Is Canada’s public health-care system under threat? What are the social and economic impacts of mental illness? Why is tackling poverty not a health-care priority? Why do so many Canadians lack a family doctor? Health issues have long occupied top headlines in Canadian media, and no journalist has written on public health with more authority or for as many years as André Picard. Picard, who has served as the Globe and Mail’s health reporter for three decades, is one of the most informative and influential voices in Canadian health-care. At the centre of his work is a consistent call for a more just and compassionate Canadian health-care system. This Saturday, May 26th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, André Picard joins the Salt Spring Forum in a wide-ranging conversation about public health. Picard is the author of five books including the newly published Matters of Life and Death (Douglas & McIntyre 2017). He has received much acclaim for his reporting and writing, inc…Read more about Globe Health Reporter André Picard at Forum
Salt Spring Forum
Artificial Intelligence & Humanity
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more and more in the news. Are our cell phones actually becoming ‘smarter’ and will our cars soon be driving themselves? From healthcare to warfare, will robots become our future companions and our future soldiers? How much of the media hype about AI should we believe? Who benefits from the ‘the rise of the machines,’ who is at risk and how can we have a say? Lucy Suchman, Professor of Anthropology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, joins the Salt Spring Forum this Saturday, May 12th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring for a timely discussion about artificial intelligence. Dr. Suchman is a world-leading critic of artificial intelligence. Prior to joining academia, she was a Principal Scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California. Her current research examines the future of robots in our lives. Dr. Suchman is author of two books on artificial intelligence published by Cambridge University Press and the recipient o…Read more about Artificial Intelligence & Humanity
Judith Sayers: Clean Energy, First Nations & Climate Change
Clean technology is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world—and an essential response to climate change. In British Columbia, several First Nations are leaders in the renewable energy sector. By the end of 2016, 30 First Nations had operational solar, run-of-river, geothermal, wind, and biomass projects powering their communities and BC. There are also many new projects being developed. Just last week the Upper Nicola Band voted to develop what could be province’s largest solar farm on their Quilchena reserve lands in South-Central B.C. The Salt Spring Forum and the Canadian Federation of University Women co-host Dr. Judith Sayers, a champion for sustainable development in First Nations communities, in discussion this Saturday, April 28th at 7:30 PM at the Gulf Islands Secondary School. Dr. Sayers is the President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, an adjunct professor with the Schools of Environmental Studies and Business at the University of Vi…Read more about Judith Sayers: Clean Energy, First Nations & Climate Change
Forum: Globe Columnist Elizabeth Renzetti
Why are there so few women in politics? Why is public space, whether in the street or on social media, still so hostile to women? Is the #MeToo movement signalling a real shift in society’s treatment of women? From Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, and from the transgender movement to women internationally, what is the future of feminism? As feminism finds itself at a crossroads, Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti joins the Salt Spring Forum in a wide-ranging discussion on Friday, April 13th at 7:30 PM at the Gulf Islands Secondary School. Elizabeth Renzetti has written for the Globe and Mail from Toronto, Los Angeles, and London. Her new book, Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls, is a collection of essays that draws upon her decades of reporting on feminist issues. Renzetti’s essays explore everything from harassment in the workplace, to Donald Trump, to interviews with women like Germaine Gr…Read more about Forum: Globe Columnist Elizabeth Renzetti
Forum Hosts Vancouver Aquarium President and CEO
Salt Spring Islanders know the importance of healthy oceans. Indeed, many Salt Spring residents are protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, which if completed will add hundreds of oil tankers to the Salish Sea each year. The threat of oil spills is but one of many challenges facing our oceans. Overfishing, climate change, and plastics are other serious concerns. John Nightingale has led the Vancouver Aquarium (now “Ocean Wise”) for more than two decades. On Saturday, April 7th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, he joins the Salt Spring Forum in a deep-reaching conversation about the health of the oceans – and how we can transform our relationship to them. No stranger to challenges, Nightingale has led the world’s most important aquarium from being a showcase for performing orcas to being a globally-oriented conservation organization. A professional biologist and top-flight communicator, Nightingale has engaged and informed millions of people about the oceans and aqua…Read more about Forum Hosts Vancouver Aquarium President and CEO
Is the Future Turbulent for Cannabis?
