CaNews Archive‎ > ‎

June 2021

Contents

  1. 1 June 30, 2021
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 1.2 Canada's Climate Law has passed in the Senate - West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) letter by Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer, WCEL
    3. 1.3 Red Fox Feeding Leads to Collaboration with Island Cities - naturepei.ca post by Rosemary Curley
    4. 1.4 Atlantic Skies for June 28th to July 4th, 2021 "Viewing the Summer Night Sky"  - by Glenn K. Roberts
  2. 2 June 29, 2021
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  3. 3 June 28, 2021
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 3.2 The little Canadian city that became an inadvertent climate leader - The National Observer article by Zack Metcalfe
  4. 4 June 27, 2021
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 4.2 Two years into P.E.I. premier's mandate, less than one third of his promises are complete - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby
    3. 4.3 Gardening in the sun: Bring on the drought - The Sudbury Star article by Mark and Ben Cullen
  5. 5 June 26, 2021
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 5.2 TRADE JUSTICE P.E.I.: Stop obstructing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Leo Cheverie
  6. 6 June 25, 2021
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 6.2 Hillsborough Bridge active transportation pathway is open
    3. 6.3 P.E.I. bridge project opening would have been dream come true for cycling advocate, widow says - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart
    4. 6.4 Fish kill reported in Donaldston
    5. 6.5 Proposed water authority could soon govern irrigation in P.E.I. - by Stu Neatby
  7. 7 June 24, 2021
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  8. 8 June 23, 2021
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 8.2 Soleil Hutchinson 2021 winner of PEIWI Woman in Agriculture Award - The Eastern Graphic article
  9. 9 June 22, 2021
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  10. 10 June 21, 2021
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  11. 11 June 20, 2021
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 11.2 LETTER: Cynical or clumsy that P.E.I. Water Act is implemented without irrigation strategy - The Guardian Letter to the Editor 
    3. 11.3 HANNAH BELL: Government needs to prove it can manage and regulate water on P.E.I. - The Guardian Opinion piece by Hannah Bell
  12. 12 June 19, 2021
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 12.2 Green party picks Keenan to run again in Malpeque - The Guardian article by Michael Robar
  13. 13 June 18, 2021
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 13.2 There is no irrigation strategy in P.E.I. - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Marie-Ann Bowden and Ann Wheatley
  14. 14 June 17, 2021
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  15. 15 June 16, 2021
    1. 15.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 15.2 McCain makes commitment to regenerative ag conversion - The Western Producer article by Doug Ferguson
  16. 16 June 15, 2021
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 16.2 Opinion | The inside story of how the Liberals lured a Green MP and raised Justin Trudeau’s election hopes - The Star article by Susan Delacourt, National Columnist
  17. 17 June 14, 2021
    1. 17.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  18. 18 June 13, 2021
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 18.2 'These are monumental steps': B.C. government approves old-growth logging deferral on Vancouver Island - www.vancouverisland.CTVNews.ca post by Todd Coyne
    3. 18.3 Takeaway food and drink litter dominates ocean plastic, study shows - The (U.K.) Guardian article by Damian Carrington, Environment Editor
  19. 19 June 12, 2021
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 19.2 Water Act protects water and the environment on PEI - PEI Government Announcement
    3. 19.3 Statement on Agricultural Water Use and Supplemental Irrigation -PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative Newsletter
  20. 20 June 11, 2021
    1. 20.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 20.2 Ten reasons to be hopeful about climate action - davidsuzuki.org post
  21. 21 June 10, 2021
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 21.2 Next Policy Framework (NPF) for Agriculture - PEI Government website
  22. 22 June 9, 2021
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 22.2 GUEST OPINION: An avenue to avoid
  23. 23 June 8, 2021
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  24. 24 June 7, 2021
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 24.2 The little island that won: how a tiny Pacific community fought off a giant mining company - The (UK) Guardian article by Dorothy Wickham in Wagina, and Ben Doherty
    3. 24.3 Changing the Scene: Updated Settings for Classic Operas
  25. 25 June 6, 2021
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 25.2 GUEST OPINION: A new path for tree planting - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Gary Schenider
  26. 26 June 5, 2021
    1. 26.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 26.2 My beef with Beyond Meat - Island Farmer article by Ian Petrie
  27. 27 June 4, 2021
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 27.2 Portion of Strathgartney Provincial Park to become luxury camping area - CBC News Online
  28. 28 June 3, 2021
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 28.2 Pest … or snack? June bugs are the ‘croutons of the sky’ - The Conversation article by Paul Manning
  29. 29 June 2, 2021
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 29.2 Canada Clean Air Day, part of Canadian Environment Week. - www.canada.ca post
    3. 29.3 NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA: The species we have saved - The Guardian article by Dan Kraus
  30. 30 June 1, 2021
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 30.2 GUEST OPINION: Science and technology oversimplified - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Edith Ling
    3. 30.3 Covid-19 variants to be given Greek alphabet names to avoid stigma - The (U.K.) Guardian article by Edna Mohamed

June 30, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

"It’s been a long time since I reminded you all: we live in a society, not an economy."
  -- Islander Jonathan Greenan,
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021, on Twitter


Events:
Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges, 1:30PM, online.

Topic: election of chair and work plan

This committee is now made up of MLAs:

Karla Bernard, Greens
Sonny Gallant, Liberals
Lynne Lund, Greens
Sidney MacEwen, PCs
Hon. Matthew MacKay, PCs
Hal Perry, Liberals

Watch:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg

----------------------------------------
Tonight:

Webinar -- Economic Growth at the Crossroads: A Shift To a Steady State Regenerative Economy in Atlantic Canada, 7-8:30PM, Dialogues at the Thinkers' Lodge Series #2, small fee suggested.

"Our addiction to economic growth measured by Gross Domestic Product (GPA) has driven humanity and biodiversity to the brink of collapse. There are alternative economic systems and means to measure wealth that are better suited to the demands of the 21st century. This dialogue lays out those alternatives for Atlantic Canada as a bioregion and the people who would like to continue to live, work and raise their families here.

Brian Czech, Anders Hayden, and Christopher Googoo will join Centre for Local Prosperity Host Gregory Heming for a one and a half hour discussion followed by a 30 minute Q&A session with the public."
Fee can be waived if hindrance; write to info@localprosperity.ca
More information

Eventbrite link


News (the links should work):

Canada's Climate Law has passed in the Senate - West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) letter by Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer, WCEL

sent on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

Dear Reader:
Today is a big day for climate law in Canada.
Bill C-12 – the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act – has passed in the Senate and will soon become law. 

After months of delays, debate, and submissions from experts and community members to strengthen this key legislation, Canada will finally have a law in place to ensure that our governments follow through on their climate commitments. With BC in the midst of an unprecedented heatwave, the need for this crucial climate law is more apparent than ever. 

Bill C-12 has its flaws, but this important milestone is certainly worth celebrating. 

In the past several months, people across the country spoke up to #StrengthenC12, sending messages to decision-makers asking for the bill to be improved. Thank you to everyone who took action on this issue!

As a result of this public pressure, important amendments were made to ensure more frequent and transparent reporting, an emissions objective for 2026, better accountability for climate plans, and more emphasis on independent scientific advice. On top of that, MPs have agreed that the law will be examined in five years to assess how it’s working, and what can be done to improve it. 


When it comes to addressing the climate crisis, there is no time left to waste. We’re hopeful that with this new federal law in place, Canada will finally have a chance at getting on track to meet our climate goals.   

At West Coast, we’ll be watching closely to ensure the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act is doing its job. We were one of the first public organizations to call for such a law (see, for example, our 2015 report, A Carbon Budget for Canada) and we remain committed to making sure it works.

No matter what, our legal experts will be there to continue advocating for stronger measures to hold governments accountable for their climate promises. 


If you’re on Twitter, join us in tweeting congratulations to MPs, the Senate, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and his team at Environment Canada!

Thanks again for your support in this effort – this climate win would not have been possible without people like you. 

Onwards,
Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer
West Coast Environmental Law


P.S. To learn more about Bill C-12 and what it entails, check out this recent submission from West Coast and our partners to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
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Nature, part 1:

Red Fox Feeding Leads to Collaboration with Island Cities - naturepei.ca post by Rosemary Curley

Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2021 at Nature PEI (The Natural History Society of PEI)
https://naturepei.ca/

The high incidence of people feeding foxes, the current situation of disease in a previous high density city fox population, and the desire to keep wildlife wild has motivated several organizations to collaborate to look for more rational ways of relating to the red fox. Nature PEI is launching an anti-fox feeding campaign in collaboration with the municipalities of Charlottetown and Summerside, a wildlife veterinarian at the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, and the Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division. Personnel from Parks Canada are lending their expertise to the project and the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund is another supporter. Signs and brochures will soon be appearing and social media with our partners will be spreading our messages to Islanders, young and old.

In 2015, Kristine Martin completed her Masters research on red foxes at the University of Prince Edward Island. She noted that very few people believe feeding the red fox is wrong and 32% of people responding to a questionnaire put out food for the red fox, or would feed them if they could. Indeed, most people who were kindly supplying food to urban foxes did so because they thought the fox would be unable to find enough nourishment in the city. They did not realize that city foxes are perfectly capable of finding their own food such as mice, rats, earthworms, moths and June bugs at street lamps, and fruits like strawberry, apples and raspberries.

No-one wants to re-create the situation in Charlottetown where, with extra feeding, many foxes became crammed into a few city blocks, and disease soon struck and spread. Mange reduced the Charlottetown fox population after 2017 to the extent that people rarely sighted these animals. We can help foxes recover good health by promoting a low density population that finds its own food. Meanwhile, Summerside is similarly densely populated with red foxes, and mange is present.

Nature PEI is interested in hearing from other municipalities, organizations and people who share our concerns. Let’s promote the re-wilding of the red fox together.

-- Rosemary Curley, Nature PEI president

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Nature, part 2:
(Prepare to be charmed)


from "The Kids Should See This" video weekly selections, a Eurasian blue tit makes a next in a next box in the first video (8min), and the pair raise their fledglings in the second. (21min)
https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/a-blue-tit-nest-box-from-empty-nest-to-fledging-chicks


A bit tardy in getting this in here, my fault:

Atlantic Skies for June 28th to July 4th, 2021 "Viewing the Summer Night Sky"  - by Glenn K. Roberts

Now that summer is officially here, and the nights, though brief, are more conducive to sitting outside (even if bathed in mosquito repellant), there is lots to see, whether simply gazing at the night sky with your eyes, or actively searching for a particular planet, star cluster or other celestial wonder with binoculars or a telescope. Detailed star maps and time charts can be found on-line that will indicate what you can see from your particular location, and at what time of the night; an excellent way to learn your way around the night sky

So what can we see in the night sky at this time of the year? Prominent, halfway up the southern night sky, is Vega (mag. +0.03), the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra - the Harp or Lyre. Along with Deneb (mag. +1.25) in Cygnus - the Swan to its immediate left (this constellation is sometimes referred to as the "Northern Cross", as the swan's body, out-stretched wings, and long neck - pointing due south - resembles a cross) and Altair (mag. +0.77) in Aquila - the Eagle (below Cygnus) forms the asterism of the "Summer Triangle". Other prominent constellations of the summer night sky include Hercules - the Giant (to the right of Lyra) and Corona Borealis - the Northern Crown (immediately to the right of Hercules). 

Want something more challenging? Try to pick out the small constellations of Vulpecula - the Fox (just below Cygnus), Sagitta - the Arrow (below Vulpecula), and Delphinus - the Dolphin (to the upper left of Aquila); you might need to refer to a star chart to find them. If you're using binoculars, or are fortunate to have a telescope, take the time to explore that whole region of the sky inside the Summer Triangle (actually part of our Milky Way Galaxy); you won't be disappointed, it is an area rich in celestial objects and beautiful star clusters. Look for the Brocchi Cluster (also named the "Coathanger Cluster"), an open star cluster in Vulpecula, near Sagitta.

By the way, If you don't already know, the dark areas in the Milky Way which you are seeing while viewing this whole area, aren't holes in the Milky Way or areas void of stars. They are, in fact, massive clouds of celestial dust within the arm of the Milky Way, so dark and dense they obscure our view of the stars on the other side of the dust clouds.

If your primary interest is viewing the planets, here's where and when to find them in the coming week. Mercury is still too close to the Sun to be seen. Venus (mag. -3.9, in Cancer - the Crab) becomes visible 9 degrees above the western horizon around  9:30 p.m. ADT (10 p.m., NDT) as darkness falls, then sinking towards the horizon and setting around 10:40 p.m. ADT. (11:10 p.m. NDT)  Mars (mag. +1.8, also in Cancer) will be very difficult to see (if at all), as it is only 6 degrees above the western horizon at dusk. Jupiter (mag. -2.6, in Aquarius - the Waterbearer) is visible in the pre-dawn sky, rising around 11:55 p.m. ADT (12:25 a.m. NDT), and reaching approximately 31 degrees above the southern horizon before fading by about 5 a.m. ADT (5:30 a.m. NDT) Saturn (mag. +0.4, in Capricornus - the Sea Goat) is visible about 12:20 a.m. ADT (12:50 a.m. NDT), 10 degrees above the southeast horizon, reaching 25 degrees above the southern horizon around 3:50 a.m. ADT (4:20 a.m. NDT) before disappearing in the dawn twilight around 4:40 a.m. ADT (5:10 a.m. NDT).

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

July 1 - Last Quarter Moon

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, today until 6:30PM
Starring Sasha Cooke, Thomas Glenn, Gerald Finley, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by Alan Gilbert. Production by Penny Woolcock. From November 8, 2008. 

John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, tonight 7:30PM until Thursday about 6:30PM
Starring Teresa Stratas, Håkan Hagegård, Gino Quilico, Graham Clark, Marilyn Horne, and Renée Fleming. Production by Sir Colin Graham.
From January 10, 1992.  3 hours
"Commissioned by the Met in 1980, John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles takes as its jumping-off point Beaumarchais’s La Mère Coupable (The Guilty Mother), the final entry in the trilogy of plays that began with The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. But in a triumph of imagination, Corigliano and librettist William M. Hoffmann set their scene in an otherworldly version of Louis XVI’s court, populated by the ghosts of familiar figures such as Marie Antoinette, Count Almaviva, Figaro and Susanna, and Beaumarchais himself. Despite the modern twist, however, the opera revels in the same intrigues and hijinks that turn the gears of Mozart’s and Rossini’s earlier Beaumarchais adaptations."

June 29, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


June 28, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food Ordering this Week:

Charlottetown's Farmers' Market 2 Go, order by Tuesday noon for pick-up Thursday
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

Tomorrow, June 29th:
"Meet the New Critics" from the Official Opposition Green Party, 7PM, with Peter Bevan-Baker, new to the Agriculture and Land critic role (in addition to Indigenous, Acadian and Intergovernmental Affairs)
, Online.

------------
Next week,
Tuesday, July 6th:

Meet the new Critics: Karla Bernard (Social Development and Housing, and Status of
Women), 7PM,
 online.

Registration Link

Thursday, July 8th:
Meet the new Critics: Michele Beaton (Health & Wellness), 7PM, online.

Registration Link

More details at the Event Link, here:
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/event_calendar
------------------------------
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No Standing Committee meetings today, as Mondays are usually when MLAs focus on issues and such in their Districts.  Then just a couple scheduled due to the holiday week.  Public Accounts is 10AM tomorrow, and Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges is Wednesday at 1:30PM.

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg
 


So lucky to have Zack Metcalfe writing about these places and issues for a national audience.  The link has the article with more photos and illustrations.

The little Canadian city that became an inadvertent climate leader - The National Observer article by Zack Metcalfe

Summerside, P.E.I., is making big moves to get its climate change solutions off the ground

Over the last six months, Canada's National Observer has been looking into what's working and what's failing in cities across Canada as they rise to the challenge of fighting climate change. In a 13-part series, we will be taking you across the country, province by province, for a look at how cities are meeting the climate emergency with sustainable solutions.

Published on on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/06/15/summerside-pei-little-canadian-city-inadvertent-climate-leader?

The tiny city of Summerside, P.E.I., is known for charming waterfronts and hosting the only Walmart on the west end of the Island. It is less renowned as a champion of renewable power.

But wind farms, solar arrays, smart grids, industrial-scale lithium-ion batteries and the highest per capita concentration of electric car chargers in the country are among the clean energy initiatives blossoming in this unassuming municipality.

Summerside, population 14,829, is expected to derive the majority of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.

Most of it will be produced within city limits.

Summerside is only the tip of the spear in a province with the most ambitious climate goals in the country. P.E.I. has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040 and now requires the provincial government to issue yearly reports on risks and progress. Its greenhouse gas emissions were 1,756 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent (1.756 Mt CO2e) in 2019, and the province was listed among the few that have significantly decreased emissions — a 14 per cent reduction between 2005 and 2019, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Although per person emissions in P.E.I. are among the country’s lowest, at 12 tonnes per person, its per capita household emissions are among the worst. The province is counting on solar and wind energy to help bring that down. Wind energy now generates 24 per cent of the island’s electricity, and P.E.I. is ranked No. 2 in the country for installing solar power, thanks to a robust incentive program.

Given its wholehearted embrace of wind and solar, one might expect Summerside to be a haven for renewable activism, but that’s not really the case. When faced with the need for more power, the municipal government, in 2018, considered buying a 16-megawatt diesel generator to help meet demand.

But a group of forward-thinking citizens headed off the plan and convinced the municipal council to change course. For the most part, Summerside’s shift to wind and solar has been gradual and born of necessity.

The cheapest power in the world roars

There is no coal on P.E.I., no oil and gas extraction in the surrounding Gulf of St. Lawrence and, therefore, little temptation at all to build the city or economy on a foundation of fossil fuels.

Summerside could either purchase electricity from New Brunswick or harness the cheapest power in the world, roaring in free from the Northumberland Strait.

In 2009, the city chose the latter, raising a four-turbine, 12-megawatt wind farm just north of the city, followed in 2017 by a 336-kilowatt solar array at its municipal wellness centre, Credit Union Place.

And just this year, a 21-megawatt array was announced to the city’s west, conceived in partnership with the provincial and federal governments.

This latest project, the so-called Summerside Sunbank, is equipped with a 10-megawatt lithium-ion battery storage system and will bring the share of renewable power in Summerside’s grid to 62 per cent.

Greg Gaudet is municipal services director with the City of Summerside. While he appreciates renewables in and of themselves, he wouldn’t champion them solely to cut carbon emissions, he said.

Renewables must also work for the utility and for customers, standards that have presented him and his colleagues with some interesting challenges.

“I’m an electrical engineer, so I like to push the limits of what’s technically feasible and reliable," he added.

The problem is always intermittency.

The wind either blows or it doesn’t, but the city’s electrical utility, Summerside Electric, must always meet demand.

The solution has traditionally been to shunt excess power to New Brunswick in times of overproduction and draw power back during underproduction, a regulatory service for which New Brunswick charges the city.

Since 2012, however, Gaudet and colleagues have been putting some of this excess power to more creative use.

There are a suite of specialized appliances in homes throughout the city that can store energy as heat rather than electricity.

These include Steffes electric furnaces, which can store heat in ceramic bricks; Rheem Marathon water heaters, which lose less than 0.25 C of heat per day; and Stash Energy heat pumps, which can store heat for upwards of four hours.

Around 450 of these appliances are at the disposal of Summerside Electric by way of a fibre-optic smart grid presently spanning 40 per cent of the city, and growing.

Climate change solutions 'replicable across North America'

Whenever wind or solar overproduce, Summerside Electric converts excess power into stored thermal energy using these appliances and carries that heat into times of underproduction. This makes for an innovative solution to the intermittency of renewables and exerts a soothing influence on its electrical grid — all without the need for battery storage.

This so-called Heat for Less Now program provides all participating homes with a significant discount. “It’s replicable across North America,” Gaudet said.

The mayor looks ahead

Basil Stewart is Summerside’s mayor and has been for 31 of the last 35 years. He is as charming and personable as Islanders are fabled to be, and is a man of many metaphors, describing his acceptance of renewables as “seeing past the end of your nose,” and adding: “The days of horse and wagon are over.”

He credits the city’s early start on renewables to engineers like Gaudet, but also to municipality staffers who not only seek out funding opportunities through the provincial and federal governments but ensure the city delivers on renewable projects when money shows up.

Summerside has proven itself to be a reliable investment, he said, and governments love reliable investments.

“You can do a lot with 33-cent dollars,” he said. “You’ve got to think outside the box, to be innovative, aggressive, progressive. We’re living in changing times, and you’ve got to be ready.”

The fight against diesel

Summerside resident Stephen Howard has been a community champion of renewable power since 2005 when he founded Renewable Lifestyles, today the single largest solar installer on P.E.I. Back then, solar was something of a long shot.

“I knew I would be doing a whole lot of talking and not much selling in the early days,” said Howard. “I started the business because I recognized there was a massive vacuum on P.E.I. where no one could go to get any kind of small-scale renewables.”

Solar technology, and public perceptions thereof, have come a long way, he said. Howard has been consulted on solar projects by the federal government, Maritime provincial governments, several regional municipalities and, of course, by Summerside, where discussions eventually led to the solar array at Credit Union Place.

In early 2018, he led a very public battle against the city’s decision to purchase the aforementioned multimillion-dollar diesel generator, a decision that was thereafter shelved. The following spring, he was elected to the legislative assembly of P.E.I. as a member of the Green Party for Summerside-South Drive, leaving his business to a trust and taking the role of transportation and energy critic.

He drives an electric 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV from his home in Summerside to the legislature in Charlottetown 65 kilometres away, charging in the driveway of a fellow EV owner before returning home.

Howard now participates in an unprecedented arrangement of provincial political parties that has produced some interesting results on renewable power. The same election that gave Howard his spot in the legislature also resulted in a Progressive Conservative government and Green opposition. This has never happened before.

