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Vancouver’s tentree clothing company plants its 50-millionth tree

“This isn’t about celebrating a milestone for tentree. This is a milestone for our customers, who have supported our company and allowed us to make these meaningful contributions to our planet,” said Derrick Emsley, CEO and co-founder of tentree.

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It’s a celebration of 50 million trees planted – on their way to 1 billion.

Vancouver-based tentree is aiming to be the world’s most sustainable apparel brand. The company launched a campaign Saturday morning celebrating hitting the 50 million-tree mark, and with every social media share they get, another tree will be planted.

“This isn’t about celebrating a milestone for tentree. This is a milestone for our customers, who have supported our company and allowed us to make these meaningful contributions to our planet,” said Derrick Emsley, CEO and co-founder of tentree. 

“Our customers are helping us change the world. We’re just the vehicle. Let’s plant some more trees.”

The brand’s 50 million trees video shares how big change starts small, and the impact of tree-planting on the environment, leveraging conscious consumerism to drive change.

And the impacts can’t be understated. Every purchase from tentree means 10 trees are planted. According to tentree, fifty million new trees means:

• Millions of tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere

• 500,000 hours of work provided to lift entire communities out of poverty

• 5,000 hectares of land reforested (that’s equal to 12,000 football fields)

• Ecosystems restored around the world

• Fewer wildfires and floods

Watch their video on Instagram HERE.

For every social media “share” that tentree’s video receives, they will plant another tree.

For those not on shareable platforms, the video will stream on tentree’s website, and an email address can be entered to plant a tree. 

Tentree is no stranger to using social media to help the environmental initiatives. In 2019, its Instagram “Double tap to plant a tree” campaign became the world’s most sustainable Instagram post, planting 500 thousand trees as a result of the campaign. 

Tentree is an Earth-first lifestyle apparel brand whose mission is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030 to drastically reduce global warming. 

It is a catalogue of success stories already.

  • Madagascar – 25,256,810 trees 
  • Indonesia – 1,005,000 trees 
  • Senegal – 3,500,000+ trees 
  • Nepal: 1,400,000 
  • Canada – 461,804 trees 
  • Mexico – 83,400 trees Peru – 50,000 trees planted.
  • Haiti – 700,000 trees 
  • Brazil – 100,000 trees 

With over 50 million trees planted to date, tentree is on track to become one of the most recognizable environmentally sustainable apparel brand on the planet. 

“We create aspirational outside products. For those who identify with the outdoors, but are not defined by them. We motivate and encourage environmental stewardship through Earth-first apparel,” the company proudly boasts.

The fashion and textile industry is considered one of the top polluters, and one of the heaviest natural resources consumers in the world. With staggering statistics of producing 20 per cent of wastewater while creating more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

“Which is why we’ve committed to finding and sourcing the most sustainable fibers and materials available. It’s not only our responsibility to ensure we leave the smallest impact on our environment, we also take great pride in finding better, healthier, and more eco-progressive solutions for our customers.

“Our Crown Materials are materials that tick all of our high sustainable standards, and we feel great knowing our customers are wearing not just what’s best for them but also for the planet.”

“Our core values drive us to find the best responsibly sourced materials, and the guarantee of safe and respectful work environments. So, by the time your tentree product arrives to you, you know that its journey was defined by the smallest environmental footprint, and made proudly by people treated fairly and with dignity.”

This sponsored content was paid for by tentree and written by Western Standard staff

Sponsored Content articles are paid for by businesses to promote their brand. Interested businesses can contact sales@westernstandardonline.com for more information.

Features

Italian magazine spotlights Alberta’s independence movement

Atlantico is an Italian libertarian magazine normally covering issues in Europe. But with the rising tide of the Western independence – or “Wexit” – movement beginning to gain attention around the world, Atlantico reached out to speak with Western Standard Publisher Derek Fildebrandt for more information.

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The full article in Italian can be found at atlanticoquotidiano.it.

