VIDEO: Cannabis Legalization with Kirk Tousaw

From THC tests for drivers to the big business of cannabis, Corona’s marijuana-infused beer, and Jean Chretien’s near decriminalization of pot – the Salt Spring Forum's discussion with lawyer Kirk Tousaw was fascinating. Tousaw has devoted decades to campaigning for the legalization for cannabis. In fact, he became a lawyer because of this issue.

On Friday, February 16, 2018 at ArtSpring, the Forum hosted Tousaw, who is the go-to person in Canada for litigation concerning marijuana. A long-standing and influential proponent of law reform, he is a founding board member of Sensible BC and a former board member of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

UBC Students at Forum for Canadian Foreign Policy Conference

This past weekend (Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18) the Salt Spring Forum hosted nineteen students from the University of British Columbia to present research papers on Canadian foreign policy. The event took place at the Salt Spring Island Public Library and members of the public attended.

Presentations covered a wide range of topics such as "Canadian Immigration Policy: From Integration to Assimilation?” and "Canada and China in the Arctic". All those who attended learned from the smart young presenters who come from around the world! 

*Photos by Madhumita Varma

VIDEO: "Disease Detective" Dr. Jennifer Gardy

Dr. Jennifer Gardy – a trailblazing scientist and science communicator who was dubbed by The Globe and Mail as “the new Suzuki” – joined the Salt Spring Forum in conversation on March 13, 2018 at the Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS).  The discussion covered everything from outbreaks and infectious diseases to vaccines and antibiotics. 

Dr. Gardy is a Senior Scientist in Genomics at the BC Centre for Disease Control. Gardy also works in science media. She regularly hosts episodes of CBC’s The Nature of Things and has guest-hosted Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet.

The Forum partnered with the GISS Student Council, who co-organized the event. The event was moderated by former GISS student and Forum volunteer Maddee Nash who is a graduate student at McGill University studying Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 

WATCH THE FULL DISCUSSION:

VIDEO: Climate Journalist Geoff Dembicki Jumpstarts 2018!

To bring in the new year, we started off our 2018 season with a new kind of Forum event. On January 13th, in partnership with the Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Student Council, we welcomed internationally successful 31-year old climate journalist/author Geoff Dembicki to discuss how youth around the world are fighting climate change.

Approximately two hundred students and members of the public attended this youth-led discussion. Dembicki spoke about how millions of youth can and are radically changing the world.

This was the first Salt Spring Forum event in partnership with the GISS Student Council. It will hopefully be one of many more to inspire, engage and empower young people to lead!

WATCH THE FULL DISCUSSION:

Fall Forum Season: That's a Wrap Folks!

The 2017 Fall Forum season culminated with a final event this past Friday, December 1st at the Gulf Islands Secondary School with guest speaker Michael Doyle, who joined us to discuss world issues. Doyle was former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's most important advisor from 2001 to 2003, holding the title of Assistant Secretary-General. 

Audience members asked Doyle many questions ranging from the role of the United Nations in global governance to Russia's role in influencing elections in various countries such as the United States. The discussion – moderated by Forum board chair Michael Byers - was thought-provoking and shed light on many of the major issues facing the world today. 

The Forum will be back in the new year with a stellar lineup of 2018 guests, so stay tuned!

Youth Volunteers Engage with Big Issues

Salt Spring Forum is very proud of our longstanding partnership with the Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS). Every year, several GISS students become Forum volunteers, such as the students in the photo below who were volunteering at our recent event on November 13th at ArtSpring with cognitive scientist Stephan Lewandowksy. The event explored the psychology and science of climate change denial -- and was fascinating! 

Our student volunteers love learning. Each is bright, passionate, engaged, and deeply concerned about the world. And with good reason. The youth of today face massive challenges, with climate change key among them. At the Forum, we want to help our youth engage with and improve the world. Stay tuned for exciting news about our GISS-Forum partnership in 2018!

Youth Volunteers.jpg

Galloping Gourmet in Support of Local Farmers

Many remember him from when he leapt into the 1970s with his lively cooking television show The Galloping Gourmet. Graham Kerr has spent over seven decades working with food. From those more decadent days, he's evolved into a profound believer in local food and transforming habits that harm into habits that heal. 

Graham Kerr joined the Salt Spring Forum at ArtSpring last night to help support an important local initiative called The Root, which is an innovative farm centre project lead by the SSI Farmland Trust. The Root will function as a storage, processing, and distribution facility for local farm produce – and will increase local food production. 

As a strong proponent of reducing the harm one causes in the world, Graham Kerr believes we must support our local farmers and growers, and change our lives so that we create resilient communities rather than ones of vapid consumerism. His message resonated strongly with the ArtSpring audience members, who were moved into a standing ovation at the end of the event.

Let's support our local farmers, who work so hard to grow fresh food to nourish us! 

 Graham Kerr in the kitchen at twig and buoy - a Salt Spring restaurant with strong locavore roots - before the ArtSpring event. 

Graham Kerr in the kitchen at twig and buoy - a Salt Spring restaurant with strong locavore roots - before the ArtSpring event.