“Having the Green opposition there has really helped press these kinds of issues to the forefront, and I think that’s why you’re seeing so much action,” said Howard.

Actions already underway include expansions to the Island’s wind capacity, the Summerside Sunbank and a 10-megawatt solar array in the Slemon Park area.

As well, the province has committed to electrifying the entirety of its bus fleet, for schools and possibly public transit.

The first 12 fully electric buses, purchased from the Quebec company Lion Electric, are expected to arrive this fall.

The Greens have had their say in these initiatives, strengthening targets and consulting experts, but the Progressive Conservatives have proven themselves independently receptive to the promise of renewable power.

P.E.I. aims for a net-zero electric grid

P.E.I. presently produces about 25 per cent of its own electricity, said Steven Myers, the province's minister of transportation and energy. And while the province still intends to purchase power from off-Island, perhaps from predominantly hydroelectric jurisdictions like Quebec or Newfoundland, he hopes the rest will come from Island communities themselves.

The Sustainable Communities Initiative was announced in November 2019, inviting municipalities to propose renewable power projects to the provincial government for the chance of financial support. COVID-19 stole the show shortly after this initiative was announced, but two communities still have very promising proposals on the table. One, said Myers, is suggesting a combination of wind and solar, paired with hydrogen energy storage.

The largest single emitter of carbon on P.E.I. (44 per cent) is the transportation sector, and a major hurdle in achieving a net-zero province by 2040. Howard said rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles will be essential, something he has been insisting on since taking office. In March, the provincial government announced an incentive providing Islanders with $5,000 to buy a new or used electric vehicle and $2,500 to those who purchase a plug-in hybrid.

“We know that one of the main hurdles for Islanders to switch to an electric vehicle is the high cost,” Myers said in March when the rebate was announced. “With that in mind, we are launching an EV incentive in an effort to increase uptake and, in return, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation sector.”

So far, the program has been a hit, with almost half its funds spent to date. Only recently, Myers himself drove an electric car from one tip of P.E.I. to the other (255 kilometres); it cost him $7.

“That’s a pretty paltry amount of money to drive from North Cape to East Point,” he said. “You’re talking 1980s prices as far as gas goes. I’m old enough to remember the VCR and microwave oven, and how that changed our lives. Renewables are like that, except much bigger.”

The sheer volume of projects necessary to achieve net zero on P.E.I. by 2040 will require a larger workforce than presently exists in the province, said Howard, and they’ll need to be deployed at breakneck speed. He foresees many initiatives coming hand in hand, like using the batteries of electric cars to balance the load of intermittent wind and solar.

The Summerside model for tackling the climate crisis

Andrew Swingler, an associate professor of sustainable energy systems at the University of Prince Edward Island, isn’t sure what to make of the Island’s 2030 and 2040 goals because government documents published thus far don’t detail how it is to be achieved.

What he’s seen is sizable investment in large-scale wind and solar with accompanying battery storage, often with substantial support from the federal government, such as with the Summerside Sunbank. If the province is to fund its own transition, however, it might need a fundamentally different approach.

Swingler recommends the modification of electricity pricing mechanisms to maximize the benefits of renewables.

Wind and solar provide the cheapest electricity in the world, he said (five cents per kilowatt-hour), so when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, electrical utilities on P.E.I. should be prepared to offer exactly that price to customers, demonstrating the value of renewables and encouraging investment at the residential and community levels, rather than relying solely on the federal government to fund large projects.

The best example of this on P.E.I. is the Heat for Less Now program in Summerside, he said, utilizing its growing smart grid to connect customers directly with extremely cheap wind and rewarding them with dramatically reduced rates. This approach is not only financially sustainable but encourages community participation. For these reasons, he’s more enthusiastic about expansions to Summerside’s smart grid program than for the Summerside Sunbank.

“I have been impressed by the City of Summerside’s ability to take leadership positions on reasonably holistic renewable energy initiatives,” said Swingler.

“In particular, I think Summerside’s early work experimenting with wind-matching thermal storage systems located in customer homes has a lot of potential for moving Atlantic Canada away from heating with oil and towards heating with wind. But there is a lot more work to be done."

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King doubtless knew he was setting his sights high when he announced the province would achieve a “net-zero” electrical grid by 2030 and a net-zero province (cars, furnaces and all) by 2040.

His transportation and energy minister said it out loud. “We acknowledge this as an aggressive target,” Myers said.

But the competitive spirit in this tiny Maritime province runs high. "We want to get there before anyone else in Canada," Myers said. "And I think we can.”

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming: https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s La Traviata , today until 6:30PM

Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Production by Willy Decker. From March 11, 2017. 

Nico Muhly’s Marnie, tonight 7:30PM until Tuesday at 6:30PM

Starring Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, Christopher Maltman, Janis Kelly, and Denyce Graves, conducted by Roberto Spano. Production by Michael Mayer. From November 10, 2018.  A woman (Leonard) with a traumatic past assumes different identities, and an opera with great singing and head-spinning costume changes.

June 27, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event:
Opening for the summer!
Downtown Charlottetown Farmers' Market, 11AM-4PM, lower Queen Streets, rain or shine.

'This open-air–closed street market is located on lower Queen Street between Grafton and Sydney Streets and features 60+ local and independent vendors from Prince Edward Island."  Lots of food and products, music, etc.
More info:
https://downtowncharlottetownmarket.com/


Here is a link to a short two minute video produced by Isaac Williams for Bike Friendly Communities about the Hillsborough Bridge active transport land bike ride yesterday.  Congrats to all how keep advocating for safe walking and biking infrastructure.

https://fb.watch/6nV5rvZe0p/


It's a great article, filled with lots of checking of facts, but, wow, it's a big awkward web article, with lots of photos and a fabulous chart, so here is the LINK ONLY to The Guardian article by Stu Neatby on keeping track of Denny King's promises two years after his election.  I think you may be able to check back and read the article in a day or two if you can't today. 

Two years into P.E.I. premier's mandate, less than one third of his promises are complete - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby

Published on Saturday, June 26th, 2021

https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/news/two-years-into-pei-premiers-mandate-less-than-one-third-of-his-promises-are-complete-100604641/


Mark and Ben Cullen's gardening column on plants that can handle dryer conditions.  You can search for what each one looks like and for more information., and there are some photos in the article link.

Gardening in the sun: Bring on the drought - The Sudbury Star article by Mark and Ben Cullen

Published the week of June 20th, 2021, in various papers

https://www.thesudburystar.com/entertainment/local-arts/gardening-in-the-sun-bring-on-the-drought

“Can you recommend a plant that I can grow in a cemetery?” is a question almost as old as time.

Soon, we will officially say “hello summer!” For many plants, this is a good thing. Our long, warm days are more conducive to plant growth than any other time of year. That is, providing the said plant is in the right place.

Many readers have a sunny yard that heats up this time of year and many plants will thrive there. However, if you plant a thirsty or shade-loving plant in direct sun you might be creating a graveyard for plants.

Here are our top eight picks for planting in hot spots, including near a headstone:

– Stonecrop. Sedum is almost indestructible in a bright sunny location.  It is the camel of all plants. Their bright colours and mid to late summer flowering period are long and eye-catching. Their fleshy stems and leaves are engineered to hold moisture and release it as needed by the plant. Choose from many varieties including low ground huggers up to Sedum spectabile, which matures to about 30 or 40 cm (18 to 24 inches).

– Achillea. Yarrow is almost as indestructible as sedum, when grown in the sun. Only it looks feathery and delicate. It is the lightweight kickboxing champion of the plant world. Try to ignore it or push it around by starving it and it will simply multiply and bloom while thumbing its nose at you.  Stunning colours in a wide variety including the hot reds, orange, and yellows. Native species are available. Will grow up to 70 cm tall, depending on the variety.

– Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) need higher moisture to germinate, but once they are growing, they are very tolerant of drought and almost any soil condition. Once considered an actual weed, public opinion has swung wildly into favour as milkweeds are the exclusive larval host for monarch butterflies. Also attracts milkweed tussock moth, milkweed leaf beetle, queen butterfly and a host of native bees. All good.

– “Goldenrod (solidago) is the new milkweed”, is what all the cool nature kids are saying. Public opinion is changing around goldenrod as it has for milkweed, owing to its superpowers supporting bees and butterflies. Stiff goldenrod is a drought-tolerant variety that will put on a show with its yellow flowers. It is a common misconception that goldenrod aggravates hay fever when ragweed is to blame.

– Blazing star (Liatris). Who would not want to be remembered as a “blazing star”? There are many varieties of this plant also known as liatris or gayfeather. It is a native plant with round flowers that will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees to beat the band. The purple flowers look at home in a meadow planting, surrounded by native grasses. –

– Lamium. Mark planted this in his pollinator garden 15 years ago and he works hard to retain it. It is a great groundcover where nothing else will grow. Grows to 30 cm or 12 inches. Attractive variegated foliage of silver or gold. Take that to the bank. We guarantee that your deposit will grow.

– Hosta. Quick to establish itself in most any garden, the broad-leafed Hosta thrives in dry shade and the solid green varieties grow well in the sun, though mid-day direct sun can scorch even these. Variegated types will bleach out in direct sun. Hosta add texture and the flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators mid-summer. Available from short 20 cm varieties to giants that spread over a meter wide.

– Daylily (Hemerocallis). There are many daylilies in bloom right now. They love the sun and thrive through a drought as their bulbous, fleshy roots store water underground for long periods. You know that a plant has few demands when municipalities use it extensively to line boulevards. Choose from a wide variety of hot colours like orange, yellow and rose/red. Varieties grow from 60 cm to over a metre high.

In addition to our list of favourites, we add echinacea (Purple Cone Flower), Shasta daisy, rudbeckia and any ornamental grass, of which there are several thousand to choose from.

Happy gardening in the sun.

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author, broadcaster, tree advocate and a Member of the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth-generation urban gardener and graduate of the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University in Halifax. Follow them at markcullen.com, @markcullengardening, and on Facebook.

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Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming: https://www.metopera.org/

Britten’s Billy Budd, today until 6:30PM
Starring Philip Langridge, Dwayne Croft, and James Morris, conducted by Steuart Bedford. Production by John Dexter. From March 11, 1997

Verdi’s La Traviata,   tonight 7:30PM until Monday about 6:30PM
Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Production by Willy Decker. From March 11, 2017.  "Few operatic figures are as beloved as Violetta, the dignified, selfless, and sickly heroine of Verdi’s classic tragedy. An elegant courtesan with a heart of gold, she chooses true love over the amusements and riches of her glamorous Parisian life, then sacrifices everything for the sake of a young woman she’s never even met. All of this—the glitter of her earlier wealth, the heat of her passion with the ardent young Alfredo (sung in this 2017 Live in HD transmission by star tenor Michael Fabiano), the pain of their separation, and her tragic end—lands with devastating weight thanks to Verdi, whose score stands as one of music’s greatest depictions of love and loss."  This completely different production by Willie Decker is not the traditional setting and gives the opera an additional dimension.

June 26, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food Opportunities

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

Storefront:
Riverview Country Market
North River KJL Market 
Heartbeet Organics at The Farmacy (9AM-1PM)

Arlington Archards Farm Booth are open at Ellen's Creek on North River Road, Mischouche (Cooks Corner) and NEW location --
Cornwall at 661 Main St. (across from the Esso), Monday to Saturday 9:30AM-6PM, Sunday 12noon-5PM.
Plus many local stores are carrying small farmers' and producers' products.
---------------------
This morning:
Bike Friendly Charlottetown is hosting a Hillsborough Bridge Ride from 10-11AM, and while pre-registration was needed, it would still be wonderful event to watch if you are in the area. 
More details:
https://www.bfcpei.ca/post/hillsborourgh-bridge-celebration-ride?

This afternoon:

Summerside Area Greens Family BBQ, 2PM, Heather Moyse Park, Summerside, Please RSVP at (902) 439-5957

adapted from the Green Party PEI Events Notice:
Food, Games, Prizes and Political stuff! Isn’t that what Summer is all about?  Bring a lawn chair and a friend - we will provide everything else!

Join us for an informal family BBQ to celebrate the start of Summer with Green MLAs Steve Howard, Lynne Lund and Trish Altass as well as Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker and Party president Susan Hartley.

For more info call or text John at (902) 439-5957


Amazing Cheverie No. 1, Fred:
from the Souris and Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation's news:

"Fred Cheverie has been awarded a national conservation award, the Roland Michener Conservation Award, by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and we couldn't be HAPPIER!!! This award is given to some one who has demonstrated a commitment to conservation through effective and responsible activities that promote, enhance and further the conservation of Canada’s natural resources."

And that certainly describes Fred Cheverie.

"There are significant connections we all make in life — family, friends. Connection to the natural world around us is one I value just as much. To take time immersing yourself in nature, listening to the trickling brook, the birds, the leaves, and enjoying the beauty it has to offer, that is time well spent. It is both physical and mental. Volunteer with your local watershed or conservation group and ask lots of questions — they need you."
     - Fred Cheverie

Beautiful Award Announcement on Fred and the other national winners from Canadian Wildlife Federation:
https://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore/awards/winners/2021/CW-JulAug-Awards.pdf?
---------------------------------------
Opinion piece from Amazing Cheverie No. 2, the big-hearted Leo:

TRADE JUSTICE P.E.I.: Stop obstructing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Leo Cheverie

Published on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/trade-justice-pei-stop-obstructing-distribution-of-covid-19-vaccines-100602593/

It is time for Canada to stop obstructing the implementation of the proposed waiver of monopoly rights on COVID 19-related vaccines and medical supplies at the WTO. The waiver request brought forward by developing countries could enable a widespread and rapid scaling up of the manufacture of vaccines around the world. Over 100 countries already endorse the waiver. Canada needs to get on board.

Until now, Canada has been running interference and delaying progress by asking spurious questions at the WTO which has only hurt our reputation and has been embarrassing for Canadians. We hope this behaviour will not continue in the text-based negotiations.

Our government’s recent donation of 13 million vaccine doses to the failing COVAX program is not the answer to vaccine inequality. It ignores the expertise and needs of developing and least-developed countries who are fighting desperately for a waiver. Industry-controlled programs such as COVAX are correctly viewed by the public as an attempt to protect profits and monopoly rights. While the stated goal of COVAX was to obtain 2 billion vaccine doses, (an amount still insufficient to meet global need), only 38 million doses had been donated by April 2021. Earlier this month, BBC reported that G7 countries have purchased over a third of the world's vaccine supply, despite making up only 13 per cent of the global population.

It is also time for the Canadian government to stop promoting the narrative that pharmaceutical companies need extended patent protection in order to fund the research and study necessary for vaccine development. COVID-19 vaccines have overwhelmingly been developed in publicly funded institutions.

• In the United States the Moderna vaccine based on mRNA technology was developed entirely by the public sector – i.e. the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Department and federally funded laboratories at universities.

• In the United Kingdom the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by Oxford University.

• A vaccine in Finland was developed by publicly funded scientists at the University of Helsinki.

• The coating which enables the Pfizer vaccine to penetrate cells without destabilizing was developed by scientists at the University of British Columbia.

Canada must support the waiver of monopoly rights and immediately commit to collaborating with other governments worldwide to ensure the potential of the waiver is realized. This includes helping to ensure that as many production facilities as possible are made available around the world, that raw materials are safely delivered to production facilities and vaccines are delivered to communities which need them.

Overview of the process of vaccine distribution needs to remain with the public, their governments and the global community, not pharmaceutical companies.

The newest variants are very worrisome and have caused large outbreaks very quickly here in Canada. This highlights the risk of not having everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Trade Justice P.E.I. implores the prime minister to quit stalling and become part of the solution by endorsing the WTO intellectual property rights waiver proposal immediately. We thank all the MPs who have endorsed this approach including Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown and we ask the Island’s remaining MPs, Wayne Easter, Lawrence MacAulay and Bobby Morrissey, to add their voices to those urging the prime minister and Minister Ng to do the right thing.

Leo Cheverie, on behalf of Trade Justice P.E.I., a coalition of 17 groups and individuals who are concerned about Canada’s current international trade agenda and who believe that it’s time for trade that is more democratic and environmentally sustainable, more supportive of a transition to a carbon neutral economy in which workers receive their fair share of the benefits, and which is more respectful of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

-30-



Opera Corner:

Saturday Afternoon "Best Opera Ever" Series with Ben Heppner, 2PM, CBC Music, 104.7FM

Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Puccini’s Turandot, today until 6:30PM
Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov, and James Morris, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From October 12, 2019.
"
Yannick Nézet-Séguin kicked off his second season as the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director by conducting his first Puccini with the company, leading the composer’s final masterpiece, Turandot. In the opera, an ancient Chinese princess presents each new suitor with a series of riddles; success will win her hand, but failure costs his head. One brave warrior prince rises to the challenge, determined to thaw Turandot’s frozen heart. Puccini raises the temperature to boiling by lavishing the legendary tale with some of his finest and most spectacular music—not to mention “Nessun dorma,” one of the catalog’s most beloved arias. Combined with Zeffirelli’s breathtakingly opulent production, it makes for one of opera’s grandest experiences."

June 25, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today:
Deadline for survey on midwifery services
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services

Fridays 4 Future, 3:30PM, outside Province House.
-----------------

Today, it's the Standing Committee on Health and Social Development that has back-to-back meetings:

Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 9:30AM, online.

Topic: Briefing from the Department of Health and Wellness

The committee will receive a briefing from the Department of Health and Wellness and Minister of Health and Wellness, Ernie Hudson on the following topics:

  • Recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals

  • Medical homes

  • Dementia care

  • Women's Health Strategy

At this time, additional presenters include: Deputy Minister Mark Spidel, Deborah Bradley, Lori Ellis and Rebecca Gill

Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, online.

Topic: Briefing on governance structure within the healthcare system, with Board Chair of the Health PEI Board, Derek Key, QC


Watch:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://ww
w.assembly.pe.ca/


P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg


Government media release:  

Hillsborough Bridge active transportation pathway is open

media release from Thursday, June 24th, 2021

The new Hillsborough Bridge active transportation pathway is open, providing a key connection between the City of Charlottetown and the Town of Stratford.

The new pathway was designed for human-powered transportation, such as cycling, walking, skateboarding, rollerblading, power assist e-bikes and wheelchairs.  It is part of the Province’s vision for a network of green commuting options, emphasizing active transportation as an alternative to motorized vehicles.

This $4 million project was split between the provincial and federal governments with funding support from the New Building Canada Fund.  <snip>

  -----------------
article:
https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/news/pei-bridge-project-opening-would-have-been-dream-come-true-for-cycling-advocate-widow-says-100604221/

P.E.I. bridge project opening would have been dream come true for cycling advocate, widow says - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart

Hillsborough Bridge active transportation path officially opens

Published on Thursday, June 24th, 2021

People can now walk, wheel and roll across the Hillsborough Bridge.

The active transportation path across the structure officially opened on June 24.

It’s something that would have been a dream come true for former cycling advocate Josh Underhay, said his widow, Karri Shea.

Underhay and his young son, Oliver, died in a canoeing accident in 2019.

Shea spoke at the opening ceremony for the connector between Charlottetown and Stratford that is dedicated to walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders, power assist e-bikes and wheelchairs.

“This one little stretch of safe … corridor will actually change the way people on both sides of the river will be able to live their lives,’’ Shea said.

Dignitaries on hand for the opening included Charlottetown MP Sean Casey, Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King, Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown and Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden.

Underhay wasn’t the only advocate for the active transportation path, but he was driven to see it happen, meeting with federal, provincial and municipal officials on a number of occasions.

“Josh always believed, if you build it they will come,’’ Shea said. “Josh was the first one to say this is important; to say this will help. The rest of us took up the cause because he was right.’’

Shea said the need for an active transportation path across the bridge was always important to Underway, an avid cyclist, but it wasn’t until Oliver was born that it became a mission for him.

“It was an attempted ride across this bridge with Oliver in the bike trailer that made him realize just how dangerous that crossing was and just how much this pathway was needed.’’

Casey said Underhay deserves a lot of credit from pushing the project.

“I remember in 2017 he came into my office and said we needed this. He was absolutely bouncing with energy,’’ the Charlottetown MP said of the meeting with Underhay.

Casey told him there was federal money that could be put toward the project but that he should go and talk to provincial officials and see if there was interest there.

The interest was there. An official announcement that the project was going to happen was made a year later. The project was put on the fast track after the King government took over in 2019.

A number of groups drove the project, including Bike Friendly Community (formerly known as Bike Friendly Charlottetown), Cycling P.E.I. and Recreation P.E.I.

Ogden said the bridge was repeatedly identified in town surveys as a barrier to living in Stratford, pointing to safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists.

While the official opening took place on June 24, cyclists and walkers were using the pathway more than a week before construction was actually finished. The pathway has seen active use for the past couple of weeks.

Still, some people were still making their maiden trip across on June 24.

Mark Weeks, who also works with Cycling P.E.I., and his two children, Addison, 11, and Carter, 8, left the Charlottetown side on Thursday morning and came back over from the Stratford end.

“This is awesome,’’ Weeks said. “We are super excited to see this come to fruition. A lot of groups and individuals came together to make this happen. It’s great for our community. It’s just awesome to see trails like this; to see active transportation systems be put in place.’’

“I cycle a lot. This is going to be fun,’’ Addison said before the trip.  “I think this is cool,’’ Carter added.

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

Paying for it

Following is the cost breakdown for the Hillsborough Bridge active transportation path:

• Overall cost: $4 million.

• Split between the provincial and federal governments with funding support from the New Building Canada Fund.


-30-


near Tracadie

Fish kill reported in Donaldston

media release, Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Late yesterday afternoon, conservation officers and an Environment, Energy and Climate Action official responded to a report of dead trout in Black River. 

