arbutus REDISCOVER COWICHAN
MP ALISTAIR MacGREGOR
Nice guys can win
TWO CULTURES One Table OSBORNE BAY PUB Keeping Live Music … Alive In this issue: HOME FEATURE | OUT & ABOUT IN COWICHAN
VOLUME 5 • ISSUE 1 • WINTER 2019
OUT & ABOUT
1. Peter Richmond, president of 49th Parallel Grocery and his wife, Lesley, enjoy a laugh at the sod turning for the company’s new store in Duncan. 2. Michael Green of Scotiabank and Barry O’Riordan of Economic Development Cowichan chat during a break at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business BIG DAY held at the Ramada Hotel in October. 3. Josh Handysides, director of economic development for Malahat Nation (left) and David Greenfield of Aspire by Nature attended the Chamber’s Small Business BIG DAY and outlined plans for the Malahat Skywalk. 4. Barry O’Riordan, Economic Development Cowichan, Vince Avery, Thrive Now Physiotherapy and Chamber president, Chris Duncan, MNP LLP enjoyed some networking at the Chamber’s annual general meeting in November. 5. New Chamber of Commerce director Elly Ruge of Cowichan Auto Repair with Chamber member Brenda Burch, Social Media Is Not Simple at the Chamber’s AGM.
Volume 5 • Issue 1 • Winter 2019
Publisher & Editor
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arbutus REDISCOVER COWICHAN
Nice guys can win
TWO CULTURES, One Table
OSBORNE BAY PUB Keeping Live Music … Alive In this issue: HOME FEATURE | OUT & ABOUT IN COWICHAN
Alistair MacGregor is MP for CowichanMalahat-Langford
MP ALISTAIR MacGREGOR
VOLUME 5 • ISSUE 1 • WINTER 2019
arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
A Note from the Publisher Once again our writers have knocked it out of the park, bringing Arbutus readers insights and perspectives on folks we call friends and neighbours in the Cowichan Valley. It was a pleasure to call on former colleague and veteran journalist Craig Spence to write our cover story this month. Craig uncovered what most of us already suspected … Alistair MacGregor is a genuinely nice guy. That’s something of a rarity in the rough and tumble world of politics, but putting politics aside, I think we can all be proud that we have a decent, honourable man representing us in Ottawa. Speaking of colleagues and veterans of this journalism thing, Don Bodger sat down with Patricia Berry, the force of energy behind the dynamic music scene that has been emerging at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton over the last couple of years. As Don points out in the article, the nightlife scene has changed dramatically over the last decade and there are precious few venues where live music is available. It’s sad not only for music lovers but the artists that are trying to make a living and follow their dreams are often out of luck. It’s heartwarming that Patricia’s passion for music, combined with a
by Warren Goulding
simply amazing room for musicians to perform in have combined to bring world-class talent to the stage of the Osborne Bay Pub. You’ll want to check it out soon; whether you’re a fan of the blues, jazz, folk, rock or a combination of all of the above. Every month our Arbutus writers and contributors manage to discover interesting people and freelance writers Zoe Lauckner and Karen Breslin found two fascinating people to profile for this issue. Jared Qwustenuxun Williams has emerged as an effective and fascinating spokesperson for Cowichan Tribes people and he’s in the process of taking a run at a seat on council. But Zoe got beneath (or is it above?) the political side of Williams and shares with us how he manages his life with a foot in each of two sometimes competing worlds. Williams has embraced his Indigenous heritage and he is sharing his culture with others in the community who may have had the benefit of the teachings he has acquired. Karen Bresler is back this month with a profile of a woman who has visited more than 100 countries but has found her home in the Cowichan Valley as the owner of two successful coffee and crepe shops. Dina Stuehler explained to Karen how being scared goes with the territory if you want to be an entrepreneur. Enjoy the holiday season and we hope to see you in the spring.
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in this issue Winter 2019 the stories
the features and About 02 Out Our regular selection of photos Winning Ways 13 MacGregor’s Supporters and political foes have agreed: Alistair MacGregor is a nice guy. The MP for CowichanMalahat-Langford is beginning his second term and he has emerged as an effective representative in Ottawa managing to remain true to his commitment of service to community.
Cultures, One Table 06 Two Jared Qwustenuxun Williams is sharing his Indigenous culture with the broader community. It’s a fascinating role for Williams who lives with a foot in two different worlds.
Live Music Alive 09 Keeping Patricia Berry is something of
and Crepes 21 Coffee Dina Stuehler has literally toured
a crusader, working tirelessly to promote live music in the Cowichan Valley. Her venue is the Osborne Bay Pub and week after week first-rate entertainment takes to the stage at the Crofton pub. Music lovers are eating it up.
the world, visiting more than 100 counties. But now she’s home to stay as the proprietor of two coffee and crepes shops in Ladysmith and Duncan. She’s a determined entrepreneur who relies on instincts and hard work to make her ventures a success.
from important events taking place around the Cowichan Valley!
