Showing posts from 2014

Important Coming Event - Please Attend if You Can!


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

Global Warming Will Cut Wheat Yields, Research Shows

the guardian 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

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...  Story here.

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.

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.

Farmed and Dangerous? — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Destroys a Shepherd's Livelihood and Her Sheep

A Pipeline Operated by the Enbridge Tarsands Company Spills in Regina, Canada.

The Council of Canadians The Enbridge Line 4 pipeline, a 796,000 barrels per day pipeline from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, has spilled 1,350 barrels of oil at a pumping station in Regina. Story here.

Why People Don't Believe in Climate Science, or "It's OK to be Smart!" (Video)

Tarsands Leak Fouls Aquifer In Alberta, Canada. Is it an Isolated Incident?

Winnipeg Free Press A Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. tarsands operation that has contaminated a groundwater aquifer is renewing questions about a technology that has already been linked to another serious leak in northern Alberta. Story here.  

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

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.


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."

Concerns About Roundup Ready Alfalfa Raised at National Forage Meeting in Canada

Manitoba Co-Operator Many forage and forage seed importers have zero tolerance for GM crops, including alfalfa. Story here.

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 El 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 another-5000-farms-dissappear- unde

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. E xhilaration 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.


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? "

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 - Dr Folta was quoted in the  Winnipeg Free Press,  as   saying:  “Concerns about GMOs are based on misinformation and fear

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

CLIMATE PROGRESS 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.

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...".

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. 

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  t hat 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. 

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.

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.

Canada's Climate Inaction Leaves it 'Increasingly Isolated' as a Big Climate Meeting Begins.

CBC news Provinces step up to fill policy vacuum as Canada faces mounting international pressure. Story here.  

Harper Government Destroys Farmer Control Over Seed

National Farmers Union Organic hemp. Is it next?  Larry Powell PinP photo. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is sounding the alarm with the passing of Bill C-18, the Agriculture Growth Act omnibus bill yesterday in the House of Commons. “Farmers must now contend with UPOV ’91. UPOV ’91 is one of the most farmer-unfriendly mechanisms we have ever seen,” exclaimed Jan Slomp, NFU President. Story here.

Alberta Pipeline Spills 60,000 Litres Of Crude

The Canadian Press RED EARTH CREEK, Alta. - The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north. Story here.

Tanzania Government Denies Plan to Evict Maasai for Lion Hunting

Bloomberg News Tanzanian Natural Resources Minster Lazaro Nyalandu said reports are false that the government would evict 40,000 ethnic Maasai from traditional lands being sold to rich Middle Eastern investors. Story here.

Canada's Process to Protect Endangered Species is Failing, Study Finds

CBC News Marmot. Photo credit: Quirks  and Quarks  86% of country's at risk species stay at same risk level or have deteriorated over time. Story here.

Stop Tanzania From Kicking the Maasai Off Their Land! PLEASE, PLEASE SIGN!

      SUM       of    + US                   Fighting for people over profit. Sign the petition to Tanzania's President. President Kikwete: keep your promise to the Maasai people and cancel the deal that would kick them off their ancestral land to make way for a Dubai-owned hunting reserve, and guarantee permanent rights to their lands in writing.   CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION !

It's Time to Ban GMOs


Filipino Farmers Protest Government Research on Genetically Modified Rice

Inter Press Service Jon Sarmiento, a farmer in the Cavite province in southern Manila, plants a variety of fruits and vegetables, but his main crop, rice, is under threat. He claims that approval by the Philippine government of the genetically modified ‘golden rice’ that is fortified with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, could ruin his livelihood. Story here.

A Vision for Nature

by George Monbiot                                                                                  Pine grosbeaks in Manitoba, CA. PinP photos by Larry Powell. As governments tear down the rules that defend our wildlife from extinction,  here’s a positive attempt to stop the wreckage. Story here.

Canadian Author Donates Prize Money To Fight Tar Sands Pipeline, Inspires Outpouring Of Cash

Climate Progress The North American anti-pipeline movement just received a significant injection of financial and psychological energy, and it started with a book award. Story here.