The impacted site is localized to a pond on the Dougan Road. Close to 30 legal samples were collected and delivered to Environment Canada for laboratory analysis. 

Provincial officials will be returning to the site today to gather further samples and continue clean up efforts. This incident is not believed to be extensive at this time.

This event remains under investigation.

-30-


Proposed water authority could soon govern irrigation in P.E.I. - by Stu Neatby

Published on Thursday, June 24th, 2021

https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/news/local/proposed-water-authority-could-soon-govern-irrigation-in-pei-100604210/

While the province has said it intends to allow high-capacity irrigation wells, one of the province’s key decision-makers on water usage says no permits for these wells will be issued before the province completes its province-wide irrigation strategy.

A draft of this strategy could be made public in the fall, members from the standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability heard June 24.

The Water Act came into effect on June 16, more than three years after it was passed in the legislature. As of this writing, the regulations under the act that govern water withdrawal maintain a moratorium on high-capacity wells for agricultural use that has been in place since 2002.

A proposed new draft of these regulations, made public on June 10, allow permitting for high-capacity wells if they abide by this future irrigation strategy.

Under the Water Act, these regulations had to be presented to the committee 90 days before going into effect. Committee members received this around June 10.

“The moratorium that was there is still there,” Brad Colwill, deputy minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, told members of the committee.

“Even if approved, in 90 days, there still can't be permits provided until the strategy is completed."

Colwill appeared before the committee along with Bruce Raymond, manager of water and air monitoring, and George Somers, manager of drinking water and wastewater management.

The three men made clear that water use will be regulated in P.E.I. on a watershed by watershed basis, as some watersheds would have differing availability of water.

P.E.I. relies on its aquifers for residential, industrial and agricultural water use. Only 35 per cent of the Province’s total groundwater recharge is allowed for use by Islanders.

Colwill outlined three possible options for allocating water usage for agriculture and other non-residential uses.

One option would involve a co-operative established for each watershed, composed of farmers and other irrigators. The co-op would determine how to distribute water to members. However, there could be downside to this.

“It could put the irrigators and the irrigation community in that uncomfortable position where it's making decisions amongst itself," Colwill said.

Another option would be much like what exists today, which Colwill called "first-come-first-serve". Irrigators would be granted a five-year permit but determining “equitable sharing” of water would be difficult in times of drought.

The third option — and the clear favourite of the department — would involve a water authority tasked with determining a fair allocation of water for users. The authority could govern the entire province or specific watersheds. It would be informed by government but could also be led by both farmers, watershed groups and others.

Under this option some existing irrigators may have to reduce their water usage in times of drought.
Colwill said he was hoping to hear from the committee on which option MLAs think is best. Most indicated support for a water authority.

“How long is it going to collect the data before we can have an irrigation strategy in place to give confidence to both producers and Islanders that our water is protected?" Green Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker asked.

Somers said that although there may not be a model for every watershed in P.E.I., he had a “fair bit of confidence” his department has sufficient data to model and predict impacts.

Somers said there are three main factors that determine recharge and streamflow – rainfall, nature of geology and water usage.

"The base data that goes into it aren't that mysterious," he said.

“The one thing we can't predict is what the future weather is going to be. But we know, within certain range, what sort of recharge rates we get," Somers said.

-30-

I think a lot of people would think twice and more conservatively about the line: "Only 35 per cent of the Province’s total groundwater recharge is allowed for use by Islanders."


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Back-to-back Puccini drama, slightly over-the-top storytelling, and absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous music and singing.

Puccini’s Tosca, today until 6:30PM
Starring Patricia Racette, Roberto Alagna, George Gagnidze, and John Del Carlo, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Production by Luc Bondy. From November 9, 2013.

Puccini’s Turandot, tonight 7:30PM until Saturday about 6:30PM
Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov, and James Morris, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From October 12, 2019.

June 24, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Some tech issues this morning, so just sending this as it is. At least the opera notes got in.  ;-)

Events:
Water and Land discussed by all-Party Legislative Committees with presenters in a full day:

Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, 10AM, online
Topic: Briefing on information that the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action has to create a sustainable irrigation strategy, and any anticipated challenges to creating a strategy

Deputy Minister of the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Brad Colwill; Manager of Water and Air Monitoring, Bruce Raymond; Manager of Drinking Water and Wastewater Management, George Somers

Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, 1PM, online

Topic: Update on the work of the Land Matters Advisory Committee and briefing on the denied 2020 AgriRecovery application with Minister of Agriculture and Land, Bloyce Thompson and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Land, Brian Matheson

Watch here or here:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg


In case you missed it: Webinar from Monday evening from the Coalitions for the Protection of Water and Lands: It's Urgent:

Video link

It's about 1hour 15minutes long with excellent presentations by Catherine O'Brien and Douglas Campbell, and good questions.


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, today until 6:30PM
Starring Elza van den Heever, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, Joshua Hopkins, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Production by Sir David McVicar. From January 19, 2013.

Puccini’s Tosca, tonight 7:30PM until Friday about 6:30PM
Starring Patricia Racette, Roberto Alagna, George Gagnidze, and John Del Carlo, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Production by Luc Bondy. From November 9, 2013.

June 23, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, online.

Topic: Recruitment and retention of nurses, with President of the PEI Nurses Union, Barbara Brookins and Executive Director of the PEI Nurses Union, Stephanie Gallant

watch at:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link https://www.facebook.com/peileg 


News:

Federal Electoral Reform News, from FairVote Canada:
Three parties voted for NDP Democratic Reform Critic Daniel Blaikie's motion at the Procedures and House Affairs (PROC) committee to study a National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. 


A newspaper article on local farmer Soleil Hutchinson's award: https://www.peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/soleil-hutchinson-2021-winner-of-peiwi-woman-in-agriculture-award/article_35498366-cde1-11eb-8f09-5b77864bb0b1.html

Soleil Hutchinson 2021 winner of PEIWI Woman in Agriculture Award - The Eastern Graphic article

Published on Wednesday, June 18, 2021

Soleil Hutchison has been named the 2021 winner of the PEI Women's Institute "Woman in Agriculture Award.”

Hutchinson is an organic mixed vegetable farmer and shares her skills with Islanders through multiple projects and organizations such as CHANCES, the PEI Association for Newcomers, and the Wild Child Forest School project of the PEI Sierra Club. Her vegetables are available at various Island stores, including Soleil's Farm in Bonshaw.

"I chose the crazy, unpredictable life of a farmer because, above all else, I believe in the power and beauty of community," Soleil notes on her company website, Soleil Farm. "I believe that together, a community of committed farmers and eaters can create a better food system, where we can all celebrate and enjoy good food."

After completing an organic farming apprenticeship, Hutchinson has brought innovative ideas to help widen access to local food such as “Plate It”, a catering initiative connecting Island restaurants and producers. With her co-operative community sponsored agriculture (CSA) programs, she has also connected residents to local seasonal produce, breads and other PEI foods.

The Woman in Agriculture Award is recognition for an Island woman making a major contribution to the PEI agriculture sector and is presented bi-annually by the PEI Women’s Institute.

"I chose the crazy, unpredictable life of a farmer because, above all else, I believe in the power and beauty of community," Soleil notes on her company website, Soleil Farm. "I believe that together, a community of committed farmers and eaters can create a better food system, where we can all celebrate and enjoy good food."

After apprenticing on a mixed-vegetable farm in Portland, Oregon for two years, she returned to PEI to be close to her family and started a ¼ acre mix vegetable farm. Soleil said. "Over the next 10 years, I learned the ins and outs of the Island’s climate and soil (often through trial and error!) and developed great relationships with local chefs that wanted to treat their customers to the freshest produce possible."

In addition to partnering with other farmers to supply local restaurants, Soleil has been offering a Winter Food Basket (similar to a CSA-style box) since 2015 to provide Islanders with access to local, organic food during a time of year that it’s typically harder to source food locally. That success led to the creation of a summer food basket three years later.

"Through this new adventure, I discovered that I LOVE connecting directly with the people that have chosen to support our farmer collective," Soleil notes on her website. "Our community of farmers and eaters has grown with each year that’s passed, and I continue to dream up myriad ways to bring everyone together for celebrations on the farm and beyond."

This award recognizing an Island woman making a major contribution to the PEI agriculture industry within the last five years. The award is given in the form of a plaque and a framed photo which is prominently displayed on the fifth floor of the Department of Agriculture and Land. Past winners include Heather Best, Edith Ling, Mary Robinson and Jessica Reeves.

-30-  


thanks to Ian Petrie for pointing this out:

Joni Mitchell’s Blue: my favourite song – by James Taylor, Carole King, Graham Nash, David Crosby and more

As the legendary album turns 50, the musicians it inspired – and those who inspired it – tell us which track means the most to them and why

by Dave Simpson
published on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021, in The (U.K.) Guardian

LINK to story and music clips:
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/jun/22/joni-mitchell-blue-my-favourite-song-james-taylor-carole-king-graham-nash-david-crosby-kt-tunstall-birdy?


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Dvořák’s Rusalka, today until 6:30PM

Starring Kristine Opolais, Katarina Dalayman, Jamie Barton, Brandon Jovanovich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Production by Mary Zimmerman. From February 25, 2017.  Beautiful costumes, singing.

Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, tonight 7:30PM until Thursday 6:30PM

Starring Elza van den Heever, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, Joshua Hopkins, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Production by Sir David McVicar. From January 19, 2013.  Engaging Italian composer take on British history of Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

June 22, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Standing Committee Meetings today:

Public Accounts, 10AM, online.
"The committee will meet to continue its review of the 2021 Report of the Auditor General to the Legislative Assembly. Auditor General Darren Noonan will be in attendance."

Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, 1:30PM, online.
"The committee will receive a briefing on the Safe at Work, Unsafe at Home:  COVID-19 and Temporary Foreign Workers in Prince Edward Island report by the Cooper Institute", with presenters Ann Wheatley and Eliza MacLauchlan.

Watch live:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg
-------------------------------
Food and drink:

Charlottetown Farmers' Market orders for Thursday due by noon today.
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

Another new coffee (and Lady Baker Tea) place (take-out only at this point) at The Legion at 99 Pownal Street, The Shed Coffee: https://theshedcoffee.net/

https://www.facebook.com/PEI.Specialty.Coffee/

-------------------------------
Tonight:
Meet the new Green Party Critic for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and Finance, Hannah Bell, 7PM, online.

"What issues would you like them to work on? What information and trends should they be aware of?

Zoom meeting Registration: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIuce6orzwsGtK8NJ9i_9BiIAUhGUdX1tH3

-------------------------------
Friday, June 25th:
Deadline for participating in survey re: Midwifery Services on P.E.I.
Webpage with link to survey:

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services


observation/opinion
Philanthropy / misanthropy

Sometimes those opening their sizable wallets and giving generous gifts are unsurprisingly looked on with gratitude and awe.  Charities and groups of people who could use a lift benefit from large donations and small but widespread treats.  Sometimes we don't want to discover the costs to workers and / or the environment that enable these seemingly successful people to reap their profits.


Catching up with the David Suzuki Foundation:

1)  from yesterday, Indigenous Peoples Day, (but why not any day):

"This Indigenous Peoples Day, do these three things to be an accomplice"

...Indigenous Peoples Day, (is) a day for everyone in Canada to recognize and celebrate the heritage, cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. As the country grapples with the trauma of a brutal residential school system and an unjust system of land governance, now more than ever, Indigenous Peoples throughout the land need us to stand with them and speak up for justice. In the words of Jesse Wente (Anishinaabe), chairperson of the Canada Council for the Arts, “We don’t just need allies, we need accomplices.”

Here are three things we believe you can do ... to become an accomplice:

  1. Lift the burden of education off the shoulders of your Indigenous friends and colleagues. Watch and share this video series on land governance in Canada, featuring some of Canada’s most prominent Indigenous thought leaders, activists and accomplices.
    https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/what-is-land-back/

  2. Interested in land repatriation initiatives? Find out whose traditional territories you’re on and start the conversation.
    https://geo.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/cippn-fnpim/index-eng.html
    (note: this is a big big website and slow on rural internet, but worth it)

  3. Hold public leaders accountable for policy. Contact municipal, provincial and federal governments to demand the inclusion of affected Indigenous voices at decision-making tables. You can start by signing this letter to the prime minister and your premier.
    https://davidsuzuki.org/action/canadian-land-governance-must-respect-indigenous-rights/

    As Wente says, “Be outraged with us. Stand with us. Demand change.

from Rachel Plotkin, Boreal Project Manager David Suzuki Foundation
With thanks to Jill MacCormack for catching and sharing that.

And a recent story on the Government of Canada and UNDRIP,  the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
(CTV Story -- link only):
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/how-canada-s-undrip-bill-was-strengthened-to-reject-racist-doctrine-of-discovery-1.5477403


2) Support Nature!

Canada is consulting on its first National Infrastructure Assessment, which will chart a course for new infrastructure investment up to 2050. Speak up to ensure that it puts natural infrastructure at its core.

Natural infrastructure can meet community needs on par with built infrastructure in cost-effective ways while also providing additional benefits.

Unlike many traditional infrastructure projects, natural infrastructure works with nature, not against it. Communities throughout Canada struggle with crumbling infrastructure. Natural infrastructure helps address this challenge while also helping adapt to and mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. It uses ecosystem features and materials to supply core infrastructure services to communities, while providing co-benefits to the environment, economy and well-being.

Canada must prioritize natural infrastructure, including funding the following:

  • Ecologically appropriate infrastructure. This infrastructure supports services delivered by nature. It has obvious ecological benefits and can reduce the need for carbon-intensive cement and steel construction.

  • Greening human-built infrastructure. Many infrastructure projects can be designed to contribute to biodiversity goals and minimize damage to local ecosystems. Canada should assess the infrastructure projects it funds and seek to identify opportunities for natural infrastructure solutions, evaluate their alternatives and clearly articulate co-benefits.

Tell Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna we need a strong focus on natural infrastructure to lay the foundation for a low-carbon, resilient future and showcase Canada as an environmental leader.

Webpage with letter for the Minister: https://davidsuzuki.org/action/tell-canada-to-prioritize-natural-infrastructure/

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, today until 6:30PM
Starring Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan, Alice Coote, Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, Frédéric Antoun, David Portillo, David Adam Moore, Rod Gilfry, Kevin Burdette, Christian Van Horn, and Sir John Tomlinson, conducted by Thomas Adès. Production by Tom Cairns. From November 18, 2017.

Dvořák’s Rusalka, tonight 7:30PM until Wednesday 7:30PM
Starring Kristine Opolais, Katarina Dalayman, Jamie Barton, Brandon Jovanovich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Production by Mary Zimmerman. From February 25, 2017.

June 21, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


June 20, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Tomorrow night, and it is urgent...

Monday, June 21st:
Protection of PEI Water and Lands -- It's Urgent, webinar, 7PM, online.
Facebook event link
"The Coalitions for the Protection of PEI Lands and Water will host a Zoom presentation and discussion about PEI's ongoing land and water issues.

Tuesday, June 22nd:
Meet the New Environment, Climate Change and Energy, (and Finance), Hannah Bell, 7PM, online

"As Green MLAs take up the mantles of their new critic roles, they want to talk to YOU! What issues would you like them to work on? What information and trends should they be aware of?

Hannah Bell is the new Green Official Opposition Critic for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, as well as for Finance. What would you like her to work on in those areas?

Please register for this Zoom online meeting:"
https://zoom.us/.../tJIuce6orzwsGtK8NJ9i_9BiIAUhGUdX1tH3

Thursday, June 24th:
Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, 10AM, online
Discussion on the planning of an "irrigation strategy", with Department of Environment officials.

Note that the Committee has a second meeting that day, at 1PM, dealing with Land Matters update.  Details to follow.


Strong Voices on water

LETTER: Cynical or clumsy that P.E.I. Water Act is implemented without irrigation strategy - The Guardian Letter to the Editor 

Published on Saturday, June 19th, 2021
https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-cynical-or-clumsy-that-pei-water-act-is-implemented-without-irrigation-strategy-100601740/

I am perplexed by Environment Minister Steven Myers announcing the lifting of the moratorium on new high-capacity wells before any work on the promised irrigation strategy has begun. This is either a cynical move or a most clumsy one. Surely it is the strategy that should be completed and widely accepted before the moratorium is lifted. Otherwise, it seems Minister Myers already knows that such wells will have a place in the strategy. And they may well but equally they may not. So, what is going on here when such apparent ineptitude or callousness is at play with such an important issue?

Darragh Morgan,
Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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

HANNAH BELL: Government needs to prove it can manage and regulate water on P.E.I. - The Guardian Opinion piece by Hannah Bell

Published Wednesday, June 16th, 2021, online

https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/hannah-bell-government-needs-to-prove-it-can-manage-and-regulate-water-on-pei-100600689/

The provincial government announced June 10 that it intends to make changes to water withdrawal regulations as it develops a sustainable irrigation strategy. What is notably absent from government’s press release is that these changes would include lifting the moratorium on high-capacity wells for irrigation that has protected P.E.I. waterways for nearly two decades. This is a monumental decision that will affect future Islanders for generations to come.

Developing a sustainable irrigation strategy that properly protects our water resources is crucial to the success of this Act. This will be a major undertaking that should not be rushed.

Government’s press release is also ambiguous about whether this irrigation strategy will be in place before the moratorium is lifted. We need a commitment from government that the moratorium will not be lifted until an irrigation strategy that all Islanders are comfortable with is in place. We need to work toward a consensus on how we manage this critical resource.

We know farmers need water – we want farmers to be able to access water where that can be done without endangering our waterways. Government needs to convince us, and more importantly the Island public, that they can manage and regulate water in a responsible and equitable way.

Government needs to do its homework on this, and we will be watching very closely to make sure they do.

Hannah Bell, MLA
Charlottetown-Belvedere
Official Opposition Critic for Environment, Energy and Climate Change


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s Don Carlo, today until 6:30PM
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Anna Smirnova, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Nicholas Hytner. From December 11, 2010.

Verdi’s Luisa Miller, tonight 7:30PM until Monday about 6:30PM

Starring Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, Bonaldo Giaiotti, and James Morris. Production by Nathaniel Merrill. From January 20, 1979.

Sherrill Milnes as one of the sweetest dads, Renato Scotto is just darling as his daughter, Domingo as the man she loves, Gianotti as his bad dad, and James Morris is a creepy bad guy.  Tragic ending. Verdi lost his wife and several of his young children to illness and was understandably devastated, and a lot of his operas explore the unshakable bonds between parent and child, all with heartachingly beautiful music and singing.  Happy Father's Day!

June 19, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food Opportunities

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

Storefront:
Riverview Country Market
North River KJL Market 
Heartbeet Organics at The Farmacy (9AM-1PM)

Plus many local stores are carrying small farmers' and producers' products.


News:

Green party picks Keenan to run again in Malpeque - The Guardian article by Michael Robar

Published on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/local/green-party-picks-keenan-to-run-again-in-malpeque-100600776/

Anna Keena will be the Green party candidate for Malpeque in the next federal election.

The uncontested nomination was announced in a media release on Wednesday, June 16, and though the next election isn’t scheduled until 2023, rumours have swirled one could be called sometime this year.

Regardless of when it will be, Keenan has already started campaign preparations, she told The Guardian.

“I have a campaign manager ready to work with me over the summer and I’m going to be getting out on the doors as soon as possible.”

This is Keenan’s second run at representing Malpeque federally. In 2019, she placed second to incumbent Liberal MP Wayne Easter, who has announced he is not running in the next election.

The 2019 campaign made Keenan the sixth strongest Green party candidate nationally in that election, said Oliver Batchilder, CEO of the Malpeque Greens in the release.

“We are delighted to have a candidate of such a high calibre represent Green values in the riding a second time.”

Her motivations remain much the same as then and she’s looking to build upon that success, she said.

“We performed so well last time, me and my team, and I’m committed to helping to drive Canada further down the path of climate action, sustainability, rural revitalization.”

In the release, Keenan listed her four campaign pillars as “a well-being economy that cares for people; indigenous reconciliation and racial justice; a strong and sustainable food economy; and good jobs in transforming our energy systems.”

Who is Anna Keenan?

  • Born in Australia, she earned degrees in physics and economics in 2007

  • Worked for five years as a climate and energy campaigner in Europe, where she met her Island-born husband

  • Moved to P.E.I. to start a family and be near the New Glasgow home of her partner’s parents, as his mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's

  • Supports her partner running a small craft cidery business and apple orchard

  • Has served as president of provincial greens; campaign director with P.E.I. Coalition for Proportional Representation; secretary of Bike Friendly Communities P.E.I.; chair of River Clyde Pageant board

  • Currently the digital organizing manager for 350.org, a global climate advocacy organization

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

Different situation

Unlike the last election, she won’t be up against a veteran incumbent, as Easter announced in the House of Commons on June 14 he wouldn’t be running again.

While she was prepared to run against him, the news didn’t altogether surprise her or affect her outlook on the campaign, she said.

“He has a lot of respect in the community and then there are also people who are looking for a change, so for me, I suppose, it’s a neutral factor.”

So far, the only other announced candidate for the riding is Jody Sanderson for the Conservative party.

“I think our values are quite significantly different," said Keenan about Sanderson, who she said lacks an understanding of the realities of poverty in the riding and province.

"We don’t need another business executive in parliament, we need people who come from community-based organizations and are committed to real democratic practice no matter how much money you’ve got.”

Green woes

In recent weeks, the Green party has faced internal turmoil, first with accusations the national council of the party interfered with leader Annamie Paul’s ability to do her job, which prompted Keenan to co-sign a letter asking for the resignation of two councillors.

Most recently, Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin — one of only three Green MPs — left the party to join the Liberals after butting heads with the party leader over the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Paul’s response prompting calls for her resignation and the national council nearly voting to hold a vote of non-confidence.