The legalization of cannabis in Canada is approaching quickly—as early as this July. Here in BC, the provincial government just announced that adults will be able to buy marijuana from private retailers and in government-run stores. However, the province will only license retailers with support from local governments. What will legal pot mean for you, your children, your community, and this country? Will dispensaries like Salt Spring’s Leaf Compassion be grandfathered into the new system? Will mega-corporations take over, or will the new system allow for micro-growers? Will legalization for adults end up punishing youth? To answer all of your questions, Victoria-based lawyer and marijuana law reform advocate Kirk Tousaw joins the Salt Spring Forum in discussion on Friday, February 16 at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring. A major force behind the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Tousaw is the go-to person for litigation concerning marijuana, up to and including the Supreme Cou…Read more about Is the Future Turbulent for Cannabis?
Are We Heading Towards Nuclear War?
With missile tests and nuclear threats, how dangerous is North Korea and, for that matter, Donald Trump? Are sanctions against North Korea having any effect? What might China and Russia do if the crisis worsens? Last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock two minutes from midnight as the threat of nuclear warfare has escalated. How likely is a nuclear war? To help us understand the North Korea crisis and much more, the Salt Spring Forum hosts Alex Butterfield who, until recently, was one of the most senior defence intelligence officers in the United States. The event takes place this Thursday, February 1st at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring. From 2012-2017, Alex Butterfield served as Senior Defense Intelligence Advisor to the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), which encompasses half of the Earth’s surface. Butterfield briefed senior U.S. and international government officials on security issues, with special responsibilities for China and Korea. A care…Read more about Are We Heading Towards Nuclear War?
Is Big Brother Watching you?
Governments hold an increasing amount of your electronic information. So too do private companies. Who exactly has access to your information, and what are they allowed to do with it? What is the state of Canadian law regarding online surveillance and data-sharing? Are our privacy laws out of date? What can we do to protect ourselves? To help us answer these questions and many more, the Salt Spring Forum hosts civil liberties champion Micheal Vonn in conversation on Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring. Vonn is this province’s leading expert on privacy, national security, policing, surveillance and free speech. She has been the Policy Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) since 2004. Vonn is an Adjunct Professor in both the UBC Faculty of Law and the UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. She is also a collaborator on Big Data Surveillance, a multi-year research project led by Queens University, as well a…Read more about Is Big Brother Watching you?
Youth Fighting Climate Change
There are currently more than 1.8 billion people worldwide between the ages of 10 and 24. This is the largest young generation in history. This is also the generation most affected by climate change. The Salt Spring Forum is partnering with members of the Student Council at the Gulf Islands Secondary School to present more events that will inspire, engage and empower young people to lead. On Thursday, January 11th from 10 AM to 11:15 AM in the GISS Multipurpose room, the first Forum-Student Council event features Geoff Dembicki, an internationally successful 31-year old climate journalist. Dembicki is also the author of the new book Are We Screwed? How a New Generation is Fighting to Survive Climate Change. Through his journeys, Dembicki has learned that millions of youth want to radically change the world. In fact, youth are now leading the resistance to the politicians and CEOs who are steering our planet towards disaster. Most importantly, Dembicki argues that a …Read more about Youth Fighting Climate Change
Salt Spring Forum Tackles Global Issues
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, called certain global issues “problems without passports”—challenges that cannot be solved by one country acting alone. According to Annan’s former adviser Michael Doyle, climate change is a clear example of a problem that cannot be solved unless China, the United States, and India all take strong and decisive action. And climate change is but one of the many great challenges facing our world today. Are you looking for insight into international politics—and reasons for optimism? Michael Doyle joins the Salt Spring Forum on Friday, December 1st at 7:30 PM in the GISS Multi-Purpose Room for a wide-ranging discussion about the major issues facing the international community. From climate change to refugees, peacekeeping, and much more, Doyle brings a unique combination of hands-on experience and big-picture thinking. In addition to his work with Kofi Annan, Doyle has served as Vice President of the Internatio…Read more about Salt Spring Forum Tackles Global Issues
From Climate Change Denial to Conspiracy Theories
Did you know that half of us believe in at least one conspiracy theory? Did you know that thirteen percent of Americans believe that climate change is a hoax? Although scientists long ago settled on the conclusion that human activities are causing climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases, a small but vocal number of dissenters remain unswayed by the evidence. What causes people to reject scientific evidence? What contributes to climate change denial and to conspiracy theories in general? To help us understand and address these issues – on Monday, November 13th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring – the Salt Spring Forum welcomes Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, who is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol. Lewandowsky’s most recent research interests examine the potential conflict between human understanding and the global climate. He has published extensively on how people respond to corrections of misinformation and what determines people’s acceptance…Read more about From Climate Change Denial to Conspiracy Theories
Why Philosophy Still Matters
When you think of philosophy, do you wonder whether philosophy can actually help us today, during a time of ecological crises and populist politics? Mark Kingwell – The Salt Spring Forum’s next speaker – reveals a contemporary, accessible, and highly relevant side of philosophy. On Sunday, October 29th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, Kingwell– who is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto – joins the Forum for a far-reaching and thought-provoking discussion. From politics to architecture, fishing to pop culture—no subject is off limits for Mark Kingwell, a public intellectual who uses philosophy to gain insights into human behaviour. You’ve likely read Kingwell in the Globe and Mail and heard him on CBC Radio. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian and Harper’s. Kingwell has written 18 books, many of which became national bestsellers. His latest, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters (2017), is a meditation on the …Read more about Why Philosophy Still Matters
Meet the Galloping Gourmet!
