CaNews Archive‎ > ‎

January 2020

Contents

  1. 1 January 31, 2020
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 1.2 Consultations yield agreement, division on P.E.I.'s high-capacity well regulations - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby
    3. 1.3 Despite Provincial Funding, GM Salmon Struggling for Cash - Press Release – From Council of Canadians – P.E.I. Chapter and MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, P.E.I.
  2. 2 January 30, 2020
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  3. 3 January 29, 2020
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 3.2 Charlottetown Farmers' Market renovations aim to improve efficiency, accessibility - CBC online article by Brittany Spencer
  4. 4 January 28, 2020
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 4.2 Choose more renewable resources - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  5. 5 January 27, 2020
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 5.2 P.E.I. voices sought for new Rural Communities Council - Government of PEI press release
  6. 6 January 26, 2020
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 6.2 No government for the people - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  7. 7 January 25, 2020
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 7.2 Is our right to peaceful protest disappearing? - Council of Canadians blog post
  8. 8 January 24, 2020
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 8.2 Clock Runs Out On Old Harry Licence - Fight to Protect the Gulf Continues - Sierra Club of Canada article by Gretchen Firtzgerald
    3. 8.3 Byrne Challenges King Government on Transparency on E-gaming File - NDPPEI post by Joe Byrne
  9. 9 January 23, 2020
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 9.2 Tensions cooling over Boat Harbour - The Guardian article by Aaron Beswick
  10. 10 January 22, 2020
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  11. 11 January 21, 2020
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 11.2 Public Services, Free Trade, and the Green New Deal - Behind the Numbers article by Scott Sinclair
  12. 12 January 20, 2020
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 12.2 Special climate committee briefed on vehicle-to-grid technoogy (sic) for P.E.I. - The Guardian article by Jim Day
  13. 13 January 19, 2020
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 13.2 How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change - The New York Times online article by Emma Harris
  14. 14 January 18, 2020
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 14.2 Rooted in the Past--Sustainably Grown Root Vegetables Lead the Way for Our Future: An Ode to Turnip - by Jill MacCormack
  15. 15 January 17, 2020
    1. 15.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 15.2 Strengthen P.E.I.'s Lands Protection Act, urges former justice minister - CBC News online artilce by Kerry Campbell
  16. 16 January 16, 2020
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 16.2 We’re at the Supreme Court of Canada this week - Ecojustice article by Kegan Pepper-Smith
    3. 16.3 RCMP, let journalists witness Unist'ot'en Camp - The National Observer article by Linda Solomon Wood
  17. 17 January 15, 2020
    1. 17.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  18. 18 January 14, 2020
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 18.2 Significant green energy announcement expected Jan. 14 in Summerside - The Journal Pioneer article by Colin MacLean
    3. 18.3 How to spend P.E.I.'s carbon tax - CBC News online article by Kevin Yarr
  19. 19 Dr. Rajiv Shah
  20. 20 essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet edited by Todd E. MacLean copyright 2014  http://globalchorus.ca/
  21. 21 January 13, 2020
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 21.2 NORTHERN PULP RESPONDS: How Boat Harbour became a quagmire - The Guardian article by Brian Baarda
  22. 22 January 12, 2020
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 22.2 As the deadline to approve a massive oilsands project approaches, its economic benefit is up in the air - CBC Radio online posting
    3. 22.3 EDITORIAL: What should we do about the climate crisis? Everything we can - The Guardian Lead Editorial
    4. 22.4 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    5. 22.5 LETTER: Upset with 'far-right' story - The Guardian to Letter to the Editor
    6. 22.6 3-party system on P.E.I. requires $1.55M renovation to Coles Building - CBC News online article by Kevin Yarr
  23. 23 January 10, 2020
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 23.2 Natural gas pipeline company posts 72-hour notice to clear way in northern B.C. - CTV News article by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
  24. 24 January 9, 2020
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 24.2 P.E.I. government launching $5 healthy school lunch program in January 2020 - The Guardian artilce by Stu Neatby
    3. 24.3 7-storey Charlottetown waterfront development to have hotel rooms, apartments and condos - CBC News online article by Natalia Goodwin
  25. 25 January 8, 2020
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 25.2 Opportunities for a legacy - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  26. 26 January 7, 2020
    1. 26.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 26.2 Jane MacAdam, P.E.I.'s auditor general, to retire - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby
  27. 27 January 6, 2020
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 27.2 Clash of the Think Tanks - The Guardian column by Russell Wangersky
  28. 28 January 5, 2020
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 28.2 Maintain Your Rage - The Tyee article by Ian Gill
    3. 28.3 Opinion: Mourning a disappearing world as Australia burns - The Globe and Mail article by Jessica Friedmann, Braidwood, Australia
  29. 29 January 4, 2020
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  30. 30 January 3, 2020
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 30.2 Prince William Launches Multimillion Dollar Earthshot Prize for Climate Action - EcoWatch article by Jordan Davidson
    3. 30.3 2020 is about putting substance to style - The Graphic Publications Editorial by Paul MacNeill
  31. 31 January 2, 2020
    1. 31.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  32. 32 January 1, 2020
    1. 32.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews

January 31, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events

Today:
Fridays for Future, 3:30PM, Province House (Grafton Street side).
"We meet weekly, usually in front of Province House (on Grafton St.), to call for our political leaders to take drastic meaningful ACTION to address the climate emergency, and do their part to transform our economy from dependence on fossil fuels to using only clean renewable energy."

Some wonderful naturey things in the coming weeks:

Sunday, February 2nd:
Summerside launch of Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Waters, 2PM, Eptek Centre. (Authors)..."Kim Riehl will present the marine mammals and Rosemary Curley the terrestrial mammals. Books will be on sale at the launch. All are welcome." The weather might affect this, though.

Tuesday, February 4th:
Nature PEI’s Member’s Night, 7:30PM, Beaconsfield Carriage House. "All are welcome to share photography, poetry and maybe even a few natural history tall tales with Nature PEI members....(if you wish)..... Please submit up to five pictures and natural history items by e-mail to Gerald MacDougall at <eagle.dynasty@gmail.com>

Saturday, February 8th:
Winter Woodlot Tour, 9AM-1PM, Bluefield High School, Hampshire.
"A free, fun, family-friendly event aimed at celebrating Island wildlife, forest ecosystems, and sustainable woodlot use. Come and participate in activities including snowshoeing and trail walks, free sleigh rides, maple syrup and chainsaw maintenance demonstrations. Learn about watershed and forest management, enjoy free hot apple cider, and much more!"
Facebook event link

Wednesday, February 12th:
ECO-PEI AGM and panel "The Art of Climate Change", 6:30PM, Beaconfield's Carriage House. All welcome. After the shortest and most efficient AGM you will ever find, the total turns to a panel discussion, this year about the art of climate change.
The Environmental Coalition of PEI will host a panel discussion featuring three Island artists - visual artist Brenda Whiteway, filmmmaker Mille Clarkes and Photographer Robert vanWaarden - who have explored climate change and its impact on people and the environment in their work."
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Newspaper article on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability meeting on Water Act draft regulations:
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/consultations-yield-agreement-division-on-peis-high-capacity-well-regulations-404964/

Consultations yield agreement, division on P.E.I.'s high-capacity well regulations - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby

Published on Thursday, January 30th, 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Consultations this fall yielded both united and divided opinions on Water Act regulations governing irrigation wells.

P.E.I. MLAs heard an update on public consultations related to the Water Act regulations during Thursday’s meeting of the standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability. The consultations have focused on water withdrawal regulations of the province’s two-year-old Water Act. The Water Act has yet to be enacted.

Brad Colwill, deputy minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, said 209 people took part in the public consultations over the fall. Almost half attended in-person meetings in October while 106 took part online. "Some of the topics that are addressed in this are divisive, and there's certainly mixed opinions on it," Colwill said.

A clear majority (77 per cent) of people agreed that high-capacity wells should have a more detailed assessment than low-capacity wells. Similarly, most people (62 per cent) agreed that multiple low-capacity wells that operate together should be considered a high-capacity well.

But when asked whether they agreed with placing a moratorium on new high-capacity wells for agricultural operations while not limiting similar wells for other industries, only 38 per agreed. Fifty per cent disagreed while 12 per cent were neutral.

When asked whether existing high-capacity wells should be grandfathered in through the new regulations, 46 per cent agreed while 36 per cent disagreed. Seventeen per cent were neutral.

The draft regulations would formalize an existing moratorium on new high-capacity wells for agricultural operations. Existing wells can remain. The moratorium does not extend to non-agricultural enterprises.

The regulations also established a regime of groundwater and water withdrawal permits for high-capacity wells. High-capacity wells are defined as wells that withdraw over 350 cubic metres of water per day, while low-capacity wells are defined as withdrawing between 25 and 350 cubic metres per day.

Despite the different opinions expressed, a media statement released Thursday stated the consultations gave “clear direction".

“Islanders want science and evidence-based research to inform public policy and to protect their drinking water,” read the first line of the statement.
(FULL STATEMENT HERE:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/public-consultation-on-water-withdrawal-gives-clear-direction )

The regulations governing water withdrawal were completed prior to the last election but were not publicly released by the previous Liberal minister, Richard Brown. The regulations have generated significant public interest. High capacity wells have been used by large agricultural operations to irrigate farming fields.

Regulations governing well construction, water supply and wastewater treatment were released publicly under the previous government.

Despite the public focus on agricultural use, irrigation accounted for only two per cent of the Island’s groundwater use. Data presented by department staff showed residential uses accounted for 46 per cent of use, while industry accounted for 36 per cent. Geothermal power accounted for 10 per cent, while livestock accounted for 6 per cent, triple that of agricultural irrigation.

Bruce Raymond, manager of air and water monitoring with the department of environment, noted only 35 per cent of P.E.I.’s total groundwater recharge is actually available for use, while 65 per cent is reserved for the environment.

"We are taking much less than the amount of water that is going in, which places us in an extremely good position in terms of sustainability," Raymond said.

-30-


It is disappointing the Department officials still insist there is plenty of water here and forever, without thinking about Climate Change potential effects, or about the the Precautionary Principle.
It does sound like MLAs have more questions, and since the meeting was truncated by a storm delay, it will be brought up again at a future meeting.

I do wonder what happened to Mike van denHeuval and the big scientific project he was working on.
--------------------------
And still something fishy about all this. Most of us just want our fish labelled if it's been genetically modified.
from: https://cban.ca/gmos/products/ge-animals/ge-fish/pei-press-release-jan-30-2020/

Press Release – From Council of Canadians – P.E.I. Chapter and MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, P.E.I.

Despite Provincial Funding, GM Salmon Struggling for Cash - Press Release – From Council of Canadians – P.E.I. Chapter and MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, P.E.I.

AquaBounty seeks more funds to produce GM salmon in P.E.I.

Thursday, January 30, 2020. Charlottetown.

Despite multiple provincial grants and loans, the company AquaBounty is now offering $10 million in common stock to help cover its costs of growing the first batches of genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) salmon in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I), Canada.

“The costs of raising genetically modified salmon just keep increasing but Islanders have already paid a lot through provincial grants and loans. Its hard to make money from a product that no one wants to buy,” said Leo Broderick of the P.E.I. Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “We should never have given out one single penny of public funds to support this risky venture.”

AquaBounty was majority owned by the U.S. biotechnology company Intrexon until late in 2019 when Intrexon sold all of its shares to the investment firm Third Security led by former Intrexon CEO Randal Kirk.

The Atlantic salmon is genetically engineered to grow faster using a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and genetic material from ocean pout. The company says it can grow nearly three times faster than other salmon in fish farms. Health Canada approved the GM Atlantic salmon as safe to eat in 2016 and it was first sold in Canada in 2017, without labelling.

“The company decided it can only sell GM fish in Canada if it’s sold to consumers without labelling. To me, this is not a consumer success story,” said Mary Boyd of the Mackillop Centre for Social Justice in P.E.I.

AquaBounty does not have any GM fish sales currently. The company closed their small pilot plant in Panama in 2019 and are now waiting to harvest the first batches of GM salmon from North America from the on-land plant at Rollo Bay in P.E.I. and the plant in Indiana, U.S. The company says it expects its first harvests to be in June 2020.

In their press release of January 27, AquaBounty stated that it, “intends to use the net proceeds of the proposed offering, if completed, to continue construction and renovation activities of its existing facilities in Rollo Bay and Indiana, for working capital costs associated with growing its first batches of fish at its Indiana and Rollo Bay farm sites, and for other general corporate purposes.” (1)

The Government of P.E.I. most recently provided a $2 million loan, in 2018, to complete construction of the GM fish factory. The Government of Canada has provided over $8 million in grants and loans to support the development of the GM salmon.

A 2015 Ipsos Reid poll found 45% of Canadians said they would “definitely not” eat the GM salmon, with only 11% saying they would. 88% said they want mandatory labelling of all GM foods. (2)

-30-

For more information: Leo Broderick, P.E.I Chapter – Council of Canadians, 902-316-2921; Mary Boyd, MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, P.E.I. 902-388-2393

NOTES:

(1) AquaBounty, Press Release, AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. Announces Proposed Public Offering of $10.0 Million of Common Stock. January 27, 2020. https://aquabounty.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/aquabounty-technologies-inc-announces-proposed-public-offering-1

(2) Ipsos Reid, 2015. Posted at www.cban.ca/2015poll

---------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 31

Alanna Mitchell

Here’s an idea. Let’s reframe this question. Let’s acknowledge that what we face is not a lack of science or technology; the recipe for triumph is right here, within grasp.

What we face is a faulty narrative. We’ve become mired in a story whose end we fear is already written. The science tells us, correctly, that if we keep going down the track we’re on, we will impair the planet’s ability to support life as we know it. Not all life forever. Just the creatures we know, almost certainly including us. It’s incredibly scary. The stakes are as high as they can be.

But what if we quite fiercely choose hope and then zero that hope in on the task of rewriting the story’s end? It will take sacrifice, loss. We will have to relinquish some of our fear, a lot of our anger and blame and guilt and despair about the state our species has put the planet in. But those emotions are the stuff of paralysis anyway. They suck up good energy, driving it into a black hole of helplessness.

What if instead we use that power to feed the highest human superpower: forgiveness. What if we forgive ourselves and each other and our species for having really screwed up? What if, instead of a story of disaster for humanity, we write a tale of magnificent redemption?

And then just get on with making something better.

     — Alanna Mitchell, journalist, playwright, author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis
--------------------

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca
/

January 30, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Standing Committees can usually be watched online Live at the Legislative Assembly website,
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/watch-live
or at another time on the archives, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committee-archive

----------------------------

Standing Committee meetings today, Thursday, January 30th:
Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, 10AM, Coles Building.  The committee will receive a briefing on the Water Act draft regulations (revised) on water extraction. 

Special Committee on Climate Change meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.

Topic: Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Energy Storage

The committee will meet to receive briefings on:
1) PEI’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory by Environment and Climate Change Canada... witnesses will appear via Skype.

2) Energy storage, by Andrew Swingler, Associate Professor, UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering.
Note: Pursuant to rule 103(2), the committee has determined that audio-visual recording shall not occur for briefing #2, with the exception of audio recording for the production of a written transcript.

"Rule 103(2) states: "Audio and visual coverage of a committee's proceedings may be denied if, in the opinion of the committee, a witness or witnesses may feel uncomfortable with such coverage." See the Rules of the Legislative Assembly at http://www.assembly.pe.ca/sites/www.assembly.pe.ca/files/rules-April-2018.pdf.

"For Professor Swingler's presentation there will be no video or audio broadcast. Proceedings will remain public and people can watch from the gallery. A written transcript will be produced in the days following the meeting. The rest of the meeting will be video and audio broadcast as usual."

--communication from the Clerk Assistant of the Legislative Assembly

Tonight: 
Teresa Doyle with Island Jazz, 8-10:30PM, Baba's Lounge, Charlottetown.  The amazingly diverse singer, with a huge heart and social and environmental conscience, will be the featured performer. 
Facebook event details

In February:
Deadline to register:

Friday, February 14th

Event date:
Saturday, February 22nd:
Seniors’ Symposium on Basic Income Guarantee:  We can make it happen, 9AM-12:30PM, Murphy's Community Centre, Charlottetown. (Storm date: Saturday, February 29th)

 from the media release: 
Pre-registration is required. The registration deadline is February 14, 2020 (Valentine’s Day). Contact: Sylvie Arsenault (902) 368-7337 or e-mail her (vrc@eastlink.ca).
Non-seniors are also most welcome.
There is no charge for this event.
Participants are advised that it is to be a scent-free event.
Travel subsidies are available on request as well as child and elder care support.
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Provincial Government announcement:

Pre-Budget Consultations

Finance Minister Darlene Compton invites individuals, businesses and organizations to provide input to the 2020-21 provincial budget.

Give Your Input

There are a number of options for Islanders to provide input, as follows:

  • attend a pre-budget consultation; or

  • complete the online form (at page link)

Consultation Meetings

Each session is scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Please pre-register by calling (902) 368-5501 or sending an email to snlee@gov.pe.ca (link sends e-mail)

  • Tuesday, February 4, Montague (storm date February 5)

  • Thursday, February 6, Alberton (storm date February 7)

  • Tuesday, February 11, Charlottetown (storm date February 12)

  • Tuesday, February 18, Summerside  (Storm date February 19) - Simultaneous interpretation in both official languages available at this session.

Feedback Dates

Deadline for feedback is February 29, 2020

-30-

OK, good to have the consultation, and the ability to submit on-line, BUT the format is exactly the same since Al Roach was minister - daytime meetings, in an unspecified location you only get when you call and register -- barriers, barriers, barriers.  What other consultations are only during business hours, in a Treasure Hunt-style format to find the location?  Still, attend if you can, and do submit comments if you feel motivated, at the link:

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/pre-budget-consultations

----------------------------------

The Global Chorus essay for January 30 is by
Maria Fadiman

“Lizard!” I shrieked.
Chan, a Mexican Lacandon Maya, watched as my hand whipped to the top of my head. Carefully he reached up and plucked a small branch from my tangled hair.
“Twig,” he said softly.
“Oh.”
He nodded, turned and padded silently through the forest.
“Well, it was a lizard last time,” I said as I followed, crashing behind him to keep up.

Linking myself to the environment, whether through a lizard in my hair or knowing which plants cure, kill or both, connects me not only to the natural world, but to myself and others. However, forest dwellers and urbanites alike can lose this bond.

On one of my first trips to an Amazonian Kichwa village in Ecuador, struggling to get my feet clean in the Napo River, I asked the boy tossing stones in the river pretending not to watch me about useful plants.

He dropped the rock, adjusted his baseball cap and replied, “We don’t know that stuff anymore.” He paused, “But I can find someone who does, someone old.”

He did: an old person who became my teacher. I illustrated plants, wrote his words and made a small book for him and his people, preserving their own knowledge.

During my stay I watched as generational attitudes shifted. My curiosity sparked theirs. A group of teenagers ended up educating me about what they still knew and I taught them how to process their own community’s information. One evening by the fire, a little girl walked into the circle, took my hand and led me to a bright green fern growing by the river. She puffed with pride and said, “I know this plant.” “How about you tell them?” I asked, nodding towards the teens.
“They don’t care,” she replied.
“They do now.”
She paused for a minute, then turned and strode towards the teenagers. I watched as she gesticulated in front of them, pointing to where the fern grew.

Whether in the rainforest or the city, awareness of our disconnection and the possibility for reconnection is the first step. We can each take it from there.
    
— Dr. Maria Fadiman, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, associate professor of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University

--------------

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet

edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 29, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today:
Farmers' Market open for lunch, some food vendors there 10AM-2PM, coffee bar open weekdays 6AM-2PM. (see story about Market renovations, below)

Standing Committee meetings today:
Wednesday, January 29th:
Special Committee on Poverty on PEI, 10AM
, Coles Building,

The committee will receive a briefing from the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, via Skype.

Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
Doctor/Nurse Recruitment -- The committee will receive a briefing from Tanya Renea Nace (Executive Director of World Hope International – Canada) regarding recruitment and retention of doctors and nurses in PEI.

from World Hope International Canada's website
The Christian relief organization is based in Moncton, and the presenter "is an organizational leader with a background in non-profit recruitment....Tanya served as Director of Mobilization for TEAM, where she led the recruitment of 326 long-term missionaries."

Tonight:
Public Forum: Pesticides and PEI Potatoes, 7-8:30PM, Murphy Community Centre. All welcome. Hosted by the Council of Canadians -- PEI Chapter
"Screening the 2001 documentary film 'Something in the Air' with filmmaker Sylvie Dauphinais about potato pesticides in the air we breathe, followed by a presentation on what has changed since 2001, by Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action coordinator. Is the potato industry still poisoning people, wildlife, soil and drinking water?
Moderated by Leo Broderick. Questions and discussion encouraged."
Facebook event details

Standing Committee meetings tomorrow, Thursday, January 30th:
Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, 10AM, Coles Building. The committee will receive a briefing on the Water Act draft regulations (revised) on water extraction.

Aside: There was mention of another public meeting on these revised draft regulations in the Charlottetown area, but I have not gotten an answer back from the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change about this.

Special Committee on Climate Change meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
Topic: Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Energy Storage

The committee will meet to receive briefings on:

1) PEI’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory by Environment and Climate Change Canada, as represented by:

Nancy Hamzawi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch; Dominique Blain, Director, Pollutant Inventories and Reporting; Lindsay Pratt, Manager, Quality Management and Verification, Pollutant Inventories and Reporting; and Duane Smith, Chief, Transport Section, Pollutant Inventories and Reporting

The above witnesses will appear via Skype.

2) Energy storage, by Andrew Swingler, Associate Professor, UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering.

Note: Pursuant to rule 103(2), the committee has determined that audio-visual recording shall not occur for briefing #2, with the exception of audio recording for the production of a written transcript.

