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Growth vs. integrity : environmentalism and localism in a changing community : one citizen’s participatory.. Rudd, Jennifer Lynn 1996

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GROWTH VS. INTEGRITY: ENVIRONMENTALISM AND LOCALISM IN A CHANGING COMMUNITY ONE CITIZEN'S PARTICIPATORY GLIMPSE by JENNIFER LYNN RUDD B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF • THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to t^e Kpeuuired standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1996 ©Jennifer Lynn Rudd, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Spg. i fiKA fv ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT This is a case study undertaken in White Rock, a post-industrial, oceanside town of 16,000 on Canada's southwest border. The participant-observation research was undertaken between 1989 and 1993 when the author was politically active in the community. Noting a challenge to an encrusted city council from a loosely affiliated group who soon became members or supporters of the "White Rock Residents' Association", the participant intervened to explore theories about the instability of post-industria1 society and the emancipatory power of new social movements. Believing that the environmentalist social movement could attract broad public appeal and was conducive to grassroots progressive politics, the participant utilized the power of environmental ideology by publically prioritizing environmental issues while seeking a council seat as a political newcomer in a town where local elections were often uncontested. Although unsuccessful and subject to countervailing gender politics, the author placed seventh on a ballot of 11 for six council positions, outperforming several long-term and influential residents of the community. Chapter One provides a brief, overview of the research project, with further methodological discussion in Appendix A. Chapter Two gives a comparative discussion of environmentalist and localist ideologies, suggesting how they pertain to the White Rock community. Chapter Three offers a profile of the community of White Rock as it undergoes certain changes while facing environmental problems. The final chapter considers changing political and power relations between local and senior governments as they respond to environmental regional problems. During the period of intervention, new political party provincial and federal governments were elected, and in White Rock a member of the White Rock Residents' Association became the city's provincial member of the legislative assembly, while an active Reform Party member became federal member of Parliament. As well, the Boundary Board of Health won a power battle with city council to eliminate swimming at White Rock's polluted west beach, demonstrating the newly won influence of the provincial government. In exploring and comparing environmentalist and localist politics, both the research and literature review indicate that environmentalist ideology and political practice can lead to a reformation of traditional localist politics, resulting in greater influence and prestige for environmental organizations. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT p. i* ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS f »v 1. INTRODUCTION p.l 2. ENVIRONMENTAL ISM AND LOCALISM p. 38 3. PROFILE OF A COMMUNITY IN TRANSITION p.97 4. CHANGING THE POLITICAL CONTEXT: THE POWER OF ENVIRONMENTAL I SM p. 141 5. APPENDIX A: METHODOLOGICAL NOTES p. 169 6. APPENDIX B: CHRONOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY . 178 7. APPENDIX C (Figure 1) WHITE ROCK COMMUNITY POWER STRUCTURE 1989 (Researcher's Conception) p. 182 APPENDIX C (Figure 2) WHITE ROCK COMMUNITY POWER STRUCTURE 1994 (Researcher's Conception) ..p. 183 8. APPENDIX Dt COMPARATIVE FEATURES OF ENVIRONMENTALIST AND TRADITIONAL LOCALIST IDEOLOGY p. 184 9. BIBLIOGRAPHY p. 185 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank my thesis chair, Dr. Bob Ratner for being such a good editor, and always being more Engels than Marx. I also want to thank Professor Brian Elliott for his thoughtful, informed input on localist politics and Dr. Dawn Currie for guiding me through turbulent times in the research period. Mostly, I would like to thank the people of White Rock for their friendship and support, particularly members of the local Liberal and New Democratic Parties for their zeal in both the political project and in keeping up my self-esteem. Special thanks go to the energetic Patricia Kealy, Dave Martin, Wi1f Hurd and Kathy Hill, a campaign manager who can laugh off defeat. But without the unique resources of my two young daughters, Brandee and Monica, upcoming social scientists and political activists themselves, this project would never have been completed. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This thesis looks at environmental ism as an urban social movement utilizing a case study approach as pioneered by Manuel Castel1's work on urban social movements (1972; 1983). In so doing my intent was not only to observe the interaction between environmentalist ideology and localist politics, but to participate in ways that might augment the emancipatory power of new social movements (Offe: 1985, Boggs: 1986; Paehlke: 1989). I felt fortunate in being situated in a post-industrial, urban area that featured a defined sense of locale and in which I had been established as a resident and employee for a decade. The year I began to engage in this urban research, 1989, was a time of unpopular provincial and federal governments. I was reminded of Christopher Lasch's theory about the instability of post-industrial society (1972). Believing that such instability could be exploited by environmental ideology to create change, enabling political challengers to crack an existing local power base and alter government/community relations, I decided to operate as an interventionist in the participatory research style that has evolved from the Griaule school of ethnography in the past 20 years (Clifford: 1983, Tanden: 1985). Use of the advocacy research method, which aims to increase emancipatory knowledge, utilizes research as praxis (Lather: 1986). As such, the method itself can be viewed as compatible with environmentalist ideology, allowing me to test not only the 2 emancipatory power of the environmental ism but the power of emancipatory method. Already experienced in investigative journalistic methods for collecting data, I delved into participant-observation in a community where I had previously worked as a newspaper reporter (See Appendix B for a chronological listing of my residential history, professional background and community involvement in White Rock, and its intersection with my academic pursuits). After distancing myself from the project which spanned 1989 to 1994, I found myself surprised at the success of the political intervention both undertaken in the interests of social science research and progressive change. (See Appendix A for a discussion of the methodological issues relevant to this research). When I moved out of White Rock, British Columbia, a residential community on the U. S. border south of Vancouver in July, 1994, the city was under the stewardship of a conservative Austrian immigrant who made his living as an airline pilot and had recently received his new Liberal party membership. After six years on council, Hardy Staub was the city's new mayor, replacing a popular professional psychologist born and raised in White Rock, Gordon Hogg. One political newcomer, Doug MacLean, sat on White Rock council, a previous newcomer, Judy Forster proved popular with voters going into her second term, and former councillor Louise Hutchinson returned from a stint as school 3 trustee. In addition, a councillor who campaigned on environmental issues, James Coleridge was returned, leaving only two councillors who had served on council for more than a decade, Vin Coyne and David Webb (a card-carrying New Democrat). Several senior city staff had retired by 1993, Bruce Hall, director of permits and licences, Pat Duke, fire chief, and Bob Gascoyne, city engineer. The summer tourist season, on which the councillors' business supporters depended, saw continued pollution warning signs posted on the beach where storm sewer drains deposited high fecal choliform counts and entire beaches were closed on a regular basis by the provincial board of health despite financial setbacks to waterfront businesses. Growing up in Coquitlam well north of White Rock in the 1960s, 1 remembered White Rock beaches as a playground where we could dig for sand dollars, star fish and elusive "gooey ducks" memorable for their clam holes and squirting in the sand. Thirty years ago, as former Mayor Gordon Hogg also remembers, and publically remarked at a 1990 council meeting, children used to run through the storm drains which entered the beach under railway tracks. In the mid 1970s an oil spill from an Alaskan crude oil tanker headed for Cherry Point south of White Rock blackened the beach. At the time, volunteers could only swab the oil slicks with fistfuls of straw. From that incident was born the White 4 Rock based Boundary Bay Oil Spill Society. Greenpeace, the Society for Pollution And Environmental Control (SPEC), and later, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC), suddenly found White Rock a receptive town for fundraising and volunteers. Boasting of a sunnier, drier climate than Coquitlam and the rest of Greater Vancouver, and of scenic vistas, White Rock has enjoyed pricier properties with a greater sense of community than West Vancouver and other ocean view locales in the warmest region of the nation. As such, White Rock has been home to an artistic and retirement population which, as gentrification has progressed, is increasingly dominated by members of the professional, managerial and technical class as well as capital investors who prefer to live in, as well as own the city. As White Rock has enjoyed a high proportion of culturally minded residents, so has it had political activists who also participate in regional and provincial politics. In White Rock neighbourhoods, these individuals meet with working class citizens to form alliances focussed on garnering funds for local initiative projects such as Marine Drive beautification, arts centre projects, underground wiring and better sewage treatment. Conforming to a longstanding status quo, these White Rock politicians tended, until the time of my political involvement beginning in 1989, to be conservative. (See Appendix C, Figure 1, for a mapping of the community decision-making structure in White 5 Rock that prevailed in 1989). These small "c" conservatives were inclined to place the blame for ecological problems on individual householders, blaming beach pollution on three illegally connected toilets as reported in the local paper, or seeing such problems as resulting from economic interventions by outside governments, such as the Surrey city council development policy. A social policy of going 'green1 was at odds with a political philosophy that framed social values in terms of profit spin-offs, and favoured short term gain over long term detriment. The economic articles of faith which existed on a macro and local level in 1990, when I began the thesis project in White Rock, were enacted by local politicians who were largely supportive of the Social Credit "free enterprise" provincial government and who were active promoters of redevelopment of the city. 1 considered city hall to be administered in a bureaucratic fashion under the direction of a technocratic administrator, William Baldwin. The inability of city hall to address environmental problems brought on by development and the apparent reluctance to include environmental guidelines and planning in its official community plan, fuelled my bias. Since theorists view environmental ism as an important wedge in the Left's counter-attack against New Right hegemony (Paeh1ke:1989), I took up this theme as a vehicle for political intervention in White Rock politics. For example, l would raise 6 ecological or environmental issues at local council meetings and public fora. In preparing campaign literature and newspaper ads, I exploited the Official Community Plan's failure to include environmental guidelines and pollution problems on the beach as major campaign issues. The use of a cleaner environment as a "quality of life" campaign issue served as more than just a topical concern; it forced the local electorate to concentrate on issues instead of personalities. Perhaps not uncommon in Canadian townships with a British background, i ssues were secondary in local political campaigns. The norm was for candidates to campaign on the basis of whom they know —reputation rather than preoccupation. SOME LOCAL WHITE ROCK POLITICIANS: A CURSORY PROFILE Some White Rock residents were more politically active than others during the time of the participatory research. Mayor Gordon Hogg not only faced Ken Jones in a mayoral contest in 1990. (Jones later running for provincial office in 1991) but Hogg underwent a protracted nomination battle in 1993 to become a federal Liberal candidate. Sharon Charles, Hogg's former campaign manager, ran for a council position in 1990, again in a by-election in 1991, and then tried to win a mayoral race in 1993. Hardy Staub, won reelection to council in 1990, resigned from the federal Conservative riding executive in 1993 as reported in the Peace Arch News, and successfully contested a 1993 mayoral V 7 el.ection. Wi 1 f Hurd informed me that he was already the Liberal provincial nominee for White Rock-South Surrey at the time of the 1990 civic election and went on to win the constituency in the 1991 provincial election and again in 1996. Below are some brief summaries on these front line political participants. 1. Gordon Hogg grew up a privileged son of White Rock's first doctor. Until he sought a Liberal federal riding nomination in 1992 he had refused to disclose his political affiliations. In the past, the New Democrats had lobbied him to run as a candidate. Although always denying that he had a "slate", he hand- picked a group of Social Credit party members to run on his "team" in the November 1990 White Rock city elections when he was returned as mayor. Prior to the rebirth of the Liberals, Hogg socialized almost exclusively with Conservatives and Social Crediters. A provincial civil servant who works for the attorney general's department, Hogg was caught in the embarrassing position of declaring White Rock beaches free from pollution while the board of health shut them down. With little interest in environmental issues, his stance as alderman and then mayor was that of a "moderate" on economic development in the city, yet the population in White Rock increased greatly during his tenure as mayor and he was quoted as being in favor of building highrises on Surrey school board- owned school and playground property in downtown White Rock. 8 2. Hardy Staub moved to White Rock's west side in 1972. Growing up in Berlin, Germany as a professional child actor he enjoyed a privileged life which allowed him to financially support his parents and siblings following World War II prior to immigrating to Canada at the age of 13. After six years with the armed forces, Staub became a professional pilot, taking time off from his Canadian Airlines job for each of his luncheon foray, door knocking election campaigns. He won a seat on the Surrey school board representing White Rock in 1985, which he parlayed into an aldermanship in 1987 (spending $5,000 on his campaign) and the mayor's chair in 1993. Staub lists his favorite hobby as operating a ham radio and a police scanner in his vehicle, which allows him to follow local police officers on assignment. 3. Sharon Charles, first elected as a councillor in 1990, and serving until 1993, had a rocky start in council politics after it was discovered that she provided paid publicity services for the White Rock parks and recreation department. A non-status native and local businesswoman, she was formerly married to Semiahmoo Band chief Bernard Charles. Their daughter Joanne is currently band administrator, a position Charles previously held. Prior to running for election in November 1990, Charles served as campaign manager for local councillors and mayor Gordon Hogg, a long time personal friend. A Conservative and Social Credit activist she has been consistently refused Liberal party 9 membership by Liberal constituency president Dave Martin. She served briefly as campaign manager for local architect Chip Barrett, another friend, during his disastrous bid for a legislative seat as a Social Credit member in 1991. The conflict of interest allegations arising from her magazine and publishing company caused her to resign her council seat in April 1991, claiming that she was misled by the parks and recreation director who also happened to be White Rock's personnel director. After the Peace Arch News noted on its editorial pages that she had repaid the city and distanced herself from possibility of future conflict of interest, Ms. Charles ran for re-election in June. Despite a low voter turnout she maintained her seat on council, a forum she then used to run unsuccessfully for mayor in November 1993, losing to Hardy Staub by almost 700 votes. 4. Wi1f Hurd put his house on the real estate market before running as a Liberal candidate in the October 1991 provincial election. The house sold and he won the contest. Now living in Langley, he is the opposition forestry critic. Born and raised in White Rock, and a former political science student at Simon Fraser University in the late 1960s, he is a Liberal whom local New Democrats claim as "one of us" (left of centre). Twice he ran as a candidate for local council representing the local ratepayers group and encountered strong opposition from those who favoured the status quo. Short staffed, commuting to work in 10 Kamloops, and on a tight budget, he defeated the NDP candidate by more than 2,000 votes and the favored member of the White Rock clique, the Social Credit candidate Chip Barrett. Hurd's strongest support came from seniors living in White Rock's apartment zone. He is an avid environmentalist and has always tried to foster a political Liberal-NDP a 11iance. 5. Ken Jones told the researcher he was given a parachute and $700 to run as Liberal candidate for legislature in Surrey-Cloverdale. He was the sitting MLA until 1996. A former White Rock alderman who had become involved in White Rock politics when trying to get a public swimming pool built,he had run unsuccessfully for mayor in November 1990. A member of the Surrey-White Rock environmental coalition, he is a consistently strong environmentalist. On a few social issues Jones is closer to centre right as a born again Christian who believes his moderate approach to abortion helped get him elected in a riding where Social Credit had alienated a pro-life Vote. A Liberal since the Trudeau era, Jones prefers politics on a one-to-one hand-shaking basis. In November 1992, White Rock's local elite began its drive to reassert political control after losing badly in the 1991 provincial election. The elite, which had firmly held local political control for a decade-and-a-ha1f, saw its chosen 11 candidate (and local favorite son) architect Chip Barrett, soundly beaten on the provincial level by a candidate "from the wrong side of the tracks", Wi 1f Hurd, who had previously failed to win even an aldermanic seat in White Rock. Trying to join the Liberal tide which carried Wi1f Hurd into provincial office, White Rock Mayor Gordon Hogg announced he was seeking the Liberal nomination for the federal election race following Conservative incumbent Member of Parliament Benno Friesen's retirement announcement. It was told to me by Dave Martin that Hogg had been seen as the Tories' chosen successor, and with this popularity brought prominent Tories with him to the Liberals as Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government in Ottawa languished in the polls. Many of Hogg's supporters who took ads out in the Peace Arch News and endorsed his campaign literature, were real estate agents and property developers. Wi 1f Hurd's constituency association president, Dave Martin (who struggled against the local power structure and political incumbents in his failed bid with Wi1f Hurd to win seats on White Rock council in 1988), vowed to support another candidate for the Liberal nomination. During the week that Hogg declared his candidacy (with his own freshly purchased Liberal membership), Hogg's supporters spent thousands of dollars on newspaper advertisements, despite the fact that following the provincial election, the federal 12 Liberals reported they had no money for a local election campaign. An aspiring federal Liberal candidate, Ken Jones, instead proved successful as a provincial MLA relying upon a working class and union background usually found in New Democrats. He claimed the Liberals had to find a candidate with his own money to spend. Hogg didn't need to spend his own money, since he brought Conservative and Social Credit backers with him. However, the Surrey-White Rock federal Liberal party, as provincial Liberal M.L.A. Hurd has pointed out, has been full of right-wing Social Credit members for years. Gordon Hogg told me personally in 1993 that the man he thought was his friend, Benno Friesen (stalwart former Conservative Member of Parliament) had threatened to "get him" for becoming a Liberal. The Tories supporting Gordon Hogg wanted him to remain a centre-right politician, and as a federal candidate Hogg was unable to run an overlapping mayoral re-election campaign during a federal election in the fall of 1993. Political opportunism had been a criticism he successfully levied against other rivals for the federal Liberal nomination. Wi1f Hurd, the left-winger who grew up in White Rock and went to Semiahmoo Secondary with the more popular Hogg, easily won reelection to the provincial legislature in 1996. He had been the first candidate to declare himself in the provincial Liberal 13 leadership race which saw Gordon Campbell eventually replace Gordon Wilson as provincial leader in 1994. Hurd, who told me he attended Semiahmiamoo Secondary School at the same time as Hogg, but denies having been competitive with Hogg, who was more popular as a "jock", has nevertheless achieved greater political prestige. Alderman Sharon Charles whose former husband Semiahmoo Band Chief Bernard Charles, also went to school with Hogg, reported at a campaign meeting in her first bid for election that she had been the campaign manager for several alderman and Mayor Hogg. She nominated the failed Social Credit candidate, Chip Barrett, at his nomination meeting in 1991. Actively backing Gordon Hogg in his Liberal nomination, she was later replaced as his campaign organizer prior to the 1993 federal election. Louise Hutchinson, school trustee in 1990 and councillor in 1993, joined the Liberal party and endorsed Hogg in the Peace Arch News. Neo-conservative Staub's interest appears to be his quest to fill a vacant mayor's chair, one which Dave Martin vowed he would fight Staub for. Some New Democrats said they would work with Martin to win the 1993 mayoralty race and dislodge the local ruling elite. However, it was Sharon Charles who took on the cha11enge. As a member of the New Democratic Party constituency executive, and having forged friendships with Liberals in my 14 campaigning, I have found myself to be mediator between the provincial Liberals Martin, Jones and Hurd and New Democrats, on several occasions, such as a party at my house for Wi1f Hurd which was attended by some NDP executive members, and sharing a table with Hurd and Jones and NDP MLA Sue Hamel1 and New Democrat Surrey councillor Judy Villeneuve at a University Women's Club fundraiser. However, nothing surprised me more than walking into the NDP office during the 1991 provincial election campaign and seeing Liberal campaign worker Duncan Cameron using the fax mach i ne. Although wanting to run unopposed for the Liberal nomination, Hogg had to edge Surrey Councillor Judy Higginbotham out of the race. A defeated Social Credit provincial candidate who actively pursued the nomination since October, 1991 and signed up hundreds of new members, Higginbotham decided the numbers were in Hogg's favour and bowed out. A last minute Indo-Canadian candidate with a 15 year Liberal membership provided a scare at Hogg's nominating meeting and got 46 votes from a scattering of disgruntled Liberals. One of those 46 was Dave Martin, another was community activist Pat Kealy; another was Duncan Cameron, a long-time opponent of elitist White Rock politics. Another community activist Caroline Foster, who ran unsuccesfu11y for White Rock council in 1993, voted for Hogg, seeing it as her way of getting 15 him removed from White Rock. Hogg's local political success has been dependent upon the use of myth (an unproven, elusive "Golden Age"), localist ideology (which promotes certain ideals and values in preserving local political elites) and support from the business community. His political vulnerability stems from a horrendous environmental record. Despite reports from the local health unit and beach closures, Hogg insisted at a council meeting in 1990 that White Rock beaches were clean. When fecal choliform contamination was proven to come from White Rock, Hogg, at an all candidates' meeting in 1990, continued to blame the pollution on the town of Blaine, Washington (which has secondary sewage treatment). Other reasons given on the front page of the Peace Arch News were three cross-connected toilets (quoting Vin Coyne), dog feces and seagull droppings (quoting parks and recreation director Doug Stone in 1991). Vin Coyne began as a young editor of the White Rock Sun in the 1950s and briefly published his own paper before becoming a public relations agent for Finning Tractor and White Rock's perennial alderman. A member of the White Rock Historical Society, Coyne submitted paid articles on White Rock history to the Semiahmoo Sounder magazine owned by Charles, whom he backed in her 1991 by-election campaign. Following long term councillor Margaret Lower's retirement in 1990, Coyne was then the only 16 member of White Rock council born before W.W. II. His chief campaign strategy, other than frequently being quoted by the Peace Arch News, newspaper ads and offering rides to the polls, was to put out a campaign flyer disguised as a newspaper called Coyne's Community News during city elections for which the White Rock Residents' Association's Pat Kealy told me she sought legal advice about negative comments on herself and other White Rock Residents' Association members and supporters. David Martin told me as late as 1995 he still felt he had a score to settle with Vin Coyne over what could be called disinformation campaigns against Martin and Hurd. During the research period the local newspaper, which predominantly featured news covering Surrey, tended to back incumbent aldermen in its editorials and attacked the White Rock Residents' Association. I have attended council meetings where Coyne was caustic to Pat Kealy. Yet Coyne topped the polls in the 1990 city election, despite dismissing concerns raised at an all candidate's meeting held by the Surrey-White Rock Environmental Coalition, when he whitewashed incumbent council's environmental record by talking about secondary sewage treatment White Rock had installed 30 years ago and no longer operated. After two-and-a-half years of participant-observation and intervention in the White Rock political scene, I believe that I have helped bring some changes to the community. City council 17 has changed memberssits around city council and its committee tables; retirement has seen new bureaucrats hired, and although the beach pollution I tried hard to expose has worsened, at least the problems are publically acknowledged . As excuses offered by bureaucrats and politicians become more absurd, they face increased skepticism from the media and local residents. Dr. Bill Meekison, the Boundary Board of Health director who wanted the city to discourage swimming, was appointed in the summer of 1996 as chief medical officer for the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Despite the three toilets, seagull droppings, and "doggy do" media stories, the public understood that the problem, which exists elsewhere in the region, is raw sewage. As well, the Boundary Board of Health has maintained a consistent monitoring program and won its struggle with the city to post signs warning bathers away from the storm drains which line White Rock's west beach. During the participatory research more people began asking questions, and in 1991 Mayor Hogg attended a general meeting with the White Rock Residents' Association. Instead of their habitual reluctance before city council, more people now feel entitled to honest answers from politicians and well-paid civic employees. I believe that my outspokenness helped encourage that civic assert i veness. The local newspaper, the Peace Arch News, has a new editor, ) 18 Diane Strandberg, who raises important questions and talks about quality of life issues in 1996, which is a change from when the paper was sued for running a front-page article on voting day against an ardently anti-development alderman's re-election, reporting that he lived common-law and that his children were illegitimate (the alderman, Brian Brett, told me he lost the election, but won his lawsuit against the paper). An ongoing demographic change is, that despite the highest percentage of seniors in British Columbia, well-educated baby boomers have gradually achieved political power in White Rock. The result is a gentrified, "Yuppie" community now designed for the socially mobile. But mostly, I have changed. It took time to move back from the brink of becoming a full-fledged political aspirant. My children have become highly politicized from watching me campaign and cynical about the political process. Domestic stress has been pronounced owing to the break-up of my marriage, in which political differences played a part. However, I am comforted by the realization that my intervention has helped lay a foundation for change in the community of White Rock. Ken Jones and Wi1f Hurd are environmentalists and they have been elected as MLA's for Surrey-Cloverdale and South Surrey-White Rock. With prodding from Surrey-Newton, the New Democratic government has been open to 19 changes in the municipal act which will make the status quo easier to topple. Although 1 had trouble getting enough scrutineers and phone canvassers to work for a city by-election in June 1991, by June 1992 more than 40 people offered to phone canvass and assist me in a bid for the federal N.D.P. nomination in Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale. This despite the fact that a car accident in July 1991 had curtailed my political activities. In retrospect, I am relieved I did not get the federal NDP nomination. With the Conservatives winning 43 per cent of the vote in the riding in 1988, only a Mulroney backlash could have helped the campaign by sending the right wing vote to the Reform and Liberal parties. Reform won the riding federally, indicating a desire by the voters for change after a decade-and-a-half of Conservative domination. Political affiliations have shifted. Perhaps by rebuking the non-partisanship myth which permeates small town politics in White Rock, a local slate of candidates could run on issues rather than personalities and form policy in the next city election. In a city where less than 30 per cent of the people vote, and aldermen are often chosen by acclamation, a move by the Liberals to ally with the N.D.P. in challenging the status quo represents positive change. Hopefully, White Rock elections will no longer be popularity contests and the city council will no longer be simply the 20 executive branch of the local chamber of commerce. Myths have to be overcome— the myth of non-partisanship, the myth of good government, and the myth that business people make the best counc i11ors. I have learned to stand my ground and assert myself publically and politically. Certainly public speaking is now much easier. When I step to the microphones at a New Democratic Party provincial council or convention to criticize the government for lack of action towards reforming municipal government or stopping pollution, I am no longer fearful or nervous, and 1 know party members are . 