While Keenan recognized Paul made mistakes and hopes she can learn from them, Keenan thinks Atwin is in for a wakeup call, she said.

“I think Jenica made a very poor decision and I expect that she’s going to come to regret it within the next six months of settling into the Liberal party.”

Those federal troubles are unlikely to have a significant impact in the riding, said Keenan.

“The local chances of a candidate here in Malpeque, I think it depends how well we connect with the Malpeque community and talk about local issues and communicate those Green values. And I’m confident in my ability to do that.”

The riding association will hold a nomination celebration at Milton Hall on Saturday, June 26, with the option for supporters to join in via Zoom.

-30-

some graphs on the 2019 voting results at the link:
https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/local/green-party-picks-keenan-to-run-again-in-malpeque-100600776/


Ben Heppner will host an opera recording and discussion at 2PM, CBC Music, on Radio 104.7FM
Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:

https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s Rigoletto, today until 6:30PM

Starring Christiane Eda-Pierre, Isola Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Quilico, and Ara Berberian.  Production by John Dexter. From December 15, 1981.
A good dad, but his overprotective nature at home and vicious nature at work intersect to cause tragedy.

Verdi’s Don Carlo, tonight 7:30PM until Sunday 6:30PM
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Anna Smirnova, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Nicholas Hytner. From December 11, 2010.

Definitely not a great dad  -- the opera starts when King Philip steals the princess his son loves, and good parenting and royal succession planning pretty much go downhill from there.

June 18, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Today: Zoom Lunch and Learn - "Feminist Recovery" with Anjum Sultana, 12noon-1PM,  online.
Hosted by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, with Anjum Sultana, YWCA Canada Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications and guest Natalie Jameson, PEI Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
Register by email or phone:
info@peistatusofwomen.ca
(902)368-4510

Fridays for Future Climate Action Rally PEI/Epekwitk, 3:30PM, by Province HouseCharlottetown 

Monday, June 21st:
Protection of PEI Water and Lands -- It's Urgent, webinar, 7PM, online.
Facebook event link
"The Coalitions for the Protection of PEI Lands and Water will host a Zoom presentation and discussion about PEI's ongoing land and water issues. Issues such as corporate control of land and farmers and effects on rural communities; desperate need for changes to the Lands Protection Act; decline in soil health and loss of forest cover; chemicals in drinking and river water; water extraction causing severe damage to watershed ecosystems; and the total lack of any meaningful land use planning are not being treated with any sense of urgency by government."


On the Water Act, and Moratorium -  https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-there-is-no-irrigation-strategy-in-pei-100600749/

There is no irrigation strategy in P.E.I. - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Marie-Ann Bowden and Ann Wheatley

Published on Thursday, June 17th, 2021

The fact that the Water Act will finally come into effect this week should be a source of celebration in Prince Edward Island. The Act contains many positive features, and in many ways reflects the values expressed by the Islanders who have over the past seven years, taken time to participate in public consultations and comment on the Act and its accompanying regulations.

But Minister Myer’s announcement on June 10 has dampened enthusiasm for the long-awaited legislation. Once again, the Minister has indicated just how easily this government responds to the powerful voices of industry and how little they hear or care about the voices of concerned Islanders who have consistently said "no" to lifting the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agricultural irrigation. Public support for maintaining the moratorium is based on the need to protect this Island’s groundwater, for our health and the health of future generations. And because Prince Edward Island’s ecosystems, already under threat in so many ways, depend on preservation of groundwater.

As the Coalition wrote in an April opinion piece in the Guardian, “trust in government’s ability to protect our water, to resist corporate influence and to listen to citizens has eroded particularly in the 3 ½ years since the Water Act was passed. Fishkills, anoxic conditions, and high nitrate levels continue in our waters. Last summer, the government violated its own regulations by permitting five farmers to extract water from the Dunk River, when water levels were dangerously low.”

We are particularly disappointed that the moratorium is going to be lifted on the basis that licensing of high-capacity wells will be done according to rules that are as yet, non-existent.

The idea that high-capacity wells will be permitted, provided they are constructed in accordance with an irrigation strategy may sound good, until one realizes that actually, there is no irrigation strategy.

Will all water users be at the table to determine an acceptable strategy? After all, we all have a stake in determining how water is allocated in this province for both consumptive and non-consumptive uses. And even if that strategy is to emerge and is compatible with the new Act and its regulations, the wells will not be subject to metering nor the strict limitations on water usage recommended by the PEI Legislature’s Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, leaving us all to wonder about the pledge by this Government to the protection of Prince Edward Island waters and the gathering of scientific data to assess the effects of high-capacity wells.

The Act will also require farmers seeking well permits to submit a drought contingency plan, or a plan to reduce water use during extreme drought conditions, to the province. But there’s been no discussion of what should be included in such a plan.

This is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse and in this case the cart itself seems to be missing a competent driver.

Ann Wheatley and Marie-Ann Bowden for the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water

-------------------------------------------------------------------
What just got scheduled:

Thursday, June 24th:
Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability,10AM, online

Topic: Briefing on information that the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action has to create a sustainable irrigation strategy, and any anticipated challenges to creating a strategy

Deputy Minister of the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Brad Colwill; Manager of Water and Air Monitoring, Bruce Raymond; Manager of Drinking Water and Wastewater Management, George Somers


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Mozart’s Idomeneo, today until 6:30PM
tarring Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote, Matthew Polenzani, and Alan Opie. Production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. From March 25, 2017.

Verdi’s Rigoletto, tonight 7:30PM until Saturday 6:30PM
Starring Christiane Eda-Pierre, Isola Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Quilico, and Ara Berberian. Production by John Dexter. From December 15, 1981.
A good old-fashioned Rigoletto production.

June 17, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Thursday, June 17th:

Virtual Tour of the Bluenose Gallery at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, 1PM, on-line, free.
"Home of the largest Bluenose collection."
Facebook event link



The Official Opposition Green Party "Meet the Critics":
Ole Hammarlund on Transportation & Infrastructure, 7PM,
on-line
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/meetthecritics_olehammarlund
 


Daytime (and last) public consultation webinar regarding provincial midwifery services, all welcome, 12noon-1:30PM
More info, to register for the Zoom session today, and a survey with deadline Friday:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services

 

Charlottetown's Farmers' Market 2 Go, order by today 5PM for pick-up Saturday afternoon:
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/


While drawing thoughts on how the Water Act, acclaimed yesterday, has come to have such leaks in it, I turn to trees....

News:  Half the trees in two new English woodlands planted by jays, study finds

Former fields were naturally regenerated with oak trees growing from acorns buried by the birds


by Patrick Barkham
published on Wednesday, june 16th, 2021, in The (U.K.) Guardian


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/16/half-the-trees-in-two-new-english-woodlands-planted-by-jays-study-finds
 

More than half the trees in two new woodlands in lowland England have been planted not by landowners, charities or machines but by jays.

Former fields rapidly turned into native forest with no plastic tree-guards, watering or expensive management, according to a new study which boosts the case for using natural regeneration to meet ambitious woodland creation targets.

Instead, during “passive rewilding”, thrushes spread seeds of bramble, blackthorn and hawthorn, and this scrub then provided natural thorny tree “guards” for oaks that grew from acorns buried in the ground by jays.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, followed the fate of two fields next to Monks Wood, a nature reserve in Cambridgeshire. One, a barley field, was abandoned in 1961. The other, former grassland, was left alone in 1996.


After just 24 years, the grassland area, known as “the new wilderness”, had grown into a young wood with 132 live trees per hectare, 57% of which were oaks.


After 59 years, the barley field, called “the old wilderness”, resembled a mature woodland, with 390 trees per hectare of which 52% were oaks. In both cases, jays were the likeliest source of the oak trees, typically carrying acorns to cache for the winter much further than wood mice and grey squirrels

Dr Richard Broughton of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and lead author of the study, said: “Many people don’t like jays. Traditionally they have been seen as a pest. But jays and possibly grey squirrels planted more than half the trees in these sites. The jays and the thrushes basically engineered these new woodlands.”

The government’s ambitious tree-planting targets to tackle the climate crisis with 30,000 hectares of new woodlands in Britain by 2024 is likely to be dominated by non-native coniferous plantations, which critics say can damage native wildlife and carbon-storing peatlands.
 

Proponents of natural regeneration, such as Isabella Tree at Knepp, the rewilded farm in West Sussex, argue that we must learn to value “scrub” which first emerges when land is abandoned and provides a haven for wildlife.

Broughton said the study of emerging woodland at Monks Wood, a former research station for groundbreaking ecological studies, demonstrated the value of scrub.

“We call it scrub like it should be scrubbed away but it’s shrubland. It’s like a wildlife fest – covered in blossom, full of warblers. It’s just a really nice place to be,” he said.

“The thing which really stood out is unlike with planting, natural regeneration creates this essential first stage of shrubby development – a thicket of brambles and hawthorn sown by thrushes and a natural tree-guard against the browsers such as deer.”

Trees in both the naturally regenerating woodlands grew rapidly despite large numbers of wild deer in the area, including roe and invasive muntjac, and a series of droughts over the years.

Until recently, the financial support system for agriculture actively discouraged natural regeneration by removing basic payment subsidies if farmland was “scrubbed up”. But the government’s new Woodland Creation Offer – which began this month – now provides money for English landowners who want to reforest using natural regeneration, with its benefits to biodiversity, carbon sequestration, soils and flood alleviation.

Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, said: “In meeting our most welcome national ambition to expand woodland there is every good reason to harness the power of nature. The natural woodland regeneration at Monks Wood presents a fantastic example of what is possible – with trees planting themselves, with the assistance of the wind, birds and mammals. The feathered and furry foresters doing their work means there’s no need for the usual invasive digging, plastic tubes or imported saplings.

“There is also as a result no risk of importing diseases, it’s cost-free and full of wondrous wildlife, such as pollinating insects, wild plants and many birds including garden warblers, yellowhammer and reed bunting. Natural woodland recovery also catches carbon and can help reduce flood risk. It doesn’t work everywhere, but it quite clearly does in so many places and I would love to see this kind of example inspiring more natural regeneration across the country.”

Broughton said such rapid regeneration as recorded at Monks Wood was only likely to happen within several hundred metres of existing woodland in lowland Britain but that sites further from native woodland were likely to provide even greater biodiversity benefits because the particularly wildlife-rich shrubland stage developed more slowly.

The new naturally created woodlands were also dominated by oak. “Everyone loves their oak trees and knows how biodiverse they are,” said Broughton. “If people were asked for their ideal woodland, most would say oaks would be nice and that’s what we get for free with natural regeneration.”

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More thanks to Ian Petrie for sharing this

Opinion: The destruction of the last old growth forests has to stop. We must protect the mother trees


by Suzanne Simard

published on Friday, June 11th, 2021, in The Globe and Mail


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-destruction-of-the-last-old-growth-forests-has-to-stop-we-must/
 

Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology in the faculty of forestry at the University of British Columbia and the author of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. This piece was written in consultation with her colleagues Teresa (Sm’hayetsk) Ryan, Rachel Holt and Tara Martin.

Around the world, mothers are cherished and celebrated for the cycles of birth and nurturing of young lives. Mothers hope above all other things for a happy, healthy life for their children, for future generations.

But mothers today, and their children, fear for the future. Our economic system preferentially degrades nature in favour of expedient dividends for a few, putting us all at risk.

 

As an ecologist in British Columbia I discovered that trees are connected through below-ground fungal networks and that they communicate with each other and form complex societies similar to our families. After decades of research and hundreds of journal articles published, I have come to understand forests as intelligent systems built on sophisticated relationships with all creatures, including people.

The biggest, oldest trees are mother trees that recognize and nourish their own kin. The interconnected nature of forests has been known for thousands of years by the Indigenous people of North America and the world over that all life is woven together as one.

One time when my daughters were young I brought them to a logging site and we watched the felling of a giant tree.

The thunderous “whomp” of the tree landing on the Earth drowned out the gnawing echoes of the chainsaws that had just severed through her heartwood.

My children and I stood in stunned silence. Her thousand-year old weight crushed her saplings; the needles and cones dropped to the ground. Her roots and their fungal networks that had tied the family together and provided their nourishment frayed and snapped with the weight of heavy machinery.

My oldest daughter stared in shock; my littlest one cried.

We were standing witness to the falling of some of the last of the mother trees, the very life support systems of my children’s future.

 

 

It is for this reason that I join my female colleagues, and mothers around the world, in decrying the destruction of the last of the old growth forests.

It must stop.

Forests are being felled at breakneck speed, pumped by a disease of greed and folly, and this is occurring worldwide, not just here in British Columbia.

Many of the tropical rainforests of Borneo, Ghana and the Amazon, the taiga of Russia, and the temperate rainforests of the Oregon Cascades, have already been felled. Even the boreal forest of Canada that grows at glacial speed owing to the high latitude conditions are being clearcut to supply wood pellets to burn in Europe under the guise of biofuels.

Globally, forests represent one-third of earthly ecosystems, store more than four-fifths of terrestrial carbon, and take up one-third of man-made greenhouse gases. The photosynthetic energy they produce drives our biogeochemical cycles: purifying our air, modulating precipitation, and storing organic carbon and nutrients.

These systems exist in a fragile balance that supports life on this one planet, Mother Earth.

 

Citizens are begging our elected leaders to stop the exploitation, but the ears of politicians are filled with false assurances from corporate heads. They whisper hollow promises of employment even as mills close, jobs are lost to mechanization, and forest companies move elsewhere once the last sticks are cut and the creeks are full of silt.

On southern Vancouver Island at Fairy Creek, people are protesting against complicit government authority, which continues to target the last 3 per cent of the island’s old growth. First Nations who struggle to eke out an economy, deprived from them by colonialism, are given the “Hobson’s choice” of harvesting the last of their own watersheds or watching someone else cut it.

Corporate lobbyists espouse that replacing old-growth forests with new plantations, trillions of new seedlings, will sequester and store more carbon.

This is simply not true.

Half of the carbon stored is lost to the atmosphere almost immediately with clearcutting of old forests, and it takes decades to achieve carbon neutrality, and decades more to recover the sink strength of the original conifer stands.

Climate models show we don’t have decades for these forests to recover. In the hundred years it takes for a forest to mature, our planet will have warmed by upward of 5 C, eliciting mass starvations, migrations and war.

 

More COVID-like viruses might escape from the spaces of destroyed wild places and infect our populations again and again. The risk of catastrophic fire is amplified as old-growth forests are replaced by monocultures of plantation timber. This is not the future we want to leave our children.

What can be done about this?

First, scientists have evaluated the negative effects from forest losses and these results must be used to inform forest management and protection to reduce the risks. The COVID-19 vaccine is a testament to how rigorous scientific determination and political support can rapidly drive solutions to complex problems.

Just think of what we could do if we focused our attention on solving the climate and biodiversity crises, rather than insisting they don’t exist or treating them as too hard to solve?

Second, strive for a close, protective relationship with nature. Support putting a price on carbon, water degradation and biodiversity loss as an essential step for protecting forests as part of the economic system.

Regulate and monitor the activity of logging companies as conditions of the license to harvest while protecting the integrity of ecosystems and their functions. Those responsible for damages should bear the costs.

 

Third, take immediate action to protect and restore old-growth ecosystems for their value in storing the greatest amounts of carbon, providing habitat for endangered species and maintaining life-sustaining ecosystem functions and services.

Our relationship with nature is fragile. We are obligated to restore our responsibilities to care for Mother Earth for future generations.

Let us take these steps to ensure that mothers and mother trees can continue to nourish us all.


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Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi's La Traviata, today until 6:30PM
Starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Willy Decker. From April 14, 2012.


Mozart’s Idomeneo, tonight 7:30PM until 6:30PM Friday
tarring Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote, Matthew Polenzani, and Alan Opie. Production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. From March 25, 2017.

June 16, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 10AM, on-line

Topic: Briefing from CEO of Health PEI, Dr. Michael Gardam on:

  • Staff retention at Prince County Hospital, and in general

  • Systematic and organizational challenges within Health PEI, and the larger system

  • Health PEI leadership positions

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg

--------------
For History Buffs:
Thursday, June 17th:

Virtual Tour of the Bluenose Gallery at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, 1PM, on-line, free.
"Home of the largest Bluenose collection."
Facebook event link

---------------------------------------
The Official Opposition Green Party is hosting one-hour "Meet the Critics" this week and next, to introduce the critics to Government Departments and hear what's important to Islanders.
(Steve Howard on Education was last night, and if you are interested in the recording, you can contact: info@greenparty.pe.ca)

Thursday, June 17th:
Ole Hammarlund on Transportation & Infrastructure, 7PM, on-line
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/meetthecritics_olehammarlund

Tuesday, June 22nd:
Hannah Bell on Environment, Energy & Climate Change, plus Finance, 7PM, on-line
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/meetthecritics_hannahbell
--------------------------------------

Monday, June 21st:
Presentation -- The Coalitions for the Protection of PEI Lands and Water present: Protecting PEI Lands and Water - It's Urgent!, 7PM, on-line.

"The Coalitions for the Protection of PEI Lands and Water will host a Zoom presentation and discussion about PEI's ongoing land and water issues. Issues such as corporate control of land and farmers and effects on rural communities; desperate need for changes to the Lands Protection Act; decline in soil health and loss of forest cover; chemicals in drinking and river water; water extraction causing severe damage to watershed ecosystems; and the total lack of any meaningful land use planning are not being treated with any sense of urgency by government.

We welcome two speakers to this meeting, followed by a question and answer session. All are encouraged to join with pre-registration necessary."

Facebook event link

-----------------------------------------
Until Wednesday, June 30th:

Federal Malpeque Green Party hosting an online fundraising auction,
More details:
https://www.32auctions.com/malpequesummerauction


Another thanks to Ian Petrie for pointing this out: https://www.producer.com/news/mccain-makes-commitment-to-regenerative-ag-conversion/

McCain makes commitment to regenerative ag conversion - The Western Producer article by Doug Ferguson

Published on Thursday, June 10th, 2021

"The Western Producer is Western Canada’s most respected farm paper."


As part of ambitious plans to deal with climate change, one of the world’s largest makers of frozen potato products has pledged it will only be supplied as of 2030 by farms that follow regenerative agriculture practices.

McCain Foods Ltd. plans to work with potato producers during the upcoming nine years to meet the target, which will affect about 3,500 growers across five continents, said Jess Newman, senior director of agriculture and sustainability.

The multinational company also plans to cut carbon emissions from potato farming, storage and freight by 25 percent by 2030, along with using 100 percent of every potato harvested.

Other measures include making all of its packaging compostable, recyclable or reusable by 2025, as well as cutting carbon emissions from all its operations in half and only using renewable electricity by 2030.

The company has 130 growers in Canada, including 36 in Manitoba and 30 in Alberta. The remainder are in New Brunswick, where the firm was founded on a potato farm in 1957.

The firm’s pledge can be thought of as “a flag on a hill,” said Newman.

“That’s where we’re going. We don’t have all the answers right now, but we do know those practices that are critical: armouring the soil, minimizing soil disturbance, enhancing crop and ecosystem diversity, for example.”

The company made the commitment as part of the June 7 release of its 2020 Global Sustainability report, Together: Towards Planet-Friendly Food.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has outlined the precarious nature of the global food system, the biggest challenges are related to climate change, chief executive officer Max Koeune said in a company statement.

“It’s estimated that a quarter of man-made carbon emissions come from the production of food, and if we have to grow more food to feed more people, that will only intensify. If we don’t transform the way we grow food, the whole system is at risk of suffering irreparable damage.”

Newman said McCain Foods has already seen the impact of climate change and volatility on its potato growers, who are located in 16 countries ranging from the United States and United Kingdom to South Africa.

“We’ve seen crop failures, we’ve seen yield stagnation over time, declines in soil health, and that’s really a concern for us for our supply chains and for our growers, who are our most critical partners in the entire process of making delicious fries.”

The company is also responding to concerns by consumers about sustainability, she added.

“Regenerative agriculture calls back to a time when farming was based more on biology than chemistry, with a focus on soil health and quality,” said the company statement.

It minimizes things such as soil disturbances and maximizes crop diversity “as a way to increase water efficiency, protect against erosion, pump more nutrients into the earth, create greater resilience to drought and floods, capture more carbon, and increase the yield and quality per acre.”

Examples of practices McCain Foods regards as critical include reducing tillage across the rotation, as well as cover cropping and armouring soil, said Newman.

Other practices include reducing the intensity of chemical use and looking at alternatives that are less intensive, along with engaging in longer rotations and variable-rate farming, “lots of things that we know our growers are already doing,” she said.

“How exactly each of those practices will play out on a grower’s farm is ultimately up to them, right? They’re the experts; they know their operation best.”

McCain Foods will share the principles and criteria for the transition with growers in the coming months, she said. The company’s goal is to implement regenerative agriculture by 2030 “with 100 percent of our growers, which means they will have been trained, they will be soil testing and a minimum level of practices they will be meeting.”

It also wants 50 percent of its growers to be fully transitioned by that year, said Newman. Although the criteria are still being developed with growers and industry stakeholders, there will also be different intermediate criteria during the transition for each region.

Each region “in collaboration with our growers is going to map backwards in terms of what that means for each year between now” and 2030, she said.

The company plans to help producers by opening three Farms of the Future around the world by 2025, with the first being a company-owned facility in Florenceville, N.B., that is now operational.

“Its purpose is really to prove out and trial these regenerative agricultural practices, and that’s both the financial business case as well as the environmental business case,” said Newman.

“It’s very important to us that we are not asking growers to do something if we’re not sure that there is a financial business case behind it, and that’s what we will be working on at Farm of the Future in collaboration with our growers, our agronomist, as well as local universities.”