Standing Committees can usually be watched online Live at the Legislative Assembly website,
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/watch-live

or at another time on the archives, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committee-archive

Events next week:
Tuesday, February 4th:
Panel Discussion: Together Towards Gender Equality: Working Locally and Globally, for International Development Week (IDW) 2020, 4PM
, UPEI, AVC Atrium. Free and all welcome but **Registration requested by Today, Wednesday, January 29th**

Hosted by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC-CACI) "This event celebrates the 30th anniversary of the International Development Week.
Speakers include Jane Ledwell, Elder Dr. Judy Clark, Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Dr. Jean Mitchell, Dr. Janis MacLellan-Peters, and Dr. Patricia Altass, MLA for Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke with (Co-Chairs) Dr. Susan Hartley, Global Peace Advocate and Ann Wheatley from the Cooper Institute.
The event is free and all are welcome to attend.
RSVP (selvi@acic-caci.org) by 29 January 2020

Friday, February 14th:
Fundraising Dinner and Entertainment: A Very Romantic Black-Tie Affair, 6:15PM
, Kings Playhouse, Georgetown. Tickets.
excerpt from the media release: "On Valentines Day the Montague Food Bank and the international Canadian Foodgrains Bank are joining efforts to raise much needed funds for local food aid in Kings County and in over 35 countries around the world.
This magical evening event at the Kings Playhouse will provide the perfect venue for a romantic Valentine’s celebration, while generating much needed funding for a local food bank and the local chapter of an international food bank....
Various artists will provide an evening of songs and stories of love and romance. Musical performers will include Jill Harris, Ava & Lily Rashed, Catherine O’Brien, Don Fraser, Alan White and Isaac Williams. And no one will want to miss a passion-themed storytelling performance by members of “The Four Tellers” that will surely heat up the mid-February evening. A sumptuous seven-course Valentines themed meal prepared by Island chefs will feature donated local ingredients. Vegetarian and gluten free options will be available with advanced notice.
The event will also feature a 50/50 draw and a silent auction. All profits will be split evenly between the Montague Food Bank, and the PEI Chapter of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 Canadian churches and church-based agencies working together to end global hunger. ...Donations are eligible to be matched up to 4:1 by the Canadian government.
Tickets may be obtained by calling Vivian Dourte of Montague Food Bank at 902-213-3676, Kent Myers of Canadian Foodgrains Bank 902-218-4621 or email committee members Frank Dourte: montaguefoodbank@gmail.com, Gerald Cressman: gdcressman@bellaliant.net, or Ray Brow: ray.brow@gmail.com .
-------------------------------------------
Sky notes:
From "Atlantic Skies" this Week, from the January 29th column by Glenn Roberts, in Saltwire publications
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/lifestyles/regional-lifestyles/atlantic-skies-the-crab-sidles-across-the-nights-sky-402483/

Venus continues to shine brightly high in the southwest sky as darkness falls, setting now around 8:30 p.m. At a brilliant magnitude -4.1, there is no question as to why it is often referred to as our "evening star."

Jupiter joins Mars in the dawn sky this week, appearing low above the east-southeast horizon about 40 minutes before sunrise. You will need an unobstructed view of the horizon and, depending on sky conditions, might find binoculars helpful in locating Jupiter. Mars sits to the upper right of Jupiter, appearing in the pre-dawn sky above the east-southeast horizon well before Jupiter makes its appearance; Mars may well have faded from view by the time Jupiter clears the horizon.
The ruddy-coloured star Antares sits to the lower right of the Red Planet; compare their respective reddish hues. Mercury and Saturn are both too close to the Sun to be visible.
---------------------------------

Charlottetown Farmers' Market renovations aim to improve efficiency, accessibility - CBC online article by Brittany Spencer

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-charlottetown-farmers-market-upgrades-2020-1.5443696
Work to begin as early as next month

Published on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 on CBC

Officials with the Charlottetown Farmers' Market say the building is in for some big upgrades that they hope will help the market keep up with growing business.

Renovations have been long overdue, according to the co-op that manages the market. The group said plans to upgrade have been in the works for about two years.

Updates to the building will aim to make it more efficient and accessible, said Bernie Plourde, manager of the market's co-op. "What we'll do is an infrastructure upgrade of the market, we need to get some new electricity, some new plumbing," Plourde said. "We'll renovate the washrooms and depending on the quotes and the tenders that come back to us, we may be putting in a community kitchen as well."

Plourde said the proposed community kitchen could also be rented out for special events and possibly used by food vendors as a space to prepare their products on-site.

There are also plans to update the building's heating and ventilation systems, which would improve the air quality and make it safer and more comfortable to cook inside the building, he said.
Brett Bunston has been selling coffee at the Caledonia Coffee House stall for the past 30 years. He said this will be the biggest renovation he's seen during his time at the market and he's optimistic the upgrades will only help his business grow.
"We're about to embark on a new exciting stage in the market's history, these renovations are so badly needed," Bunston said. "As we get more professional with our businesses it's nice if the whole thing gets an upgrade."
Plourde said the renovations are expected to start as early as next month, with the goal of being complete by June. He said the plan is to have all the work done over the winter months, so the impact to vendors and market goers is as minimal as possible.
"We're just elated to see that we're able to do some infrastructure upgrades to make it a more pleasing place," Plourde said. "People gather round and we talk politics, religion, we meet our neighbours, it's just — it's a great place."

The project is expected to cost just over $400,000, with most of the funding coming from the federal and provincial governments.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing $271,250 toward the renovations, and the province is contributing $100,000. The co-op will be putting $40,000 to the project, Plourde said.
"I think it goes to the success of this organization and what they've turned it into. You know, it's great that it's growing," said Minister of Communities Jamie Fox. "As a government we want to make sure that we fund projects that are sustainable and have a long-lasting effect."

The co-op still leases the land the market sits on, Plourde said. The lease is on a month-to-month basis from the federal government.

Plourde said the group does eventually want to expand the building, but has to wait while consultation takes place between the federal government and the Island's Mi'kmaq community about the land.
-30-
----------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 29
Jonathan Legg

There is no doubt our world is full of environmental and social crises, but there is more hope than realized.

As a travel show host I ramble around the planet turning over stones and looking for good narratives. I find that most people live in the bubble of their communities, largely oblivious to global issues. In Calcutta and Iloilo there are always plenty of fish at the market, so the understanding that ocean stocks are extremely depleted hasn’t been realized, and probably won’t be until the day the market grinds to a halt. On the other side of the coin you’ll meet a few individuals in these towns religiously reading the papers and watching international news who believe the planet is going to hell in a handbasket.

The truth is somewhere in between.

Harvard psychologist Stephen Pinker reminds us that the world is safer than ever before, and part of the reason is because of expanded awareness. We believe it’s worse because of the flood of stories on the nightly news, but this light shining in the corners and cracks has actually made it better. I believe the same effect will galvanize the world’s communities into combating other issues, but don’t count on standard media to do the job. Violence may be contrary to everyone’s agenda, but curbing consumption probably isn’t a priority for state- and corporate-run news.

This is where the traveller and social media will fill the gap. Through Twitter, blogs, short online videos and other devices, information is being shared like never before. A common person with a concern or a cause can now reach anyone on the planet who has an Internet connection. Cataloguing vacation and life experiences online allows us to savour them more fully, in the same way taking a picture does, but more importantly it adds a little more clarity and a little extra contrast to the collective understanding.

The more voices that join this global chorus, the further we will grasp how interconnected we all are and the closer we will get to grappling with the realities of our modern world.

— Jonathan Legg, co-producer, writer and host of The Road Less Traveled

http://www.jonathanlegg.com/

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essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 28, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today:
City of Charlottetown Pre-Budget Open House, 6-7:30PM, City Hall.
"The City of Charlottetown’s Finance, Audit and Tendering Committee is inviting the public to a pre-budget open house. The committee, members of Council and city staff will be collecting input from the public on how they would like to see money allocated on services and programs in the Capital City for the 2020-21 budget." from:
Facebook event details

Standing Committees can usually be watched online Live at the Legislative Assembly website,
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/watch-live

or at another time on the archives, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committee-archive

Standing Committee meetings this week:

Today, Tuesday, January 28th:
Public Accounts Standing Committee Meeting, 10AM-12noon, Coles Building.
The committee will meet to receive a briefing on implementation of the Auditor General’s 2016 recommendations on Payments to Private Nursing Homes from Denise Lewis Fleming, Chief Executive Officer of Health PEI.

Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, 4-6PM
The committee will meet to receive a briefing on re-establishing elected school boards and the present education governance structure, by representatives of the PEI Home and School Federation.

Wednesday, January 29th:
Special Committee on Poverty on PEI, 10AM, Coles Building,
The committee will receive a briefing from the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction.Please note that the presenters will appear via Skype.

Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
Doctor/Nurse Recruitment -- The committee will receive a briefing from Tanya Renea Nace (Executive Director of World Hope International – Canada) regarding recruitment and retention of doctors and nurses in PEI.
----------------------------
Letter to the Editor https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letters-choose-more-renewable-resources-403288/

Choose more renewable resources - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Saturday, January 25th, 2020

I would like to share reasons why I support the development and operation of wind power in P.E.I., within the guidelines of a proper environmental assessment, by the P.E.I. Energy Corporation. I also support other clean energy.

Currently, we obtain 73 per cent of our power from off Island. By the year 2030, N.B. Power will close its coal generating plant (467 MW) in Belledune due to carbon reduction regulations.

The Mactaquac dam (668 MW) is the largest dam in the Maritimes and will stop operating quite prematurely by 2030 due to a problem with concrete expansion.

Its construction displaced thousands of people, flooded burial grounds, 200-year-old farm communities, and a new salmon hatchery was needed.

The nuclear power plant in Point Lepreau (660 MW) has had operational problems including upgrades, repairs, and efficiency issues. Nuclear power has inherent risks (eg. Chernobyl).

The Coleson Cove generating plant (972 MW) uses costly fuel oil which generates carbon dioxide. Electricity loses power the further it travels on a power line with greater chance of outages. Muskrat Falls Hydro (not operational) has had some issues.

We can choose more renewable local resources. There is always a breeze in P.E.I. Coastal erosion and higher water levels are predictable in our future and we have an ethical responsibility to take remedial action, regardless of inaction by others.

In speaking out, I hope to keep my conscience clear of inaction. Our choices on energy can improve or worsen the futures for our children.

Tim McCullough, Charlottetown

-----------------------------

Global Chorus for January 28
Robert Bateman

The British economist E.F. Schumacher said, “The real problems facing the planet are not economic or technical, they are philosophical.” I completely agree. Where there is a will there is a way – where there is no will there is no way. If the various cultures and powerful entities in the world can modify their philosophies toward solving the global environmental and social crises, it is certainly possible. I have three suggestions:

1. We need a critical mass of people to pay attention to issues. Too many people bury their heads in the sand and don’t want to hear about issues. We prefer, as Neil Postman says, to “amuse ourselves to death.” To this end we need almost total transparency of the actions of people on top. What forces are behind the scenes? What are the lobbies? Where is the money? Financial transactions should be transparent. Government and corporate scientists should be allowed to be open about their work and their conclusions. No more muzzling of scientists or
the media. Lack of transparency is the hallmark of tyranny such as the regimes of Hitler, Stalin or Mugabe.

2. We do not need any more studies or commissions to solve problems. We know what we have to do. All we have to do is expect to pay more for a good future. Nature is not a free lunch. There is no free lunch. We can pay now or pay later, but if we pay later it will cost more. Our society seems to say that we would rather pay later. Some have called this grandchild abuse. We must have true cost accounting of everything we spend money on. A good future likely will mean higher taxes and more expensive goods. Actually, cutting corners is too expensive.

3. Finally, a general philosophy of respect would be very helpful: respect for Nature and respect for other humans. The Golden Rule states, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Not a bad idea.

       — Robert Bateman, Canadian artist, environmentalist, naturalist  www.robertbateman.ca

--------------

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 27, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Monday, January 27th:
January Community Vegan Potluck, 6:30-8:30PM, Haviland Club. Please read the event details here.
-------------------------------------
Deadline to apply: Saturday, February 8th:

P.E.I. voices sought for new Rural Communities Council - Government of PEI press release

from a government of P.E.I. press release in The Guardian,  Saturday, January 25th, 2020.

Islanders with an interest in the social and economic progress of rural P.E.I. are invited to help guide the province through a newly formed Rural Communities Council.

Building on the work done by the Island’s four regional economic advisory councils, the new council will collaborate with communities, industry and interest groups to promote community development opportunities that support regional growth. 

The four regional groups were united after previous chairs and members said there would be benefit in sharing their efforts on common issues.

The Rural Communities Council will include eight to 12 people from across the province with a mandate to advise government on matters impacting rural P.E.I. through engagement with industry, academia and government partners on issues related to people, communities, wellness and the environment.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 8.
-30-
Here is the information from the actual government page, which adds more details:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/fisheries-and-communities/rural-communities-council

Rural Communities Council

The Rural Communities Council will provide advice and make recommendations to Government regarding rural topics related to the themes of people, communities, the environment and wellness and explore opportunities for development in rural PEI. 

What is the function of the council?

Specifically, the Rural Communities Council will:

  • Examine, discuss and review Government strategies through a rural lens to identify the potential rural impacts of Government policies and decisions.

  • Identify opportunities to enhance rural population growth and recommend ways to improve inclusiveness within rural PEI communities.

  • Engage with industry, academia, Government and local partners to understand the complex issues related to people, communities, wellness and the environment in PEI.

  • Provide advice to Government with regard to the issues identified by the Regional Economic Advisory Councils including (but not limited to): education, healthcare, housing, the labour market, PEI’s aging population, and the out migration of PEI youth;

  • Collaborate with communities, municipalities, and groups such as Partnership for Growth (link is external) (link is external), development corporations (including Summerside and Charlottetown), Rural Action Centres, and Youth Futures Council to promote community development opportunities that support regional growth.

How many people are on the council?

The Rural Communities Council will be composed of 8-12 members appointed by cabinet via Engage PEI. Two co-chairs will be selected before the the first meeting.  

What are the requirements of council members?

Rural community leaders and residents who are passionate about rural PEI and interested in providing their expertise from a variety of backgrounds are welcome to apply.

What are the nomination requirements?

Applications can be forwarded to Engage PEI and members will be appointed by cabinet. Appointments will be for two (2) years, renewable once. Some initial appointments may be made for three (3) years.  

Will I get paid?

Members serve on a volunteer basis without remuneration, but are reimbursed for expenses incurred in serving on the Council.

What is the time commitment of the council?

The Council will meet a minimum of four times per year.  Meetings will be help in various communities across PEI.  The co-chairs of the groups will meet once per year with the Premier and Minister of Fisheries and Communities.     

How can I apply?

If you would like to serve as a member of a provincial government agency, board, or commission (ABC) you can apply online through Engage PEI.

Contact

Darryl O'Brien
Rural Policy Specialist
Phone: 902-838-0670
Email:
dobrien@gov.pe.ca (link sends e-mail)
-30-

Engage PEI's website

Rural Communities Council information page

By the way, the Environmental Advisory Council also has vacancies coming up this year-  their webpage

-----------------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 27

Lauren Bush Lauren

When I was a student in college, I had the amazing opportunity to travel the world with the UN. It was a life-changing experience to visit places of extreme poverty and meet people who did not know where their next meal was coming from. I would return from my travels feeling inspired to make a difference, but not knowing where to begin.

I knew others would want to help too, if given an easy way to do so without feeling overwhelmed. It was from this premise that I came up with the idea for FEED, a social business with a mission to create good products that help feed the world. The idea is simple: buy a tote bag and help a child. For every product we sell, we make a donation to give meals to people in need. Using this model, we are able to make a positive impact on the world while empowering consumers to get involved. By harnessing people’s will to make the world a better place, I have seen first-hand how FEED and other social ventures can serve as conduits for individuals and businesses to make a difference and get involved in helping solve big world issues.

Ultimately, I believe the foundation for real and lasting global change is universal empathy. If our world is connected through a shared Earth, it must also be connected through a shared compassion and common sense of human dignity. It really boils down to the Golden Rule: “treat others as you would like to be treated.” If the world could abide by that simple rule, many of the daunting challenges we face today would go away. But in the meantime, it is up to each of us to come up with our own ideas and solutions.

If a simple burlap tote bag can feed nearly sixty million children, I am excited to see what your ideas will do.

      — Lauren Bush Lauren, co-founder and CEO of FEED Projects  
https://feedprojects.com/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 26, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Bonshaw Ceilidh, 2-4PM, Bonshaw Hall (Green Road at the Bonshaw bridge). Admission by donation, with proceeds going to the PEI Chapter of the Council of Canadians. Cookies and tea at the mid-ceilidh lunch break.

This event date might get changed (again) if the weather is awful, so check the event link:
Family Skate and Winter Activities, 2-4PM, Malcolm Darrach Community Centre, 1 Avonlea Drive, Charlottetown.
Charlottetown City Councillor Julie McCabe and MLA Natalie Jameson will be hosting a free Community Family Skate at the Elmer MacFadyen Memorial Recreational Complex, the outdoor rink on MacRae Drive!
* Goodies and hot drinks will be served in the Malcolm J. Darrach Community Centre, provided by the East Royalty Lions Club and Mel's
* Musical entertainment by The Music Man, Michael Pendergast
* Sleigh rides and snowshoes provided by the City of Charlottetown
* Amazing silent auction table, with all proceeds being directed to the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown
Facebook event link

Tomorrow:
Monday, January 27th:
January Community Vegan Potluck, 6:30-8:30PM, Haviland Club. Please read the event details here.
-------
These Legislative Standing Committee meetings are either on different day or different time than usual:

Tuesday, January 28th:
Public Accounts Standing Committee Meeting, 10AM-12noon, Coles Building.
The committee will meet to receive a briefing on implementation of the Auditor General’s 2016 recommendations on Payments to Private Nursing Homes from Denise Lewis Fleming, Chief Executive Officer of Health PEI.

Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, 4-6PM

The committee will meet to receive a briefing on re-establishing elected school boards and the present education governance structure, by representatives of the PEI Home and School Federation.
--------------------------------------
F. Ben Rodgers wrote this letter to The Guardian recently: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letters-no-government-for-the-people-402431/

No government for the people - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Friday, January 24th, 2020

Do we have a government of and for Islanders? The answer is an emphatic no. 

Many people heralded a new era when Premier Dennis King was elected. He was well known and apart from some earlier rather sexist jokes, seemed to be well accepted. 

Well, he was accepted by enough voters to get elected with a minority. 

He promised he would be different, would bring about cooperation/collaboration. 

However, we are missing some rather important details. There were several candidates for the leadership. Yet the backroom boys selected and supported King. 

That should have been the first flashing red light warning of more of the same to come. 

Wade MacLauchlan claimed he would do government differently, but we continued the same patronage system of old. 

Roundabouts galore and he was coronated as premier by the backroom before being elected. 

Now we have another premier who was not selected by Islanders but by those same invisible backroom boys. 

So why are we surprised that to date the new/old style government is not doing what they promised? 

Nothing mentioned about proportional representation, no effective measures to reverse the Irving land grab, no visible or positive efforts to engage doctors, lots of talk, lots of promises but no actual doctors. 

Refusal or stalling to release documents regarding the e-gaming ongoing court case. 

It appears the Provincial Nominee Program scandal has been well and truly swept under the rug. 

Does any of this seem like we are doing government differently? 

It seems clear to me King is doing precisely what the backroom boys direct. 

Voting for the two old parties, we are not electing candidates, we are handing power to those infamous backrooms, red or blue. 

F. Ben Rodgers, Abram Village
--------------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 26
Jamie Oliver

True, sustainable, radical transformation of individuals, families or communities doesn’t come from one action – everything has to change, everyone has to contribute and everyone needs to be openminded to change, which makes it tough. But that doesn’t mean people can’t lead the way, set examples and give people hope. Of course governments should step up and big, responsible organizations should set an example, but there’s no reason why change and making better choices can’t start with individuals and be fun.

I believe that even the best governments can only think short-term – as far as the next election or, at best, the one after. Big problems that will take decades to solve are overwhelming, and the likelihood is that by the time things get REALLY bad, the other guy will be in power. So I’m pretty sure a lot of them think that big solutions can wait. They can’t.

It’s not too late to make a difference. As a campaigner and a food lover, but most importantly as a father (and hopefully one day a grandfather), I cannot stand by and watch this global health disaster unfold. That’s why I believe passionately in food education and the power of people and communities all across the world to get together to make positive changes.

And that’s why I’ve started Food Revolution Day – one day each year where people all over the world who care about food education can stand up and raise awareness. It’s the ultimate expression of people power. It started in 2012 and it’s not specifically designed to send a message to governments – most don’t listen anyway – but to be the start of a grassroots movement. With not much time to pull it all together, the first Food Revolution Day had 1,000 events, big and small, in 664 cities around the world, all hosted by passionate, brilliant people who care. The second in 2013 had even more. Big change starts with little changes, on a local and personal level. Before you know it, you’re part of something huge.

— Jamie Oliver, chef and campaigner https://www.jamieoliver.com/


Food Revolution Day is May 15, though I think he is emphasizing other projects recently and currently has a show on CBC called Save with Jamie
"Keen to inspire us all to eat better AND spend less on our weekly food bills, Jamie Oliver’s back with this optimistic, inventive and super-helpful new food series." from:

CBC Gem website link for "Save with Jamie"
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essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 25, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Farmers' Markets:
Summerside -- 9AM-1PM
Charlottetown -- 9AM-2PM

Saturday, January 25th:
Snowshoeing along the Hillsborough River, Pigots Trail in Mount Stewart, 10AM-12:30PM, meet at Mount Stewart Community Centre, all welcome, and some snowshoes available to borrow.
Facebook event details

Peace Rally, 2-3PM, Coles Building (Richmond Street side). Peace Rally as part of a Global Day of Action.
---------------------------
The Council of Canadians' blog: https://canadians.org/blogs/council-canadians

Is our right to peaceful protest disappearing? - Council of Canadians blog post

Published Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

The right to protest is an important part of Canadian democracy and the right to free expression. Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the freedom of peaceful assembly. Protests are a way for people to express themselves for or against decisions made by government or other powerful institutions. People have taken to the streets throughout history to stand up for what they believe in.

But more and more, we are seeing examples of this freedom of expression being criminalized. Companies and corporations are obtaining court orders and bringing in the police, who are using physical force and arrests to criminalize dissent and silence protestors.

We saw it happen in Montebello, Quebec as thousands of people gathered to protest the proposed Security and Prosperity Partnership as then-prime minister Stephen Harper met behind closed doors with his U.S. and Mexican counterparts. We saw it in 2010 at G20 protests in Toronto as riot police used excessive physical force to round up and detain protestors. (And it’s worth noting that federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair was Toronto’s chief of police during this time.) Indigenous Peoples have also faced police force when protecting land and water.

Right now, Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs and land defenders are protecting their unceded territory from construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which if constructed, would send fracked gas to a terminal on the coastal shores. Members of the First Nation have a right to say no to development, especially when it brings the threat of a spill that could result in serious environmental damage to the land and water. The Wet'suwet'en have a camp and buildings in the area, are hunting and trapping animals, and living off the land, peacefully occupying their territory.

The RCMP recently set up a perimeter and appears to be preparing to enforce a court injunction to evict these Indigenous Peoples from their land. One year ago, RCMP officers violently confronted Indigenous Peoples in the same location – and there is real concern in will happen again.

Then, this week in Regina, labour activists from Unifor who set up a peaceful and legal picket line in front of Co-op Refinery Complex were confronted by dozens of police officers from the Regina Police Service. Video of the confrontation show police forcibly removing protestors. There are also reports of one protestor being struck as police moved a vehicle. Fourteen people were arrested, including Unifor President Jerry Dias.

It was recently revealed the police action happened the same day the Regina Police Service received a letter from the head of the local trucking company calling for action.

“I’ve been walking picket lines for over 40 years and there is one common role for police and that is to ensure situations do not escalate,” said Dias the day after his arrest. “This is not what happened last night. As a matter of fact, police showed up and it was clear the sole purpose they were there was to escalate the situation and that’s what they did.”