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arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
TWO CULTURES, ONE TABLE:
Through Food » by Zoe Lauckner
Jared Qwustenuxun Williams exists with each foot in a different world. One is planted firmly in the faded footsteps of his Coast Salish ancestors, while the other hits the pavement of the modern world built by his European forefathers. He calls himself a “half-breed.” His parents were married during a time when, if a non-aboriginal woman married an Indigenous man, she was considered a Registered 6-1 Indian according to the controversial Indian Act of 1876. The children of two 6-1 Indians were then 6-1 Indians, despite not being – as Williams puts it “pure blood.” He is a father, a husband, a selfproclaimed ‘Salish Food Sovereignty Chef,’ and the manager of the Elders Kitchen at Quw'utsun (Cowichan) Tribes. Williams also owns and manages Western Canada’s largest 6 arbutusmag.com
Heavy Action Role Playing (HARP) ‘village’ right here in Quw’utsun. Medieval Chaos, as it’s known, is a 400-acre role-playing battleground with more than 150 active members. Sitting in the Glenora Store & Cafe on a warm fall day, Williams is visibly comfortable talking about things that make some people squirm: reconciliation, decolonization, and the struggle of trying to find balance living between two opposing worlds. He was raised on a Quw'utsun reservation primarily by his grandmother Jane' Qwustaanulwut' Williams nee Wesley. She had never attended an Indian Residential School but was eventually forced to watch as many of her own children were taken. With her language and culture still intact, she yearned to share it with the younger generations. But Williams’ grandfather had a different
perspective. He had attended a residential school. Because of his experiences there, he refused to allow any traditional practices or Hul'qumi'num (the main dialect of the Quw'utsun people) to be spoken in their home. “I can only presume that it was to protect his children, so when they went (to school), they wouldn't be hurt because they were walking down the wrong road. My grandmother was oppressed by her own husband to keep this information away from the children, even though she had been handed it to keep it all alive.” Though many children frequented her house when Williams was young, his upbringing was distinctly different. While other kids were encouraged to go outside and play, Williams was held back, sometimes with a pinch on the ear and a whisper, "there is work to
do, grandson." "I thought I was in trouble, that I'd done something wrong. I'd have to pull sword ferns, salt our salmon, chop cedar, and all these different things. I felt like a slave, but you might call it an apprenticeship." Without knowing it at the time, Williams was being passed pieces of information under threat of extinction, the knowledge that he now describes as both a burden and an honour. Through years of these teachings, Williams began to realize how unknown this 'other' world was, even most of his aboriginal peers. He began to understand the old world as existing directly beneath the colonized world, both literally and figuratively. In an example of this, he shares a local version of a common story told by Indigenous people across Canada. For thousands of years, the Salish people harvested stl' ula'um (Nuttall's cockles) in the Hwts' ahwum (Cherry Point) area. In addition to other harvesting areas along the coast, here, they had well-established clam gardens that took three or more generations to build. "Our number one produced product pre-contact was actually dried clams. We were a reputable supplier." But today, there are few remnants of what once was the Quw'utsun people's primary source of economic success, just shells on the beach beneath luxurious houses speckling the coastline. An entire society built directly on top of centuries of faded history. "Now they're all technically contaminated, the individuals who used to run them had been so colonized that we don't even know
what we'd have to do to reactive them. And even if we could largely reactivate them, we aren't allowed to sell them off reserves." The colonization of the old world has brought the gentrification of food. This has severely restricted access to traditional foods for First Nations people. Precontact, seafood protein was 75 per cent of the Coast Salish diet, but today, not only are most of the traditional harvesting areas contaminated, but provincial and federal regulations prohibit the serving or selling of traditionally harvested foods. As the stories of oppression accumulated, Williams began to understand the real weight of his grandmother's teachings. "I am the first generation that did not have to go to residential school. So, no pressure, but we have to now pick up the pieces." The time he spent with his grandmother instilled in him not only extensive knowledge of his Quw'utsun history and traditions but an immense passion for food. He became trained as a professional chef, working in a variety of restaurants on Vancouver Island. But even in his professional life, Williams found himself struck by the dichotomy of his two worlds. He recounts being told by a Red Seal chef that 'his people' traditionally prepared cedar plank salmon: "I realized that it wasn't because he was wrong, it was just because I knew things that he would never understand. Our people are waking up, there are some of us who were handed this information who have this incredible burden of responsibility. Now, I have to ensure that before I
die, at least somebody heard what I said." Now with two kids of his own, Williams watches as they struggle to have their traditional knowledge recognized. He describes a story, shared by his youngest son, where he had been scolded for picking and eating a plant off the ground. Don't eat that! Spit it out! The surrounding adults sprang into action. But the child's confident and thoughtful explanation (oh, this is actually called Teqe', or Salal Berries, and my dad likes to eat them like this, but I like it like this) was quickly dismissed. Is there any more suitable uniting force, than food? We need food for survival; we enjoy consuming it, it brings us together; incredible conversations and revelations have happened over the dining table. Is it any wonder that food would become one of the ways that Williams demonstrates his practices of decolonization and what he calls his acts of resistance? Williams shares these practices in many ways throughout his community and beyond. He frequently participates in events and workshops and has brought his knowledge and passion for traditional foods to the national level through television and radio (have a listen to his interview on CBC Radio's Unreserved, you won't regret it). Earlier this year, the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society hosted the WildWings festival, a q-op'thut (gathering) with 24 distinct events held in various places in Quw'utsun, each with strong narratives of reconciliation and decolonization. It was the fourth year Williams was invited to participate.
