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AccessBC pushes province to adopt free contraception

Cost remains a significant barrier for many women accessing contraception, says the organization. 

"If you can't access prescription contraceptives, you have a higher rate of unplanned pregnancies and what that means is you have derailed life plans, increased personal costs," says Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founder and chair of AccessBC.

"Those costs also go onto the province in the form of health-care costs."

CTV News, January 15, 2020

Saanich staff look forward to allowing road murals, but say it’s not a top priority

Saanich resident and researcher Teale Phelps Bondaroff recently announced his newest project: bringing road art to residential streets. Through the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, Phelps Bondaroff hopes to use road art to not only add beauty to neighbourhoods but to slow drivers.

Road murals have been proven to be a cost-effective way to reduce drivers’ speeds, he explained. The colours draw the driver’s attention to the surface of the road and remind them that other road users are nearby.

Victoria News, January 14, 2020

Campaign Group Pushing for Free Prescription Contraceptives in BC 

"If you can't afford prescription medication, you probably also can't afford to take care of a child, and then those costs then fall upon the state. There's more to it than that, unintended pregnancies have higher health risks, so for example, if you have a surprise pregnancy and you want to carry it to term, you may have been engaging unknowingly in risky behaviour that might make that a higher risk pregnancy," said Phelps Bondaroff.

CFAX, January 14, 2020

Campaign for free prescription contraception ramps up ahead of B.C. budget

"[universal access to prescription contraception] would also promote equality, giving young people and those with low incomes the same choices as those who are able to pay for their preferred method of contraception.

“Not all contraception works for everyone,” said Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, committee chair and co-founder of the AccessBC campaign. “Money shouldn’t be a factor in deciding on the best option.”

Vancouver Sun, January 11, 2020

Saanich resident pushes for colourful road murals, cites traffic-calming benefits

Colourful road murals may make an appearance on Saanich streets in 2020. Through the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, Saanich resident and researcher Teale Phelps Bondaroff has been working to introduce artwork to the surface of roads as a way to calm traffic, beautify the District, highlight local artists and create community.

Victoria News, January 11, 2020

Slowing down traffic and brightening up the ashphalt

Saanich is the latest municipality considering brightening up their asphalt with artistically painted crosswalks, Host Kathryn Marlow spoke with a community organizer in Kitchener Ontario, where a road mural was paved over due to safety concerns.

All Points West, January 8, 2020

Ontario legislature unlikely to stop saying Lord’s Prayer at the start of each day

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the association’s research co-ordinator, says the country’s legislatures should eliminate daily prayers and replace them with either nothing, a moment of silence or an Indigenous land acknowledgement. He says starting with prayer wrongly privileges religion, and Christianity in particular, over other belief systems.

“The fact that you are starting a political meeting with a prayer might actually disrespect the prayer itself,” Dr. Phelps Bondaroff said. “It trivializes a sacred thing.”

The Globe and Mail, December 22, 2019

Victoria cycling group working to measure air, noise pollution

According to Burger, air and noise pollution collected on street level has shown that separated bike lanes are a valuable resource to cyclists, not only as a safety measure, but also because it provides a barrier from the pollutions that vehicles emit, including exhaust and tire dust. The closer someone is to the source of an air pollutant, like an exhaust pipe, the worse it is for the health of that person. 

CTV News, December 18, 2019

Saanich creates ‘flexibility’ with updates to its community grants program

Saanich resident, researcher, and council meeting regular Teale Phelps Bondaroff also tweeted his support for the updates to the grants program on Monday, stating “micro-grants are a great way to help foster community-building projects across the District”.

Saanich News, December 18, 2019

Sparks fly at Saanich council meeting when chair threatens to throw fellow councillor out

Saanich resident, researcher and council meeting frequenter Teale Phelps Bondaroff said he thinks a number of tense moments in council have been caused by misunderstandings of procedure.

“This is something that happens in meetings, and it’s important that people not take procedural rulings personally, but as part of the process,” Phelps Bondaroff said.