Long before the days of the Food Network, Graham Kerr leapt into the 1970s with his exuberant cooking show The Galloping Gourmet. He has spent nearly seven decades working with food and is now an expert in nutrition, healthy eating and the locavore movement. Graham Kerr joins the Salt Spring Forum on Sunday, October 22nd at 7:30 PM for a lively conversation about all things food-related and his fascinating career! Kerr is an internationally renowned television personality and award-winning author. He sold millions of books and worked on nearly 2,000 TV shows meeting everyone from Julia Child to Johnny Carson. Kerr’s current focus is helping people make healthy and creative lifestyle changes and increase their consumption of fresh local produce and seafood. He is also a passionate advocate for the individual’s role in climate change mitigation. Make sure to join the exuberant Graham Kerr for a fun-filled evening in support of an important local initiative, The Roo…Read more about Meet the Galloping Gourmet!
Standing Up for Science, Tonight!
A war on science is underway in the United States, where President Donald Trump has fired government scientists, rolled back environmental protections, and withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement. Nancy Baron, aka “The Scientist Whisperer”, is one of the most skilled champions of science in the US. She joins the Salt Spring Forum in conversation tonight (Friday, September 29th at 7:30 PM) at ArtSpring. Baron has seen the war on science from both inside Canada as well as the United States. She is a US-based science journalist and communications expert. Baron is Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS, a Portland-based organization that helps scientists to engage with the public and policymakers on issues such as climate change, fisheries, and endangered species. When scientists find their research under threat, Baron also helps them reach out to larger audiences. For the last decade and half, Baron and her colleagues at COMPASS have worked with thousands of envir…Read more about Standing Up for Science, Tonight!
Need a Break from Incorporation Debate?
The Salt Spring Forum can help! The Forum hosts environmental lawyer Karen Campbell – the first guest of its exciting Fall Speaker Series – on Wednesday, September 6th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring. Campbell is a lawyer for Ecojustice, Canada's largest environmental law charity. At the Forum event, Campbell will discuss the legal strategies being used to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. The planned expansion of the pipeline is highly controversial. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argues the economic benefits of the project are crucial for Canada, opponents believe the environmental costs far outweigh any benefits the project might provide. Many First Nations and other communities on British Columbia’s coast strongly oppose this pipeline expansion project. The new BC government has just been granted intervener status to support a combination of nineteen lawsuits to be heard against the project this fall by the Federal Court of Appeal. …Read more about Need a Break from Incorporation Debate?
Vancouver's Gregor Robertson at Forum
The majority of Canadians currently live in cities rather than in rural areas. Major centres continue to grow quickly, leading society forward and also encountering many challenges. Vancouver, for example, is on track to be 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2050 and is one of the “greenest” cities in the world. At the same time the city is one of the most expensive places to live and has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada. The city has been hit hard by the homelessness and now the opioid crises. These crises are not confined to big cities either. Small communities like Salt Spring face similar challenges. How can big cities effectively address major challenges such as housing shortages, addictions and overdoses, climate change, and more? What can we learn from their proposed solutions to critical issues we also face on Salt Spring? Please join Gregor Robertson and the Salt Spring Forum – on Thursday, August 10th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring – to discuss t…Read more about Vancouver's Gregor Robertson at Forum
A Healthy Environment & Economy?