She acknowledged growers in different parts of Canada face unique conditions, such as Alberta’s shorter growing season and cooler climate. The mix of regenerative agricultural practices that make sense in one region may differ from what works elsewhere, she said.

When asked if McCain Foods will provide financial assistance to growers to help them make the switch, Newman said the company expects there will be many benefits simply from conducting regenerative agriculture.

However, if any practice doesn’t make sense financially, “we’re open to finding any solution going forward — also, when we think about our partnerships, that we need to establish some of those key partnerships around research, but also around financing options and partners, so those are all things that are on our to-do list moving forward that we hope to collaborate on with our growers.”

One of the company’s first steps will be to understand if there are any upfront costs involved in the transition, she said.

“We believe there is a business case, but we want to be able to show that clearly to our growers, so that’s our goal for the year.”

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Wagner’s Die Walküre, total until 6:30PM
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. Production by Robert Lepage. From March 30, 2019.
Amazing cast in a beautiful new production. The hours just fly by.

Verdi's La Traviata, tonight 7:30PM until Thursday about 6:30PM
Starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Willy Decker. From April 14, 2012. 
Right up there with La Boheme for Most Beautiful and Sad Opera, and this version has a new kind of modern staging.  Excellent acting of the starring trio, with the legendary Dmitri Hvorostovsky as a very sympathetic dad.

June 15, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events today:

Dr. Heather Morrison will likely give a Covid-19 update today, 11:30AM, Radio (Ocean 100) and various social media. 

Charlottetown's Farmers' Market 2 Go, order by noon today for pick-up Thursday
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

Webinar -- Climate Solutions: A Conversation with Sylvia Earle, founder and chair of Mission Blue, 11AM, free.
"Earle examines the impact of climate change, plastic pollution and destructive fishing practices on the world’s oceans and proposes solutions to keep our oceans clean and preserve their vital ecosystems."
Register (or find streaming link).
https://climatesolutionsjune2021.splashthat.com/



Standing Committee Meetings today:
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 10AM, continuing discussion with Auditor General Darren Noonan.

Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development, 1:30PM

Topic: Labour shortages, with Holland College president Sandy MacDonald and vice-president Doug Currie.


Watch online at:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peile

Tonight:
Evening stakeholder consultation regarding provincial midwifery services, all welcome, 7-8:30PM.
More info and to register for the Zoom session today or Thursday noontime: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services












Monday, June 21st onward:
"Cleaning Our Shoreline" initiative.

adapted from a Government media release yesterday:
Islanders can report shorelines that need to be cleaned up.
Requests submitted by texting (902) 200-2106.  Location (as exact as possible), beach name,  and landmarks, help, as do photos.

Trained student crews are based in the three counties and will work with staff from the Departments of Fisheries and Communities and Transportation and Infrastructure.  Crews will have had training on protecting sensitive habitat.


from the "Cheers and Jeers" Monday editorial round-up in The Guardian: https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/cheers-jeers-cheers-to-peisaa-athletes-coaches-and-volunteers-100599560/

Jeers to Environment Minister Steven Myers for trying to disguise the end of P.E.I.’s moratorium on agricultural high-capacity wells. Burying the lede is fast becoming the playbook for PC government communications. Details about the Department of Environment’s plans to allow permits for high-capacity wells – provided they are "in accordance" with an as-of-yet undeveloped government irrigation strategy – were carefully hidden in a mid-day media release that appeared to focus on the Water Act coming into effect June 16. The release did not include the words “high-capacity wells.” A weblink to new draft regulations, which will allow permitted construction of the wells, was included in the second last paragraph. While farmers have well-founded concerns about the restrictions on crop irrigation, especially after last summer’s drought, doubts around Myers’ department’s ability – and willingness – to regulate water consumption are widely held. Islanders deserve to have a fact-based debate without obfuscation. This is not a joke. The end of a 19-year moratorium should be debated openly, not included in "by-the-way" web links.

-30-
-----------------------------------------------
A short excerpt from CTV's weekly political watching newsletter from Rachel Aiello, regarding what's happening in Parliament this last week as the the House prepares to rise for the summer (and may not sit again if an election is called):

Tuesday and Thursday will be opposition days, and Tuesday night will be when the farewell speeches from not-returning MPs happen.

Wednesday the push will continue to pass Bill C-30 through the House, leaving a very short window of time for the Senate to move it through. 

Bill C-30 is the Budget Implementation Act (more here:)
https://openparliament.ca/bills/43-2/C-30/

And you probably heard already that long-time MP Wayne Easter of Malpeque is not re-offering.
--------------------------------
Also, thanks to Ian Petrie for sharing this:
https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2021/06/12/the-inside-story-of-how-the-liberals-lured-a-green-mp-and-raised-justin-trudeaus-election-hopes.html 

Opinion | The inside story of how the Liberals lured a Green MP and raised Justin Trudeau’s election hopes - The Star article by Susan Delacourt, National Columnist

Published on Saturday, June 12th, 2021

The Lincoln Big Stop restaurant, just outside New Brunswick’s capital city of Fredericton, is not the type of place anyone would ordinarily associate with political intrigue.

But last Saturday, sharp-eyed breakfast patrons might have been treated to a sneak preview of some major political drama unfolding on the national scene.

At a table in the roadside truck stop sat Dominic LeBlanc, who serves as intergovernmental affairs minister and chief political point man for Justin Trudeau. Across from him sat Jenica Atwin, the Green party member of Parliament for Fredericton since 2019.

It wasn’t their first conversation. For nearly a month, the two had been talking back and forth, ever since LeBlanc had heard through the New Brunswick political grapevine — including sources close to the MP’s family — that Atwin wasn’t all that happy in the Green party.

LeBlanc seized the moment, quickly setting up a meeting with the rookie MP, who had worked in education before entering politics. In normal times, the two might have already been acquainted, given how everyone seems to know each other in New Brunswick’s tight political circle. Atwin’s father, Bob Powell, is the mayor of Oromocto and LeBlanc grew up as the son of long-time minister and governor-general Romeo LeBlanc.

But LeBlanc’s two-year bout with serious cancer diagnoses and then the pandemic meant he hadn’t been out as much on the political trail when Atwin was making the breakthrough for the Greens in 2019.

It didn’t take LeBlanc long to get down to business at this first meeting with her. He asked Atwin in the course of this initial, 90-minute encounter if she’d be interested in joining the Liberals. “I asked her to consider what she could do for Fredericton inside the government caucus,” LeBlanc said.

Atwin didn’t say yes right away, but she didn’t say no either, so the conversations continued by phone throughout the end of May and early June.

LeBlanc kept Trudeau in the loop and the political significance of adding a Green MP to the red team wasn’t lost on either of them. Greens have been making steady progress as a political force in the Maritime provinces, holding three seats in the New Brunswick legislature and official opposition status in Prince Edward Island. In LeBlanc’s own riding of Beausejour, Greens came second to him in 2019.

But Atwin’s floor-crossing could have an impact beyond the East Coast too, LeBlanc noted.

During their many conversations, he said, Atwin told him that she’d been quietly able to work across party lines with several Liberal MPs and ministers from around the GTA. One MP in particular, Nate Erskine-Smith from Beaches-East York, had made an impact on Atwin because he hasn’t always automatically voted with his party, LeBlanc said.

That’s allowed, LeBlanc reportedly assured her.

While this latest floor-crossing doesn’t have the dramatic, immediate impact of the big 2005 defection of Belinda Stronach to the Liberal benches — a move that probably extended the life of Paul Martin’s government — LeBlanc says it is an important marker as an election looms.

The latest guesses revolve around a sooner-rather-than later scenario. The big defection announcement on Thursday actually fed into election fever; regarded as a sign the Liberals are getting their campaign act together.

Just one week ago, Trudeau was talking at a Ryerson University democracy forum about how he hoped to frame the next election as a choice on how to “build back better” after the pandemic has abated. The prime minister clearly wants to put Liberals and “progressives” on one side of that ballot-box choice, Conservatives on the other.

A Green-turned-Liberal MP in the ranks will help in Toronto, LeBlanc said, where the Green party is hoping once again to make a mark whenever the next election comes along. Annamie Paul, the Green party leader deserted by Atwin in this week’s defection, has already said she will be running again in Toronto Centre.

Atwin’s move to the government benches, said LeBlanc, tells potential Green voters in the GTA and beyond that Liberals “are a viable progressive choice.” Trudeau has already said that his government’s climate plan will be at the centre of the build-back-better platform too. Greens, at the moment, look to be in a bit of disarray.

The very same day that Trudeau spoke at Ryerson last week, he also finally had a phone conversation with Atwin. That may explain why the prime minister appeared to be in such good spirits at that event; he knew that Liberal ranks were going to be expanding by one, significant MP this week.

The next day, LeBlanc and Atwin met at the Lincoln Big Stop to seal the deal. They managed to keep the news under wraps until hours before the big announcement on Thursday, when this newspaper caught wind of the looming defection.

LeBlanc isn’t saying whether he’s working on other deals right now to boost Liberal ranks before the election, whenever that is. But on Thursday, when he called to talk to me about how he’d engineered the crossover, LeBlanc was driving around New Brunswick in a convertible — with a big smile on his face.

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

VerdiSimon Boccanegra, today until 6:30PM
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. Production by Giancarlo Del Monaco. From January 26, 1995.  With the amazing Kiri Te Kanawa.

Wagner’s Die Walküre, tonight 7:30PM until 6:30PM Wednesday
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. Production by Robert Lepage. From March 30, 2019.
Set aside just a few short four hours for the most "fun" of the four operas in Wagner's Ring Cycle: some star-crossed lovers have a joyous (but illicit) union; there's a raging battle on Earth and in the Heavens surrounding Woton with his favourite daughter, the Valkyrie Brunhilde, who kind of disobeys him; then ends with the rather harsh parental time-out of putting her into a magic sleep surrounded by a ring of fire...until the next opera....

June 14, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


June 13, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
On Getting Midwifery on Prince Edward Island:

Two consultation opportunities this week:
Tuesday, June 15th, 7-8:30PM  or
Thursday, June 17th, 12noon-1:30PM


PEI Midwifery Services Engagement Session, Online only.

"Focus group for health care consumers in PEI interested in learning more about midwifery care and sharing their feedback about the development of this service."

For more information, and to register for the Zoom link for the session:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services

There is a survey link on that page, too.
Deadline for survey: Friday, June 18th


Pretty Good News about Fairy Lake in B.C.
from earlier this week:
https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/these-are-monumental-steps-b-c-government-approves-old-growth-logging-deferral-on-vancouver-island-1.5463222 

'These are monumental steps': B.C. government approves old-growth logging deferral on Vancouver Island - www.vancouverisland.CTVNews.ca post by Todd Coyne

Published on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

VICTORIA -- The British Columbia government has approved a request from a group of First Nations to defer old-growth logging in their territories on southwestern Vancouver Island for the next two years.

Premier John Horgan announced the province’s decision to approve the request on Wednesday, saying he was "very proud" to receive the deferral request and says more requests will be coming this summer.

The deferred lands include 884 hectares of old forests in the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, and 1,150 hectares of old growth in the central Walbran valley, near Lake Cowichan.

When asked if he thought the two-year deferral on roughly 2,000 hectares of old-growth forests would end the months-long protests in the region, Horgan was cautiously optimistic.

"I’m hopeful that those who have taken to the roads of southern Vancouver Island will understand that this process is not one that can happen overnight," the premier said.

"I understand the importance of preserving these areas," Horgan added. "But I also understand that you can’t turn on a dime when you’re talking about an industry that has been the foundation of B.C.’s economy."

The Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations told the province on Saturday of their plan to postpone old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas while the nations develop long-term resource stewardship plans.

Horgan acknowledged Wednesday that his government’s approval of the deferral request comes at a cost to the forestry sector but said the anticipated impact on jobs is "modest in this area."

"Over time there will be costs to moving in this direction but those are going to be dollars well spent," Horgan said. "We’re changing the way we do business on the land and that is hard work."

MORE LOGGING DEFERRALS COMING

Protesters have been blockading logging roads in the Fairy Creek area since August, preventing forestry company Teal-Jones from accessing the watershed. In April, the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an injunction to have the blockades removed.

Since the RCMP began enforcing the injunction in late May, at least 194 people have been arrested, including more than two dozen arrests since the First Nations announced their deferral plans.

“These are monumental steps,” the premier said of the logging deferrals, noting that more deferral requests will be coming.

“These announcements are transformative for an industry that has been foundational to British Columbia’s success and will be foundational to our future success, but it has to be done a different way,” Horgan said.

“Today I am proud to have deferred these territories at the request of the title-holders and I’m very excited about the deferrals that will be coming later in the summer and all through the implementation of our old-growth plan,” the premier added.

Teal-Jones told CTV News on Monday that it would abide by the First Nations’ deferral request even before the province had accepted it.

"Teal-Jones acknowledges the ancestral territories of all First Nations on which we operate and is committed to reconciliation," the company said. 

The deferral prevents not just old-growth logging but all logging activities in the designated old-growth areas. It also prohibits the construction of new logging roads, however some maintenance and deactivation work may continue for safety and environmental reasons.

The First Nations say forestry operations in other parts of their territories will continue without disruption and they are asking protesters not to interfere with these approved operations. 

"Today, we welcome the decision by the Government of British Columbia to approve the request made by our three nations," the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht said in a joint statement following the premier's announcement.

"We expect everyone to allow forestry operations approved by our nations and the Government of British Columbia in other parts of our territories to continue without interruption," the nations added.

-30-


Not great news, from The (U.K.) Guardian, but we can renew our efforts to keep more plastics from being used and those used from being put into the waste stream.... 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/10/takeaway-food-and-drink-litter-dominates-ocean-plastic-study-shows

Takeaway food and drink litter dominates ocean plastic, study shows - The (U.K.) Guardian article by Damian Carrington, Environment Editor

Just 10 plastic products make up 75% of all items and scientists say the pollution must be stopped at source

Published on Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominate the litter in the world’s oceans, according to the most comprehensive study to date.

Single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers are the four most widespread items polluting the seas, making up almost half of the human-made waste, the researchers found. Just 10 plastic products, also including plastic lids and fishing gear, accounted for three-quarters of the litter, due to their widespread use and extremely slow degradation.

The scientists said identifying the key sources of ocean plastic made it clear where action was needed to stop the stream of litter at its source. They called for bans on some common throwaway items and for producers to be made to take more responsibility.

Action on plastic straws and cotton buds in Europe was welcome, the researchers said, but risked being a distraction from tackling far more common types of litter. Their results were based on carefully combining 12m data points from 36 databases across the planet.

“We were not surprised about plastic being 80% of the litter, but the high proportion of takeaway items did surprise us, which will not just be McDonald’s litter, but water bottles, beverage bottles like Coca-Cola, and cans,” said Carmen Morales-Caselles, at the University of Cádiz, Spain, who led the new research.

“This information will make it easier for policymakers to actually take action to try to turn off the tap of marine litter flowing into the ocean, rather than just clean it up,” she said.

Straws and stirrers made up 2.3% of the litter and cotton buds and lolly sticks were 0.16%. “It’s good that there is action against plastic cotton buds, but if we don’t add to this action the top litter items, then we are not dealing with the core of the problem – we’re getting distracted,” Morales-Caselles said.

Prof Richard Thompson, of the University of Plymouth in the UK, who was not part of the research team, said: “Having [this data] recorded in a proper scientific way is incredibly useful. There can be a reluctance to take action on something that seems very obvious because there isn’t a published study on it.”

The research, published in the journal Nature Sustainability and funded by the BBVA Foundation and Spanish science ministry, concluded: “In terms of litter origins, take-out consumer items – mainly plastic bags and wrappers, food containers and cutlery, plastic and glass bottles, and cans – made up the largest share.”

The analysis included items bigger than 3cm and identifiable, excluding fragments and microplastics. It distinguished between take-out plastic items and toiletry and household product containers.

The highest concentration of litter was found on shorelines and sea floors near coasts. The scientists said wind and waves repeatedly sweep litter to the coasts, where it accumulates on the nearby seafloor. Fishing material, such as ropes and nets, were significant only in the open oceans, where they made up about half the total litter.

A second study in the same journal examined the litter entering the ocean from 42 rivers in Europe, and was one of the datasets Morales and colleagues used. It found Turkey, Italy and the UK were the top three contributors to floating marine litter.

“Mitigation measures cannot mean cleaning up at the river mouth,” said Daniel González-Fernández of the University of Cádiz, who led the second study. “You have to stop the litter at the source so the plastic doesn’t even enter the environment in the first place.”

In May, Greenpeace revealed that UK plastic waste sent to Turkey for recycling had been burned or dumped and left to pollute the ocean. US and UK citizens produce more plastic waste per person than any other major countries, according to other recent research.

The researchers recommended bans on avoidable take-out plastic items, such as single-use bags, as the best option. For products deemed essential, they said the producers should be made to take more responsibility for the collection and safe disposal of products and they also backed deposit return schemes.

“This comprehensive study concludes that the best way to confront plastic pollution is for governments to severely restrict single-use plastic packaging,” said Nina Schrank plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK. “This seems undeniable. We will never recycle the quantity of waste plastic we’re currently producing.”

Thompson said: “What’s going on in the sea is a symptom of the problem – the origin of the problem and the solution are back on land and that’s where we’ve got to take action.”

-30-
By the way, by the side of the road, a shout-out to former MLA Allen Roach for his work getting the Private Member's Bill Plastic Bag Reduction Act through the Legislature three years ago (but of course it's been in effect for less than that).  Several people mentioned that they saw fewer plastic bags in the Roadside Cleanup. Now let's see this majority government continue by introducing the next steps of plastic (and waste)  reduction, and making this easier for businesses and consumers.


Coming up, starting this week:

Events from The Centre for Local Prosperity at The Thinkers' Lodge, in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. 
Some of these excellent speakers were at the Climate Change conference I was lucky enough to be invited to a few years ago.

The four dates are:
Wednesday, June 16th,
Wednesday, June 30th
Wednesday, July 14th
Wednesday, July 28th
all from 7-8:30PM


ticket fee for each session is $10 (but donations more than that accepted)
Registration information
from their event notice:

Climate-induced Societal and Ecological Breakthrough in Atlantic Canada

About this event

Join us for a 4 part Webinar Series hosted by Centre for Local Prosperity.

Climate disruption, ecological degradation, overpopulation and conspicuous consumption have created a perfect storm that if left unchecked will result in societal and ecological breakdown. As systems break down, opportunities for creative long-term change begin to emerge. These breakthroughs can lead us toward new ways of governing and new models of economy. The future of humanity and earth’s biophysical systems depend on finding and implementing breakthroughs that are socially just and ecologically regenerative. These dialogues are intended to open up conversations for change in Atlantic Canada.

Governing For Ecological Citizenship In Atlantic Canada

June 16th, 7-8:30pm ADT

David Orr, Scott Leckie and Rankin MacSween will join Centre for Local Prosperity Host Gregory Heming for a 1 hour discussion followed by a 30 minute Q&A session with the public.

Political leadership in the 21st century must find the courage to help the public understand and face the difficult reality of societal and ecological breakdown. Such leadership must transcend party politics and narrow parochial municipal self-interest. This dialogue may help Atlantic Canadians navigate a predicament unlike any that humanity has ever faced.

Economic Growth at the Crossroads: A Shift To a Steady State Regenerative Economy in Atlantic Canada

June 30th, 7-8:30pm ADT

Our addiction to economic growth measured by Gross Domestic Product (GPA) has driven humanity and biodiversity to the brink of collapse. There are alternative economic systems and means to measure wealth that are better suited to the demands of the 21st century. This dialogue lays out those alternatives for Atlantic Canada as a bioregion and the people who would like to continue to live, work and raise their families here.

Brian Czech and Anders Hayden will join Centre for Local Prosperity Host Gregory Heming for a one hour discussion followed by a 30 minute Q&A session with the public.

Empowering the Rights of Nature Revolution in Atlantic Canada

July 14th, 7-8:30pm ADT

A system of laws that do not represent all members of a society and the natural world equally, serves neither. This dialogue on litigation and a bill of rights for nature will help Atlantic Canadians demand and benefit from a more holistic jurisprudence.

Albert Marshall,  (East Coast Environmental Law's) Tina Northrup and Sarah MacDonald will join Centre for Local Prosperity Host Gregory Heming for a one hour discussion followed by a 30 minute Q&Asession with the public.

An Ethic of Place for Atlantic Canada: A Summery Dialogue for a New Beginning

July 28th, 7-8:30pm ADT

Special Guest Speakers to be Announced


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s Falstaff, today until 6:30PM
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paolo Fanale, Ambrogio Maestri, and Franco Vassallo, conducted by James Levine. Production by Robert Carsen. From December 14, 2013.  A 1950s Falstaff.

Mozart’s Così fan tutte, tonight 7:30PM until Monday about 6:30PM
Starring Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Kelli O’Hara, Ben Bliss, Adam Plachetka, and Christopher Maltman, conducted by David Robertson. Production by Phelim McDermott. From March 31, 2018.  The bobby-sox stay on as this is set in the 1950s in New York's Coney Island.

June 12, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food Opportunities

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

Storefront:
Riverview Country Market
North River KJL Market 
Heartbeet Organics at The Farmacy (9AM-1PM)

And some small stores are carrying local produce, too!


Water Act in the news recently...