He said more Unifor members and labour activists from other unions will be joining the line to fight for workers’ right to bargain. Co-op, a company that pulls in $3 million in profits every day, has locked refinery workers out after they refused to accept cuts to their pension plan. Unifor has vowed to stop Co-op from continuing work at the refinery and has set up a picket line to block the entrance. The company continues to fly scab workers and management into the facility by helicopter.

“Since the arrests last night, our members are flying in from across the country in droves to get here to Regina, because they’re not going to watch the police bully and push around our members,” Dias said in an interview with media.

According to the Regina Leader-Post, in a statement, Labour Relations Minister Don Morgan said he spoke to both sides in the labour dispute to convey that the government believes “the best agreements are reached through bargaining.” Unifor has stated it is prepared to return to the bargaining table – the company is not.

“While our government is concerned with the increasingly aggressive tactics being used in this labour dispute, we are encouraged by the Regina Police Service’s diligence in upholding the law and keeping the peace,” said Minister Morgan, giving tacit government approval for the police’s forceful actions.

The Council of Canadians is concerned with the growing trend of police force being used to disrupt or stop peaceful protests. Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination. Workers have the right to protect their jobs and benefits, to bargain disputes at the bargaining table – and when that doesn’t work, to strike. People across the country have the right to take to the streets to speak out against the actions – or inaction – of our governments and other powerholders.

Our democracy is at risk if our right to peaceful protest is taken away.

-30-

---------------------------------
Opportunity:

WILD Outside is a national conservation-based youth leadership program designed for youth ages 15 to 18....Learning from (Canadian Wildlife Federation) CWF facilitators alongside their peers, youth...will connect with other local participants in the planning and delivery of community-based conservation action projects in their own community.
The goal of the WILD Outside program is to inspire youth participants to develop a passion for conservation, an awareness of their natural environment and a deeper appreciation for wildlife.
More info and application:
http://wildoutside.ca/
---------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 25
Mark Reynolds

We can restore the climate of the 1980s by 2070. It won’t require a miracle or big sacrifices, just the will and policies to do it. Top climate scientists confirm this is possible. They haven’t proposed it before because it has appeared that we, as a society, would never muster the courage to do it.

Restoring the climate requires that we switch to carbon-free energy by 2030–2050, as described by Stanford’s Mark Z. Jacobson, and let the ocean continue absorbing the carbon dioxide we’ve emitted.

In 1961, President Kennedy declared: “We will send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade.” At the time, we had just sent a man into space for 15 minutes. We did not have the rockets, the navigation or the life support systems for a moon trip and most people, including my parents, thought it was complete folly. Seven years later we had developed and demonstrated the technology – ahead of schedule. We had a clear, ambitious goal and a deadline, and we rose to the occasion.

Twenty years is plenty of time to develop the missing links such as batteries, smart grids and domestic manufacturing capability. Compare that to the five years we spent building the 300,000 aircraft
 that helped us win the Second World War using 1940s technology, or the seven years developing the technology for the moon program with 1960s technology. We now have Google, computers, 3D printers and millions of highly educated engineers connected by the Internet.

Tell your children, your nation’s leaders and your representatives which legacy you want to give to our grandkids: restore the climate by 2070. That is our moon shot. Let’s commit to it.

      — Mark Reynolds,  executive director of the United States-based Citizens Climate Lobby

Info about Citizens' Climate Lobby CANADA (lots here)
Info about Citizens' Climate Lobby PEI

Earthshot Prize

About: "Over the last ten years, the evidence that we face urgent challenges to protect the environment has become indisputable, and it’s clear that the time to act is now. Drawing inspiration from the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand to talk about the most ambitious and ground-breaking goals, Prince William announces the Earthshot Prize: an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet."

---------------------
essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 24, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Fridays for Future, 3:30PM, outside Province House on Grafton Avenue side of things.

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 25th:
Snowshoeing along the Hillsborough River, Pigots Trail in Mount Stewart, 10AM-12:30PM, meet at Mount Stewart Community Centre, all welcome, and some snowshoes available to borrow.
Facebook event details

Peace Rally, 2-3PM, Coles Building (Richmond Street side). "Peace Rally as part of a Global Day of Action. Bring a banner. Walk to Timothy's for Tea after the Rally. We'll move indoors if the weather is nasty."
-----------------------------

"The only way to save this fast world is to slow down."  
       --- Carl Honore, from the Global Chorus essay, below

-----------------
The presentation about Citizens' Assemblies and their potential role in helping direct government regarding Climate Emergency actions was very informative (I haven't finished listening to it yet), and the video from the presentation can be found here.
--------------------------
News!

from Gretchen Fitzgerald at the Sierra Club Canada
Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Clock Runs Out On Old Harry Licence - Fight to Protect the Gulf Continues - Sierra Club of Canada article by Gretchen Firtzgerald

After more than ten long years, the licence to explore for oil and gas in the Gulf has been allowed to lapse by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador offshore petroleum board (C-NLOPB).

“We are still awaiting justice for the Gulf of St Lawrence,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “The need to protect the Gulf is even greater than ever and we and our allies continue to call for a complete moratorium on oil and gas in the Gulf.”

“Right whales in the Gulf have suffered heartbreaking losses in the last two years. They simply cannot withstand impacts of seismic blasting, oil drilling, or a massive spill. We have proved that we will fight any move to blast and drill in the Gulf. It’s past time for a moratorium and serious efforts to restore the Gulf ecosystem must begin immediately. This needs to be a safe home for whales and other marine life, and the coastal communities that rely on a healthy Gulf.”

C-NLOPB issued the licence to explore at Old Harry in 2008. Public and scientific concern resulted in the offshore board and Corridor being asked to conduct greater assessment of impacts. In 2014, Indigenous leaders of the Gulf called for a complete moratorium on oil and gas in the Gulf. Even though the Accords Act dictates that licences should expire in nine years, the board extended the licence to Corridor Resources (now known as Headwater Exploration Inc.) in 2017. An email sent by the CEO of the C-NLOPB confirmed the licence lapsed on Jan 15th when a deposit required to keep the licence active was not received from Headwater. Two oil exploration licences remain for the Quebec portion of the Gulf.

“We still need to know if the offshore Board is allowed to extend leases indefinitely, and essentially use legitimate concerns raised by the public and Indigenous groups about environmentally risky projects as an excuse to keep those same risky projects alive beyond their best-before date. As the Newfoundland and Labrador government plans to drill 100 new exploration wells in the next ten years, and two licences remain in the Gulf, a decision from our justice system on this question is crucial.”

- 30 -

-------------------------------
Provincial NDP Leader Joe Byrne writes:
https://www.ndppei.ca/2020/01/22/byrne-challenges-king-government-on-transparency-on-e-gaming-file/

Byrne Challenges King Government on Transparency on E-gaming File - NDPPEI post by Joe Byrne

Published on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Joe Byrne, Leader of the Island New Democrats, is challenging the King government to live up to the commitment to transparency made during the Conservative leadership and the 2019 election.

There are currently 6 separate requests for e-gaming documents for which the King government is refusing to release government records, in accordance with PEI’s Access to Information and Privacy Act.

“One of the pillars of Dennis King’s campaign for the Conservative party leadership and in the general election was a commitment to accountability and transparency” states Byrne. “The King government was handed a gift in the opportunity to apply both of these principles to the secret e-gaming file, and there now appears to be a serious disconnect between words and deeds.”

The last few legislative sessions of the MacLauchlan regime were marked by many questions from the Official Opposition trying to get to the bottom of the failed attempt to create a financial services hub in PEI. The initial efforts by the Ghiz government were conducted in secrecy and outside the normal checks and balances of parliamentary democracy.

“When the Cabinet Ministers in this government were sitting on the Opposition Bench, they did a good job of trying to get to the bottom of this e-gaming scheme. The principal actors involved decided to keep Cabinet in the dark. It was wrong then, and it’s still wrong now. It is disappointing that the King government now has access to all the information and is still not releasing details to Islanders,” says Byrne.

“We are seeing exactly the same cover-up with the current government that was exhibited during both the Ghiz and MacLauchlan tenures; and quite frankly, the Official Opposition has not been doing it’s job, never mentioning e-gaming once in two sittings of the Legislative Assembly.”

There are two questions on spending that New Democrats are asking on this file: How much has this cost Islanders to date and how much more is it expected to cost given the current appeal before the courts and the number of Freedom of Information requests that are in deemed refusal.

Byrne concludes that, “This has cost Islanders money, lots of money, and the King administration should be tallying up those costs and making them public. More importantly we have to get to the roots of why small groups of people in PEI feel that they can use their personal connections to government for private gain?
-30-

---------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 24

Carl Honoré

There is always hope. If we work together and channel our better angels, we can fix this mess.

The first step is to forge a radically new definition of success. Consuming more should cease to be the measure of a good life. Instead, we must build a culture that prizes meaning and connection, that places on a pedestal those who make the world a better place.

The most powerful way to bring about this cultural revolution is to slow down. When we live in fast forward, we struggle to look beyond our own selfish, short-term desires. Decelerating can help us see the big picture. When we take time to live each moment fully, we start to notice and cherish other people and everything else around us.

Bottom line: the only way to save this fast world is to slow down.

    Carl Honoré, advocate of the Slow Movement, author of In Praise of Slow, Under Pressure and The Slow Fix

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 23, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Thursday, January 23rd:
Special Committee on Climate Change, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: Citizens' assemblies and community engagement Watch Live here: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

'The committee will meet to receive a briefing on citizens’ assemblies and community engagement by Laura Berry, Director of Research and Publications for The Climate Mobilization. Please note: Ms. Berry will appear via Skype. Other witnesses to be confirmed."

Note that the Climate Change Committee will be on the road Thursday evenings in FEBRUARY to hear from Islanders on tackling Climate Change. See Committee Calendar for more details:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/calendar

Tonight:
Attracting Birds to Your Backyard, 7PM, Confederaton Centre Public Library. All welcome. Birders Dwayne Oakley and Nicole Murtagh will discuss feeding and identification.
Facebook event link

Also tonight:
Todd MacLean, creator and editor of Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet, is featured on saxophone with Island Jazz at their concert tonight,
Island Jazz Plays Frank Sinatra, starting 8PM, Baba's Lounge. More details at:
Facebook event link

Next Thursday, January 30th:
Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
Topic: Draft regulations under the Water Act
"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on draft Sewage Disposal System Regulations and Water Withdrawal Regulations under the Water Act by the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change."
-------------------------------------
Regarding Citizens' Assemblies....
A grouping of people who are selected randomly to serve (and agree to participate), who learn about a topic, come to consensus, and make recommendations (usually to a level of government). They can be specific issue-related assemblies for topics like electoral reform:
https://www.fairvote.ca/nationalcitizensassembly/
...Or combating climate change, as apparently the guest to the Climate Change committee will be discussing this afternoon....or a different kind of Citizens' Assembly could a longer-term engagement and be something like a water governance board....
------------------
"Connecting with Nature is good for all of us and is a vital key to a healthy, peaceful and life-rich future." 
   ---Cheryl Charles, from the Global Chorus essay, below


Wild Child PEI helps connect children with nature:

https://www.facebook.com/wildchildpei/
https://peiwildchild.wordpress.com/
---------------------------
Northern Pulp Mill update:
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/canada/tensions-cooling-over-boat-harbour-401657/

Tensions cooling over Boat Harbour - The Guardian article by Aaron Beswick

Published on Saltwire online on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

The effluent flowing into Boat Harbour on Wednesday wasn’t entirely clear, but it didn’t smell and foam wasn’t building up in the section known as the activated sludge basin.

And the mood was much more conciliatory than it had been on Tuesday when the Pictou Landing First Nation issued a news release about its frustration that effluent would continue flowing into the facility past the Jan. 31 deadline outlined in the Boat Harbour Act.

The release resulted in a hastily announced news conference where the premier responded that the effluent would just come from running the power boiler to prevent pipes from freezing.

“It’s better for everybody that Northern Pulp is allowed to do an orderly shutdown,” said Brian Hebert, lawyer for the First Nation on Wednesday. “There’s no indication the effluent would be harmful. Obviously it’s not clean, nobody’s going to drink it.”

While he maintained that technically the province is in violation of the Boat Harbour Act as leachate from the mill site and waste water from the power boiler does qualify as effluent, the community is willing to be patient and wait until the pipe is disconnected – as promised by Premier Stephen McNeil – in April.

So what’s coming out of the pipe now?

“If the mill’s not running then you do not have black liquor or green liquor so you have to use biomass or even Bunker C (oil) to fire (the power boiler),” said Yonghao Ni, director of the Dr. Jack McKenzie Pulp and Paper Centre at the University of New Brunswick. “Then the waste water stream (from the power boiler) will be a minimum – it’s just like any other heating plant at that point, any other boiler.”

That means it is primarily water, albeit water that has run through an idled kraft pulp mill. Actual production of that pulp ceased earlier this month.

While Northern Pulp didn’t respond to a request for comment, an employee at the mill told The Chronicle Herald that the multi-storey-high chemical tanks had been drained and the contents taken away in trucks.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of pipe, there are lines that have never been drained,” said the employee of the necessity of keeping the power boiler running this winter. “There are lines that don’t have drains on them.”

Allowing the power boiler to continue operating would allow the mill to install drains where they are required and to fully empty the facility so that it could go into a cold idle and freeze up next winter with less damage.

Paper Excellence has been relatively quiet on its plans for the future of the facility but has said it will continue with the environmental assessment process. Paper Excellence purchased a Prince Albert, Sask., kraft pulp mill in 2011 and has stated that it plans to restart it after a non-compete clause with its former owner expires in 2020. That mill has been closed for over a decade.

Contracts signed by the previous Nova Scotia governments with the mill’s former owners put taxpayers on the hook financially for ending the lease to Boat Harbour a decade early and potentially for the mill’s lost profits as well.

“Yes, Northern Pulp could have started the process to shut down months ago but they really didn’t expect to be closed down,” said Hebert. “The province maybe had hinted that if the environmental assessment was approved they might consider extending the deadline (to close Boat Harbour).”
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-------------------------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for January 23

Cheryl Charles

We face an urgent need on a worldwide basis to reconnect people of all ages with Nature, beginning with children. That connection with Nature is at the heart of what I call “the ecology of hope.” By reconnecting people with Nature in their everyday lives, we will have helped to create the necessary nutrients for the health and well-being of children, families, communities and the whole of the Earth.

Worldwide efforts to bring peace, prosperity, health and well-being to all of the Earth’s people, wildlife and habitats are interconnected. Just as in Nature’s ecosystems, all parts are connected. They form an ecology of hope.

Among humans, hope derives in part from the exercise of will. Success in exercising will, on whatever scale, helps to develop a sense of efficacy – that is, a perceived belief that you or I can make a difference. Combine the exercise of will with the experience of efficacy and hope is the result.

Ecologies don’t talk about hope; they demonstrate it. So can we humans. Our actions will inspire and support others. We can exercise the will, we can make conscious choices, we can cultivate a sense of efficacy in ourselves and others – especially in children and youth – and we can create a positive, healthy and life-sustaining future.

If you are already among those helping to reconnect children with Nature, I thank you. If you are not yet doing so, please join the cause. Connecting with Nature is good for all of us and is a vital key to a healthy, peaceful and life-rich future. We can be the generation that left a legacy of leadership and an ecology of hope.

       — Cheryl Charles, PhD, co-founder, president and CEO emerita of Children & Nature Network 
www.childrenandnature.org

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

January 22, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Wednesday, January 22nd:
Special Committee on Poverty on PEI meeting, 9:30AM, Coles Building. Topic: Briefings on poverty The committee will receive briefings from the following:
- Native Council of PEI
- Upper Room Hospitality Ministry

Also:
Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, Coles Building
The committee will receive a briefing from South Shore Health & Wellness Inc. board members Elmer MacDonald & Matt MacFarlane (Co-Chairs) and Lisa Gallant (Secretary).

You can watch the committees live at the Legislative Assembly website, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/legislative-business/video-of-assembly-proceedings

Next week:
Wednesday, January 29th:
Public Forum: Pesticides and PEI Potatoes, 7PM, Murphy Community Centre Room 207.
from the media release:
The Forum will begin with a viewing of "Something In the Air" with Sylvie
Dauphinais, and then a presentation by Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action, on
AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES.

"Something in the Air" is a 2001 NFB documentary about the dangers of pesticides
used by potato farmers in Prince Edward Island. Filmmaker Sylvie Dauphinais
made this documentary to issue a wake-up call about an environmental crisis that
put the ill, the elderly and the young at great risk.It's been 19 years since the release of "Something in the Air." What has happenedor changed since 2001? Are pesticides still poisoning PEI's air, land and water?

Public Forum is free and open to the public and is organized by the Council of
Canadians, PEl Chapter and will be moderated by Leo Broderick.

---------------------------------------------

"Life evolves and so should we.... We need to reconnect with Nature and commit urgently to the principles of sustainability. That is the next logical phase of our adaptation cycle in evolutionary terms." 
    
--Sebastian Copeland, from his Global Chorus essay, below

-------------------------------------------------------
The Samara Centre for Democracy released a report on the 2015-2019 federal government.
The report is here and the summary is below: https://www.samaracanada.com/research/parliament-system/house-inspection/

House Inspection: A Retrospective on the 42nd Parliament

(It) measures how well the last Parliament scrutinized the Government, the extent of partisanship within and between parties, and the level of civil and constructive debate, and compares it to previous Parliaments.

Using multiple data sources and surveys of sitting MPs, House Inspection paints a rich picture of the 42nd Parliament. For example, the data shows:

·         They like big bills: Despite criticism of omnibus bills, the Government continued to introduce ever-larger bills, which can make serious scrutiny hard.

·         Time (allocation) after time (allocation): The Government continued a much-criticized practice of frequently shutting down debate through time allocation.

·         More tinkering: Parliament spent more time studying Government bills, and amended more bills, largely due to the Senate’s new assertiveness in considering bills and challenging the Government and House of Commons.

·         Herd behaviour: The average MP voted with their party 99.6% of the time. The most rebellious MP in the 42nd Parliament: 96.6%.

·         More collaboration, but things fell apart: Committees more often reached consensus across party lines. But according to MPs, cross-party collaboration declined over the course of the Parliament as unhealthy partisanship increased.

·         Trash talk: MPs see debate as empty, repetitive, and a waste of valuable time. Despite efforts to promote civility in the House, heckling did not decrease in the 42nd Parliament.

The report concludes with recommendations from MPs about how to exercise diligent scrutiny, overcome toxic partisanship, and strive for better, more substantive and civil debate.

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----------------------------------
The Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, which was to discuss another facet of a school lunch program, was cancelled yesterday.
Here is a link to a CBC article from yesterday on the Home and School Federation's and Official Opposition's concerns about where the program is going.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-home-school-federation-oppose-private-food-companies-1.5435050

----------------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 22
Sebastian Copeland

Life evolves and so should we. Our planet has seen constant flux from its inception 4.5 billion years ago. Over the last 450 million years alone, the Earth has seen five mass extinction events. And today biologists believe that our period, the Holocene, is at the onset of the sixth mass extinction event, which could see upwards of 75 per cent of today’s species gone by the end of the century.

Only this time, floods and asteroids aren’t the culprits. Explosive demographic growth tied to a persistent disregard for sustainable development has placed exponential stress on the environment. Is it short-sighted? To put things in perspective, we have not been in existence for very long. In fact, it’s a miracle we are here in the first place. And the notion that we will be here forever is, from a paleontological perspective, almost absurd. Flowers appeared only 135 million years ago; anatomically modern humans, merely 175,000 years ago. This should serve to help us understand that the Earth is not here to see us through. That responsibility falls on us.

By 2050, 6.5 billion people will live in cities. A treacherous by-product of urban convenience is a false sense of security and the utter disconnect from our individual footprint. What is the actual cost of the resources we consume? How much trash do we generate? What is the environmental impact of the food we eat, and how far does it travel to reach us? We have conveniently removed ourselves from connecting with those issues by squeezing them all into a little envelope we call a bill. But paying for problems to go away does not make them disappear.

Ours is less an environmental problem than it is sociological and perceptual. More than ever our chances for survival, here in this biosphere, require an emotional bond with the ecosystem that sustains us. We need to reconnect with Nature and commit urgently to the principles of sustainability. That is the next logical phase of our adaptation cycle in evolutionary terms. Short of that, and if we’re lucky, we will end up exiting starship Earth in search of another planet to populate. And wouldn’t that be a shame: this one has been so good to us.

       — Sebastian Copeland, explorer, photographer, environmental advocate,  IPA Photographer of the Year (2007) for  the book Antarctica: The Global Warning,  filmmaker of Into The Cold: A Journey of the Soul 

Some of his stunning photography can be found on his website, here:

www.sebastiancopelandadventures.com

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 21, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Public Accounts Committee, 10AM, Coles Building.
"The committee will meet to discuss its work plan. The briefing on implementation of the Auditor General’s 2019 recommendations on Early Learning and Child Care Centres will be rescheduled to a later date."

Education and Economic Growth, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: School nutrition programming
"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on school nutrition programming by Chef John Pritchard of Pure Kitchen Catering."

You can watch the committees live at the Legislative Assembly website, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/legislative-business/video-of-assembly-proceedings

Tonight:
Trade Justice talk with Scott Sinclair on the Green New Deal and the Free Trade Agenda, 6PM, UPSE, 4 Enman Crescent, Charlottetown. All welcome.

Island Studies January Lecture, "Beyond the Asylum: The Evolution of Mental Health Care in Prince Edward Island, 1846-2017", with Dr. Tina Pranger, 7PM, SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI campus. All welcome.
----------------------
Article: This is a thorough and very informative article from Scott Sinclair on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's website, "Behind the Numbers."
https://behindthenumbers.ca/2019/11/19/public-services-free-trade-and-the-green-new-deal/

Here are excerpts from the article: 

Public Services, Free Trade, and the Green New Deal - Behind the Numbers article by Scott Sinclair

Published on November 19th, 2019
"Climate scientists warn that we only have 10 years to cut global emissions by 45% (below 2010 levels) if we are to meet the internationally agreed target of limiting global warning to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also must fully decarbonize the global economy (net zero) by 2050. As a wealthy country and one of the world’s biggest per capita GHG emitters, Canada has both the capacity and the obligation to pursue a just transition to a zero-carbon economy, both at home and internationally.

Proposals for a Green New Deal (GND) are attractive because they face head-on the existential challenge to decarbonize our economy. Equally important, they bring opportunities to create a more equitable and just society, ensuring ecological sustainability, greater equality, social inclusion, and meaningful work for all. In fact, the local benefits and community development aspects of the GND are critical to gaining broad public acceptance and support for ambitious green transition policies."


and

"....the Green New Deal must be different from traditional stimulus programs. It is not simply Green Keynesianism. The goal of the GND is not to revive the “animal spirits” of entrepreneurs or simply to restore the health of the market economy. Instead, the aim is a permanent transition to a new form of production and commerce that is ecologically sustainable and less materially intensive.