Sooke News Mirror, December 18, 2019

Just how loud are city streets in Victoria? Cycling coalition plans to use monitoring machines to find out

The futuristic-looking devices are small enough to fit inside a shoe box, but packed full of sensors that measure noise and air pollution. And they could soon be installed around Victoria, B.C. to improve the roads. 

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition, an advocacy group for cyclists, and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, a group focused on improving shared public spaces, are partnering together for the project. 

CBC News, December 15, 2019

Just how loud are city streets in Victoria? Cycling coalition plans to use monitoring machines to find out

The project is a partnership between the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. All Points West producer Megan Thomas met up with a couple of the people behind the idea to see how the machines works.

All Points West, December 11, 2019

Resident pushes for electric in Saanich’s leaf blower replacement plan

The District of Saanich owns 83 leaf blowers and Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the Saanich resident pushing for a gas-powered leaf blower ban, wants them replaced with electric models by 2025.

Phelps Bondaroff feels the District could phase out gas-powered models as they expire and replace them with greener models that produce less noise and less pollution.

Victoria News, November 22, 2019

Blowing up controversy: Should gas leaf blowers be banned?

Phelps Bondaroff has started a petition to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in Saanich and it’s not just because of the annoyance factor.


“It also has health impacts, respiratory impacts, as well as impacting our environment negatively so there’s really not that much good about them,” Phelps Bondaroff says.

CHEK News, October 28, 2019

Giant Babadook puppet marches in Pride parade, student climate strike

“It breaks up the sight-lines and the aesthetic of protests,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “Plus, adults don’t get it.”

The construction took about 30 hours and the homemade puppet was created from hockey sticks, old election signs and other reclaimed supplies. The unique expression of activism is something Phelps Bondaroff wants to encourage. He’d love to see more puppets at events and is happy to lend a hand in construction.

Sooke News Mirror, October 2, 2019

Cyclists say they want better bike infrastructure on BC Ferries

Phelps Bondaroff says he's glad the company is considering these improvements but still feels dissatisfied. "In the engagement report, they talk about accommodating bikes, but that's not enough in this day and age. We need them to be encouraging cycling."

CBC News,August 31, 2019

Why sea cucumbers?

At OceansAsia, we are dedicated to marine conservation and have been working on issues relating to sharks, dolphins, and whales, but we also recognize the importance of protecting all marine creatures, as they all play a critical role in marine ecosystems...

OceansAsia, August 23, 2019

Saanich resident helps take a bite out of global shark fin trade

A Saanich resident has played a major role in flagging a large shipment of shark fins. Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the co-founder of OceansAsia, a conservation group which earlier this year alerted media to bags of shark fin being unloaded in Hong Kong.

Victoria News, July 15, 2019

Local man works to save sharks across the globe

Sharks are an apex predator meaning they sit at the top of the food chain and are a vital part of keeping a balanced marine ecosystem.

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the co-founder of OceansAsia who lives in Saanich, said his organization is dedicated to researching wildlife crime, including the exportation and exploitation of sharks and their fins...

CHEK News, July 12, 2019

Massive shark fin haul into Hong Kong dodges global shipping bans

Two global shipping firms that have vowed not to transport shark fin products inadvertently moved a 40-foot container of the controversial delicacy from Nicaragua to Hong Kong this year, both companies told Reuters....

The shipment arrived in Hong Kong in April and was first flagged to Reuters by conservation group OceansAsia, which saw bags of shark fin being unloaded on a road in the city’s industrial western district.

Reuters, July 10, 2019

Saanich to examine the way in which permissive tax exemptions are handed out

“If you turn people away from the door of your place of worship because of who they are, then you shouldn’t be receiving tax dollars. You’re violating the Canadian charter, and so in those cases, those people shouldn’t be receiving permissive tax exemptions,”  said researcher Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff from the B.C Humanist Association.

CHEK News, May 15, 2019

Former Saanich councillor candidate questions proposed mandate for citizens’ assembly

“The goal of the [citizen assembly] should be to help people make an informed decision, not to inform them what their decisions should be,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, in a letter to council as its members prepare to debate Saanich’s proposed terms of reference for the citizens’ assembly on amalgamation.