1istening, and that an applauding majority agree with my remarks. As government members turn away from traditional N.D.P. supporters, I think of the pigs in George Orwell's Animal Farm who begin to resemble their masters. Socialist ideas can fade rapidly as social democrats become mired in the bourgeois hegemonic ideology to which role-playing politicians cling. But they will have trouble retaining party members and supporters. Change often comes from the bottom up. There can be no change, I now think, until people gain control of their local environment. In White Rock, it is unlikely that that change will come from within the New Democratic Party. Membership has dropped about 35 per cent since the 1991 election in the Surrey-White Rock riding. Many of those who have quit the party in White Rock are the environmentalists. I myself am so disillusioned that when 21 I finally got the opportunity to confront then provincial NDP Environment Minister John Cashore at a meeting in Surrey, I decided to stay home. The NDP government began addressing sewage treatment for Greater Victoria only in 1994 (giving a 9 year deadline), and subjected to economic pressure from the U.S. The 1992 N.D.P. provincial convention refused to address sewage issues. So one wonders whether there is any point in giving N.D.P. environment ministers a lecture on the need to clean up the sewage problem on White Rock beaches, to stop granting joint sewage/storm drain permits to the Greater Vancouver Regional District, to improve sewage infrastructure or limit development. The New Democrats remain a party which allows International Woodworking Association (IWA) union members to pack regional meetings at provincial conventions to get IWA members elected to the NDP standing committee on the environment. I felt myself unable to run for White Rock council because I had been told by supporters such as former MLA Frank Howard, that I been badly slandered by a few local Democrats working to deny me a federal NDP nomination. As former White Rock provincial NDP candidate Donna Osatiuk told me, unionists hate environmentalists and I was perceived as an environmentalist. So at the federal NDP nomination meeting I resignedly supported the NDP Indo-Canadian candidate Mota Jheeta (backed by 22 incumbent Surrey NDP MLA's and MP Jim Karpoff) who went on to win the NDP federal nomination for Surrey-White Rock-South Langley after I was dropped off the ballot. The elected members' support for Mota Singh Jheeta was payment due the Indo-Canadian community for its support in the 1991 election which saw three women NDP candidates elected in Surrey. Although he had no chance of winning the riding, Mota Jheeta seemed to me to have more substance than the union organizer whose supporters the Peace Arch News quoted as having ripped up their NDP memberships when Jheeta won the nomination. By the time the N.D.P. nominating meeting was held, the polls suggested that the riding would be going to the Reform Party. Following the 1992 national constitutional referendum, critical NDP support was already waning. Some NDP members did leave the nomination meeting (more than 40 of my supporters left after the first ballot), indicating their dissatisfaction with NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin or Liberal leader Jean Chretien, and leaving the impression that they would vote Reform. The 1993 nomination meeting itself was a difficult exercise in democracy for a local NDP organization used to settling candidacies in back rooms and by acclamation. My North Surrey supporters, such as former Surrey councillor Clayton Campbell, told me I would have to move out of White Rock in order to have a future as a politician. My Liberal friends, particularly Martin (who is 23 president of the Liberal provincial constituency presidents' association) said they would love to have me as a candidate. It was while working as a reporter that I got my first taste of politics. I didn't belong to any political party, and I wanted to remain neutral. But advertisers often called me "left-wing" anyway. I wrote editorials on the merits of preserving trees when I worked on a local White Rock newspaper in 1981 and 1982. I covered White Rock council, got stories from Bill Vander Zalm, took pictures of Benno Friesen, and met the local polticians as I had met Delta and Surrey ones before. To me they were just ordinary people with good social skills and an occasional news exclusive. In 1989 I began looking at White Rock council again. This time I saw no opposition, no discussions at council meetings. Decisions seemed to be rubber-stamped. The vocal opposition of Brian Brett and John Blewett who had been elected in 1982 was gone. Somebody was pulling strings with this council. City hall staff seemed arrogant. I became involved by speaking against a seniors-only housing project to be built across the street from one of the city's two elementary schools. The zoning was single family residential, but it was the senior orientation, as opposed to much-needed family housing, which disturbed me. I felt the city was increasingly losing its community base as families became displaced. 24 After speaking against the project at a public meeting, I was invited to a "neighbourhood meeting" with the city's planning consultant, Dan Jancziewski. He failed to get any agreement from the group assembled, but closed his discussion by asking "What about the landscaping, the landscaping looks good, doesn't it?", to which some agreed. His report to White Rock council about the meeting I attended was that those at the meeting had reached agreement. What he told myself and others who were at the neighbourhood meeting was that "he" would recommend the project because it was social housing. To me the project appeared to be market-oriented housing, which in the end it was. However, because of slow sales, the apartments were opened up to include families and non-seniors. But I continued to feel the city's consultant had subverted the public process. I then began speaking at public fora on the city's Official Community Plan, which again favored economic development over social goals. When 1 spoke against adult-only housing projects at a public hearing, one builder came up to me and said he agreed with me about the need for family-oriented townhouses, but he had to go along with city council's desires because he had to make a living. Later developers (through Mayor Hogg) floated the idea of replacing White Rock Elementary school with high rise condom i n iums. 25 After voicing my concerns at public hearings, I was asked by the local ratepayers group (renamed the White Rock Residents' Association) to join as a spokesperson and executive member. That's where I met Dave Martin, Wi1f Hurd and later, Ken Jones. The residents' association was virtually the city's only opposition to the "old boys' club." Ken, Wi1f and Dave were Liberals who had unsuccessfully tried to break into the Socred/Tory local government. Glen Pinch (currently NDP constituency president) was also an articulate member of the association. Pat Kealy was chosen president of the renamed group. At the time, she was planning to run for White Rock council. Later the hostility from alderman Coyne caused her to back away from those plans, but she did remain a tireless campaigner. She worked for me, donated generous amounts of money, babysat my children, and put her name on court documents to have Sharon Charles' by-election victory overturned. It was Pat who soothed disputes between myself and Maria Romanchuk (residents' association treasurer) when she decided to run for White Rock council in 1990 after 1 had declared (resulting in us being tagged a "Slate"). Mostly, Pat Kealy became an invaluable friend. My first task with the residents' association (while Pat Kealy was out of town) was to rally public awareness about shockingly high pollution counts on White Rock's west beach. 26 White Rock council was stalling on the issue as frustrated public health officials told me. So, with members of the residents' association, I arranged a protest at city hall which attracted TV coverage. The chief medical health officer, Dr. Bill Meekison (who has now left his post for Coquitlam) had asked me to apply political pressure because White Rock council had persistently stalled on health department requests to clean up the storm drain effluent and to post warning signs on the beach. When the mayor and aldermen tried to blame the sewage problem on Blaine, it was unfounded. Blaine has had (what White Rock and Greater Vancouver still lacks in 1996) a secondary sewage treatment plant since 1962. The local health department, in fact, discovered White Rock to be the source of contamination following a break in Blaine sewage pipes when, contrary to expectation, leaking sewage from Blaine failed to show up on White Rock beaches. In October 1991, I upset city staff by getting the NDP candidate to assist with taking a choliform count to remind voters about the ongoing problem and the failure of the provincial government to close the beaches when counts exceeded 100. The city's director of parks and recreation went to the NDP campaign office to complain about my making the pollution an election issue. There was no major pollution problem, just "doggy do", he was reported to me as saying. 27 In June 1992, White Rock council officially reported that the fecal contamination (which now resulted in occasional east beach closures as well as west) was being caused by seagulls. The health department, when closing the beach to swimming, named urban runoff the culprit. In many ways the beach pollution is a result of overdevelopment—intensive urbanization on a steep slope, coupled with extensive loss of trees, plus too much pavement and run-off from continual construction activities. The sewage system is already working at full capacity and its infrastructure is aging (and poorly mapped). One public works employee told me in June 1991 that the city's sewer system could no longer service a three storey apartment building let alone a highrise. Yet construction of apartments and monster houses has continued to flourish. The city's newest and largest condominium project began in March 1993. Having done survey interviews for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD's) Urban Futures Study in February, 1990, I discovered that over 90 per cent of the respondents' considered environmental problems to be critical. I felt that the politicians were lagging behind the public. Yet the GVRD presentation on Urban Futures (presented to White Rock council at a later date) downplayed the importance of environmental concerns. Feeling the public might respond to a politician who represented environmental values, I placed environmental issues 28 high on my agenda for the two aldermanic contests in which I participated in White Rock. In White Rock, running on issues seemed to be a novelty. Elections have been more a personality contest, a question of who has belonged to the correct community volunteer organizations. Membership on the hospital board, dominated by conservatives, seemed to be an electoral prerequisite. From the hospital board, the expectation was that a person would run for the single White Rock school trustee position and then for alderman and eventually mayor. Membership in the White Rock Sea Festival society, dominated by the mayor's family and numerous Social Credit members, was also looked on favorably. One questioner to a phone-in a 11-candidate's meeting wanted to know who I was since I had never been on the Sea Festival committee. As a participant in these aldermanic races, I was able to get some insider viewpoint. For instance, Vin Coyne promoted himself in newspaper ads as "positively independent" and in his "Community News" suggested Wi1f Hurd and Dave Martin and later myself, Ken Jones and Maria Romanchuk, represented "slates", despite funding and managing our own separate campaigns and choosing our own issues. Yet I personally witnessed Coyne, sitting as incumbent alderman during an al1-candidates meeting, prepare notes which Sharon Charles used for her closing remarks. In White Rock, "slates" denote Surrey-style politics. 29 As Lamoureux et al. warned in Community Action (1989), if the ruling elite accuses its opposition of doing something the opposition is not doing, it's usually something the elite is doing. Clearly, in White Rock, where elections often went uncontested and those who contested them were subjected to libellous attacks, a slate was operating. This was made clearer when one aldermanic candidate, James Coleridge, told me that the incumbent mayor had asked him to run for office, not just to be part of "his" team, but to run for mayor the following term. This candidate considered himself to be a maverick, and indicated other candidates running were more typically members of an "in crowd" . Only one successful aldermanic candidate, Judy Forster, told me she felt excluded from the "in crowd" running for office in 1990. She felt she was successful because she had been the first to declare her candidacy and knocked on most of the doors in White Rock soliciting support. She also had backing from the local Council of Women, an "elite" organization. Dave Martin told me he was prepared to run for office should Coleridge not have done so. Martin's opined that Hogg's team thought the White Rock Residents Association would run a full slate (as one member had publicly vowed to do) and had its own team to counterbalance the challenge. The president of the Chamber of Commerce, the Sea Festival president (and brother of 30 the city clerk) and the Council of Women member who was on the city's advisory design panel, all failed to get elected. So did Jones, Romanchuk and myself. Romanchuk told me she was happy that she didn't come last. I was pleased to have done well enough to outdistance a Sea Festival president. I felt too, that I had made some progress, when I convinced the local Western Canada Wilderness Committee of the importance of environmental issues in White Rock (WCWC had been concentrating on Surrey issues) and the WCWC convinced the Surrey-White Rock Environmental Coalition to invite all White Rock candidates (along with a several from Surrey) to its al1-candidates meeting. Duncan Cameron, a 79 year old Social Credit member (who tore up his membership and threw himself into Wi1f Hurd's Liberal campaign) told Pat Kealy that those at the we11-attended meeting were not his political type, but that they "sure loved" me. The WCWC also sponsored a well-attended political all candidates meeting for provincial candidates in Ocean Park during the 1991 provincial election. To have conservatives like Duncan and several others throw solid support behind me made me feel that I had won something. Said one right-wing businessman, "If I lived in Vancouver, I'd vote for Jim Green. 1 don't care about his politics. He's honest and you are too." Said another businessman, "People listen to you. They respect you. You seem to know what you're talking about". Honesty, integrity and quality of life were issues which 31 reached across the political spectrum, and even in White Rock a new politics seemed to be emerging. My conversations with local activists and from door-knocking revealed feelings of alienation from political life in White Rock. Continued criticism of the planning process by candidates such as myself fomented a rebellion by some city councillors such as Margaret Lower who, in the last year of a longtime council career, decided to disagree with administrators and planners and, instead prioritized housing developments, including the encouragment of family housing. Both White Rock mayors, Gordon Hogg and Hardy Staub, who succeeded him with a campaign promising dedicated civic management, can be seen as conservative on environmental issues. Both catered to special interest groups, but Hogg as a third generation White Rock resident was readily invited to join local clubs and organizations, while Staub used a goal-oriented, handshaking approach. As such, White Rock residents found Staub more tolerant of public criticism, which enabled environmentalists to get his attention regarding ecological issues. Staub can be seen as either a rank political opportunist or as politically astute in his switch from an ideologically compatible Conservative Party to the Liberal Party. If politically astute, he is likely to be more cautious in his 32 choice of rhetoric on environmental matters. As the most vocal pro- economic development councillor in White Rock, his move to the professed neutrality of the mayor's chair can be seen as a bonus for ecologists and residents who favor limited population growth. The mayor can vote on motions in cases of a tie vote among the councillors. Environmental ism is a useful ideology for allowing people to come to terms with issues of alienation. Ecologists look at overcoming the alienation o-f humans -from nature and -from each other, as people find themselves trapped in a social cave mentality where the environment in which they work, sleep and play is increasingly void of the light, peace and biological rhythmns of nature. My time in White Rock showed that people are conscious of and saddened by feelings of alienation, but lack a certain self-esteem which would enable them to identify the source of their grievance. For example, an alienated voter simply refuses to vote. By stating issues with which people can identify, voters are then more motivated to participate in the institutional political process. My goal as an interventionist in local politics was to build alliances, particularly a Left-centre political alliance which would coopt right wing issues and rearticulate them in a manner conducive to the environmental Left and, therefore, to what I 33 perceived to be the voters' fundamental concerns, which included preventing minority tyranny (whether or not embedded in right-wing political hegemony) by appealing to majoritanism with earnest and consistent critique. Since I hold the belief that human needs coincide with the goals of a political left, I regard right-wing hegemonic ideology as contrary not only to the emotional and economic satisfaction of the needs of the majority, but antithetic to the biological survival of the human species. However, to avoid the snag of bourgeois inte11ectua1ism which can bog down progressive politics and impede the development of counter-hegemony, praxis is a necessity. Therefore, I chose a participant-observation, interventionist model brand of critique, which itself utilizes a dialectic of grassroots, everyday activity informed by social theory. By listening to those who normally go unheard, those alienated by a political process reliant on dogma and rhetoric (both leftist and conservative in this case), the end result was that I became a politician by popular demand. Although grassroots politics and populism itself is frequently denoted by bourgeois intellectual theorists (Laclau and Mouffe: 1985) as a brand of •right-wing polities', I viewed such politics more optimistically as unchartered territory to be explored by the left for its radicalizing potential. 34 If one looks at environmental ism as Might green' in a dialectic with ecology as 'dark green', one sees that the greenest extreme of the dialectic conflicts with ideology found in moderate-right and right wing political parties. Looking at the political history of White Rock, it is clear that centre-right and right wing politics have dominated the city's business and local politics since the turn of the century. Of all the counter-hegemonic ideologies thrown up against neoconservatism, it is environmenta1ism that appears to be the most viable. The traditional "class" focus of the left has been profoundly discredited. Since New Right political agendas have accelerated ecological destruction and could be concretized on the everyday level as sewage sitting in the ocean outside one's windows, environmentalists are able to broaden and sustain their appeal. By drawing people's attention to the pollution of their physical space, such as the beach contamination in White Rock, people could see the contradictions of the political process and the immoral power wielded by economic elites. Consequently, the New Right became suspect in many quarters (Boggs: 1986; Paehlke: 1989), and the result in White Rock was a shift from right-wing politics to more centrist politics, as exemplified by the provincial Liberal election victory. Following Hurd's election, White Rock residents began by passing local city government altogether, requesting that Hurd 35 either contact the city administrator or mayor to address a pollution problem, or seek a provincial government solution. With an NDP provincial government in power, White Rock environmentalists sought input through Surrey MLA's Sue Hamel1 and Penny Priddy. As well, since the NDP maintains an office in White Rock, local constituency executive members fielded environmental concerns to pass on to the government or bring to the NDP provincial council for public policy changes. In short, with access to a provincial government which environmentalists considered favorable to their concerns and with an avowed environmentalist as MLA, the 1991 provincial election was a victory for White Rock environmentalists. In sum, this thesis looks at the relationship between a local political elite ("old boys' club") and those perceived as political newcomers who formed alliances to challenge established power, privilege and influence. The time frame covered in this thesis is 1989 to 1994, a period of national and political instability. By choosing the city of White Rock, a town of about 16,000 people surrounded by urban sprawl, I have focussed on a post-industrial local polity which happens to be a former resort town located on the border of two merging nation-states. The region's political economy remains tied into Vancouver which, by its own boundaries, stands as a medium sized city on a warm water port on the western side of North America, a location 36 that appeals to foreign interests. As growth pressures created tensions in this popular locale, environmental concerns peaked and were on the upsurge during the time of my own political intervention. What this thesis demonstrates is that political challengers can successfully use an environmental ideology to crack an existing local power base. On both a metaphoric and mundane level, sewage on White Rock's beaches promoted political alliances. The thesis focusses, therefore, on beach pollution as a salient community concern ineffectively dealt with by several levels of government while affecting the local business economy as well as residential quality of life. In Chapter Two, "Environmental ism and Localism" which constitutes a literature review of the subject matter, I examine some political theories on social change. In particular, I try to provide a basic typology of localist and environmentalist political ideologies. The typology outlines the usefulness of environmental and ecological ideologies for my chosen counter-hegemonic project and the subversive effect that ideologies used by local elites can have on progressive movements. Chapter Two also specifies the type of actions that can be taken by an emerging environmental justice movement waging a cultural struggle involving community action which denote praxis. The input of environmental and ecological ideologies is discussed in relation to the types of citizen actions and public services 37 which contribute to an 'ecologically conscious' local community. In Chapter 3: "Profile of a Community in Transition", I examine the history of White Rock, its location and demographics, and also discuss the effects of changing political landscapes and tensions in the post-industrial nation-state on local political economies. Using the example of White Rock and the environmental fallout from economic growth, the chapter considers the grave pressures on the local state as a political entity given that the prohibitive cost of pollution clean-up and prevention is already beyond the reach of local governments. The concluding chapter, "Changing the Political Context: The Power of Environmental ism", considers the role of regional and provincial governments, the latter already assuming more powers over local polities within the province of British Columbia as the region copes with escalating sewage pollution, traffic congestion, air quality deterioration, recreation facility and school construction costs, and other "tensions in the growth machine" (Mo 1otch/Logan: 1984). Taking into account the ability of local activists to leap onto the provincial political scene and the growing power of provinces within a decentralizing nation-state, local political challengers now have the opportunity to exceed even their own ambitious expectations. 38 CHAPTER I I ENVIRONMENTAL ISM AND LOCALISM Examining White Rock, B.C. as a case study contrasting environmentalist and localist philosophies, to what extent can environmentalism be seen as the basis for construction of an effective counter-hegemonic ideology? Can environmental ism serve as a conceptual umbrella for a political alliance which can successfully challenge the existing power structure? As ecological problems magnify and resources further disappear, environmental ism in the 1990s affords a unique historical opportunity to oppose moral and material decline. Environmentalists crystallize the contradictions of a capitalist society and expose the destructive tendencies of capitalism (i.e. economic development relying upon perpetual expansion in a finite wor1d) . By looking at the impact of the environmental movement on local politics, as in the community of White Rock, I shall explore the possibilities of creating the alliance that both a new Left and environmentalists need to achieve in order to secure political power and a progressive hegemony. At times local politics can be more influential than edicts from Ottawa, the distant seat of Canadian nation-state government. Also, when a provincial N.D.P. cabinet breaks its campaign promises and permits logging of old growth forest at Clayoquot Sound or releases agricultural land from the Agricultural Land Reserve (despite opposition from its appointed 39 commission and simply because local governments asked for golf courses), one sees how quickly politicians can be compromised. It takes courage to keep faith with their principles and resist cooptation. At issue are the political alliances which an environmental crisis creates and whether environmental ideology can dismantle the storied myths serving the interests of a ruling elite. The "stinking" beach is an inescapable reality for a council which still prefers to pave a seawalk rather than accept funds offered to communities by a new provincial government to repair sewers or provide secondary sewage treatment. In White Rock, where the city council has been little more than the executive branch of the local Chamber of Commerce, and where demographics show that a large proportion of citizens are either transplanted Brits or children and grandchildren of British immigrants, comparison to 19th century British localist politics is appropriate. As shown in the literature on Canadian municipal politics, (such as Henri Lamoureux, Community Action, 1987 and James Lorimer, A Citizen's Guide to City Hall, 1972) the localist assumptions of non-partisan politics and businessmen as the best local civic leaders, has led to a municipal politics where local city governments do not simply pave the way for the property development industry but are themselves in the business of development. In B.C., a push for municipal reform, initiated, ironically, by U.S. business/commerce interests, has had a greater impact 40 than in the rest of Canada. However, a continued failure to institute electoral ward systems favours the status quo. Those persons and groups with the most money or prestige get elected, similar to the parochialism that prompted U.S. political reforms. This e1ected-at-1arge system of local government (as opposed to wards) favours candidates financed by the development industry, incumbent aldermen and business/professional people whose advertisements in the media are tax deductible. Thus, B.C. municipal elections tend to be little more than personality contests. As well, it is through local politics, that the "petite bourgeoisie" from which local officials are selected, ally with industrial capital, through the pursuit of development projects financed by banks, insurance companies etc. Localist non-partisanship, then, is sheer myth. Since the ideology of environmental ism calls for increased conservation, it usually conf1icts with the economic expansionist ideology found in moderate-right and right wing political parties. Of Canada's major parties, the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party allow some ideological space for environmentalists to manoeuvre. Environmental ism clearly has a salient role to play in the Left's counter-attack against New Right hegemony. With the disintegration of communist states in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the communist-capitalist contradiction in a polarized world order has disappeared. Since this results in renewed attention to internal tensions between labour and 41 capital within western industrial states, a revitalized Left, untrammeled by Communist ideology, should be able to tap into this antagonism and create public sympathy for progressive causes. Emergent new social movements (such as feminism and environmenta1ism) which transcend traditional class, gender and racial boundaries, can create the ideology and political alliance needed for a revitalized left-wing agenda. Indeed, radical pluralist theorists argue that individual new social movements are unable to single-handedly succeed in a political and economic transformation of capitalist societies. As Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe note: "Many have devoted themselves since the 1960s to the search for a new privileged revolutionary subject which might come to replace the working class, with the latter seen as having failed in its historical mission of emancipation. The ecological movements, the student movements, feminism and the marginal masses have been the most popular candidates...but it is clear that such an approach does not escape the traditional position...a 11 strugg1es...have a partial character..." 1 Yet in post-industrial societies, which are primarily urban based, money and power are monopolized by capitalists and the ideologues and technocrats who serve them. Thus, on the local level, city and school administrators, police officers forming centralized command units, urban planners and others have a vital role in maintaining the status quo. As Harloe and Lebas point out in City, Class and Capital (1981), bureaucrats expect more from the system than those inhabiting less qualified and poorer sectors of the state; thus: "...the working class is much less present and active in social movements dealing with collective consumption, 42 ecology etc...Nevertheless, the contradictions have consequences, and tend to produce new types of struggle— urban social movements, ecological movements... as well as new economic and political contents to such struggles. Again, there is nothing automatic in these political expressions. This is partly so because of the ambiguous nature of the state socialization of consumption, the constant processes of displacement, reshaping and contro1.." 2 In this conjuncture, the potential of environmental ism as an integrative ideology deserves careful attention. The environmental movement appears to have greater public support and ideological success than any other new social movement and seems best able to overcome gender, class and racial divisions. The question of a political coalition which environmentalists can help to construct requires a radical rethinking of traditional Leftist ideology, since environmenta1ism is at odds with the productivist and positivist orientation of Marxism. But even within Marx's own writings, one can find the seeds of environmenta1-1 eft thought. For instance, in "Wages, Price and Profit", Marx favours decentralization of power, and decentralization is part of environmental strategy. Marx also decries the manual/mental labour and town/country contradictions which prove abusive to the environment. "Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolise all advantages of this process of transformation flows the mass of misery, slavery, degradation, exp1oitation..."(i.e. of nature as well as people)" 3 The alienation Marx speaks of in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 is a social alienation also decried by environmentalists. Environmentalists look to overcoming the alienation of man/woman from nature and from 43 themselves as they live in a social world increasingly alienated spiritually from the grounding only nature provides. Canadian political economy has always been dependent on land development and petit-bourgeois social structures (Gaucher and Taylor, 1989; Lipset, 1990) and this aids in business/ conservative hegemony at local levels. Environmentalists, however, as represented by such writers as E.F. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful. 1973) and David Suzuki with Anita Gordon, (It's a Matter of Survival. 1990) favour a move away from land development dependence. Understanding the New Right is critical because of its successful challenge to traditional leftist political ideology. As Ruth Levitas observes: "The centrality of anti-socialism to the New Right project is not fortuitous. On this criteria, the hegemonic project of the New Right must be deemed to have had some success even if large numbers of people are ignorant of, or indifferent or anti-pathetic to, aspects of New Right ideology. The process of delegitimation of socialist alternatives is crucial.." 