Again, public services are pivotal. George Monbiot has talked about aiming for “private sufficiency and public luxury.” In this vision of a sustainable future, the ability of individuals and families to accumulate large quantities of private wealth will be curbed. But working hours will be reduced, leaving more time and energy for leisure.

Public investment in shared services and the common good—universal child care, health care, social housing, smart grids, free public transit, public internet, basic telecommunications, the arts, public parks, wilderness conservation, and more—can unlock the potential for a rich quality of life with a smaller ecological footprint.

As Naomi Klein and others have stressed, we need credible, inspirational transition stories. Public services and the public and not-for-profit sectors will play a leading role in any such narratives. We must sidestep, ignore or replace trade rules that impede realizing this vision."

--------------------------
Business in this new decade -- A side note on "Certified B Corporations"

Someone pointed out a business that is trying to meet some ethical standards, and here is a little bit about them:
https://bcorporation.net/

from their website:
"Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good."

------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 21 

Mike Holmes

Most people think my job is dealing with hopeless situations. But after being a contractor for over 30 years, I’ve learned no situation is hopeless.

Everyone has a home. And housing has a huge impact on the global environment – from the materials used in building to the energy used in living in them.

As builders, we have a responsibility to construct homes that are sustainable, safe and with nothing but clean air inside to breathe. Homes that will keep you warm not only at night but also during the winter – using very little energy. Homes that improve the quality of life – inside and outside.

Every home should work with its environment. It just makes sense. Use the rainwater, the sunlight, the temperature in the ground. I’ve built these homes. Why? Because when you work with Mother Nature, she works for you. You live healthier. You live happier.

I have hope because we know how to build a healthy home. We know how to build a house that respects the environment and uses it to its advantage. And the more homes we build this way, the more we will be building and sustaining our environment. It’s all connected.

How we live today will impact how we will live tomorrow. And I’m seeing more and more people realize this and do something about it.

 — Mike Holmes, “North America’s most trusted contractor,”  co-creator and television host of Holmes on Homes® and Holmes Makes It Right

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 20, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today:
Coffee with Karla (District 12 MLA Karla Bernard), 9-10:45AM, bar1911, Longworth Avenue, Charlottetown.
"Come out and have coffee with your MLA for District 12, Charlottetown-Victoria Park. Want to set up a private meeting? Email kmbernardmla@assembly.pe.ca or call (902) 940-3633."

Tonight:
Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Townhall, 6-8PM, Holman Grand Hotel, Charlottetown.
"Have your say about #YourBudget at my upcoming Pre-Budget Consultation Townhall, Monday, January 20th from 6-8 PM at the Holman Grand – Ocean Room. All are welcome." -- Charlottetown MP Sean casey <sean.casey@parl.gc.ca>

Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 22nd: Island Studies January Lecture, "Beyond the Asylum: The Evolution of Mental Health Care in Prince Edward Island, 1846-2017", with Dr. Tina Pranger, 7PM, SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI campus. All welcome.

Author of the book by the same title, Dr. Pranger will explore "How we as Islanders have historically cared for these people has evolved considerably through a cycle starting with sheltering them at home or in the community, to 100 years of long term institutionalization in the asylum or mental hospital, followed by the growth of community-based services and the movement of hundreds of patients out of hospital and back into the community. Today, Islanders can access a comprehensive spectrum of mental health services that include — but also go far beyond — the asylum/mental hospital. Beyond the Asylum, the first-ever history of mental health care in PEI, richly details this often bumpy evolution of care. This story is an important one for Islanders as it reflects who we were, who we are now, and who we could be in terms of how we care for people who live with mental illness."
--------------------------
Legislative Standing Committee meetings this week -- all will be broadcast on the Legislative Assembly website, here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/watch-live

Tuesday, January 21st:
Public Accounts Committee, 10AM, Coles Building.
"The committee will meet to discuss its work plan. The briefing on implementation of the Auditor General’s 2019 recommendations on Early Learning and Child Care Centres will be rescheduled to a later date."
Green MLA (D5: Mermaid-Stratford) Michelle Beaton chairs this committee.

Education and Economic Growth, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: School nutrition programming
"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on school nutrition programming by Chef John Pritchard of Pure Kitchen Catering."

Wednesday, January 22nd:
Special Committee on Poverty on PEI meeting, 9:30AM, Coles Building. Topic: Briefings on poverty
The committee will receive briefings from the following: Native Council of PEI and the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry

Thursday, January 23rd:
Special Committee on Climate Change, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: Citizens' assemblies and community engagement
'The committee will meet to receive a briefing on citizens’ assemblies and community engagement by Laura Berry, Director of Research and Publications for The Climate Mobilization. Please note: Ms. Berry will appear via Skype. Other witnesses to be confirmed."
-----------------------
Citizen Engagement requested, federal government, until January 27th:
Consultations on medical assistance in dying (MAID) eligibility criteria and request process

"Medical assistance in dying (MAID) became legal in Canada in June 2016. Canada’s Criminal Code now exempts doctors and nurse practitioners who provide, or help to provide, medical assistance in dying."

Related background article from The National Post
https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/feds-to-delete-near-death-requirement-but-could-impose-new-limits-to-maid

Questionnaire:
https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cons/ad-am/index.html
--------------------------
Catching up:
Last Thursday's Special Committee on Climate Change meeting about electric vehicle-to-grid technology.

Video of the meeting is here (2 1/2 hours long)
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committee-archive?field_media_type_target_id=423&committee=479&year=528
------------
coverage from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/special-climate-committee-briefed-on-vehicle-to-grid-technoogy-for-pei-399663/

Special climate committee briefed on vehicle-to-grid technoogy (sic) for P.E.I. - The Guardian article by Jim Day

Published on Friday, January 17th, 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The province’s special committee on climate change turned to the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pioneer for information to help explore the viability of implementing this concept on P.E.I.

Willett Kempton fielded numerous questions from committee members during a detailed presentation Thursday on the V2G technology and electric vehicle integration.

V2G aims to optimize the way people transport, use and produce electricity by turning electric cars into virtual power plants. Under this relatively new concept, electric cars would store and dispatch electrical energy stored in networked vehicle batteries, which together act as one collective battery fleet for peak shaving (sending power back to the grid when demand is high) and valley filling (charging at night when demand is low.

V2G would allow consumers to charge electric vehicles and monitor their energy costs, using mobile devices. This information helps utilities to better manage grid loads during peak times.

Pilot projects include applications for smartphones and a black box with cellular data modem collecting information on the car’s state of charge, the vehicle location and the type of power source it is connected to. Collected data is sent to the cloud where computers calculate, depending on the grid load, the optimal time to recharge.

When the electric utility would like to buy power from the V2G network, it holds an auction. The car owners or leasing companies would be able to define the parameters under which they will sell energy from their battery pack.

Regulatory changes required

Kempton told the committee the province would need to make regulatory changes to allow electric vehicles to provide grid services.

Also, a significant hike in the number of electric cars being used by P.E.I. residents, believed to be below 50, would be needed to make V2G viable in the province.

Kempton, a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware, developed the concept of the vehicle as a power storage concept in 1997 with Vermont’s Green Mountain College economist Steve Letendre.

Kempton has taken the V2G from idea through proof of concept to commercial pilots in both Delaware and Denmark.He sold the international license for the technology to the Danish company Nuuve in 2011.

The special committee on climate change was created in July 2019 to explore the options available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make fully costed recommendations on how the province can best meet its emission reduction targets.

-30--

-----------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 20
Leilani Münter

I have hope for humanity because people are evolving and becoming a better species. We will adopt new technologies and ways of life so we can have a more harmonious relationship with this beautiful little blue-green planet of ours. It’s been a bumpy ride and there are certainly more bumps in our future, but it is time for us to adapt or die. Unfortunately if we don’t, we will take an incredible number of other species with us. I still have hope we will do the right thing.

Today is an exciting time to be alive, because we are the generation that must push the human race forward to solve our environmental crisis. Because we are witnessing the direct consequences of climate change, the urgency of changing is becoming clear. With every season that passes, this truth is more obvious. Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” This generation has been called upon to answer to the most noble of duties: to ensure the survival of future generations with the most basic of survival mechanisms – adaptation.

Abandoning fossil fuels for renewable energy, greening buildings, becoming more energy efficient, passing environmental legislation that punishes polluters, adopting a plant-based diet and driving electric cars will all be key players in this adaptation. In addition, overpopulation is an issue many environmentalists often don’t talk about, but we need to. With seven billion people on the planet and a growth rate of over 200,000 per day, our demand on finite natural resources is unsustainable. We need to focus on education because it has been shown to play a key role in reducing population growth.

The rise in development of renewable energy projects and the success of electric car companies are a positive sign that the tides are changing, and this gives me hope. Be part of the solution – go vegan, buy an electric car, support companies with sustainable practices and vote people into office who support renewable energy!

      — Leilani Münter, race car driver, environmental activist 

http://www.leilani.green/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 19, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event tomorrow:
Monday, January 20th:
Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Townhall, 6-8PM, Holman Grand Hotel, Charlottetown.
"The Government of Canada has launched the 2020 pre-budget consultation process. In particular, with a focus on moving forward with the issues that matter most to Canadians: strengthening the middle class, protecting our environment, keeping Canadians safe and healthy, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Have your say about #YourBudget at my upcoming Pre-Budget Consultation Townhall, Monday, January 20th from 6-8 PM at the Holman Grand – Ocean Room. All are welcome."
RSVP: sean.casey@parl.gc.ca
---------------------------
A very helpful opinion piece.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/how-to-help-climate-change.html

How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change - The New York Times online article by Emma Harris

Here’s a five-step plan to deal with the stress and become part of the solution

Published online on Friday, January 10th, 2020

You are scrolling through the news and see yet another story about climate change.

Australia is on fire. Indonesia is drowning. At the same time, Donald Trump is trying to make it easier to build new fossil-fuel projects.

As you read, your chest tightens and a sense of dread washes over you, radiating out from your heart. You feel anxious, afraid and intensely guilty. Just this morning, you drove a gasoline-powered car to work. You ate beef for lunch. You booked a flight, turned on the heat, forgot your reusable grocery bags at home. This is your fault.

As an environmental writer, I’m often asked for guidance on coping with climate change. I have thoughts. Even better, I have a five-point plan to manage the psychological toll of living with climate change and to become part of the solution.

Step 1: Ditch the shame.


The first step is the key to all the rest. Yes, our daily lives are undoubtedly contributing to climate change. But that’s because the rich and powerful have constructed systems that make it nearly impossible to live lightly on the earth. Our economic systems require most adults to work, and many of us must commute to work in or to cities intentionally designed to favor the automobile. Unsustainable food, clothes and other goods remain cheaper than sustainable alternatives.

And yet we blame ourselves for not being green enough. As the climate essayist Mary Annaïse Heglar writes, “The belief that this enormous, existential problem could have been fixed if all of us had just tweaked our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it’s dangerous.” It turns eco-saints against eco-sinners, who are really just fellow victims. It misleads us into thinking that we have agency only by dint of our consumption habits — that buying correctly is the only way we can fight climate change.

As long as we are competing for the title of “greener than thou,” or are paralyzed by shame, we aren’t fighting the powerful companies and governments that are the real problem. And that’s exactly the way they like it.

Step 2: Focus on systems, not yourself.

Even if we manage to zero-out our own contributions to climate change, it would be practically a full-time job, leaving us little time or energy for pushing for the systemic changes we need. And the avoided emissions would be tiny compared with the scale of the problem. Each person in the United States emitted an average of 16 metric tons of energy-related carbon dioxide in 2018, according to the Energy Information Agency. The entire country emitted 5.28 billion metric tons of energy-related carbon dioxide that year.

I have chosen to fight against a proposed gas pipeline, liquefaction facility and liquefied natural gas export terminal that the Canadian company Pembina wants to build in Oregon, where I live. If built, the project would result in emissions of over 36.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Some 42,000 people submitted comments to a state agency asking it to deny permits for the project. If we manage to stop construction, each of those people could claim credit for preventing one forty-two-thousandth of those emissions — some 876 metric tons per person! It would take 54 years of individual zero-carbon living to make the same dent.

My point is that the climate crisis is not going to be solved by personal sacrifice. It will be solved by electing the right people, passing the right laws, drafting the right regulations, signing the right treaties — and respecting those treaties already signed, particularly with indigenous nations. It will be solved by holding the companies and people who have made billions off our shared atmosphere to account.

Step 3: Join an effective group.

These sweeping, systemic changes are complicated and will be hard won. No single person alone can make them happen. Luckily, there are already dozens, if not hundreds, of groups dedicated to climate activism. Some are local and focused on stopping particular fossil-fuel projects, like Rogue Climate in Southern Oregon, with which I am working. Others are national and focused on changing federal policy, like Zero Hour and the Sunrise Movement. Still others, like Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, are international and focused on putting moral pressure on climate negotiators and governments around the world. Groups like Project Drawdown research the nuts and bolts of decarbonizing the world. Climate change is linked to income inequality and injustice, so if your passion is fighting for racial justice, the rights of the poor, or indigenous rights and sovereignty, that works, too. Or you might volunteer for a climate-focused local or national political candidate.

Step 4: Define your role.

The power of these groups is not simply strength in numbers. They work well because they divide up the work that needs to be done and give each task to those best suited to it. This also makes the fight less daunting. Instead of trying to become an expert in international regulatory law, global supply chains, atmospheric science and the art of protest, you can offer the skills and resources you already have, and trust that other people with complementary skills are doing what they can do, too. If you are a writer, you can write letters to the editor, newsletters and fliers. If you are strong, you can lift boxes. If you are rich, you can donate money. Only you know what and how much you can reasonably do. Take care not to overdo it at first and risk burning out. Set a sustainable level of involvement for yourself and keep it up. As a bonus, working with a group will increase the richness and diversity of your personal relationships, and may well temper your climate anxiety and depression.

Step 5: Know what you are fighting for, not just what you are fighting against.


Even though keeping global warming under 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) would absolutely be better than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) of warming, there is no threshold that means that it is “too late” or that we are “doomed.” The lower, the better. It is always worth fighting.

As we fight, it is important for our mental health and motivation to have an image in mind of our goal: a realistically good future.

Imagine dense but livable cities veined with public transit and leafy parks, infrastructure humming away to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, fake meat that tastes better than the real thing, species recovering and rewilding the world, the rivers silver with fish, the skies musical with flocking birds.

This is a future where the economic inequality, racism and colonialism that made decades of inaction on climate change possible has been acknowledged and is being addressed. It is a time of healing. Many ecosystems have changed, but natural resilience and thoughtful human assistance is preventing most species from going extinct. This is a future in which children don’t need to take to the streets in protest and alarm, because their parents and grandparents took action. Instead, they are climbing trees.

This future is still possible. But it will only come to pass if we shed our shame, stop focusing on ourselves, join together and demand it.

Emma Marris is the author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World.

A version of this article appears in print on Sunday, January 12th, 2020, Section SR, Page 7 of the New York edition with the headline: "Stop Freaking Out About the Climate".

-30-

----------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 19
Fred Penner

My heritage is Mennonite. My grandparents came from Russia/Prussia in the late 19th century and I have often tried to imagine what it was like on the harsh Canadian Prairie back then and how they were able to survive. The same question can be applied to cultures in every corner of the world. We are all trying to find a way to make this life work. It is complex and challenging to say the least. Basic rights must be fulfilled and beyond that we have a fundamental need to communicate with one another on an emotional and spiritual plane.

We are resilient and adaptable human beings, there is no doubt, and we have proven this time and time again over the centuries. That doesn’t make the challenges we face now any easier, but it should give us some sense of optimism. Trust and belief in one another is where it starts. My perspective is blessed and specific to the generation raised with my music. Through recordings, concerts and a television series my creative life journey has allowed me to connect with that generation. The affirmation of my optimism comes from almost daily responses, both personal and through social media, from the children who are now the young adults making their own way through the insanity.

Finding a way to face our global challenges seems too vast and incomprehensible at times.

When I was taping Fred Penner’s Place, there were times when I felt overwhelmed by all the aspects I was juggling as I attempted to communicate through this medium. My eyes would glaze over for a moment and that was when my director sent The Message to the floor director: “One Child.” This was my reminder that the camera was really a portal to a single child who was watching and listening. This allowed me to communicate on a much more personal level with the viewer. We, the parents and leaders of this world, must do the same. We are in this together. If ever you doubt your ability to make this difference, look into the face of One Child.
     
         — Fred Penner, family entertainer for children of all ages, former host of Fred Penner’s Place on CBC television

https://fredpenner.com/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 18, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Farmers' Markets open in Charlottetown (9AM-2PM) and Summerside (9AM-1PM). Allow that the weather may have slowed everyone down yesterday and today.

Stratford Green Cafe, 3-4:30PM, Stratford (formerly Now n' Zen), 17A Glen Stewart Drive.
This is a casual opportunity to meet community members, talk to (MLA Michele Beaton, District 5 Mermaid-Stratford) about Stratford and provincial issues...
Please RSVP to ensure enough seating at the café.
edited from: Facebook event listing

Night Music, piano with Sarah Hagen, 8PM, St. Paul's Church, moved from last night due to the weather.

Sad news that Catherine Miller, partner of Peter Rukavina, passed away Thursday night. A Celebration of her Life is being held Monday, January 20th, 11AM, St. Paul's Church, Church Street, Charlottetown. More details: https://ruk.ca/
----------------------------------
Global Chorus quote:

"Amidst the dark night of indifference, tragedy and disaster, it is possible for our extraordinary species to shine so magnificently." — Aram Hur
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https://jillmarie8.wixsite.com/prattle-and-ponder/post/rooted-in-the-past-sustainably-grown-root-vegetables-lead-the-way-for-our-future-an-ode-to-turnip

Rooted in the Past--Sustainably Grown Root Vegetables Lead the Way for Our Future: An Ode to Turnip - by Jill MacCormack

Published on Saturday, December 28th, 2019 at Prattle and Ponder, Musings on Nature and Life
reprinted with thanks

This Christmas season I've thought a lot about the gift of vegetables and root vegetables in particular.

Amidst the peeling of twenty plus pounds of potatoes, I pondered how that earthy, yet to be washed potato peel scent is such a grounding one, rooting so much of our existence and sustenance in earth.

And how, the quality of the earth that root vegetables are grown in both reflects and affects the quality of the civilization growing them.

How well the soil is determines how well we all are.

I thought about how so much depends on growing food and how keeping it local, as the new climate crisis demands of us, will increasingly require us to eat largely that which has been grown in our own bioregion which supports that food's growth.

I am largely Celtic in my ancestry, and therefore come from a long history of root vegetable eating fore bearers.

Potato, turnip and carrots are literally foods which I could and largely do, live on. These and winter squash and sweet potato too.

Last eve, in preparation for heading to my parent's for Christmas dinner leftovers two days following their sumptuous Christmas feast I knew that the only vegetable in low quantity following dinner was turnip and so I took a turnip from my veggie bin and promptly peeled and chopped it and set it in water to boil.

As my oldest daughter and I sat in the living room basking in the low light of our Christmas tree and in the quiet of a house largely unoccupied at that moment, I caught the wafting aroma of boiled turnip floating in from the kitchen and my heart became so glad. Gladdened by the soft, pungent aroma of a vegetable my ancestors would have eaten to sustain themselves through long cold winters both on PEI and years ago and far away in Ireland and Scotland.

I contemplated how I almost never get to enjoy just the turnip fragrance alone due to only cooking it in the company of so many other stove top root vegetables and alongside something roasting in the oven. Something roasting like red cabbage, peppers and chickpeas done in olive oil and sea salt.

Delicious and warming all!

Perhaps the turnip waft was so welcoming because I love mashed turnip so much yet never really notice it cooking.

Besides, who cooks turnip by itself?

Even though I especially love it mashed, I even eat turnip fried crisp with carrots sometimes as a leftover, well salted and peppered. And raw in summertime, the Japanese white turnip or Hakurei, my favourite, refreshing summertime vegetable crunch.

And so I bow in gratefulness for root veggies. The staple of so many winter meals and so humble as to hardly draw attention. I am thankful for these foods which keep us hearty and hale and store so well through winter's storms and cold.

As this decade comes to a close and a new one nears its dawning, may we all slow down our lives enough to contemplate how to better honour Earth and each other.

Eating organic, plastic wrap free, locally grown root vegetables more often is always a good place to begin.

Happy New Year!
In warmth and hopefulness,
Jill

-----------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 18

Aram Hur

At every moment, tears are falling.

It is because of the joie de vivre. Although the ground of life is somewhere dry and barren, I have a strong belief that the seed of hope would grow and finally bear good fruits.

If we think we can do it, we have to do it. It is a humbling principle of my life and perhaps of the hope. Where there is strong belief and good heart, we would be able to build the community of hope, where people don’t lose their dream for a better world, keep working to make our societies a little more humane, and carving out spaces of gentleness.
To meet people with this warm feeling of hope is to plant a seed of hope.

The obligations in our life might be challenging, probably most of the time, but we can still be hopeful when ordinary people bring out the best of human nature: courage, solidarity, altruism, generosity and love. And it must be the task of the living to keep hope alive.

Amidst the dark night of indifference, tragedy and disaster, it is possible for our extraordinary species to shine so magnificently.

And this is what I believe.

         — Aram Hur, South Korean educator, publisher, lecturer, social activist, founder of Indigo Sowo


essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 17, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Fridays for Future, 3:30PM, Grafton Street side of Province House

Tonight:
Night Music with pianist Sarah Hagen, 8PM, St. Paul's Anglican Church, Church Street, Charlottetown.
Pianist Sarah Hagen invites people yearning for a thoughtful evening of music to come out for an hour of a carefully curated programme of works by Bach, Satie, Chopin, and others. Inspired by Natkirke, a contemplative initiative in Denmark, Night Music is an opportunity to reflect on the winter season through music. The audience is encouraged to enter quietly and the pieces will flow from one to the next without pause or applause."All are welcome at this reflective experience of piano music brought to life in the exceptional acoustics of St. Paul’s. Music will begin at 8 pm, and admission is “Pay What You Will” at the door.

Deadline to register is today:
Thursday, January 23rd:
Blanket Exercise, facilitated by Chrissy MacPhail, 1:30-3:30PM, St. Paul's Hall (next to the Church, 101 Richmond Street). RSVP by Friday, January 17th to atweten@mcpei.ca or (902) 388-4613.
"Developed in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996 –which recommended education about Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation — the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) covers more than 500 years in a 90-minute experiential workshop that aims to foster understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Since its creation, the Exercise has been updated several times to include new information such as the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation final report". https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/about/
--------------------------------------------
CBC online Coverage of Horace Carter's appearance before the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability on the Lands Protection Act, from yesterday:

Strengthen P.E.I.'s Lands Protection Act, urges former justice minister - CBC News online artilce by Kerry Campbell

Horace Carver says he’s ‘gravely concerned’ about corporate land ownership, land consolidation

Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2020

For all the times Horace Carver's 2013 review of P.E.I.'s Lands Protection Act has been invoked in debates around land ownership in the province, the author of that report had never spoken about it publicly since its release — until Thursday. "I am disappointed certain aspects of the report have not been implemented. Particularly those that cost money," the former PC cabinet minister told the province's standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability, which had called on him to appear.

