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Saanich resident calling for gas powered leaf blower ban finds support as autumn leaves fall

A blanket of dead leaves now covers the ground meaning leaf blowers are being used more frequently. It also means more residents signing Teale Phelps Bondaroff’s petition to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in the district. Phelps Bondaroff has started a petition to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in Saanich and it’s not just because of the annoyance factor.


“Cities don’t need to be noisy and happiness and wellbeing should be a priority.”

Saanich News, November 16, 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

Groups call on province for free prescriptions on World Contraception Day

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, chair and co-founder of AccessBC noted that people have a right to birth control and that cost shouldn’t be a barrier. 

“Anyone should be able to exercise their right to say what happens to their body, and to decide when – or if – they have children,” said Phelps Bondaroff, a Saanich-based researcher.

Victoria News, September 26, 2019

Group says prescription contraception should be free across BC

In an online statement, AccessBC says the costs of contraception “[falls] disproportionately on women and people with uteruses, and cost represents a significant barrier, particularly to women with low incomes, youth, and people from marginalized communities.”

Daily Hive, September 26, 2019

The pill should be free across B.C., groups argue on Gender Equality Week

"Money should never be a barrier to someone accessing their rights," Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founder of AccessBC, said in a statement. "Anybody should be able to exercise their right to say what happens to their body, and to decide when – or if – they have children."

CTV News, September 25, 2019

Interview with Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff on BC Legislature Prayers

Here we talk about the new research by the British Columbia Humanist Association on prayer in the BC Legislature, where Dr. Bondaroff was the lead author.

Canadian Atheist, September 18, 2019

Où situer les verts sur l’échiquier politique?

D’ailleurs, sur l’île de Vancouver, où le NPD détient la majorité des sièges, mais où les verts comptent faire des gains, le militant néo-démocrate Teale N. Phelps Bondaroff reproche aux troupes d’Elizabeth May de ne pas parler suffisamment d’inégalités.

"Je trouve que le Parti vert est partout sur le spectre politique. Selon moi, c’est le NPD qui soutient mes valeurs progressistes, dit-il."

Radio Canada, September 17, 2019

Does prayer have a place in the B.C. Legislature?

“Prayer in the B.C. Legislature favours Christianity over other faith traditions, favours religious belief over irreligious belief, and violates the state’s duty of religious neutrality,” Phelps Bondaroff noted.

Victoria News, September 12, 2019

Group lobbies to drop daily prayer at BC legislature

But the B.C. Humanist Association wants this tradition to end.  Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff said the practice continues only because of parliamentary privilege.

“There shouldn’t be prayer in the legislature. It’s a discriminatory, antiquated practice that takes up valuable MLA time. And excludes a lot of people,” Phelps Bondaroff said.

CHEK News, September 4, 2019

Should daily prayer be ousted from the B.C. Legislature?

The BC Humanist Association says while it’s been asked for input to ensure the prayers used represent a broad spectrum of religious and non-religious beliefs, the best course of action is to scrap it altogether.

Currently, a different MLA stands to give a prayer of any religion they choose ahead of Question Period each day.

News 1130, September 3, 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

Des cyclistes exigent de meilleures infrastructures sur les traversiers de BC Ferries

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, un cycliste qui utilise les services de BC Ferries, affirme qui lui est même arrivé de se faire dire par un employé de verrouiller son vélo sur le matériel de sauvetage ou l’équipement pour combattre le feu.

Radio Canada, 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

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

"Little free libraries encourage imagination and spontaneity, he explained. They also provide space for “whimsy in the urban landscape,” he said. Each LFL is unique and the people who run them put their personality into the construction and upkeep."

Victoria News, August 18, 2019

Un habitant de Saanich demande l'interdiction des souffleurs à feuilles à essence

"Tôt le matin, j'ai entendu le son d'un souffleur à feuilles. Pour la dernière fois j'ai dit : voyons, ça, c'est une forme de pollution sonore qu'on peut enlever de la communauté de Saanich et ça va vraiment améliorer la vie des personnes !" raconte Teale Phelps Bondaroff.

Radio Canada, August 16, 2019

Saanich resident calls for gas leaf blower ban

[Phelps Bondaroff] said there are several issues with gas-powered leaf blowers including the environmental damage from emissions, effects of the noise pollution on people’s physical and mental health and respiratory risks from the dust particles that get blown around.

Victoria News, August 14, 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

Little Free Libraries hit a milestone

The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network has recently celebrated the placement of its 10,000th book to a Little Free Library.

There are 243 free libraries in the Capital Regional District, giving Victoria the distinction of having the highest density of free libraries in Canada

Times Colonist, July 14, 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

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff presentation to the Budget 2020 Consultation Committee

The AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception Co-founder and Committee Chair, Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, speaking to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services: Budget 2020 Consultation, on June 10, 2019.

Hansard, June 22, 2019

Saanich church hosting anti-SOGI speaker received more than $10,000 in permissive tax exemptions last year

“Saanich has a duty of care to ensure that its tax funds are not going to groups that perpetuate discrimination and hate,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a former councillor candidate, who has been a leading voice for a public benefits test. “This example is why a robust public benefits test for permissive tax exemption recipients is is so important.”