Alberta between Canada and independence: an interview on the future of the Canadian West
By Marco Faraci

One year ago Justin Trudeau won the Canadian federal election for the second time, albeit with lower votes and seats than in 2015. Trudeau’s Liberal Party has substantially built its parliamentary plurality in Eastern Provinces, without hardly winning any seat West of Ontario.

The Liberals failed to make any inroads into the provinces of the Prairies and it is no surprise that the strongest rejection of the federal Liberal government has come from Alberta, where voters overwhelmingly supported the Conservative Party.

However, once again, the will of the citizens of Alberta has been outvoted by the Eastern progressive bloc. Alberta seems to be doomed to be structurally in opposition, without any real chance to have a say in federal politics.

But can things be changed? Is there still a place for Alberta and the other Western provinces in the current federal constitutional framework? And what can be the long term political alternatives for the neglected conservative provinces?

We have discussed all these issues with Derek Fildebrandt, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the conservative-libertarian Wildrose Party from 2015 to 2019, and now the publisher of the magazine “Western Standard”.

Fildebrandt holds genuine right-libertarian views and is an adamant advocate of self-government for Alberta.

Mr. Fildebrandt, a popular expression to describe the malaise of the Western Canadian provinces is “Western alienation”. Do you think that it captures the feelings of most of the Alberta citizens accurately?

I think that in some way “Western alienation” is an old expression. This expression has been circulating since the 70s and 80s and in my opinion, it understates the current political conditions of Alberta. The word “alienation” just hints at the concept that the federal government ignores us. Unfortunately, this is not true anymore. Ottawa does not just ignore Alberta; it is actively hostile to the interests of Alberta.

I think that a more representative notion would be “Western siege”. I think that Alberta is under siege. We are attacked and besieged by a distant and increasingly foreign government.

This is a rather strong statement. Could you explain to our readers how the federal government harms Alberta and the interests of its citizens? 

It does it in many ways. It is not just about milking Albertan taxpayers’ money, which has always happened. Now, with the rise of the green New Left, our oil and gas industry is overtly under attack and this is really worrying for us. The federal government is implementing policies that are disastrous for our provincial economy.

Do you think that only economic interests are at stake or do you also see a cultural clash between Alberta and the dominant East? In other words, is Alberta “different”?

I think that the issues between Ottawa and Alberta are primarily economic: keeping more money home and defending our right to work without undue confiscations and regulations. 

There are also a number of cultural issues, but they are different from those inspiring Quebec nationalism. Quebec nationalism is about ethnolinguistic claims; we do not have this type of cultural divide with the majority of the Canadian provinces. We speak the same language; we eat the same food. Our cultural differences are more in terms of values: our approach to work, our approach to family, our approach to liberty. In these regards, we have more in common with Montana than with Toronto. 

Do you believe that a strategical alliance between Alberta nationalists and Quebec nationalists is possible?

It happened in the 80’s, when Brian Mulroney managed to form a broad coalition uniting discontented Westerners and Quebec nationalists, but the truth is that the two approaches are rather distant. On the one hand, Quebec nationalists are disproportionately positioned on the Left of the political spectrum. On the other hand, the kind of decentralization that Quebec seeks is different from the kind of decentralization that we seek. Quebec wants cultural and social decentralization from what they see as a domineering English government, but is not interested in fiscal decentralization, because Quebec is and always has been a net recipient from the federal budget – while Alberta is and has for generations been a net contributor. In other words, Quebec wants to decentralize the power of spending money but strongly supports taxation at a central level. 

Do you think that Canada is a structurally liberal country, where conservatives will always be a minority ?

Canada is structurally liberal in the sense that it is structurally Eastern. As Eastern provinces are predominantly liberal, then the result is that the federation is by default liberal – but the core issue is the uneven balance of power between the different parts of the federation.

And why then is Canada structurally Eastern? Is it a matter of demography?

Certainly in demographic terms, Easterners outnumber Westerners, but it is not just a matter of demography.

The dominance of Eastern provinces is enshrined in the Constitution and there is very little we can do to change that. Some provisions are ludicrous, such as the composition of the Senate.

We are virtually the only democracy in the world with an unelected Upper House and we are the only federation in the world where the Upper House is not conceived with any kind of regional balance.