Saanich News, May 12, 2019

Saanich Needs Housing Strategy

"We need a proactive approach to tackling the housing crisis, but without a plan, Saanich’s approach will continue to be fragmentary and ultimately inadequate. The City of Victoria has had a housing strategy since 2016, and though not perfect, this plan sets out deliberate approach to addressing the housing issue. It’s time that Saanich developed a comprehensive affordable housing strategy as well."

Times Colonist, April 12, 2019

Advocacy Group says Budget will Make Saanich Less Affordable

“Many residents who have been calling for immediate action to address the housing crisis will be disappointed with this budget,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a former councillor candidate, who remains involved in a number of local community initiatives. “Saanich is not being proactive in tackling the housing crisis. A district without a shelter or proactive plan on housing access and affordability, and which is looking at increasing the number of parks with overnight shelter bans, is not taking the housing crisis seriously.”

Saanich News, March 31, 2019

Saanich Community Leader Calls for Additional Improvements to Permissive Tax Policy

"Teale Phelps Bondaroff,... said it pleases him that council wants to consider permissive tax exemptions for non-profits including religious institutions “on their merits” within the context of Saanich’s strategic plan.

“In the past, Saanich has approved hundreds of thousands of dollars in permissive tax exemptions to numerous entities combined into a single motion,” said Phelps Bondaroff. “As such, it has not been able to evaluate each of these applications on their individual merits...”

Saanich News, March 17, 2019

Community Leader Calls on Saanich to Directly Send Money on Affordable Housing

“The largest item missing from the budget is dedicated funds set aside to support affordable housing,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff. A former councillor candidate, Phelps Bondaroff is involved in a number of local initiatives and organizations.

He says Saanich has failed to identify appropriate land in order to take advantage of generous provincial programs, such as those offering free modular housing."

Saanich News, March 18, 2019

Push for a new library in Victoria would also benefit Saanich

A new library would improve library service in parts of Saanich currently lacking and ease pressure on existing Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) branches, she said, adding residents of Oak Bay could also benefit. As of Jan. 19, some 1,300 people have signed a petition....

Both Neilson and Phelps Bondaroff agree though that Saanich residents could be among the benefactors of a new library serving that area. “Having a library there within 2.5 kilometres is vital,” said Phelps Bondaroff. Libraries, he said, are not just about their respective collections, they are also community spaces and resources.

Saanich News, January 23, 2019

Saanich councillors call for ban on disposable plastic products

While this council is doing more than the previous council, which [Phelps Bondaroff] accused of dragging its feet, the pending ban is insufficient in light of the damage that plastic is causing to the environment, said Phelps Bondaroff.

“It’s really not much,” he said. “We need Saanich to show some leadership. I would like to see Saanich step up and ban other unnecessary single-use plastic items.”

Saanich News, January 9, 2019

Province says Saanich-owned land unsuitable for supportive housing

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, for example, has accused the current council of dithering and failing residents of the tent city that had popped up in Regina Park for several months. It was its presence that had initially inspired Saanich to offer the land.

Now, it appears that critics will have the chance to criticize Saanich for offering the wrong type of land.

Sooke News Mirror, October 10, 2018

Fishy Business: A special opinion editorial with Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff & Bryce Casavant

Even though the way that we look at illegal activity in the fishing industry has come a long way in the past four years, more work is needed. While the term ‘fish crime’ is commonly used by experts, diplomats, and government officials, the term, as well as common knowledge of the wide range of activities it encompasses, remains rather obscure; and it is within this grey area that crime thrives. Changing the way we look at a problem can often help us combat it...

The North Island Eagle, October 4, 2018

Religious institutions in Saanich may have to justify their permissive tax exemptions

He [Councillor Colin Plant] specifically referenced comments from Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a candidate for Saanich council, who raised the issue during the Sept. 17 public input session.

“It strikes me as … strange that we are granting tax exemptions to organizations without putting them through a benefits test,” he said, pointing to the benefits test that the City of Victoria is using...