Victoria News, June 6, 2019

Councillor Wants to see Concrete Action after Saanich Declares Climate Emergency

Pointing to Saanich’s own statistics, observers such as former councillor candidate Teale Phelps Bondaroff have said municipality needs to do more when it comes to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Sooke News Mirror, March 26, 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

Humanist group with Saanich ties accused of being “hardline secular activists”

"Paying your fair share is a great way to benefit the community. Saanich council only managed to add $500,000 to its affordable housing fund this year, but gave away over $773,898 in permissive tax exemptions to places of worship," said Phelps Bondaroff.

Sooke News Mirror, April 10, 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

Saanich Falls Short of Climate Goals

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a former councillor candidate, said the municipality needs to do more. “Saanich is nowhere near this target and even including projected projects, does not come close to approaching it,” he said...

Victoria News, March 21, 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

Campaign Aims to Remove Contraception Barriers

“Programs that offer free prescription contraception have been found to be revenue positive,” said Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founder and committee chair of AccessBC. “This is because the cost of providing free prescription contraception is considerably lower than the costs associated with unintended pregnancy.”

AccessBC’s goal is to ensure that all costs of prescription contraception are covered for B.C. residents.

Times Colonist, March 10, 2019

Saanich Advocacy Group Calls for Free Prescription Contraception in B.C.

One study found that the average lifetime spending on reproductive health on women adds up to more than $20,000.

Those out-of-pocket expenses don’t stop at monthly pills and annual tests.

“It’s amazing how things like toilet paper is freely available in public washrooms but menstrual products aren’t,” explained Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff with AccessBC.

CHEK News, March 8, 2019

Provincial Campaign Started in Saanich calls for Free Prescription Contraception

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founder and committee chair of AccessBC, said programs that offer free prescription contraception are revenue positive, because the cost of providing free prescription contraception appears “considerably lower” than the costs associated with unintended pregnancy.

He said that a 2010 study by Options for Sexual Health estimates that every $1 spent on contraceptive support can save as much as $90 in public expenditure on social supports. By the study’s estimates, the provincial government could save as much as $95 million annually if it implemented a program of universal access to prescription contraception.

Oak Bay News, March 7, 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

Entrevue avec Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff sur les Petites bibliothèques gratuites (LPL)

Nous recevions en entrevue téléphonique Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff au sujet de l'inauguration de la 200e Petite bibliothèque gratuite (LPL) et aussi sur ses priorités en tant que candidat pour le poste de conseiller à Saanich.

CILS 107.9, October 16, 2018

Our Community: Little library marks 200, and growing

“Little free libraries don’t just promote literacy and sharing — they transform the urban environment, serving as coral reefs for community,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a board member with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. “Little free libraries are an excellent example of how placemaking can help build community. These used newspaper boxes make great little free libraries that people can personalize in creative ways. It is lovely to see objects that might otherwise be thrown away transformed into little community gathering places.”

Times Colonist, October 14, 2018

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

Victoria boasts highest density of little free libraries in Canada

Since last year, the project has helped distribute 28 used newspaper boxes and set up dozens of other styles of LFL across the CRD. Volunteer project lead and GVPN board member Teale Phelps Bondaroff has delivered more than 5,000 books.

“Little free libraries don’t just promote literacy and sharing, they transform the urban environment, serving as coral reefs for community,” said Phelps Bondaroff. “Little free libraries are an excellent example of how placemaking can help build community.”

Victoria News, October 4, 2018

Saanich mayoral candidates clash over leadership

"Perhaps the most cogent critique of current conditions came from Phelps Bondaroff, who wondered why Saanich waited so long to work with the province on supportive housing.

He also highlighted that promises of affordable housing by developers often appear illusory, if not deceptive...."

Saanich News, Sept. 21, 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

Victoria’s little free libraries get 5,000th book

On Wednesday, Greater Victoria Placemaking Network (GVPN) volunteer, Teale Phelps Bondaroff, dropped of the 5,000th book to the project.

“It’s amazing how many people you meet while visiting the little free libraries,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “These delightful examples of placemaking act as coral reefs for the community.” 

Peninsula News, August 18, 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

Greater Victoria Opens its 150th Little Free Library

This weekend, the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network reached its goal of creating 150 little free libraries (LFL) by the end of 2017.

The miniature lending libraries are community book exchanges and dot the lawns of residents who have constructed unique versions of a free mini bookstore. The principle is simple – ‘leave a book, take a book,’ but the impact is great...

Victoria News, December 18, 2017

Building Community Through Little Free Libraries

These Pocket Places are meant to foster community growth by providing a place where neighbours can meet and share a book - or 10.

“Little Free Libraries, I see them as the first entry level of placemaking,” said Phelps Bondaroff... "I’ve described Little Free Libraries as coral reefs for their community,” he said, a place for people to gather.

The Tyee, November 8, 2017

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