Courtenay resident attends citizen assembly in Montreal

Marvin Haave of Courtenay recently returned from a large and diverse citizen's assembly in Montreal.

COURTENAY'S MARVIN HAAVE (below) was among more than 600 participants at a recent world assembly in Montreal.

COURTENAY'S MARVIN HAAVE (below) was among more than 600 participants at a recent world assembly in Montreal.

Marvin Haave of Courtenay recently returned from a large and diverse citizen’s assembly in Montreal.

Organized by CIVICUS, a global citizen’s organization with members from over 80 countries, the conference considered how citizens and citizen groups from around the world can be involved in rebuilding social contracts, changing nations, social innovation, and redefining global governance.

The CIVICUS vision is “a worldwide community of informed, inspired, committed citizens engaged in confronting the challenges facing humanity.”

At the CIVICUS World Assembly, more than 600 participants, including 150 youth, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe engaged with questions of how citizens and citizen groups can influence the future of their nations and of the world.

At its opening session the conference was reminded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, via video, that people movements are proving their power, as exhibited by such examples as the Occupy Movement and the events of Arab Spring.

At its closing session, CIVICUS member Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma affirmed that “insecure people hold things in to themselves, whereas secure people share,” which means to her that we cannot do development without committing ourselves to political involvement.

The conference paused several times each day to remember CIVICUS member citizens in several countries being detained or tortured for human rights activities.

In addition to plenary sessions, the world assembly offered nearly 50 workshops on aspects of its themes. Of particular interest to Mr. Haave was one on “the muzzling of civil society in Canada,” where representatives from several Canadian organizations reported on the growing repression and surveillance of dissent by Canadian governments.

A lawyer for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association reminded the group that the right to dissent is an individual right, a group right, and even a social benefit (because we all do better when challenged).

Another workshop of particular interest was on “new models of consumption and production” which focused on food security and urban agriculture, a subject of urgency for the Comox Valley.

Haave attended the conference on behalf of the Comox Valley Global Awareness Network (CVGAN) and the B.C. Council on International Cooperation. He would be pleased to provide more information about CIVICUS  and/or the assembly and can be contacted at

— Comox Valley Global Awareness Network

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

A decision to terminate the CVEDS contract aligns with the CVRD board and municipal partners’ interests to pursue economic and community development initiatives at a more local level. File photo of CVRD office in Courtenay
Comox Valley Regional District board votes to terminate CVEDS contract

The Comox Valley Regional District board has decided to provide the Comox… Continue reading

Island Health has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Glacier View Lodge, a long-term care facility in the Comox Valley. File photo.
Island Health declares a COVID outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in… Continue reading

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read