Facebook: the engine of false news

By Jenny Tan

By unanimous consensus of the panel, Facebook is the crucial driver of the fake news phenomenon.

Last Thursday, November 30th, the Board of Change and Seattle-based educational television station KCTS 9 hosted the panel discussion The Role of Media in a World of Fake News at the Vancity Theatre. On the panel were The Tyee founding editor David Beers, Crosscut managing editor Florangela Davila, Globe and Mail associate editor Jim Jennings, and CBC news director Wayne Williams.

The disposition of society has changed, commented CBC’s Williams, allowing perhaps for the quicker rise of fake news compared to previous decades when fake news was present but not prevalent. He noted the CBC Ombudsman, responsible for complaints about CBC programs, has seen a sharp increase in the number of complaints received and a shift in the tone of complainants. Fewer are satisfied with the response of journalists and the complainants are “angrier”, “more polarised”, and some “outright insulting”.


News Release

BCUC Final Report Addresses Real Costs of Site C

Vancouver BC, November 2, 2017 – Peter Holt, Advocacy Team Chair for the Board of Change issued this statement following yesterday’s release of the Final Report to the Government of British Columbia by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) in follow-up to its Site C Inquiry preliminary report released on Sept 21, 2017.

“The Board of Change commends BCUC’s work to complete this important review of the Site C project in such a short time and welcomes the full disclosure of the real costs that is the result of a full independent review of the project”

With only two options now considered viable, the new BC Government is in the unenviable position of reviewing a project where $3.9 billion is the minimum cost of cancellation and the cost of completion is estimated at $10 billion or more. Completion also comes with the very real prospect of producing power that will greatly exceed BC’s needs and at cost that means it will have to be sold on the US spot market at a loss.


The Board of Change continues to advocate that the Site C project be cancelled. The Board recommends cancellation not only to save future construction costs and the burden of a 70 year plus financing term but also to reinvigorate BC’s renewable energy sector. This previously vibrant sector of BC’s economy suffered greatly from the decision to build the dam. Given that renewable energy production is now competitive with, and likely even cheaper than energy from Site C, and given that it produces many more long-term jobs per unit of energy produced, the BC economy would experience a net gain as a result of its revival.


We understand the dilemma that the Government has inherited from its predecessor and encourage them to recognize the fundamental flaws in proceeding with Site C and encourage them to put their faith in the role that BC’s clean energy industry can play in generating jobs and viable alternative sources of power for all British Columbians



Peter Holt


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The Board of Change is an inclusive business network fostering an economic model that values the pursuit of sustainability equally with the pursuit of profit. We believe strongly in the role of profitable business in society and also believe that business has an equal responsibility for social and environmental stewardship. Indeed, this may be the greatest responsibility of business.



Presented by KCTS9 in partnership with the Board of Change

KCTS9 and Board of Change Logos

Promotional partner:

The Tyee logo


Date: November 30, 2017  |  5:30 – 7:30pm

Location: Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC
Free Event for Board of Change Members :: But You Must Register at
Seating is limited
Light refreshments will be served


Is it time for credible media to kick some ass?

At a time when facts are opinions and opinions are facts, what is the role of media to present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? And how compelling is this ‘truth’ to the public? It’s a troubling time and media’s role — and responsibility — in these affairs is being challenged in unprecedented ways. What’s the solution and how can society successfully trust media again? Register and learn more at



Highlights of May 30 2017: Joel Solomon and Karn Manhas’ Talk Clean Money Revolution

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Your Name is on Your Money

Article by jenny Tan
More photos by Daniel Rotman
Check out Joel’s new book, the Clean Money Revolution.
Find out more about Karn Manhas’ company Terramera.
Listen to a clip of Joel’s talk

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Maybe you and I should look at money in a different light.

Last Tuesday, chair of mission venture capital firm Renewal Funds Joel Solomon and entrepreneur Karn Manhas sat down and asked the audience what money means to them. “We have pretty much one goal with money,” said Joel, “which is ‘more’”.

The issue is partly structural, pointed out Joel. Investors have not had much diversity in the investment menu; people are patted on the head by financial advisors and persuaded that investing is best left to the professionals. The options available are uninspiring. Milton Friedman’s statement still echoes loudly in the offices of wealth managers: “There is… only one social responsibility of business… to increase its profits.” Without diversity in choice, ordinary investors demand only the pre-existing options.

Investing for profit–without consideration of where the money comes from–is deeply rooted in our culture. Well-meaning financial advisors shake their heads when investors ask for socially responsible options. Don’t let that stop you. “My name is on my money, and yours is too,” said Joel.

Helping socially responsible investing become the norm is partly a chicken-and-egg issue. Without a diversity of feasible choices, financial advisors will continue dissuading their clients putting their money towards socially responsible venues. A quick practical guide: for high net-worth individuals, consider investing with venture capital firms such as Renewal; for retail investors: consider options such as CoPower, SolarShare, and mutual funds listed on the Responsible Investment Association website. Keep pushing your financial advisors to seek options aligned with your values, or do it yourself.

Change is slow, but take heart: “there’s been an explosion across the world [of socially responsible investing],” said Joel. “It has hit critical mass.”
“[With cleaner money], we actually can solve the major problems on this planet.”

Invest with your values and fuel the revolution.






Article and photos by Jenny Tan

Click here for more photos by Jenny Tan and VIDEO of the event. 

Site C doesn’t make business sense, say experts, and is in dire need of independent review.Last Thursday April 20t  at UBC Robson Square, a panel of experts dissected common arguments in favour of Site C, a proposed dam located just outside of Fort St. John on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., noting the project could cost taxpayers to suffer losses of over $1 billion, presents major challenges to constitutional rights of First Nations, and that the increased power supply would outstrip projected demand.

B.C. Hydro pegs the estimated cost of the project at $8.8 billion, which would take B.C. taxpayers until 2094 to pay off.

Even with increased electrification of the economy, said Karen Bakker, UBC professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, demand for electricity could be met by conservation at a third of the price for a number of years. A commonly touted option of selling power from the Site C dam to Alberta to meet demand increases from the oilsands is not feasible, she said. B.C. would have to sell its power at over $140/MWh; Alberta could obtain enough power to meet its demands from other sources such as the Slave River Hydro Project at a lower cost.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is unlikely to take off in B.C. and require power from Site C, also noted former KPMG partner Eoin Finn, and exporting power to the United States would require selling the electricity at below cost.

Paul Kariya, executive director of Clean Energy B.C., pointed out the clean energy industry can offer cost-effective alternatives to Site C.

Councillor Dean Dokkie of the West Moberly First Nation, whose traditional lands include the proposed location of the Site C dam, emphasised lack of understanding of the size and cost of the project as a key barrier. The proposed Site C dam would flood 5,500 hectares of land.

“When I flip a light switch,” said Dokkie, “I know where [the power] comes from and what the costs are… If you flooded the Fraser Valley, what would people say?”

The Site C project also infringes the constitutionally protected rights of First Nations, said Dokkie, especially with the bypassing of independent regulatory oversight. The 2010 Clean Energy Act exempted Site C from independent review by the B.C. Utilities Commission, removing the authority of bureaucrats to examine the business case for the dam.

Bakker summarised the political approach to First Nations consultation on Site C as “build now, litigate during, compensate after”.

Doug Arthur, senior fellow in public policy at UBC, noted Site C will proceed unless there is a change of government on May 9th, and reminded the audience to exercise its voting power.

Bakker suggested the provincial government postpone Site C and refer the project to the B.C. Utilities Commission. The regulatory body can then examine whether the value of contracts already signed will have pushed Site C past the point of no return.