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On the Tl' ulpalus beach in Cowichan Bay, across from the great Pi'paam (Mount Tzouhalem), he taught a group of 20 people, many nonaboriginal (Hwunitum), how to prepare traditional Pi'kwun Thuqi (Sockeye salmon).
is an act of decolonization. Through education, curiosity, and understanding, the decolonization of our worldview can begin. Changes are happening all around us every day, and since you're reading this, you're part of it, too.
"People were impressed with his knowledge of culture," organizer and society president Paul Fletcher shares. "Since Cowichan Tribes joined as a partner for WildWings this year and the amount of reconciliation work being discussed these days, Jared's presentation covered a wide range of topics from the arrival of the settlers to present-day reconciliation issues."
"When my dad was a boy, he wasn't even allowed to ride on the top of the BC ferries. So in one generation, not only am I in magazines and TV shows, but I can ride on the top of the BC Ferry. So maybe by the next generation, that volume of change will continue."
Whether or not they were aware, the participants at WildWings all became active participants in the process of decolonization through hearing and acknowledging Williams' teachings. If acknowledgment is such an essential first step in decolonization and can help us all to live more homogeneously, how can we all participate on a daily basis? Williams suggests a simple but impactful practice: returning to traditional names. For every place with a non-aboriginal name, there is an aboriginal one. Don't be afraid of pronouncing the names wrong, it's all part of the process. As wise elders have said, "let their colonial tongues struggle on our words the way that our children had to struggle on theirs."
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It's not as hard as it used to be, to learn what those names are. In fact, if you've read this far, you already know some of them. There are Hul'qumi'num dictionaries online, entire language programs available to the public, and Williams too contributes to this growing body of knowledge. He regularly posts on his Facebook page, educating about traditional practices and sharing a variety of Hul'qumi'num terms and their English translations. So, perhaps next time you drive by Mount Prevost, you'll recall that it's actually called Swuqus, named after the dog who belonged to one of the First Men (Stutsun). This name goes back to the Quw'utsun Creation story, back to the Great Flood - much further back in history than Captain James Charles Prevost. Every act of acknowledgment
In the spirit of sharing knowledge, Williams offers you one of his grandmother's most prized recipes. A post-colonial dish, no doubt - but something to warm you up during this Quw'utsun winter. Perhaps some of you might prepare it for your family or friends, and share the story of how you learned. Little by little, the divide grows smaller, and true reconciliation begins. Ingredients 1 lb hot dogs 1 cup Navy Beans 2 Russett Potatoes, peeled and diced 1 large yellow onion 4 stalks celery 1 tbsp oil 1 tbsp butter Salt & Pepper to Taste Cooking Soak Navy Beans overnight. Drain the water and replace with 3 cups of fresh, cold water for cooking. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to simmer, leaving the lid tilted for steam to escape. Simmer for 90 minutes or until tender. While they're cooking, slice your top-quality hot dogs into 3/4" segments, peel and dice your potatoes (and other vegetables) into a medium dice - set them aside, separated. Place a soup pot on the stove at medium heat. Add oil and butter and allow the butter to melt. Add onions and celery, cooking until translucent. Add the potatoes, hot dogs, and cooked beans. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Season with salt, white pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
e n e c s c i s u m e v i l The IN THE PUBS AND CLUBS
ain’t what it used to be.
» by Don Bodger The once thriving music venues that were the highlight of Vancouver’s nightlife for so many decades have struggled through recent years to keep their heads above water. Sadly, many have lost the battle and had to close up shop. A similar story runs through most cities, and the Island is no exception. As musicians search high and low for places to showcase their talents, they are often left wanting. Although many venues have been lost, those few left are keeping up the good fight. But a genesis in this struggling industry is a rarity. One such phenomenon on the Island is the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton.
arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
Patricia Berry with popular singer/songwriter Valdy, a Saltspring Island resident.
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Against all odds, the Osborne Bay Pub has gone in the other direction, emerging not just as the Cowichan Valley’s Live Music Destination but a place for Islanders near and far to enjoy live music and dancing in a great social atmosphere. It can all be attributed to the work of Berry Music Company Ltd. owner Patricia Berry, also the general manager/marketing executive of the Pub, for making it happen.
The landscape is a lot less crowded now for live music locales, yet it still takes an extraordinary effort to bring in the quality shows that people want to see and entice them away from snuggling up in front of the TV on weekends. The Osborne Bay Pub truly offers a special experience for patrons. “It is really exciting to see so many people having fun, socializing and
Photo by Don Bodger
Patricia Berry with Sidney singer Edie Daponte, who frequents the Osborne Bay Pub since she loves the atmosphere. Artists regularly play to a full house at the popular Pub.
dancing,” said Berry. “Makes me feel like all this hard work is worthwhile.” The transformation of the establishment itself from a sleepy little seaside pub into a warm, familyfriendly busy, destination every day of the week and an extremely exciting, thriving nightlife scene on the weekends has been remarkable. “The response from the music industry is outstanding,” noted Berry.
“Thousands of bands have applied to play at this amazing venue. The venue itself is so wonderful – the stage, sound, dance floor, comfortable atmosphere, friendly staff, amazing food.” The care and love of so many people has gone into crafting every aspect of the public’s experience at the pub. And the public has responded in a big way, with five-star reviews rolling in arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
every weekend. “A really cool theme that I am trying to establish here is that of a new, but retro, form of social media,” Berry indicated. our sHop, we’re very pleased with all THE rEcEnT upgradEs To the servinG soon! us visit to chance a Get you we hope cowichan valley For ovEr 100 yEars!