Sooke News Mirror, Sept. 20, 2018

Empty Loblaws lot fuels speculation in Saanich

...Phelps Bondaroff suggested in a letter to the Saanich News that the lot be used for modular housing available under a provincial program.

“This property has been vacant for over 12 years and could easily accommodate a modular housing complex, along with a temporary urban farm, and more,” he said in his letter.

“If you/we can get [Loblaws] to consider disposing of this site, I think it has potential,” Plant responded....

Victoria News, July 5, 2018

Community organizer enters the race for Saanich council

A local academic and researcher hopes to bring his community-building efforts to Saanich council.

“My biggest thing is community building,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, in an interview after announcing his candidacy for Saanich council.

“By changing the environment in which we operate, the spaces that we live in, we actually build community,” he said...

Saanich News, June 30, 2018 

Letter: Use Vacant Lots for Temporary Housing

Saanich council has struggled to present viable solutions to the housing crisis as evidenced by the growing tent city in Regina Park. 

Provincial funding is available, to the tune of $90 million, through a program that offers supportive, modular housing to municipalities that provide the land. These homes offer a quick response while longer-term solutions to housing are developed. Other municipalities have jumped at the opportunity and within just a few months, people who were living on the streets were in stable homes. Saanich, on the other hand, has failed to identify municipal land that could serve this purpose...

Times Colonist, June 26, 2018

Resident Wants Saanich to Curb Changes to Boulevard Bylaw

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a Saanich resident who sits on the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, said the addition of a permit process for improving local boulevards discourages community improvements.

“You want to be encouraging people to make their communities more beautiful, so that they transform space they want to spend time in it,” he said. “You don’t want to make it more difficult. This makes it more difficult.”

Victoria News, May 13, 2018

BC Ferries Bike Fee Violates the Spirit of Two Wheels, Say Cyclists

When Teale Phelps Bondaroff opted to go car free this year, he knew he’d be making sacrifices by commuting by bike. Safety, for example, is less assured when cycling on the shoulder of a busy Vancouver Island highway instead of driving in a car.

But he didn’t expect a $2 surcharge on BC Ferries’ tickets for the privilege of taking two wheels on board. When he inquired about the purpose of the charge, BC Ferries told him it was to pay for bike infrastructure, like bike racks or lockers, on the boats...

The Tyee, September 25, 2017

The Conservation Group That’s Working to End Shark Fin Sales and Distribution in the UK by 2023

In 2013, Fin Free Cambridge was the first of its campaigns to gain city council approval, and other ongoing efforts across Bath and Bristol are just part of the bigger picture to eventually ban shark fin trading in the UK by 2023...

National Geographic, March 31, 2017

ADSS debate club heads to regional competition

Currently the club is benefitting from the volunteer work of international consultant and researcher Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, who joins the meetings via Skype. “With a PhD in Politics and International Studies from Cambridge University and 16 years of debating experience, including the world debating championships, Dr. Phelps Bondaroff is able to offer top-notch coaching to the students at ADSS,” Chambers said...

Alberni Valley News, January 12, 2017

A Fin Free Cambridge

On Wednesday two intrepid volunteers from Fin Free Cambridge delivered a petition, containing 3595 signatures to the Cambridge GuildHall, dressed as sharks. The local community group is hopes to make Cambridge the first UK city to take a strong stance against the use of shark fins. The issue of how to make Cambridge shark fin free will now be debated by the City Council when it meets on 25th October.

Varsity News, October 12, 2012

Whale Wars - Season 4

An Animal Planet television series that documents the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Antarctic anti-whaling campaign. Teale conducted his PhD field work while serving as a deck hand on board the Bob Barker as it participated in Operation No Compromise (2010-2011), and makes occasional appearances on the program.

Animal Planet June 3 - August 8, 2011

Calgary student pays tuition in coins in protest over credit card ban

A University of Calgary student paid his tuition with more than 90 kilograms of nickels and dimes Monday, protesting the university's recent decision to stop accepting credit card payments.

Undergraduate political science student Teale Phelps Bondaroff told CBC News that he paid his spring session tuition in nickels and dimes because "the government and the university are nickel-and-diming students."

CBC News, May 12, 2008