Ontario Takes Tough, Timely Action to Reduce Harm From Neonicotinoid Pesticides

David Suzuki Foundation Swallowtail butterfly. Larry Powell PinP photo. The Ontario government announced a plan today to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects from the harmful effects of neonicotinoid, or neonic, pesticides. In a discussion paper posted to the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry , the government outlined a strategy to reduce the use of neonic-coated seeds in the province by 80 per cent by 2017. Story here. Related: "Canada's Biggest Province, Ontario, Acts to Protect Bees While The Federal Government Twiddles Its Thumbs" 

Obesity-Related Cancers on the Rise, Especially in Developed Countries

United Nations News Centre A veggie basket from an organic farm in Manitoba, CA.  Larry Powell  PinP  photo. A healthy diet can help to alleviate risk factors for a range of chronic diseases linked to obesity.  Details here. Related: "R esearch Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use of the Insecticide DDT May Still Be Contributing To A Scourge Of Modern-Day Diseases Related To Obesity."

The Canadian Province of Manitoba Makes Largest-Ever Land Donation to Protect Iconic Lake Manitoba Wetland

Flood Control, Water Quality, Carbon Storage,  Wildlife to Benefit:  Minister Mackintosh Photo credit - Town of Gladstone.  A Lake Manitoba wetland about five times the size of Birds Hill Park called Big Grass Marsh has been donated by the municipalities of Lakeview and Westbourne for conservation, making this the largest such land donation in the province’s history, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.  This is the largest conservation agreement of its kind in Canada.

A Former Federal Scientist in Canada Pleads His Case Against Roundup to the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose

Robyn O'Brien Last week, Dr. Thierry Vrain, a former scientist with the federal government in Canada, reached out after watching an interview I did with Dr. Ray Seidler, a former senior scientist at the EPA.  Story here.

Canada's Biggest Province, Ontario, Acts to Protect Bees While The Federal Government Twiddles Its Thumbs

The Sierra Club TORONTO – The global campaign to ban neonicotinoid pesticides took a big step forward in the province of Ontario today. The provincial government -- using its own pesticide control legislation -- will reduce the use of neonicotinoid pesticides by 80%. Details here. Honeybee hive.  Larry Powell PinP photo. Related: " PinP Declares Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture a Liar."

Farm Leaders on the Canadian Prairies Peg Water Damage in the Billions

Manitoba Co-Operator   A sodden farm field near Neepawa, Manitoba.  Larry Powell PinP photo. Farm leaders from Manitoba and Saskatchewan hope a new lobby group of stakeholders from both provinces can bring some long-term solutions to excess water problems that have led to billions of dollars in damages. Story here. Related:  "Manitoba makes $1M available to compensate farmers flooded last summer."

Climate Change Overview

The World Bank Flood refugees in Manitoba. Climate change is a fundamental threat to development in our lifetime. If we do not confront climate change, we will not end poverty. The sooner we act, the better chance we have of addressing it at a lower cost. Story here.

Keystone XL's Silent Role as a Forest-Killer

The New York Times - Andrew Nikiforuk An intact bit of  Boreal forest in Ontario. Larry Powell PinP photo. ENVIRONMENTALISTS typically fret about the prospect of adding monstrous new amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, and for good reason. Less attention is paid to the vast stretches of boreal forest already laid bare by tar sands development. In this opinion piece in the New York Times, preeminent Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk poses this disturbing question…. how much more must we lose? Story here.

Contamination Nation - Disaster Lurks on the Shores of Canada's Great Slave Lake - Global News Video (Pardon the Ad)

What's In Our Water? Flame Retardants, Anti-Microbial Nanosilvers And Synthetic Estrogen

                                       International Institute for Sustainable Development               Experimental Lakes Area wraps first research season under new management A (pristine?) lake in Manitoba, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo. OTTAWA & WINNIPEG – What’s in our lake water? As we learned this year, increasingly the answer includes flame retardants and anti-microbial nanosilvers from our clothes and baby products, synthetic estrogen and other hormones from flushed pharmaceuticals, and mercury from coal plants. 