There has been a lot of announcements on the Water Act this week, with government sending out a media release (below) and media perking up about the regulations (various permutations of which presented over the last while), basically saying that the Moratorium on High Capacity Wells is being lifted for Agricultural uses once an Irrigation Strategy is in place, and reactions from parts of the ag-industry hooting to finally have "equal access" to water along with car washes and golf courses...
So the details are lengthier to unpack, and the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water (made up of volunteers from different groups, all with other "day jobs") is working on a detailed response...."protection of P.E.I. water" being what many Islanders understand and want....
---------------------------
LINK ONLY to Guardian article from Friday, June 11th, 2021, by Stu Neatby:
https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/news/local/pei-water-act-regulations-to-allow-high-capacity-wells-in-accordance-with-a-future-irrigation-strategy-100598594/
------------------------------------------
P.E.I. Government Announcement,
Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Water Act protects water and the environment on PEI - PEI Government Announcement

Prince Edward Island’s Water Act comes into effect on June 16. This comprehensive Act, which was developed with considerable input from the stakeholders and public from 2014 – 2017 by then Minister Robert Mitchell will provide fair access to water for everyone, while ensuring the protection of one of our most important resources. 

To support the Water Act, the following regulations under the Act have been approved: 

  • Well Construction Regulations,

  • Sewage Disposal Regulations,

  • Water Supply System and Wastewater Treatment Regulations, and

  • Water Withdrawal Regulations

“Our primary interest is in protecting water through science-based decision making and research. Our agriculture industry and our watersheds have unique needs. The Water Act allows us to look at things like extraction, water levels and irrigation and ensure we are making the right decisions based on the sensitivities and concerns held by specific groups and by all Islanders.”- Environment, Energy and Climate Action Minister Steven Myers

During the spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability and provided seven recommendations to government. Government is responding to each of them, including the development of a sustainable irrigation strategy. When the sustainable irrigation strategy is drafted it will be made public and will be sent to the members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources for input, as requested.  

“A sustainable irrigation strategy will be developed taking into account that each watershed is unique and for that reason a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work across the province,” said Minister Myers. “The sustainable irrigation strategy will also have requirements for soil health and the agriculture industry will be required to follow sustainable soil health practices.” 

Several of the recommendations from the Standing Committee on Natural Resources have also been incorporated into draft amendments to the Water Withdrawal Regulations. These amendments have been provided to the Committee and are available publicly for comment at Water Act.

For more information and facts about water on Prince Edward Island visit: On the Level.

-30-

(A small note on the very last part, that "On the Level" website is not part of the government's website but the content is from government, and has a lot of the (over-) confident statements about quantity and quality that most water groups have been clearly disputing for years now, so it's pretty but feels a bit like propaganda to some.)
--------------------------------------------------------
From  June 11th, 2021,
Friday's PEI
Certified Organic Producers Co-operative Newsletter:

Statement on Agricultural Water Use and Supplemental Irrigation -PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative Newsletter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2021
 
The PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative (PEI COPC) is somewhat surprised at the announcement today from the Government of PEI, that the moratorium on the drilling of high-capacity wells for agricultural irrigation, is ended.
 
Although the PEI COPC has publicly stated the moratorium has been ineffective in protecting our ground water resource, any suggestion of its lifting, in the absence of a clear, practical and comprehensive agricultural water use strategy is very concerning. With this announcement, comes a new urgency to begin this critical work.
 
In advocating for this work to be undertaken, the PEI COPC has already created a strategic framework focused on protection, management and valuation of our groundwater resource – all to be established within a clear and enforceable regulatory framework and supported by novel and ongoing research.
 
The timing of this announcement provides us a rare opportunity to consider our groundwater resource within the context of a changing climate, rapid deforestation and declining levels of soil organic matter. It is imperative that we create a comprehensive strategy reflective of these current realities. The PEI COPC also recognizes that our industry has a responsibility to all Islanders to work collectively with multiple stakeholders and our Government partners to develop an agricultural water use strategy and regulatory framework that is responsive to the unique characteristics of the Island’s groundwater resource.
 
We welcome the opportunity to take what we have learned, using the foundational strategy we have developed, to provide informed leadership toward the development of a comprehensive plan, responsive to our collective needs.
 
We must work together to protect our water and ensure sustainable farming practices.
 

-30-
 
About the PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative:
The PEI Certified Organic Producers Cooperative is an industry organization currently representing fifty certified organic producers, approximately 12,000 acres of certified organic production and more than $12M in farm cash receipts.


...So, more comment and where to voice yours (again!) in the coming days.


CBC Music (104.7FM) Radio Opera with Ben Heppner, probably about 1PM today, hosting something lovely in discussion with someone pretty interesting, since the Metrolpolitan Opera Saturday Afternoon broadcasts are finished until December.

Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming: https://www.metopera.org/

Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, today until 6:30PM
Starring Audrey Luna, Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, Alek Shrader, Alan Oke, William Burden, Toby Spence, and Simon Keenlyside, conducted by Thomas Adès. Production by Robert Lepage. From November 10, 2012.

Verdi’s Falstaff, tonight 7:30PM until 6:30PM Sunday
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paolo Fanale, Ambrogio Maestri, and Franco Vassallo, conducted by James Levine. Production by Robert Carsen. From December 14, 2013.
Funny (and kind of sad), an ever funnier version by being set in the 1950s.

June 11, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Fridays for Future Climate Action Rallies PEI/Epekwitk, 3:30PM, near Province House.
from the Facebook event notice:
"we want children and
future generations to have a planet on which they can thrive. Children are welcome in this movement; all events will be peaceful, civil gatherings. We are moved to express our love for humanity and our concern for the future.

All are welcome! We gather to express our love for humanity and our concern for the future. Feel free to bring your own signs and invite others

Want to drop an e-mail to your MLA and/or the Premier to remind them to continue to work on Climate Change in all their decisions (including, your idea about "getting back to normal post-COVID")?

https://www.assembly.pe.ca/index.php/members

General website:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/


from the David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/ten-reasons-hopeful-about-climate-action/ 

Ten reasons to be hopeful about climate action - davidsuzuki.org post

Advocating for climate action can be discouraging and demoralizing at times. Grief, fear and injustice are woven into the harsh reality of a changing climate. It’s real, and we’re not here to dismiss it with toxic positivity.

But there are good reasons to hope that we can increase Canada’s climate ambition and get on track to doing our fair share in the global effort to prevent climate catastrophe. So, let’s dive in.

The cost of renewables and energy storage is dropping rapidly

In 2019, jaws dropped when a report by International Renewable Energy Agency demonstrated that unsubsidized renewable energy in most circumstances became the cheapest source of energy generation. Then, the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020 declared solar power the cheapest source of electricity in history. In addition, the cost of energy storage has dropped by more than 90 per cent over the past 10 years. These lower costs will continue to propel mass adoption of renewables and will make them available for many people.

Public opinion is on our side. Canadians want bold climate action

In 2019, climate marches were held around the world, including Canada. People came out in record numbers to urge governments, businesses, communities and individuals to get serious about addressing the climate emergency. COVID-19 put a pause on these rallies but not the sense of urgency and importance to address climate change. Public opinion polls show that even in the face of the pandemic, a vast majority of Canadians are concerned about climate change and want to see action. More than 65,000 people have taken climate action this year with the David Suzuki Foundation alone!

The kids are all right. The youth climate movement is not backing down

Greta Thunberg gained worldwide attention for her climate activism, but she wasn’t the first or only youth climate advocate. Canada has its own young, inspiring climate leaders who are finding new ways to push for climate justice, fight for their future and find community and sense of purpose through their efforts.

By no means should we let young activists do all the work. Instead we can lift them up, support their court cases, share their stories, hear their calls to action and follow their lead.

The Supreme Court affirmed that climate change is an emergency

In a recent ruling, Canada’s Supreme Court affirmed that “climate change is a threat of the highest order to the country, and indeed to the world.” The ruling recognizes that “a provincial failure to act directly threatens Canada as a whole.” It confirmed that the federal government has the authority to move ahead throughout the country to address the climate emergency.

Indigenous communities are taking energy and climate issues into their own hands

Indigenous Peoples are well-positioned to take leadership on climate because of their ecological knowledge, deep connection to the environment and lived experiences with the impacts of climate change and environmental racism. Brave land and water defenders have long been on the front lines of the climate movement, protecting their traditional territories from fossil fuel expansion.

Not waiting for outside action, many Indigenous communities are also championing their own transition to renewable energy in unique, creative and culturally appropriate ways.

Indigenous Climate Action is “reinforcing their place as leaders in climate change discourse and driving solutions for today and tomorrow.” APTN’s TV series Power to the People explores the Indigenous renewable energy revolution. Both provide optimism and hope and deserve respect and gratitude.

Canada has a strengthened climate plan and significant funding to implement it

In December 2020, the federal government released a detailed climate plan that outlines strong policies and actions to drive down Canada’s emissions. Although it doesn’t go far enough, it includes significant measures that Canada can implement as we continue to push for greater ambition. The plan makes polluters pay, supports clean tech development and brings in cleaner transportation and fuel standards. The climate plan also got significant funding from the federal government to support its implementation, so there is optimism in our ability to finally begin reducing emissions in Canada.

Cities and towns are demonstrating leadership in climate action

Throughout the country, cities and towns are declaring climate emergencies and bringing in ambitious climate plans. Municipalities can legislate actions that affect about 45 per cent of our national emissions. By regulating land use, encouraging building retrofits and energy efficiency, enabling electric vehicle charging and active transportation and introducing road pricing and carbon budgets, cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax and Montreal are tackling the climate crisis while creating livable and healthy urban spaces.

The U.S. has stepped up its ambition and is normalizing bold action

In 2019, when U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tried to get legislation passed for a Green New Deal, the climate and social justice goals and policies contained in it were widely seen to be radical and extreme. Now, President Joe Biden is rolling out some of these very same policies and committing to the deal’s goals and ambitions. Because the U.S. is Canada’s largest trade partner, its climate action will propel us forward with our own.

Climate action creates millions of jobs — and everyone wants jobs

Decarbonizing our economy is no small feat and will require a significant amount of work in retrofits for energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and technological innovation. This will create millions of well-paying, long-term, sustainable jobs in communities across the country.

For workers and communities affected by the decrease in employment in the fossil fuel industry, we need to ensure a just transition that provides the training and support necessary as this industry winds down. It’s important to consider that fossil fuel jobs are already on the decline and now represent less than one per cent of the Canadian workforce, and for every job lost in fossil fuels over the past six years, the Canadian economy created 42 jobs.

Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, which represents energy workers, is supporting bolder climate action, as long as there’s a transition plan.

Centering equity in climate action will help address systemic causes and interconnected injustices

The term climate justice is becoming more commonplace as people increasingly recognize that climate change is not just an environmental problem; it’s a social, moral and equity problem as well. Historically marginalized people such as Indigenous people, people of colour and people living in poverty contribute the least to the problem but suffer the most from the impacts of climate disruption. Coming to terms with this reality is big step toward addressing the systemic causes of climate change.

Canadians are asking for climate action that decreases these inequities and creates more stable jobs, healthier communities and a more just society that brings everyone along.

Canada’s progress on climate change continues to be dangerously slow. We have not set a target ambitious enough to do our fair share to address the climate crisis. Over the past decade, Canada was the only country in the G7 whose emissions continued to climb. Even as our climate ambition increases, we continue to invest in expanding oil and gas infrastructure rather than managing the industry’s inevitable and necessary decline.

Our collective call for urgent, bold and ambitious climate action is essential. The reasons for hope outlined here indicate to us that the opportunity is here to finally start driving down emissions and begin the transition to a clean, just and renewable future.

-30

If you want to sign a letter from the David Suzuki Foundation urging the Federal Government to press on, go here: https://davidsuzuki.org/action/urgent-bold-ambitious-climate-action-now/
The original article link has photos to go with the categories.


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Handel’s Agrippina, today until 6:30PM
Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. Production by Sir David McVicar. From February 29, 2020.

Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, tonight 7:30PM until Saturday about 6:30PM
From November 10, 2012. "Composer Thomas Adès conducts the Met premiere of his powerful opera based on Shakespeare’s last play, in Robert Lepage’s brilliantly inventive production. Simon Keenlyside is the magician Prospero, who conjures the storm that shipwrecks his enemies and sets in motion the course of events. Rising Met stars Isabel Leonard and Alek Shrader are the young lovers, Miranda and Ferdinand, Alan Oke sings the sinister Caliban, and Audrey Luna gives a memorable performance as the sprite Ariel."  It's breath-takingly original.

June 10, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Partial Solar Eclipse this morning:

No eclipse glasses or welder friend?

Take a minute and make a "Pinhole Projection" to INDIRECTLY look at the sun

https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/make-pinhole-projector.html

Of course there has been a lot by local media about viewing safely, so follow all those guidelines. 
The eclipse "starts" about 5:37AM, peak eclipse for our area about 6:38AM, ends about 7:30AM, so anytime from 7-8AM would be pretty amazing (for astronomy enthusiasts :-)  ). 


Announcements/Events:

Little Ag

from Josie Baker at the Cooper Institute:

Hello Seed Savers!

Phase 2 of our seed library initiative has rolled out, and there should now be some spring seed kits available at libraries throughout the province! 

These are seeds that can be direct planted. 

They may not be available for long, so talk to your local librarian if you would like to get some! We hope that in future years we will be able to do our regular Seedy Saturday activities, and accept seed donations in a post-COVID era. 

If you have some seeds to share, please send them to Cooper Institute at 81 Prince Street, Charlottetown, C1A 4R3.

Happy seed saving! 

Medium Ag

Charlottetown Farmers' Market Saturday afternoon pickup Order Deadline
Or, place your order before *today Thursday at 5PM* for Saturday pick-up at the Market.  
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/

Big Ag

from the P.E.I. Government website:https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/agriculture-and-land/next-policy-framework-npf-for-agriculture

Next Policy Framework (NPF) for Agriculture - PEI Government website

The Department of Agriculture and Land is preparing for the Next Policy Framework (NPF) for agriculture. The current framework is the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a cost-shared agreement between the Department and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The CAP is scheduled to terminate on March 31, 2023. It is anticipated that the new agreement will launch on April 1, 2023.

Where can I provide feedback on priorities for the Next Policy Framework?

If you would like to tell the Department what you think should be priorities for the NPF, you can complete a short survey. You can choose to be entered to win 1 of 4 ($30.00) gift cards to a PEI farmers’ market of your choice (your responses will not be connected to the prize draw).

You can complete the survey in 

What is the Department doing to prepare for the Next Policy Framework?

The Department is currently completing consultations, planning and research exercises to identify priorities for the NPF. This includes:

  • Consultations with industry groups

  • Consultations with community organizations

  • Consultations with farmers and program clients

  • Consultations with program administrators

  • Consultations with under-represented groups

  • Outreach with Mi’kmaq First Nations and Indigenous Groups

  • Program performance reviews

  • Program evaluations

  • Peer-reviewed literature reports

  • Planning with federal, provincial and territorial departments of agriculture

Where can I find results of consultations, planning and research?

A summary of key findings from consultations and research will be posted on this page when available.

Performance reports for CAP programs.

Results of an evaluation of CAP programs in PEI will be posted to this website when available.

I have questions about the Next Policy Framework, who can I contact?

If you have questions about the NPF that are not answered on this page, please e-mail agri-feedback@gov.pe.ca

-30-

That's a bit of vegetable soup with all the acronyms but if you have thoughts, do send them. And complete the survey, which ("external link" is to the Survey Monkey company).
Not sure of the deadline for input.
 


Tonight:
National Observer online conversation (last in Spring Series)

Conversations with Linda Solomon Wood:
Topic: Is working from home reducing your carbon footprint? 8PM, free

"When COVID-19 forced the closure of many workplaces and sudden transitions to work-from-home, a big question continued to crop up: would working from home mean smaller carbon footprints?
Alexandra Samuel is well-positioned to answer the question. Samuel’s new book Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work . . . Wherever You Are covers the complexities and possibilities of working from home. Along with coauthor Robert C. Pozen, Samuel argues that our new realities present a sink-or-swim moment which requires creative solutions to our new work woes.
Can our new era of work be a force for good in the climate crisis?
Join Samuel with Conversations host and Canada’s National Observer founder and editor in chief Linda Solomon Wood on June 10 for our last episode of the season."

Registration Link


Climate notes:

in case you haven't heard, and it's not like an earnest cadre of Canadians didn't warn them....

CBC online Article link only:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/keystone-xl-termination-1.6059683

Keystone XL is dead, and Albertans are on the hook for $1.3B

Province and TC Energy announced the termination of the pipeline on Wednesday


from The (U.K.) Guardian:"Today in Focus" podcast (27 minutes)

The G7 and a crucial moment for the climate

The world’s richest democracies will come together in Britain this week with global heating high on the agenda. Can they match big promises with concrete action?

https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2021/jun/10/the-g7-and-a-crucial-moment-for-the-climate


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Bellini’s La Sonnambula, today until 6:30PM
Starring Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Flórez, and Michele Pertusi, conducted by Evelino Pidò. Production by Mary Zimmerman. From March 21, 2009.

Handel’s Agrippina, tonight 7:30PM until Friday 6:30PM
Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. Production by Sir David McVicar. From February 29, 2020.

June 9, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Standing Committee Meeting today:

Standing Committee on Health and Social Development, 1:30PM, online to watch.

Topic: PEI Firefighters Association - resources, staffing, and current response model, with President of the PEI Firefighters Association, Spencer Waite.

This committee's members are:

Gordon McNeilly (Chair) and Robert Henderson (Liberals)
Michele Beaton and Karla Bernard (Greens)
Zack Bell and Hon. Bradley Trivers (PCs)

Watch Live at:

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg


GUEST OPINION: An avenue to avoid

by Wayne Carver, Guest opinion

Published on Friday, June 4th, 2021, in The Guardian

https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-an-avenue-to-avoid-100595879/

The City of Charlottetown’s decision to hold a meeting in the Confederation Centre of the Arts to discuss the future role of short-term rentals (STRs) was a smart and welcome change from the heavy-handed municipal politics of late. We understand the Municipal Government Act (MGA) has given council extraordinary powers in that the city council is not required to hold public meetings. Citizens are of the opinion that the desire to exclude the public is undemocratic and diminishes the citizens opportunity to add their voice to local political and economic proposals. Hardly government of and for the people.

Councillor Duffy’s need to control the meeting to the point of discouraging clapping to support spokespersons seems a little heavy handed; as was the decision to adjourn the meeting because of it. This was another incident that may shed some light on what is to come in the future.

Citizens are aware the Municipal Government Act was imposed upon Islanders by the former Liberal government. Citizens are also very much aware that they were never given the opportunity to vote for or against amalgamation, despite promises to that effect during the push to get it done. That effort was a divide-and-conquer operation by the minister of day, and continues still with the guidance of the current Minister and IRAC. 

The true purpose of the Infrastructure Canada initiative appears to be the delivery of infrastructure money, otherwise known as deficit spending (future debt for the citizen), to the private partners chosen to participate in the Canada Infrastructure program.

Many Islanders realize the Canada Infrastructure Program and the Municipal Government Act allow Ottawa to direct every infrastructure dollar to the preferred private partners engaged in the political process. It is this easy infrastructure money that allows the municipalities to be raped of prime real estate, including public properties, for the purpose of building “affordable” housing for investors and (REITS) real estate investment trusts. The “affordable” is misleading as it really means the contractors qualify for financial assistance for every unit they designate as “affordable”. It does not mean the average person will be able to afford the new rental units.

Coun. Mike Duffy’s meeting however was to discuss five options for short-term rentals (STR); another infrastructure funded project the Charlottetown council is promoting. The meeting was scheduled to run until 9 p.m., but Coun. Duffy requested participants not applaud the speakers and warned the meeting would be adjourned if this rule wasn’t followed. The participants did applaud, with vigour, and the meeting was cut short. Fair enough, but here is the kicker and it puts an entirely different light on the event. According to the reporter, “Charlottetown Police Services officers were in attendance”.

Wow! The implications of this could be far reaching. When was the last time the police were invited to a political meeting in our democratic society? Were they “on duty” and “on the clock” Was this an extra duty where officers were assigned to attend the meeting to quell the unhappy citizens if necessary and/or to protect a municipal politician should the need arise, or both?

This incident does not lend itself to transparency, openness, a democratic society or the ability of the electorate to express their opinion or participate in the decision-making process. It suggests we are living in a closed society where the enlightened know what is best for us.

The Municipal Government Act, and the aftermath since its inception, has created a very different city and a very disappointed citizenry. Are our politicians beginning to feel the “heat” from the citizens? Will there be a continued police presence at municipal government meetings? Will meetings be held behind closed doors in order to avoid public input? Will taxpayers stand for that?

 

Are we leaning more and more to an elitist-controlled society? It seems that way. Citizen input has been falling on deaf ears for some time now. The citizens' views on climate change, land protection, our water resources and the forfeiture of prime real estate for profit have been deftly deflected when fallen upon deaf ears.

Are we now at a point where our governments are prepared to call in law enforcement to suppress the voice of the people? Surely not, that is an avenue we must avoid.

Wayne Carver is a retired federal servant having spent a 36-year career in law enforcement and national security. He is also a strong proponent of electoral reform.

-30-


 from today's U.K. Guardian:

Royals urged to go wild – More than 100 academics, experts and public figures have signed a letter calling on the royal family to rewild their lands to help tackle Britain’s biodiversity crisis and show climate leadership. Balmoral, owned by the Queen, is about 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) – almost twice the size of Manchester. Dartmoor, where the Duchy of Cornwall is the largest landowner, used to be covered in temperate rainforest but only fragments remain.

Article:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/09/royal-family-urged-to-lead-rewilding-efforts-and-transform-estates


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Gounod’s Faust, today until 6:30PM
"Tenor Jonas Kaufmann is riveting as the title character of Gounod’s popular opera, seen in this Live in HD presentation of Des McAnuff’s thrilling 2011 production that places the mythical and timeless story in an early 20th-century setting. René Pape as Méphistophélès is menacing and elegant in equal measure, and Marina Poplavskaya delivers a searingly intense portrayal of the innocent Marguerite. Russell Braun as her brother, Valentin, shines in his Act II aria. On the podium, Yannick Nézet-Séguin brings out all the lyricism and drama of Gounod’s score."
From December 10, 2011.