Her good friend Russell Marsland, one of the founders of the R&B Allstars among many other musical projects, put it in perspective when he recently addressed the audience while performing at the Osborne Bay Pub. “Now this is real social media–you’re here, being social,” he excitedly announced. “In this world of electronic disconnect, it is crucial that we enjoy quality social time with our friends and neighbours,” Berry explained. “The universal language of music brings us together in such a beautiful way. We can transcend differences, laugh and dance together, reminding us how wonderful spending time with others is.”
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Berry’s life passion has always been helping people. ”The beauty within this project is the method in which I get to accomplish this,” she conceded, “Creating a place of joy through music this past year has been the highlight of my life.” It’s meant a lot of endless hours of work and some sleepless nights, but a sea of smiling faces during Osborne Bay Pub events is her reward. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude to get to do what I do,” Berry remarked. “A crucial aspect of live music is that it is raw and uncut. Most of what we are exposed to now is so processed and filtered, I feel that we have lost some of the beauty of reality. “When you take in a live show, you never know what is going to happen. It is exciting and engaging to see the musicians pouring their hearts out on stage. You get to share in this with them. It is a journey we all take together, stepping out exhilarated by the new experience that we just created.” Berry added, a lady approached her after a show and said she experienced more fun than she had in 30 years. She mentioned how she felt transported to another time and place on the dance floor, and all her troubles just melted away. Comments like that do Berry’s heart good. The musical success aside, the pub and the adjacent cafe being renovated need more overall to survive and that’s where Berry is now putting her expertise to work. She’s recently initiated exciting incentives to bring in more weekday business, including happy hour, daily specials, a children’s menu and a new wine list focusing on Cowichan Valley wines, and new local beers and spirits.
There’s no magic formula for creating the right entertainment and dining experience, other than a good old-fashioned mix of versatility and variety that are indeed the spice of life at the Osborne Bay Pub.
MP ALISTAIR MacGREGOR’S
Ways » by Craig Spence
It only takes a few minutes to peg Cowichan-MalahatLangford MP Alistair MacGregor as a genuinely nice guy – which raises the question: can 'nice guys' win in the go-for-the-jugular world of Canadian politics? His supporters probably don’t have any doubts, pointing to the fact that MacGregor topped the polls in two elections, after taking the nomination to be the NDP’s candidate in
his Vancouver Island riding first time out of the chute in 2015. Surely someone who achieves that kind of record at 40 years of age can claim the winner's mantle? But MacGregor wouldn't stop there. On his scorecard the check boxes go next to accomplishments like: getting the weir on Cowichan Lake raised; achieving reconciliation with First Nations people; stopping climate change. For
arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
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him 'winning' isn't about getting into power; it’s about using the influence wielded by him and the 337 other members of Canada's House of Commons to make this a better place to live, and the world a safer place for Canada to thrive in. Most importantly, winning isn't a 'zero sum game'. In MacGregor's playbook, everybody wins, if we build a bigger, better, sustainable country on a level, globally-conscious playing field. That's a mouthful for a world that feeds on slogans, Facebook posts and tweets, but MacGregor's upbringing, education, life experiences and initiation into politics have all taught him that real solutions to complex problems can't be delivered in soundbites to a ravenous pack. Real politics takes sustained, focused work and tirelessly engineered collaborations. “You have to pick a few goals, you have to be passionate about them, and you have to be full of perseverance. You have to be ready to put in the time, and build a campaign out of it,” he said, about the exertions an MP must go through to make things happen in the House of Commons. “So that means not only reaching out to media, who will hopefully broadcast your message, but also to civil society groups, members of the public right across the country. Once you can demonstrate that kind of support at your back, I think it makes the compelling argument with other members of parliament that much stronger.” We Canadians tend to be lackadaisical about our political process at best; downright cynical at worst. MacGregor isn't. People have a right to get frustrated with the grinding, blundering, shouting progress of democratic decision-making; but if they're upset, they shouldn't blame the system, they should get involved. “You have to remember the House of Commons is set up as a debating chamber. We fight with our words, and we have the luxury of fighting with our words,” he said. Living in places where exclamation marks are registered with rocks, bullets and bombs deepens a person's appreciation of our democracy, flawed as it may be.
