Category: Citizen’s Press

Get a Sneak Preview of the Brand New

mic is working out the final bugs but give it a test run if you please!

PeerNetBC 2012 AGM – Vancouver

We would like to invite you to the PeerNetBC Annual General Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with an open house for our wonderful spacious office.

The open house will be Wednesday, September 26 from 5pm until 7pm. The brief AGM portion will take place at 6pm. Everyone who has supported or worked with us in the last year is invited to attend. If you would like to be a member, go here.

The PeerNetBC office is located at #408 – 602 West Hastings. Just at the corner of Hastings and Seymour. We look forward to seeing you then.


The citizenU project continues to seek new organizations to participate in their youth leadership and anti-racism project. We are very happy with how things have been going with citizenU and proud to see the impacts that a better understanding of others can have in a community. Romi has been doing some amazing work and we are pleased to share and his skills with the City of Vancouver.

Building Inclusive Communites

PeerNet’s multigenerational project, Building Inclusive Communities, will be starting a new cycle in the fall. Lydia has been working with some exciting communities on some really interesting projects. More details to come on this.
Upcoming Workshops

  • October 2, 2012 Principles of Peer Support
  • October 10, 2012 Power and Diversity
  • October 16, 2012 Introduction to Facilitation
  • October 20, 2012 Levelling Power Imbalances
  • October 23, 2012 Exploring Facilitation Skills
  • October 27, 2012 Communication Skills
  • November 6, 2012 Understanding Individual Learning Styles
  • November 15, 2012 Boundaries and Self Care
  • November 22, 2012 Advanced Leadership

For more information on our workshops, and online registration, visit the Upcoming Workshops page of our website.

Get Involved

Join our Mailing List
Become a Member
Donate via PayPal
Donate via CanadaHelps

About PeerNetBC

 Youth - Community - HealthPeerNetBC has been helping people connect since 1986, providing resources for peer groups and peer-led initiatives. Our resources and services are available for community members and groups across British Columbia, including online, rural, First Nations, multicultural and youth engagement initiatives. PeerNetBC is a non-profit, registered charitable organization.

Do you think politicians should seek to reduce income inequality?

Click on the image below, login with Facebook and let the worlds politicians and captains of industry know where Canada’s people stand when it comes the governments roll in inequality.

Victoria’s Pride Parade 2012!


WHAT AN AMAZING DAY!!! It was a fantastic day of record breaking at Pride 2012! Largest parade yet, largest festival to date, the most volunteers filling the highest number of volunteer hours yet! THANK YOU to everyone that volunteered, that participated as a vendor, that gave of their talents to provide entertainment, and to everyone that came to celebrate and support our community. We had the best Pride yet, and we can’t say thank you enough to express our gratitude. Check our site for photos, and to get information on Pride 2013!


Enbridge throws its advertising weight around.

Dan Murphy, a Canadian newspaper cartoonist has accused the paper’s parent company, Postmedia News of censorship after his animation was removed from the paper’s website.

Murphy, who works for The Vancouver Province says that the paper removed a satirical cartoon it was threatened by oil and gas giant Enbridge.

The original Enbridge advertisement was designed to promote its controversial pipeline project across the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Murphy’s satirical cartoon mocked Enbridge, splattering oil across their proposed “path to prosperity”.

Murphy told CBC News that he was called into the office of The Province’s Editor-in-Chief, Wayne Moriarty, who told him that the chief revenue and digital officer at Postmedia was upset about the spoof, that Enbridge would pull $1m worth of advertising out of Postmedia and that Moriarty would be fired if the video was not removed.

Moriarty has since claimed that the video was removed for copyright reasons.

Todd Nogier, Senior Communications Strategist at Enbridge said in a statement, “Enbridge Inc. did not request the Province or Post Media pull the video […] Enbridge has not discontinued this campaign, nor its investments as part of that campaign, nor did Enbridge threaten to discontinue those investments.”

However, in a subsequent phone conversation, an Enbridge spokesperson said, the company “had a conversation with Postmedia and they apologised for the parody [… ] any further conversation would be inappropriate”.

Murphy said speaking out has been the toughest decision he’s faced in his 25-year career at the paper.

“I could lose my job over this. The company could interpret this as being disloyal. I would argue that it is the opposite.”

The Robocall Scandal’s Vancouver Link

As Elections Canada investigation continues, complaints of calls in two ridings unfold.

Robocall protest shot

By Tom Sandborn, Yesterday,

Vancouver rally against dubious robocalls on March 3. Photo bychrisyakimov via Your BC: The Tyee’s Photo Pool.

The robocall scandal that recently rocked Canadian politics may have Vancouver connections. At least one voter, Andrew Schofield in Vancouver South, says he received a taped call shortly before the election that falsely claimed his polling station had been moved, The Tyee has learned.

“At first I didn’t pay much attention to the call,” Schofield said. “It was a taped voice announcing itself as coming from Elections Canada and saying my polling station had been moved. Since we always get calls like this twice, once for me and once for Suzanne, I expected another call for her and that she would keep better track of it than I would.”

