"The Battle for Salt Spring Island"





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Published on Mar 25, 2008

This is Google Earthed at the famous "triangle" intersection to Burgoyne Bay where much action took place.

Titled and originally aired "Ah... The Money, The Money, The Money" - The Battle for Saltspring Island, on CBC in the series named the "Nature of Things" with David Suzuki, this documentary is a presentation by the National Film Board of Canada. This was transferred from an old VHS tape, so you can see the video quality is a little jumpy but viewable.

Local Islander Mort Ransen, who directed this great documentary and made it possible, also directed an Emmy Award winning movie years ago named "Margaret's Museum."

I would have to say that this is a fun documentary to watch and is probably one of the best films produced that brings out the character and the beauty of the people and the island.

These were interesting times. I played my part. At about 30:35 into the documentary you will see someone's hand holding a cell phone up to Rod's head, who is in lock down position. He is talking to his daughter on the phone about where to find the chicken in the fridge. That hand is my hand in that scene holding the cellphone. I also did a lot of photography then and there is one really quick scene where I'm standing in the background taking a picture (27:19) from behind the crowd while Sgt Darbyshire checks on Rod to see how he is doing.

I once asked Mort if he would do a sequel to this documentary and he laughed saying that someone else would have to do it. Perhaps that someone else will one day be me, there's still plenty of footage flying around of what followed those years.

In the months that followed the filming for this documentary, the highlight of my achievement in this struggle was organizing the Lady Godiva demonstration which reached TVs right across Canada when Briony Penn rode naked on a horse in downtown Vancouver outside the corporate offices to get attention to the cause. She was supported by many flanks of topless women from the island. It was a large March that moved counterclockwise several blocks around the corporate building and it ended with cooperation with the police just before rush hour. This was the pivotal turning point that created the impact we had not dreamed would happen. I give credit to Briony Penn for doing most to the hard work.

It is a long story, but since this documentary was made, many great events followed and in the end we saved much of what we might have lost.


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