The perils of privatization have long been at the core of Dogwood Initiative’s work. The organization was formed to help communities gain more control of their lands, to manage them in the public interest. People want to create a sustainable economy and a sustainable environment. They want healthy, prosperous communities. The private sector is a critical part of this vision, but there are some things that need to remain in the public sphere, to uphold that vision of a healthy society.
Over the last few years, the BC government has turned its back on this principle. The agenda to privatize lands, by direct sale, by subsidies of industrial forestry and energy development, by deregulation. On all these issues, we’ve been helping communities and First Nations fight back.
The site helps you become an activist, in ways small and large. It is also a place for dialogue about the concept of the public good. As we fill in the “Privatization BC” pages with research about recent privatizations of public lands, assets, and services, bc4sale will also become resource for people wanting to know the privatization record in BC.
Above all, though, this is your website. The more British Columbians like you send us to add to the site, the more valuable, not to mention fun, the site will be. And the site is meant to be fun–see below for some of the humorous ideas for action we’ve already received.
The first event for bc4sale was a fun event with a serious message. This Christmas, on behalf of hundreds of British Columbians who signed up on the site, we had Santa deliver a stocking full of coal to the Premier’s office. The coal was for bad behaviour, and as a reminder of the government’s promotion of fossil fuel development in BC. The Premier was out of the country, as always at this time of year, so the nice woman at the door to his “west wing” told Santa to deliver the coal, along with a set of cards with messages from people who visited bc4sale.org, to the mail room.
We have filled in the site since that event. You can view pictures of the coal delivery, and a video produced by Passia Pandora and Charles Campbell.
And we are building the Action Centre portion of the website, and soliciting ideas from you. We’d like to receive Valentine’s cards, which we can post on the site, and which you can send to the Premier or members of cabinet responsible for some of the sweetheart deals that have benefited large corporations and harmed your interests.
Here are some of the actions we encourage you to take through our Action Centre:
- Send photos: One idea we really like is photos of places or institutions you value, such as a park, a school, or a hospital, with a sign held up, saying, “NOT FOR SALE”, or, more sadly, “TOO LATE–ALREADY SOLD”, if that’s the case. One person has sent a few of these to us. We’ll be posting them this week, but we’d love more!
- Add your message to the petition: Sign up to show your opposition to privatization, and add your message. We’ll pass your message on to the Premier the next time we stage an event, and will anonymously add your message to the “Your Views” page on the site. We’ve already added a selection of messages to that page. (We are planning to add a more interactive discussion board, once we receive sufficient donations to design it.)
- Tell us why you love BC: We’ve created a “79 Ways to Love BC” page, one for each riding. We want to hear why and how you love BC. We’re already receiving submissions grand and simple; we’d like to start filling in the page for Valentine’s Day.
- Check out the humour page: we’ve received cartoons and other visual humour that people have found online, or have created themselves. We’re starting to build an archive of it, but want more.
- Send us your ideas: The above actions are just suggestions, based on ideas we’ve had, and on comments you’ve already sent us. We want more ideas and content for the site. You can, through bc4sale.org, share your ideas for stopping privatization.
If you’re reading the Dogwood Bulletin, we know you care about British Columbia’s future. Here’s your chance to do a little bit more to help protect that future.
Help us raise the profile of privatization, this spring and in the years to come. Help us ensure a healthier, more prosperous future for British Columbia.