Our Senators are appointed by the federal Prime Minister, like they were bureaucrats. Justin Trudeau, who is highly unpopular in Alberta nominates the Senators for Alberta.

But the issue with the Senate goes beyond that. The Senate was created in 1867 and the distribution of seats was negotiated by the colonies that existed at that time. Western provinces had not been created yet and were later allocated only a handful of seats. Alberta is the fourth Canadian province by population; it has twice the population of all four Atlantic provinces combined, but has nearly half of the Senate seats given to New Brunswick.

The opportunities for Alberta to play a role in federal institutions are also hindered by official bilingualism. If you grow up in a province like Alberta, there is very little incentive to learn French, but this also means that Albertans will less likely qualify for federal offices requiring bilingualism, including roles in the Supreme Court.

The position of Alberta within Canada is much weaker than the position of the Red states within the United States. The American framework guarantees a much stronger system of checks and balances and no state finds itself in the position of being structurally kept out from the federal political dynamics.

Do you think that Canada is a “lost cause”? Or is it still worth fighting to bring Canada back on track?

I believe that Canada is worth trying to save, but I’m sceptical that it can be. 

We would need to reform the Constitution to allow real free trade between provinces, to have an elected and fully representative Senate and to abolish the “Equalization formula”, which transfers money from Alberta to Eastern provinces. But that reform is virtually impossible because the Constitutional amendment rules render the status quo effectively unalterable.

Canada is a great country, with a mostly great history and I believe in the idea that it is worth fighting to save. I just have extremely little faith that it is politically possible to do so.

In these conditions, is independence for Alberta a viable alternative?

Yes, it is. Alberta’s GDP per capita is among the highest on the planet. We would be in the company of countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg or Singapore. An independent Alberta would keep between 20 and 30 billion dollars a year of taxpayers’ money in Alberta.

The critics of independence say that Alberta is landlocked. This is certainly true. Alberta is landlocked and there is nothing we can do about it. But it is also landlocked as a province and, as a landlocked province, we are in an extremely weak position. We cannot push for free trade, for example – as we do not even have free trade between provinces in the current Canadian framework. And we cannot get the government we want; Alberta did not elect a single Liberal in the last election and yet we got a Liberal federal government.

I think we would have much more leverage as an independent landlocked nation than as a landlocked province, barring the unlikely scenario of constitutional reform. A sovereign Alberta would be in a position to force free trade and market access, while as a province we can only continue to elect Conservatives bound to be outvoted by Eastern Liberals.

So you are saying that independence would be economically viable. But is there a viable political path to independence?

There is definitely increasing support for independence in Alberta, but circumstances are not ready yet. I was the first elected representative in Alberta since the 1980s that openly supported independence if constitutional reform fails. I campaigned on the platform of a set of two referendums for Albertans to consider. The first referendum would be to demand full equality with other provinces. Then if either Ottawa or the provinces reject constitutional reform to make Canada fairer, the second referendum should be on independence.

Currently polls show that 52 per cent of the voters of the mainstream conservative party governing Alberta (the United Conservative Party) support independence. I am not sure if mainstream Conservatives will ever be ready to go forward on independence – they are too divided on the issue and they will try to avoid it. However new political parties and movements with a crystal clear commitment to independence are gaining ground and I am sure that they will play a political role. 

Summing up, will we ever see an independent Alberta?

The path will be long and far from smooth, but I believe that independence is a realistic possibility if things do not change.

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Features

Transgender candidate an unlikely voice in BC’s election

Jenn Smith has been shunned by much of the trans activist community for her stance of issues like pre-pubescent hormone treatments.

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Jenn Smith is a unique candidate in BC’s 2020 election. A transgender self-identified woman, Smith opposes what he sees as the mainstream trans policy program, and is taking on the NDP’s Education Minister as an independent candidate in Victoria-Swan Lake. 

Born “Ricky” in 1965, he grew up as a “wounded, rejected child” and began his transgender journey while in one of the six foster homes he was raised in.

