways and money was good to have, but not at the expense of the land . They will sit there and look at me and say , I wish I could have seen that . How do I know this ? Because its already happening .


    1. On so many levels, I agree. But I also know that cautious tourism can be a very real way to save what we have Guy. I too remember areas where people wouldn’t be seen for days and still know areas like that… explored some forestry roads with my dad last summer actually, the backway from McBride area to the Buckhorn. Lots of lakes, lots of area where you might not see someone for days by the lack of tracks on the roads!

      We have to use our experiences and share them. Share them with all of BC, so those who are not able to see what we have seen, know what is there, the complete and utter beauty, the wild, the feelings….. and they will read these words and see these photos and I hope… I hope… they will decide a way forward that works.


  9. That pic of you kissing the fish is so hot.Women who fish are hot and the ones who can gut them too are even hotter!

    Oh yeah,and I am a regular guy who works in concrete and never went to school or anything over highschool,but I think you are a really good writer and this made me feel good.I wish there was people like you to vote for.


    1. Haha… ok, I get that a lot of people, men or women, hate gutting fish.I have never had an issue with that. It is how we get our food.As for that being ‘hot’… whatever works for you..lol..its a bit of stinky job.
      Thank you for reading and don’t negate your job or your skills. It is men like you that our province is built on and nary any recognition. And I do know, concrete pouring and setting is a skill… ask the men working on the Port Mann about the honey combing on the towers due to not letting it cure enough in the hot weather before pouring more…..

      Have faith. And thank you for working so hard at what you do. Be proud of your work!


      1. Fish-kissing? Hot? I dunno………..I am inclined to torn underwear, myself, but that might be too much information. Always liked really red lipstick, too……but, well……..I’ll stop now. One last thing, tho: intelligence is really ‘hot’ and intelligence mixed with spirit and emotion is the best of all. Put another way, Lala: you do not need the fish.


        1. YES that was waaaay too much information….usually if you have to say that it might be, just count on that it is and hit delete….lol..

          Thank you though, for the compliment.


  10. Great post, Laila.

    After being out of the province immediately after the election and returning to this is so very disappointing.

    Trying to absorb it all is difficult and I keep asking myself: “What the ‘f’ is wrong with these people” who would vote for a party that it so very opposed to their self-interests?

    That’s why I left the Excited States to move to Canada. The stupidity of the electorate precedes me.

    How very disappointing . . . . ;-(


    1. As my 4 year old would say… this election was ick-noying – icky and annoying..lol…

      You know, it was funny when someone told me that we are different in Canada when it comes to elections. I disagreed then, and do now. I saw so much interest in American politics during the last race… the mud slinging, the nastiness ,the in your face politics….

      Turns out, we are the same and I bet you a nice martini that most people decide at the polls and it is based on the spiel that is playing in their minds….

      Welcome back!! … loll….


      1. “As soon as I heard Dix was a convicted criminal, I knew I couldn’t trust him.” So said my neighbour, after the election.

        Apparently, CC4BC did its job very well.


  11. in the middle of putting some photos together as well as words about how much I ageee decision makers in this province must come from a different world to have such a lack of respect for the province we grew up in …..consoling myself with old tv shows I came across this…listen to the couple of words spoken at about 1:55


    1. LOL… so funny and yet so sad when you think of where we are right now. Send those photos along my friend and I will post them too


      1. Ahhhhh The Smothers Brothers in 1968. Comedians… way, way ahead of their time…… Immensely popular. Extremely controversial.
        Evetually cancelled because they were too poitically controversial. Anti war, pro equal rights,……doomed to have their show silenced.
        Interesting that both they, and George Harrison, comment that , “its American Television , you’re not allowed to say anything.”
        But Harrison follows that up with , ” Keep trying to say it……”


  12. Dating myself , but I have carried this quote for years” Does this path have a heart ?” Thanks for reminding me !


  13. To Guy

    Unfortunately, it will keep happening as long as the government keeps selling us off to foreign interests and big developers. It’s ironic that as we get “greener” and have yet more “taxes” on the “carbon taxes” , we are shipping coal overseas. The tar sands and fracking and the pipe line are all basically for foreign interests. Raw logs are shipped overseas. Rivers are being diverted or having dams built to sell power to another country. The province may get the cash, but it is at the expense of the environment.
    I don’t know how we stop it?


    1. We need thee conomy to be good but by ‘good’, I mean moral as well as vital. For almost thre decades we have sacrificed morals for money. Right and wrong does not seem to make a difference anymore when ‘bottom line’ is all that counts. See Goldman Sachs. We need to promote ‘goodness’ and ‘doing the right thing’ just as we had to promote PARTICIPACTION and STOP SMOKING in the past. Put simply: we need a moral leader who knows business and that bird is NOW pretty rare. And for the record: Justin Trudeau is NOT the guy!