Carver was part of the government that first enacted the Lands Protection Act in 1982, which set limits on individual and corporate land ownership in the province.

The act and the issues around land ownership it addresses flared up as a topic of debate during the 2019 provincial election campaign.

Promise to close 'loopholes'

Last fall P.E.I.'s Attorney General Bloyce Thompson promised to close any "loopholes" in the act after a controversial deal that saw farmland transferred to a corporation related to the Irving family, without coming before cabinet for approval.

A key issue is how government interprets and enforces a measure in the act to prevent corporations "directly or indirectly controlled by the same person, group or organization" from stacking up land limits in order to control more land.

Carver, a lawyer, said he's always understood the minister has the authority to deem corporations as related under the act, but other legal minds differ.  "If something isn't as firm as it needs to be, guess what? Put the firmness in there," he told MLAs, advising them they have the power to make whatever changes are necessary in the legislation.  "If we make the mistake the first time, do it the second time."

In November, the Dennis King government announced public consultations to be held in early 2020 as part of a "fulsome review of land-related legislation" working toward "a renewed Lands Protection Act 2.0 and other related legislation."Minister should know 'who owns the land'

Carver said he didn't understand changes made under the MacLauchlan government that meant the province was no longer collecting information on the identities of shareholders of provincially-registered corporations.

The King government has already begun reversing those changes. Carver said it's "essential" that the minister of agriculture and land has "the power to compel answers to questions such as 'who owns the land?'"

"And if the minister feels that he doesn't have the legal authority to ask who owns the land, then give him the authority to get the answers that he needs."

Asked whether increasing land ownership limits would make it possible for Island farmers to become more profitable — a case made by Cavendish Farms president Robert Irving when he appeared before a P.E.I. standing committee in 2018 — Carver voiced concerns about increasing corporate land ownership in the province.  He said he was concerned while conducting his review "and even more so now — gravely concerned about the impact on rural communities in regards [to] large corporations and lots of land consolidation."

Recommendations not followed

Carver expressed disappointment talking about some recommendations from his report which have never been enacted by government including:

  • That the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission submit an annual report to cabinet on non-resident land ownership, and that the report be made available to the public.

  • That the province establish a land bank to sell or lease land back to farmers (something government is now working toward).

  • That the province establish a land trust to "preserve unique and cherished Island viewscapes," funded with a portion of land transfer taxes and IRAC fees.

Instead of funding the purchase of more public land, Carver said the province is "reaping millions and millions of dollars in land transfer fees and a significant amount of dollars in IRAC fees," with the money going to general revenues.

After speaking for close to two-and-a-half hours, Carver said he would resume his self-imposed silence on the legislation and his review of it, leaving MLAs to decide what changes are needed.

Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker said a key for him will be to make sure corporate and land ownership become more transparent to Islanders.  "A regular and transparent reporting requirement — and that was one of the recommendations of the Carver report. We have not seen a report on land holdings since 2004. That's just not acceptable," Bevan-Baker said. 

-30-
-------------------------------

Video link for the Committee meeting: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committee-archive?field_media_type_target_id=423&committee=485&year=528
-----------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for January 17

Ian Skelly

Nature is an astonishingly complex, dynamic system that seeks balance at every level. She is harmonic.

The word “harmony” comes from the ancient Greek for “joining things up” and it is an active state. Nature is endlessly in motion, endlessly transforming; the dynamic is alive.

Every minute of the day, Nature is transforming herself, imperceptibly changing from one season into the next. This reveals that it is in life’s nature to transform, and thus it is in our nature too to transform – transform our thinking, behaviour and our approach towards Nature’s precious resources. Why? Because of what we are.

Shift your perception. Move from seeing yourself “apart” from Nature, but also away from the notion that we are “part” of Nature. The truth is, we are Nature. Nature is not a machine made up of parts, but a harmonic, dynamic whole.

As for hope, well, consider whether it is in Nature’s character to fail, and observe that you too share that reluctance. We are born with life’s innate sense of hope. Humanity is not wired to fail, so consider what can be done if you harness that hope and set it on course to transform.

Observe Nature. Notice that “virtuous” circles, not vicious ones, keep her cyclical economy intact, so be mindful that Nature is necessarily self-limiting in order that she endures without failure. Behave and choose according to this. Slow down, abandon multi-tasking; do one thing with full attention and do it well with care. Seek the deep connection with the marvels of Nature around you. Look up, not down; look from within with reverence, not from without. See life for what it truly is: not just whole, but Holy. Then you will transform yourself and thus the world around you every moment of the day.

— Ian Skelly, writer, filmmaker, broadcaster, co-author, with HRH The Prince of Wales, of Harmony www.ianskelly.co.uk



essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 16, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
There are two interesting Legislative Committee meetings happening today:

Thursday, January 16th:
Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting, 10AM, Coles Building. "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on the Report of the Commission on the Lands Protection Act (2013) by Horace Carver, QC, Lands Protection Act Commissioner."

Special Committee on Climate Change, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: Vehicle-to-grid technology and electric vehicle integration. "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on vehicle-to-grid technology and electric vehicle integration by Professor Willett Kempton, University of Delaware...."
And wind energy and storage options, I think.

If you can attend in person, there is usually space in the Gallery. You can also watch from home at the Legislative Assembly website: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/watch-live
or from their Facebook page:

A gentle list of positive things to do in 2020, for your consideration, reprinted with permission by Sandy Nicholson, an excerpt from her Lady Baker's Tea blog:

Take Time for What Matters
Here are some things that you might be interested in incorporating into your plan for 2020:

  1. Invite a friend over for tea.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Check on, or help out an elderly neighbour. (For those living in the north, shovel snow for them).
  4. Support local artists; buy their music, art, books. Go to concerts, art galleries and book launches.
  5. Buy local, and support businesses in your community.
  6. Send a friend a handwritten postcard or letter. It is a wonderful feeling to get mail from a friend.
  7. Bring your own reusable cups and containers.
  8. Walk more. Drive less.
------------------------------------
from Ecojustice: Kegan Pepper-Smith writes on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

We’re at the Supreme Court of Canada this week - Ecojustice article by Kegan Pepper-Smith

(this week) ...my colleague Harry Wruck and I will appear in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC).

We’re arguing that British Columbia has a right — and a constitutional duty — to protect communities and the environment from toxic diluted bitumen spills.

While the outcome of this case has the potential to impact the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline, it is about so much more than a single project. When dilbit spills into the environment, as it did in the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill, it seriously harms wildlife and communities. And it’s almost impossible to fully clean up.

We say governments at all levels, provincial and federal, must be able to pass laws that protect the environment and communities from hazardous dilbit disasters.

To support this, Harry and I will be making a novel argument when we appear before the court on Thursday. We’re arguing that, even though it isn’t explicitly written into the Constitution of Canada, environmental protection is an underlying constitutional principle.

In other words, the Constitution may not use the words “environmental protection,” but governments still have a constitutional duty to protect our air, water, and land.

We know what we’re saying is outside the box — but we live in unprecedented times. If we’re going to use the full power of the law to defend your right to a healthy environment, combat climate change, and protect nature, we must be prepared to stand in front of the country’s highest court and make bold arguments.

This type of innovative thinking is one reason I am so proud to work for Ecojustice.

As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice is uniquely positioned to bring groundbreaking arguments before the courts.

Consider donating at:
https://www.ecojustice.ca/

--------------------------
And there are news reports that news reports are not being allowed from the
An opinion piece from the editor of the National Observer:

RCMP, let journalists witness Unist'ot'en Camp - The National Observer article by Linda Solomon Wood

Published on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have fought for many years to keep three pipelines from running through their land in northern B.C. At stake, the protesters say, is their way of life, their culture and their system of governance which was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark Delgamuukw decision in 1997.

I remember when the Wet'suwet'en first erected the Unist'ot'en Camp to uphold the clans' decision to prevent Enbridge, Chevron and TransCanada from building pipelines on their unceded lands in 2010. Tensions rose as they built a blockade and confronted workers who attempted to cross it, saying they had no permission to be on their territory.

Last December, a report by the Guardian newspaper sent shock waves across Canada. The Guardian said it had uncovered documents showing that the RCMP discussed shooting Indigenous clan members and supporters, all in the service of gas and oil. "Notes from a strategy session for a militarized raid on ancestral lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation show that commanders of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), argued that “lethal overwatch is req’d” — a term for deploying an officer who is prepared to use lethal force.

Is this reconciliation? Hardly.

Is this making amends for residential schools, colonialization, the taking of lands and wealth? You bet it's not.

Shockingly, a tweet from the Unist'ot'en Camp stated today the RCMP has blocked roads for 27 kilometers leading up to the site, barring media from witnessing and documenting their actions.

"We do not want to see a repeat of last year’s behaviour, when the RCMP used an exclusion zone to block journalists’ access, making it impossible to provide details on a police operation that was very much in the public interest,” Canadian Association of Journalists president Karyn Pugliese said in a tweet.

Pugliese has it right.

Even without the Guardian's report of the RCMP's apparent willingness to use lethal force to remove people from the blockade, the RCMP should not be allowed to stop journalists from witnessing their actions.

RCMP, let Canada's journalists in.
      --Linda Solomon Wood

-30- 
More details about the Wet'suwet'un people and the pipeline protest in B.C.:
https://unistoten.camp/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet%CA%BCsuwet%CA%BCen
----------------------------------------

Global Chorus Essay for January 16
William McDonough

As a designer of things from the scale of a molecule to a region, I have great hope for our future. A designer’s purpose is to make life better – hopefully. Design is the first signal of human intention. We must ask if our species, by design, intends to destroy the quality of our home, because, if so, we are strategically and intentionally tragic.

To have a strategy of hope, we have a new design framework to adopt, one that celebrates the abundance of Earth and human creativity rather than bemoans limits. The chemist Michael Braungart and I have dedicated ourselves to articulating the Cradle to Cradle framework, in which everything is designed for continuous reuse in biological or technical cycles; everything is renewably powered, clean water is available to all, and we celebrate diversity. This allows us to joyfully become infinitely resourceful, physically and intellectually, led by profitable businesses that use currency on a mission to create intergenerational capital.

With commerce as the engine of change – looking to be more good, not just less bad – big ideas can be realized now. We know how to convert sewage plants to nutrient management systems, allowing us to grow safe, healthy food in, under and around our cities. Such strategies portend magnificent productivity and quality delivered both efficiently and effectively while we allow our ecosystems to heal. Our designs can focus on globally shared innovations and still reinforce and enhance local cultures, benefiting all scales of economic activity.

I find hope for the future in wisdom from the past. The 12th-century philosopher Hildegard of Bingen wrote, “Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of Earth’s greenings. Now, think.” In the 20th century, Albert Einstein wrote, “Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature and its beauty.” In the 21st century, our design assignment is simple: how do we love all the children of all the species for all time? It is time to plant an orchard of Cradle to Cradle opportunity to honour present and future generations. We can move forward together – fiercely – with hope, not fear.

     — William McDonough, designer, architect, co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things 
https://mcdonough.com/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 15, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events Today:
The Charlottetown Farmers' Market is open for lunch, with a few vendors offering lunch choices, along with weekday coffee bar services by Brett Bunson.

Wednesday, January 15th:
Health and Social Development Committee meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
"The committee will continue its consideration of Motion No. 1 (Calling on the Legislative Assembly to refer wellness to the appropriate committee). The committee will receive a briefing from Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer and Dr. David Sabapathy, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer."

The big announcement in Summerside yesterday is for the construction of solar energy panels.
Government press release
----------------------------
Just a little bit from the Winter Newsletter from Elections PEI:

"Did you Know?
The 27 district Returning Officers are appointed for life and are not permitted to vote. The Office of the CEO recommends these positions be competitive and merit based and to reinstate the Returning Officers right to vote. Voter Enumeration is Mandatory. Current legislation makes it mandatory for Elections PEI workers to knock on every residential door on PEI to enumerate (confirm) all eligible voters within a five day period when the Writ is dropped. The CEO recommends the enumeration process be used only when needed, and at the discretion of the CEO."


Tim G. Garrity is the current CEO of Elections PEI.

------------------------------------

January 15
Rachel Parent, a young person fighting for the right to know if GMOs are in our food, wrote the essay.

The corporate mentality of profit and growth at all costs is having a devastating impact on our planet, from the dying off of our marine life, bee colony collapse, the melting of our glaciers, the deforestation of our rainforests and dislocation of natives, the contamination of our water and soil, and even the loss of control of our seeds and safe food supply. The magnitude of the destruction can be overwhelming! But I believe we’re living in a time of historical change, a time of transformation where people finally realize they have the power to make change and bring about positive solutions for our planet and for our very survival.

It’s a time where people, especially our youth, are waking up, rising up and standing up together, regardless of race, colour or religion, to heal our planet. I feel empowered knowing that I am part of a massive global shift in thinking for a better tomorrow.

In order to fix the old problems, we need to find new solutions. As Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” We not only need to change the way we think, but also how we measure success.

Corporations’ short-sighted focus on greed and profit at any cost has to change. It’s time for them to become “socially responsible.” Fortunately, we can influence that change by boycotting their products and telling others through social media to do the same. General Mills’s recent agreement to remove GMOs from Cheerios after being swamped with emails and social media postings is a perfect example of that. We, as consumers, have the power!

As one of the youth, I can only allow myself to have hope for our future. To lose hope would mean giving up on the beauty of Nature and the miracle of life. Our goal must be to leave the Earth better than we found it. We owe this to ourselves and to the many generations that are yet to come.
Rachel Parent, 14-year-old environmental global activist, founder of Kids Right to Know 

https://kidsrighttoknow.org/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet

edited by Todd E. MacLean

copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 14, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event today:
Announcement by Government, in Summerside, 1PM, Credit Union Place, probably on renewable energy project, see article, below.

Legislative Committee on Education and Economic Growth meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
"The committee will meet to receive a briefing on sexual violence and inappropriate behaviour in the school system by Erin Johnston, Assistant Director, and Terri MacAdam, Director of Student Services, of the Public Schools Branch."

Tomorrow:
Wednesday, January 15th:
Health and Social Development Committee meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building.
"The committee will continue its consideration of Motion No. 1 (Calling on the Legislative Assembly to refer wellness to the appropriate committee). The committee will receive a briefing from Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer and Dr. David Sabapathy, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer."

Thursday, January 16th:
Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting, 10AM, Coles Building. "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on the Report of the Commission on the Lands Protection Act (2013) by Horace Carver, QC, Lands Protection Act Commissioner."

Also:
Special Committee on Climate Change, 1:30PM, Coles Building. Topic: Vehicle-to-grid technology and electric vehicle integration. "The committee will meet to receive a briefing on vehicle-to-grid technology and electric vehicle integration by Professor Willett Kempton, University of Delaware. Other witnesses to be confirmed."
------------------------------------
visually, from the: Legislative Assembly website:

Legislative Committee Meetings this week

screenshot of this week's committee calendar

Meetings can be watched live online here, and info about the committees and transcripts and video archives are here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/committees/current-committees
-------------------
from The Journal-Pioneer::

Significant green energy announcement expected Jan. 14 in Summerside - The Journal Pioneer article by Colin MacLean

Published on Monday, January 13th, 2020
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

Summerside is set to make a significant green energy project announcement. Media and delegates have been invited to Credit Union Place (CUP) at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 for the press conference.

Invitees include federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna; Ambassador Shin Maeng-ho, the Republic of Korea’s representative to Canada; and Edward Cho, president of Samsung Renewable Energy (SRE).

City officials have not shared the specifics of the announcement, but the fact that SRE is involved suggests it could be related to the implementation of Phase 2 of the city’s partnership with that company.

Summerside signed a memorandum of understanding with SRE in 2017 for the development of an experimental and expansive multi-part green energy project.

Phase 1 of the project consisted of the installation of a shipping container-sized battery that was integrated into CUP’s electric system. The battery, which has been online for more than a year, is fed power from 1,404 solar panels constructed next to the west-end sports facility. The battery stores excess energy and pumps it into the building during peak use hours to offset CUP’s significant power bills. Phase 1 cost $3 million and was funded jointly by the city and the federal government.

“Today is another major step forward in our growing energy sector,” former mayor Bill Martin said at that time. “This project has furthered our commitment to a greener community and has taken us a step closer to energy independence.”

Martin indicated that Phase 2 of the partnership would include the construction of a new solar/wind farm. This facility would bump the percentage of electricity Summerside gets from renewable sources from about 46 per cent to upwards of 70 per cent.

Phase 3 would include investment in more electric pilot projects, such as infrastructure for electric vehicles and a smart grid system. There was no timeline given in 2017 as to when Phase 2 or 3 would be implemented. Egmont MP Bobby Morrisey released a statement Monday in anticipation of Tuesday’s announcement.

“The federal Liberal government is committed to supporting communities that understand the need to effectively respond to the challenges of the climate crisis,” said Morrissey. “Today’s historic announcement will place Summerside on the path of becoming one of Canada’s leading cities in the mission to build stronger, cleaner and environmentally sustainable communities.”

-30-


----------------------------------------------

How to spend P.E.I.'s carbon tax - CBC News online article by Kevin Yarr

Committee holding hearings and public meetings this winter

Published on Monday, January 13th, 2020

CBC Radio's Island Morning spoke with Environment, Water and Climate Change Minister Brad Trivers, and Opposition Critic Lynn Lund yesterday about meeting P.E.I.'s commitments to committments.

With P.E.I. about to enter into negotiations with the federal government on a new carbon pricing deal, the Progressive Conservative government and Green Opposition have some different ideas about how the money raised should be spent.

Environment Minister Brad Trivers and Green MLA Lynne Lund — who also chairs the legislative committee on climate change — laid out their positions on CBC Radio's Island Morning Monday.

Trivers noted his government has already shown its willingness to move carbon-tax money into environmental projects, by scrapping the previous government's program of offering free driver's licences.

"We want to make sure we use it to do things that benefit Islanders directly, as well as directly lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," said Trivers.

One program under consideration by government is an active transportation fund, he said, which would create corridors for biking and walking around the province.

Lund said while she supports investments in active transportation, she doesn't think the money should come from the carbon tax. "It's very important that that money goes directly back to Islanders," she said. "We shouldn't be disproportionately hurting low-income Islanders or people who genuinely cannot choose another option at this time."

Both Lund and Trivers sit on the climate change committee, and agree bold and transformative change is required.

"This is why this special committee on climate change is so important," said Trivers. "That's where we have to look at the different tools we have and make sure we use the right combination, so that we can get there in a way that's palatable and reasonable for Islanders."

"I am absolutely convinced that this is achievable," said Lund of the province's new 1.2 megatonne emissions target for 2030. "The real question is which of the various tools that we have at our disposal are we going to use to do this in the most cost-effective way possible."

The committee is meeting with climate experts and holding public meetings this winter, and is expected to deliver some short-term recommendations this spring.

-30-

---------------------------------------------
Saltwire publications are focusing a series of articles on the Fisheries in Atlantic Canada recently, and this one is on Fisheries and the future. As they all individuals a certain number of free articles per month, you could go look at the text and illustrations.
Link only: https://www.journalpioneer.com/business/local-business/the-future-of-the-fisheries-in-atlantic-canada-394854/
----------------------
Global Chorus for January 14

Dr. Rajiv Shah

We live at an incredible moment in history. Around the world, human ingenuity and entrepreneurship have made tremendous progress against some of the greatest challenges in development, as child mortality rates have fallen by 42 per cent and poverty rates by 48 per cent over the last twenty years. At the same time, new technologies – perhaps most notably the mobile phone – have changed what’s possible, transforming how farmers compare market prices, citizens report corruption and nurses monitor the health of mothers and newborns in rural communities.

For the first time, we have the tools and knowledge to achieve goals that were simply unimaginable in the past: the eradication of extreme poverty and its most devastating consequences, including child hunger and preventable child death.

But the truth is that many people believe the opposite. They simply don’t realize that the solutions to great global challenges are within our reach. Every day, I find myself making this case, battling the perception that politics today cannot support great moral aspirations, or that the world cannot come together to achieve these goals.

But in the last four years as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, I have seen just the opposite. Around the world, we are mobilizing the energy of a new generation of students, inventors and entrepreneurs to deliver results on a greater scale than ever before. From a church in inner-city Detroit that looks after an orphanage in Ghana to the nationwide response after super typhoon Haiyan, I have seen the depth of passion and support that communities everywhere have for global development. And from St. Louis to Dakar to Delhi, I have seen people from all walks of life stand together as champions for this global task.

      Dr. Rajiv Shah, (former) administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, current president of the Rockefeller Foundation

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 13, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event tonight:
CLIA Renters Series, 6:30-7:30PM, Summerside Rotary Library. Free.
"Are you renting on PEI? Join Community Legal Information (Association -- CLIA) for this free information session to learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities as a renter."
Facebook event link

Global Chorus quote of the day:
"A person is a person through other persons. None of us can survive just as solitary individuals. We are made for togetherness, we are made for co-operation, and we ultimately exist in a delicate network of interdependence."
   ---Archbishop Desmond Tutu
full essay below
-------------------------------
The paper mill empire strikes back:  https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/regional-perspectives/northern-pulp-responds-how-boat-harbour-became-a-quagmire-396125/

NORTHERN PULP RESPONDS: How Boat Harbour became a quagmire - The Guardian article by Brian Baarda

Published on Friday, January 10th, 2020

Unrealistic timeline, undefined process, fishermen's blockade doomed Northern Pulp's efforts

Since 1967, a kraft pulp mill has been an economic driver for Pictou County.

Over the decades, hardworking men and women have depended on the mill and put down roots to raise their families and contribute to the region.

In 2011, Paper Excellence was proud to carry on this tradition when we purchased Northern Pulp Nova Scotia. We operate pulp mills throughout Canada and globally, and recognized that the core fundamentals of a successful kraft mill were in place.

We also recognized that investments would be needed to bring the mill to the environmental standards expected today. Paper Excellence purchased the mill with the assurance that all existing contracts would be honoured.

Since that time, we have invested more than $70 million in people, technology, and processes, with more investments planned, that would continue to improve our production and reduce our environmental impact.

While we made these financial investments in good faith, we also understood the need to address the social and community impacts that were the result of the sad legacy of Boat Harbour and a history of poor relations between the Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN), the community and previous mill operators.

In the regions where Paper Excellence operates, we strive to be contributing members of the community. Developing meaningful relationships takes time, and we have worked hard to be good neighbours and members of the community.