A Vancouver Islander 'right from the get-go', he was born in Victoria, and has lived a lot of years in the Cowichan Valley. But MacGregor says his “early years were all over the place.” A military doctor, his father was posted to the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr, West Germany, in 1982, when MacGregor was three years old. That was at the front lines of the Cold War, which was in its waning phase. In 1985 the family moved to Ottawa for two years. Then, as a civilian, MacGregor's father accepted a position at St. John's Hospital in Jerusalem. “We took an indirect route, getting there,” MacGregor remembered. "We had most of our stuff shipped directly to Israel, but we decided to have our little Westphalia van shipped across the Atlantic in a container ship. We picked it up in Amsterdam, and we had an epic, several months long journey, driving through Europe, down to the Mediterranean, and getting to Israel that way." Traveling through Europe, and living in Jerusalem during the first intifada, or Palestinian uprising, was an experience that deeply affected MacGregor. "You have to look at where I was just before that. Going from the suburbs of Ottawa to Jerusalem was a huge change, and that, combined with all of the countries I visited in Europe, I think it had a tremendous impact on me, being that young and exposed to that many different languages and cultures." As a student, graduating from Cowichan Secondary in 1997, MacGregor's fascination with government and politics deepened. His post-secondary choices focused on the possibility of a career in public service. In 2005 he graduated from The University of Victoria with a double major in history and political science. In 2010 he graduated from Royal Roads with a masters, specializing in International and Intercultural Communications. “At the time I was looking at a possible career in the foreign service and the diplomatic core," he said. He was also working – in what he characterizes as a nonpolitical role – in the office of his mentor and predecessor as
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Cowichan–Malahat–Langord’s rookie MP, Alistair MacGregor Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP, Jean Crowder, where he did what could be considered a real-world apprenticeship for seven years, starting in 2007. It was one of those periods in life when theory and reality get thrown into the blender. “The job I had in her office was very non-political. I was involved with helping people one-on-one with the problems and the issues they had with respective federal agencies,” he recalled. “Over that time I got to understand that there are a lot of people in our community, who are suffering. There are a lot of people, who are making those difficult choices between putting good quality food on the table, and being able to pay the rent and the utilities. And so, yes, we do live in a really wealthy country, but we still do have so many people who are living in the margins.” The year 2014 turned out to be one of seismic, emotional transition for MacGregor. He married his life-partner Amy in her homeland, Tasmania. "She is in love with Canada as much as I am with Australia," he said, noting that their homelands have a lot in common. "They’re both islands that are separate from the mainland, and have a little bit of an independent streak.” Politics takes on an added urgency when you have three daughters, whose futures you're looking out for. That sense of direct commitment and responsibility got jolted into high gear when Crowder announced she was stepping down as MP prior to the 2015 federal election. MacGregor felt it was time to take his advocacy role for the riding's constituents to the next level. 16 arbutusmag.com
"When she announced her retirement, I didn’t feel like I was quite ready to just leave politics," he said. "It was then that I felt, ‘I’ve got to take a crack at this – to see if I can get the nomination, and keep fighting for these people.’” Much as he didn't feel ready to leave the game when the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford seat came up for grabs, as a 'winner' and new MP MacGregor might have wondered what he'd gotten himself into. Newbies to the House of Commons are presented a 1,500 plus page manual, and a freshman's course on how to do business according to the convoluted and time-honoured procedures of decisionmaking in parliament. They also have to become accustomed to the terrier instincts of the media, and the pathological cynicism of a public that has an appetite for scandal and comeuppance. Getting legislation from inception, through parliament, to the crowning moment of Royal assent can be likened to carrying a vial of nitroglycerin through a minefield, while snipers are taking potshots at you from every angle. Fake and half-baked news are part of the daily fare Canadians consume via the conventional media and, increasingly, online. "The news cycle has now turned into a 24/7 affair, and so there’s a lot of pressure to be the first to report on something. I’ve seen our news change nationally from that hard-hitting investigative journalism, which takes a lot of money and a lot of resources, but is oh-soimportant to keeping our democratic system accountable. I think there’s been a shift from that, more to trying to be the first out the door with the news story, and maybe that in depth analysis has been missing.”
MacGregor takes pride in the connection he has with residents of the Cowichan Valley. Sensational flops and misdeeds aside, MacGregor remains optimistic about the ability of parliamentarians to achieve democratic progress. Politics may differ, antics may vary, personalities grate, but at the heart of the system are shared objectives that keep the lurching ship of state on a sort-of-course toward that zero-sum outcome he strives for. "If you ask a bunch of people across the political spectrum, do you think people should have adequate housing, do you think we should have a health care system that looks after people’s health, etcetera, I think even though they are divided politically, they’ll probably all give similar answers in terms of their values," he said. "Despite what you see on the television cameras, I have had very cordial and very good relations with members from other political parties. I think ultimately, we’re all there, trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to represent our communities to the best of our ability, and we’re trying to bring about policies that will be for the betterment of our country as a
