instaUPDATE – real life & Rosebud

back to reality and back in the office – miles of files, this is my lifestyle..

… and back home to my own bed, finally after so many weeks away!

this city, this city is haunted.. by ghosts from broken homes – alexisonfire boiled frogs lyrics

city and color “two coins” lyrics

don’t let anyone dull your sparkle – click image for the full post if you missed it!

pre-shower post-midnight selfie’s.. its how I roll #socool

these are a few of my favourite things; band tees, full skirts, converse, sunnies and the sound of music ūüôā

36 crazy fists concert tee, monikee skirt (DK) CO-LAB cross body bag

out for lunch with the boss – found out I get to go on the company trip to Spain in November!!

brunch at The Ladybug and Cafe with my BFF & breakfast guru. She always shows me the best places!

waiting for my nails to dry with tea and snuggles in my favourite hoodie.

these two girls have my heart – misty & lina lookin all majestic like on the hillside.

now y’all know where I got my style, daddy rockin’ the fringe, the original hipster circa 1990

we planted trees for father’s day in my grandpa’s park. i come from a family of tree huggers – click photo for my mom’s blog

thinking over the weekend of another man I learned a lot from – missing this little pony, my BFF’s noble steed

This week was one of coming down. ¬†Coming down and landing back in reality (how unpleasant). ¬† Down from the cloud 9 of a European vacation – relaxing by the beach and stuffing my face with delicious Danish cuisine. while visiting family and shopping. ¬†It was an amazing experience. ¬†I really feel like the Europeans just have their ducks in a row when it comes to social programs and food… OMG the food you guys, go to Europe and just eat!!! ¬†They believe in quality not quantity, that’s why they are famous for being slim and Americans are famous for being fat. I ate so many delicious things there! ¬†Eat like a European – that’s my motto. ¬†Mostly for one reason: seriously do you understand how much better their desserts and chocolates are?? I mean for reals.

¬†While we were in Denmark my grandfather took me to his childhood home and showed me oak trees he planted as a boy. ¬†They tower up now, it was so beautiful to see how much they had grown – he told me there were three times more trees in Denmark now than there were when he left. ¬†This fathers day we had an amazing family brunch with my dad ¬†(the handsome fellow pictured above sporting the fringe jacket) and with his father who is basically a second father to me. (We call him Farfar, Danish for father’s father.) ¬†He has been working on the land all his life, he was our farm every day of my life, and the changes over the years are unbelievable. ¬†Looking at old photos of our farm, seeing him standing at 89 years old in his childhood home with the trees he planted towering over him- I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about how grateful I am for my family and how simple acts of ordinary people are what make all the difference in the world.

I think the history my family has given me such a strong sense of who I am and what I want. ¬†When I spend time on the farm with my family, with my horses, with the animals and the trees and the wind in my hair; I feel free, I feel happy. ¬†When I look around and see well sites dotting up like pockmarks on the once perfect prairie I am afraid; afraid of what is yet to come and that our collective greed will destroy all the earth has to give. ¬†I apologize for being a bit behind schedule with my posts here, but sometimes I have to focus on the country-smile side of myself, you can find me in the meantime helping my somewhat technologically challenged mother with her blog. Click HERE¬†or,¬†add your voice to the conversation on ALBERTA VOICES. ¬†I urge any Canadian citizens, or any concerned individual from any corner of the world to educate yourselves on the dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing . ¬†We all talk about the weather every day, make jokes about how mundane our lives are. ¬†Well, the weather lately has been so weird… its almost like there is some sort of global climate change happening. Perhaps from the massive amounts of fuel we have burned in the last 100 years? ¬†Perhaps we need to pause more often, leave the concrete jungles where everyone is perfect and we never speak to strangers and go back to country roots, where we aren’t afraid to get dirty, do hard work, create a home and a FUTURE. ¬†In the “now” generation we have very much lost sight of the “and then”. ¬†We are failing to plan for ¬†future, which is looking pretty bleak if we, collectively as humans, don’t turn things around a bit. ¬†Stat. ¬†The latest assault on the Rosebud River valley that I grew up in is some rich person’s idea of fun ¬†“a European style country club with luxury condo’s and a paved race track” smack dab in the middle of ¬†Absolutely No Where, Alberta. Also known as the the most damn important place in the world to me because I happened to be born in the center of it. ¬†Read the Calgary Herald article HERE.