4 It was environmental ism, not the traditional left, which gained strength in opposing New Right hegemony. That the New Right hastened environmental degradation not only hardened the zeal of environmentalists but enabled them to broaden their appeal in defense of the environment. Environmentalists drew people's attention to the pollution of the physical world, and to the contradiction between majoritarianism and minority domination 44 by economic elites secured through the mass political processes of modern democracies. Environmental ideology already has had a major impact on British Columbia politics, even playing an important role in the 1991 provincial election, the result of which now influences local politics. The Social Credit party displayed an arrogant disregard for the concerns of environmentalists and an inability to incorporate environmental demands. Polls such as the GVRD Urban Futures research showed strong public support for a cleaner environment, an issue on which Social Credit politicians lagged far behind. On the municipal level, right wing politicians have tried to ignore the existence of local environmental problems rather than come to terms with the negative effects of growth and development. Paehlke reminds us that, "The politics of moderation was fundamentally rejected in the 1980s....neoconservatives sought to revive the expansionist state, to bury the social compromise called the welfare state, and to achieve an economic recovery based in militarization and deregulation...From an environmentalist perspective the danger is not that this strategy may fail, but that it may succeed... whether or not neoconservatism remains dominant in the short-term future, environmentalists suggest that the forces which permitted and promoted its rise will return again. Neoconservatism arises in the absence of 'easy' economic growth" 5 In White Rock, the local election process certainly does not favour the election of environmentalists. White Rock has a dominant clique which resists sharing power and privilege with 45 newly arrived residents. This clique of second generation and long term residents represents large landowners, realtors, architects, city hall bureaucrats, police command officers, accountants, social dilettantes and developers. Because of the tactics used by the "old boys network", environmentalists who seek a pluralist political alternative or who merely try to persuade urban political and economic cliques to go 'green', are destined to fail. They lack po1iticization and tend to be marginalized. As Surrey councillor Judy Villeneuve would attest, the system tends to work against even those environmentalists who do manage to get elected to municipal office . However, since municipal office is often a training ground for provincial and federal politicians, then environmentalists must crack local power cliques. Moreover, some environmental problems have global dimensions, such as greenhouse effects and thinning ozone. Some problems entail deforestation or polluted rivers flowing from one nation to the next. The environment on planet earth is global, yet environmentalists are like forest firefighters, battling one brushfire blaze at a time. To environmentalists, the credo must be, "think global and act local". ENVIRONMENTAL ISM AND MARXIST THOUGHT One can find the seeds of environmental ism in the writings of Karl Marx. For Marx, bourgeois political economy has its birth with the imposition of private property; greed and competition 46 are its motivating forces. For environmentalists, the economy is an artificial construct, a growth-oriented ideology to be countered. To an environmentalist, greed and competition are the rampant forces which lead to destruction of nature and the poisoning of the planet. Historical materialism offers a key to understanding environmental politics. It provides a paradigm for the ideology of environmental ism, an ideology which strives for praxis (i.e. a theory that domination and exploitation of nature threatens life itself, coupled with the actions of trying to save and restore the remaining natural environment). Although labelled a new social movement, environmental ism had its birth with the industrial revolution and has persisted from the Luddites and the Romantics into the present era. Environmental politics strives to overcome commodification and objectification of land and the alienation of man/woman from nature—notions which Karl Marx expounded in The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of J844. It was alienation of the earth which led to alienation of ourselves. "To make the earth an object of huckstering—the earth which is our one and all, the first condition of our existence— was the last step toward making oneself an object of huckstering... 11 was and is to this very day an immorality surpassed only by the immorality of self-alienation. And the original appropriation—the monopolization of the earth by a few, the exclusion of the rest from that which is the condition of their life—yields nothing in immorality to the subsequent huckstering of the earth." 6 47 In many ways, the creation of private property can be seen as a root cause of the world's environmental problems. Stewardship of the earth and living in harmony with nature is replaced firstly by notions of ownership of the land, then ownership of the minerals below the land and the air above the land. This has created a new contradiction. What a person does on his or her land affects future generations who would inherit both their land and that of their neighbours. Increasingly, actions taken on one small part of the earth have had negative consequences for the rest of the planet. Yet landowning minorities replaced ideals of communal good with paramount individual rights, and unrestricted or poorly checked private property rights make environmental protection insupportable, witness the current right-wing backlash in western industrial societies determined to entrench those private property rights. Conservatives simp 1istica11y blame environmental problems on individual choices rather than capitalist profit motives (i.e. blaming environmental degradation on overpopulation rather than consumption patterns of the wealthy minority). Marx, however, blamed environmental problems on the existence of " surplus wealth, surplus capital and surplus landed property". 7 Privatization of property and an ideology of private property rights produced a change in the attitudes towards land, 48 attitudes which have not boded well for the environment. As Marx observed, "Large landed property... adopted an industrial character in so far as it is aiming to make as much money as possible," 8. The profit motive is a private pursuit, foregoing the interests of community and ensuing generations. Thus the land has become an "object of huckstering", and we have become ,a 1ienated from it. Objectification and commod i f icat i on replace reverence for nature. According to Mar;x, nature was never a lord of labour as capitalists have become, and even "man's species nature is estranged from him" just as each '" man is estranged from the other". 9 As with the land itself, the worker has become objectified and commodified. Man/woman has been alienated from society, just as society which depends on nature for survival, has been alienated from nature. While the traditional Left has tried to achieve victory on the terrain of political economy, the environmental movement has consciously worked to achieve its goals within civil society. Thus, environmentalists do not quietly accept the world of private interest as unavoidable. The chief combative tactic environmentalists choose to utilize in civil society is education. Historically, Canada's bourgeoisie has refused adequately to fund education, preferring to rely on immigration and 49 emigration to control social reproduction (Gaucher, 1987). Thus in British Columbia, with a NDP provincial government steered by a number of special interest groups, education funding has been cut. The consequence, as B.C. federation of labour Ken Georgetti explains in a Vancouver Sun article, is a confused and frightened group of traditional unionists and labour forces, who pit their angst against environmentalists instead of the ruling elite and their ideologues. "A lot of groups including environmentalists don't understand why people...are so afraid of losing their jobs...They don't realize that you can't offer high-tech and high-skilled jobs to a guy who's 48 years old with a Grade 10 education." (Vancouver Sun, Saturday, January 25, 1992) Perhaps by raising consciousness levels, environmentalists can aid those on the traditional Left who seek to uproot *false consciousness' in order to subvert minority tyranny. If, as Marx predicts, a revolution takes place only when power becomes intolerable to the point where the ruling class has "rendered the great mass of humanity 'property1 ess'" 10, then we might say that environmentalists (who argue that through environmental degradation and mismanagement, which produces wealth and culture for a few, the mass of humanity loses its 'property'— air, water, etc.) have become revolutionaries. POST-MARXISM AND PLURALISM Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe see Marxist socialism and 50 environmental ism as little more than two of many discourses in a pluralist society where the working class is no longer "the ontological centrality" and revolution is no longer the main mechanism of social change. Ergo "the very wealth and plurality of contemporary social struggles has given rise to a theoretical crisis." 11 They see a need to reexamine Marxism, to "renounce any epistemological prerogative based upon the onto 1ogica11y privileged position of a 'universal class'" 12 and to rework Marxism as a paradigm on which "to outline a new politics for the Left based upon the project of a radical democracy". 13 They cite the failure of "communism" to eradicate antagonisms from its society as one reason to situate themselves in a post-Marxist terrain. The ideological impact of new social movements, such as environmenta1ism, in the making of a viable counter-hegemony, is part of the new equation. "If the working class, as a hegemonic agent, manages to articulate around itself a number of democratic demands and struggles, this is due not to any a priori structural privilege, but to a political initiative on the part of the class. Thus, the hegemonic subject is a class subject only in.the sense that, on the basis of class positions, a certain hegemonic formation is practically articulated; but, in that case we are dealing with concrete workers... For Gramsci, political subjects are not—strictly speaking— classes, but complex 'collective wills'; similarly, the ideological elements articulated by a hegemonic class do not have a necessary class belonging... For Gramsci a class does not take State power, it becomes the State." 14 Opinion polls show the vast majority of people in Canada 51 favour environmental objectives. If a cleaner environment has become a motherhood issue, then environmental ism commends itself as a popular ideology. As such, environmenta1ism unites various factions as it critiques the very corporatization and separation which has led to pollution and degradation. Rather than grouping new social movements into a category which substitutes for class, Laclau and Mouffe treat social movement theory as a novel way of "articulating that rapid diffusion of social conf1ictuality to more and more numerous relations which is characteristic today of advanced industrial societies. 1115 The worker is also a mother, a consumer, an i nvestor. Members of marginalized groups are active participants in new social movements—particularly students and women who actively resist the cooptation logic of the system of capitalist relations. "...numerous new struggles have expressed resistance against the new forms of subordination...thus it is that the waste of natural resources, the pollution and destruction of productivism have given birth to the ecology movement. Other struggles, which Manuel Castells terms 'urban' express diverse forms of resistance to the capitalist occupation of social space. The general urbanization which has accompanied economic growth, the transfer of the popular classes to the urban periphery or their relegation to the decaying inner cities, and the general lack of collective goods and services have caused a series of new problems which affect the organization of the whole of social life outside of work." 16 If environmental degradation endangers the lives of the 52 majority of people in the industrial world, who just happen to be wage laborers and their families, then an alliance between labour and new social movements has to be considered. In constructing such an alliance, social movements would not simply rework preceding historical philosophies and ideologies but take "the elements which are already constructed into place, dismantle them, reconstitute them into a new logic, and articulate the space in a new way, polarizing it". 17 Environmental ism is one of the key elements in that re-art iculat i on. RISE OF THE NEW RIGHT The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of New Right political and economic forces in the western, industrial world. What was inherently new about the New Right was its ability to create an alliance between conservative and neo-liberal forces, using social movement tactics and a synthesis of disparate ideas condensed into a hegemonic project. New Right economic policies, however, not only increased environmental degradation but shrunk workers' purchasing abilities, increased middle-class taxes and literally threw people into the streets. The material reality of New Right political might is that only the rich get richer. Ultra-conservatives took control of the right-wing parties and promoted big business and upper-class interests, downplaying 53 environmental concerns. If there was a swing class in post-industrial society which allowed these New Right forces to succeed, it was likely the technocratic class in alliance with the petit bourgeoisie. As Christopher Lasch noted, this 'traditional middle class' was declining in status and "increasingly attracted, in its insecurity and despair to ...its old laissez-faire ideology". 18 Added to this group were the new upwardly mobile professional groups with their distinctly status-oriented ideology. The philosophy of the New Right was a synthesis of various conservative and bourgeois ideas; however, the key ideology derived from Hobbes (and bourgeois philosophy) is that private property is sacrosanct. Thus, the New Right coalition consolidated groups which were pro-capitalist and acted to favour capital accumulation at any cost. This commitment to capital accumulation and private property rights put them on a collision course with environmentalists who were determined to save dwindling natural resources on a dying planet. In North America, the New Right has grown concurrently with a rapid rise in Pentecosta1ism and millenialist cults. North America also draws heavily upon Puritanism and there is a strong element of the Protestant work ethic in New Right thought. The focus is on industry. The New Right also draws upon thousands of years of Judeo-Christian patriarchy that makes sexism, and even 54 racism, palatable with its members and suggests exploitation of nature as a God-given right. More concretely, much of the New Right economic and political policy is designed to boost the fortunes of the upwardly mobile members who served as a driving force behind the New Right hegemonic project (Levitas (1986). Lawyers, accountants, real estate agents—are some of the New Right members still over-represented on the Canadian political scene and who actively pursue self-interest and economic gain through governmental policies. Education has been the target of New Right's social, fiscal and political policies. As well as restraint politics and de1 egitimization of teachers comes a restructuring of educational institutions so that they meet the technical needs of industry and serve as a conduit for right wing ideology. Such ideology offends environmentalists who call for a new morality respectful of environmental concerns, and notions of community. The New Right, however, is more interested in privilege, standardization and increased productivity. Environmental regulations and taxes are seen by them as government meddling in a market system where New Right ideology advocates for "laissez-faire". The word democracy is notably absent from paternalistic, authoritarian New Right rhetoric. CANADIAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS 55 That a strong right-wing lobby exists for the entrenchment of private property rights is a worry to environmentalists who already must resort to the courts to fight big business, which is "much more highly concentrated in Canada than in the United States". 19 Any law which generates court cases and legal actions (as the Charter of Rights does) serves the legal "experts" well. The Charter can be seen as part of a push towards a technocratic society, and as Stanley Aronowitz has pointed out in Science as Power (1985), technocracy in its mechanistic form, serves big business and big government. It also serves the interests of a professional-managerial class to which lawyers and urban planners be 1ong. The need for individuals, organizations and lobby groups to hire lawyers for legal battles to protect the environment creates a horrendous drain on their resources. Businesses can use legal costs as income tax deductions—individuals and non-profit groups cannot. For instance, a multi-national coroporation such as Alcan, would find court and legal costs worth the gamble when fighting environmental and fishery groups (as with the case of the Nechako river dispute in B.C.). When individual rights become paramount, the state becomes a battleground for a war of all against all. The environment can not represent itself and the anti-majoritarian stance of the 56 legal system undermines representative democracy and the environmental movement. In this sense, the Charter of Rights, according to Mandel (1987), is not a lofty document which serves humanitarian and democratic goals, but a politically expedient way of dealing with crises fomented by challenges to private power. This expediency, however, has come at "the expense of and in direct opposition to other more popular forms of power...law has been a way of getting around people...in direct opposition to democracy" 20 In Canada, as resources have become more limited and waste more predominant, class and ethnic polarization has surfaced in struggles over housing, education and health care. The 1980s growth boom fuelled socio-economic contradictions.The problem has been compounded by a historical reluctance of the bourgeoisie to fund education and other social reproduction institutions, and by maintainance of political hegemony through "control of land and immigration" 21 The dependence of the Canadian economy on land speculation as a prime source of profit has been a continuing problem for environmentalists. The crisis of legitimation created by land speculation and immigration, arising in the context of scarce resources for Canada's lower and middle classes, culminated in the Charter of Rights, which Mandel argues clothed the issue of social inequality in legal rhetoric to serve the interests of the 57 status quo. Arguments over such issues culminated in national defeat for a 1992 federal referendum on the Char Iottetown constitutional accord which established political parties had supported. Since alliances to crack political and economic cliques have to be made through group formations, individual ism hampers those alliances. To combat this, European Greens, have formed political parties in their struggle to define democracy as well as bring productive forces under control for the long-term benefit of their respective societies. They "uphold a vision of a qualitatively new society that can only be realized through radically democratic styles and methods". 22 Their methods involve more dialectical relationships "between party and movements, national and regional spheres of activity, electoral politics and grassroots mobilization." 23 Indeed, grassroots social movements which want to survive must continually forge new alliances to maintain momentum, and are constantly in danger of devolving into competing interest groups that can be coopted by government. In order to achieve consensus and fulfill common goals, environmentalists need to be in a position where they can stop expending meagre resources on court battles. The court room is the antithesis of the type of public meeting space necessary for grassroots growth. There is still a 58 great deal of public sympathy for environmental causes which has not been politically exploited. Perhaps too, the struggle for Canada's national identity could be won in the way the Greens maximized the German peace struggle, as symbolising freedom from advancing U.S. national interests and militarism. "...the Greens advanced a comprehensive, or holistic, model of radical change that also challenged the limits of structural reformism. They introduced a spirit of political originality largely because they were able to create, or help create, a dynamic intellectual and cultural milieu around which many local forces could congregate." 24 THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS For more than 125 years Canadians have made their living from selling Canada's land—cutting the trees, subdividing it, paving over much of the best chunks. The Canadian establishment has thrived on real estate development and resource exploitation, not production. On Monday, February 10, 1992 one of the two Vancouver daily newspapers owned by the Southam family gave front page coverage to the right-wing Urban Development Institute, which complained that there was not enough land available in Surrey to bulldoze for more suburban homes. The left-wing N.D.P mayor was going to cost homeowners more money, said the developers (neglecting to mention the high taxes needed to cover the costs of servicing property). The newspaper failed to consider declining Canadian birth rates when developers stated that the children of Surrey residents would be unable to afford to live in the municipality. 59 In the same edition of the Vancouver Sun lay a buried news item outlining an immediate threat to Canada's children. In the spring of 1992, the ozone layer over Canada would be depleted by 30 to 40 per cent. As a result, the report said significant numbers of Canadian children would develop skin cancer in the future. The federal environment minister rejected any supposition that Canada was responsible for this catastrophe since it contributed only 2 -1/2 per cent of the ch1orof1orocarbons (cfcs) in the atmosphere. Yet what about the devastation to the atmosphere created by the massive clearcutting of trees in British Columbia?. According to ecologists, trees are the lungs of this planet. In The Next One Hundred Years, Shaping the Fate of our Living Earth, Jonathan Weiner estimates that 1,000 trees per capita will be needed in North America alone to repair the damage done to the atmosphere by the North American lifestyle. Trees would shelter the prairies and preserve the soil from dust bowl effects in upcoming droughts. Trees would provide shelter in Canada's cities and reduce energy costs by providing shade in the summer (therefore, reducing dependency on air conditioning) and a shelter effect in the winter. Trees along British Columbia's coastal watershed areas would protect against soil erosion. In urban areas such as White Rock, trees would hold back pollutants from being washed onto public beaches. Yet, in White Rock, 60 homeowners on the hillside ask neighbours to cut down trees in order to improve their view. Politicians now consider the environment a motherhood issue. In recent years, feminists have contended that women, as marginalized members of society, have become more concerned about the deterioration of their physical environment. Post-Marxist eco-feminists such as Ynestra King argue that traditional socialism fails both women and the environment. "All hitherto existing philosophies of liberation, with the possible exception of some forms of social anarchism, accept the anthropocentric notion that humanity should dominate nature and the increasing domination of nonhuman nature is a precondition for true human freedom. No socialist revolution has ever fundamentally challenged the basic prototype for nature/culture dualism—the domination of men over women." 25 < Although predicting socialism is "in its death throes", King argues "the old socialist spirit of history, a valuable legacy is not dead." That legacy has passed to "feminists, greens, and other bearers of identity politics".26 These groups provide a new alliance with an eco-feminist ideology to serve as a progressive force for social change. Cooperation, rather than competition, becomes a left-feminist's evolutionary goal. As with native cultures, eco-feminists become guardians of nature, stewards of a natural environment which exists both around and in each one of us. Feminism becomes more holistic "linking all issues of personal and planetary survival." 27 61 Those sacred truths which tel1 modern men and women that they can manage the planet "not only blind us to the reality of the environmental crisis but are the cause of it". 28 Not only is the ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere being depleted, but the water situation, according to the Worldwatch Institute, is critical. World population appears to have reached natural limits and more water is being polluted each day. Humanity increases its population daily, striving for prosperity yet squandering the next generation's inheritance. To environmentalists, the economist appears the same villain Karl Marx found him/her to be. Instead of overthrowing capitalism, some environmentalists talk of finding ways to add environmental values to economics—i.e. giving a price for clean air. But this continues to objectify and commodify nature, and cliche terms such as "sustainable development" simply delay realistic assessment. "Yet growth is what the whole world has come to live for. It is the holy grail of our political and economic systems, the measure of any government's success has become the extent to which its economy has grown. Growth and progress have become interchangeable terms. To economists, growth is the main reason governments, industries, and societies exist... ...You don't have to be a math whiz or a PhD in economics to see that we've reached the limits." 29 Such critiques have fuelled debates from which environmental ideology has evolved. In July 1990, David Suzuki stated that Canada placed at the bottom among the world's seven largest industrial nations for environmental responsibility. The federal 62 Conservative government may "be fond of green rhetoric... but don't tend to follow through at home". 30 As studies of the effects of cfcs on the ozone layer show—we still haven't discovered the full price to be paid for the last round of economic growth. (Weiner,1990). The bottom line is as Karl Marx declared it. "The only wheels which the political economy sets in motion are greed and the war among the greedy—competition."31 Twenty years ago, E. F. Schumacher set out to challenge the "growth is progress" ideology and to attack the competitive nature of economics by writing Small is Beautiful: a Study of Economics as If People Mattered. He blamed society's destructiveness on a lack of ethics, an inability to distinguish between fair and foul and a belief that "morality is bunk". Urban planning practices which misappropriate and misuse land emanates from those "alienated from living nature, who promote their own scale of priorities by arguing in economic terms that we cannot •afford' any other." 32 "Study how a society uses its land, and you can come to pretty reliable conclusions as to what its future will be....when his environment deteriorates rapidly, his civilisation dec 1ines...how did civilised man despoil this favourable environment? He did it mainly by depleting or destroying the natural resources. He cut down or burned most of the usable timber from forested hillsides and valleys. He overgrazed and denuded the grasslands that fed his livestock. He killed most of the wildlife and much of the fish and other water life. He permitted erosion to 1 rob his farm land of its productive topsoil. He allowed eroded soil to clog the streams and fill his reservoirs, irrigation canals and harbours with silt. In many cases, he used and wasted most of the easily mined metals or I 63 needed minerals. Then his civilisation declined amidst the despoilation of his own creation or they moved to new land...there are, generally speaking, no new lands to move to..." 33 Economic development is costly in real dollars, in environmental degradation and because "large amounts of public funds have been and are being spent on what is generally called the 'infrastructure', and the benefits go largely to private enterprise free of charge'". 34 Environmentalists stress the importance of communal property and public benefits. As organized protest against existing public policies, the environmental movement can trace its roots back to the period of student unrest in the 1960s with their protests against the goals and elitism of Western societies. Student movements precipitated a "broader wave of social change" in advanced industrial societies, 35 facilitating the mobilization of new social movements. "Such times heighten public sensitivity to the problems of industrialization, urbanization, commercialization, and bureaucratization. They temporarily upset the hegemony of the materialistic conception of progress, thus giving way to a broad spectrum of anti-modern reactions and reform movements. These phases also provide a short-lived opportunity for the creation of radicalized revisions of a non-alienated, communal, and egalitarian way of living." 36 Those who belong to the generations strongly influenced by the 1960s belong to what Ronald Inglehart terms a post-materialist generation, whose "new values constitutes a key element in any explanation of why a new ideological perspective 64 has arisen". 37 Post-materialists value self-expression and the quality of life (such as community and a clean environment) ahead of economic and physical security. "For the ideology of the new social movements is not simply the traditional ideology of the Left...the New Left has a predominantly middle class base...increasingly, it refers to a cluster of issues concerning the quality of the physical and social environment, the role of women, of nuclear power and nuclear weapons... Today, people are on the Left because they are environmentalists rather than the other way around." 38 Political styles in new social movements differ from those in traditional "elite-directed" mass political parties. Participation varies according to an individual's values, ideology, and political skills. According to Frank Wilson, the pluralists see new social movements serving as a method for bringing new groups into democratic discourse, each new group emerging in response to new issues. 39 Although the environmental movement has been a loose coalition of interest groups, it "can be understood as an evolving set of ideas" (Paehlke, 1989) which stands to make it the "first original ideological perspective to develop since the middle of the nineteenth century." It is an ideology that helps society through the transition from industrial to post-industrial era "much as liberalism, conservatism, and socialism saw us through the formation of a new society during the Industrial Revolution."40 65 Environmentalism, which questions expansionism in a finite world "may be the least self-interested of all ideologies". 41 As an ideology, environmenta1ism proceeds from the notion "that collectively we are responsible for the quality of the world we leave to future generations." 42 Environmentalists serve to remind society of the negative consequences of unlimited growth, consequences which could be irreversible. Environmental politics include values such as, "an appreciation of all life forms...a sense of humility regarding the human species in relation to other...a concern with the quality of human life and health", (Paehlke, 1989:144) as well as maintainance of a global view and political and/or population decentralization (a political value). Environmentalists commit to a long-term view, with a sense of urgency about the survival of the planet, a belief in the establishment of sustainable societies, revulsion to waste, love of simplicity, appreciation of season, setting, climate and natural materials; measurement of esteem and self-esteem using non-material values. Environmenta1ism favours autonomy and self-management in a participatory democratic political system. There are environmentalists positioned on the right wing of a political spectrum, particularly many of the population-alarmists or those who propose privatization of \ub1ica11y owned utilities. Indeed, environmentalists who do not question private 66 property are as conservative, according to Paehlke, as those who "seek a return to a preindustrial past regardless of the effects of such a change on social structures. " 43 But the majority of the environmental movement's active members practice a centrist and moderate left politics. As Paehlke notes, "The variability among environmentalist political stances suggests that, in principle, a case for environmental ism can be made to a wide variety of governments in terms they can appreciate and understand. Environmentalists construct policies acceptable, even desirable to a wide range of political actors. Left-oriented environmentalists might propose rapid and total pollution cleanup with all costs to be borne by polluters. If some particularly dirty industries were to collapse under the burden, so much the better. Such a view might alienate some on the traditional left, particularly trade unionists, but the 'polluter pays' principle makes sense to many socialists. In contrast, a conservative environmentalist might be content to raise energy prices with no protection for less advantaged groups and no tax on windfall profi ts."44 Environmental ism appeals least to political extremists. Decentralisation has been at odds with a socialist philosophy that calls for central planning and the ascendancy of an industrial working class (environmentalists anticipate, even welcome, the decline of the industrial working class). Paehlke observes that most political power rests in the hands of an economic elite, which explains why "moderate to right regimes respond weakly to environmental concerns" These governments are dependent on "business, professional and agricultural entrepenuers—individuals and institutions whose 67 incomes depend on avoiding government-imposed environmental regulations and limitations." 45 These groups can slow or halt government action which can only then proceed under "extensive public outrage... and the wave often crests before sustained enforcement resolves the problem" (Paehlke, 1989: 208). As well as representing an economic elite, these professional and business groups are "often highly educated and able to participate in the political process much more than less well-to-do people". 