Monday, 29 December 2014

"Gunslinging" Canadian MP Tries to Soften Gun Rules Even Further - With Remarkably Bad Timing.


Dear Editor,
A tragic thing happened in my province on Christmas eve. A Winnipeg woman was shot with a pellet gun and suffered,  according to police,  a "life-altering injury." A pellet gun is a weapon my Member of Parliament, Robert Sopuck (CPC - Dauphin/Swan River/Marquette - above) is convinced is "literally, not a firearm." Scant weeks before this unfortunate incident, Mr. Sopuck had introduced a private members bill to amend the Criminal Code. Its purpose - "to clarify that low-velocity rifles such as BB guns and air rifles should not be considered firearms.” 

And a bit before that, the Supreme Court had declared that they were so, firearms! 

A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It

Huffington Post
On a December afternoon, Frances Amy Richardson took a break from her quilting class to reflect on a groundbreaking experiment she took part in 40 years earlier. Story here.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Global Warming Will Cut Wheat Yields, Research Shows

theguardian
Combining wheat in Manitoba, Canada. 
Larry Powell PinP photo.
Production of wheat – one of the world’s most important staple crops – is set to fall by 6% for every 1C rise in temperature, say scientists. Story here.

Fracking Fumes: Where There's a Well, All is Not Well

Inside Climate News
After analyzing 24 scientific studies, the Natural Resources Defence Council finds plenty to worry about, from birth defects to deadly effects. Story here.

Related: Fracking Dealt Another Setback by Quebec Report

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Global Efforts Needed to Stop Deadly Banana Disease

UN News Centre

Without global efforts to respond to a fungal disease affecting banana production, the $36 billion global industry, which provides a source of income or food to some 400 million people around the world, is under threat, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Story here.

Canada's Arctic Could be Free or Summer Sea-Ice in Just Six Years.

The Star
As sea ice in the far north shrinks, experts say the Arctic could be free of ice by as early as the summer of 2020. Story here.

Tell Canada to Respect the Rights of Migrant Mexican Workers! PLEASE SIGN!

care2 petitions

Mexican migrant workers have been coming to work in Canada for 40 years under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). However, there have been several reports that these workers have been discriminated against.  Despite this, Canada is turning a blind eye. Go here to sign.

A Town in Manitoba, Canada Without Poverty. An Experiment With Basic Income (Video)

Oh, Woe, Canada – a Tough-Love Letter to My Country

BY: Joan Baxter

My dearly beloved, but bruised and much-abused Canada... 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The National Farmers Union is a Voice Canadian Farmers Need — if Only They Would Listen

The Manitoba Co-Operator

The NFU has a message that Canadians desperately need to hear. Time and time again the union is not only right about the effects of policy change on producers, it is practically clairvoyant. Story here.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Epic Chevron Battle Lands in Canadian Court

AMAZON WATCH

Oil giant asks Canadian Supreme Court to rewrite laws in attempt to avoid seizure of assets by Ecuadorian rainforest communities. Story here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Fracking Dealt Another Setback by Quebec Report

THE GLOBE & MAIL

Quebec’s environmental bureau has dealt a setback to companies that want to use hydraulic fracturing techniques to develop the province's promising shale gas deposits, saying it appears the economic benefits would not outweigh the environmental costs. Story here.

More Good News for Canada's Embattled, World-Class Experimental Lakes Area.

New charitable status will allow Experimental Lakes Area to realize full fundraising potential.


WINNIPEG—The International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is pleased to announce that it has now been granted full charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency. This is a crucial step in allowing the world-class freshwater research facility to reach its full fundraising potential and to realize its research, educational and operational goals.

Overgrowth

By George Monbiot
Every child should visit an abattoir. If you disagree, ask yourself why. Story here.

Related: "Saving the Planet, One Meal at aTime."

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Monday, 15 December 2014

Out to Pasture.