Bellini’s La Sonnambula, tonight 7:30PM until Thursday 6:30PM
"Just as a young woman is about to marry her sweetheart, she is discovered—by the entire village, to say nothing of her fiancé—asleep in the bedroom of a stranger. It takes the young man two acts to figure out that sleepwalking is to blame, and everything ends happily. Natalie Dessay as Amina and Juan Diego Flórez as Elvino deliver bel canto magic and vocal fireworks in Mary Zimmerman’s 2009 production. The Tony award-winning director transfers Bellini’s bucolic tale to a rehearsal room in contemporary New York, where an opera company rehearses La Sonnambula—and where the singers are truly in love with each other."
From March 21, 2009.

June 8, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:
Dr. Heather Morrison's weekly Covid update may be today at 11:30AM.  Prince Edward Island Government page on Facebook, the Government YouTube channel, etc. are places to watch or listen in, as is Ocean 100 radio (which usually broadcasts the statement only, not media questions).

Charlottetown's Farmers' Market 2 Go, order by Today noon for pick-up Thursday
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

Meetings to watch online today:

Standing Committee on Public Accounts meeting, 10AM, online.

Topic: 2021 Report of the Auditor General to the Legislative Assembly

The committee will meet to review the 2021 Report of the Auditor General to the Legislative Assembly. Auditor General Darren Noonan will be in attendance.

---------------------
Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, 1:30PM, online.

Topic: Election of Chair and consideration of work plan

Watch Live button on this page:

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
 
or usually video streaming at this page:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg


Government Consultation with Islanders wanted:

On MIDWIFERY:  DEADLINE: FRIDAY, JUNE 18th

from the Government webpage:

Midwifery Services

What is a midwife?

Midwives are primary care providers that care for their clients before and throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. Midwives are experts in low-risk, normal pregnancy and birth.

Will Midwifery Services be available in PEI?

Yes, Midwifery Services are being developed for PEI. The Midwifery Service will add to the options for maternity care available to Islanders with low risk pregnancies. Midwives will be the newest health profession added into the PEI health system. They will be the first group to be regulated under the Registered Health Professions Act.

Who is overseeing the development process?

Health PEI and the Department of Health and Wellness are working together to develop a Midwifery Service for PEI. A Midwifery Services Steering Committee is guiding development of the service. The committee has the following groups: Midwifery, Obstetrics (including Nursing), Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners, Public Health, Indigenous Health, Patients, Primary Care Administration and Government Policy.

Who will be able to provide input into the development process?

As part of the midwifery services development process, a number of engagement activities are taking place to share information about midwifery and to gain feedback on developing the program. Midwifery leaders, healthcare providers, community partners and government will be invited to participate.

Citizens are also invited to provide input by completing an online survey (link is external)
before (Friday,) June 18 or taking part in online discussions (registration required):

more info: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/midwifery-services
-----------------------------
On RURAL TRANSPORTATION: Not Sure of Deadline.

from the Government media release:

Input wanted from Islanders on rural public transit

The province is asking for input from Islanders through an online survey to help create a vision for a rural public transit system in PEI.

The survey is available in English and French at  Rural Public Transit system for Prince Edward Island.

(   https://ruraltransitpei.questionpro.ca/  )

“We encourage all Islanders to take this short online survey to help provide direction and shape our decision-making as we plan to launch a rural public transit system pilot this fall. We want to design a rural transit system in a way that will meet the needs of the people who will be using it.”- Transportation and Infrastructure Minister James Aylward

The survey will help provide a clearer picture of why people would choose rural transit, what type of system they would prefer, frequency of trips, appropriate fees and features that are important to them.

For Islanders living in rural areas, improving the way people get to and from work, to medical appointments, entertainment venues and various destinations, presents unique challenges that require unique solutions. 

<snip>
------------------------------------

On REVIEWING GUIDELINES SUPPORTING GENDER DIVERSITY AND EXPRESSION IN SCHOOLS:
DEADLINE:  FRIDAY, JUNE 25TH


Feedback wanted from Islanders on new guidelines to support gender diversity and expression in schools

 Islanders are asked to review new guidelines that will be implemented this fall in Island schools to help create safer, more inclusive learning and social environments. 

The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning wants Islanders to review the draft Guidelines for Respecting, Accommodating and Supporting Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation in our Schools and
submit their feedback by June 25, 2021 to dwilson@gov.pe.ca.
The guidelines will be implemented in the 2021-2022 school year. 

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s Rigoletto, today until 6:30PM
Starring Diana Damrau, Oksana Volkova, Piotr Beczała, Željko Lučić, and Štefan Kocán, conducted by Michele Mariotti. Production by Michael Mayer. From February 16, 2013. Set in the 1950s USA.

Gounod’s Faust, tonight 7:30PM until 6:30PM Wednesday
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Jonas Kaufmann, Russell Braun, and René Pape, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Des McAnuff. From December 10, 2011.  Set in the mid-20th Century

June 7, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food opportunities:
Organic Vegetable Delivery, order by tonight for delivery Friday, June 11th.
More details here:
https://www.organicveggiedelivery.com/

Charlottetown's Farmers' Market 2 Go, order by Tuesday noon for pick-up Thursday
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

Local Coffee:
Brett's Caledonia House Coffee, takeout window only,  7AM-2PM, Weekdays, Charlottetown Farmers' Market, Belvedere Avenue.

Some Legislative Standing Committee meetings resume this week, specifically this Tuesday.  Some Committees need to be reorganized due to the critic shuffle and committee reassignments that the Green Party Official Opposition did last month.

Tuesday, June 8th:
Standing Committee on Public Accounts meeting, 10AM, Coles Building

Topic: 2021 Report of the Auditor General to the Legislative Assembly

The committee will meet to review the 2021 Report of the Auditor General to the Legislative Assembly. Auditor General Darren Noonan will be in attendance.

The Committee now consists of members:

Hannah Bell and Lynne Lund (Greens)
Cory Deagle and Sidney MacEwen (PCs)
Heath MacDonald and Gordon McNeilly (Liberals)

---------------------
Standing Committee on Education and Economic Growth, 1:30PM

Topic: Election of Chair and consideration of work plan

The committee now consists of members:

Trish Altass and Stephen Howard (Greens)
Zack Bell and Hon. Ernie Hudson (PCs)
Heath MacDonald and Gordon McNeilly (Liberals)

More at:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg


Atlantic Skies for Monday, June 7th to Sunday, June 13th, 2021 "Partial Solar Eclipse of a Rising Sun" - by Glenn K. Roberts

On the morning of Thursday, June 10, 2021, weather permitting, we here in Atlantic Canada will witness a partial solar eclipse. A solar eclipse is when the New Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth's surface, the eclipse being visible only within the area where the Moon's shadow falls. There are three types of solar eclipses - 1) total, where the Moon's disk totally covers the Sun's disk, with only the Sun's outer corona visible around the edge of the Moon, and the sky noticeably darkens as the Sun's light is temporarily blocked; 2) annular, when the Moon's disk is slightly smaller than that of the Sun (due to the Moon being farther from Earth than at the time of a total solar eclipse), with the result that, although the Moon's disk passes through the center of the Sun, some of the Sun's surface appears around the edge of of the Moon as a ring or beads ("Bailey's Beads") of light, giving this type of eclipse its label of "annular", after the Latin annulus meaning "ring of fire"; and 3) partial, where only part of the Moon's disk passes across the Sun's disk. While other parts of North America will see an annular solar eclipse, we here in Atlantic Canada (and the area southeast of a line drawn roughly from Quebec City through Ottawa to Toronto) will only see a partial solar eclipse as the Sun rises on June 10. The partial solar eclipse begins at 5:37 a.m. (the Sun will be up then), reaches maximum (72.2% of Sun's disk will be covered, at which time, it will look like the Moon has taken a big bite out of the Sun's disk) at 6:36 a.m., and is finished by7:38 a.m.  Depending on your exact latitude and longitude, the partial solar eclipse may already have begun when the Sun rises in your location (check your sunrise times at https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/). Go to https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2021-june-10 to learn more about the partial solar eclipse in your area.

Three things have to happen for a solar eclipse to occur: 1)  there has to be a New Moon; 2) the New Moon, Earth, and Sun need to be aligned in a straight (or nearly straight) line (which occurs when the Moon reaches what are referred to as "lunar nodes", the two points in the Moon's orbit around the Earth when it crosses the Earth's orbital plane); and 3) the Moon must be near its farthest point from the Earth (apogee).  On Thursday, June 10, we have all three of these events occuring; if the weather in your area is clear, make an effort to get out and view the partial solar eclipse. The next solar eclipse (a total solar eclipse) for us here in Atlantic Canada will occur April. 8, 2024. **Caution: Do not look directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse, even a partial one, as the Sun's rays can severely damage your eyes. Please make sure your children do not look directly at the Sun during the June 10 partial eclipse. To learn how to safely view a solar eclipse (of any sort), go to https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/solar-eclipse.

The planet Mercury is heading towards inferior solar conjunction (will pass between the Earth and the Sun) on June 11, and is now too close to the Sun to be seen. Venus and Mars are early evening objects this week. Venus (mag. -3.9, in Gemini - the Twins), shining brightly as our 'evening star", is visible around 9:25 p.m., 8 degrees above the northwest horizon in the post-sunset glow. See if you can spot the extremely thin, young, waxing, crescent Moon to the lower right of Venus on June 11. Look for the crescent Moon to the upper right of Venus on the 12th. Dim Mars (mag. +1.8, also in Gemini) is visible as the western sky darkens around 10:10 p.m., 14 degrees above the western horizon (and to the upper left of Venus) before dropping towards the horizon and setting by about 11:50 p.m. Mars will continue to grow dimmer throughout the coming months as its orbit takes it further from Earth, and it moves closer towards the Sun in the evening sky. The waxing, crescent Moon sits just to the upper right of Mars on the evening of June 13. Saturn (mag. +0.5, in Capricornus - the Sea Goat) rises in the southeast around 12:30 a.m., reaching 25 degrees above the southern horizon before fading from view around 4:40 a.m. Mighty Jupiter (mag. -2.5, in Aquarius - the Waterbearer) is visible in the pre-dawn sky, rising about 1:10 a.m., and reaching an altitude of 28 degrees in the southeast sky before it, too, fades from view as dawn breaks around 5 a.m.

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

June    8 - Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth)

          10 - New Moon; partial solar eclipse begins 5:37 a.m.

          11 - Mercury at inferior solar conjunction
-30-


an bit of an article from The (U.K.) Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/07/the-little-island-that-won-how-a-tiny-pacific-community-fought-off-a-giant-mining-company

The little island that won: how a tiny Pacific community fought off a giant mining company - The (UK) Guardian article by Dorothy Wickham in Wagina, and Ben Doherty

A proposal to mine 60% of Wagina for bauxite was met with outrage by locals and became a landmark case in Solomon Islands

Published on Sunday, June 6th, 2021

When a mining company arrived on Wagina nearly a decade ago with a proposal to mine 60% of the island for bauxite, resistance was swift and resolute.

“I was in the group that went and physically stopped the machines that landed on the site behind this island,” says Teuaia Sito, the former president of the Lauru Wagina Council of Women.

“We do not want mining, it’s simple,” says Sito, a mother of 10 and grandmother to 19. “What good would mining bring to us?”

The story of a giant company arriving on a tiny Pacific island to mine it for its valuable resources is not an unusual one; what is unusual in Wagina’s case is that the people of Wagina won.

Those on Wagina – a small island in Solomon Islands, home to roughly 2,000 people, 1,700km north-west of Cairns – fought hard to keep the mining company away because the memory of forced displacement is not a distant tale handed down through generations, but a living memory.

Wagina’s people have been displaced twice already. In the 1930s they were forced from their ancestral home in the Southern Gilbert Islands (now part of Kiribati), because of land shortages and overpopulation, to a new island chain, the Phoenix Islands. <SNIP>

REST OF ARTICLE at the link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/07/the-little-island-that-won-how-a-tiny-pacific-community-fought-off-a-giant-mining-company


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, today until 6:30PM
Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, conducted by Karen Kamensek. Production by Phelim McDermott. 
From November 23, 2019.

This week's theme:

Changing the Scene: Updated Settings for Classic Operas

"From 1960s Las Vegas to a seaside amusement park and beyond, this week of free Nightly Opera Streams showcases inventive productions that re-set the action of classic operas—with enlightening and exciting results. A full schedule for the week is available (here)"

Verdi’s Rigoletto, tonight 7:30PM until Tuesday about 6:30PM

Starring Diana Damrau, Oksana Volkova, Piotr Beczała, Željko Lučić, and Štefan Kocán, conducted by Michele Mariotti. Production by Michael Mayer. From February 16, 2013.

Las Vegas and a kind of Rat Pack!

[note that The Met, which is hoping to resume live performances this late Fall, has a new production of Rigoletto in the works -- I am not sure of the setting for it, though ("classic" or "modern" or what!) ]

June 6, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Event:
Today:
Workshop -- The Art of Blogging: A Virtual Panel, 1:30-3PM, hosted by The PEI Writers' Guild, now free but donations accepted.
Panelists include Justin Shaw, Michelle MacDonald and Pelumi Ajao.
"Continuing in our Self-Publishing series, On June 6th, the PEI Writers' Guild will present a virtual panel on the art of blogging. This conversation-style event will feature bloggers Justin Shaw, Michelle MacDonald, and Pelumi Ajao. Each will talk about their specific niche in the blogging world and will offer suggestions and tips for what they think it takes to be a successful blogger." <snip>
More details:
https://www.peiwritersguild.com/event-4319296


Every word of this is brilliant, and completely rational. https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-a-new-path-for-tree-planting-100595880/

from 2013, Gary Schneider, Jackie Waddell, Shannon Mader and Ruth DeLong after tree-planting outside Charlottetown (CO photo)

GUEST OPINION: A new path for tree planting - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Gary Schenider

Published on Friday, June 3rd, 2021

One thing the pandemic is teaching us is that we don’t need to go back to our old ways, and that we should resist the urge to fall back into destructive patterns of behaviour. All over the world, people are creating new visions of how they want to live, and how to reduce the damage we do to the environment.

We hear a lot of talk lately about the loss of forests on Prince Edward Island and what to do about it. Tree planting will never be a substitute for forest conservation, but done wisely, it has a critical role to play in improving the diversity, value, and resiliency of our forests.

The province has an incredible opportunity to not only increase forest cover but also create a legacy of healthy forests. Unfortunately, this will not happen if we just go back to putting in thousands of acres of conifer plantations. We’ve been doing that for decades, and it hasn’t been working — not for the environment, and certainly not for the economy.

In 2019, Justin Trudeau promised that if elected, his government would fund the planting of two billion trees by 2029. Which should be a good thing, right? I’ve spent the last 30 years trying to get people to plant more trees, but unfortunately, Trudeau’s plan is keeping me up at night.

The promise of federal money spurring the planting of billions of trees without proper analysis is what got us mired in conifer plantations in the first place. Recently, noted academics and practitioners in the region have also been critical of plantations.

Dr. Tom Beckley, a professor in the UNB Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, drew the wrath of the Irvings when he spoke about the borealization of Maritime forests – that despite the coming climate change, we continue to plant species such as black spruce, white spruce and eastern larch that clearly will not perform well in our future forest.

In an article in The Examiner, Beckley was asked why people should care about this.

His answer: “Resilience, particularly in the face of climate change. If you are doing plantations that are 90 per cent or more of one particular species, that is genetic simplification.”

Nova Scotia’s renowned wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft had a recent opinion piece in the Chronicle Herald titled “Forest plantations defy science.” He wrote: “Clearcutting followed by even-aged softwood plantings on former hardwood and mixed hardwood-softwood sites severely degrades these sites over a short period of time. The resulting ecological imbalance promotes pest infestations, disease, vulnerability to strong winds and stresses caused by hot, dry weather.”

As Bancroft points out, “The only reason for using the plantation approach on public (Crown) lands is entirely economic — quick and easy fibre extraction for short-term, private profits. Such a fast return is sanctioned only when economic goals remain a focus unfettered by ecological literacy. What makes it possible are public subsidies that include nursery production, planting, herbicides, thinning treatments and even road-building. Ecological expenses are ignored, while the legacy of severely impoverished sites persists for generations.”

Planting millions of trees just because there are federal dollars flowing for the initiative will only get us more and more conifer plantations. The provincial government’s current practice of planting 1,000 trees per acre is an easy way to build up numbers if you don’t care about the health of the forests.

But there is a much better way to plant millions of trees without further degrading Island forests. The solution is to plant a mix of native tree species on the tens of thousands of acres of degraded woodland in the province, as well as on land that could be growing trees instead of grasses. Working with the natural regeneration and selectively planting species such as red oak and white pine is the first step in restoring healthy Island forests.

An ecologically sound plan would first target land controlled by those committed to keeping it in forest. This starts with the province itself, and includes Parks Canada, schools, the Island Nature Trust, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Environmental Coalition of P.E.I.’s Macphail Woods. Then work with watershed groups, Island Trails, and private landowners to plant land with protective covenants.

There are many private landowners who would welcome such a program, even if they had to make long-term commitments to keeping their forests intact. The future forests could be sustainably harvested, but they would have to remain as forests. We need to get away from subsidizing plantations that are only going to be cut or die after 50-60 years. That does nothing for long-term carbon sequestration.

These plantings will cost more per acre, and will need to be well planned, relying on trained planters who receive decent wages. But think of all the benefits that proper forest enhancement can bring – not only for ourselves, but for future generations. Imagine woodlands filled with a mix of long-lived, high value Acadian forest species – from sugar maple and yellow birch to red oak and red spruce. These would become invaluable areas for both humans and wildlife.

The provincial government needs to take the long view on forest management and carbon sequestration, and not fall into the same old trap of trotting out numbers of trees planted as a symbol of success. Establishing more low-value conifer plantations would be a mistake, going back to what we have been doing. We deserve better than that.

The benefits in increased biodiversity, improved wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, valuable forest products, and green jobs would be immense. These things are well within reach. We just need to decide that they are important.

Gary Schneider is co-chair of the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island and founder of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project.

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Verdi’s Macbeth, today until 6:30PM
Starring Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Željko Lučić, and René Pape, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Adrian Noble. From October 11, 2014. 
Relationships, trust, betrayal, murder, guilt, ghosts, more murder, descent into madness -- and all of this with Anna Netrebko and Zeljko Lucic -- just amazing.

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, tonight 7:30PM until Monday 6:30PM
Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, conducted by Karen Kamensek. Production by Phelim McDermott. From November 23, 2019.
Under three hours, a living composer, different staging techniques (jugglers), screens, that enhance and don't detract from the singing and story, and a counter-tenor gets the lead role as the off-beat Pharoah.  Really mesmerizing.

June 5, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food Opportunities

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

Storefront:
Riverview Country Market
North River KJL Market 
Heartbeet Organics at The Farmacy (9AM-1PM)

Today (June 5th) is United Nations' World Environment Day

from their website:
Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.

This is our moment.

We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.

Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. 

Join #GenerationRestoration

lots of info and other related material at: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/

Join in to "revive and protect our ecosystems."


If you want to get out on Island trails, by hiking or mountain biking or just wandering around, Island Trails has quite the snappy, mappy website to find places and info, with lots of gorgeous photographs, too:
Island Trails website:
https://www.islandtrails.ca/trails/


And something to think about food choices, marketing, traditional and current farming, and so on, from the always thoughtful Ian Petrie: https://www.peicanada.com/island_farmer/my-beef-with-beyond-meat/article_cd5180ec-c241-11eb-a393-b3d694dbeb2b.html

My beef with Beyond Meat - Island Farmer article by Ian Petrie

Published on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021, in Island Farmer of The Graphics (PEICanada) publishing

There’s a lot to think about when you’re considering what to have for supper: the cost; your health; the production impact on wildlife, and the environment; ethical questions on the treatment of animals. Now we’re being asked to think about climate change too, especially when it comes eating beef and dairy products.

I respect people who have seriously thought all of this through and become vegetarian or vegan based on what they see as unnecessary cruelty to animals. The rest of us however need to think a little harder.

We’ve been told over and over about the amount of damaging methane produced by cattle belching. Researchers say it accounts for about 14% of greenhouse gas production worldwide (transportation is 20%). A handful of executive chefs at Michelin Star restaurants are responding by taking beef off the menu, and of course making headlines. Just last week the extraordinary climate campaigner Greta Thunberg called for people to stop eating meat and move to a plant based diet.

"Our relationship with nature is broken. But relationships can change” says Thunberg on social media. I respectfully think a purely plant based diet will create other environmental problems we don’t want, but I’m glad she talked about nature, what’s natural. It gives us another way into this discussion.

For thousands of years hunter-gatherers joined other predators to survive by killing herbivores, animals with a unique digestive system that allowed them to extract energy and nutrition from plants, especially grasses, something humans can’t do. They do this using a rumen, an organ filled with bacteria that breaks down cellulose. The rumen is in fact the source of the methane we worry about now.

The action of animals with hooves foraging on grasslands made small indentations in the ground that captured moisture. The herbivores also added manure supplying nutrients to help the plants thrive. It was a highly sustainable ecosystem and was really how cattle were traditionally raised on farms with the manure also going to fertilize other crops.

This changed in my lifetime with the development of feedlots in the 1950’s. This industry, with feed brought to cattle squeezed into pens, was more efficient and cheap beef fuelled the development of the fast food restaurants and everything that followed. These big feedlots continue to be centered in western Canada with the Maritimes still linked to more traditional methods of raising cattle.