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In a riding as diverse as Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, MacGregor has worked hard to build bridges with the Indigenous community. whole. Where the politics comes into play, is we just have different ideas on how to achieve that. Even as he begins his second term in office, MacGregor is asking how long he should serve as an elected representative. More than most of his colleagues on either side of the house, he can ponder that question with some degree of certainty that he will be able to make up his own mind about it in his own time, rather than have the voters do it for him. Cowichan-Malahat-Langford seems pretty solidly NDP. His party was reduced from 39 House of Commons seats at dissolution of the 42nd Parliament to a humbling 24 in the 43rd. But MacGregor took 36 per cent of the vote here; second past the post, Conservative Party candidate Alana DeLong, took 26 per cent; third, Green Party candidate Lydia Hwitsum, 20 per cent. Whether the votes are there or not, though, MacGregor doesn't want to become a parliamentary fixture, like the dinosaur bones on display at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. "Thirty years is a long time to keep occupying your seat in the House of Commons," he said. "I think after a while, we’re all products of the generation that we grew up in, and our country is not staying still, it’s not a static place, and it’s evolving with the times, its population is changing, social norms are changing, so I think there should be room there for maybe a younger person or a person of a different background to try their hand at getting elected.” Wise words, perhaps, from a politician who is almost 18 arbutusmag.com
certainly younger than most of the voters who put an 'x' beside his name last October. Wise words from a really nice guy, who has earned the respect even of the people who didn't vote for him. So now he's in for a second term, can he be a winner? He's got a tough row to hoe, and knows it. What, to name a few, are his most pressing issues? Reconciliation. "We are trying to move forward from more than a hundred years of colonization. And the abuses that were heaped on First Nations during that time are many, and they are not going to be forgotten. But reconciliation, I think, means not only acknowledging our past but accepting it, accepting that we can’t undo that, but moving beyond just mere words and promises to do things differently. We have to start backing those words up with concrete action.” One of MacGregor's proudest days as an MP was the passage of Bill C-262 in the House of Commons, which would have made it mandatory to harmonize Canadian laws with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. Introduced as a private member's bill by NDP MP Romeo Saganash, UNDRIP did not make it through the Canadian Senate before the 2019 federal election was called, so it will have to go through the hoops again in the 43rd Parliament. Raising the weir on Lake Cowichan. "Looking at the climate change projections for our region, and the way the Cowichan River is suffering, building a new weir, and having the ability to store more lake water so that we have adequate flow-rates every month of the year is
MacGregor and Farmer John at Alderlea Farm and Cafe near Duncan. going to do so much good for the health of the Cowichan River, for the people who depend on it, but most importantly for the fish and other wildlife,” MacGregor said. Climate Change. "I really want to see our federal government on a clear path toward addressing climate change. That means we are bringing our greenhouse gas emissions down in line with scientifically verified targets.” Pointing to a recent letter signed by 11,000 scientists from 150 countries, calling for a ‘climate emergency’ MacGregor said, “If any other member of Parliament in the House of Commons is prepared to stand up and say they disagree with scientists, who have made it their life’s work to study the climate, well, I’ll let them do that, but I for one am going to agree with the scientific consensus: climate change is happening, human beings are causing it, and if we are going to secure a safe future for the next generation, we have to start taking action now.” Human rights and environmental practices of Canadian companies
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“ YO U H AV E TO P I C K A F E W G O A L S , YO U H AV E TO B E PA S S I O N AT E A B O U T T H E M , A N D YO U H AV E TO B E F U L L O F P E R S E V E R A N C E . YO U H AV E TO B E R E A DY TO P U T I N T H E T I M E , A N D B U I L D A C A M PA I G N O U T O F I T "
Premier John Horgan and Alistair MacGregor.
abroad. "I’ve developed a real interest, a real concern, over the past couple of years with how Canadian companies are handling themselves overseas," MacGregor said. "You know, extraction companies, mining companies, especially down in South America. And more importantly, how our Canada Pension Plan has invested in companies that have been guilty of human labour and environmental rights transgressions.” He Introduced private members’ Bill C-431 to ensure “…the 20 arbutusmag.com
CPP, which is such an important retirement program for so many people, is not investing in a way that is furthering human misery around the world.” There's enough there to keep MacGregor and his parliamentary colleagues hard at it for several political generations. Will they be able to send him off with a winner's hurrah! when he decides to pull the pin? Only time will tell, but if MacGregor is disappointed with the result, it won't be for lack of trying.
coffee and crepes! » by Karen Bresler
Dina Stuehler took a rather circuitous route to the Cowichan Valley. “So I thought of opening a coffee shop” is how Dina Stuehler explains how she gets to own and operate The Ironworks Café and Creperie in Ladysmith and the newly opened location in Duncan after visiting 103 countries in the world. Unpacking that line and her story is a blueprint for visioning and creating a successful business at a young or not so young age. It’s also a line that many may dismiss as idealistic. However Stuehler is hard to dismiss. With blazing blue eyes and a fierce determination, she stops at nothing once she has a vision. “I had a feeling,” she says about her decision to open the Ladysmith location. “If you have a feeling that it is going to be successful, and you know you will put everything into it, it will be a success. You just have to believe in yourself.” Stuehler is a 35-year-old first generation Canadian, born in Hamilton, Ontario. She moved with her family to Vancouver Island when she was 17 years old. Her parents had immigrated to Canada from Europe after the war. Stuehler looks back on the early days and remarks that she has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, asking
herself on many occasions as a child: “How can I make money?” Her early ventures with crab apples and garage sales taught her what she had to do to be able to live the lifestyle she knew she wanted. Her first vacation to the Dominican Republic at age 23 got her hooked on travelling the world. As always, her plans started with a question for herself: “How do I travel the world?” The answer was found for her in eight years of working on cruise ships, first as an associate art auctioneer giving art lectures and auctions and then in her role as cruise sales manager and loyalty ambassador. Her managerial roles dictated her experience on the ship as she had full access to ships’ amenities, lots of time with the guests and extra time off. With her broad, generous smile and caring attitude, she learned to perfect client experiences. She believes that the more she travelled the world, the more she appreciated what we have here on Vancouver Island. After taking a break and living on the Gold Coast of Australia for six months in 2011, she returned to the cruise ships, this time on a luxury line which travelled all over the world and stayed longer in the ports. Passionate about travel, she says she found it easy to sell it as well. arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