National Farmers Union (NFU) Urges Western Provincial Governments to Purchase Canadian Wheat Board Assets

National Farmers Union
Bringing in the wheat. Larry Powell PinP photo.
(Deleau, MB) - The NFU is urging the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC to become actively engaged in the federal government’s plan to dispose of the farmer-paid Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) assets. Story here.

The Murder of Women (Femicide): A Humanitarian Crisis in Central America, and a Growing Problem Worldwide

La Via Campesina

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_women_photo8scaled.jpgEl Salvador has had the highest rate of femicide in the world, with 2, 250 between 2010 and 2013. Guatemala has the third and Honduras the seventh highest rate of femicides.   In Guatemala, only 2% of murdered women's cases were investigated in 2013 and likewise in Honduras less than 2% were investigated.  For cases that somehow make it to court in Guatemala, 90% of defendants are not convicted. It is much the same in El Salvador.  In 2014 alone, between January and October, over 300  bodies of young women between the ages of 12 and 18 years old have been found in unmarked common  graves.

Another 5,000 Farms Disappear Under Conservatives

New Democratic Party
OTTAWA – New numbers from Statistics 

Canada reveal that the number of farms in 

Canada continues to decline.  
 “In just one year, almost 5,000 farms of all sizes disappeared from the Canadian landscape. We need to act now to help farming families and protect our local food system,” said Agriculture critic Malcom Allen (Welland), “With food prices going up, the last thing we need is less security in our food supply.”
 Earlier this year, New Democrats raised the alarm that less than a tenth of farms are operated by an owner under the age of 40.  
 “Conservatives are turning a blind eye as our rural economies suffer. We need to give our family farms the support they need before they disappear,” added deputy critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier – Maskinongé).
 – 30 –
For more information, please contact:
Véronique Breton, Press Secretary, (613) 408-1483 or veroniqu...@parl.gc.ca

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Why so Many Canadian Farmers Miss the Wheat Board

The Globe and Mail
An historic row of wooden grain elevators, restored to their past glory in Inglis, Manitoba - for tourists. Larry Powell PinP photo.
Exhilaration soon turned to dismay as farmers tried to capitalize on their good fortune. Canada produces the best wheat in the world, and the 2013 harvest was potentially worth between $6 billion and $9 billion on the open market. But when it came to buying the wheat and delivering it overseas, the privatized marketing chain seemed paralyzed with incompetence. Story here.

Crazy Like a Fox.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Marching in Defense of Mother Earth, Thousands in Lima Demand Climate Justice Now!

Common Dreams 
'If there is no justice, there is no deal' Story here.

Oil Exploration Threatens Narwhals and an Entire Way of Life. PLEASE SIGN PETITION!

Sum of Us
Photo credit - Narwhal News Network

Oil exploration and offshore drilling destroys aquatic ecosystems, putting both the narwhal and Inuit communities at risk. Don't allow Big Oil to wreck the Arctic Ocean. PLEASE SIGN!

The National Farmers Union Urges Canada to Reject "CETA," the Free Trade Agreement With Europe.

National Farmers Union


A canola field in Manitoba. Larry Powell PinP photo

The NFU tells  the House of Commons Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee, "CETA" would provide little or no benefit to farmers. Story here.

Related: "Free Trade: Path to Prosperity - or Back Road to Corporatism?"

Friday, 12 December 2014

Amazon Oil Spills Overlooked by Environmental Leaders in Lima.

The Guardian
As global environmental delegates gather in Peru for the UN climate talks, five oil spills in the country’s Amazon jungle are causing a hidden environmental disaster. Story here.

Sowing Seeds of Misinformation: Let’s Set the Record Straight on GMO Crops and Foods!


Two Canadian citizens’ respond to the pro-GMO propaganda of American Professor, Dr Kevin Folta, while lecturing in Winnipeg during late October 2014. 