46 They make campaign contributions, volunteer time, dine with politicians and administrators, particularly in centre and right wing political parties. "The economic elite is particularly effective within the process of day-to-day, nonelectoral, political and administrative decision-making. Their skills and the considerable prestige that our culture grants them are very effective within both closed and open forums."47 Environmentalism is incompatible with interest group liberalism as well because "in such a system the less organized and the unorganized lose ground, particularly in hard economic times" (Paehlke, 1989: 208). Future generations and other species are not represented in the liberal political system of incrementa1ism and compromise. "Ecology is a comprehension of systems, interdependencies, webs of relationships, connections extending over space and time—and the very essence of our politics is to zero in on single causes" 48 Moderate solutions which are "piecemeal, partial, and 68 technical" can not provide the solution to a need for real, fundamental change which modern, industrial societies need to make in terms of "production, consumption, and 'disposal' habits". According to Paehlke, environmental ism questions the whole "liberal tradition of technocratic management".49 Environmentalists, like neo-conservatives, support reductions in government deficits and reduced consumer spending—but for different reasons. Both are responding to shortages of resources and "the onset of a new age of physical and social limitations on economic expansion".50 Because those limits are real, neo-conservatism will remain latent in "most bureaucratic capitalist systems, emerging in any extended period of slow economic growth"(Paeh1ke, 1989: 218). But neo-conservatism does not admit that environmental problems, such as a dependence on nonrenewable energy, "are at the root of the economic difficulties". 51 Environmental ism is an ideology born in an industrialized, urbanized world. Unlike the wilderness protection of the conservation movement, environmental ism "consistently focused more on human settlement, stressing air and water pollution, population, energy use, resource depletion, occupational health, hazardous waste management, and recycling." 52 Urban-based, grassroots citizens movements often arise in response to environmental issues, such as preservation of parkland and public open space (Castells: 1983). At times their zeal is 69 termed emotional. But the threat of cancers and lung diseases not only to future generations, but to one's own children, makes environmental issues "motherhood" ones. According to Paehlke, 80 per cent of environmentalists also support women's movements, peace movements, and civil rights movements. 53 Environmentalists are struggling for continued reproduction of not just a working class, but a middle class—the majority of society, against the contradictions of a social system wherein the economic elite are reluctant to pay the costs of social reproduction. Environmentalists, although likely to be as fiscally conservative as "red Tories", are opposed to neoconservatives on a number of key issues. They wish to expand environmental regulations and increase enforcement and penalties, oppose military growth and spending, de-emphasize economic growth, support increased spending on health, education, welfare and cultural programs, are selective about how government revenues are increased, and do "not treat the market economy as an inviolate sacred cow". 54 Environmentalists are also more sympathetic to women and ethnic minorities and "might be more comfortable than neoconservatives with actually reducing governmental deficits." 55 Opinion polls show environmentalists enjoy public support that crosses racial, class, regional, ethnic and gender boundaries. Paehlke argues that existing political parties can be 70 "recycled" to serve environmentalist goals, including the "development of innovative and participatory administrative and political institutions." In Canada, both the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party "are at least sometimes open to pro-environmental policies." 56 Environmentalists can be encouraged to seek political candidacies in these parties and then carry environmental ideas to the electorate. A SUiSTA INAILE COMMUNITY Environmentalists differ on their views about sustainability of geographic areas, the most ardent ecologists arguing that "sustainability" represents the type of human engineering and management which has interfered with the "biosphere" and led to what doomsayers claim are life-threatening problems. However, since the planet can no longer be considered in a natural state, some type of management of land, air and water seems to be a necessity for maintaining a liveable environment and sufficient resource base for future generations. Compromise solutions suggest preserving parts of the planet, or "bio-reserves" in a protected or restored natural state while managing bio-regions in a sustainable way that does not poison land, air or water and/or unduly strip resources. In increasingly urbanized post-industrial societies, the existence of local polities has been replaced by urban matrices. Non-partisanship of local political players hardly operates in 71 metropolitan areas where funding for local governments depends on secure relationships with provincial and national politicians. The idea of local politicos knowing what's best for their communities has been replaced by a dependence on hired technocrats to handle complex service delivery systems such as police, fire, sewage and water. Despite an axiom of "think global, act local", environmentalists are faced with the interdependence of communities in larger regional contexts. This is usually addressed under the concept of "bio-regions". Environmental theory envisions pockets of urbanization (i.e. communities the size of White Rock which once operated as a city) surrounded by green belts separating each human settlement area from the other. While geographically resembling a local polity, the pressures and demands of urbanization require more sophisticated forms of government. White Rock, for example, would be seen as a neighbourhood in the Greater Vancouver urban corridor. Local government would, in effect, be more of neighbourhood, much as the city government now acts, ruling mostly on design criteria for new construction and in charge of local garbage pick up, tidiness of streets etc. The Greater Vancouver Regional District envisions White Rock's optimum population to be 18,200, which is projected to be surpassed in 2036. The use of combined sewer overflows (CSO) 72 remains under regional control. These are storm water outlets which are permitted to discharge sewage overflow during heavy rainstorms, and 14 per cent of all regional sewer outlets are combined. According to consultants' reports, such CSOs have resulted in poor to fair water conditions in some water bodies with increasingly degraded water due to heavy metals, toxic contaminants and/or fecal coliforms. Addressing the problem effectively in White Rock means pressuring the Johnston Road sewer interchange to allow it to accept heavier loads during rainfall. Water retention ponds for the storm water have been used in South Surrey for a number of years. Studies show them to be a practical control alternative for areas not served by CSOs but by separate sewer and storm drai ns. "Wet ponds are large, uncovered ponds which mainta in a permanent pool of water from one storm to the next."57 The best solution for Combined Sewer Overflows are storage areas where the excess flow can be held until it can be delivered to the appropriate sewage treatment plant. The cost of providing such facilities for areas which currently have poor or fair water quality would be $41 per regional household per year. "Storage basins are covered reinforced concrete structures which can be buried in the ground; they incorporate ventilation, washdown systems and odour control."58 The Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly (California-Pol ytechnica 1 ) in California, operates an experimental 73 environmentally sustainable community. Such sustainability, according to John Tillman Lyle, considers shelter, biotic production and waste assimilation as interrelated. Lyle calls this living on "the interest yielded by our natural systems rather than the capital." 59 White Rock, with its southfacing hillside locale and as a beneficiary of sea breezes, could be sustainable and open to environmental experimentation. Letting nature do the work means the use of solar heating and cooling systems, rooftop wind catchers, clean-burning masonry heaters, landforms which guide the flow of water, organized planting for pest control, combining rather than isolating functions within a community, well-managed storage, and social organization which prioritizes susta i nab i1i ty. In a sustainable community information replaces power: "residents are trained to systematically observe the operation of each system as part of everyday life. Electronically operated sensing devices monitor some critical environmental variables such as soil moisture. Water quality in the aquacultural ponds and sewage system are continously monitored by laboratory tests."60 Goals for energy in a sustainable community are to supply adequate, rather than surplus, quantities fuel (preferably renweable), minimize use of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources, keep waste to a minimum and eliminate hazardous or toxic waste, and maximize community participation and control 74 (such as encouraging bicycle use and walking by local residents and small vehicle use by the city and transportation authorities). One way to encourage walking is by a reduction in parking spaces and off-road parking lots, and narrower streets to reduce the amount of pavement and concurrent urban run off (the city of White Rock opted for paid parking lots on Marine Drive). Cities would plant fruit bearing trees along streets and paths. (The fruit could become property of local food banks.) Priorities for water preservation are to protect the watershed, control agricultural run-off, reduce water diversions and control water chemistry. More proactive use of wetlands (Boundary Bay is the wetland system near White Rock) is to be encouraged, as well as use of treated sewage effluent (having a lower standard for water quality than human consumption). Sewage sludge can be used in forests, as Seattle experiments have shown. Waste disposal in a sustainable community can be regenerative. "Burning is a regenerative process if the heat energy can be put to use, valuable resources are not destroyed by the burning, if the by-products do not pollute the air, and if the ash can re-enter nature's processes without doing damage. Burial can be regenerative if conditions within the burial place are such that either materials are stored for future reuse or if decay and renew continue on...especia11y if we maintain our present consumption patterns and keep the throughput system in operation, landfills may become the most productive mines of the 21st century. At the other extreme, we might design them for rapid decomposition. By introducing some water in carefully controlled quantities, we might convert landfills into giant biogas digesters." 61 75 Sharing resources and storage in local communities can increase security and yield networks that operate better than centralized control structures. Increased greening of landscapes to replace greys of urban, industrial landscapes can give a visible sense of successful participation in environmental sustainability. Water can be filtered through plants in ponds and wetlands after falling from rooftops and streets, and stored for future use; trees can be heavily planted around industrial plants, major streets and other sources of air pollution. "Virtually all cities, whether we find it easy to accept or not, are dependent parts of larger urban regions, and urban regions are part of a global matrix. Thus garden cities become garden communities, and greenbelts become green networks, encompassing the communities and weaving them together. In the green networks are the processes that support life." 62 Sustainability can be cost-effective, not prohibitively expensive as technocratic solutions suggest. In 1991, a damaged Mississippi sewage system was expected to cost $11 million to repair. According to Lyle (1994)the sewage system was replaced with a new, natural one for $350,000, a tiny fraction of the cost for a "conventional" system. Regenerative systems may not only cost less to implement, but the value of re-used resources or improved quality becomes a positive factor. Environmental ism, unlike the pretensions of the technical/scientific ideology it confronts, is a value-laden philosophy which priorizes organic life and celebrates the human 76 condition. Environmental values require a long-term outlook and environmental ideology serves as an ideal counter-hegemonic force against the short-term profit and private property ideology of capitalism. Since a bureaucratic mentality undermines fundamental ecological beliefs, environmentalists who enter the political arena have to guard against compromise and cooptation. An environmental agenda seeks not only to overcome alienation from productivity and nature, but to return societies to full employment. Recycling and other environmental projects are labour intensive. Environmenta1ism questions the use of massive machinery, preferring to use only energy efficient soft technology such as computers. Technology is viewed as providing tools for human use, not as an end in itself (i.e. bigger is not better). Conservation, recycling, reuse and efficient use of resources, not only preserves resources for future generations, but lowers the costs of energy thus giving poorer members of a local society access to key facilities. Environmenta1ism seeks input into education and schooling in order to promote careful use of resources. It proposes that instead of demanding greater production, wealthier members of society should waste less and consume less. Environmenta1ism not only questions consumption patterns, but provides an ideology of self-denial and restraint. Instead of 77 driving a Porsche, for example, residents are encouraged to walk, Environmentalists have waged their battle in civil society, but must now attempt (as time grows short and ecological space grows smaller) to wage a political battle while being denied access to corporate boardrooms and political back rooms. At the local level, local business owners sit on council committees, not marginalized environmentalists, a situation which could become reversed with increased priority on issues of sustainability and creative management of resources. LOCALIST POLITICS Localist political philosophy tends to blame outside forces for socio-economic problems which arise in a particular locale. In modern state societies, this "passing the buck" ideology lays blame for contentious issues on state governments (i.e. the provincial government should clean up White Rock's beach pollution). Evolving from European metropolis-hinterland relations of power, localism has a propensity for criticizing outsiders for interference in local affairs. Consistent with local elites' dependency on external blame to maintain local power bases, is an economic self-interest which places priority on promotion of local economic benefits. Where local communities have a class-based philosophy calling for community-wide political and economic equity, they tend to favour leftist councils. When hierarchical social 78 stratification is favored (and 'business' agendas are prioritized), local communities favour right-wing councils, reminiscent of nineteenth century British local governments. (Cannadine, 1982) Indeed, Canadian political structures are patterned after 19th century British systems. This has created an elitist brand of localism and national elections which are fought on issues rather than parties opportunistically seeking a win at all cost. At the core, Canadian politics tend to pariiamentarianism, elitism and deference to authority (Richard M. Mereleman, 1991.) "Lack of coordination between partisan identity and class in Canada is a disjunction between the Parliamentary, majoritarian model of liberal politics, and an alternative dualistic, regional ethnic mode 1...cu1ture as a legitimate political issue conveys to Canada a unique quality ...individualism is less common than in the United States yet class consciousness is weaker than in Britain." 63 As well as a symbolic dependence on British monarchy, (present in local council chambers which post pictures of the British queen), localism depends on sources of authority deriving from the traditional, majoritarianist model of Westminster pariiamentarianism. Local power brokers prefer to deal with members of parliament who belong to a ruling political party rather than members of the opposition who can not access funds for local initiatives. Localism also derives authority from a paternalistic culture which favours the community and political participation of 79 middle-aged men. This equates granting of local political power to those with greater economic resources. (Grafftey, 1991). Conversely, where localism relates best to environmental politics there is a reliance on "emotional attachment to much smaller locales" (Gagnon, Bickerton, 1990) 64 for legitimacy, and classes tend to congregate in defined urban spaces. Citizenship participation is promoted by localism, particularly middle-class, middle-aged male participation. Neighbourhood influences result in creation of "small worlds and local heroes" (D. Munroe Eagles, C1990]), for example, when land use zoning creates conflict in a neighbourhood and a property owner feels compelled to participate in local politics. "Non-partisan" political posturing in local communities stemmed from increasing urbanization in both 19th century Britain and turn-of-the-century North America (Tindal: 1984). In an attempt to remain "local", communities downplayed the predominance of propertied classes in local affairs and non-partisanship was evoked to contrast the polarized class-based party politics waged in fast-rising cities. However, party politics have influenced localist ideology by soliciting local politicians interested in politics and public affairs. Alleged exemplars of representative democracy, these political actors are often the local party organizers who take on additional community responsibilities (i.e. members of hospital boards). While 80 community involvement at first denoted status deriving from the privilege of property ownership, turn- of-the-century reforms in the United States led to the increased influence of business people in local politics, reflecting their important role in local economies. Thus, despite their claimed non-partisan status, local politicians are often involved in party politics either directly or indirectly. Political party activists tend to be better educated, more affluent, from higher social backgrounds, "work at more prestigious occupations and enjoy considerably higher incomes than do average citizens in the communities in which they reside." 65 Home ownership (which implies residential stability and concentration of wealth) with communities spatially divided into distinctive private and public property, is a celebrated ideal of localism. Conflicts over access to political power arise because notions of a free and democratic society are ideals often at odds with political systems which legislate for the powerful. Debate, another celebrated ideal, mediates at the local level in council chambers where collective interests are weighed against the self-interest of individual property owners. Community values, selflessness in favour of assisting one's neighbour, struggle for good citizenship and desire to improve the honesty and efficiency of local governments are ideological 81 components of localism stressed in campaign literature. Linked with mass political parties and state government by-local political party organizations, political ties are mostly activated during election campaigns (particularly closely contested ones). Party fund raising participation has much to do with the amount of access a local politician has with national power brokers (in Canada, power resides in the federal cabinet). Growth coalitions often link local politicians with industrial capitalists and other power brokers. City and municipal mayors, whose offices assist members of parliament in meeting local constituents, have strong political linkages. Provincial and federal party politics, however, tend to be more issue oriented and ideological than localist politics which explicity promote "character and leadership." Continued economic growth and exploitation of local resources (including political) encouraged to provide economic prosperity for local populations are practical projects addressed by localism. Increased participatory democracy and balancing centralization with decentralization (of community services and public policy decisions) are political goals which create tension within localism and presumably lead to promotion of non-partisanship . ENVIRONMENTALIST POLITICS Environmentalists operate with what Gramsci calls "pessimism 82 of the intelligence, optimism of the will" (Golding, 1992). Following in Gramsci's footsteps, they assume that nature and history are inextricably linked and view political struggles as related to battles about truth. Seen as an idealistic ideology, environmental ism promotes a philosophy of ethics (for nature as well as humanity). Those adhering to environmentalist ideology equate environmental degradation with a need for social justice (Daniel Press, 1994). Pragmatic philosophically, environmentalists believe in participatory democracy combined with what traditional localists would view as repressive regulations. Integrity of the physical environment supersedes all other considerations (as opposed to traditional economics prioritized by the political right and struggles for socio-economic equity prioritized by the political left) . Much like localism, commitment and citizenship are important elements of environmental ideology. Daniel Coleman , in Eco-Po1itics (1994), notes that environmental political philosophy differs from traditional human-centred philosophies by being bio-centric or life-centred. Coleman cites a respect for diversity of plant and animal life, decentralization, focus on sustainab 1i1ity, feminist and social justice values, a commitment to non-violence, a call for personal and global responsibility, grassroots democracy and a push for community-based economics 83 (I.e. local cooperatives) as integral components of environmental political philosophy. Environmentalists challenge existing authorities by stressing the democratic notions of debate found in localism and demanding input into public policy debates. A perceived crisis in leadership is seen as an opportunity for environmentalists to challenge authority, and this crisis becomes a source of authority for environmentalism itself. As such, environmenta1ism exercises what Daniel Press (Democratic Dilemmas in the Age of Eco1ogy, 1994) calls "negative authority", as environmentalists rally to prevent losses, rather than mobilize for political gai ns. Social interdependence, community and cooperation are cited as sources of authority along with a need to resolve conflict, which provides a continued environmentalist critique of existing authority and power relations (Coleman, 1994). Perceived as a "critique" rather than an ideology, environmental ism questions the legitimacy of law and government while simultaneously calling for social and environmental justice within the bounds of existing government structures. Citizen participation and popular input into environmental legislation, as opposed to decision making by environmental bureaucrats, would result from open and public decision-making according to Paehlke ("Environmental Harm and Corporate Crime", 84 1995). Collective will serves to unite environmentalists (Golding, 1992), and environmental political actors tend to convey the passion Gramsci claims is "born on the permanent and organic terrain of economic life, but which transcends it" 66 Creating a political agenda favorable to environmental needs requires citizen participation, which normally rallies only following an environmental disaster. As such, environmentalism tends to be event focussed (Zachary Smith, 1993). Only continued participation can yield control over public policy, but the technical complexity of environmental issues has frustrated and limited citizen participation. As Sue Golding observes, "The challenge of technocracy strains our ability to bridge the goal of participation with the perceived need for expert i se". 67 Using a political grassroots approach based on the idea that only self-reliant communities can solve environmental problems, citizen empowerment includes the strategic use of political and commercial boycotts. The call for boycotts extends environmental action beyond the local community to a broader support base, since "if enough people sense a good idea it will become a reality" (Coleman, 1994). The challenge for environmentalists then, is to remain united, particularly in a complex society where technology grows beyond the control of local communities, and to differentiate between those who actively promote ecological practices and regulations and those who simply embrace 85 environmental rhetoric to win votes or retain employment. Community control remains an environmentalist ideal which asserts that local control results in better outcomes for social groups and a cleaner environment. Respect for the diversity found in nature and a belief that "science must develop technology in harmony with nature" (Coleman, 1994) 68 combined with the ideal of a moralistic economy (placing value on care and responsibility as opposed to commodification, competitition and individualism) are core ideals of environmenta1ism. Traditional ideals, such as the love of beauty, can be located in environmenta1ism along with revolutionary ideas such as an eco-feminism which rejects sexual roles (Lipietz, 1995). Passionate environmental values include solidarity, autonomy, ecological responsibility and a political democracy of permanent political action. In the last stage of the twentieth century, environmental activists seeking coalitions find themselves politically linked with eco-entrepeneurs and progressive greens. (Paehlke, 1995) As with localism, environmental ism preaches a non-partisanship which then make political linkages more fluid. Permanent environmental organizations have been built to become professional lobby groups, resource centres and sources of technical expertise. 86 Education is a key tool for environmentalists who prefer to concentrate power, and exercise a "politics of place" with a zeal that insists that "reform is not enough", but that political and social transformation are required (Coleman, 1994).Direct action is utilized to "put pressure on decision makers, mobilize forces of support, dramatize issues, and help raise the consciousness." 69 Political linkages are viewed as holistic, with community self-reliance dialectical1y posed against international capital interests and state policy. According to Daniel Press (1994) "markets are not inherently incompatible with environmental protection" 70. Rather than attacking the market system, Press considers progress as greater access to the political process, including election of environmental politicians and placing of environmentalists on environmental planning commissions. Such affirmative action has been a consistent project of the new environmental justice movement (Press, 1994).Initiatives, referenda and 'direct legislation' are political tools which challenge the ability of democracy to deliver political access. Establishment of economic and political bio-regions are favored, to ensure local production for local needs (Coleman, 1994). Barter systems and cooperatives are offered as alternatives to an existing money and market system, which as a marginalized member of society I find inclusive action. Creation 87 of "green cities" in practice stems from an ideology which places value on nature. Increasingly, ecologists are assessing the comparative merits of existing state and market systems by calculating the economic value of sustainability and a habitable envi ronment. As opposed to localism, which relies on tradition, environmentalism requires breaks with past tradition (Lipietz, 1995) that have wreaked havoc on the biosphere. Solutions to the devastation of the physical environment require, minimally, "a multitude of small breaks with the past". 71 and maximally, a complete dismantling of capitalist hegemony and "elimination or control of market forces and corporations" (Paehlke) 72 At the least, there is a pressing need for strong government legislation which protects "whistle blowers", criminalizes pollution, bans toxic substances, raises environmental taxes and encourages markets for recycled products.(Paeh1ke, 1995). A critical problem with relying on environmental justice without changing the hierarchical relations of capitalist systems lies with a non-democratic judicial minority who remain independent from broad populations yet who interpret the laws which effect those populat ions.(Lipietz, 1995) Tensions between localism and environmental ism become apparent around an important difference: although both philosophies praise small locales and the ability of local 88 populations to best manage their own social and economic affairs, localism heavily favours traditions which environmentalism necessarily seeks to dismantle. For instance, whereas traditional White Rock politicians prefer to discuss controversial issues, such as beach pollution, behind closed doors at city hall, environmentalists prefer to draw the attention of the media, raise public awareness at the beach itself, and demand public discussion in council chambers. Golding (1992) identifies a trap into which environmental ideologues, their supporters, and their media contacts fall when they forget that "ideology is not psychological or moralistic in character, but structural and epistemo1ogica1". "...they form the habit of considering politics and history as...a competition in conjuring and sleight of hand. 'Critical' activity is [thus] reduced to the exposure of swindles, to creating scandals, and to prying into the pockets of political figures." 73 Certainly, the type of scandal presented by former White Rock MLA and provincial cabinet minister Bill Reid's involvement with a company receiving money for local recycling is one example of the type of news which graces the front page of the Peace Arch News. Yet the scandal opened terrain for discussion not just on the need for honesty and integrity in local politicians, but about whether actions meant to correct environmental degradation would be undermined by excessive profits and/or consumption. In White Rock, the practical solution to the Bill Reid scandal was a 89 public service recycling "blue box" program managed by the city, and the elimination of both private contractors and voluntary agencies in vying for the city's re-cycling program. The political result, a public perception that local businessmen were greedy for tax dollars, was a penetration of localist tradition which claimed business men make the best political leaders. This left the door open to political newcomers to challenge an existing "old boys club" at city hall. In sum, the environmental axiom "think global, act local' shrinks into "think local, act local" in the hands of localist ideology. Localism's reach is narrowly expressed in competitive relations with neighboring territories or dependent metropolis-hinterland economic arrangements. The common interest between environmentalist and localist ideologies is in maintaining geographically contained, self-sufficient localities, such as localism's "home county" and environmenta1ism's "bio-region". Community control, as represented by an "act local" philosophy is shared by the two ideologies which both cater to future generations and their ability to grow and prosper in the community in which they were born. Localism and environmental ism both serve as attempts to counter the alienation found in burgeoning societies by creating emotional attachment to smaller locales. The need to survive in larger societies encourages the non-partisanship philosophy which suggest that local governments 90 opportunistically cooperate with whatever political party has power over large outlays of goods and services, and environmentalists' opportunistically attack whichever political party wastes goods and services. In order to achieve community control, both ideologies share a political goal of decentralization. Along with community control comes a regulated lifestyle, where social constraints are used lto encourage local adherence to localist or environmentalist ideologies. Notions of 'good citizenship' apply, either to a citizen who remembers to reduce, reuse and recycle, or to a local philanthropist who returns his good fortune to the community with civil service and charitable donations needed for localist survival. As such, both political philosophies have a tendency to become associated with individual merit and personalities. As environmental ism promotes a new environmental justice, so does localism reflect a certain "frontier justice" where both ideologies stress local justice, a need for crimes to be prosecuted where they were committed, and wrongdoers punished within sight of their victims. Cooperation and coercion are equally useful tactics in this regard. sEnvironmenta1ism departs from localism in that it addresses forces of production as well as relations of production. When exploitation of resources becomes a local problem, either by a threatened shortage of resources or by the mode of resource 91 exploitation threatening the survival of the community, localism reverts to defensive and combative mode. If traditional forces of production become problematic for the community because production has shifted elsewhere, local communities are unable to survive. Localism, therefore, operates best in a stable socio economic environment. Environmenta1ism, however, is an ideology which flourishes primarily in the wake of disasters; disasters seen as occurring because of inadequate controls over the forces and relations of production. Localism encourages government by political elites, limiting participatory-democracy to Greek city-state notions of citizenship, particularly middle-aged men with property or resources. Localism encourages the promotion of heroes and demagogues as opposed to a more egalitarian environmentalist ideology. Such egalitarianism can be seen as pragmatic, since the success of environmenta1ism as political action depends upon the building of coalitions and political alliances. Environmentalism, in practice, therefore, requires a commitment from most members in society to meet its broad ecological goals. In contrast to a localist dependence upon tradition, environmenta1ism insists upon change. What the ideologies share is the idea that one's neighbour has the right to critique one's action on one's private property. However, while both allow for "common lands", localism legitimates the authority relations 92 which environmenta1ism attacks. Localism is comfortable with minority rule; environmentalism restrains its own extremist factions in order to promote majoritarianism.