(“Suzanne” is Schofield’s spouse, Dr. Suzanne Smythe. Full disclosure: This reporter has known Smythe and Schofield for several decades.)

“But after the election, when I heard news coverage of the robocalls events across Canada, I realized that the examples played on the radio sounded just like my call, which I knew by then had not been accurate. So we decided to report what looked like an attempt to keep us from voting.”

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray also claims that during the election her campaign staff received calls from voters complaining about late night and rude callers who identified themselves as working for the Liberals.

Elections Canada continues to investigate more than 1,100 complaints about voter suppression calls during the last election, all of which are being “looked at,” spokesperson John Enright told The Tyee.

‘No complaints’ against contractor: Young

After Smythe filed a report about the call online, she received an email apparently from the winner of the Vancouver South election, Conservative Wai Young, reading in part:

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Police arrest five at ‘Casserole’ Quebec solidarity demonstrations in Vancouver


Two separate demonstrations ended in arrest last night, with several detainees saying they were locked in a pitch-black garage for an hour, intimidated and banned from being downtown until August.


Two separate ‘Casseroles Night in Canada’ demonstrations in solidarity with Quebec student protests ended in arrest last night in Vancouver, with five arrested for mischief and obstructing police officers.

Detainees said they were locked in a pitch-black garage for an hour, intimidated and banned from being downtown until August. One of the demonstrators added that she was forced to remove her bra and skirt and stared at by all-male jail staff.
“When I was processed, I was made to take off my bra and skirt, and was thrown in cell,” said Anushka Nagji. “I’m completely uncomfortable to be a woman in this situation.
“All the jail staff were male – I’m not wearing a bra, and it was freezing. I’m really, really, really angry, because I feel like we were repeatedly lied to by police officers and jail staff … and literally having to be subject to the male gaze by all-male officers.”
Nagji was one of four demonstrators arrested while blocking traffic roughly a block from the Burrard Street Bridge around 5 p.m. last night, after walking in a group of 25 pot-banging protestors from the Vancouver Art Gallery.
She was released after several hours – but only after being fingerprinted, subjected to a mugshot, and signing a “promise to appear” undertaking which included a blanket ban on being in downtown Vancouver.
“I’m angry and fucking traumatized,” she said. “How does this happen for protesting?!”
“The worst part of it was sitting in a paddy wagon for an hour in pitch-black darkness. They left us in the back of the paddy in the (police station) garage for one hour. The car was turned off; all the lights were off. It was pitch-black – no ventilation, nobody asked us if we needed to go to the washroom or if our cuffs were too tight.”
Another demonstrator arrested on Burrard Street, who asked to remain anonymous, was in the darkened paddy wagon as well. He refused to provide his name to police and was released at 10:30 a.m. this morning (June 23) with no charges. But he said guards banged his cell door every 15 minutes to keep him awake, and took away his hoodie and vest after he complained his handcuffed arms were cramping, leaving him in a cold cell without a blanket for much of the night.
“There were five people arrested for a benign, peaceful protest last night,” he said. “It was ridiculous.
“Particularly egregious was the hour we spent locked in a paddy wagon in the dark, with our hands cuffed behind our backs… They turned off the engine and the lights in the back and just left us there.”
Although his charges were dropped, he believes the other four people arrested will also be vindicated.
“These members of the community have jobs, no criminal records,” he explained. “It was clearly a political rally so there’s almost no way (the charges) could stand. I think the Crown’s just going to drop the charges.”
The demonstrations – dubbed “Casseroles Night in Canada” on account of clanging pots and pans – have been held weekly in Vancouver, joining months of enormous Quebec rallies against tuition hikes, government austerity policies, and Bill 78, which clamps down on protest and civil liberties, critics say. The four Vancouver detainees who signed undertakings will have to appear in court on Aug. 2 – until then, they are all completely banned from downtown, Nagji said.
“The conditions we all signed were a blanket prohibition from being Downtown,” she said. “If I am in downtown Vancouver and a police officer accosts me, it’ll come up that I have an undertaking. I’ll be arrested for not obeying the undertaking. I can’t be downtown at any point of time, for any reason.
“It was a ridiculous response to what we were doing – banning us from downtown. I have legitimate reason to go downtown – I have to see a doctor downtown, and I may want to get a job at a law firm there. A blanket prohibition from downtown is not an appropriate response.”
Nagji said she plans to have her conditions overturned by another judge on Monday. But with protests heating up in Quebec and a growing “Casseroles Night in Canada” spreading to hundreds of areas across the country, it is unlikely that the movement will cease now that the thousands arrested in Quebec are joined by detentions elsewhere.
“Whether the whole country is actually catching up (with Quebec) – we’ll see,” Nagji said. “We are living in a disgusting system, which is inherently oppressive.
“Not only am I protesting tuition being high and austerity measures, but I’m protesting the illegal authority being meted out, and having to exist in an oppressive society.”
A Legal Aid lawyer representing a detainee were not returned in time for publication, but a Vancouver Police Department spokesperson said he did not have information about the incident at this time.
This article is also published at and

The Right’s long history of using violent agents provocateurs to weaken the Left

Submitted to us by the author David Stuart | 12.06.2012 | Analysis | History | Repression | World

Right wing intelligence agencies and police forces have been using violent agents provocateurs to reduce public support for the Left in many countries from the 19th Century to today, as I explain in this detailed article. Violent provocateurs are currently being used, or are allegedly being used in at least 3 countries (the US, UK, and Canada) to reduce public support for the Occupy movement.