Letter to the Editor: 

by-- Rose Stevens, Winnipeg , and John Balatinecz, PhD, Toronto

We are two Canadians, one a hobby organic farmer (RS), the other a retired university professor (JB).  We are deeply concerned about the impacts GMO crops have on human and environmental health. In fact, that concern is what brought us to meet on the web. And if that concern makes us into “ACTIVISTS”, so be it. At least we care about people and environmental health.  The same cannot be said of the corporate transnational agri-giant cartels, the producers and promoters of GMOs, with their so-called “gifts of “modern agriculture”. You can not grow healthy foods with poison!
Cartoon credit - www.seppo.net
Dr Folta was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press, as saying: “Concerns about GMOs are based on misinformation and fear. In 17 years of use, there has not been one single health consequence related to these products.” 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Ocean Now Has At Least 700 Pieces Of Plastic Per Person On Earth

CLIMATEPROGRESS

A study published on Wednesday estimates that the ocean contains over 260,000 tons, or 5.25 trillion pieces, of plastic. The study found that the amount of microplastics, pieces of plastic that are less than half a centimeter, found on the ocean’s surface were much smaller than expected. Story here.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

PinP is Pleased to Provide a Platform for This Billionaire, Who Was Banned Elsewhere For Exposing Capitalism’s Biggest Lie (Video)


Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".

Monday, 8 December 2014

CWB Seeks Partner With Grain Handling Expertise, Money

The Co-Operator

The grain firm formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board wants it known the company’s looking for an industry partner, not a new owner — and not just any partner. Story here.

Related: "Canadian Wheat Board Prepares for Corporate Takeover."

Rhetoric vs. Reality. A Tale of Self-Deception.

by Larry Powell

It is a common human trait to embrace nature - or at least the notion of nature - in our everyday pop culture and in the ways we portray our civilization to others. Animals abound in TV and print commercials as they obviously strike a chord within the customers who buy the "stuff" being advertised. Not a strong enough chord, however, for us to actually preserve the habitat they need for their survival; and that you and I may well need for our own emotional wellbeing. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

An Eleven Year-Old Boy Sets Us Straight (Video)

New Project in Manitoba, Canada, Provides Information to Farm Operations Switching to Loose Sow Housing

Government of Manitoba.
Screen image from 'Crated Cruelty, Canada's pork industry 
animal abuse exposed' website. A Mercy For Animals Canada 
undercover investigation that took place in 2012 looked into animal 
abuse at Puratone, one of the nation's largest pork producers located in Arborg, Manitoba.
Hog producers will benefit from research on switching from gestation stalls to loose sow housing as a result of a pilot project underway at a Maple Leaf Foods barn near Steinbach, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Canadian Wheat Board Prepares for Corporate Takeover

CBC News
Wheat field. Larry Powell PinP photo.
Foreign multinational could assume control without reimbursing Canadian farmers, taxpayers. Story here.

Canada’s Wheat Exports Dogged by Quality Complaints

Manitoba Co-Operator

Buyers of Canadian wheat are increasingly complaining about quality ever since Ottawa changed how its biggest crop is sold and inspected, raising the risk the world’s third largest exporter will lose sales to rivals such as the U.S. Details here.

Dozens of Lawsuits Filed Over Syngenta's Release of GMO Corn Seed That China Refuses to Buy

Winnipeg Free Press

Agrochemicals giant Syngenta is facing a growing number of lawsuits challenging its release of a genetically modified corn seed that China had not approved for import, with losses to farmers estimated to be at least $1 billion. Story here.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Federal Scientists Muzzled by the Office of the Canadian Prime Minister




Manitoba Co-Operator

Stance on antibiotic issues hard to pin down. Story here.

Larry Powell PinP photo.

A Court Orders Canada's Yukon Territory to Consult Again on a Plan For the Storied Peel Watershed.

The Canadian Press
WHITEHORSE - First Nations and environmental groups scored a major victory today as a judge ordered Yukon's government to go back to the consultation stage over preservation of the massive Peel River watershed (above). Story here.