Thank You So Much! We did it! I’m In! Now the work begins.

I don’t think it will quite hit me until the first orientation meetings this week…. but I am extremely honoured and excited to have succeeded in this campaign.  I will be keeping this website and my Facebook page up so that you can continue to access me through it and find out about the issues happening in Port Alberni.  My own greatest pleasure is to give people information that they find useful, whether it is about computers and video projects at my work at VIU, weather info at, or now city info as one of your councillors for Port Alberni, that will be my biggest goal and I am very excited to have the opportunity to do so,

So! With that in mind, here is the info of the day!

Election Results!

Click the link to see results from all communities in BC including the ACRD and Port Alberni.

2014 results part12014resuktspart2 Here are the results for Port Alberni. It was a very close race as was to be expected when you have 22 excellent candidates running for only six spots.

I am very excited to be working with what I think is an excellent team of councillors and Mayor.  And I want to thank John Douglas and Wendy Kerr especially for their great work in their time on council and as Mayor.

The road bridge question failed by 57% voting against. I Hope that means it is time to talk about a much more affordable and potentially beautiful foot and bike bridge instead!

Here are tACRD2014he results from the ACRD:

Congratulations to all the candidates who ran.

Also important is the referendum on the Sproat Lake Marine patrol, which City and all Valley residents participated in.  It passed easily.

And finally, the School District.

Sd70 results2014That’s it folks!  Those are your elected officials in the Alberni Valley that will represent you for the next 4 years.

I am very honoured to be one of those select few.  Please, stay engaged, keep asking and demanding questions.  Demand them of me and all of our elected officials. Democracy isn’t just voting on voting day.  It has to be a Full part of our lives every single day for it to work best.

Thanks you for sending me on this journey.  Four years from now, we will see if I’m still thanking you 😉 but I know we will be in an even better place than we are now.

Happy Sunday Port Alberni!


To the Editor: Time for City to Look Outside its Comfort Zone

This letter appears in today’s AV Times.

At the last Council meeting Telus detailed their significant investments in both wired and wireless infrastructure in the Valley. This comes on the heels of Shaw making their big investment in the Valley a few years back which enabled the world-class “Neptune” scientific facility to be built.

It is long past time our City start looking to industries outside what might be our comfort coworkingzones of forestry and resource extraction. Other cities nearby like Parksville and Nanaimo have world-class technology companies providing excellent careers in the knowledge economy. These aren’t big flashy or giant sites that you’re going to immediately pick out. They are often in small office spaces but they can have a huge presence online, and a big impact on the local economy. These are true entrepreneurs who build their business over time from 1 or 2, to 4 or 5 employees, to dozens. There are also a growing number of people who work for bigger technology companies but do so remotely, so they can live wherever they like.

The uptown area especially could provide some incredible office space with views of the City and inlet, shops nearby and the waterfront on the doorstep, that could really attract these kinds of small-to-medium size internet businesses. Now that we have the technical infrastructure, it’s time we start getting our name out there to sell our community as a lifestyle destination for those companies and the people who work for them. All it takes is for the first couple to come here… word spreads fast online.



A Letter to Council about the Beach

I sent a letter to the City and Council about Canal Beach this morning urging them to pursue a public input process before making any more decisions about the Plywood site.  It is at the bottom of this post.

I personally believe it is long past time for the City to have a full service waterfront beach park.  Also, if it remains industrial, there is no requirement to clean up the toxic mess that is known to exist under the soil.  That said, there are arguments to be made around potential industrial job creation and those must be investigated fully.  There is a good editorial about it in todays AV Times.

No matter what you believe should be done with the property, if you believe a full airing of this issue by the City should happen before any further commitments or leases are signed, I strongly encourage you to send a letter to the local papers or to the City.

In my letter I mention a petition (available at Steam Punk Cafe) and polls that have been circulating in the community.  Here are current polls (including the one here on this website) as I’ve seen them around the inter webs this morning.. none are scientific or should be used to decide anything but it’s always worth expressing your opinion: (Click the images to be taken to the polls)

Facebook Group "AV Chatter Box" Poll results as of Tuesday 8:35AM
Facebook Group “AV Chatter Box” Poll results as of Tuesday 8:35AM

Poll on results as of Tuesday 8:40AM
Poll on results as of Tuesday 8:40AM

AV Times Poll online results as of 8:30AM Tuesday May 20
AV Times Poll online results as of 8:30AM Tuesday May 20

As appears on AV News website as of Tuesday May 20 at 8:40AM
As appears on AV News website as of Tuesday May 20 at 8:40AM














Mayor Port Alberni <>
Davina Hartwell <>
Ken Watson <>
Jack McLeman <>
Cindy Solda <>
Wendy Lee Kerr <>
Dan washington <>
Rob Cole <>
Hira Chopra <>
Susan Quinn <>
Letters AV Times <>

Dear Mayor, City Councillors and Staff,

Given that:
– there has been intense public interest in the use of the City owned former Plywood site generated since Lot C’s conversion to a beach (demonstrated by events, formal and informal petitions and polls and a recent public information session).
– there are significant long term social, economic and environmental implications for the future of land use on the waterfront within City Limits.
– there is no extended public input process currently required or planned before leases are approved for Lots A or B.