“I had this foster sister in one of my homes that I lived in who was super popular, he was like one of those 1970s bad girls,” Smith told the Western Standard. “I would get dressed up in some of her mini skirts and stuff and I would actually go out walking around town.”

The bisexual Smith became a sex worker later in life. That life is behind her now, but she still typically presents long bleached-blonde curls, earrings, make-up, and leather with plenty of bling. 

But Smith prefers to be called “he” and says anyone who believes presenting as female “actually transforms me into an actual woman–that’s going too far.”

Roughly four years ago, Smith began to voice his criticisms of the transgender movement.

“Sports was one of the sort of real original triggers for me,” Smith said. “This is nuts because males are constructed totally differently than females. And for them to be partaking in women’s sports is just way out of line.”

Smith also believes rape shelters should not be forced to accept biological males, but what concerns him the most is “what’s going on in the schools in terms of indoctrination” through SOGI 123 teaching resources used in all ages of schooling.

Smith says a disproportionate number of BC foster children and those on the autistic spectrum are put on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and then gender reassignment surgeries. 

“Cults do that to people who are sort of wounded, emotionally lost, looking for some sort of direction in their life. Same thing with transgender. It’s all these wounded people and they’re all being offered sort of a new life,” Smith said.

Smith’s stance has inspired support from moderate feminists and social conservatives, but raised the ire of others. “I’ve been besieged by the LGBTQ community and in that process, I’ve had my freedom of speech trampled over and over again,” said Smith.

In May of 2019, Oak Bay police shut down an anti-SOGI protest with Smith, in part of due to hundreds of protesters inside and outside of the building he was speaking in. “If you look at events like what happened to me at Oak Bay [and at UBC]…This may be the best example of cancel culture run amok in Canada.”

Smith decided to run as an independent candidate in Victoria-Swan Lake to publicize his call for an inquiry into the gender transitioning of minors and reinforce parental rights.

“Part of this comes out of the fact that I’ve had trouble getting a platform and being heard. The media won’t address anything or any of my concerns even though I’ve got all of this controversy swirling around me. You’d think that they’d be interested, but they do their best to ignore me.”

On October 27, Smith was slapped with a 30-day ban from Facebook for posts he made in May where he called someone “a rainbow clown.” He says his ban from Twitter is permanent because he refuses to call transgenders by their preferred pronoun.

“But to me a man is not a woman. I cannot be a woman. That is true. You want me to surrender that, but I can’t surrender that…because the moment we start surrendering [one] truth, how many others will fall behind it?”

He was disappointed that the chamber of commerce would not allow Smith and a Communist candidate to participate in the local candidates’ debate.

“Jenn Smith shows up and Rob Fleming, he’s probably scared of him,” said Laura Lynn Thompson, the former People’s Party federal candidate now running for the Christian Heritage Party in Smith’s home riding of Abbotsford South.

“Rob Fleming can’t argue one little bit against Jenn Smith. Rob Fleming doesn’t have the skill to argue Jenn Smith’s amazing knowledge about transitioning minors and what they’re doing to kids in foster care in BC, and how there’s a doctor in British Columbia [Wallace Wong] actually bragging about transitioning 500 foster kids.”

“Like that guy needs to be hauled into jail, never mind that the MSM is silent about it, nobody talks about it. Well one way we get to talk is we get to go in the paper.”

Despite the backlash, Smith says his campaign has been successful at his primary goal – to raise awareness. Victoria newspapers have publicized Smith’s comments in local election coverage. Covid-19 did not stop Smith and his volunteers from getting to voters directly at the doors.

“For the most part, the reactions have actually been surprisingly strong. And for me to get positive reactions at the door in what is a leftist stronghold is hopeful,” Smith said.

“This is a message to other people who are frustrated that their issues are not being addressed by society in a meaningful way. Well, take that next step and get involved in the democratic process and run as a candidate because it frees up all kinds of opportunities for you.”

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Correspondent for the Western Standard

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Features

Sask PC Party struggles to claw back onto the scene

The Western Standard profiles the Sask PC’s in their attempt to make a comeback.