The most unforgivable lie we humans tell ourselves is that we, alone, will make no difference.

Alone, we can make all the difference in the world. ¬†A single act can be everything to someone.¬†¬†¬†It takes ONE person with passion, one catalyst for change to happen. ¬†¬†Why are so many afraid to use their voice?¬†¬†Afraid to be passionately involved in their convictions for fear of offending someone, somewhere. ¬†As Eleanor Roosevelt put it – “Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized for it anyways.” ¬† Its why things like the Steubenville Rape make me so sick to the core – because if ONE person at that party had pro-actively intervened, had stepped in and said, ” THIS IS WRONG AND YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I WILL MAKE YOU STOP.” ¬†If just one person had had the courage to use that inner voice that must have been screaming at them, then that girl’s life could have been so different. ¬†And those “poor boys” would never have had their “bright futures ruined” by this “misunderstanding” had someone acted (perhaps by knocking some sense into them).¬†I’m so tired of victim blaming.¬†¬†In other words, EVERYONE WINS WHEN SOMEONE ACTS FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. ¬†Do we see where I am going with this? ¬†You have a voice, use it for the truth, use it to ask critical questions, use it to stand up for what you know in your heart to be right. ¬†Do not be silent. ¬†Do not sell yourself short to think you make no difference, the only difference is between the choices you make every single day.

” there will come a time when you must choose between what is right and what is easy “

-j.k.rowling

It will not be easy, but it is our generation that must be the change.  I like to complain that I am back to reality because in some ways, I am terrified of the reality we live in.  Other days I think to myself, how lucky am I to have a steady job to complain about coming back to? Then I remember that luck had nothing to do with it, I worked my ass off to get it.  I am ecstatic to go to Amsterdam and then Barcelona in November, to see Europe again and have to come crashing back to reality in Calgary.  You make your own luck, you get what you give.  You plant a seed and one day it will grow into a forest but first you have to get your hands dirty and dig a hole for it, cover it in water and hope it grows to something beautiful.   Find your passion and let it grow.  Thanks for reading! xo, aiyana

follow on instagram @aiyanajanee

Take Action

I have some exciting news to share, these last few months have been crazy but I’m hoping things are finally starting to settle for me. In two months¬†I moved twice, I started school, and today I interviewed and was accepted for an early practicum! I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and I really feel that all the bad things that happened to me were absolutely blessings in disguise! Getting lied to and then laid off, only to find out my boyfriend was cheating forced me to move out of the city to my parents farm, I was home so I could ride but then I broke my pelvis. Because of my injury I couldn’t start at SAIT in September as I had planned, so I had to find something else. I go to Robertson College Calgary and am enrolled in the Legal Administrative Assistant program. I had never heard of Robertson before I had to start searching for an option other than SAIT. I’m so happy I found it, I love the teachers, the small class sizes and the fact that my program is a year and a half shorter than the same program I was going to take at SAIT! Now I have a chance to start my career that much sooner, and I feel like a real life adult- 2013 is going to be amazing!

Since I moved I’ve been doing the literal MOUNTAIN of laundry I have, and the idea of doing a¬†challenge¬†came to me; WEAR EVERY ITEM IN MY CLOSET ONCE BEFORE I RE-WEAR. I have a RIDICULOUS amount of clothes, moving them is super annoying, and laundry is a terrible chore which I would love to abolish. So I’ll try to wear everything and post photos, and then do a mountain of laundry again at the end! I promise there will be lots of outfit posts to come!!!

In the meantime, allow me this digression from my usual vanity into the dirty world of government corruption, big business and the oil and gas industry.

This Friday, January 18th, 2013 in the¬†Calgary Court of Queen‚Äôs Bench, Judge B. L. Veldhuis will hear the defendants‚Äô applications in Jessica Ernst’s multi-million dollar suit naming Encana, the Energy Resource Conservation Board and the Alberta Government as responsible for contaminating her water well and gross negligence, when dangerous man made chemicals, as well as massive amounts of naturally occuring methane, inundated her well in 2005.