I respectfully request that the City undertake an extended and expanded public input process including but not limited to public hearings and/or public information sessions to determine what should be done with Lots A and B before any leases or other uses are approved by City Council.


Chris Alemany

Teachers Should Obey The Law. They Should Walk Out

BC Teachers are currently deciding whether they should challenge the government and walk out in defiance of Bill 22 and the fines it imposes.

I say, yes, they should. In fact they should not return until the Government agrees to repeal Bill 22 and fully comply with the Supreme Courts decision.

No action would so clearly show what they are actually railing against.

That is, an autocratic government that has under funded schools for decades and taken away fundamental, constitutional rights not only from the labour union to negotiate its own working conditions (class sizes, composition, etc) but that also threatens the fundamental right of every person and child to an education. It does this through lack of resources, and support and the encouragement of a two tier system where those who can afford it, put their kids in private school (where class sizes are often no more than 15 with no special needs children!) leaving those who can’t behind.


How can it be breaking the law when the law itself (Bill 22) is breaking the law of the land (the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) as interpreted by the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court, through the Charter, has final say on any Act of Parliament. That is the final check on our democracy, and that is what the BC Liberals have chosen to ignore.

Should our children not know the difference between right and wrong, especially when that difference is more complex than some might have you to believe?

Would our children not benefit from seeing our teachers risk thousands of dollars in personal fines by walking out to show them that their education and rights are worth the risk.

And if we, the public, stand behind the teachers then those children will see that when the cause is just, and truly threatens our democratic and human rights, then it is worth a little pain because the government will listen, and will change, if only to preserve itself.

That means we as a public have a responsibility to support the teachers to the fullest extent possible. If we do not, we give government a free pass to trod on our rights and ignore our highest judges and courts.

If instead the BCTF chooses limited action like suspending all extra curricular activities, then it will have shown that it really is just about that 15% raise, and not much else. And that would be a far more tragic outcome.

People are dying around the world because their basic human rights have been denied to them for decades. Here, teachers have a chance to truly stand up for the rights that we all expect and perhaps have taken for granted while they are whittled away by a government that knows what it can get away with.

Stand up Teachers. For us, and for our children. I, and I believe most others, will stand with you.

*full disclosure: I am not a member of the BCTF or anyone else involved in this dispute. However, I am a public employee and a member of the faculty union at VIU which stood up against much the same attitude during a month long strike at VIU last year.

To the Editor: On Rising Gas Prices

Dear Editor,
RE: “We need to be refining oil flowing through B.C”

I’ve seen many of the same complaints rise with gas prices.

“It’s a Plot by the Oil Companies!”
“It’s Government Taxes!”
“We need more Refineries!”

In fact the rises are due to none of those things.

The first two don’t affect the day-to-day rise and fall of gas prices any more than they affect the cost of a loaf of bread.

No one complains when bread and milk are the same price when we go from grocery store to grocery store, why would we complain about oil companies rising their prices in tandem as well? Prices rise and fall slowly and in tandem… no collusion, it’s just the market.

Similarly, while government taxes certainly make up a big part of the price of ‘things’ it doesn’t move up and down like crazy, so that’s not what is causing the rising gas prices either.

The last point though, speaks to local supply and demand, which gets closer to the truth. A quick look at the stats shows (NEB Canada Excel Files) that refinery capacity in Western Canada is almost double what Western Canadians actually consume. The rest is exported. So that’s not it either.

Refining Capacity in Western Canada: 109,000 cubic metres per day (m3/d)
Most recent (March 2011) maximum in refinery usage: 100,000 m3/d (90%)
Net Exports to US March 2011: 60,000 m3/d
Left over (ie. Domestic Western Canada consumption): 40,0000 m3/d (36% of refinery capacity)

The only reason left is global supply and demand. There we see that oil production has not risen significantly since 2005.

This post on World Energy Supply and demand here talks about all forms of energy. It includes the graph below that shows oil production leveling off (look at coal production! wow!)

Here is that graph zoomed in to the last 40 years which shows the plateau better:

And here is a graph from another post at The Oil Drum showing price over the past decade. Notice how crude supply has barely budged, but prices have been wild as the economy hits limits, crashes, then recovers… and presumably will crash again.

Prices were stable around $20 in 2001-2003 and then things started to change.

Prices rose through 2008 until the economy crashed. Now with possible recovery in the US, global production still hasn’t broken out of its 7 year funk and the price is rising even though billions are been invested in the tar sands and oil shale.

This is the reality of global peak oil. Unconventional oil has kept us on a plateau for 7 years, but eventually, declining great oil fields elsewhere will be too much to compensate and world production will decline. The economic and geo-political repercussions are predictably unpleasant.

The message is simple. We are part of the world and so are our gas prices. If the world is to insulate itself from gyrations in oil prices, then we must use far less of it, starting here at home.

Chris Alemany
Member – Alberni Valley Transition Town Society
Port Alberni, BC