We have always said that Boat Harbour needs to close, and we continue to believe this. In June 2014, a faulty pipe resulted in an effluent leak at our facility. We took full responsibility for this very unfortunate incident and undertook immediate actions to fix it.

What is often forgotten is that our initial response efforts were delayed due to a protester blockade. The blockade was only ended, and the mill restarted, when the government of Nova Scotia agreed with PLFN to introduce legislation to have a Boat Harbour closure plan within a year.

Subsequently, the Boat Harbour Act effectively revised the closure date of Boat Harbour from 15 years to four years and 8 months. Northern Pulp was not consulted in setting this new date and we made it clear the timeline was not realistic.

In addition to shortening the timeline by more than 10 years, the government also changed the requirements of our industrial approval, the permit that allows us to operate. These changes presented a major threat to continued mill operations by requiring major capital investments without certainty that the Jan. 31, 2020 Boat Harbour Act deadline could be met.

It took a Supreme Court challenge and several decisions from the minister of environment to provide the certainty that Northern Pulp could continue to operate and that we could invest in needed upgrades.

Our team worked diligently and in partnership with the government, starting in 2016, to design a new wastewater treatment facility. We also started to conduct the necessary and growing list of studies required by the government.

By December 2017, with a proposed new $130-million state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility designed, we engaged in meaningful consultation with stakeholders. It became apparent through our studies that our initial pipe outfall proposal wasn’t preferred or feasible, given ocean ice. We proposed an alternate location in the Caribou Channel and immediately began to carry out surveying and environmental studies.

Unfortunately, the survey boat was blocked by local fishers who refused to allow the work to proceed. The blockade lasted until late December 2018 and was only ended after successful legal action.

Unfortunately, this cost us time, as we could not resume marine surveys until the spring 2019 ice breakup. At this point, we had less than two years to complete more than two years of required environmental study and analysis. Only then would we get a decision from the minister of environment.

The actual construction of a new wastewater treatment facility and pipe would take at least another two years. But we continued to push forward. Some 11,000 families and 30,000 woodlot owners across Nova Scotia expected nothing less of us and we believe it was the right thing to do.

Over the course of the process, seven studies required by the Department of Environment became 68. Despite an already unrealistic timeline, our team did its best to meet each new request. At the end of the day, we believe we put forward an excellent plan informed by third-party subject-matter expertise based on sound science.

This plan showed no meaningful environmental impact, represented significant operational improvement, and ensured Nova Scotia’s forest sector and the thousands it employs could remain a vital part of our economy, all while enabling the timely closure and remediation of Boat Harbour prior to the original contracted closure date of 2030.

Still, the minister of environment decided he didn’t have enough information and requested a full environmental assessment — a requirement that adds at least two years to the timeline. It is disappointing that the minister of environment’s request for a full environmental assessment was not made many years earlier. It would have provided a definitive process and a more realistic timeline. Instead, the minister’s decision, combined with the premier’s refusal to extend the deadline for the closure of Boat Harbour, is now resulting in the closure of Northern Pulp, the devastation of Nova Scotia’s forestry industry, loss of over 2,700 rural jobs, and significant impact to another 8,300 forestry jobs across Nova Scotia.

To our 330 direct employees and the families and forestry workers across Nova Scotia who have depended on the mill to help them put down roots and raise their family in the region: we want to make it clear that we do not want to close Northern Pulp. We want to operate in Nova Scotia for the long-term. We believe that a prosperous economy and healthy environment can co-exist in Pictou County, just like it does in 89 other communities with pulp and paper mills across Canada.

Unfortunately, an unrealistic timeline and undefined process have put us in the position we, and you, are in today. We are sorry for the difficulties and unknown futures you are facing. We don’t know what Feb. 1, 2020, will look like. We will, however, continue to meet with government and industry stakeholders to fight for a future for Northern Pulp in Nova Scotia.

In the absence of certainty that Nova Scotia wants to continue supporting a flourishing forestry industry and the economic benefits it provides, our team is currently focused on supporting our employees, developing plans for a safe and environmentally sound hibernation plan, and working with the government of Nova Scotia to understand if there is a future for our operations.

Brian Baarda is CEO, Paper Excellence Canada

--------------------------------------------------------

The January 13 Global Chorus essay is by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
       I am a prisoner of hope. And I think that most of us would be that. Why? Well, simply because we have faced many other crises in the history of the world and have almost always, ultimately, survived and succeeded.
       For instance, look at the whole question of slavery. There must have been a time when people believed firmly that this was a social system that was totally unchangeable. But we’ve massively diminished slavery. We in South Africa have been able to overcome apartheid and racism. All the wars, conflict, gender/equality issues and even genocide of the past century, we have endured and overcome. So, it is clear that we have the capacity. What we often lack is the political will.
       Take our incapacity to feed everyone on Earth, for example. We have got the means. We can feed every single person on Earth. But we do not have the appropriate political will to do so. With regards to the whole question of the environment, people are campaigning very, very powerfully for us to adopt ways of life that are sustainable. But even though politicians buckle to certain pressures, they are beginning more and more to realize that it is far better to be looking for renewable ways of producing energy. And many people are beginning to see that it is not just healthier, it is the one way in which our Earth home is going to be preserved. If we don’t wake up to our responsibility, we won’t have a second chance. This is the only home we have. If we destroy it, we’re done for.
       A person is a person through other persons. None of us can survive just as solitary individuals. We are made for togetherness, we are made for co-operation, and we ultimately exist in a delicate network of interdependence. None of us comes fully formed into the world. In the same way, even the most powerful nation in the world depends ultimately on interconnectedness. You can’t just live within yourself; no country can do it, no community can do it, no person can do it. Our world must heed this truth to harmoniously move forward.
       — Archbishop Desmond Tutu (b. 1931), South African human rights activist, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize laureate

--------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 12, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today:
Community Screening of Film: Motherload, 2-3:30PM, City Cinema, free.
"The City of Charlottetown Mayor’s Taskforce on Active Transportation invites the public to attend a free screening of MOTHERLOAD, a crowdsourced documentary about a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of the digital age, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote."

Check City Cinema's website for any cancellation notice
http://citycinema.net/
-------------------------------
"New" tar sands project / old thinking

Yesterday, CBC Radio's Saturday morning show "Day 6" with Brent Bambury reported on a new open pit oilsands project

Apparently the window for public comments on the Federal Environmental Impact Assessment is closed. Environment Assessment page from federal government: https://ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/65505

CBC Radio "Day 6" show article, based on reporting work from Sharon Riley of The Narwhal: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/as-the-deadline-to-approve-a-massive-oilsands-project-approaches-its-economic-benefit-is-up-in-the-air-1.5421079

As the deadline to approve a massive oilsands project approaches, its economic benefit is up in the air - CBC Radio online posting

'If you look at some of their own documents ... they do not seem that confident,' says reporter Sharon Riley

CBC Radio online, posted on Friday, January 10th, 2020

As a massive oilsands project awaits approval from the federal government — and a heated debate continues over its environmental impacts — the company behind the project is unsure of its economic viability.

Teck Resources' massive Frontier mine, which would be built approximately 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, is estimated to produce 260,000 barrels of bitumen per day. At half the size of Edmonton, it would be the largest oilsands mine in Canada.

But as global oil prices fluctuate, investors are warning it may not be as profitable as once expected, says Sharon Riley, a reporter for The Narwhal. The federal government is expected to make a decision on the project in February. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has urged the Trudeau government to move the project forward, saying "it would be a clear indication that there is no way forward for this country's largest natural resource," if rejected.

Riley has followed the project's development and spoke with Day 6 host Brent Bambury about its future.

Here is part of that conversation.

There was lots of passionate and contentious debate over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but the Frontier mine proposal, so far anyway, has flown under the radar by comparison. This is a big project. Why is it still so obscure?

It's something that probably a lot of people in the environmental community are asking themselves right now as well. But one thing to keep in mind is that this was sort of seen as not really a possibility in a lot of people's minds.

There was a new oilsands mine that opened last year called Fort Hills. It's majority owned by Suncor, but as a partial share, is owned by Teck Resources, which is the same company that is proposing the Frontier mine.

When that Suncor Fort Hills mine opened, there were a lot of headlines saying this was the last oilsands mine. We even had, at the time, Suncor's CEO Steve Williams saying it's unlikely there will be projects of this type of scale ever again built.

So what about Teck Resources? If they have an interest in both projects, how confident are they that this project would be successful?

It's hard to say. I mean, if you look at some of their own documents, including their annual report which is widely available online, they do not seem that confident. They've put a lot of time and investment and money into this project, and the proposal's been going on since at least 2011. But in their annual report, they say there's uncertainty as to whether the project will ever be economically viable to go ahead with it.

So even if this project is approved by the federal government, it's still widely unknown whether or not it will ever be built by Teck Resources.

The Alberta government, I would imagine, has no such ambivalence.

No, and that's where this project gets really interesting. Even though we don't know if the project will ever actually go ahead with being built, the decision is so political — I mean, it's a political hot potato, as people have been saying.

On one hand, it stands for this continued support of Alberta's oil industry. Premier Jason Kenney has been painting this as an absolute strike against the oil industry if the federal government were to not give it the green light.

But then we have the environmental community saying we need to take our climate commitment seriously. You can't continue to approve mines with such enormous emissions footprints and be taken seriously on the global climate stage.

The mine will be near the Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta. What would be the impact to that area if this project goes ahead?

There [are] a number of environmental impacts that were looked at by a joint review panel that did recommend the federal government approve this project.

They listed several of what they called significant adverse environmental effects. That includes the permanent removal of 3,000 hectares of peat land. Peat land is extremely important, as a carbon sink.

Nearly 45 per cent of the area that the project will take place in is wetlands, so those will be removed.

And ... nearly 3,000 hectares of old-growth forest would be removed for the mine to be built. So those are some sort of very tangible environmental effects that you could see with any large, open-pit mine.

But this joint committee that you mentioned that has given a green light to the project, it seems to me that that committee gives political cover to the federal government if they decide to go ahead with it. Can you tell me about the committee and why they decided what they decided?

The committee is appointed by the federal minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, that's the federal component, as well as the Alberta Energy Regulator. It's a three-person panel.

They went through and produced ... a 1,000-page report outlining all the different environmental impacts as well as the economic impacts.

And in the end, they concluded that despite these significant adverse environmental impacts, the potential for the economic impact in Alberta and in the country was worth it.

This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity. To hear the full interview with Sharon Riley, download our podcast or click Listen (on the article's page)

-30-

----------------------------
And this is The Guardian's lead editorial on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/editorial-what-should-we-do-about-the-climate-crisis-everything-we-can-394796/

EDITORIAL: What should we do about the climate crisis? Everything we can - The Guardian Lead Editorial

You can be forgiven if you think that this all feels like some great tipping point.

Australia's record-breaking brush fires are only part of it: the deaths, property damage and near-unfathomable volume of dead wildlife — an estimated half-billion birds, reptiles and mammals — seem almost apocalyptic.

There’s plastic in the oceans to an extent we’ve never seen before, and even microplastics in the air: The Canadian Arctic is thawing as temperatures rise at higher rates than global norms, permafrost isn’t “perma” anymore, and the list goes on.

Many of the plants we use for food depend in greater or less amounts on bees and other pollinating insects that are in sharp decline.

Meanwhile, our neighbours to the south are led by a president who clearly acts first and thinks about consequences later; scant days after New Year’s Eve, social media was trending with discussion of the potential for World War III over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to have a senior Iranian military leader killed. (Trump says there were pressing reasons for the assassination, including secret evidence about imminent attacks on Americans, but given the number of obvious and outright lies Trump has been comfortable saying during his presidency, it’s hard to simply believe the latest statement.)

Is it any wonder that there are now millennials among us who feel depressed, powerless and downright fatalistic about the future? That there are high school students who believe that, on its current course, humanity has 15 years or less before forestalling catastrophe is impossible?

It’s hardly surprising — the future hangs heavy, and the now-regular parade of record-breaking weather and temperature events is undeniable.

So what should we do about it?

The simple answer is, everything we can.

Faced with profit-seeking, government-lobbying multinationals, with governments that seem unwilling to move beyond delivering bread-and-circus short-term solutions (“We’ll cut your taxes! We’ll keep fuel prices down!”), it might seem like individual Atlantic Canadians have only a small voice and even less power. Four provinces that are like a bump on the edge of larger neighbours, four provinces with little federal political clout, and whose residents are most often portrayed as folksy, funny characters, if they are portrayed as anything at all?

The truth is that we can be much more if we put our minds to it — our hearts, our minds, our voices, our votes, and most of all, our spending power.

Start paying attention — to the news, to where your food comes from, to how your provincial and federal governments make choices about things likes disposable plastic and industries like oil and gas.

Be loud. You don’t want to be the ones telling your children you sat firmly on your own hands.
-30-
------------------------------------------

Deborah Harford

Global Chorus essay for Janaury 12

    Humans are the most adaptable species on Earth, barring cockroaches. In our blink of historical time we have explored every inch of our globe. We have warded off hunger and cold and learned how to stave off illness. We are feeding seven billion people and leaving footprints on nearby planets. We can also predict the future through visualizing our effect on the planet. I call this the adaptive advantage, because it means we can forecast changes we need to make if we are to survive.

       Climate models are telling us that our success has a downside, a fact that is already evident in widespread extreme weather events. The ecosystems on which we depend are struggling as we encroach upon them to extract resources. As we look forward we can also remember the past; human populations have expanded before, those societies often failed, and we know why. They overstretched the capacity of the land to support their needs, and we are falling into the same pattern.

          Happily, the answers lie within and around us. We are treating the Earth as though civilization is a body that consumes goods and emits waste. But no body exists in a vacuum; waste has to go somewhere. Nature recycles waste to fuel the bodies within it. Our brilliant minds – all seven billion of them – have to collectively start thinking like the bodies within ecosystems that we are. All that is required is for us to recognize that we live in a circular system, not a linear one. This truth must percolate through all our realities, from economics to eating to energy production.

         If we can unite globally and meet this ultimatum, we stand a chance of adapting to climate change. If we instead give in to greed and conformity, Nature will choose against us. It’s up to us and our adaptive advantage to create a new paradigm that closes the loop, that feeds our future as an extraordinary species with unprecedented capabilities which, combined with the wisdom of our ancestors, can do anything it imagines.

   --- Deborah Harford, executive director of ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), at Simon Fraser University

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014  Reprinted with permission

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 11, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:
Farmers' Markets are open in Charlottetown 9AM-2PM and Summerside (9AM-1PM)

Peace Rally, 2-2:30PM, Coles Building, Richmond Street side. Organizers encourage you to bring a sign, or just show up. "Hear speakers/music then join us for Tea @ Timothy's (Great George Street). IPC joins the Canadian Peace Alliance in this pan-Canadian Day of Action."
Facebook event details

Winter Tree ID and Zine-making Workshop, 1-4PM, Victoria Park Baseball Clubhouse, Charlottetown. Aimed at ages 15-18, but all welcome.
"What’s the first step you can take to help save the world from potential environmental disaster? Look in your own backyard. Come spend the afternoon with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and learn more about trees in your area and how to identify them during wintertime. This fun, informative, free event begins with a walk in the woods, where you’ll learn the secrets behind telling one species from another. Afterwards we’ll spend some time with local zine queen, Gillian Oakley, who will help you record your new tree knowledge in your very own zine."
More details at the Facebook event link

Tomorrow, Sunday, January 12th:
Community Screening of Film: Motherload, 2-3:30PM, City Cinema, free.
"The City of Charlottetown Mayor’s Taskforce on Active Transportation invites the public to attend a free screening of MOTHERLOAD, a crowdsourced documentary about a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of the digital age, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote."
Facebook event page

**Please note that as the weather threatens, CONSULT the event page in case the screening is postponed.
------------------------

Global Chorus excerpt (full essay below):

"We need everyone courageously following their calling, and sharing their unique gift with the world as passionately as they dare. There is no one right way to act, no prescription. Simply do what you love and be of service to life."
    ----Mark Boyle, author

--------------------------
Exactly what many of us thought when we saw this letter and the original article; however, though "Upset" is a nice short headline word, "disheartened" is much more accurate. Thank you for calling this out, Richard. https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-upset-with-far-right-story-396462/

LETTER: Upset with 'far-right' story - The Guardian to Letter to the Editor

Published on Friday, January 10th, 2020

Being a multi-decade subscriber of The Guardian, I am disheartened by the far-right political viewpoints expressed by Postmedia news articles. The article, “Enough with the left hissy fits, blowing up Soleimani a no-brainer,” (Jan. 8) reads like Fox News. I appreciate the work of local reporters and would like to see more articles by them in The Guardian. 

By printing Postmedia articles like the one mentioned, The Guardian is spreading more on the Island than dew. 

Richard Baker, Argyle Shore
------------------------------------------
Also, this makes it look like it's bad (expensive) to have more voices in the Legislature, but we'll hope the benefits outweigh the costs.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-coles-building-renovations-1.5422420

3-party system on P.E.I. requires $1.55M renovation to Coles Building - CBC News online article by Kevin Yarr

Posted on Friday, January 10th, 2020

The P.E.I. government has issued a tender for renovations to the Coles Building, the temporary home of the provincial legislature. Infrastructure Minister Steven Myers said the renovations are necessary to make room now that three parties have sizeable caucuses in the legislature. "We're in a three-party situation and probably will be for a while," said Myers. "We have three big-size caucuses now and they all require space and they all have staff and they all have their own needs."

The first step is moving the archives off the fourth floor and up the street to the Atlantic Technology Centre. That's expected to be done in February, and then the actual renovations will begin. Office space will be created on the fourth floor for third-party offices. Making accessibility upgrades to the tunnel to Province House, adding accessible washrooms, and installing energy-efficient lighting is also part of the project.

The cost is budgeted at $1.55 million over two fiscal years. The renovation is expected to take about eight months, but it could be delayed if moving the archives takes longer than expected. It will also have to work around the spring sitting of the legislature.
-30-

-------------------------
Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Manifesto, which "combines a practical guide to reducing or eliminating dependence on money with potent reflections on why we might want to", writes the Global Chorus essay for January 11th.

      We are living through an age of ecological, social and personal crises, and the hour seems dark indeed. The issues involved are complex and run deep, all the way down to the cultural narratives that we’ve built our civilization and politico-economic models on. We have walked this path for so long now that we no longer recognize the stories that have woven themselves into the very fabric of our lives. But that is all they are – stories – and as we know, stories can change.
      Is there hope of us changing course before we join the rapidly growing list of species gone extinct? That I do not know, if I am honest. At this hour of the night, it is hard to see the dawn, inevitable as she is. What I do know is this: any hope we do have lies in our willingness to stand up to the challenges we face and the forces driving them, with skilfulness, intelligence, dignity, honour and great heart. Now is not the time for half-measures or cowardice. Now is the time for effective action.
      This will involve billions of people doing billions of different things. We need everyone courageously following their calling, and sharing their unique gift with the world as passionately as they dare. There is no one right way to act, no prescription. Simply do what you love and be of service to life.
      What is certain, however, is that we will need to localize our lives if we are to create healthy ecological systems, and we are going to have to radically alter the spirit in which we meet our needs if we want to create a world worth sustaining. Therefore, I believe that Permaculture values and gift culture principles must be at the heart of whatever comes next.
       We need a revolution – a revolution in consciousness, in the cultural myths we live our lives by, and in our politic and economic systems. Anything less than that will be an absolute disservice to the community of life we share Earth with and, ultimately, to ourselves.  
     — Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Manifesto

http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/

essay from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

http://globalchorus.ca/

January 10, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Fridays for the Future, 3:30PM, Province House, Grafton Street side, all welcome. Today the protest is also about standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en people, who continue to protest a pipeline being put on their property, in British Columbia. (story below)
Facebook event link
"We call for solidarity actions from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities worldwide who uphold Indigenous sovereignty and recognize the urgency of stopping resource extraction projects that threaten the lives of future generations."
-------------------------------------------
Saturday, Janaury 11th:
Peace Rally, 2PM, Coles Building (Richmond Street side), sponsored by the Island Peace Committee (IPC). All welcome.

Next Thursday, January 16th:
Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, 10AM, Coles Building. Topic: Report of the Commission on the Lands Protection Act (2013). The committee will meet to receive a briefing on the Report of the Commission on the Lands Protection Act (2013) by Horace Carver, QC, Lands Protection Act Commissioner.

This should also be live-streamed, if you cannot attend in the Gallery.
------------------------
Thursday, January 23rd:
Blanket Exercise, facilitated by Chrissy MacPhail, 1:30-3:30PM, St. Paul's Hall (next to the Church, 101 Richmond Street). RSVP by Friday, January 17th to atweten@mcpei.ca or (902) 388-4613.
"Developed in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996 –which recommended education about Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation — the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) covers more than 500 years in a 90-minute experiential workshop that aims to foster understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Since its creation, the Exercise has been updated several times to include new information such as the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation final report". https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/about/
-------------------------
Article: https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/natural-gas-pipeline-company-posts-72-hour-notice-to-clear-way-in-northern-b-c-1.4758408

Natural gas pipeline company posts 72-hour notice to clear way in northern B.C. - CTV News article by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Published on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

HOUSTON, B.C -- A natural gas pipeline company has posted an injunction order giving opponents 72 hours to clear the way toward its work site in northern British Columbia, although the company says its focus remains finding a peaceful resolution that avoids enforcement.

The order stamped Tuesday by the B.C. Supreme Court registry addresses members of the Wet'suwet'en Nation and supporters who say the Coastal GasLink project has no authority without consent from the five hereditary clan chiefs.

It comes one year after the RCMP's enforcement of a similar injunction along the same road sparked rallies across Canada in support of Indigenous rights and raised questions about land claims.

The order requires the defendants to remove any obstructions including cabins and gates on any roads, bridges or work sites the company has been authorized to use.If they don't remove the obstructions themselves, the court says the company is at liberty to remove them.

It gives authorization to the RCMP to arrest and remove anyone police have "reasonable or probable grounds" to believe has knowledge of the order and is contravening it. "The police retain discretion as to timing and manner of enforcement of this order," it says.

Coastal GasLink, however, says posting the order was procedural and the company has no plans to request police action. The B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction to Coastal GasLink on Dec. 31. The order stamped Tuesday provides details of the court injunction.

Previous injunction and enforcement orders remained in effect until the new order was issued, Coastal GasLink spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton said.

Obstructing access was already prohibited under the previous orders and they also included enforcement provisions. "We continue to believe that dialogue is preferable to confrontation while engagement and a negotiated resolution remain possible," Wilton said in an email. The company declined an interview request.

The order does not apply to a metal gate on the west side of a bridge outside the Unist'ot'en camp, unless it is used to prevent or impede the workers' access.

Hereditary chiefs negotiated last year with the RCMP for the gate to remain outside the camp, which is home to some members of one of the First Nation's 13 house groups, so long as it would not be used to prevent workers from accessing the work site.