Save Endangered Grizzly Bears from Canada's Jumbo Ski Resort! PLEASE SIGN!

Care2Petitions Jumbo Glacier Resorts is planning to build a 5500 bed ski resort with hopes to attract between 2000 and 3000 tourists per day. Although Jumbo Glacier Resorts has stated they examined the affects its resort will have on the area Grizzly Bear population and determined there will be little impact; they are using scientific data that is over 15 years old!  PLEASE CLICK  here to sign !

Taps Run Dry in São Paulo Drought, But Water Company Barely Shrugs

Washington Post A dam  which supplies water to 45 percent of Sao Paulo. (Getty Images)  ATIBAIA, Brazil — Seen from a micro-light aircraft, flying low near this small town in Brazil’s interior, the scale of the water crisis blighting São Paulo, a megalopolis 40 miles away, was frighteningly clear. Four of the five reservoirs in an interlinked system that supplies 6.5 million people, more than a third of its metropolitan population, were vividly depleted. Caked red banks of exposed earth showed just how low the water levels had fallen.   Story here.

Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time

OpEdNews - Chris Hedges A feedlot near Dauphin, Manitoba, CA. PinP photo. My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine's attitude toward becoming celibate -- "God grant me abstinence, but not yet." But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction , and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species.  Details here. Related  "Overgrowth."

Leaked Documents Reveal Shady Tactics Behind PR Push For Even Bigger Canadian Pipeline

ThinkProgress With the debate still raging over Keystone XL, the company behind the pipeline is already hard at work promoting a PR strategy for its larger and entirely Canadian pipeline, Story here.

Tribe: Keystone Vote is an "Act of War!"

THE HILL The president of a South Dakota-based Native American tribe says it will be an “act of war” if Congress authorizes construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Details here.

$ 25 Million GMO and Pesticide Safety Study Launched in London

Sustainable Pulse A disposal site for pesticide containers in Manitoba, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo. The World’s Largest Study on GMO and Pesticide Safety has been launched by Factor GMO in London, UK. Story here. Related: CBC TV SCIENCE |  Pesticide poses DDT-like threat -  Neonicotinoid pesticides may be killing off bees and affecting our air, water and food chain.

I'm Going on Strike - Against Walmart

I'm going on strike to stand up for my rights. Can you help by donating to the Walmart worker strike fund? I’ve got a big announcement: this Black Friday, I’m going on strike. I work at Walmart in Racine, WI. I’ve worked at Walmart for 14 years, but I recently had my hours cut and my health insurance benefits taken away. Now I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to see a doctor. And I’m not alone.

Conservationists Concerned After Catch Limit Increased for Bluefin Tuna

Winnipeg Free Press Greenpeace photo A Halifax ecology group says it's disappointed with a decision today by an international agency to increase catch limits for the endangered western Atlantic bluefin tuna. Details here.

Genetically-Engineered Corn Developers Sue Hawaii County to Halt Voter-Passed Law

The Associated Press  HONOLULU, Hawaii – Two leading developers of genetically-engineered corn have sued Maui County to stop a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms. Story here. Related: " Island of Maui Defies Monsanto, Passes Ban on GMO Farming "

Beddome is Back!

The Former Leader of the Green Party of Manitoba, James Beddome, is Elected Again at Successful AGM, and Policies Passed to Protect Manitobans from the Energy East Pipeline November 15, 2014 (Winnipeg, MB) Beddome at a protest against water privatization by the City of Winnipeg a few years ago.  Larry Powell PinP photo. The Green Party of Manitoba (GPM) elected a new Executive Council at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, including the election of former Party Leader James Beddome back to his former position after stepping down a year prior. Beddome received approximately 68 percent of the votes cast by individual GPM members, with challenger, organic farmer Kate Storey receiving 32 percent. “I am excited to once again serve as Green Party of Manitoba Leader. Frankly, I missed politics too much, and I look forward to leading the Party into the next election when we will elect Green MLAs to the Manitoba Legislature.  I want to congratulate Kate Store