  14. Laila, thanks for what you do and for providing this opportunity for all of us to speak our minds and expertise to one another.

    The 2013 BC election was a stolen election. When Alison Redford won the Alberta election last year, the scenario was almost identical. When Diane Watts won in 2011 there were similarities too. Even Stephen Harper’s Conservatives did not get a majority without some very questionable tactics.

    The conservative movement has a secret weapon and they are going to continue to win until we figure out what that is.

    The public polls are far from perfect, but they are not totally wrong either. The BC Liberals want us all to believe they had smarter pollsters and so they should have won. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Hindsight being 20/20, everyone now has an opinion on what the BCNDP did wrong and the sum of those opinions still does not explain what happened other than the BC Liberals are smarter than the BCNDP, which they are not.

    Only if the progressive movement sticks together will we be able to beat the conservative movement in the future. The years ahead could get very dark indeed if we don’t.


    1. Thank you for believing and supporting. But I disagree on one point. The BC Liberals are much smarter than the NDP on this one. If this had been a game of Survivor it would have been the most spectacular blindside ever.


  15. What is the ‘wisecracking warrior for social justice’, Dave Barrett thinking right now? He must be so disappointed in the government that he led 40 long years ago, the government that passed more legislation to improve our province than any other Premier before or since.

    In an interview with a writer for the Tyee last year, Adrian Dix said (in part), “The Barrett government did important things. We need to learn that, and we need to be a little bit bold.”

    ‘Bold?’ Hardly a word one would use to describe Dix in this election campaign. He sat back and watched as Clark lied her way back into power. It was almost as if the NDP wanted to lose this one. I hope and pray that before 2017, someone like Dave Barrett will appear to lead this province away from the path of destruction that we’re on now.

    BTW, how are we going to force an environmental assessment on the proposed dams on the Holmes River? We must take matters into our own hands now that we have nobody in government to stand up for us.


    1. You are amazing. Thank you for that. 🙂 I don’t have faith in anyone but the people now. All it’s going to take is the right person to bring it together.Someone intelligent,fierce,calculated and caring with great business sense.

      And as for the NDP, they would be extremely foolish to elect any other leader associated with the 90’s in any manner.That leaves out Horgan, and Jenny Kwan as well. Why would the NDP hand over a loaded weapon to the Liberals to give more ammunition?The Libs long ago created their cheat sheet for the 90’s, and the NDP are well aware of it. http://www.bcliberals.com/1629/13919

      They need to clean house from the top down and let some more progressive party members step up to the plate.


  16. It is obvious,Laila, that like the rest of us, because you are one of us, you took the wild ride of emotional reaction to the result of the election. Perhaps you felt some of this, perhaps all, and likely even more than I write here. Disbelief, discouragement, sadness, disgust, betrayal, despair, anger, disillusionment, hopelessness, apathy, alarm, and a great big WTF.
    It appears (election May 14th, this post May 18th) that you decided to take the time to process everything that was going through your head and your heart. And after doing that, intuitively, you realized that there had to be a positive that could be given to your readers to help them begin to transition from the ashes to looking forward.
    Thanks for what you have written here because prior to reading it things had looked pretty overcast since last Tuesday. Thanks also for the snapshots of your BC. Beautiful place, isn’t it!


    1. I think I did, not to the same extent as some others though.I saw the writing on the wall as per my prior post, and saw the public eating it up.In fact, I was speaking with a fellow blogger yesterday and he remarked that I had even mentioned it to him a few weeks before the crushing defeat.

      In some ways it was like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion.And their own people, their volunteers etc knew it was going to happen in many areas. I cant count how many times I was asked by campaign people if they could use my list, because they were getting stonewalled while door-knocking. And they were also told they werent supposed to be using my list, or so several claimed. Apparently it was too negative for the NDP to capitalize on.

      I value truth,good government, transparency and accountability. Doesnt matter who you are or what party you represent. The people of BC will never get any of the above with the Liberals and some of us will have to work even harder because of the NDP’s failure- and I will be watching them in opposition as well.


  17. I sent you an email via the contact page but I haven’t heard back yet,but why don’t you join the NDP and challenge for leadership?I think you’re the person they need.


    1. Hi Dave,yes I do have it,but I’ve been intensely working on a side project and haven’t had time to reply to all the emails yet- so sorry! I will reply to all your questions shortly.

      Your faith is very humbling,and thank you,but I honestly believe that until the NDP cleans house bigtime in the executive and sends Moe Sihota packing,that the chances of any real change happening in the party is zero.Even with a new leader. Moe and a few others diehard deeply partisan NDP’ers need to go, and the membership needs to press hard for that or walk.

      However,thank you immensely for making me smile and bringing a bit of light to my day! 🙂


Comments are closed.