(See Appendix D for a comparison of major features of environmentalist and localist ideo1og ies). In what follows, Chapter Three outlines the history and demographics of White Rock, showing how traditions which fostered localism have come in conflict with growth pressures that problematize localism, and how serious pollution problems presage the transformation of the "local state". Such pollution provides the disaster scenario to which environmental ism responds. Chapter Four puts environmenta1ism in a regional context, as environmentalist ideology proves better able to deal with the reality of aggravated pollution problems that are beyond the control, expertise and financial capabilities of local governments. However, rather than seeing localism as terminated by the realities of life in an increasingly globalized, post modern industrial society, environmentalist ideology can be seen to have reconstituted it. 93 ENDNOTES 1. p. 169, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy; Verso: London. 1985. 2. p. 13, Michael Harloe and Elizabeth Lebas, City, Class and Cap i ta1 ; Edward Arnold Publishers: London. 1981. 3. p. 144, Karl Marx, "Wages, Price and Profit", Selected Works Vo1. 2; Progress Publishers: Moscow. 1969. 4. p. 17, Ruth Levitas, The Ideology of the New Right; Polity Press: Cambridge, U.K. 1986. 5. p. 213, Robert Paehlke, Ibid. 6. p. 210, Karl Marx, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, International Publishers: N.Y. 1963. 7 . P- 219 , Ibid . 8. P- 104, Ibid. 9 . P- 114, Ibid . 10. P- 56 , Ibid. 11. P • 2, Ernesto Lac 1 12. P- 4, Ibid . 13. P- 3, Ibid . 14. P- 65/67/69, Ibid. 15. P- 159 , Ibid. 16 . P- 161 , Ibid. 17. P- 172 , Ibid. 18. P- 38, Chr i stopher Society",in Politics in the Post Welfare State (M.Hancock, G.Sjoberg, eds.) Columbia U. Press: N.Y. 1972. 19. p. xv/xvi, Seymour Lipsett, Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada; Routledge: N. Y. 1990. 20. p.245, Michael Mandel, "Rule of Law and the Legalisation of Politics in Canada",in State Contro1. Ibid. 94 of Politics in Canada",in State Control, Ibid. 21. p. 179, Robert Gaucher, "Canadian Civil Society, the Canadian State and Criminal Justice Institutions: Theoretical Considerations",in State Contro1, R. S. Ratner and John L. McMullan, eds., U.B.C. Press: Vancouver. 1987 22. p. 171, Carl Boggs, Social Movements and Political Power. Temple U. Press: Philadelphia. 1986. 23. Ibid. 24. p. 204, Carl Boggs, Ibid. 25. p. 117, Ynestra King, "Healing the Wounds: Feminism, Ecology and Nature/Culture Dual ism".in Gender/Body/Knowledge (A. Jaggar and S.Bordo, eds.) Rutgers U. Press: New Brunswick. 1989 . 26. p. 118. Ibid. 27. p. 126, Ibid. 28. p. 53, David Suzuki and Anita Gordon, Its a Matter of Survival; Stoddart Publishing: Toronto. 1990. 29. p. 169', Ibid. 30. p. 179, Ibid. 31. p. 107, Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts. Ibid. 32. p. 96, E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful; Penguin Books: London. 1973. 33. p. 84/85, Ibid. 34. p. 229, Ibid. 35. p. 1, Russell J. Dal ton, "The Challenge of New Movements",in Challenging the Political Order; Polity Press: Cambridge, U.K. 1990. 36. p. 39, Karl Werner Brand, "Cyclical Aspects of New Social Movements",in Challenging the Political Order. Dal ton and Keuch1er,Manfred, eds., Ibid. 95 37. p. 46, Russell Inglehart, "Values, Ideology, and Cognitive Mobi1ization",in Challenging the Political Order. Ibid. 38. p. 46/47, Ibid. 39. p. 68, Frank Wilson, "Neo-corporatism and the Rise of New Social Movements",in Challenging the Political Order, Ibid. 40. p. 69, Ibid. 41. p. 7, Robert Paehlke, Environmenta1ism and the Future of Progressive Politics, Ibid. 42. p. 13, Ibid. 43. p. 194, Ibid. 44. p. 195/196, Ibid. 45. p. 208, Ibid. 46. Ibid. 47. Ibid. 48. p. 211, Ibid. 49. Ibid. 50. p. 218, Ibid. 51. p. 225, Ibid. 52. p. 245, Ibid. 53. p. 268, Robert Paehlke, Ibid. 54. p.276/277, Ibid. 55. p. 277, Ibid. 56. p. 279, Ibid. 57. p. 94, Greater Vancouver Drainage and Sewage System engineering department, Greater Vancouver Liquid Waste Management Plan; G.V.R.D.: Burnaby, B.C. February, 1989. 58. p.93/94, Ibid. 96 59. p. 3, John Tillman Lyle, Regenerative Design for Sustainable Deve1opment; John Wiley and Sons: N.Y. 1994. 60. p. 48, Ibid. 61. p. 228, Ibid. 62. p. 287, Ibid. 63. p. 32, Richard M. Mereleman, Partial Visions: Culture and Politics in Britain. Canada and the United States. U. of Wisconsin Press: Madison, Wn. 1991. 64. p. 289, D. Munro Eagles, "Political Ecology: Local Effects on the Political Behaviour of Canadians", in Canadian Politics, ed. James P. Bickerton and Alain G. Gagnon, Broadview Press: Peterborough, Ont. 1990 65. p. 206, Howard Grafftey, Why Canadians Get the Politicians and Governments They Don't Want, Stoddart: Toronto. 1991. 66. p. 99, Sue Golding, Gramsci1s Democratic Theory: Contributions to a Post-Liberal Democracy, U. of Toronto Press: Toronto. 1992. 67. Ibid. 68. p. 32, Daniel Coleman, Eco-Po1itics: Building a Green Society, Rutgers U. Press, N.J. 1994. 69. p. 17, Ibid. 70. p. 9, Daniel Press, Democratic Dilemmas in the Age of Eco1ogy, Duke University Press: Durham, N.C. 1994. 71. p. 33, Alan Lipietz, Green Hopes: The Future of Political Eco1ogy, Polity Press: Cambridge, U.K. 1995. 72. p. 309, Robert Paehlke, "Environmental Harm and Corporate Crime" in Corporate Crime: Contemporary Debates, editors Frank Pearce and Laureen Snider; U. of Toronto Press: Toronto. 1995. 73. p. 92, Sue Golding, Ibid. 97 CHAPTER I I I PROFILE OF A COMMUNITY IN TRANSITION HISTORY The city of White Rock takes its name from a large rock located on its westerly shoreline. Situated just north of the 49th parallel, perched on a hillside overlooking a sheltered bay, Europeans discovered White Rock in the summer of 1791 when Spanish explorer Don Jose Maria Narvaez sailed into Semiahmoo Bay aboard the Santa Saturnia (for which Saturna Island, one of the many Gulf and San Juan Islands visible from White Rock, is presently named). According to local historian Margaret Hastings, Don Narvaez, with help from the local natives of the Semiahmoo tribe and several members of his crew, explored the forested Semiahmoo trail which natives used to reach Fraser River fishing grounds. Not to be outdone by the Spanish, British Captain George Vancouver navigated his vessel "Discovery" into Semiahmoo Bay during his charting expedition from Puget Sound via Georgia Strait. "Captains Vancouver, Galiano and Valdez met in the bay near Blaine, June 12, 1792. One of these parties sent out in small boats by Captain Vancouver met Chief Tsanwuch of the Semiahmoo Tribe which occupied the present Territory. It was a numerous Indian tribe. Nowadays it is almost entirely extinct. Only a few families still live in the outskirts of White Rock, Canada." 1 Today, the number of First Nations members on the Semiahmoo Reserve at White Rock has been whittled down from about 300 just 150 years ago, to 30. The city of White Rock has benefitted by 98 the declining tribal population, as well as Surrey, which leases parkland from the tribe. The city of White Rock, which began as a ward of the municipality of Surrey, stretches along three miles of waterfront and consists of about 3400 acres and was incorporated on April 15, 1957. As noted above, the Semiahmoo Band Reservation on the city's southeastern border leases much of its property to the cities of Surrey and White Rock for use as a valuable waterfront park. The band still maintains a small cemetery on the site. "At the end of 1858 a work party of Engineers came into Semiahmoo Bay by boat, and established a base camp where the south end of White Rock City now stands...the party at White Rock engaged in the tough task of cutting a line along the 49th parallel. Parties of surveyors under the Boundary Commission, made up of both British and Americans, had been at work earlier on the project setting markers along the boundary line. The engineers constructed about a mile and a half of good road along the beach of Semiahmoo Bay. You may still drive along part of that road today...they also cut a trail from Semiahmoo Bay to Fort Lang 1ey...it was shown on very early maps..." 2 Where once forest stood, the White Rock hillside resembles more of a barren settlement as gentrification strips away the trees which block ocean views from luxury homes and apartments. Urban stormwater runoff is a serious environmental consequence of constant construction, paving and deforestation. Ironically, White Rock's prime view consists of forested hillsides on the lesser populated side of the 49th parallel. Homesteading began on the original townsite in 1886 and in 1890 lots were subdivided. "A few years later the Great Northern Railway re-located its line to water level along the shores of Semiahmoo Bay and 99 then in 1909 the Dominion Government made White Rock a port of entry for customs and immigration purposes. In the summer of 1910 a syndicate of New Westminster men took over the original townsite and White Rock began to grow becoming known for its year-round residence as well as a resort area." 3 Logging began in earnest when a sawmill opened at the foot of the Campbell River in 1913. Further up the hill logging camps housed workers who were building roads as they logged timber for a sawmill on the east side of White Rock and a shingle mill on the west. White Rock Water Works began operation in 1913 serving just 17 customers with artesian well water. In 1937 the White Rock population had reached 1700. Public works, sewers, sidewalks and other improvements began during the second world war following formation of citizens' committees such as the Women's Civic League. Surrey took control of the beach while operating as a municipal ward system, with White Rock representing one of seven wards. In 1954 the Peace Arch District Hospital, eventually the city's largest employer, was opened on Russell Avenue and, having acquired new additions, the hospital now serves the entire Semiahmoo Peninsula. "In 1890 when local pioneer logger John Christian Roper built his big house on what is thought to be the highest point in White Rock. It was the first building in the vicinity and when his 160 acre homestead was subdivided later the road allowance passing his home was given his name." 4 100 The Ropers were active loggers who felled trees north of North Bluff Road along Johnston Road, White Rock's gateway intersection. Logs dumped into the Nicomekl River were towed to New Westminster for planing. West of Stayte Road slender trees were taken for construction of fish traps. The Great Northern Railway which still runs along the White Rock waterfront began construction in 1905, a task which spanned several years. In 1909 the Great Northern Railway added a depot and customs and immigration facilities at Oxford Street and Marine Drive. This was followed by the laying of a rough road along Marine Drive following the tracks along the waterfront at the base of the hill. A pier was built on the waterfront in 1914. At the time the city was comprised of 300 residences, the saw mill, shingle mill, two general stores, two hotels, one meat market and some small fruit and grocery stands. From 1909 through to the end of World War II, weekenders and summer visitors travelled by train to the waterfront White Rock depot, the number of full time residents numbering just 467 in 1931, and about 1500 in 1949. The existing station itself was built in 1913 and now serves as the city's museum and gift shop. In 1916 environmental disaster struck when a two-week long forest fire ravaged the hillside. With new lots the population began growing in a post-war boom. In January 1951 several local ratepayers met to form a fact finding committee for incorporation, an act which ended with I 101 city status for White Rock six years later. By 1964 the population had grown to 7,000. Today the city occupies 5.05 square kilometres of land. Following incorporation, White Rock became a more popular residential site. Boosted as a retirement haven, the population grew by 13.45 per cent between the 1986 and 1991 census, from 14,387 to 16,314. The city has virtually reached capacity according to both the city's official community plan, an earlier plan proposed by the Greater Vancouver Regional District which then had a comprehensive regional planning department. That regional plan limited White Rock to 20,000, a number which the city's 1996 official community plan confirms. However, with outdated infrastructure and weekend and summer visitors straining the population to more than 20,000, local citizens began actively voicing opposition to further growth following the 1986 census. Surrey and White Rock have often requested a recreational zone for the waterfront from the U.S. border to Point Roberts because of the popularity of Crescent Beach in Surrey and White Rock beaches for swimming and boating. Local governments are unable to fund such acquisition of beachfront. Perhaps regional park designation and increased beach frontage would have prompted the GVRD to take better care of its sewage disposition. "Crescent-Semiahmoo covers a 9 mile stretch of shoreline, with the former resort (and now suburban communities of Crescent Beach and White Rock at either end and upland bluffs rising directly from the narrow shoreline between. Firm clean sand forming relatively narrow foreshores at both Crescent and White Rock has enabled the easy development of 3 1/2 miles of beach for swimming and 102 other water sports, while the steep bluffs and narrow rocky shoreline have discouraged beach use in the area between. Some 7 1/2 miles of the shoreline is used for the Great Northern Railway tracks and while this railway has not created recreation access problems at Crescent Beach (where it runs behind the shoreline community) or along the bluffs, its location on the shoreline dyke through White Rock results in repeated injury and loss of life." 5 DEMOGRAPHICS Because of its higher than average number of senior citizens, White Rock demographics show women outnumber men by 9,050 to 7,260 according to Statistics Canada (1991). Gentrification of the city, which accelerated after the early 1980s real estate boom, has escalated the cost of luxury housing beyond the reach of many seniors. As seniors have been priced out of the market, more affluent childless couples and families have moved to the city, bringing with them an interest in quality of life and environmental issues. Demographica11y, the city's largest ethnic group remains a predominantly British one, with 5,915 residents reporting sole British ancestry on the 1991 census. Many of the 5,995 residents who report mixed ethnic backgrounds, or the handful claiming Canadian ethnic origin, may include British grandparentage. Protestants remain the largest religious group in White Rock— 8,610—followed by the next largest group of 3,985 residents who report no religious affiliation. The greatest number of immigrants in White Rock (3,570) have arrived from the United States, with the United Kingdom as the second largest source of White Rock immigrants at 1.720. Germans make up more than half of 103 the European immigrants, with 585 Germans denoted in the 1991 census. Some British citizens remain unable to vote because after decades in Canada they have not filed for Canadian citizenship. Of the 16,000 total population, 14,000 residents speak English only, 360 claim French as their only language, and 1600 speak non-official languages. Approximately 10 per cent of White Rock's population have come to the city, and to Canada, as recent immigrants. In-migration from other parts of the Lower Mainland remains White Rock's largest source of growth, followed by intra-migration from other provinces. "The early settlers in Surrey were largely of British extraction, and many of them had farm backgrounds. They came in a variety of ways but the lure was the same for all of them—wealth and adventure in the last remaining wild west. They worked their way across the United States, or travelled across the Isthmus of Panama, or took the long route by sailing ship around the horn. It was the rich, black land they came to seek in Surrey. Some of them came because land prices had risen sharply in eastern Canada and they lacked the necessary capital to settle there. Some had found plenty of work and land in the United States as they travelled, but chose to come because they wanted to remain British subjects... there were speculators who bought large tracts of land in Surrey and never appeared in person." 6 Today, about 4500 families of two or more persons are resident in the city. Twenty per cent of the population live as singles. One important feature of White Rock's residential pattern that makes the city conducive to localist ideology is the fact that owner-occupied dwellings outnumber rental units by 5120 to 2840, the former including a large number of single family houses (3385) as well as privately owned condominiums and townhouses. Boom periods of construction in the city were between 104 1971 to 1980, as well as a growth period of 1986 to 1991 that corresponds to the time period of the research project. The city of White Rock is located within the fastest growing federal riding of Surrey-White Rock-South Langley, and any necessary additions of two or more federal ridings to the province of British Columbia will result in redistribution of the riding. Statistics Canada data for the riding shows employment opportunites and occupations are greatest in the following order: trade, manufacturing and construction; health and social services and education; finance and real estate and government services. Demographics show a strong middle class bias. Males are employed firstly in managerial and administrative capacities, then in sales and service occupations, followed by natural and social sciences; religious, artistic and related occupations, followed by a sundry assortment of clerical positions. Thirty per cent of women who consider themselves working remain entrenched in clerical occupations, followed by service, sales and managerial or administrative capacities; then medicine and health and teaching. Most overseas immigrants arrived in the area prior to 1961. Population in the Surrey-White Rock-South Langley federal riding faces a 7.4 per cent unemployment rate for men and an 8 per cent unemployment rate for women seeking to participate in the labour force. Of males 15 or over, 75.2 per cent are labour force participants; of females, 57.3 per cent are in the ranks of the employed. In fact, the greatest per centage of employed females 105 occurs in the category of those with school age children (70.2 per cent). Retirement and affluence may account for the low participation rate of women who have no children living at home (47.8 per cent). There are two elementary schools located within city limits, 4* White Rock Elementary and Peace Arch Elementary. My eldest daughter attended the White Rock Elementary annex in Surrey (now a Montessori school) for kindergarten in 1987, and Peace Arch Elementary from 1988 to 1994. Both schools have French Immersion programs, allowing them to stay operable during years when the city's number of children declined drastically. The popularity of the French Immersion programs is one example of a large number of local residents who have higher education than the provincial average. In 1987 to ensure a space in the French Immersion program, parents had to line up at 5 a.m. in the morning. My daughter's class included an unusual number of gifted children, a fact noted by the school principal in explaining that at any other school in the district my daughter would be enjoying top grades. The almost exclusively European nature of White Rock and the surrounding Surrey district is exemplified by an elementary school of about 350 students where the only children of color included a handful of First Nations students, an Indo-Canadian boy, and a girl with Korean heritage adopted by a couple of European ancestry. In 1990 with about 100 members, the White Rock Ratepayers' 106 Association changed its name to the White Rock Residents' Association in order to attract more members from the condominium owners and renters in the city. The White Rock Condominium Association carried considerable political clout at the time. The WRRA1s new president, Pat Kealy, told me she had been active in the early 1970s in Bridgeview in a successful fight with Surrey council and then mayor Bill Vander Zalm (whose brother held substantial holdings in the area) to bring sewers to the homes in that particular part of Surrey which had been zoned for industrial use. She participated in a National Film Board (NFB) project which brought attention to the conflict. The White Rock District Council of Women, to which then mayor Gordon Hogg's mother (a longtime White Rock resident)) and his wife Laverne belonged, was another mainstay of White Rock political life. Typically localist is the fact (as told to me by my grandfather) that a virtual requirement to seeking a seat on White Rock council was to belong to the Peace Arch District Hospital Society or any of White Rock council's sub-committees, particularly the advisory design committee. However, a number of Surrey residents were recruited to the White Rock council committees. Also, with many local artists and amateur theatre performers active in the city, the White Rock Community Arts Council (which has lobbied continually throughout the past decade for a new joint arts and theatre facility) remains a popular meeting venue for the local establishment. CITY FINANCES 107 White Rock council has representation on the following regional organizations: Peace Arch District Hospital, Fraser Valley Regional Library board, the Boundary Union Board of Health Surrey school board liaison (the city with two elementary schools within its boundaries elects one school trustee to serve on the district board), the Greater Vancouver Regional District (which pays its directors to attend meetings and therefore the position is usually taken by the current mayor), the GVRD parks committee, the Lower Mainland municipal association, and the White Rock South Surrey Chamber of Commerce. In short, the city operates as a small town within a larger regional context. White Rock's largest single source of revenue remains residential property taxes. Policing, despite a reliance on back up from Surrey for summer beach patrolling, continually eats up the greatest share of the city's operating budget ($1 million in 1989) followed by fire protection ($870,826). A controversial new fire hall, which has slowed response time to the west side of the city, was built in 1992 beside the recently constructed police station and architecturally non-descript city hall. Contract negotiations with Surrey provide joint funding of the White Rock ice rink, an indoor swimming pool located in Surrey and a new ice rink. With a burgeoning population in South Surrey, the joint facilities remain an annual source of tension for Surrey-White Rock council liaisons. Localism conflicted with environmenta1ism when a newly expanded senior citizens' activity centre located in the city of 108 White Rock sparked controversy in 1991 as a proposed parking lot expansion threatened a number of trees in the parkland where the building was constructed. The city's commercial base consists of two small shopping centres at the corner of North Bluff Road bordering Surrey and Johnston Road and a shopping strip down Johnston. Banks predominate along the street north of Thrift Avenue where another shopping centre and liquor store are located, and restaurants perch on the hill south of Thrift. Along the north side of Marine Drive, across from the waterfront, restaurants and gift shops cover a four block stretch on the west beach and three blocks on the east beach. Business licenses generated $231,295 in 1989, while the city operated on property taxes raised of $6,922,965. Assessment property values reached $771,115,255 for 335 hectares of taxable land, which itself assessed at $435,254,099.Some of the costs of growth and development in White Rock have become glaringly obvious. Seventy-three kilometres of paved roads as well as sidewalks and curbs adds to an urban storm run off problem which pollutes the beaches below. The city acquired an existing sanitary sewer system when it incorporated in 1957 and relies on pump stations along the waterfront to pump effluent back up the hill to a GVRD sanitary sewer trunk which runs to Annacis Island for primary sewage treatment. Relying on sewer user charges and frontage taxes to cover expenses, the city spent $655,978 in 1989 for the sanitary sewer 109 service. The balanced budget is a mixed blessing considering the problem with high choliform counts on the beach which has seen areas of the beach closed to swimmers since 1989. Provincial environment ministry officials report that since the GVRD operates with a joint storm sewer/sanitary sewer permit, sanitary sewage may legally be dumped from the storm sewers at any time, and during heavy rainstorms they frequently pump out excess effluent. Perhaps this remains a cost saving measure to prevent budgetary overruns, much as after too many snow storms, city crews might park the plows. Sewer charges are applied to taxpayers' bills prior to the rainy season, gambling on a dry May to October. The bulk of White Rock council's obstensibly routine agenda has been preoccupied with numerous approvals of new apartment projects and debates about parking space allotments. A summary of activities for the city from adminstrator W.W. Baldwin in February 1990 cites the highlight of the year being a paper weight effort of preparing the city's "mission and values statements" followed by council's most significant act of the year, institution of a new smoking by-law. "Again in April the Clerk's department organized a most successful first-time municipal Open House in recognition of Municipal Government Awareness Week. The Open House was preceded by a number of activities promoting municipal awareness including a school poster contest. Before the end of June a "blue-ribbon" committee of citizens and business people from White Rock completed their draft Economic Development Strategy plan. The plan was put in its final form and presented to council and adopted in September. The Treasury department applied itself successfully to 110 maximizing the investment return on taxes." 7 In White Rock, city government remains a socialite endeavour in the localist tradition of providing social rewards such as luncheons for "public service". City officials concentrated on public works such as road reconstruction and building, and landscaping a promenade. " In 1989 recreation programs and special events attracted over 5,000 participants of all ages. The Land 'n Sea summer program was particularly popular and was over-subscribed almost immediately—464 children were registered in the program. The recreation division organized the usual special events—Celebration '89 Cycle Race, Bay Run and Walk, Civic Pride Day, and the Tour de White Rock...the Seniors Centre maintained a membership of almost 1700 of which almost half are from Surrey. The Kent St. Seniors Society was formed to raise funds for an extension to the Centre..." 8 POLITICAL The affluent residential base and higher number of adults with increased leisure time creates an active political climate in the city. For instance, the White Rock-South Surrey New Democratic constituency association (which curiously has seen a dramatic decrease in membership since the party took power provincially in 1991, losing, in particular, environmentalists and teachers), has the greatest number of honorary life members in the province and remains one of the party's largest fundraisers. Traditionally, the Social Credit and Conservative Parties shared memberships on a provincia1/federa1 basis and members predominated on a supposedly non-partisan city council. However, as mass political parties become systematically de-emphasized in post-industrial society, White Rock political Ill affiliations are now in a state of flux. Whereas, right-wing and long time city councillor Vin Coyne (who actively campaigns as a "non-partisan") once shared all candidates' meeting notes with candidate Sharon Charles, the former alderman Ms. Charles and councillor Louise Hutchinson moved to the political centre to support former mayor Gordon Hogg in his bid for Liberal member of Parliament. As one example,and in order to underscore the coziness of political aspirants in White Rock, I was the first city council candidate to use scrutineers when I ran in 1990, challenging the localist ideology that all candidates would be trustworthy "good sports". As well, former Social Credit member Duncan Cameron, who campaigned for the successful Liberal candidate Wi 1f Hurd, not only cooperated with the NDP in its provincial campaign, but used NDP office equipment during the 1991 election. The Liberals won despite a decided lack of campaign workers. Reform candidate Val Meredith did succeed in winning the Member of Parliament seat for Surrey-White Rock-South Langley in her second attempt at the office during the 1993 federal election. She replaced the retiring Benno Friesen, a Conservative who had held the seat for more than 14 years. Environmental groups enjoy successful membership and fund raising drives in White Rock. Both Peace Arch Elementary and White Rock Elementary schools have active parent environmental committees. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee enjoys a strong membership and meets in South Surrey, as does the White 112 Rock-South Surrey Naturalists which has a large organization of bird watchers and conservationists. In response to environmental disaster the Boundary Oil SPill Society, formed after an oil spill washed up on White Rock beaches 20 years ago, based itself in White Rock. Friends of Boundary Bay, the Burns Bog Conservation Society and the Citizens' Advisory Committee for Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area, draw members from White Rock. The Surrey Environmental Coalition in which South Surrey NDP and Surrey councillor Judy Villeneuve is active, has active support in White Rock. MLA Wi1f Hurd who grew up in White Rock remembers signing up with Greenpeace during one of its door-to-door canvasses. He also belongs to Lifeforce. Surrey-Cloverda1e MLA Ken Jones, still a White Rock resident who belongs to the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and to Greenpeace, has been publically quoted as prepared to chain himself to parkland trees rather see them bu11 dozed. Since 1966, when planning for regional growth in an environmentally sensitive area first began, public attitudes have moved towards ecological preservation. Opinion surveys in 1990 concurred with original surveys done in 1973 that placed environmental issues foremost in the minds of people who lived in the region. "The 1990 Urban Futures Survey indicated that pollution is the first concern of regional district residents. This finding was also confirmed through public meetings and written briefs submitted to the GVRD...In 1990, as in 1973, environmental issues were foremost in the minds of regional residents. Preserving the natural environment was 113 ranked at the top in both surveys." 9 A secondary concern of those polled in the 1975 survey was cost-effectiveness of local government services. With adoption of the official regional plan by the provincial government in 1975, the GVRD considered fragmented. Because of the disparity between different localities within the region and the geographic class segregations found in the metropolis, the regional plan constantly needed costly and time-consuming updating. Further complicating regional planning was the type of tension evidenced by Surrey and White Rock where boundary lines became so arbitrary that in 1993 Wi1f Hurd pressured the Minister of Municipal Affairs to provide a referendum for those living in South Surrey and White Rock on the question of amalgamation. Those living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula see it spatially and practically as a self-contained region. The inappropriateness of municipal boundaries and the small size of municipalities in the Greater Vancouver area results from turn of the century political reforms and localist philosophy. Tensions between municipalities can be expected to continue as local governments adjust to growth pressures and the failure of the political structure to address urban servicing in a cohesive and non-destructive manner. As people like Wi1f Hurd and Pat Kealy have moved towards greener pastures (having purchased acreage in Langley in 1991 and 1993 respectively) the new urbanites in White Rock, instead of enjoying water sports on the west beach, have become joggers and walkers along a promenade. 