“ I F YO U H AV E A F E E L I N G T H AT I T I S G O I N G TO B E S U C C E S S F U L , A N D YO U K N O W YO U W I L L P U T E V E R Y T H I N G I N TO I T, I T W I L L B E A S U C C E S S . YO U J U S T H AV E TO B E L I E V E I N YO U R S E L F. ”
These early indicators of her ability to envision, follow her passion and drive the results with hard work have continued to be her key to success. She notes that it became such a habit to always be saying hello to strangers, as is the norm on the cruise ships, that she would disembark in cities and do the same thing there as well. Thus, now back on dry land, her staff are trained that clients are greeted and welcomed at every opportunity. This was apparent as she makes crepes and chats to the customers, flashing that broad welcoming smile. The guests visibly relax and return smiles. To say that hospitality is practically in her DNA would not be an exaggeration. Stuehler tells of her parents, generosity and compassion explaining that mom hid a Jewish boy during the war and her parents raised foster children alongside their own children. With her parents’ health declining, and with the rest of her close knit family on Vancouver Island, the travelling Island girl came home a few years ago. She spent a year looking after her parents while working as a waitress and considered an RCMP position but in the end asked herself what it was that she was feeling intuitively about and where she would make her next steps. Part of the love of crepes and coffee starts right at home where she grew up with a European influence, with a Dutch mother and a German father. This family history started Stuehler’s lifelong obsession for eating crepes all over the world where she assessed each and every one in pursuit of the perfect crepe. With virtually no competition on the Island, Stuehler was eager to create the Café and Creperie. She has also had coffee all over the world, and made a point of visiting plantations to discover what makes a really great cup of coffee. Attending coffee courses, she stopped at nothing to find the best coffee beans and process. Sipping on the coffee as we talked, it indeed tastes of excellence far beyond the norm. Stuehler opened the Ironworks Café and Creperie in Ladysmith in March of 2018 and it soon became a talking point of the community for
its original, very delicious crepes and welcoming customer experience. Stuehler following her intuition and considered the vision for a second location. She again talks of “The ‘Feeling” and says “The vision was there!” Taking all the research and lessons learned from the Ladysmith renovation and operation, she moved forward with her vision of opening a second location. Expansions rarely happen without some elements of doubt creeping into the entrepreneur’s mind. “One moment you are so stressed and you don’t have money coming in and are going into debt and ask yourself how is this going to happen and the next moment you push through!” She says she rediscovered her ability to do things that she thought she could not do and learned to tell herself: “I can totally do this!” Stuehler’s father died about a month before the opening of the second location in Duncan. A larger location than the Ladysmith one, the Duncan shop on Station Street has two red Adirondack chairs in the window.
Placed there by Stuehler with her father in mind, she had wanted to provide him with a comfortable chair to enjoy his morning coffee. With delays in the opening date, the Duncan location opened without him, however his legacy there is palpable. Stuehler explains somberly that she feels her dad will be proud of what she has done there. “Dad worked so hard but always made time for us. Everything he did was out of love and care.” Her parents instilled in Stuehler and her siblings the belief that if you want something you work for it. This legacy of hard work with love and care from her parents shows in the smallest and largest of details at Ironworks. Stuehler says that the tabletops of the tables in the Duncan location are made by her. Her brother sourced the beautiful table bases. As she explains how she made the tops, you just know there is little this entrepreneur would allow to stand in her way as she implements her plan. This business-oriented, take charge, independent entrepreneur laughingly also bought a house this year but
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arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
apparently this was more for her dog Axel, a 90 lb. “baby” and American Staffie. Finding it impossible to locate rental accommodation that would allow a dog, Stuehler, again undaunted, made a new plan and she found a house to buy, with a wonderful backyard, where the mortgage payment is less than rent she would have had to pay. The second location of Ironworks Café and Creperie in Duncan is a culmination of all the business lessons learned from the Ladysmith location. Summarizing the inspiration for her business and her advice to new entrepreneurs, Stuehler says: • If you truly feel that passionate about your business plan, it is impossible to fail if you put everything into it; • You have to be motivated to work at it. Nothing is going to be handed to you; • Don’t let other people tell you you can't; • Keep moving forward every day; • Get up early. Successful people get up early and get a ton accomplished before noon. On the opening day of the Duncan location, everything was organized and awaiting the first guests. Stuehler was candid about her feelings. “Scared…and scared is part of the experience. If you are not scared, you are not challenging yourself”.
Dina Stuehler with one of the thousands of crepes she has served.
Where quality workmanship & customer satisfaction come first!
She concedes it’s scary because what she is doing “is dependent on the opinion of others but you cannot allow that to stop you.” A few minutes before opening, a few early birds came in and Stuehler calmly finished up the last bit of preparation. She greeted guests with a warm welcome and the flashing smile assured everyone they are seen. She guides her staff quietly and helps out taking orders. The first lineup of orders looks like it will be a while but coffee is served and people start chatting as Stuehler very skilfully puts batter on the skillets. Within minutes several extremely beautifully presented savoury and sweet crepes are going out. The crepe made with keto batter looking a little different consists of egg, spread and cooked like a crepe, with a wonderful savoury keto filling. It looked utterly delicious and healthy. Her large menu has made it very inclusive so guests would not have to ask for modifications or not eat crepes at all while socializing with others due to dietary restrictions.