I know Jessica because the same thing happened to my families water well, just a few miles down the Rosebud River valley. It was here that Encana knowingly conducted experimental methods of coal bed methane extraction using hydraulic fracturing into shallow coal seams, perforating the aquifer that the water wells we use for bathing, cooking and drinking draw from- and we have proof. My family is followed in the documentary Burning Water if you are interested in our story, while Jessica chose to pursue litigation. If you haven’t watched the film, or aren’t planning on it, I’ll spoil the ending for you. My families claims were dismissed out of hand, Encana and the ERCB were absolved of any responsibility and were given the go ahead to continue fracking with immunity. The corruption seen in the golden age of oil here in Alberta made it impossible for regulators to act in the best interest in the public. ¬†Our case was closed, we moved away from the ¬†farm which no longer had usable water and tried to move on. This is why its SO important to me that Jessica Ernst be heard fairly in court. The best way for us to be sure of that is to uphold our civil duty as Albertan’s and BE THERE TO BE HEARD. Governments and corporations should not be allowed to act with immunity because of the financial gains, and as citizens we must recognize that this is indeed the case with the long reigning conservative government here in Alberta and we MUST stand up before it is too late to act. There is already a bill set in motion trying to make the regulations even more streamlined for MORE coal bed methane development. Industry has the go ahead to frack, and Encana, headquartered right here in Calgary, Alberta, is found innocent of any negligence or wrong doing in our case but was found guilty and heavily fined in Colorado, USA, in a case bearing striking similarities to our own- for more also check out the documentary¬†Gasland.

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. shall be found in violation of Rule 209. failure to prevent the contamination of fresh water by gas, Rule 301., failure to notify the Director when public health or safety is in jeopardy and failure to notify the Director of significant downhole problems or mechanical failure, Rule 317.i., failure to pump cement 200′¬†above the top of the shallowest producing horizon, Rule 324A., impacts to water quality, Rule 327., loss of well control and allowing an underground blowout of gas, and Rule 910.a., failure to meet ground water standards in Table 910-1.” Source

Though our complaint (keep in mind it was an official review, not a lawsuit) was officially closed with the government, Jessica filed a Statement of Claim first in Drumheller, Alberta, the court closest to the Plaintiffs home, and to the cause of action. The case was later moved to the Calgary Court of Queens Bench at the request and convenience of the defendants, Encana Corp. The original claim was amended and shortened at the request of Judge Veldhuis and revised to Fresh Statement of Claim, in it Mrs. Ernst is seeking damages in excess of $30,000,000.00 CAD for the gross negligence of government regulators as well as on the part of Encana Corp. On Friday the defendants applications will be heard and I am looking forward to seeing what the Judge and the defendants have to say. If you have any interest in the matter, or any interest in water safety regulations, come to the Court of Queens Bench Calgary tomorrow and show your support for Jessica Ernst, winner of the UN International Women of Courage Award, and stand up for your water rights!

It is critically important and failure to act could have devastating global consequences as fracking spreads all over the world. Instead of trying to come up with new ways to get the difficult to capture gas out, the focus instead must be on alternate fuel sources. Imagine the jobs that would be created if as a society, as a species, humans moved away from fossil fuels and used technology that is already available to make our existence work with what the earth has given us, rather than relentlessly taking until nothing is left. The excuse that the worlds economy would collapse if we move away from oil and gas is ridiculous and propagated in order to pursue their agenda  not in the best interest of the public, or even of society as a whole.

For more information about Jessica Ernst and the lawsuit visit her website. For more information about my families story search through the Eco-Activism category, or check here, here and here. See also the Burning Water tab at the very top of the page.

Have a wonderful weekend, and take some time to think about the future, xo, a

Responsibility for the Land

I posted back in November about how busy I was working with my mom, well this is  what we were up to! I would love it if you would take the time to check it out and learn a thing or two. My mother was invited as a speaker for a Conversation on Fracking at Augustana University in Camrose, Alberta.