114 The population of White Rock which was 15,342 in 1990, grew to 16,300 in 1991 and is projected to escalate to 23,300 in 2011, well over the 20,000 limit set by the GVRD as maximum capacity in 1975.The number of housing units, primarily going into apartments, are projected to increase by almost 50 per cent from 8,200 to 12,100 in 2011. There will be increased pressure to not only clean up the beaches, but to provide additional water recreational areas. BREAK UP OF THE LOCAL STATE Deforestation, pollution threats to the local water supply, the erosion of green space, fear of oil spills and the virulent contamination of the bay, which closes White Rock beaches to public bathing, are the main local ecological concerns. Although a blue box recycling program is popular, it mostly exists for the recycling of bottles, newspapers and plastic milk jugs. Since garbage is trucked elsewhere, to the regional dump in Delta, garbage is a lesser concern to White Rock residents. The only heavy industry visible is that of Cherry Point, 15 miles away in Washington State, and the sulphur dioxide from the oil refineries blows into White Rock only when there is a southwesterly wind. Despite sea breezes which clear the air for those living above the bay, smog is becoming increasingly visible as air inversions and increased pollution continue to plague the Lower•Mainland. However, most White Rock residents, especially those who are retired, seem comfortable walking around the town centre. 115 Gas drilling and storage are a worry for White Rock residents, and some have joined Friends of the Fraser Valley, a Langley based group organized to protest proposals for such drilling and storage. White Rock's water supply is dependent on underground aquifers which would be threatened by underground storage particularly. White Rock residents think their water is healthier than GVRD water because of some mineral content and the lack of need to use controversial chloramine. Chloramine caused concern in White Rock in September 1991 when the use of the chlorine ammonia combination was protested by the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club because a chloramine spill killed thousands of fish in a stream in 1990. The GVRD contends that chloramine, which South Surrey has added to its water supply, is needed to control bacteria growth because the water runs from the North Vancouver watershed. Those who receive water from White Rock utilities fear the potential use of underground gas storage because, not only will it mean the draining of aquifers, but it will lead to underground seepage. Explosions, a danger posed by gas drilling, are less of a concern for White Rock because the proposed sites are located further up the Fraser Valley. Ownership of the water supply by a private utility company has created controversy in White Rock. Residents object to paying additional costs for water over and above their annual property taxes. Homeowners have protested that apartment dwellers pay a cut rate for their water (Peace Arch News, February 1992). White 116 Rock council has considered purchasing the utility for the city but have always been told the cost is prohibitive. White Rock civic officials boost localism at the regional level, consistently preferring local planning decisions and control over GVRD regional planning, yet falling within poulation guidelines. With 78 members on the GVRD board, 22 of them from the city of Vancouver, the GVRD had begun a comprehensive public planning process in 1968, with a plan called "The Liveable Region" being the end product in 1975. The Social Credit government, which included White Rock MLA Bill Reid as a cabinet minister, eliminated the GVRD planning department and functions in 1984. In 1990 the GVRD began another public survey and input process called "Urban Futures", leading to recommendations in 1992 resembling the original plan. "There are thresholds beyond which regeneration becomes impossible. Rivers and seas are natural systems. They share with nature the possibility of dying." 10 Growth pressures from in-migration and immigration (75 per cent of the regional growth) fulfilled the GVRD prediction that the regional district would reach its saturation point of 2.2 million in 2004. Between 1975 and 1990 the regional population grew by 600,000 people.The Urban Futures project was designed to find ways of increasing the population density of this region so as to promote its economic development in a liveable way. Issues originally raised in the 1975 public process such as cleaner air, bicycle paths, and other environmental concerns such as preservation of agricultural land, remain nagging problems. 117 Aldermen such as Vin Coyne have continually bristled at the idea of regional intervention, espousing an ideology of localism which became outdated the minute South Surrey, which surrounds the city of White Rock, surpassed the city's population. The overlap of services, particularly police, fire and recreational, between the two administrative structures often means a call for South Surrey-White Rock amalgamation when city property owners receive their tax bills. Current Liberal opposition MLA, Wi1f Hurd, has long been a proponent of amalgamation. A request from Hurd to the minister of Municipal Affairs in July 1992 for the ministry to conduct a survey on creation of an expanded White Rock, resulted in hostile reaction from New Democrat mayor Bob Bose. Simultaneously with the GVRD research project on "Urban Futures" which culminated in a public relations brochure, the city of White Rock held a series of public hearings on its own Official Community Plan. Amalgamation with South Surrey, which includes valuable wetlands and agricultural land, would change the eco-politics of the region. The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, which has supporters in White Rock, has been calling for a United Nations designation of the Boundary Bay region as a United Nations' Biosphere Reserve in order to preserve bird habitats and marine life. Since the Boundary Bay region includes Semiahmoo Bay, as residential urban area upland from the bay, White Rock would have to be accountable to sewage and contamination run off. Ecological concerns have escalated to the point that in 1992 not only were 118 beaches closed to public swimming because of high fecal choliform counts but high concentrations of mercury were reported in the Campbell River along with fears of massive fish kills. Concerned about badly deteriorated river and beach water quality, local residents turned to provincial government agencies to address the problem. In July 1992, a 50 yard stretch of White Rock's west beach was closed to swimming. Although toilet paper and tampons frequently wash up on the city's east beaches, that beach has been reopened for public swimming. "On the first day of testing, the Boundary Health Unit recorded a choliform count of 750. Coliform is a bacteria that is an indicator of sewage contamination. On the second day, that number jumped to 1950 and on the third day it reached 2,000. A safe limit set by the health unit is 200...White Rock's increasing population is bringing more pollution to the area, especially on the beach, and birds and cats also contribute to high levels of coliform. the bulk of the recent high levels came as a result of the recent rain that drained the pollution into the ocean through the city's storm sewer system." 11 As well, in 1992 more than 50 dead birds and three seals washed up on White rock beaches. Members of the Boundary Bay Oil Spill Society, based in White Rock, laid the blame on inhumane fishing practices. The struggle over development, which up to 1992 was a struggle to preserve single family residential areas and a public outcry over highrise developments, became concerned with saving road ends from development in a desperate bid to retain greenspace, even if it were only blackberry bushes on a saturated hi 11 side. Local politicians have a history of using rhetoric to 119 address the environment, while their actions favor its contradiction, economic development. For instance, the 1990 fecal choliform counts were hidden from the public, until public bathing commenced. Signs warning of pollution were late being installed and wording on the signs minimalist and small lettered. Until the 1992 incident, city hall bureaucrats and councillors blamed the high counts on "doggy do". Public protest kept the issue in the public eye. Completed construction of a promenade allowing people to walk along a beach which is no longer fit for public swimming has eased local business owners' fears of a substantial drop in business. White Rock remains a tourist destination despite Marine Drive residents' complaints of noxious odours coming from the sewage pumping stations. Since sewage comes down to the water front and then has to be pumped uphill, and since the GVRD has a permit to dump sewage overflow, one may readily assume that during heavy rainstorms or on busy summer weekends, overflow will be dumped into the bay. Not surprisingly, marine life is practically nonexistent. Prior to the research period, the local election process, which rarely saw an active political contest and where campaign advertising rules were not prescribed, did not favour the election of environmentalists. At the White Rock Evergreen Baptist home, where approximately 350 residents vote in city 120 elections, I received complaints that residents were given lists of names to vote for, (allegedly supplied by the popular Vin Coyne) and were hit by an old gentleman's cane if they objected. My scrutineers reported staff at the home instructed residents in the polling booth on whom to vote for. Another concern, since the returning officer in White Rock does not normally cross check polling lists, is that no system exists to prevent people from casting more than one ballot. Complaints also exist that voters are bussed in from South Surrey with no identification requirements and are registered to vote on election day (a practice no longer allowed in federal elections). Having grown from a small nucleus in a short time and having attracted a conservative generation of retirees, White Rock politics has long been the domain of a clique of longtime White Rock residents. When I began working at the local newspaper in 1980, I was told to expect to be called a newcomer until I'd actually lived in the city for 10 years. The White Rock clique represents large landowners, realtors, architects, accountants, social dilettantes and developers. They have well-paid city hall bureaucrats on their side. Rather than run on issues, the local establishment candidates run on a platform of wanting to provide "responsible government". They stress the need to be "team players". As a hidden slate, they take supporting advertisements in the local 121 newspaper under the guise of groups such as "concerned citizens for responsible government", playing on localist ideology. The lack of clearly identified platforms and political affiliation leads to election of candidates based on personality contests between locally based business and professional people, some of whom live in Surrey. It also means voter apathy and low voter turn-out. The June 1991 by-election in which I ran against two other candidates had a voter turn out of just 15.3 per cent. In Canada, voter turnout in local elections only reaches the 50 per cent level when mayoralties are contested. With such voter apathy it is no wonder acclamations to local government bodies i common. Higher voter turn-out would give more opportunity for people to vote for challengers to the existing incumbents.This theory has promoted changes to the B.C. Municipal Act to allow for ward systems in local governments since voter turn-out tends to be "somewhat higher under a ward system than one at large...it is ironic that while one of the most important roles which municipal council could play is to act as a public forum for the discussion of issues of community concern, councils often attempt to avoid airing controversial matters in public," 12 The voter apathy and low turn-out encouraged by lack of political party platforms and the myth of non-partisanship, lead to increased power for bureaucrats at city hall. These bureaucrats tend to be resistant to citizens' groups, and they prefer closed styles of government. Since councillors have been 122 elected in personality contests and prefer to remain popular with their peers, any contentious issues are always discussed behind closed doors. "We do need municipal councillors and staff who are receptive to more public involvement in the decision making process, who pursue an open style of government, and who accept that community views and values are as important as technical considerations in deciding on a course of action. We also need citizens and citizens groups with an ongoing broadly based interest in local government, willing to propose as well as oppose, and to be appreciative of the ultimate responsibility of council. Yet if these conditions were met, municipal governments would still be unable to respond to many of the concerns of their inhabitants simply because they lack the power and independence to do so." 13 Such critique, in the early 1970s when new social movements were in their infancy, prompted activists to run for local political office in many cities. However, the elections of private citizens to city councils is an expensive public relations project for those who seek to maintain a high community profile. The senior member on my campaign team, Duncan Cameron, reported that on one campaign for alderman with the current mayor Hardy Staub, Staub forked out $5,000 to win election to council. As an airline pilot, Staub did not have the luxury of considering his campaign a business promotion as Chamber of Commerce members can. However, his belief in Localist ideology made him feel that the expense needed to make him a "prominent citizen" and/or contribute to his community, was warranted. My experience shows that it's impossible to win a campaign for less than $2500 (I was $600 short). Without signs it's 123 difficult for people to remember to vote, especially in a by-election when city staff neglected to put polling signs up until lunch time, as I noted at the Peace Arch Elementary polling stat i on. "With few exceptions, the campaign is devoid of issues or clear policy choices...candidates for office are reluctant to offer specific promises which they may not be able to fulfill. The result is that the elections becomes largely a personality contest, one in which the incumbents are likely to be favoured if only because of the lengthy list of names and multiple ballots facing the voters...it is argued that voter turnout and citizen interest generally may be inhibited by the fact that traditional municipal boundaries do not coincide with the community of interest of today's popu1 ation...peop1e may ignore municipal boundaries in their pursuit of employment, leisure activities and various specialized services." 14 The tight knit between senior city staff and the local petit bourgeoisie is evidenced by an undisguised arrogance towards local citizens. Alderman Vin Coyne is quoted as calling the White Rock Residents' Association the "black-eye brigade" for criticizing staff's negligence in failure to post beach closure signs. Ken Jones cited this hostile attitude towards local citizens in his failed bid for mayor in 1990 when he pledged to bring a "friendly city hall" to White Rock. As an advocate of improved youth and senior facilities, Jones felt better able to serve from Victoria and since he and his wife were on the front lines in their bid for the South Surrey-White Rock swimming pool, he knows the value of provincial government funding, acquisition of such i24 often exceeding the political skills of local mayors. "Municipal governments have not matured sufficiently to participate effectively in intergovernmental relations... among other 1imitations,their preoccupation with a service delivery role, the absence of political parties in local governments, and the negative attitude toward politics. They also point to the absence of a rational, planned policy making process at the local level." 15 Other than myself, Jones was the only candidate in 1990 to highlight environmental concerns, and he actively worked with Friends of the Fraser Valley to stop oil and gas drilling. As a member of Amnesty International, he, like Lindsey Peebles, a diehard socialist who has belonged to the New Democratic Party from its inception, are two of the peace activists who are also strong environmentalists. The local petit bourgeoisie profits from ties not only with city government but with the province, as evidenced by MLA Bill Reid's fall from grace when, as tourism minister, GO B.C. funnelled money to a company called Eco-Clean (capitalizing on the environmental fad), which was owned by a friend and former campaign manager. Bill Reid got caught doing what was expected of local politicians as a long term practice. The money was in turn to go to the Semiahmoo House Society, another breeding ground for local politicians, in order to set up a recycling program. In the end, White Rock decided city staff were best able to provide the recycling service. 125 In an agreement with the Attorney General, Colin Gabelman, (who himself later resigned under questionable circumstances), Eco-Clean repaid half the grant. GO B.C. was apparently so tainted by local politics that the NDP government ended up cancelling the program. Mobilization of local citizens has generally occurred around high density development issues, with citizens lobbying against the local petit bourgeoisie in the late 1970s and early 1980s to prevent construction of high rises. Two apparently leftist aldermen were elected to council in 1981. One of them, a supposed environmental activist, Brian Brett, announced that he was giving up on fighting development and that he was moving his family to Saltspring Island in 1990. The GVRD Urban Futures survey in 1990 showed that pollution was the number one concern of Greater Vancouver residents. The GVRD claims 20 per cent of the air pollution is caused by industry and 80 per cent by vehicles. Surrey contributed to massive air pollution problems on the Semiahmoo peninsula by allowing burning for land clearing in the rapidly growing area. Surrey council only banned the burning in 1993 and still allows for occasional permits. Environmental tensions continue to undermine localist stability. With their hillside view of the bay and knowledge of the water contamination, White Rock residents now find the beach 126 pollution a continual reminder of the dumping going on in the Strait of Georgia. It's a homefront issue which helps mobilize residents to seek regional answers to the problem. Secondary sewage treatment for Annacis Island is still an engineer's dream as local councils fight over the cost-sharing arrangement. Localist response to environmental disasters remains slow and ineffective. With Surrey now objecting to paying under a cost-sharing formula based on amounts of new development and with White Rock residents evidencing the summer water shortages and overcrowded beaches they blame on Surrey's growth, the ongoing conflict between the two cities will escalate. Within the GVRD Sewerage and Drainage District, the North Shore and Vancouver Sewer areas discharge into the ocean, and Lulu and Fraser River areas discharge into the Fraser River. Only "the Fraser district, largest of the four, must now provide secondary treatment" (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, May 7, 1995). The $700 million secondary treatment plant will service the fastest growing areas, but it's a slow moving long overdue program which only partially addresses the sewage problem. When summer water shortages mean that fire protection is compromised, the visible "tensions in the growth machine" (Molotch and Logan:1981), show up in the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Since, demographica11y, White Rock residents have a high level of education, are considered to be geographically oriented towards a 127 sense of neighbourhood, and tend to be educated about and socialized into political activity, residents are likely to continue to be vociferous in their campaigns against pollution and over-consumption issues. When local politicians and city staff try to blame the fecal choliform counts on three misconnected toilets as was attempted during the 1991 by-election, it is not only strains the credulity of local residents, but renders these politicians suspect and helps diffuse "false consciousness". When environmental disaster is ineptly dealt with by local politicians the credibility of such local officials not only diminishes, but the localist belief about community leaders being good citizens is shattered, to the point where an advisory design panel member, a president of the Chamber of Commerce and a president of the local sea festival society were unable to win enough votes for city council election in 1990. Since the long term planning process for Greater Vancouver began in 1968, growth of the region has increased population by more than 50 per cent. From 1971 the population of the area grew from one million to a million and a half with another 500,000 people projected in the region by 2011. The planning process initiated in 1968 showed a need for preserving agricultural land. Since Semiahmoo Peninsula, where White Rock is perched, is bounded by Semiahmoo Bay, the United States Border, and 128 agricultural land, growth pressure has been more intensified than other areas of the Lower Mainland. "The Region's south-western shoreline, long the subject of numerous development proposals, extends from Point Grey to White Rock, and includes the lower reaches of the Fraser River. While the B.C. Coast generally features a steep rocky shoreline, our south-western shoreline, set in the floodplain delta of the Fraser River, is characterized by vast stretches of inter-tidal flat...in the future a variety of needs—port needs, industrial needs, recreation needs, wildlife needs, and transportation needs—will have to be met along these shores... West Richmond, Ladner, South Delta, and South Surrey, favoured by more sunshine and less rainfall than Vancouver, have attracted urban development." 16 Not only air quality, agricultural land issues, sewage demands, water delivery and service delivery issues need to be addressed on a regional level. The effect of development on the fisheries requires responses far beyond a local government's expertise or mandate. Yet the development decisions made by a local government can severely harm the fishing industry. White Rock, a popular spot for crabbing, now has almost dead shores. Since Boundary Bay is a herring spawning ground, pollution threatens the fishing industry. In 1968 the GVRD reported that "further pollution would most likely harm the local herring fishery, and reduce or disperse the commercial and sports salmon fishing in the process." 17 Obviously, with beach closures as evidence, pollution increased dramatically. Urban run-off is identified as a source of heavy metal contamination as well as fecal choliform. "Sewers feeding the Annacis and Iona plants also collect 129 storm run -off. During rainy periods, the volume entering the sewerage system increases to such an extent that part of the sewage, diluted with run-off, must be discharged directly to the receiving water before entering the plants. These wet weather overflows and by-passes are not covered by the pollution control permits, and are therefore not monitored regularly. As a result, it is impossible to calculate precise contaminant loadings discharged by the sewerage system." 18 In White Rock, sewage runs downhill and is collected at pumping stations and pumped back up to the main trunk line feeding the Annacis Island sewage plant. The secondary sewage treatment plant at Campbell River was closed down in 1978. Since that time the pumping stations regularly pump out overflow during heavy rainstorms, which often occur just before summer swimming season. Local governments are unable to enforce sewage by—laws, a problem which the GVRD has identified with local by-laws concerning discharges to the branch sewer lines. Neither can local governments regularly monitor effluents discharged into its municipal sewers or the effluents emanating from its storm sewers. That monitoring task fell to the provincial Boundary Bay regional board of health in 1989 after fecal choliform counts reached dramatic heights cal1ing for senior government intervention. Prior to this, and as early as 1978, the GVRD acknowledged both runoff and accidental connections of sanitary sewers to storm sewers created bacterial pollution problems in the region. "Run off also contains varying amounts of toxic 130 materials" 19 The large number of agencies, 20, and number of monitoring stations, 200, makes correlati on of data difficult. The division of powers between these bureaucratic agencies served to delay actions on water quality deterioration. "....it is difficult to draw conclusions from the historical information on toxic materials because of the data's lack of accuracy and large variability. Toxicity data can be hard to interpret because different analytical procedures are used that give different results, for example the data on metals may be for total extractable or dissolved metals." 20 Reliance on technocrats, and the nature of a bureaucrat's need for job preservation, only frustrates political action. Storm run-off and chemical leachates from sanitary landfills were not even politically identified as areas for study until 1978, as these were issues beyond the usual scope of local councillors getting together to serve on GVRD boards. "In 1975, the Province established a Steering Committee of representatives from government, the fishing industry and GVRD to examine the need for secondary treatment at the Annacis Island Sewage Treatment Plant. The Committee was most concerned about the build-up of toxic materials from the plant in the sediments and biota of the Fraser. The government subsequently established the following policies which the Pollution Control Board was ordered to implement: that a source control program to control disposal of toxic materials before they enter municipal sewers be expanded to cover the entire G.V.R.D... That all future monitoring of water quality, effluents storm run-off and aquatic biota be co-ordinated at all three levels of government." 21 Twenty years later, while costs have escalated, member municipalities are still arguing about cost-sharing arrangements and delaying construction of secondary treatment at just one 131 site, as opposed to the four sites needing facilities. With the federal government, under the Fisheries Act, responsible for regulating the "deposition of substances deleterious to fish" arguments between the various levels of government have continued. The GVRD remains an ad-hoc government of non-elected, non-accountable directors who must respond to the concerns of local businesses and property owners at home, where 90 per cent of their local governments' revenue is generated. In the meantime, between 1970 and 1990, pesticide use in agricultural areas increased steadily, and fungicides, anti-sapstain agents, herbicides and insecticides found their way into local waters. Local newspapers carried reports of accidental poisoning of farm workers and aerial spraying of children walking to school, as the use of such organophosphates outstripped bureaucratic efforts to control their use. According to the Vancouver Sun, new population projections for the Greater Vancouver Area call for three million people in 2021, doubling the original 1.5 million projection for 2011 (Vancouver Sun, May 30, 1995), creating more construction waste and environmental disruption as well as greatly increasing waste output into already overloaded systems. Waste-reduction and recycling programs, such as the one initiated by White Rock, reduced landfill input by 12 per cent from 1989 to 1995 and public concern over water conservation led 132 to a 26 per cent decline in water use in peak times. Landfills are reaching their capacity, but the greatest alarm has been the failure to make progress in upgrading sewage treatment plants. A new inter-governmental body, called the Fraser Basin Management Board, tried to simplify the public relations process by giving sewage treatment an F grade. While agencies developed pollution control guidelines and politicians stalled on action, White Rock beaches lost the water quality needed for safe "water contact recreation" at the same time the need for even more beaches in the Greater Vancouver was identified. In 1990 the GVRD reported that "in these areas of water-contact recreation, point and non-point discharges should be carefully controlled to meet necessary water quality standards." Ten years later Deep Cove and White Rock beaches began closures. Politicians failed to heed warnings that "Action should be taken in those areas heavily used for recreational purposes, but which have not been specifically set aside or designated for recreational use at the present time, to preserve them as active recreation sites and to provide for their management." 22 These warnings came just before the construction boom and population growth which surged in the early 1980s. Local councils became dragged down by discussions of development cost charges and design processes as the rush to put out development permits occupied the time of local councillors, so dependent on popularity contests for election and reelection that social 133 activities remained high on priority lists. Population growth in Surrey, which encroaches on White Rock, is now so great that in 15 years Surrey will be the largest city in the province with a population of 600,000 (compared wtih Vancouver's 1991 census of 471,000). Yet the White Rock beach was so overcrowded prior to closures that Marine Drive remained a traffic bottleneck every weekend. The buck-passing between governments, and the political reality of a GVRD being controlled by local politicians whom senior politicians depend on for re-election, has made for cosy politics in excusing the regional district from its responsibilities to keep waters clean for recreation and fisheries use. Fines, which would have to be paid by private citizens or corporations for exceeding pollution guidelines, are waived for the regional district. The case brought by the UFAW and Sierra Club was hijacked by provincial crown counsel, who then dropped the charges against the regional district because of a provincial government "handshake agreement" permitting the raw sewage to be discharged in heavy rainstorms (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times, May 28 1995). Common sense would suggest the GVRD be fined for discharge and those fines banked to pay for the cost of developing sewage treatment, so that by the time the GVRD took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada on appeal of the fines, 134 the treatment plants would be operating. But with technocrats and bureaucrats in charge of fractured government, common sense has been lost in "the review process." White Rock, a community which once relied on logging for so many livelihoods, must now grapple with the effects of run-off on a greatly denuded, urbanized slope. White Rock has gone from logging camp to seasonal resort to retirement and bedroom community. The ruling political elite are holdovers from White Rock's resort era. Beach pollution threatens the existence of tourist oriented businesses which give White Rock its current identity and sense of isolated location. Central to localist ideology is the idea of a local landlord serving as town patron and politician. Localism fails when major landlords become absentee ones, routine in a globalized, capitalist economy. The salvation of localism was in the creation of owner-occupied housing units, called condominums, which turned landlords into property developers. Although localism, with its ehic of the landowner as enfranchised citizen, would exclude these small strata-title owners from the political process even though they pay "property taxes", environmenta1ism and its ideology of shared responsibility acts to motivate owners and renters to share responsibility for monitoring actions which affect their surrounding community. Appointment of Condominium Home Owners' Association executive members to White Rock council 135 committees is now as common as appointments of local business peop1e. Lured by the attraction of a small town atmosphere within a larger urban setting, those who take up residence in White Rock will be exposed to both localist and environmentalist philosophies. Home ownership encourages acceptance of environmentalist philosophies with the emphasis on maintaining an environment that increases property values and creates pleasant havens out of neighbourhoods. Quality of life issues therefore remain at the top of White Rock's local political agenda. The popularity that the attachment to a small locale creates for the city has created a gentrified community where residents are more socialized into participating in community activities and local political affairs. However, growth pressures have strained the ability of the local habitat to handle increased housing construction. The mounting environmental problems require response from regional and senior level of governments as technical solutions for ecological damage lies beyond the control, expertise and financial abilities of those residing within local boundaries. As the concluding chapter will show, although this tendency to blame outside forces and seek restitution for damages from outside groups, governments, and corporations, befits localist ideology, the environmental tensions, which call for wider forms of 136 cooperation, signal a transformation of 19th century British localism and forms of government into symbolic and nominal neighborhoods within metropolitan regions. Presently the provincial government must mediate when encroaching growth from surrounding areas (e.g. Surrey) causes pollution problems with another small jurisdiction such as White Rock. The feuding over cost-sharing formulas within the Greater Vancouver Regional District demonstrates that, in its current form regional government is unworkable since attachment to specific locales is so strong. Growing population and a need to commute further for employment and recreational pursuits has made for stronger regional identification and decreased isolationism. As growth pressures increase, pollution on other beaches in the Greater Vancouver area region-wide will be opposed. Beaches will be seen as a regional rather than local resource. As localism grows to bio-region proportions, which exceed traditional 19th century townships, strata councils and meeting rooms or neighbourhood community centres and planning committees will assume charge of localist social and political functions. This reflects a reconstitution of localism since the basis for "locale" evolves, on the one hand, into larger geographical entities for economic survival, and devolves on the other hand, into smaller neighbourhoods for social comfort. 