The December 15, 2010 “Guardian” article, “Italian opposition asks: Who led Rome riots?”, which was about the fact that “left wing” agents provocateurs were rioting outside the Italian Parliament that month, proves that an old right wing dirty trick, staging “left wing” violence to weaken public support for the Left, is alive and well, so I will discuss numerous examples of the Right using violent agents provocateurs against supporters of various left wing ideologies in many countries, to try to ensure that people are better able to spot such tactics being used in the future.

The Italian Right has a particularly notorious reputation for using that dirty trick, which is why in a July 29, 2001 “Observer” article about the G8 summit in Genoa that year, “‘You could sense the venom and hatred'”, you could read that, “Reports circulated of agents provocateurs who had started the violence, of [anarchist] Black Block activists being dropped off by police vehicles, of right-wingers from Italy and abroad infiltrating their ranks.”

Six days earlier, in “The Guardian” article “Men in black behind chaos”, it was revealed that:

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Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – A 1%’s wetdream

See the parallel legal structure being devised in extreme secrecy for foreign investing corporations to circumvent(or demand unlimited compensation) on any environmental, labour or regulatory laws now and in the future of any member country.

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The Revolution is Everywhere

Worried that you see less meetings on the calendar, less posts on the website? This doesn’t mean that participants in the People’s Assembly of Victoria are being less active, it could, in fact, mean that people have become so immersed in their projects that updating websites becomes one task too many!

I see PAOV participants maneuvering their way into sustainable roles in ongoing projects like the On to Ottawa::SOS Trek; networking with more Victoria inhabitants to begin planning a National Stop Harper Day; continuing their hard-work with local organizations such as Transition Victoria, Allies for Drug War Survivors, Social Coast, and more; as well as taking some time to recuperate, build community, and gather the energy of these summery days. All this, of course, is on top of regular life things like jobs and family and school – PAOV participants are everywhere and always working towards change.

But the revolution is not just an ‘occupy’ thing, it’s not just the students in Quebec or the activists in Syria or Egypt, no, the revolution is everywhere. It was less than a month ago, at Earth Walk, that I heard a whole crowd – seniors, students, children, parents, everyone – speaking loudly and powerfully and saying “I AM THE REVOLUTION“. This is the growing empowerment movement that is being felt across the world and across the country of Canada. These days it seems that people living in Canada are beginning to break free of their apathy, beginning to feel they have a voice and it will make a difference, beginning to feel the empowerment they deserve and shed the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that are so common under a system like ours (the system wants us to feel helpless). People living in Canada are beginning to take the change into their own hands and demand a stop to the injustices they face. Today, I read about the Cowichan Valley school trustees, who are putting their jobs on the line, in an act of civil disobedience, to fight for children’s rights to quality education.

School board sets up showdown by passing illegal deficit budget

By Lindsay Kines, Times ColonistMay 17, 2012
Cowichan Valley school trustees put their jobs on the line Wednesday night by giving third and final reading to an illegal deficit budget.

The 5-4 vote sets up a possible showdown with the provincial government. The School Act requires boards to pass balanced budgets, and trustees risk being fired for going into the red.

But board chairwoman Eden Haythornthwaite, who voted with the majority, said in a telephone interview following the meeting that she was “serenely happy” with the outcome.

She said trustees will now try to muster community support for their stand.

“As we told everybody, the more community voice we have behind us, the more likely it is we can actually make a deal with the government and not get [fired],” she said.

“I mean, we don’t want to be fired. We really don’t.”

The majority, however, feel they can no longer continue to cut the district’s budget. Instead, they opted to pass a “restoration” budget that would return some of what has been lost over the years, including teacher-librarian time, intensive behaviour teachers and custodial help.

Opponents have warned that the provincial government could remove the board and appoint a public trustee, thereby robbing voters of their voice.

But the majority argues the same law requiring balanced budgets also requires trustees to provide a quality education for students.

Haythornthwaite said the board hopes to meet with the ministry and work out a settlement. She and two trustees met with Deputy Education Minister James Gorman last week.

“I came out of there feeling like these were gentlemen that we could talk to,” she said.

I was impressed today that in the Times Colonist there were not only several articles about protests and movements, but they were also less biased than I have ever seen before, offering information that doesn’t paint the activists as terrorists. I still would not encourage people to get their news from the mainstream media, but I was impressed to see similar stories as are found in independent media (check out The Tyee, The Dominion, Street Newz, or find other sources at This is evidence that people are becoming more comfortable with dissent, becoming more upset with our government and world systems, and becoming active participants in our society.. and I don’t mean contributing to the economy, I mean contributing to the better good of all people and living things.

Empowerment is building, activity is growing, the revolution is everywhere.