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Saskatchewan is headed to the polls October 26, 2020. Western Standard Saskatchewan correspondent Lee Harding will examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats each party faces in this election campaign. Our second in the series looks at the Saskatchewan NDP which has been the official opposition for the last 13 years.

READ: Saskatchewan Party Analysis
READ: Saskatchewan NDP Analysis
READ: Buffalo Party Analysis

Background: Grant Devine led the Progressive Conservatives to majority governments from 1982 to 1991. Bill Boyd led the party after Devine, but was one of four PC MLAs who joined with four Liberal MLAs to form the Saskatchewan Party in 1997. The PCs have run minimal campaigns since and not won any seats. Leader Ken Grey finished third in the Regina Northeast by-election in 2018.

Strengths: Ken Gray took over the party in 2018 and has made a concerted effort to bring the party out of dormancy. In the last election, the party ran in 18 ridings and finished third in 10 of them. This time around, the party is running 31 candidates and the Liberals are only running 3. Unlike the other parties without MLAs, the PC’s have more than a million dollars in their account. That’s enough to wage a respectable provincial campaign and target resources to winnable ridings.

Weaknesses:  The PC brand was badly tarnished by leading the province to the brink of bankruptcy, then by an expenses scandal that encompassed many MLAs. By now however, the surprise voters may find as PC candidates knock on the doors is that the party still exists. It has not run a serious campaign since the Sask Party was formed and only earned 1.3 per cent of the provincial vote in 2016.

Many of the PC candidates are political rookies, and more than one-third of them will fight in areas with relatively new EDAs. That suggests a weak and inexperienced volunteer base. The party brands itself as “true conservative” and hopes to outflank the Sask Party on the right. A perusal of the PC candidates shows many are pro-life people of faith. Although Saskatchewan still has a social conservative streak – especially in rural areas – it’s hard to see that translating into a large base of support. What little room there is to the right of the Sask Party will also be contested by the Buffalo Party. Candidates who run in Regina and Saskatoon may face backlash from right-leaning voters who don’t want to see the boogieman of “vote-splitting”. 

Opportunities: A recent Angus Reid poll showed that many voters want an alternative to the two main parties and a stronger opposition. That said, most of these want something in between the NDP and Sask Party, not to the right of them both. As well, out of decided voters, only 7 per cent were voting for a party besides the two leading parties, leaving a very small slice to be split between the Greens, PC’s, and Buffalo Party. Even so, the PCs will likely get the most votes they’ve had in 25 years.

Ken Grey has a shot at placing second in Regina Walsh Acres. Previous Sask Party MLA Warren Steinley vacated the riding when he became a federal Conservative MP. Sportscaster Derek Meyers will represent the Sask Party, while Kelly Hardy will run for the NDP in what will be the first election for each. The wildcard is independent candidate Sandra Morin, a former Minister of Culture, Youth, and Recreation who won the seat in 2003 and 2007 but lost to Steinley in 2011. Morin won the nomination for the NDP but leader Ryan Meili refused to endorse her candidacy in August of 2020 following a “confidential vetting process.” Grey’s riding is one of 24 where the PCs have a candidate and the Buffalo Party does not. 

John Goohsen in Cypress Hills and Rose Buscholl in Humboldt will represent the PCs for the second time, but both will face opponents in the Buffalo Party. Goohsen finished third with 5 per cent of the Cypress Hills vote in 2016, while Buscholl finished fifth in Saskatoon University that year with 1.5 per cent of the vote. Frank Serfas will run in Moosemin, but in 2016 he led the Western Independence Party and got 23 votes in Last Mountain-Touchwood. Tony Ollenberger, candidate for Saskatoon-Fairview, was a founding member and president of the Alberta First Party and ran as their candidate in 2001.

Threats: If the PCs finish behind the Buffalo Party in the eight ridings where they face each other, the latter will gain momentum and become the favoured home for disillusioned Sask Party voters. Grey needs to have a strong showing in his riding upon which to build. If he finishes with just 142 votes (2.8 per cent) as he did in the 2018 Regina Northeast By-election, this party will continue in the political wilderness.

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