“Wowing Customers Since 1965”
www.cowichancollision.com 250-746-7532 5194 Mearns Road, Duncan 24 arbutusmag.com
With a new Healthy Crepes menu, keto, gluten free and vegan options on most of the menu, everyone is sure to find a piece of crepe love. Only the finest ingredients are sourced and mostly from local suppliers, including flour from True Grain, and organic eggs from Point Farm in Yellow Point. After making 14,000 crepes in her first year, Stuehler has lost count since then, but judging by the satisfied looks on guests faces as they tucked in, and the steady stream of people approaching Ironworks, there will be many more thousands of crepes to come. Ironworks Café and Creperie is at 64 Station Street, Duncan. www. ironworkscafe.ca
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The sleek, yet functional kitchen has a 36-inch gas cooktop, double ovens, built-in Miele coffee maker and a Zephyr glass over-counter hood fan. The elegant master on the main showcases the fresh and modern aesthetic with a fireplace and an uninterrupted lake view. arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
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THE CASE FOR
By Cathie Hamilton
shopping locally Our cattle are 100% Vancouver Island raised and humanely processed in a provincially inspected and licensed abattoir.
You can purchase their beef at a number of locations, at the farmers’ markets in Duncan, Cobble Hill and Cedar or you can buy at the farm gate by calling Grant in advance at 250-715-5154.
e recently met with Grant Henry from Henry and Jones Grass Fed Beef and all the reasons for shopping locally came into play. Grant is a very interesting person. He comes from a long family history of farming and even has a degree in agriculture; so he really knows his stuff. Grant Henry and his partner in this joint venture, Ian Jones, are committed to raising cattle in a very natural way. Between the two of them they graze cattle (both Red and Black Angus) on almost 70 acres of pasture. All of their cattle are 100 per cent grass fed – a very natural way of raising cattle. That is opposed to grain-fed which is how most of the beef available in most retail outlets is raised. Grass fed beef is actually higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. The Omega 3 fatty acids have some heart health benefits. It is also less fatty (leaner) in total. Grass fed beef has anti oxidants, including conjugated linoleic acid which is reported to have anti cancer properties.
All the beef that they sell at all locations is 100 per cent Island grown and sustainably grown. Grass-fed also produces a more flavourful beef, something we were able to notice when we ate the beef we purchased. In addition, the way they use the land is truly sustainable agriculture as they practice rotational grazing. This allows the grass to grow naturally, giving the cattle truly natural, nutritional food. They also provide their animals with a stress free environment giving the finished product a very tender finish. All the beef is dry aged for at least 21 days if not longer. This aging process produces a very tender, flavourful product. They are so sure of the quality of their beef that they guarantee it. I think the best way to sum up this operation is to quote the mission statement for their business:
H & J Mission Statement Our mission is to produce high quality natural 100% grass fed beef. We raise our cattle on a 100% grass forage diet. No steroids, no hormones, no antibiotics, no grain.
There are so many great reasons to shop locally. Among them are: • It's easier on the environment • It supports local businesses who in turn support other local businesses • You get to find out how your food is grown and • You get to meet some amazing, passionate people and learn how they produce the food that they sell.
I was really excited to cook the beef that we bought at the farm gate and with the holidays quickly approaching I wanted to create a dish that was perfect for this time of year, festive but easy to finish if it was being served to company. The beauty of these potatoes is that they can be prepped up to several days in advance and then just heated as required.
ROAST BEEF, TWICE BAKED POTATOES, OVEN ROASTED MAPLE GLAZED VEGGIES Serves 4 generously 3 POUND RIB EYE OR CROSS RIB ROAST Salt and pepper Allow the beef to come to room temperature before roasting. Dry the beef well before seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Place in a preheated 425° oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 300° and roast until the desired degree of doneness. TWICE BAKED POTATOES 4 large baking potatoes 1 cup sour cream 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled 4 tsp finely chopped chives ½ tsp salt or to taste
Pierce the skins of the potatoes several times with a fork and bake in an oven until tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool until they can be handled easily. Don’t let them cool all the way as it will be difficult to mash the potatoes. Cut each potato in half keeping the skin from 4 halves. Carefully remove the flesh from the potatoes and mash until smooth. (I used a ricer when I did mine – it is super easy to do and produces the perfect texture.) Combine all of the remaining ingredients with the potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stuff the mixture into the retained shells. Using a fork create a pattern on the top of the potatoes, brush with a small amount of melted butter and refrigerate until needed. To serve, heat the potatoes in the oven with the roast until heated through, approximately 30 minutes. OVEN ROASTED MAPLE GLAZED VEGGIES Oven roasting veggies brings out their natural sweetness but adding maple syrup adds more flavour. Adjust the amount of maple syrup to suit your tastes.
4 shallots, trimmed, peeled and cut in half 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes 4 Red Russian garlic cloves (if you can get them – they are grown in Saltair) If you can’t find them substitute 8 cloves of regular garlic instead) 1 bell pepper, trimmed, seeded and cut into 2 inch squares 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup This dish can be prepped earlier in the day and then just popped into the oven with the roast. Roast until golden brown and tender, approximately 1 hour. AU JUS Once the roast is cooked, remove from the oven, cover with foil and a towel and allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Deglaze the roasting pan with 2 cups of beef stock. If desired, you can add a small amount of a flour and water slurry to thicken the au jus. Pass the au jus along with the carved roast and enjoy. Henry and Jones Grass Fed Beef www.henryandjonesgrassfedbeef.com Henry's Farm, 1995 Bartlett Road 250-715-5154.
arbutus magazine // Winter 2019
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