People who oppose pipelines in British Columbia are often portrayed as job-killing and anti-economy. However, with orca and fish populations strained and ocean waters warming, many are determined to protect the coast and its waters for future generations. Can we really have a vibrant economy as well as a healthy environment? How do we find our way to a sustainable future? Find out this Friday, May 26th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring as the Salt Spring Forum hosts Peter Robinson – CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and former CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op – in conversation! Peter Robinson’s wide-ranging career has given him a unique perspective when it comes to environmentalism, non-governmental organizations, business, and leadership. You may have sent money or given your support in other ways to organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation. This Friday, you now have the chance to learn how these organizations actually work and what do they actually do. For the past…Read more about A Healthy Environment & Economy?
Fisheries Scientist Brings Urgent Message to Salt Spring
The world’s oceans are rapidly warming and acidifying due to climate change. Global overfishing and massive underreporting of catches are putting world fish populations in peril. How close are the planet’s fisheries to collapse? What can be done to alter this dangerous trajectory? Dr. Daniel Pauly is a world-renowned fisheries scientist—in fact, Canada’s most cited scientist—whose expertise concerns the condition and future of the world's oceans. He joins the Salt Spring Forum for an urgent and highly informative conversation on Friday, May 5th at 7:30 PM at Beaver Point Hall. Dr. Pauly became a Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre in 1994, and was its Director from 2003 to 2008. Since 1999, he has led a large research project devoted to identifying and quantifying global fisheries trends, called Sea Around Us. The author or co-author of over 1000 publications, Dr. Pauly has received some of the world’s most prestigious scientific awards. He…Read more about Fisheries Scientist Brings Urgent Message to Salt Spring
Noam Chomsky Joins Forum for Discussion
What does Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest thinkers of our time, think about President Trump and the current state of US politics? The recent US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan? Nuclear war? North Korea? ISIS? Russia? Climate change? Humanity’s prospects for survival? Corporate greed? Inequality? Democracy? The media? #FAKENEWS? The Salt Spring Forum hosts an exceptional event this Friday, April 21st at ArtSpring, which includes the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for attendees to ask questions directly to Noam Chomsky! The event begins at 10:30 AM with a screening of the documentary Requiem for the American Dream, which is made up of four years’ worth of interviews with Noam Chomsky. In the interviews, Chomsky argues that the bulk of America’s wealth and influence has been transferred to the hands of a few, and explains the devastating effects this has on democracy. Even people who have already seen the documentary, will gain greatly from watching it again. The film…Read more about Noam Chomsky Joins Forum for Discussion
2016 CBC Massey Lecturer at Forum
From Donald Trump’s attempted entry-ban on individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries, to continued violence in the Middle East, Russian authoritarianism and expansionism, and deepening economic inequality in the West – clearly, there are many causes for serious concern. Millions of people are on the move. Entire populations are leaving their home countries to find a better life elsewhere. Globally, the number of displaced people is approximately 65 million. A fifth of the world’s population suffers from armed and systematic violence. “History is back, with a vengeance,” states Jennifer Welsh in her 2016 CBC Massey Lecture, The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century. To help us understand and address what is unfolding globally, the Salt Spring Forum hosts Jennifer Welsh, this Friday, March 24th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring. Welsh – who served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on the “Responsibility to Protect…Read more about 2016 CBC Massey Lecturer at Forum
Beyond Pink & Blue - Forum Hosts Special Discussion
All-gender and gender-neutral signs are appearing on local single-stall bathrooms, including at Salt Spring Coffee, Barb's Buns, and in some of our public schools. This important change represents increased acceptance, inclusion, and safety for those who do not necessarily fall within the gender binary. However, recently in the United States, the Trump administration reversed protections from discrimination for transgender students, which had included allowing them to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their gender identity. From non-binary people to gender diverse children to pronouns, the way we as a society - and community - think about gender is in transition. Some people are beginning to understand gender as a spectrum rather than as a binary. Not only are gender neutral bathrooms providing safer bathroom access for people with a range of gender identities, but legislation in Canadian provinces increasingly protects gender identity and expression. T…Read more about Beyond Pink & Blue - Forum Hosts Special Discussion