Fourteen people were arrested by police officers at a checkpoint constructed along the road leading to both the Unist'ot'en camp and the Coastal GasLink work site on Jan. 7, 2019. The company has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the 670-kilometre pipeline route, but the five Wet'suwet'en hereditary clan chiefs say no one can access the land without their consent.

The pipeline is part of the $40-billion LNG Canada project that will export Canadian natural gas to Asian markets. Coastal GasLink shared photos Tuesday of what it says are more than 100 trees that have been felled across the logging road.

The RCMP said its officers came across the fallen trees on Monday as they were conducting regular safety patrols along the Morice West Forest Service Road. In a statement, the RCMP said some trees along the road are a safety hazard because they were partly cut and the wind could cause them to fall without warning.

(end of excerpt)
-30-

-------------------------------------------

Morgan Spurlock wrote the essay for January 10th of Global Chorus.

I’m an optimist and I will always trust in the goodness of people above all else.

While governments or politicians may jockey and shift their values to get re-elected or to serve a corporate bottom line, I believe the power and influence of the common man will remain a constant. The collective wisdom and bravery of a society can stand the test of time and topple any tyranny.

We just need to continue to muster the courage to stand together for what’s right, versus what is easy.

We need to be willing to make sacrifices. We need to be willing to do more with less. We need to shake complacency and apathy. But most of all, we need to embrace the idea and reality of the living Earth as a member of our own family. We must treat  her with the same respect and love we would our own grandmother, and we have to bear the burden when we fail to do so.

When I was a child growing up in West Virginia, I looked at the mountains and trees and rivers that surrounded my house as part of my “home.” This … all of this … was where I lived. But as I grew older, I became blind to my surroundings and ignorant of my impact. It takes a wake-up call for us to understand a world bigger than ourselves. For me, that was the birth of my son.

And because of him, I believe we can take these blinders off and collectively make the changes we need to build and grow our home. To give him, and all of our children, the planet they deserve. At least, in my heart, that is my hope.

   
--- Morgan Spurlock, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, political activist,  documentary filmmaker (Supersize Me and Supersize Me t2 -- Holy Chicken)

his website:
http://morganspurlock.com/
and an update on his career in the past two years, since admitting to sexual harassment of one of his employees:
https://www.thewrap.com/morgan-spurlock-attempting-a-comeback-after-harassment-admissions/

from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 http://globalchorus.ca/

January 9, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Legislative Standing Committees are beginning to meet again this month.
The current schedule is here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/calendar

Today, Thursday, January 9th (subject to storm postponement -- check the Legislative Assembly website and Facebook page for news:

Special Committee on Poverty in PEI meeting, 1:30PM, Coles Building and on-line at the Legislative Assembly website,
Topic: The committee will receive a briefing from the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI, represented by Chief Darlene Bernard and Don MacKenzie, Executive Director.

Background:
This committee was struck in July 2019, as a result of the passing of Motion 36 (excerpts, below)....
"..created to consult with members of the public and community groups across the province...(to) report back to the Legislative Assembly within twelve months with recommendations to establish clear definitions and measures of poverty, and a living wage for Prince Edward Island...(and with) fully costed recommendations regarding the creation of a Basic Income Guarantee pilot for Prince Edward Island.

Membership is:
Green (Official Opposition) MLAs Trish Altass (Chair) and Hannah Bell,
Liberal (Third Party) members Sonny Gallant and Gordon McNeilly, and
Progressive Conservative (Government) members Ernie Hudson (also Minister of Social Development and Housing) and Natalie Jameson.


Also today:
Fundraiser supporting those affected by Australian wildfires, 4-7PM
, Founders' Food Hall and Market, 6 Prince Street, Charlottetown. Music, with a talk by Anna Keenan at 4:30PM.
Facebook event link
------------------
Recent News (and commentary):

Tuesday, the latest development in the slightly bobbled school lunch pilot/program was announced.
from: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/pei-government-launching-5-healthy-school-lunch-program-in-january-2020-395231/

P.E.I. government launching $5 healthy school lunch program in January 2020 - The Guardian artilce by Stu Neatby

Published on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020
(excerpts, and bold is mine)

Some parents and students will start to see the roll-out of a healthy school lunch program, which will be provided to students at a maximum cost of $5, MLAs heard on Tuesday.

A pilot project, to be implemented at six schools starting this month, will also provide financial assistance for families who might find this cost to be a barrier. The lunch options will provide locally-produced food and will also (have) an educational component.

Staff with the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning provided an update on the program to members of a standing committee on Tuesday afternoon.

The pilot project will involve two dedicated staff working out of Kinkora Regional High School. The staff will provide meals for Amherst Cove Consolidated and Somerset Consolidated. A second component of the pilot project will work with existing food vendors at École Pierre Chiasson, West Kent and Montague Regional High.

The goal of the pilot is to prepare the school lunch program to be implemented across all 62 schools in P.E.I. by the fall of 2020.

John Cummings, executive director of education services with the Department of Education, said the program would be operated and overseen by a non-profit organization, separate from school administrators.

During the meeting, Liberal MLA Heath MacDonald questioned why the lunch program would not simply be provided to all students, free of charge. "We're likely looking at somewhere in the vicinity of $300,000 to $500,000 a year to feed, likely, every child in the schools,” MacDonald said. "Would it not be wise for government to say, 'you know what? Why don't we just do this for a year and pay for it?'

Education Minister Brad Trivers said he was attempting to make the program fiscally responsible. As part of the pilot, parents within the Kinkora family of schools will be able to pay for the food program online, while parents who find the cost prohibitive could be given financial assistance. (Not sure how the parents with kids in the three other schools will be able to pay for lunches)

"We will see how many people actually choose to pay and how many don't," Trivers said. "This is part of what the pilot's going to find out." Trivers added the pilot project will measure how many more students will be buying their lunch with the reduced cost and altered menu.

Progressive Conservative MLA James Aylward asked about schools that have contracts with existing food service providers, such as Chartwells. “When you have a for-profit organization preparing food, is the $5 price-point going to have to cover not only the cost but the profit margin as well?”

Cummings said a grant would likely be provided to private vendors to lower prices for meals. “There may need to be a supplement provided to that vendor to achieve that," Cummings said.

(end of excerpts)


While there are a lot of good things about this getting going, I wonder about the hoops parents unable to pay will be asked to go through to "be given financial assistance." how Chartwells will be compensated or "supplemented", how local food will be measured, and why weren't schools built with kitchens adequate to make lunches on the first place?
------------------------------
Regarding The "Hauz", a seven storey condo/retail space apparently planned for the Charlottetown waterfront near Founders' Hall....

7-storey Charlottetown waterfront development to have hotel rooms, apartments and condos - CBC News online article by Natalia Goodwin

108-unit building will contain 48 micro-unit apartments 

Published on Tuesday, January 6th, 2020, on CBC News Online

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-charlottetown-development-waterfront-1.5416530



submitted by Hauz, Inc.

A development on Charlottetown's waterfront is being built for those who want to buy, rent or just stay for the night. The new building will sit on the currently empty lot between Founders' Food Hall and Market and the condominium on the water. (Does anyone else find that location description vague?)

The building is expected to be seven storeys, and offer 108 units. Of those, 48 will be micro-unit apartments. Each micro-unit will be about 300 square feet, equipped with a full kitchen. The micro-units are intended to be long-term, year-round rentals.

The building will also have 48 hotel rooms. They will be suite-style rooms to be rented nightly in the summer with longer-term options the rest of the year.

On the top two floors there will be 12 condos for sale. The ground level will be home to social spaces, the hotel lobby and commercial tenants.....


An architect on the project hopes that this project will ease the housing crunch....

There will be 63 parking spaces, some above and some underground. The developer also has 20 spaces off-site to help accommodate hotel parking. The site is currently being prepared for construction, and work is set to start in the spring, with the hope of opening by summer 2021.

Parking will be an issue. A building that tall will be an issue.....

I don't think this will really do much to help the housing crunch in Charlottetown, and it certainly looks, overheard on social media:

"Another ugly, inappropriately large monstrosity for our waterfront."


While I appreciate the calls for protection of green spaces near the Victoria Park/old Prince Edward Home site by the Charlottetown City Council and mayor, I don't know if they really have any sort of plan for protecting open waterfront spaces for public enjoyment and certainly future issues with climate change.
----------------------------
Today's Global Chorus essay is by Alexandra Cousteau, protector of waters, and granddaughter of famed oceanographer. Here is a biography of Alexandra Cousteau:
http://www.speakupforblue.com/alexandra-cousteau

Blue Legacy videos on Vimeo
https://vimeo.com/bluelegacy

As a child, I spent countless afternoons on the ocean shore examining tide pools. Populated by many strange, mysterious – and exquisitely beautiful – creatures, the tide pools were like my own personal aquariums. Watching these miniature ecosystems thrive, I marvelled at how even a brackish puddle can serve as a cradle of life.

     A few years ago, I returned to the tide pools of my childhood, and I found them covered in algae and missing the diversity of life I once admired. My aquariums had transformed into dead zones in less than a generation.

Our planet is changing rapidly. From overpopulation and threats to global food security, to the water
crisis, deforestation, pollution and climate change – the world we will leave to our children is fundamentally different from the one we inherited from our parents. It will require new thinking, new expectations, new collaborations and, above all, ingenuity.

This is the moment in history when the choices we make as individuals and as a generation will shape the future we inhabit. I believe there is no greater aspiration than the one to protect our children and the quality of life they can expect from this uniquely beautiful place called Earth. We must never give up hope in our individual ability to find a way to change – and to leave this world a better place than we found it.
     — Alexandra Cousteau, explorer, filmmaker, water advocate, founder of Blue Legacy www.alexandracousteau.com

from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 8, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Many events for today are postponed for a week or so.

Thursday, January 9th:
Fundraiser supporting those affected by Australian wildfires, 4-7PM, Founders' Food Hall and Market, 6 Prince Street, Charlottetown. Music, with a talk by Anna Keenan at 4:30PM.
Facebook event link

Saturday, January 11th:
Peace Rally, 2PM, Coles Building (Richmond Street side), sponsored by the Island Peace Committee (IPC). "IPC invites your participation and help in organizing this event - islandpeacecommittee@gmail.com 902 368-7337"
----------------------------
Excerpt from the January 8th Global Chorus essay (full essay below):

"We think of survivalism as being all about stockpiling canned goods and guns. It’s not my idea, but it seems right to me that true survivalism has to be about building community  … creating strategies which if necessary can bypass the hierarchies of power."
   -- Bruce Cockburn

--------------------------
From 2017, but good suggestions to now-Premier Denny King as to then-Premier MacLauchlan:

Opportunities for a legacy - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Saturday, January 7th, 2017

With the following four suggestions, I invite our premier to lead all of Canada, create a legacy, and bring Islanders a better life.

1) Allow us to vote in 2019 with proportional representation with the model MPP that won the plebiscite. We can be the birthplace of true democracy as well as confederacy.
2) Create a pilot project now for Basic Income Guarantee. We will work with the federal government and be the birthplace of social reform.
3) Bring high speed Internet to all P.E.I. With a contract of fair and open bidding, we will be leaders of small businesses and educational opportunities.
4) Provide Islanders with pharmacare. We could be a pilot project with federal assistance and be the birthplace of pharmacare. Islanders paid $270 million over the past 10 years that could have been saved if we had pharmacare. Saying we can't afford it is like saying we can't afford a sink stopper because the water bill is too high.

Tommy Douglas, the greatest Canadian, balanced Saskatchewan's budget and then brought in Medicare, brought electricity over all his province, organized a model civil service, and so much more.
Premier MacLauchlan, this is your moment in history. Is it to be a legacy or continued disappointment?
Lynne Thiele, Stratford

---------------------------
January 8th Global Chorus essay by singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn:

     There is always hope.
     Humans are wired to hope even in the most impossible circumstances. Sometimes it seems forlorn and foolish. Sometimes it is what gives us the energy to confront and survive the things which threaten us. I find myself wondering which kind I hold for the future.
     I go around with a heart full of hope which, much of the time, seems to defy logic. Look at the things we are doing to ourselves, to each other, to the planetary systems which sustain us! We are digging ourselves into a pretty big hole. I feel time speeding up. Everywhere there appears to be more collapse, more chaos. Brilliant people are trying to address the problems of environmental degradation and economic injustice. Some of them I’ve been blessed to know. Whenever I look around me, though, I see the world’s decision makers guided by, and steering their constituencies using, short-term self-interest, fear and greed. I see yet another piece of the Nature that is our inheritance squandered on “development.” I see rage, overt or subliminal, ruling our relations with one another. Even so, there are grace and dignity to be found in unexpected places. There are inspirational human beings. There is love! Can we fix things? Not sure. Much is already beyond repair. Can we slow the rush toward becoming part of the Great Extinction that seems to be occurring? I think so. Long enough to allow the brilliant among us to discover a remedy? Maybe.
     We think of survivalism as being all about stockpiling canned goods and guns. It’s not my idea, but it seems right to me that true survivalism has to be about building community  … creating strategies which if necessary can bypass the hierarchies of power.
     The universe will continue on its course. The planet will carry on. With us? Without us? I hope with. Which sort of hope is that?
     — Bruce Cockburn, OC, singer/songwriter, guitarist, social activist


from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 http://globalchorus.ca/

January 7, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

This afternoon:
Charlottetown City Council meeting, 5-7PM,The PEI Fight for Affordable Housing: Our group has been given group time and all are welcome to attend. Please come out and support!

Tonight, Tuesday, January 7th:
Nature PEI AGM and presentation "Birding Down Under", with Rosemary Curley and Diane Griffin, 7:30PM, Beaconsfield Carriage House. All welcome.
-----------------------------------
"Refuge now isn’t simply reaching higher ground....
Our refuge lies in co-operation with neighbours: human, animal, trees and microbes. Our hearts, our heads, our hands must work together to create shelter in place. And our reliance on place – the power of Nature – must be honoured and recognized as the source of solutions."
       --- excerpt from the January 7th Global Chorus essay by Gloria Flores

--------------------------------

Islander Anna Keenan, originally from Australia, wrote on Sunday, January 5th, 2020, on social media:

To everyone asking me 'what can I do' about the Australian bushfires: the answer is to push your governments - local, provincial and national - for way more ambitious climate action.

I've been working on this issue since 2006. We knew then that fire danger would increase. We are now, in 2020, experiencing about 1 degree C of global warming. And we've got another half a degree locked in.

Australia's people and ecology are taking a HUGE climate hit this year. It will at least partially recover. This year is extreme, it's not a 'new normal' yet.

However, we know now that if we do nothing, then the earth is heading for 4-5 degrees of global warming. In that scenario, what we are seeing this season would become 'normal'. Every year or so. It's not OK.

Every part of the world has it's own impacts to consider: the melting arctic and alpine areas; the impacts of typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones and rising sea levels on the coasts; expanding deserts, floods. Farmers are often hit the hardest. And in every part of the world, what we are experiencing today is 'adaptable', at 1 degree of warming. Insurance can pay for it if you're lucky enough to have it.

4-5 degrees is not adaptable. Insurance premiums will become so unaffordable they'll make doing business impossible.

So what can we do?

We can avoid the most hellish scenarios if we put our best efforts in. And I don't mean just changing your lightbulbs. We need political action to:
1) regulate and phase out the fossil fuel industry,
2) invest in energy efficiency, including re-localizing key parts of our economies (food, leisure, manufacturing), and
3) rapidly scale up the new, sustainable energy systems for electricity, heat and transport

To get this done, we'll need to look after transitioning workers, with retraining programs, support for sustainable entrepreneurship, and a basic income guarantee. And we'll need to make it affordable for everyone to invest in the transition, with loan programs to cover the capital costs of things that pay for themselves in the long term: like insulation, solar and wind, electric vehicles.

This is the Green New Deal. Anything less is unacceptable.

-30-

-----------------------

News from the Office of the Auditor General, via excerpts from this Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/jane-macadam-peis-auditor-general-to-retire-394669/

Jane MacAdam, P.E.I.'s auditor general, to retire - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby

Published on Monday, January 6th, 2020 (edited)

Jane MacAdam, the Island's auditor general, has announced she will retire March 31. MacAdam has been the auditor general since 2013. The Office of the Auditor General produces a yearly report, with audits related to several topics. The office has unparallelled access to internal documents from every department of the province of P.E.I. The office's reports are often closely read by political watchers on the Island.

When asked about which reports stood out the most during her tenure, MacAdam mentioned three.

One was a 2018 collaborative audit of climate change commitments conducted with the auditors general of almost all provinces and territories. The report found most jurisdictions were not on track to meet their carbon reduction commitments.

Another was a collaborative audit of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation completed in 2016. The audit found several shortcomings with the governance model of the ALC, as well as a lack of independence of the crown corporation from the governments of the four provinces. A follow-up report last summer found many of the recommendations to be still outstanding.

A third report MacAdam mentioned was the 2016 examination into the E-gaming initiative, a failed plan to establish P.E.I. as a regulatory hub for online gambling. The initiative was soon linked to a plan to establish a tourism loyalty card program, which was also scrapped.

Under the province's Audit Act, the choice of the new auditor general will need to be approved by two-thirds of members of the legislative assembly. MacAdam's final report as auditor general will be presented sometime before mid-March.
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News from Elections PEI
January 06, 2020
Increase of Contribution Limits
Elections PEI, in accordance with the Election Expenses Act, has adjusted the annual contribution limit to a political party in a calendar year. Section12.2 of the Election Expenses Act states,Effective each January 1 after the January 1 referred to in subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall adjust the amount determined under this section for the previous January 1 by adding $50 to the amount. Tim Garrity, Chief Electoral Officer of Prince Edward Island explains,“The annual contribution limit for the 2020 calendar year has now been set at $3,050, which is an increase of $50 per person.” Garrity continues,“Keep in mind, contributions to political parties can only be accepted by residents of Prince Edward Island. Contributions from anonymous donors, trade unions and companies or corporations are no longer permitted under current legislation.”For any questions regarding the adjustment of the limit, please contact Elections PEI.
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Gloria Flora wrote this Global Chorus essay for January 7th (in its entirety below). She is founder and director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions, a "not-for-profit organization decided to the sustainability of public lands and the plant, animal and human communities that depend on them."
http://www.s-o-solutions.org/people.html
A intriguing biography of her at the link.

"We must pass through the eye of a needle with inexorable forces, a cacophony of warning bells and a growing distant roar at our backs. Spiritual leaders from around the globe repeat the voices of the ancients: the time has come, the shift is now. Yesterday we didn’t have to remember or listen or even think about it. But today it’s driving us – to action on good days, to madness on others. Ready or not.

My home lies at the intersection of primeval glaciers and ice-age floods. When the ice dams broke, releasing torrents measured in cubic miles, I wonder if the people living in its path knew what was coming. What were the signs, the sounds? Did their stories tell them to run for their lives to higher ground? Or was it just luck that some survived along with enough plants and animals to rebuild their known world? Refuge now isn’t simply reaching higher ground.

Our refuge lies in co-operation with neighbours: human, animal, trees and microbes. Our hearts, our heads, our hands must work together to create shelter in place. And our reliance on place – the power of Nature – must be honoured and recognized as the source of solutions. Permaculture tells us to care for the Earth, care for people and fair-share the surplus; we would be wise to listen.

So let us rise up, enfold our loved ones of all species, define, refine, love and shape ourselves into the future … right through the eye of a needle."


--- — Gloria Flora, Sustainability Leader Reconnecting People to Their Lands

from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 6, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today, Monday, January 6th:
Ask MLA Michele Beaton - Online Event, 10AM-1PM, The Mermaid-Stratford MLA hosts this updated version of a call-in. Details at:
Facebook event listing

Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 7th:
Nature PEI AGM and presentation "Birding Down Under", with Rosemary Curley and Diane Griffin, 7:30PM, Beaconsfield Carriage House.
"...Diane and Rosemary will highlight their experience with an amazing variety of habitats and birds in Australia, profiling a small slice of the 850 Australian bird species from north Queensland to Tasmania and noting in passing some memorable moments with non-birds. Most bird species seen were endemic to Australia , but some familiar species were also encountered. A guided tour to 4 endangered species rounded out the expedition.
Diane and Rosemary are both graduates of Acadia University,and are long-time members of Nature PEI who have participated in the Maritime Breeding Bird Atlas projects, Christmas Bird Counts and backyard birding. Diane is currently serving in the Senate of Canada and Rosemary is co-author of a recent book on PEI mammals."

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This will be especially poignant considering the fires in Australia and the toll on wildlife.

Quote from Global Chorus for today (full essay below):

"We think people can live more simply and peacefully if they want, but we don’t know if they want to."
     --— Moi Enomenga

-------------------------

Opinion piece: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/regional-perspectives/russell-wangersky-clash-of-the-think-tanks-393891/

Clash of the Think Tanks - The Guardian column by Russell Wangersky

Published on Friday, January 3rd, 2010, in The Guardian

You say tomato, I say grossly over-fattened capon who would lay off his own mother to protect his stock options.

So we disagree.

On Thursday, one Canadian think tank released a report claiming Canada’s top executives are grossly overpaid.

On Friday, another Canadian think tank released a report arguing they absolutely weren’t.

The sad part is, you knew what both reports were going to say before they were even released — and also that neither of them is necessarily wrong.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives was the first into the fray, releasing its report pointing out that, “Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs made 227 times more than the average worker made in 2018, surpassing all previous records.”

The CCPA report, which has been coming out for 13 years, also pointed out that the 100 CEOs at the top of the pay scale in Canada earned, on average, the annual wage of the average Canadian employee by 10:09 a.m. on their first day back at the office, Jan. 2. Those top CEOs saw their pay increase by an average of $1.8 million — or 18 per cent — between 2017 and 2018. Down on the factory floor, the average wage increase was 2.6 per cent, or around $1,300.

Not to be out done, the Fraser Institute promptly released a competing study, arguing that CEOs deserve their multimillion-dollar annual salaries, because the jobs of those CEOs are more and more complicated, and fraught with risks of dismissal.

The Fraser Institute study claims, “studies comparing CEO to worker pay are flawed. They compare apples to oranges, for example, the overall compensation of top 100 CEOs with the cash pay of all workers.”

The Fraser Institute study goes on to argue that the proper comparison would be to compare “all senior management workers with all workers,” which, of course, waters down the whole concept of whether Canada’s top CEOs are overpaid, and whether the wage gap between the top and the bottom is growing.

Overall, it’s a bit like debates over minimum wage — people representing workers argue that increasing the minimum wage means a stronger economy, because minimum-wage workers aren’t hoarding the small amounts in increased wages, but spending them. Business groups argue that companies can’t see how they can pay out the increased wages.

Both can be true. Heck, you can probably find business owners who would agree absolutely that increased wages would lift the economy — but are still critically concerned about how those increases would fit into the business plan for their own business.

What’s different is viewpoint.

Think of it this way: we’re sharing a telescope. You look through it and say, “Those birds look very, very big.” You hand me the telescope, I turn it around and look through it the other way, and then say, “No, those birds look very, very small.”