137 So whereas the boundaries of White Rock encompass just three square miles, it contains distinctive neighbourhoods know to inhabitants as town centre, hillside with view, east side, west side and waterfront. Large apartment buildings such as the six-storey retirement-oriented "Pacific Palisades" offer meeting rooms for community use and promote neighbourhood identity. Yet the waterfront and beach remain the focal point of White Rock. When pollution threatened the waterfront, not only immediate residents but those from surrounding neighbourhoods who enjoy ) beachfront activity complained about stench from sewage discharge and the wastes washing up on public beaches. Residents from varying neighbourhoods united against deteriorating water quality. However, these residents quickly discovered that White Rock city hall was unable to solve the pollution problem, and that the regional district, because of bickering directors and City of Vancouver dominance, was unresponsive. Continued pollution watch on the beachfront has, therefore, led to local frustration, especially since new infrastructure is beyond White Rock's financial capabilities and sewage treatment remains a regional mandate. Only when Vancouver's beaches are threatened, however, will the current regional board of directors likely respond to sewer outlet pollution problems. Stymied by White Rock's financial limitations, frustrated citizens have several times appealed to the provincial government for a 138 referendum vote promoting civic merger of White Rock and South Surrey into a geographic area with more political clout, a better tax base and more efficient service delivery. This amalgamation movement reflects an new and expanded sense of localism in White Rock and its immediate vicinity. 139 ENDNOTES 1. Margaret Lang, Along the Way, City of White Rock: White Rock, B.C. p. 11. 2. G. Fern Treleaven, The Surrey Story, Surrey Historical Society: Surrey, B.C. 1992. p.2. 3. Ibid, p. 145. 4. Ibid. 5. Les Swain, ed., Our Southwestern Shores, Ministry of Environment: Victoria, B.C. 1981. p. 21. 6. G.Fern Treleaven, The Surrey Story, Ibid. p. 25. 7. William Baldwin, ed., Annual Report, City of White Rock: White Rock, B.C. 1990. p. 1. 8. Ibid, p. 3. 9. Bud Elsie, ed., GVRD Development Services Bulletin, Greater Vancouver Regional District, Burnaby, B.C. October, 1990. p. 5 . 10. Fraser River Estuary Study, A Living River by the Door, Ministry of Environment: Surrey, B.C. 1981. p. 7. 11. Diane Strandberg, ed., Peace Arch News, Metro Valley Newspapers: White Rock, B.C. July 15, 1992. p. 1. 12. Jack Masson and James D. Anderson, Emerging Party Politics in Urban Canada, McClelland & Stewart: Toronto. 1972. p. 258. 13. Ibid. 14. Ibid, p. 156. 15. Ibid, p. 248/249. 16. Ibid, p. 181. 17. Les Swain, ed., Our Southwestern Shores. Ibid. p. 4. 18. Les G. Swain and L.J. Alexander, Fraser River Estuary Study Water Quality: Boundary Bay, Ministry of Environment: Victoria, B.C. 1981. p. 8/9. 140 19. Fraser River Estuary Study Steering Committee, Fraser Estuary Study Summary, Ministry of Environment: Victoria, B.C. 1978. p. 51. 20. Ibid, p. 67. 21. Ibid, p. 70. 22. Ibid. 141 CHAPTER IV CHANGING THE POLITICAL CONTEXT: THE POWER OF ENV IRONMENTALISM As evidenced by the escalating sewer problem, costly environmental problems rarely can be confined to a narrowly defined locale, but become regional issues. Semiahmoo Bay is part of an interconnected river and estuary system. Sewage disposal for the city of White Rock is managed by the regional district under the authority of the provincial government. The quality of water in Semiahmoo Bay, shared by Canadian and U.S. nation-states can cause international tension beyond the diplomatic scope of local politicians. High infiltration and inflows which occur throughout the coastal region during heavy rainstorms, unchecked in White Rock, have caused problems with outfalls on the beach. Tidal flows and shallow bay water fail to dissipate the effluent. However, it wasn't until 1988 that the GVRD engineering department recommended a sewer flow monitoring program which could define size and locations of the existing problem and look at ways to control the infi1tration/infIow in a system which shows increased demand for sanitary flow. "Excessive inflows appear to be occurring at the White Rock, Langley and Cloverdale pumping stations. These have a significant impact on conditions in the sewers immediately downstream." 1 Tourists to White Rock beaches (who are affected by beach closures) are both region-wide and international visitors. Local 142 businesses depend on these visitors for economic survival of the small business community. The income generated by tourism helps pay for the city's provision of cosmetic infrastructure such as sidewalks and street lighting, both improving the quality of life for local residents and boosting tourist appeal. Pollution can be seen as a result of the metropolis-hinterland political economy where the concentration of the mass of people in the metropolis causes ecological deterioration, yet the costs for solving the problems will be borne by resources drained from the hinterland. As those resources are consumed in the face of further ecological devastation, such as from strip mining or deforestation, the metropolis-hinterland contradiction is intensified. As Clive Ponting observes: "I am convinced, that after nearly twenty years of supporting 'environmental' causes, that 'green' issues are not simply about the state of the natural world but have to include central problems such as the use of resources and energy, the distribution of poverty and wealth, how people treat other people, and the way people think about the world they inhabit." 2 Without government intervention, environmentally destructive practices would predominate. With government intervention, such practices are mitigated but rarely eliminated. Studies undertaken by the GVRD in 1988 came up with proposals to curb the combined storm/sewer outflow problems which have plagued the beach at White Rock and other areas in the region-wide. The first proposal, which entailed further study, noted that zero tolerance 143 approach to sewage pollution of beach water in the region would have added $134 per household in the sewage and drainage district in order to treat the combined sewer outlet, urban run-off flows. A second, far less costly option, at $41 per household would place controls in areas already identified as those causing deteriorating water quality downstream. This practical second option was omitted from the final report drafted by the GVRD engineering department. In short, the technocrats opted for further studies, delayed implementation, and incurred higher costs. This despite the fact that "fair" and "poor" water quality could have been improved by an impact-driven proposal for combined sewer overflow/urban run-off controls at a price politicians would have considered affordable. Local "watchdogs" might have been able to citicize this oversight had the regional government been accountable, not the unelected privately meeting body that it is. The 1988 GVRD report also recommended high priority be placed on the South Surrey Interceptor at Johnston Road in White Rock, having already identified it as causing downstream sewage problems on the White Rock beach, but having failed to inform local politicians. The GVRD engineering report called for a surcharge on the interceptor which would allow the interceptor to operate under pressure during heavy rainfall and take the excessive inflow. Combined sewer/storm outlets result in 58 per cent summer 144 contribution and 31 per cent winter contribution of the total fecal coliform loads in local rivers and beach waters. Urban runoff, which politicians and engineers blamed for the contamination, contributes only one per cent of the fecal coli form. Beach pollution, along with the stripping of trees from the White Rock landscape, adds to the alienation of the city's population from a natural environment. Pressures for quick growth are evidenced in all major Canadian metropolitan areas due to the petit-bourgeois character of Canadian political economy and the nation's dependence on land development instead of industrial production. Emergence of post-industrial society and a reliance on production of knowledge and information and increasing struggles over cultural terrain, should help reduce this dependence on land development (e.g., movie production in the province of British Columbia). The tangible pollution evidenced by foaming beach waters in White Rock draws people's attention to the degradation of the physical and geographical environment. This becomes a metaphor for the underlying alienation found in the social environment and leads to increased distrust of politicians. Environmentalists then educate citizens to look at the contradictions between the political process and economic elites. Politicians come to be seen as corrupt by voters since the response to dwindling resources merely intensifies the environmental degradation in 145 such a way as to be visible and detrimental to everyday life. Thus, the use of counter-hegemonic ideology, in the course of my own involvements in local politics, was essential in trying to bring about social change within a localized context. Environmental ism is a populist counter-hegemonic ideology capable of exploiting an array of issues and events for use in the political process, at a local, state or global level. Technological advances in the latter half of the twentieth century gives an ideological impression that technology exists to cure pollution and over-consumption woes. For instance, ecological ideology insists that new technology can and must provide a change in the means of production which can then revolutionize relations of production and lead to ecological preservation. However, most ecological ideologues lack the requisite power and prestige to be taken seriously by even a local establishment. As an interventionist wanting to exert influence, I first had to establish the credentials that would confer some measure of prestige. After acquiring a reputation for know 1edgabi1ity at the local level, the project required a bid to achieve a position of local power (i.e. by being elected to city council) while deviating from the conciliatory tone the status quo expect in their local political campaigns and maintaining an aggressive attack against right wing rhetoric. In my case, while not winning 146 a political position, the election attempts served to increase my prestige and influence within the local community. In 1991, environmental ideology impacted British Columbia politics by playing a major role in defeating the Social Credit party, which had displayed an arrogant disregard for , environmentalists and an inability to incorporate enviromental demands. Both Liberal victors, Ken Jones and Wi1f Hurd were the darkest green of the political candidates running in their constituencies. Although environmentalists campaigned actively for the New Democrats,they were the first to leave the New Democratic Party following its securing of the provincial reins of state. Although the Mike Harcourt government moved on outstanding environmental issues, such as creation of more parkland and promises for sewage treatment for the capital regional district, the environmentalist abandonment of the party can be seen as a reflection that environmentalists wanted more than engineered environmental management. The de-alienating struggle of ecologists entails a strong demand for political and social morality. Like the previous Social Credit government, the New Democratic one came to be seen by some former supporters as morally bankrupt and hypocritical. The Mike Harcourt government could never have been termed Leftist. Environmentalists can be seen as Leftist when the struggle turns against neoconservatism, oppression, exploitation 147 and greed. The escalating problems posed by ozone depletion, marine degradation, deforestation and other global concerns, as well as rapidly depleting resources in a planet facing a burgeoning population, can be seen as a crisis pre-figuring new relations of production. As a counter-hegemonic ideology, environmental ism is well-placed to provide the ideological superstructure for an emergent base on which species survival depends. Environmentalists in the broad sense, which a majority of White Rock residents would now claim to be, crystallize the contradictions of a decaying capitalist society and focus on the destructive tendencies of capitalism, i.e. economic development which relies on perpetual expansion in a finite world. The political struggle in White Rock has become a localized, neighbourhood struggle against this alienating brand of economic development. Provincial governments, however, are still expected to carry clout on environmental issues. Yet the political coalition environmental ism could achieve required a radical rethinking of traditional Leftist ideology, since environmental ism is at odds with the productivist and positivist orientaton of Marxism. Response from ecologically concerned citizens who want decisive government action to end the pollution crisis requires resources long unavailable at a local level. Local activists tend to become frustrated and "burned out". Environmental groups, 148 which normally serve a provocative or educative function, need alliance with well-funded groups in order to wage costly legal battles, putting them at risk of co-optation. Citing the 20 years of inaction on pollution of the Fraser River and the seawaters it feeds into, such as the Boundary Bay system which includes Semiahmoo Bay, the U.S. based Sierra Legal Defence Fund has undertaken legal action against the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The action was prompted by the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union (UFAW), a leftist organization which has been working with the Save Georgia Strait Alliance (a group opposed to sewage in the strait) has been working . According to the Vancouver Sun, (May 12th, 1995), private prosecution (which the provincial system has failed to undertake) cites five violations of the provincial Waste Management Act and one under the Federal Fisheries Act concerning the Annacis Island sewage outfall. The fact is that the GVRD, as a non-elected body, falls under provincial government control, yet continually breaks the provincial laws set by the government. It illustrates an unworkable system of government. The salmon fishery, worth $300 million a year is affected by the sewage outflow which local governments (such as Surrey) complain about—the $700 million capital cost of secondary sewage treatment plants. This petty local attitude by members of Surrey towards regional cost sharing defies common sense yet ties into a 149 toothless nation-state government which prefers to throw money out on short-term projects such as royal commissions where friends can be appointed, and provincial governments which spend $500 a day on friendly public relations advisors to promote myths of action where decisions are delayed. "The private prosecution follows a demand... from federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin that the GVRD take action within 30 days to upgrade its Annacis Island and Lulu Island treatment plants. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $1 Million a day under the Fisheries Act, he said ..." (the UFAW said) it is too little too late. "We've had 20 years of broken promises. It's time for stronger action and laying these charges will result in that." So far, less than half of the $650 million upgrade has been financed. The GVRD is hoping to reach a cost sharing deal with the B.C. government for the next phase, worth $167 million, but the province is lukewarm to the idea." (Vancouver Sun, May 12, 1995) Decisively issue-oriented environmental organizations are more flexible and, therefore, more readily adaptable and more conducive to social change than mass political parties. The changing political reality in Canada, with the rise of the regionally based Reform and Bloc Quebecois parties (simultaneous with plunging support of traditional Conservative and New Democratic Parties) and a Liberal party with weak long-term support, suggest mass political parties may not survive into the 21st century. Even in the United States with just two traditional parties to choose from, mass political party organizations are being forced to regroup, given the rise of populists such as Newt 150 Gingrich and new political parties such as Ross Perot's Reform Party and Ralph Nader's Green Party, along with demonstrated voter backlash against incumbent politicians in the 1994 Senate and Congressional elections. Provincial politics (regional within North American standards) appears best suited to both addressing concrete problems such as air and water pollution, and debureaucratizing nation-state government political systems. These nation-state political battlefields have come to be perceived by citizens as corrupt, inefficient and costly. As evidenced by reliance on regional cooperation to properly reduce sewage pollution, environmentalists can best mobilize when presented with low-level, locally focussed politicians to contend with. As a barometer of social change, regional political systems would best fit the ecologists' theory of dividing nation-states into bio-regions. The push to bio-regions reduces the scale of organization, enabling sustainab 1ity of resources and accountability of political actions. As representative of a social movement, progressive environmental organizations focus on international fund raising and networks. This mirrors global politics which has become increasingly internationalized as reactions to both improved information technology, reduced resources and interdependent commerce and problem-solving initiatives. New regional politics suggest the reformation of local 151 politics as the political system tries to reconstitute itself more to the territorial equivalent of the city-state size, metropolis-hinterland geopolitical paradigm. Orginally intended to provide street level services to small cities, local governments are paralyzed by funding crises, lack of skills to solve complex problems and a changing global political economy. However, despite initiatives from both South Surrey and White Rock residents, amalgamation for the Semiahmoo Peninsula remains remote. "The concern remains to understand a new...comp1exity of relations between a mode of production in transformation and its relations to manifold but integrated processes and practices of consumption."3 If urban areas are not viewed in terms of use value, but largely in terms of exchange value, then pollution, stemming from re-zoning ordinances can be seen as an example of a negative by product of the latter. "...the central state determines the total amount of surplus value to be removed from direct accumulation, i.e. the sphere of capital to be devalued, while local government uses the sphere of devalorized capital to produce the general conditions. The two phases are quite distinct; the first concerns values, the second concerns use values and is limited by the amount of value removed from accumulation" 4 If cities are to have a use value, as outlined by Manuel Castells (The City and the Grassroots: 1983), citizen participation is required. Without citizens and without their participation, cities would be reduced to economic exchange value of its inclusive properties. Therefore, where people congregate 152 in large, settled communities, citizens' movements will constantly be born. "A social mobilization (not necessarily based on a particular social class imposes a new urban meaning in contradiction to the institutionalized urban meaning and against the interest of the dominant class. It is in this case that we use the concept of urban social movement: a collective conscious action aimed at the transformation of the institutionalized urban meaning against the logic, interest, and values of the dominant class." 5 So for instance, the White Rock Residents Association was composed of retired businessmen, retired housewives, clerk-typists, government workers, factory workers, construction managers and professionals, with property ownership generally the common bond between them. One of the most contentious issues facing this political coalition was whether or not to pool economic resources and run a slate of candidates for city e1ect i ons. While generally conceding that the "Buena Vista old boys' club" (White Rock city hall being on Buena Vista Avenue, as the WRRA referred to the local status quo) consistently ran a hidden slate for election, the executive invariably shied away from actually running an organized, centrally-funded slate of candidates. The experience of both Wi1f Hurd and Dave Martin, when they chose to run for council, and were viciously attacked as a slate in a "newspaper" promoted by alderman Vin Coyne, served as a negative reminder. However, when Maria Romanczhuk, WRRA treasurer, decided to run for council as a last minute decision 153 and as an independent, the "slate" label was slapped on both of us. The sense of neighbourhood exists in White Rock, with the east side considering itself a separate neighbourhood from the west side, and the Marine Drive strip with adjoining hillside another neighbourhood, and the apartment area a centralized, predominantly residential Town Centre within walking distance of stores and services. Whereas, I polled strongly in the November 1990 election on the east side of White Rock, by the June 1991 by-election I won only the West side of the city and the town centre. This resulted from the intervention of a third candidate living on the east side who campaigned on the east side, combined with my failure to reacquaint myself with east side residents by door-knocking, and a low voter turnout on the east side. Success on the west resulted from new issues which brought new consciousness to west side voters. West side voters rallied around protests against a new fire hall, which the power clique decided would have to be located in a bureaucratic complex that includes the police station and library as well as city hall, and which severely hampers the response of the fire department to the convoluted geographical location of the west side houses. West side residents have traditionally been viewed as more affluent than those with east side properties, however, the gentrification of "hillside" view properties has changed the demographics, causing White Rock's 154 planner to term the east side two distinct neighbourhoods. Participant-observation provided insight into a community where pricier properties and gentrification made a demographic difference in the wealth, education and class backgrounds of local residents. White Rock is noted for having more than its share of artists, writers, educators, successful businessmen and retired intellectuals. Therefore, a well-educated, articulate citizens' base exists from which both the status quo and opposing groups can draw "foot soldiers". In White Rock the political fight is never one for local jobs, but quality of life issues. This leaves the political arena wide open to ideology, especially ongoing conflict between the localism of "oldtimers" and the environmental ism of "newcomer" challengers. Where members of the professional, managerial and technical class meet with working class citizens (in a city with "west" side and "east" side residual class differences... quick 1y becoming "view" and "non-view" spatial segregation) it is usually on issues of funding for public works. For instance, Marine Drive beautification and street improvements, arts centre projects, and sewage treatment improvements cal1 for a broader base of support and formation of pro and con groups and organizations. Operating as a female political interventionist in the White Rock city and regional political arena, 1 am inclined to agree with Castells' contention about women leading political struggles such as the Paris Commune, which "was decisively an action by the 155 women" (Ibid, p.18). Women can and do play active roles in local politics (Klatch: 1987). Often either marginalized as housewives, or small business owners, they spend more time doing everyday practice within a local environment. Women have developed alternative strategies for coping and tend to rely less on bureaucratic and technocratic language which obscures issues and contributes to false consciousness. Therefore, it was two women (Ellen Long and Joan Liddicoatt) who came up with the protest line about sewage on the beach being "shit from city hall". Excluded by traditional localist politics, women find environmentalist ideology motivational. Since most local organizations are dependent on volunteers, demographics in White Rock assure women are active participants in lobby groups. It was women who painted the signs and brought the children for television to focus on. It was myself who decided that with a minimal number of protesters, guerilla tactics would be preferable (thereby, choosing a Monday night to stage a protest against city council knowing that council voted the week before not to meet that night to provide themselves with a summer break). Finding the doors locked and having alerted the television cameras and with the good weather, an outdoor protest resulted. The fact that council failed to meet during a time of environmental crisis on the city's beaches made it possible to view city councillors as self-serving. Use of media is an essential for social movements which must 156 quickly rally public awareness but lack the resources and financing available to the political institutions they are attacking. This requires citizen "watchdogs" (a label Patricia Kealy and Duncan Cameron refer to) willing to pass local information on to Vancouver based media which might otherwise be unaware of such information which affects the region due to White Rock's tourist mecca status. Because television reaches the greatest number of citizens and has the strongest educative effect, use of televison media requires group strategy and implementation; therefore, communication between members of a social movement becomes a constant, sometimes nagging requirement. Localism enables a concentration on local media, such as a prolific 1etter-to-the editors section which distinguishes the Peace Arch News from other weekly and bi-weekly newspapers. Under attack by foes, insitutiona1ized groups (i.e. bureaucrats and politicians) go on the offensive against citizen groups while continuing actions which the citizen groups oppose, These tactics, which include blocking access to information, holding important committee meetings during times difficult for working members of the public to attend, charging fees for council minutes etc. are adopted in expectation that the citizen groups will collapse under pressure. Environmental social movements and groups have, however, survived since the late 1960s. Their survival is based on the salience of reproductive 157 issues. Environmental degradation threatens the survival and reproduction not only of the working class but of the capital class as well. Species survival transcends familiar class divisions, promoting extraordinary alliances which allow for long term survival of eco-po1itica1 movements, adding knowledge, expertise and funding. Because pollution is visible, it quickly becomes a topic of local conversation and instigates new alliances which, along with more globalized information technology, works toward progressive social change. The shift to a humanist left works as a de-alienating process and serves a human need to be at peace with self, each other and nature. Once "false consciousness" is overcome, aided by the symbols and metaphors invoked by environmentalists, alienation can be slowly overcome in conjunction with the end of what Weber called "demystification" of the world and especially of local bureaucracy, which now is perceived in all its ineptitude. By providing a local identity and boundaries, the notion of "community" aids in the progressive de-alienation process. Following gains made by leftists in White Rock, however, reactionary forces have not ceased to operate. For instance, Bill Reid, the disgraced former Social Credit Member of the Legislative Assembly who had lived in Delta and run a used car business in central Surrey, I was told by Pat Kealy, was elected in 1995 as president of the White Rock-South Surrey Chamber of 158 Commerce. Reid, whose idea of environmental consciousness apparently enabled his friends and supporters to cash in on government recycling funds, has used his time served and contacts made as MLA to become an entrenched member of the local, White Rock political establishment. Allowing Reid continued power, prestige and influence despite a majority of local residents damning him at the polls, exemplifies the type of cliquish mentality and use of local myth which continues to operate in White Rock. Sophisticated political activists would dismiss Reid's chamber of commerce position as small town politics. But sophisticated and experienced political activists have instead been drafted into the provincial political scene; rather than crack the local power base, Wi1f Hurd and Ken Jones transcended it, taking the most progressive activists with them. In any case, the future of local power groups in an increasingly globalized society, depends upon their ability to influence larger governments and bureaucratic bodies. Such influence requires access to knowledge and information and understanding of majoritanism politics. Environmentalists continue to judge both local and state politicians on environmental positions and attack any Achilles heel of those deemed either ignorant of environmentalist ideology or 159 environmentally destructive. In Canadian politics, city versus state contradictions and demands for cost-effective downscaling of government, has resulted in a power boost for provincial levels of governments, making it easier for local power groups to access and influence appropriate authorities. The new provincial Municipal Act, plans in the education ministry for reshaping school districts, and other provincial government moves, have been designed to erode independent local power bases and small town power cliques. Environmental control and ecological preservation require political will and commitment to long term values in order to counteract the heavy hand of corporations operating through small town politicians. Despite initiatives from both South Surrey and White Rock residents amalgamation for the Semiahmoo Peninsula still seems remote. Objections from Surrey politicians and lack of response from the provincial government indicates such a regional chunk is not appropriate within the Vancouver metropolitan area. Environmentalists envision a different "bio" region which would include White Rock on the basis of shared river, tidal water and ecological systems. Friends of Boundary Bay Society, based in Tsawwassen, operates as an umbrella organization for local environmental groups (i.e.the White Rock-Surrey Naturalists) in order to 160 promote preservation of Boundary Bay estuaries and wetlands. The society has strong support in White Rock and Crescent Beach where it maintains an education and information outlet. Since ecological issues within the Boundary Bay area remain interrelated, the group has been actively lobbying for designation of the Delta-South Surrey-White Rock-Richmond region as a United Nations biological reserve and bird sanctuary. This is seen as an important step up from the Agricultural Land Reserve designation already granted by the province for much of the area. Areas such as Burns Bog in Delta would remain undeveloped, while upland areas such as White Rock would be tightly regulated to prevent pollution encroachment into sensitive water systems. Such a move would severely restrict economic development in the area and transform local governments which currently exist to service the property development sector. In essence, similarities between localism and environmentalism are such as to suggest that localist political philosophy is an unwitting precursor to environnmenta1ist 161 ideology. In this context, environmental ism can be seen as ideological adjustment to the contradictions of industrial capitalism which undermine localist ability to control forces and relations of production. Because excessive consumption can be