“With an assembly of experts, landowners and industry representatives, our aim is to foster constructive dialogue that will enable Albertans to manage our resources wisely.”

Full list of Presenters and other presentations from November 2-3, 2012

The youtube video of Fiona’s presentation goes with a PowerPoint, available for download here.¬†Alternately¬† for your convenience, I have included the slides in the correct order below the embeded video- important slides have noted the time they are referenced. You don’t get to see the fancy animation I put in, but it is a little simpler to click through while watching the presentation.

Be sure to check out¬†Dr.¬†Karlis¬†Muehlenbachs¬†who also spoke over the weekend and ¬†is referenced in Fiona Lauridsen’s presentation. His expertise was crucial in helping unravel the questionable science of Dr. Alec Bylth from the Alberta Research Council, who’s report was the basis for Alberta Environment’s decision to absolve Encana of any responsibility for the contamination in our water well, as there was NO EVIDENCE OF GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION.

My mom also references Jessica Ernst in her presentation, its really because of Jessica that we were able to find out so much information about Hydraulic Fracturing and the dangers; she and my mother worked side by side for years to figure out what happened to the aquifer in Rosebud. Another affected neighbour, Mrs. Signer, who’s well is referenced in the presentation, reports and slides; moved away from the area, selling her B&B because she no longer had safe water.

Jessica Ernst is taking legal action a multi-million dollar lawsuit accuses EnCana, Alberta Environment and Energy Resources Conservation Board of negligence and unlawful activities. For her stand against fracking, Jessica was honored by the UN with the International Women of Courage Award in October of last year.

UNANIMA International Woman of Courage Award

NEW YORK, NY (October 1, 2011) UNANIMA International, UN Economic and Social Council accredited NGO working for international justice at the United Nations celebrates 10th Anniversary Saturday icts by presenting icts WOMAN OF COURAGE annual award to Jessica Ernst of Rosebud, Alberta , Internationally known for her efforts to hold companies accountable for environmental harm done by “fracking”.

Ernst, a 54 year old scientist with 30 years petroleum industry experience, is Suing the Alberta government, Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and EnCana for negligence and unlawful activities.

Nearly a decade ago EnCana, one of the world’s largest natural gas producteurs, Began a risky and experimental drilling program hydraulic fracturing That Applied intense coalbed methane for shallow THROUGHOUT central Alberta.¬†Ms. Ernst’s statement of claim EnCana broke multiple lighters That provincial laws and r√®glements and contaminated shallow aquifer That a Supplied drinking water to the community with natural gas Rosebud and toxic industry-related chemicals.¬†The claim methodically reports how Alberta’s two key groundwater regulators, Alberta Environment and the ERCB, “failed to follow the investigation and enforcement processes That They HAD, established and publicized.” Have The allegations yet to be proven in court.

Hydraulic fracturing uses “brute force” to blast open oil, gas and coal formations with highly pressurized chemical fluids or gases.¬†It is the subject of serious government investigations THROUGHOUT North America.¬†In 2002, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment HELD Linking Water Science to Policy Workshop.¬†The workshop report Concluded That unconventional natural gas drilling Posed a real threat to groundwater quality and quantity, and que la nation needs “baseline hydrogeological investigations … to be ble to Recognize and track groundwater contaminants.” Not Until nine years later on September 21, 2011 the Canadian government did announce That It Would initiate two studies hydraulic fracturing to determined Whether is harming the environment.

International UNANIMA thing Ms. Ernst was emperor awardee this year as a share of international icts “Water = Life” campaign.¬†“Access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms,” ‚Äč‚Äčstated the UNANIMA coordinator, Catherine Ferguson.¬†“Our members have year Have Experienced fracking safe to Their enormous fresh water supply Wherever it is Carried out.¬†We applaud Ms. Ernst’s bravery in standing up for her rights. “

The award and a lecture by Ms. Ernst will be Given at the 10th Anniversary reception for UNANIMA International in New York at the Church Center of the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, just across from the United Nations building on East 44th Street. The event begins at 11:00 am.