We’re actually both right: depending on the parameters of our research, the birds actually can look very big or very small, without actually changing their size in any way.

And that’s as true for economic research as it is for anything else. Sometimes, what you choose to study is just as important as how you study it.

In the end, you probably won’t be able to convince me that multi-million dollar salaries are necessary.

You certainly won’t be able to convince me that salaries for top executives should rise by 18 per cent in a year when employees’ salaries rise by just 2.6 per cent, any more than you can convince me that it’s fine to pay those senior executives primarily with stock options that let them bypass 50 per cent of the income tax that every other worker would have to pay.

But that’s my telescope — I’m nearer the bottom looking up than at the top looking down.

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Global Chorus essay for January 6th:
Moi Enomenga, Huaorani leader, president of the Quehueri’ono Association (Ecuador)

"My father was a man who could see the future. He told me that things would not be easy for us, that the strangers would destroy the forest with their machines. So I learned from him and that is why I have been working for so many years to find a way to keep our communities, our Huaorani people, together. Here, we have many problems with oil companies and the pollution they cause, as well as the impacts they have on our traditional way of life here in the Amazon forest.

The Huaorani people have always lived in the forest. We are the forest. It has been our home for thousands of years. It still is our home, even though now we know more about the cities and the things they offer. The young people in the community who saw these things were dazzled and wanted to leave, and I wondered what would be left of us and the way we used to live. My father told me that this would happen and I suppose that in some way I was prepared, maybe more prepared than the others. So we started to think of ways to keep people here in the community and not to lose our identity. People call it tourism, but what we see is a way to keep things from falling apart, of letting people see what is happening to us.

People tell me that this is happening all over the planet. The oil that the companies are taking out of the ground here in the Amazon is causing big problems, not just here but all around the world, and changing the climate. People say the forest will dry up and the world will collapse if we don’t change the way we live.

Here, we don’t have what other people in the world have: we don’t have televisions or Internet or cars, and if the cost of having them is that the world – our world – disappears, then we ask ourselves, “What good are they?” We think people can live more simply and peacefully if they want, but we don’t know if they want to.
     --— Moi Enomenga

You can keep up with him via his Facebook page.
Here is a 2013 National Geographic article which discusses these these plans, and an update from last summer from CNN.

from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 5, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Last Days: "Tread Lightly" Art Exhibit, The Guild (during open hours, and probably coming down Monday), "This joint exhibition by Carina Phillips and Niki Heddle intends to bring awareness to respectable interactions with the environment, acknowledging its delicacy as well as its strength, and the beauty it has to offer. Both artists integrate whimsy and playfulness in their sculptural creations and installations to remind the viewer of the immense, innate connection we have with the natural world."

Monday, January 6th:
Ask MLA Michele Beaton - Online Event, 10AM-1PM
, The Mermaid-Stratford MLA hosts so you can "...ask...your questions on the @peigreencaucus Instagram, Twitter or message us on Facebook! Her responses will be shared on our Instagram and her Facebook."
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If you went to the Premier's Levee and want to see if your picture got taken, go here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peigov/albums/72157712492719731?
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On Australia's fires, two links to opinion pieces:

This is a tough read, a man's reflections on what's happening in his beloved Australia, and it calls truth to power (link only): https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2020/01/02/Maintain-Your-Rage/

Maintain Your Rage - The Tyee article by Ian Gill

Someday soon you may be like me, watching your homeland burn while its leader betrays it.

Published in The Tyee on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020


Similar, with some devastating photos of the effects on some wildlife: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-mourning-a-disappearing-world-as-australia-burns/

Opinion: Mourning a disappearing world as Australia burns - The Globe and Mail article by Jessica Friedmann, Braidwood, Australia

Published Thursday, January 2nd, 2020
-------------------------------------------------

The January 5th Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet is by Jason L. Robinson, who founded the on-line community of positive communications via the internet, Sustainability Television.

Here is a lovely interview with Todd MacLean from Fall 2014 about the project:
https://www.sustainabilitytelevision.com/news/global-chorus-interview-editor-todd-maclean

and more about the Community:
https://www.sustainabilitytelevision.com/about
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Jason Robinson's January 5th essay:

"See every day as a sacred experience.

We and the Earth are one – there is no separation. The Earth and everything on it is a manifestation of divine will and there is a lesson, an opportunity, in every moment of every day.

Pay attention to the randomness of life, recognize and act on the gifts the Earth provides.
Every interaction, every person you meet, every bird that chirps, every single thing positive or negative is a divine moment that will by your choice and attention be forever changed, altered, shaped and defined.
We are part of the evolutionary process.
Recognize the role you play.
See every moment of your life as an opportunity to serve others, to relieve their suffering, to meet their needs, and by extension have your needs met as well.

Make the future in your mind
Imagine the world as you want to see it, and make it happen. Recognize that you are co-creating the future with every thought, word, deed and choice you make. Your actions make the difference – and to create change you must act.
Choose wisely
With every choice you decide what the future will be.
Choose wisely … because it has repercussions.

Thoughts become things
Seek love above all else.

There is no reason to fear but fear itself.
The act of fear creates the thing you don’t want.
The act of believing creates the things you do want.

If thoughts become things, then it’s easy to see how together we are co-creating the world with every decision we make.
Heaven isn’t some far-off dream – it’s right here, right now. To save the world all we need to do is to start with loving and caring for the world and each other a lot more.
In essence, see every day as a sacred experience and your life as a divine journey.

Believe."

     -- Jason Robinson


from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 http://globalchorus.ca/

January 4, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Farmers' Markets are open in Summerside (9AM-1PM)
and Charlottetown (9AM-2PM)

CBC Radio's The House, 9AM, features an interview with Donald Savoie on his book Democracy in Canada: The Disintegration of Our Institutions, and atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe and sustainable energy economist Mark Jaccard "highlight the urgent and specific actions needed from everyday citizens and governments alike because the evidence is clear: doing nothing isn’t an option." Also, Baroness Diana Barran, the U.K.’s minister of loneliness, on the challenge of tackling social isolation.

A very relevant hour of information. As it is prerecorded, you can listen to the podcast anytime here, the January 4th Episode:
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-64-cbc-news-the-house/clip/15752737-connecting-with-people-to-find-common-ground-on-climate-change
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"Consume less, share more. If we consumed to meet our needs, not our wants, and remembered that true value is in noticing life rather than being noticed for what we own, we would chart a fully hopeful and sustainable future."
-- Merrell-Ann Phare, from the Global Chorus essay, below
--------------------------------
The January 4th Global Chorus essay is written by Merrell-Ann Phare, who is a lawyer, writer and executive director of The Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a non-governmental organization for First Nations peoples' environmental issues, especially land and water rights. This is such a good essay.


Merrell-Ann Phare

     "The question before us is this: how do we create a sustainable future? Our solution is both simple and maybe the most difficult thing we have ever done. It is this: consume less, share more. If we consumed to meet our needs, not our wants, and remembered that true value is in noticing life rather than being noticed for what we own, we would chart a fully hopeful and sustainable future. Our societies would grow and contract where needed, depending on human and ecosystem needs and limits. If we consumed less we would have more to share. Sharing between people, communities and nations would provide where local ecosystems cannot fully do so. What would we share? Wealth, goods, healing, knowledge, community, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation.

    "What do we do to get to a 'consume less, share more' mindset? The first step is modest but absolutely critical: you must reconnect to the Earth. So, go outside. If you live in a city, find a green space. If you frequent green spaces, go farther out, into wilder spaces. Listen to the sounds of the ecosystem. It supports you. Breathe the air. Find water there, bend down to it and notice it. Indigenous elders say to introduce yourself to all the new water you meet. Run your fingers through it. Sustainability of the Earth requires us to remember we are in a relationship of reciprocity with all of Nature. We need to rebuild that relationship.

     "If this seems like too much, just recall: when we are silent and still in Nature, we feel the grace that resides there, in Nature and within us. That stillness is a wordless knowing of who we are, separate from all the chatter, demands, goals, thoughts, fears, emotions and experiences that are always roiling around in our minds. When we are there, in that calm, still space, one other important thing happens: we know – not we think, we know – that there is hope. So stay there. And then keep going."

       -- Merrell-Ann Phare, lawyer, writer, artist, environmentalist

from Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca/

January 3, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Excerpt from the Global Chorus anthology entry today:

"I’ve seen it time and time again – the youth of the world, whether they be affluent or on the ragged edge of survival, believe with all their heart that we can steer this Spaceship Earth of ours away from the iceberg dead ahead. They’ve inherited our problems and aren’t content to make do – they want to change course."

    -- Scott Kennedy

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Prince William Launches Multimillion Dollar Earthshot Prize for Climate Action - EcoWatch article by Jordan Davidson

Published on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019, at EcoWatch
https://www.ecowatch.com/prince-william-prize-climate-action-2643128397.html

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the throne, announced today a multimillion-dollar prize to encourage the world's greatest problem solvers to tackle the climate crisis, as Reuters reported.

The newly announced Earthshot Prize, which bills itself as "a decade of action to repair the Earth," has been planned for the last year, according to a statement from Kensington Palace. The prize will be given to five winners a year for the next 10 years starting in 2021 with the goal of funding 50 creative and achievable solutions to the world's greatest threat by 2030, as CNN reported.

The name Earthshot is a play on the term moonshot, which is shorthand for labelling ambitious and groundbreaking goals.

"A set of unique challenges, rooted in science, will aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions," says the Earthshot Prize website. "Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalyzed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, we want our Earthshot challenges to create a new wave of ambition and innovation around finding ways to help save the planet."

The royal family is no stranger to the climate crisis. For years, William's father Prince Charles has spoken out about conservation and the devastation that the climate crisis brings. William's younger brother, Harry, became president of the conservation group African Parks in 2017. Earlier this year, Harry and his wife dedicated their official Instagram account to organizations and people tackling the climate crisis, as EcoWatch reported.

Now, 37-year-old Prince William is dedicating millions to the largest crisis the world faces.

"We face a stark choice: Either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve," Prince William said in a statement, as CNN reported. "The next ten years presents us with one of our greatest tests — a decade of change to repair the Earth."

The prize aims to usher in a spirit of optimism and possibility to replace the current pessimism associated with the climate crisis, according to The Telegraph. It aims to generate new technologies, policies and solutions for issues of climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water, according to Reuters.

The prize will lay out a set of five unique challenges rooted in science. The challenges will be announced in coming months with an annual award ceremony in different cities around the world from 2021 to 2030, as The Telegraph reported.

There are no details yet about just how much the prizes will be or who is funding it, just a statement saying that the project is supported by a global coalition of philanthropists and organizations, as Reuters reported.

To help with the reveal of the Earthshot Prize, Prince William enlisted the help of acclaimed conservationist Sir David Attenborough to voice a short movie accompanying the announcement.

As The Telegraph reported, in the short film, Attenborough says, "The spirit of the moonshot can guide us today as we confront the serious challenges we face on Earth. This year Prince William and a global alliance launch the most prestigious Environment Prize in history. The Earthshot Prize. A global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently. Visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time."

In addition to a significant financial reward, winners will receive public recognition for their work that will hopefully inspire leaders in business and government to collaborate and scale the projects up, according to The Telegraph.

"In just ten years we can go from fear to hope, from disaster to discovery and from inertia to inspiration. The Earthshot Prize challenges us all to make this the decade that we build a future to be proud of," said Colin Butfield, executive director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, as The Telegraph reported.

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Back to local, Paul MacNeill's first Graphic publication editorial for 2020: http://www.peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/is-about-putting-substance-to-style/article_edda85e4-29a3-11ea-b202-2b96360054bc.html

2020 is about putting substance to style - The Graphic Publications Editorial by Paul MacNeill

Published on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019, in The Graphic publications

It was the year of blackface and Wexit. The year a premier departed but the economic foundation he created remained. And a year when housing and mental health became defining issues of a growing province.

2019 will be remembered for many things, most notably the rise of Dennis King from the Tory backrooms and storytelling stages, to premier. He is remaking the office into a reflection of himself, a guy from a humble upbringing in a small Island town. The new premier’s impact is found in small people-first decisions, like inviting the public service before Christmas to his fifth floor office for coffee and cookies. The political atmosphere is markedly different this Christmas.

In a hyper politically correct era, our premier and prime minister share the distinction of being among a very small group of politicians to survive public thrashings of their own making. King for pre-politician tweets that were old school locker room jock talk delivered to a worldwide platform, and the prime minister for appearing in blackface, not once but twice.

We witnessed the classy departure of Wade MacLauchlan, a man who didn’t need to become premier but served because it was the right thing to do, at the time. The morning after he lost, MacLauchlan kept a promise and showed up to deliver a speech to delegates attending a national conference in Charlottetown. That’s class. And because the former Liberal premier changed the fundamentals of how government operates, our province will accrue the benefit for years to come.

2019 was a year that saw Island Tories walk away from issues that drove the party’s years in opposition. Suddenly forgotten were promises to get to the bottom of e-gaming and PNP. The King government went further than political amnesia by keeping a senior manager deeply involved in both files, and hiring a deputy whose family cottage is thanks to Tory connections, PNP units and a promised tourism operation that never was.

Talk about snubbing the hopes of a lot of Islanders.

Housing and mental health care took centre stage as issues dominating the lives of ordinary Islanders. In both cases the provincial government is playing a weak game of catch up.

The housing crisis did not creep up on us. It is a result of government investment in public housing drying up over the past 25 years, combining with an increase in population and soaring real estate prices. We learned, thanks to a housing analysis prepared for the Rotary Club of Montague, that the rural housing crunch, especially in smaller communities, is very different than that in urban centres or more urban rural communities. It is a specific focus still awaiting a substantive government response.

In a nod to political naïveté (because the opposite would be crass political opportunism) King promised an ‘immediate replacement’ of Hillsborough Hospital. The implication was Tories would move immediately and effectively to deal with the mental health crisis felt in every corner of the province.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

There are still no shovels in the ground yet, the cost of the hospital has jumped by $50 million. A yearlong wait just to get an appointment with a psychiatrist resulted in the health minister promising five new doctors, but Health PEI has yet to fund the positions. To top it off, the only psychiatrist at Unit 9 is leaving.

2020 needs to be the year when rhetoric and political photo ops are replaced by clear, sustainable action.

The coming year will frame PEI’s political future. Will Dennis King’s era of civility continue to grow or will inevitable tough decisions, like reining in abuses of the Lands Protection Act, put a dent in the premier’s affable nature? Will Greens catch their stride and regain the form that led to the party’s dramatic growth? Can Liberals avoid the pitfalls of many parties turfed from government and find a way to limit the damage to a single election?

The only guarantee is 2020 will be interesting.

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Essay from Global Chorus for January 3rd

     "There’s no denying it. Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. Climate change, over-commercialization, corruption, the destruction of habitat and the inability of the world to feed itself – yeah, we all could have done better. As a species our latest report card isn’t one that Mum would put up on the fridge.
     It would be easy to slip into a spiral of cynicism and embrace the overriding notion that we are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as the band plays on. I have to reject that. And the reason I reject the temptation to yank the ejection handle and give up has nothing to do with me. It’s all to do with what the future has in store for all of us. It’s all about who’s in the driver’s seat.
     I’ve seen it time and time again – the youth of the world, whether they be affluent or on the ragged edge of survival, believe with all their heart that we can steer this Spaceship Earth of ours away from the iceberg dead ahead. They’ve inherited our problems and aren’t content to make do – they want to change course.
     What’s the secret? Why can they fix this and we can’t seem to sort it out? The answer: they want to change the world. It’s not about needing to change, needs are banal and boring. Food, shelter, clothing – it’s all so 20th century. Smarter farming is cool, ecohouses made of innovative materials are cool, clothes made from recycled soft drink bottles are cool. Cool ideas with sexy outcomes are the salvation, and the practitioners are all around us.
    The youth of today are inspired to change the world because they want to, not because we all need to. The sooner we all get on the bandwagon of wanting to change the world, the closer we’ll all be to getting there. And that destination is a place we all need to get to. Besides, a little bit more cool and sexy is never a bad thing."
   ---Scott Kennedy, Canadian-born, New Zealand-based writer, photographer, filmmaker
http://www.scottkennedy.nz/
(note link may not be working at this moment)

from Global Chorus,
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014 

 http://globalchorus.ca/

January 2, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event today:

Thursday, January 2nd:
PEI Coalition for Women in Government New Year's Levee, 4-6PM, St. Peter's Cathedral Hall (11 All Souls' Lane, Charlottetown). "...celebrate a new year of opportunity for advancing women's leadership in PEI. Please note this is a family-friendly event."
--------------------------
Quote from today's entry in Global Chorus; full essay below:

"Forget that the task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are finished."
-- Paul Hawken (b. 1946) author, innovative entrepreneur, environmentalist

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Two huge concepts from the work of Paul Hawken:
· the concept of Natural Capital, what he helped people understand the value of
· facing the Climate Crisis via Project Drawdown, what he is currently helping people focus on more urgently,

Natural capital
from the Natural Capital Forum organizers, the forum last held in 2018 in Scotland:
https://naturalcapitalforum.com/about/

Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things.

It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.
The most obvious ecosystem services include the food we eat, the water we drink and the plant materials we use for fuel, building materials and medicines. There are also many less visible ecosystem services such as the climate regulation and natural flood defences provided by forests, the billions of tonnes of carbon stored by peatlands, or the pollination of crops by insects. Even less visible are cultural ecosystem services such as the inspiration we take from wildlife and the natural environment.

Why is natural capital an issue?

With financial capital, when we spend too much we run up debt, which if left unchecked can eventually result in bankruptcy. With natural capital, when we draw down too much stock from our natural environment we also run up a debt which needs to be paid back, for example by replanting clear-cut forests, or allowing aquifers to replenish themselves after we have abstracted water. If we keep drawing down stocks of natural capital without allowing or encouraging nature to recover, we run the risk of local, regional or even global ecosystem collapse.

Poorly managed natural capital therefore becomes not only an ecological liability, but a social and economic liability too. Working against nature by overexploiting natural capital can be catastrophic not just in terms of biodiversity loss, but also catastrophic for humans as ecosystem productivity and resilience decline over time and some regions become more prone to extreme events such as floods and droughts. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult for human communities to sustain themselves, particularly in already stressed ecosystems, potentially leading to starvation, conflict over resource scarcity and displacement of populations.

Is natural capital really valuable in financial terms?

Ultimately, nature is priceless. However, it is not valueless, and there have been many studies that have calculated natural capital’s value in financial terms. For example, street trees in California provide $1 billion per year in ecosystem services, through atmospheric regulation and flood prevention, and Mexico’s mangrove forests provide an annual $70 billion to the economy through storm protection, fisheries support, and ecotourism.

In 2013, the TEEB for Business Coalition published a famous report which estimated that the world's primary production and processing sectors are responsible for ‘environmental externality’ costs totalling a staggering US$7.3 trillion annually. A year later, a study published in the journal of Global Environmental Change revealed that the total value of the World’s ecosystem services amounted to twice as much as global aggregate GDP – as much as $124.8 trillion per year.
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Paul Hawken expanded the idea of taking stock of natural capital in all decision-making. He was here in 2003 at UPEI when it hosted the National Roundtable on Environment and the Economy. (This was a policy advisory agency set up in the late 1980s by the federal Progressive Conservatives and cut by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013). Its mandate was to raise awareness among Canadians and their governments about the challenges of sustainable development.

A brief synopsis of that meeting in 2003 is found on the second page in this PDF from the Roundtable:
http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/En132-2-2003-3E.pdf

Some of the very useful body of work that the Roundtable did is archived here on the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association's website:
http://neia.org/national-round-table-on-the-environment-and-the-economy-reports/
along with a little treasure trove of current interesting reports.

Bringing it locally, Provincial Director of Forests, Fish and Wildlife Kate MacQuarrie discussed natural capital at the Watershed Alliance annual general meeting in 2015. Here is a link to the PDF of her slides:
https://peiwatershedalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ForestCover2015AGM.pdf
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Project Drawdown

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming - edited by Paul Hawken
Published in 2017 by Penguin Books

https://www.drawdown.org/

"Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world."

So when people say, "But what can we do about Global Warming?" or say, "There is no plan to fight climate change. It's just not realistic." -- it is. The numbers have been crunched and the plan spelled out in Drawdown. It is back to us to continue to spell out to our politicians and leaders we need them to get behind this.
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Finally, the full January 2nd Global Chorus essay:

"The dilemmas we face can seduce us into believing there is no future as we journey through darkness. The enormity of what is passing away is unspeakable. It is not merely species or ecosystems. It includes cultures, the seasons, civilization itself. When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on Earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. However, if you meet the people who are restoring Earth and the lives of the poor and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. I see everywhere ordinary people who are willing to confront despair, power and incalculable odds in order to restore grace, justice and beauty to the world. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refugee camps, deserts, fisheries and slums.

No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights and more. It is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. It provides hope, support and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in ideas, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisher folk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians and all who love life. Forget that the task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are finished."
      -- Paul Hawken (b. 1946) author, innovative entrepreneur, environmentalist

from Global Chorus,
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

January 1, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Happy New Year!
The link to the complete list of Levees today, thanks to Peter Rukavina:
https://ruk.ca/levee-2020
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Islander Todd E. MacLean (multi-instrumentalist, singer, teacher, community organizer, author, and also creator and editor of the Global Chorus project), has graciously given me permission to share the essays and other excerpts from the 2014 anthology, Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the the Future of the Planet, published by Rocky Mountain Books.

http://globalchorus.ca/


Cover of the 2014 edition, published in Canada.

The book is for sale at local bookstores Bookmark and Indigo and through on-line book sellers. There is the original Canadian edition and a U.S. edition.
Proceeds from the book are going to the Jane Goodall Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Todd connects the 365 contributors in his overarching Preface, and here is a small part:

"...If I were to briefly sum up my assessment of our global challenges at this time in our human evolution on Earth, it would be that we are doing far too much thinking about what is not possible and not enough believing about what is possible."
---Todd MacLean, from the Preface in Global Chorus

The questions Todd sent to participants:

"Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crisis?
Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?"
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The January 1st essay (excerpted) is by primatologist Jane Goodall,

whose website is here: http://www.janegoodall.ca/

"Can we save Planet Earth?  Of course we CAN.  The question is, will we?  We have indeed disturbed the balance of Nature everywhere, as environments are destroyed by the desperation of millions living in crippling poverty and the selfish unsustainable lifestyles of the rest of us.
...I am inspired by today’s youth. Once young people are aware of the problems around them and empowered to take action, their energy, determination and commitment are boundless. They are changing the world one problem at a time, encouraging each other, influencing their parents and grandparents. They will be the next doctors, lawyers, politicians and parents, and they know that while we need money to live, we should not live for money. The human spirit is indomitable. We shall not give up." 
                   -- Jane Goodall (b. 1934)

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and in Todd MacLean's words just this week:
"Let's make 2020 a revolutionary and groundbreaking year of positive global change!"
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