seen as an hedonistic "evil" by both those on a political left and religious right, environmental ism has a broad appeal. Environmentalism can evoke a zeal that localism never could. Part of that zeal, however, stems from a determination to return to a social stability rooted in a clearly defined locale, but larger than traditional small town standards. Certainly, my participant-observation in White Rock was marked by concerted environmentalist attacks on the local power structure and political elites. That offensive helped change the way local dissidents exerted their influence and empowered them to successfully challenge the bureaucrats who commanded local power (see Appendix C-2). In so doing, the local, power base returned to members of the local community, including having councillors recruited from White Rock instead of Surrey. A "green localism", like the old localism it replaces, stresses non-partisanship, cooperation, community values and collective interests which preserve distinctive towns and provide long-term stability for property owners and residents. Although home ownership remains a common North American goal, "green localism" promotes alternatives such as cooperative housing and greater public access to common lands. As well, the selflessness 162 promoted by localism evolves in "green localism" to include people's relationship with nature as well with one another. This holistic interdependence is seen as a source of authority for "green localism" which is less paternalistic and more nurturing than the localism it replaces. Rather than limiting citizen participation to middle-aged males, "green localism extends localism to include women and children as active participants in community and public affairs. At a time when global economy depends upon shared resources and human survival depends upon global cooperation for massive clean-up and preservation programs, environmenta1ism's ability to appeal to broader constituencies makes it a necessary ideology. White Rock has evolved from a logging camp, to a weekend holiday resort town, to a retirement community and now into a gentrified bedroom community with a resort atmosphere. The evolution has brought the town's attention to a growing number of outsiders and their political and economic interests. In return, White Rock locals, have worked to influence senior political and economic institutions, particularly on environmental issues. As more beaches in the metropolis close because of unhealthy fecal choliform counts, regional and state governments will be forced to address the problem. In post-industrial society, the chances of rezoning White Rock for industrial purposes because of wasted waterfront or unpleasant smell is virtually non-existent. Post-industrial cities are noted for waterfront reclamation as 163 valuable living locations. As cities seek new identities in a post industrial age, there is need for reconstituted localism. Environmenta1ism provides an ideology which can promote a "green localism", using localist notions of good citizenship to promote sustainable communities. Although sustainable communities remains the goal of environmentalists, the fact the ideology only becomes operative following crisis impedes the practice of sustainability. The , notion of bio-region is an attempt to provide a long term objective. Combined with localist ideology, bio-regions provide a potential foundation for sustainable community. Localism provides ideological support for cooperative efforts such as community recycling, as in the White Rock blue box recycling program. Complaints to city hall from participating citizens who are accustomed to a tradition of voicing concerns about community, improves delivery of such services. Planned urban areas surrounded by green space is a practical project promoted by environmental ism which ties in with localist small city ideology. However, a mandate for such communities comes not only from areas which desire such sense of space and security of place, but regulatory state governing bodies and agencies which have the political and economic clout to initiate such projects. At the same time the bio-regional approach is an attempt to decentralize nation-state governments. New governments in an environmentally sustainable society would therefore be 164 smaller than state governments yet larger than local ones. Local governments which already have seen reduced power, would become even more restricted in power and policy decisions. However, neighbourhood and localities are necessary concepts for effective delivery of services. The political effectiveness of the White Rock Condominium Association in White Rock which holds private a 11-candidates meetings, based in the city's town centre area, shows how influential organized neighbourhoods can be. Groups which can deliver voters en masse are valued by provincial and federal political parties as well as by local po1i t ic ians. As new generations come to express 'post-materialist' values, and articulate a desire for community and a clean environment, "green localism" is gaining in popularity. Sustainable communities, which rely on shared information for success, are attainable within localities the size of White Rock. Indeed, rather than symbolizing a remote power structure, White Rock city hall can be seen as a place where information on government programs and services can be accessed and questioned. Environmenta1ism offers information via local newspapers and libraries for local citizens on how to address problems of consumption, waste and pollution. With global networks and volunteer agencies which tap new ideas and technology, environmentalists can empower local citizens who would be limited in their knowledge under isolated, xenophobic types of localism. 165 State governing bodies in such a "green localist" structure are necessary counterweights to multi-national corporations. Increased owner-occupation of living units keeps participants informed in the politics of property and maintenance of local environments. Whereas it is easy to blame one's neighbours for deterioration of property "downstream", the desire for quality of life, a post-materialist value, leads to cooperation and a sense of shared ecological responsibility which moderates the blame-the-outsider approach of localism. Such positioning is shown by a White Rock political elite which publically bashes Surrey, yet seeks political candidates and committee members from Surrey in the back rooms of city hall. Localism can lead to minority tyranny, but majoritarianism has a foothold on the 21st century. Environmentalist majoritarianism aims at protecting the physical environmental, promoting a healthy physical, emotional and psychological future and efficient use of local resources, including human and political resources. Whereas power to solve environmental problems such as beach pollution lies with senior governments, so conversely, the power to influence senior government lies with experienced White Rock politicians and activists. As a movement which seeks justice for communities, the environmental justice movement uses juridical and legal forums to penalize polluters. The Sierra Legal Defense Fund has resources available which the City of White Rock does not. In requesting 166 support from such international groups, communities such as White Rock have to utilise an ideology of the importance of a clean, holistic community whose survival is threatened by aggravated pollution beyond its control. White Rock politicians can complain to the Greater Vancouver Regional Sewer and Drainage District, which the Sierra Legal Defense Fund can threaten with lawsuits. Should the wel1-organized Friends of Boundary Bay achieve United, Nations mandated biological reserve status for Boundary Bay and the surrounding Delta-Surrey-White Rock region, local and provincial governments would become accountable to a global authority and the power of the federal state, which now operates the Roberts Bank superport, to expand in the area would be preempted. One can envisage an emergent "green localism" as connecting local and global ideology in a micro-macro social perspective of "think local, think global, act local". Local governments are seen to be at once striving to form regional governments, while also getting back to neighbourhood roots. New forms of localist government suggest a separation of power, i.e. regional policy versus neighbourhood service. Environmentalists would see White Rock as one community in a web of self-sustaining towns and nature reserves they envision for the planet. With a clean beach, clean air, ample green space and pedestrian-oriented neighbourhoods, the town would remain a comfortable place where long term residents can live, work, play 167 and actively participate in public affairs. In White Rock, environmentalist ideology translated into political success for left-of-centre Liberals in a formerly Conservative community, demonstrating the alliance possible between "new Left" and "environmentalist" political participants. By aiming my participation in White Rock at turning environmentalist sympathizers into political activists and educating status quo politicians in progressive ideology, I can say that I was able to achieve the following: added to the local resource base by bringing in guest public speakers; publically challenged city staff and incumbent councillors to foster debate; introduced Liberals to New Democrats socially; and encouraged the media to provide a forum for the Boundary Board of Health to influence city staff on environmental actions. I helped to achieve praxis by assisting the White Rock Residents' Association in public fora and legal challenges, involving environmental groups in White Rock civic politics through a 11-candidates' meetings, adding to NDP policy discussion and submitting a brief to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs which resulted in changes to the Municipal Act. Thus, I can claim to have made a successful intervention in the community. 168 ENDNOTII . 1, GVRD Engineering, Greater Vancouver Liquid Waste Management Plan Stage 1, GVRD: Burnaby, B. C. July 1988. p. xiv, Clive Ponting, A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations; St. Martin's Press: New York. 1991. p.xi, Michael Harloe and Elizabeth Lebas, eds., City Class and Cap i ta1 ; Edward Arnold Publishers: London. 1981. p.xvii, Manuel Castells, The City and the Grassroots: A Cross Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements; Edward Arnold Publishers: London. 1983. p. 305, Ibid. 169 APPENDIX A : METHODOLOGICAL NOTES Research for this thesis consisted primarily of participant-observation field work and newspaper archival data retrieval, covering a period from February 1990 to February 1993. Participant-observation included the researcher joining various community organizations, attending meetings, local council meetings and running for election as "alderman" (councillor) in a municipal election of November 1991 and a by-election in June 1992. It also included attending various all candidates' meetings, door knocking and telephone conversations with White Rock residents, local politicians and activists. The field work also entailed work on a 1991 provincial election campaign and serving as education chair for the White Rock-South Surrey New Democrats. This enabled the researcher to attend various political meetings, organize education events, and influence the nomination of a federal N.D.P. candidate in January 1992 (running myself as a candidate) rather than accept a traditional back room selection. Records of phone conversations with political activists and local voters were also examined. The researcher also participated in a Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) field research project on "Urban Futures" (a governmental make-work project) in February 1990, and did enumeration, voters' list revision, and deputy return officer work for Elections Canada during the 1992 federal referendum on the constitutional accord. Enumerating provided street level access to local voters. 170 Demographics provided by the federal N.D.P. were taken from Statistics Canada reports. Other demographic data were retrieved from newspaper accounts, census data, newspaper accounts, GVRD reports, and reports obtained from White Rock city staff. Historical research was undertaken through access to the White Rock museum collections and locally published history books. Throughout the participant-observation time frame, the researcher prioritized environmental issues by placing them at the top of her political campaign agenda and by promoting those issues in campaign literature and newspaper interviews. Local journalists were supporfive, providing campaign publicity and background information about other political candidates during the interventionist period of the social research, and with the help of the residents' association, television news coverage was utilized. Content analysis of newspaper advertisements, interviews of candidates and review of their campaign literature, were undertaken, including estimations of the cost of each "independent's" campaign. An extensive literature review was utilized to provide background support for environmentalist social movement theory. Pollution data and information was provided by the Boundary Board of Health, the provincial ministry of environment, GVRD engineering reports, and White Rock and Surrey engineering staff. In-depth interviews with established White Rock political activists Ken Jones and Wilf Hurd were undertaken. Both succeeded in being elected as Liberal members of the provincial Legislative 171 Assembly in the 1991 provincial election and both are committed ecologists. Interviews with other political activists were less structured. The researcher also conducted a random telephone survey of White Rock residents prior to the June 1991 city by-election . The research fits somewhere between utterly covert observation, which is plainly unethical, and comprehensive overt participation which was logistically impossible considering the number of events covered, situations and persons involved. Having developed a critical and inquisitive eye long before the research, including a tendency to look over others' shoulders and eavesdrop on conversations, the researcher considers some covert activity both impossible to avoid and valuable in gathering vital informat ion. Any degree of covert research requires careful validation procedures, so the researcher made ample use of secondary sources to back-up contentions, such as with publ ic documents or by questioning knowledgeable informants and keeping meticulous notes of public and telephone conversations. Key informants were aware that the researcher was undertaking social research as part of the political process. The researcher publically identified herself as a social researcher by occupation on the ballot ('occupation' being one vote-catching localist tradition eliminated by the NDP provincial government in a revised Municipal Act). Local community activists and political participants were also aware of the researchers' role as a i72 newspaper reporter. The advantage of conducting research in a community where the researcher is well-known as a professional reporter who might publish accounts or tip off other journalists about activities within the community becomes a disadvantage when those being observed are more guarded in their behaviour. The 'reporter' label was a particular disadvantage when it prevented the researcher from being able to enter closed arenas, such as city council "in-camera" sessions. The researcher was treated with suspicion by some, but the overtness induced other informants to be more forthcoming in a co-conspiratorial, co-participant way that advocacy research encourages. By providing insight on a controversial issue, an informant who divulges information to a "whistle-blower" critic can work towards changing a rule, regulation or system, or block an unpopular person's entry into the public policy arena by offering political ammunition to those rallying to prevent his/her election to public office. In sum, the greatest difficulties posed for the researcher were the following: temptation to 'go native' and identify with politically marginal groups; control over personal bias; and separating roles of researcher and politician. The problem of reliability of information was mitigated by selecting key informants who were themselves trained in investigative and research methods, either as newspaper reporters or university political science graduates. Time and energy constraints across 173 the researcher's various roles (wife, mother, student, researcher, politico) forced a compartmenta1ization of activities that prevented immersion in any one role or exclusive identification with any one perspective. The question of validity plagues participatory research as such research has evolved into an alternative system of knowledge in a post-positivist society. Certainly, participatory research is conducive to environmentalist ideology and well-suited to the interpretation and understanding of new social movements. However, good participatory research is difficult to achieve when the researcher has poor communications skills. Training and experience as a newspaper journalist helped the researcher develop effective communications skills as well as ongoing self-dialogue about objectivity versus bias. Although some attempt was made at enumerations and samples, such as a random telephone survey, observer-as-a participant and informant interviews were the principal methods utilized. Qbserving-as-a-participant helped the researcher focus on issues and relationships, whereas informant interviews provided substantial data. The researcher was available at home within the community being studied and therefore contacted by informants at various times of day and night for varying lengths of time. Such ongoing contact with zealous and/or knowledgeable informants supplemented individual observations and made the research experience a collective enterprise. 174 Leaving the field, disassociating from political activity and from the possibility of 'going native' or "overboard" was achieved when the researcher physically relocated out of White Rock to Maple Ridge, a community of considerably different geography and demographic make-up. Participant-observation research provides a wealth of data. The field worker, however, due to the time invested in garnering this data, can have difficulty in deciding what data to select. The problematic of prioritizing data becomes subjective i.e. which is more important—a two hour interview with a subject or witnessing a split-second vote on a controversial apartment project at a Monday night council meeting? Which vote is significant, which moments and which meetings are integral to the research and which are those which the participant-observer should minimize as merely useful in establishing the participant-observer's own identity or recognition value? Such considerations can preoccupy the researcher. Complicating this is the use of informants who become auxiliary participant-observers. Another problem in this type of action-oriented sociology is that because the aim of the research is to achieve results, it is difficult to determine the point at which the "research" can be terminated or when a 'satisfactory' conclusion to the project has been attained. Due to the level of personal involvement, the researcher is constantly under tension and needs to take time out to reflect on the course of the research. On the positive side, even failure 175 to consummate the intended praxis can meet some of the research project objectives by identifying problems inherent in attempts to link theory and praxis. Because an interventionist sociologist takes on a leadership role, he/she has to stress not only the end goal but the counters-hegemonic ideology with which he/she is educating subjects. This education function at times supersedes the problem of observation of the research subjects. Participatory research can promote social change in several ways. Such research can raise critical consciousness, it can and probably should "improve the lives of those involved in the research process" and/or lead to "transformation of fundamental societal structures and relationships" (Patricia Maguire, Doino. Participatory Research: a feminist approach, 1987). The researcher hopes that this thesis raises such critical consciousness. She is also aware that collective participation in the research, and participation in its political aspects, helped give informants a sense of empowerment. The researcher believes that information and data gleaned from the research helped lead to changes in the province's Municipal Act, which should have the effect of loosening the grip of local political elites on the status quo. Using information from the field, the researcher was able to submit a brief to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs which provided input during revision of the province's Municipal Act. In this approach, there can be no "role playing" by the 176 researcher because to trivialize and dehumanize the process by requiring the researcher to look on him/herself as acting out a number of social roles not only discounts the research itself, but the notion of "roles" plays into a hegemonic ideology which the researcher has committed himself/herself to both exposing and end i ng. In the actual or psychological act of writing the daily script or carrying out an improvisation which responds to input from various subjects, the researcher needs to view him/herself as well as the subjects as three-dimensional people. This must be done even when the subject appears to be consciously acting out a social role i.e. "mayor". The interventionist sociologist has to have a grip on her/his existential base and view subjects and informants as not role players but human beings with values and personal history which may be for or against the praxis or the researcher's own values. Where the subject appears to be acting out a role scripted by those who hold economic and ideological power, the researcher must assume that this "player" has been coerced or conned into a superficial role which alienates the subject not just from his or her true self, but from those others with whom he/she has social ties. The interventionist sociologist, therefore, must serve as a force for dealienation and look beyond the stereotypical role and into the eyes of the subject. Interventionist sociologists can benefit by French anthropologist Marcel Griaule's approach to ethnography. Griaule 177 saw such gathering of data as a "theatrical undertaking" with the researcher's manipulative skills in extracting valuable information deemed vital. Briaule would see irony ("a complex, 1 negotiated, historically contingent truth") as almost universal in participant-observation studies—ironies inherent in each ethnographic informant's account of himself or others in his/her social world, irony in methods used by researchers to retrieve data. Briaule, an energetic proponent of praxis, foresaw the birth of interventionist sociology by designating "both researchers and narratives as active creators". Morally and ethically, an interventionist sociologist must be a humanist. Without an inherent faith in the equality and unity of humankind, the researcher would be unable to fulfill the fundamental requirements of such advocacy research. Lacking a humanist perspective, the interventionist-sociologist would lapse into a contained role and the research project itself would turn into a dubious critique of the subject, based on a truncated version of the researcher's own consciousness. 1. p. 124, Clifford, James, "Power and Dialogue in Ethnography: Marcel Griaules's Initiation," in Observers Observed, edited by George W. Stocking, Jr., U. of Wisconsin, 1983. 178 APPENDIX B:CHRONOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY 1960 My family moved from Powell River to Coquitlam, B.C. 1961 Family friends purchased a single family home in White Rock and we began summer Sunday excursions to beaches at White Rock and Crescent Beach. 1964 My grandfather purchased a two bedroom rancher in Ocean Park near White Rock and moved into the home upon retirement the next year. 1970 My grandfather sold the Ocean Park property and purchased a two bedroom apartment with a partial ocean view on Merklin Street in White Rock. I graduated from high school, and having had two years of journalism coursework and been editor of the school paper, began doing freelance journa1i sm. 1979 Following the death of my grandmother who had been hospitalized for much of 20 years, my grandfather sold the Merklin apartment and purchased a one bedroom apartment on Martin Street in White Rock's town centre core. He became friends with another widowed neighbour by the name of Sam Shearer, who it was told to me, was a long time New Democratic Party activist. Living in Surrey I began covering Surrey school board meetings as a reporter for the Surrey Delta Messenger following staff layoffs at the Vancouver Courier where , I had covered news events in the metropolitan area (including White Rock) since quitting as a reporter at the Delta Optimist and travelling in Austra1ia. 1980 While working as a photographer and reporter at the Sterling owned Messenger newspaper, my husband and I purchased and moved into a two bedroom ocean view home on Cliff Avenue, east of White Rock city hall. We maintained our Surrey home as revenue property and I attended Surrey council meetings as a reporter. 1981 I transferred to the White Rock-Surrey Sun (another member of the Sterling newspaper chain) as city editor and began attending White Rock city council meetings as a reporter. 1982 While I was on maternity leave, Sterling newspapers terminated the White Rock newspaper. The competing Peace Arch News tabloid began twice weekly publication. I 179 continued to work vacation relief as a city desk reporter at the Surrey-Delta Messenger. 1983 My husband and I began plans to renovate our White Rock home, doubling its floor space. Since the house sat with 25 feet of the Finlay Street side it was considered non-conforming by White Rock's Official Community Plan at the time and my husband was forced to appeal to the city's Board of Variance which ruled the house would have to be moved two feet east, despite a previous easement for the neighbouring house on the south corner. My husband's anger was increased when he found the chair of the board, J. Neville Graham listed as residing In Surrey. Moving the house proved so disastrous to the renovation, bulldozing the house would have been a better opt ion. 1985 I volunteered with White Rock Summer Theatre and worked as an usher throughout its summer season. The White Rock theatre was owned by the amateur White Rock Player's Club. My brother moved into our North Surrey home and attended Kwantlen College for undergraduate credits required Simon Fraser University. 1986 Having switched from an English major to a Sociology major with an English minor, I went to Simon Fraser University to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree begun in 1972. We sold the north Surrey home and had a guest room and bathroom completed in our White Rock home for Expo 86 visitors. I worked at Surrey Place Mall promoting department store credit cards in order to earn fall semester tuition. 1987 In September I gave birth to a second daughter and the older child began French Immersion kindergarten at Dawn School in Surrey. 1988 My eldest daughter was transferred to Peace Arch Elementary School on Roper Avenue in White Rock to begin Grade One. I began assisting her class with computer education and attending parent teacher auxiliary meetings. I completed my final undergraduate course in the summer semester. After receiving correspondence from McMasters' University asking me to apply to graduate school, I decided to apply for graduate study in Sociology at the University of British Columbia (U.B.C.) 1989 Frustrated by a lack of playmates for my children in White Rock and having been accepted by U.B.C. I attended my first council meeting in order to address family 180 housing and other social planning issues. In September, I commenced graduate studies. 1990 My husband and I joined the White Rock Homeowner's Association of which my daughter's friend's father Elio Azzara (a former White Rock school trustee) was a member, after an invitation from member Pat Kealy who reminded me we had met when she had covered White Rock council meetings with me as a reporter in 1980. Like myself, she and Azzara had attended and a spoken at some meetings regarding revisions to White Rock's Official Community Plan. In June, the association changed its name to the White Rock Residents' Association to include apartment owning members and renters. I had conducted interviews for the Greater Vancouver Regional District in Delta, New Westminster, Surrey and White Rock for an Urban Futures survey. Many of the questions dealt with environmental issues. Noting a failure of the community plan to even mention environmental goals, plans or rules for development, I considered doing a thesis on environmental politics. I prepared a proposal for a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) grant to research family housing, which was declined. Already active at the participant-observation level collecting data for the proposal by utilizing investigative journalistic methods, I switched focus to the environment and ran for city council in a November 1990 election, emphasizing environmental planning, and beach clean-up as top policy goals in my campaign literature, interviews, and public addresses. 1991 After discussion with councillor James Coleridge, who had beaten me on the November ballot for the sixth spot on White Rock council, and former mayoral candidate Ken Jones, I decided to run against new incumbent Sharon Charles in a by-election for the seat she had recently resigned. Following intervention of a third candidate, Charles regained her seat with a narrow victory over me and 48 per cent of the vote. I then became involved at the level of provincial politics and volunteered to assist N.D.P. candidate Donna Osatiuk with her campaign. In October, White Rock Residents' Association member Wi1f Hurd won the constituency for the Liberals while fellow Liberal Ken Jones won Surrey-Cloverda1e. I joined the N.D.P. and was elected to the White Rock-South Surrey executive as education chair, a position I saw as facilitating my participatory research. The thesis proposal I had begun in July was interrupted by injuries sustained by myself and family in a car accident. A second major car accident that my 181 husband was involved in further delayed conceiving and writing the proposal. 1992 In February I attended a federal N.D.P. sponsored training workshop at Crescent Beach, promoting women candidates in B.C. I decided to seek a federal nomination, again concentrating on environmental issues. In May, I separated from a violent husband which affected my ability to produce a coherent thesis proposal, although I was firmly entrenched in field work by that time. Following some academic advisory committee changes, a proposal was completed and approved later that year. In October I worked in White Rock on enumeration and vote taking for the federal referendum on the Char 1ottetown constitutional accord. 1993 In January, with mounting problems stemming from domestic strife, I ran unsuccessfully for the N.D.P. federal nomination. Shortly afterwards, I temporarily withdrew from political and social activities, and in September, I formally requested a medical leave of absence from graduate studies for one year. 1994 My family lawyer advised me to quickly find a job because of a custody battle and I took work as a life insurance salesperson. In March I worked on the Sargeant-at-Arms committee for the provincial N.D.P. party convention, and in June I assisted the N.D.P. affiliated Surrey Civic Electors with its municipal candidate selection meeting. After losing the family home to my ex-husband, and quickly evicted, my children and I stayed with family and friends until moving into a home in Maple Ridge at the end of September. The move proved useful, reducing the guilt I felt at dodging White Rock and Surrey political activities, but the relocation of the children and personal problems interrupted work on the thesis. 1995 In September I was granted a year's extension from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and, given my stressful personal circumstances, I began attending university counselling services to focus on completing the thesis. Newly published literature on the environmental justice movement helped me to interpret my participatory-observation experience, and I was able to complete the thesis project for fall graduation in 1996. CM CO O CO CD u o -*—' CO L_ Q) 5 o D_ E E o o o 0 01 CD o 2 0) ^ o O >< J? 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Licens ^ § CO c LU Is 5 ° T3 CA G (A o < O T3 •S ro .9 ro 5 -S 184 APPENDIX D: COMPARATIVE FEATURES OF ENVIRONMENTALIST AND TRADITIONAL LOCALIST IDEOLOGY FEATURE ENV I RONMENTAL ISM LOCAL I SM Governance inclusive, open participatory exclusive, closed representat i ve Political Authority c i t i zensh i p, major i tarianism 1andown i ng, party c1iques Property Rights pub 1i c pr i vate Justice community ethos el i te determ i nat i on Product i on eco1og ica11y sustai nab 1e exp1o i tat i ve Techno 1ogy "soft" "hard" Consumpt i on based on need based on status 1*5 BIBLIOGRAPHY Apple, Michael, "Why the Right is Winning: Education and the Politics of Common Sense", Strategies, Vol. 2, Fall, 1989. Aronowitz, Stanley, Science As Power. McGraw Hill, New York: 1986. Bergland, David, Libertarian!sm in One Lesson. Orpheus Publications: Costa Mesa, CA. 1986. Bish, Robert L., Local Government in British Columbia, Union of B.C. Municipalities, Richmond, B.C. 1987. 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