UNANIMA International 
211 East 43rd Street, Room 1207 
New York, NY 10017 
Tel :/ Fax 212-370-0075 (Office) 
http://www.unanima-international.org

As for my mom?

she pursued the matter by allowing documentary film makers to follow her on journey to uncover the truth, as told in¬†Burning Water, featured on CBC’s The Passionate Eye. She has spoken in communities, Colleges and Universities in Southern Alberta and British Columbia. The farm featured in Burning Water was sold, but the Lauridsen family still live in the Rosebud valley, farming land just 9 miles East of the previous property. The complaint that Encana contaminated ground water was dismissed outright by the government and the community and has not been revisited. The matter for us, is closed.

The matter however is only just beginning to open up, and the truth of the matter is MORE people need to speak up when government refuses to reign in industry because of their own capitalistic motivations. At the end of the presentation my mom mentions that they are streamlining regulations to allow industry even LESS ACCOUNTABILITY. This is happening in Alberta right now!

Rachel Notley,¬†the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona and a long-standing labour and environment advocate, spoke at the conference and urged Albertan’s to stand up and vote against the conservative¬†government¬†who continue to allow the Oil and Gas companies to drill unchecked and self-regulated.

The damage from fracking has ALREADY been done, there is no longer a question about it. The question remains, how are we going to fix the damage we have done, and how can we prevent such harm in the future?

The answer is simple, and yet, we are told economically impossible; end reliance on fossil fuels.

your interest in this matter is of the utmost importance, and i thank you. xo, aiyana.

Student Film

Check out this student video from the conference my mother and I attended this November at Augustana University for some behind the scenes!

I’ll post the presentation and her slideshow coming up soon!

xo, aiyana

UPDATE: ALBERTANS, PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ON PROPOSED BILL 2, STAND UP FOR YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS

First Shot In The War Against Bill 2: Alberta Surface Rights Group demands that the Alberta Government withdraw Bill 2 immediately from the legislative approval process Press Release by the Alberta Surface Rights Group, November 13, 2012, 1st in a series on Bill 2

Bill 2 Extinguishes Property Rights

The Government of Alberta has drafted offensive and invasive legislation through the introduction of Bill 2.¬† This legislation strips property owners and others of their right to object to any energy project that may adversely and directly affect them. Inappropriately named the ‚ÄúResponsible Energy Development Act‚ÄĚ, it removes the legislation that has guided the ERCB and the former EUB for years.¬† It eliminates any and all references that it must act in the public interest and violates the social contract that has been in place since the 1930‚Ä≤s for responsible development.

The New Alberta Energy Regulator is given extreme dictatorial powers to make energy related decisions.

Here is a glimpse of this new act.

‚ÄúEvery decision of the Regulator is final and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court by application for judicial review‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe Regulator, alone, may reconsider a decision made by it‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúno action may be brought against the regulator‚ÄĚ!

Who will this new board be operating for the benefit of?   Will it be to act in the interest of private businesses at the expense of the citizens of this province?  Why then were all references to public interest removed from the act?

Accountability currently in place with our judicial system has been eliminated in a dictatorial fashion! There is no right to appeal to a court with a judge who is unbiased. 

Our modern free society is based on checks and balances.  This new legislation makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible for property owners and people concerned about development and it’s far reaching impacts to challenge it in our province once this legislation takes effect. Government can unilaterally dictate what it wants to do on private lands without any recourse to the long term effects and consequences. 

In light of Remembrance Day should we not be mindful of the scores who perished fighting for a choice and freedom?¬† We do not think they fought and died to have future generations succumb to authoritarian tyranny which benefits a select few rather than the ‚Äúpublic interest‚ÄĚ.

A public information meeting is forthcoming.  Stay posted for further press releases regarding Bill 2 from the Alberta Surface Rights Group.

More information at:  albertasurfacerights.com

Contact:  albertasurfacerights@gmail.com

 

Responsibility for the Land

The documentary ‚ÄúResponsibility for the Land‚ÄĚ is the work of two Augustana students, Carmelle Mohr and Alison Bortolon, and is based on the 2012 conference. Enjoy! ‚Ķ http://youtu.be/Pmy5Qskus9g

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