It’s this critical link to grass and the importance of manure to maintaining soil health that we need to pay attention to. PEI is a textbook case of soils degrading after half the beef industry was lost following the mad cow scare in 2003. Manure became scarce and farmers had less reason to grow grass and forages as rotations shifted to soybean and corn. Organic matter levels fell and are just now starting to rebound.

It’s the soils we have to think about as plant based meat substitutes become more popular. Stable, CO2 absorbing pastures get plowed up to produce the pea and soy protein needed for the Beyond Meats of the world. Soil erosion, nitrate leaching, all of the negatives tied to row crop production come into play. Is that what we want on a massive scale?

We’re fortunate in the Maritimes to have Atlantic Beef, which supports small and medium sized producers in the region. The cheap calories from the fast food industry won’t soon disappear, but as consumers we can make better choices with beef produced locally.

And there’s another local link to improving beef production. For decades, PEI dairy farmer Joe Dorgan told anyone who would listen that feeding seaweed to cattle makes them healthier. Researchers elsewhere are now astounded discovering that small amounts of the right varieties of seaweed added to cattle feed virtually eliminates methane production. The idea is quickly being commercialized. I hope Joe gets some recognition.

We also need to be wary of getting caught up in the Bay-Wall Street euphoria of new plant-based companies. They’re attracting billions in investments, branding themselves as climate change fighters. I’m not condemning the genuine effort by many to make things better, but when the share values and celebrity endorsements get more media attention than how these products are being produced I get suspicious.

And finally let’s be grateful that unlike the millions who live with food insecurity every day we get to think about environmental, nutritional, and ethical concerns. That’s a privilege many don’t have, and we need to get this right.

-30-


Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, 2PM, CBC Music 104.7FM:
Britten’s Billy Budd
*Performance from March 8, 1997*
Steuart Bedford; Philip Langridge (Captain Vere), Dwayne Croft (Billy Budd), James Morris (Claggart), Victor Braun (Mr. Redburn), Julien Robbins (Lt. Ratcliffe), James Courtney (Mr. Flint), Paul Plishka (Dansker)
All-male cast, based on Herman Melville's short story of a misunderstood sailor.  This is the final "live" Met Opera Saturday radio broadcast of the season, and the last for Mary Jo Heath, the main commentator from New York.
(Next week the timeslot will likely go to the formidable library of Ben Heppner interviews and recording picks.)

Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, today until 6:30PM
Starring Angel Blue, Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Eric Owens, Alfred Walker, and Donovan Singletary, conducted by David Robertson. Production by James Robinson. From

Verdi’s Macbeth, tonight 7:30PM until Sunday 6:30PM
Starring Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Željko Lučić, and René Pape, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Adrian Noble. From October 11, 2014.

While its Macbeth (Zeljko Lucic) is fantastic, it's pretty much Lady Macbeth who electrifies this production, with Anna Netrebko.  And despite the desperate plot, the interviews on this recording are really funny and sweet, with host Anita Rachvelishvili.

June 4, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Fridays for Future Climate Action Rallies PEI/Epekwitk, 3:30PMnear Province House. "We want young people and future generations to have a planet on which they can thrive. Children are welcome in this movement; all events will be peaceful, civil gatherings. We are moved to express our love for humanity and our concern for the future.

All are welcome! We gather to express our love for humanity and our concern for the future. Feel free to bring your own signs and invite others


New News to just about everyone on "Glamping" in Strathgartney  (glamourour or luxurious camping) https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-strathgartney-provincial-park-1.6050389

followed by a short good opinion  

Portion of Strathgartney Provincial Park to become luxury camping area - CBC News Online

'It's not going to interfere with the public at all, the park is not going to change,' minister says

Published on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

A portion of Strathgartney Provincial Park is being leased for 10 years to two P.E.I. entrepreneurs looking to make a year-round campsite there.

Mike Robertson is the co-owner of Meridian 63 Luxury Camping along with his business partner, Stephane Labrosse. He said their plan is to make smaller units with an emphasis on "off-grid" luxury experience.  They'll be converting the former campground space into a luxury camping facility. 

"It's not going to be tents and RVs, it's going to be structured units … they're all going to be really small units, off-grid, you know, wood heat. We really feel it's more about the experience in the area," he said.  "We want it to feel like you're actually camping without the work of actually camping."

"The new facilities will be perfect for travellers looking for the camping experience but have limited equipment and time," Labrosse said.

"We'll provide everything they need so they can spend more time exploring the outdoors."

The province is leasing the park for $1 a year. It has also loaned the business $420,000 to help with the setup of the campground.

Matthew MacKay, minister of economic development and tourism, said the province was pitched the idea by the two and that it's a welcome addition to Strathgartney.

"We felt it would be a good fit," he said. "It's not going to interfere with the public at all, the park is not going to change."

MacKay said he's seen a "tremendous" increase of visitors to the area, particularly cyclists and walkers, and he sees the provincial park as something people can enjoy 12 months of the year.

When asked why the province wouldn't do this on its own, MacKay said it was an idea the two came to the province with and wanted to see them run with it. 

"They're the ones who put the work and their heart and soul into this, and this is how we felt the best approach would go," he said. "It's going to be a great tourism product and we look forward to seeing how successful it will be."

There wasn't a request for proposal involved, because it wasn't a government project, he added.

'I think government really failed on this one'

Tourism critic and Liberal MLA Heath MacDonald said the lack of communication on this project from the province is "certainly raising a few red flags within communities and within some other businesses."

He said there are hundreds of people that explore that park each week and its trails, and Strathgartney plays host to organizations and their functions.

"It's important for government to be clear exactly what's taking place with that," he said. "I think government really failed on this one."

He said he hopes the businesses are successful, but he questions government's transparency on the entire project.

"When you get questions from organizations and people saying 'What's going on in Strathgartney? Are we losing our park? Are we going to have access to our park? Who are the new owners? Is it a lease? Is it a purchase?' Those are some of the questions that I think people are raising," he said.

MacDonald said he wants to see the plan for Strathgartney and the contract between the province and the business. 

Work will continue throughout the summer to remove old asphalt, concrete and building structures to return the park back to a more natural state.

The new campsite is set to open in the fall and will operate year-round. 

-30-
-------------------
And an opinion on social media from the sage Ron Kelly:
Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

"It's fine to have an idea and to approach government with a proposal. But if government accepts the idea -- either in detail or in general -- it then has a duty to open the process up to public bidding and tenders. Perhaps others have a better idea or can deliver the original idea at less cost or more efficiently.

"To provide one company with the right to proceed with a proposal when it involves publicly-owned resources without allowing others to submit other proposals -- and to lend that company the money to do it -- is not an appropriate way to operate. (BTW, isn't this the second provincial park --or at least, second publicly-owned facility -- to see this happen? Is this a trend we should know about -- given that it involves OUR property?) "

-- Ron Kelly

Yes, can the public see a proposal map and the contract details, please?  And the ecological plans -- this is a land near the West (Eliot) River and updated water and sewage needs to be considered. 


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment, today until 6:30PM
Starring Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Kathleen Turner, Javier Camarena, and Maurizio Muraro, conducted by Enrique Mazzola. Production by Laurent Pelly. From March 2, 2019.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, tonight 7:30PM until Saturday about 6:30PM
Starring Angel Blue, Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Eric Owens, Alfred Walker, and Donovan Singletary, conducted by David Robertson. Production by James Robinson. From February 1, 2020.

June 3, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Canadian Environment Week continues
Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environment-week.html
------------------
Webinar this morning:
A Call to Action on Methane: an international dialogue hosted by the GMI (Global Methane Initiative), 9AM-11:30AM
Experts and government leaders will discuss opportunities for global action on methane.

"The Global Methane Initiative (GMI) is an international public-private partnership focused on reducing barriers to methane recovery and use." 
The Parent organization is the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

More about the (GMI) Global Methane Initiative and registration link:
https://globalmethane.org/calltoaction/

-------------------------
Also Today:
In camera, so not public....

Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, 10AM, in camera

Topic: Briefing on the summary of recent IRAC report on their investigation of land and corporate transactions under the Lands Protection Act, P.E.I.

The committee will be hearing from the Director of Parliamentary Research, Ryan Reddin on the summary he has created on the IRAC report.

Please note this meeting will be held in camera.

---------------------
from now until Monday, August 16th 2021.  You could take photos of June bugs!

8th Annual Nature Canada Photo Contest, until August 16th, 2021.

"Grab your camera and head outside because our 2021 Nature Photo Contest has now begun. We are excited to host the 8th annual Nature Photo Contest!

The 2021 Nature Photo Contest is a great way to get outdoors and celebrate nature in Canada. While discovering nature and exploring the beauty Canada has to offer, it’s important to remember to practice physical distancing. This year, we encourage you to think back to your favourite Canadian nature moments - whether they were taken this year, last year, or 10 years ago, and share your photos with us!

Whether you choose to revisit memories, go for a hike or canoe, or simply enjoy discovering what's hiding in your own backyard, there is so much to see and do in this naturally diverse country we call home.

Starting ...May 25, 2021, you can submit your best nature photos on our webpage, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NaturePhotoContest, or by email or mail. Our contest will run all summer with entries accepted until August 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Submit your best nature photos the chance to win some amazing prizes donated by our generous sponsors,including a grand prize from Black Feather the Wilderness Adventure Company! Submit your best nature photos for your chance to win a Gift Certificate for a spot on an incredible seven day sea kayaking trip exploring the 30,000 Islands that surround Georgian Bay in the 2022 season, valued at over $2000!

For more details about the prizes, how to submit your photos or to view our panel of celebrity judges, please visit our website. Should you have any questions, please contact us at photocontest@naturecanada.ca or at 1-800-27-4088 etc 231.

We look forward to seeing your photos!"
https://naturecanada.ca/enjoy-nature/nature-photo-contest/


Most of us have insects of arachnids that spook or disgust us, and many people hate June bugs...but I am with this biologist about liking the buzzy, sticky, dopey, giant little invertebrates.

Pest … or snack? June bugs are the ‘croutons of the sky’ - The Conversation article by Paul Manning

originally published on Thursday, May 20th, 2021
https://theconversation.com/pest-or-snack-june-bugs-are-the-croutons-of-the-sky-154035

Many people grit their teeth in anticipation of the arrival of June bugs. You might already have had your first run-in with one. Perhaps you heard one clumsily bounce off your window? Maybe you saw one loop around the porch light? Possibly, you felt one tangle its six sticky legs into your hair?

June bugs, also known as May bugs or June beetles, are a group of scarab beetles that are distributed across North America. For a brief period each summer, the adults are common and abundant across many parts of their range.

June bugs are attracted to light, which means we often encounter them at windows and streetlamps in early summer. Due to their large size and distinctive appearance, they are rather conspicuous among the millions of other insect species we share our world with.

Whether you consider them friend, foe or a neutral party, here are some insights into these misunderstood creatures to celebrate the advent of June bug season.

Hundreds of different species of June bugs

June bugs are found within the genus Phyllophaga, derived from the Greek phyllon (leaf) and phaga (eat). This name is a literal description of the adult’s habit of feeding on plant leaves.

There are more than 800 species of June bugs known to science and more are discovered every year. Adult beetles are usually blackish or reddish brown in colour, and tend to be very hairy on their fronts. While June bug species have many external similarities, their genitalia are very distinctive — with the male organs resembling a scoop, a claw or a fork. Taxonomists often confirm the identity of the species, or describe new species, by carefully examining the genitalia.

June bug grubs live below ground for years

When you encounter a June bug flying or crawling about, you are looking at a full-grown adult. Just like butterflies and moths, June bugs grow through a process known as “holometabolous development.” They pass through several stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Just as with butterflies, adult June bugs look and behave completely different from the larvae.

Each June bug starts as a pearl-like egg laid in the soil. Each egg hatches into a c-shaped larva known commonly as a white grub. White grubs feed on the roots of plants, disrupting the uptake and transport of water and nutrients.

In high densities, June bugs can be serious pests of ornamental and agricultural plants, lawns and golf courses. Larvae spend at least a year in the soil, and in some cases take as much as four to five years to reach maturity.

In late spring, the larva metamorphoses into a pupa, and then into the adult beetle. Armed with wings and developed gonads for mating, the June bugs will emerge from the soil and take to the night sky with the goal of feeding, finding a mate and reproducing, thus beginning the cycle anew.

June bugs are food for many wild animals

Although many people find June bugs unsettling, they play an important role in helping nutrients cycle through ecosystems. By chowing down on grass roots, June bugs concentrate nutrients into juicy (larva) and crunchy (adult) calorie-rich packages that are consumed by a variety of other organisms.

June bugs are a rich source of protein (40 to 50 per cent) and fat (seven to 18 per cent). Many wild animals such as skunks, raccoon and several bird species consume June bugs across all stages of their life cycle. In the process of foraging for June bug larvae, animals often dig up soil, damaging crops, gardens, lawns and golf greens in the process.

Aside from vertebrate predators, June bugs are an important food source for many other insects. A study based in southern Québec found that 29 species of insect used the June bug (Phyllophaga anxia) as a source of food.

One of the remarkable species that feeds on June bugs is Pelecinus polyturator. It is a large wasp (about seven centimetres long) that primarily reproduces asexually, and is found from northern Argentina to southern Canada. Pelecinus polyturator uses its long ovipositor to lay its eggs into white grubs, which eat and kill their host after hatching.

Some people eat June bugs too

Much of the discussion around entomophagy (eating insects) in North America is centred on industrially reared insects like crickets and mealworms. Wild-foraging insects can also play an important role in supplying insects for human consumption, as is the case with June bugs.

Historically, the Bear River people in northwestern California ate fire-roasted June bugs. Today, many people collect adult June bugs from lights or dig larvae from the soil for recipes. They crush them and bake them into biscuits, sprinkle them onto salads as “croutons of the sky,” a term coined by Jonathan Bobryk of Nova Scotia, or even fill cooked larvae with cheese and wrap them in bacon

If you come across an adult June bug this spring, maybe give it a closer look. This chunky insect could very well be older than any of the babies and toddlers in your life.

If you squish it under your foot, you might be saving your lawn from the wrath of hungry white grubs, but you also might be robbing a barred owl, a pelecinid wasp, or your neighbour of a protein-rich morsel.

Paul Manning is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University.

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Bizet’s Carmen, today until 6:30PM
Starring Aleksandra Kurzak, Clémentine Margaine, Roberto Alagna, and Alexander Vinogradov, conducted by Louis Langrée. Production by Sir Richard Eyre. From February 2, 2019.

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment, tonight 7:30PM until Friday about 6:30PM
Starring Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Kathleen Turner, Javier Camarena, and Maurizio Muraro, conducted by Enrique Mazzola. Production by Laurent Pelly. From March 2, 2019.
Such a treat!  A darling production with equally darling  Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena (his role has nine "High C's" in one aria). With an illustrated synopsis of the opera here. AND an "Aria Code" interview with actress Kathleen Turner, who has the short but dramatic non-speaking role of The Duchess, here.

June 2, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Today is:

Canada Clean Air Day, part of Canadian Environment Week. - www.canada.ca post

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/campaigns/canadian-environment-week/clean-air-day.html

from the government website:

About Clean Air Day

Celebrate Clean Air Day on June 2nd! Let’s recognize how important good air quality is to our health, our environment, and the economy. This year we look at the impacts of traffic-related air pollution and how we can reduce it to protect our health.

Air pollution is a problem, both on a global scale and for local communities. It is one of the most significant environmental challenges affecting public health, and one of the most avoidable causes of death and disease.  Evidence shows that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections and pneumonia. Health experts have warned that people with these pre-existing health conditions may be more vulnerable to becoming ill with COVID-19, and those who become ill are more likely to experience the most severe outcomes.

and the sidebar notes:

Fun facts

  • In 1999, Canada declared Clean Air Day an annual celebration during Canadian Environment Week.

  • Air fresheners don’t clean the air. They mask odours with another scent that may contain chemicals that can cause irritation or health issues.

  • In addition to providing shade from the sun, trees also release large amounts of moisture. This helps cool and cleanse the atmosphere.

  • Canadians spend on average 90% of our day indoors. While we continue to practice physical distancing by staying home, indoor air quality is more important than ever.


I would also add, that dryer sheets and laundry detergents contain the same chemicals (phthalates), and often then "stench up" the air outside people's homes (that some people can smell while enjoying the "outside air" on a neighbourhood walk).  Consumers can pick unscented options and hopefully raise some awareness on this.
------------------------------

More on Canadian Environment Week:
https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environment-week.html

Events:
Coming up:
Thursday, June 10th:
Webinar -- Saving Canada’s Species: 10 stories of Canadian wildlife recovery and why they matter, 2:30-3:30PM
, online.
More info:
https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do/events/naturetalks/webinars/saved-species.html

------------------------------------
And RecreationPEI / Go!PEI and others are focusing on encouraging people to get outside in the month of June, details here:
https://recreationpei.ca/news_article/go-outdooors-challenge/


NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA: The species we have saved - The Guardian article by Dan Kraus

Published on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/nature-conservancy-of-canada-the-species-we-have-saved-100594500/

For many of us, wildlife is the symbol of nature conservation. This isn’t surprising; humans have lived closely with other living things for most of our history. We knew the names and habits of animals, and we held knowledge of the plants that would heal or harm.

Despite our ancient connection to wildlife, we have not been kind to many of the planet’s other species. Scientists have warned that we are entering an age of extinction. While past mass extinction events were caused by asteroids hitting the planet or huge volcanic eruptions, this one is the result of the environmental changes humans are causing. Because of us, up to one million species could become extinct in the coming decades. Here in Canada, over 800 species have been assessed as at risk of extinction. Bumble bee and shorebird populations have plummeted. Wild species, ranging from sea mink to the passenger pigeon to – even a moss that once only grew in eastern Ontario – are now gone forever.

But hidden within these trends and forecasts is this simple truth: We can save species from extinction. This is not a rallying cry. There is clear evidence that past generations have pulled wild species back from the edge of extinction.

I can see this evidence around me. I now witness wildlife that just a generation ago did not exist where I live. It’s the trumpeter swans that I see in a local wetland, the wood ducks that search our swamp for a large tree with a hole to nest in each spring, and even the wild turkeys that I regularly see outside my window. The promise of wildlife recovery lives across Canada in the swift foxes now found in the Prairies, the humpback whales along the Atlantic coast, and the small white lady's-slipper in the tallgrass prairies that are now protected and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Manitoba.

Each species we have saved has an extraordinary recovery story. Some required ambitious reintroduction and captive breeding programs. For others, we needed new laws and policies. Often their stories unfolded over decades and benefitted from transformations in our culture and perceptions of wildlife. But they all had this in common: Behind every wildlife recovery story, there were people that cared enough to take action. Maybe people like you.

Canadian Environment Week was founded to celebrate Canada’s environmental accomplishments and encourage Canadians to contribute to conserving and protecting their environment. It’s important that we understand and celebrate these Canadian stories about wildlife recovery. This is not to dilute or distract us from the biodiversity crises, but to direct us toward a different future. These stories are just a beginning — the first chapters as we slowly change course towards a more sustainable path.

For me, wildlife recovery is powerful evidence of hope. It should inspire us. But we need more of these stories, and we need to build on their success. Wildlife recovery represents the best in people. It counters the notion that we are destroyers of nature and show we can be stewards that make the natural world richer for ourselves and those who will follow.

Join NCC on June 10 for a NatureTalks webinar on Saving Canada’s Species: 10 stories of Canadian wildlife recovery and why they matter. We’ll explore Canadian species that are rebounding thanks to conservation efforts. You’ll learn about pronghorn, peregrine falcon, small white lady’s-slipper and others, along with the actions we can all take to help wildlife.

Dan Kraus is senior conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

-30-


Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:
https://www.metopera.org/

Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, today until 6:30PM
Starring Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Production by Darko Tresnjak. From October 20, 2018.

Bizet’s Carmen, tonight 7:30PM until Thursday about 6:30PM
Starring Aleksandra Kurzak, Clémentine Margaine, Roberto Alagna, and Alexander Vinogradov, conducted by Louis Langrée. Production by Sir Richard Eyre. From February 2, 2019.  About 3hours.  Alagna in another classic, this time "as Don José, the wayward officer whose desperate love for the title Gypsy proves their undoing."  Kurzak has the thankless part of Michalea's, Don Jose's intended, but she has a couple of bell-like, beautiful songs.

June 1, 2021

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Charlottetown Farmers' Market Thursday pick-up orders due today at noon:
https://charlottetownfarmersmarket.com/online-market/

There may be a regular weekly Covid-19 Update at 11:30AM with Dr. Heather Morrison, or may not.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 2nd:
Sierra Club Atlantic Canada Decolonizing Book Club, 7:30PM, online, free, book link PDF provided

Our biweekly Decolonizing Book Club launches this week, guided by Mi'kmaw educator Chris George.
If you're a settler looking for a safe place to learn, this is it. As Chris says, "fundamentally, decolonizing means building relationships and raising awareness. We need settler support, because the laws and structures that harm Indigenous peoples are put in place by a settler government."
No pre-reading necessary for this first meetup!"
Details and registration link:
https://www.sierraclub.ca/en/atlantic/decolonizing-book-club


"A Cheer That is Really a Jeer" someone clever said
from yesterday's The Guardian's Monday editorial page feature, Cheers and Jeers: https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/cheers-jeers-cheers-to-mike-duffy-on-his-retirement-from-the-senate-100594303/

CHEERS to Mike Duffy for no longer taking up one of P.E.I.’s four Senate seats, hopefully leaving room for someone who wants the job and not just the title, pay and benefits. May he someday return to his “primary residence” in Cavendish to spend his Senate pension money supporting the local economy and the Islanders he was meant to represent. We also look forward to the post being filled quickly with a candidate who actually lives in Prince Edward Island and has the capacity to do good work on the Island's behalf.


Edith Ling, by the way, was awarded the PEI Women's Institute "Woman in Agriculture Award" a few years back, another inspired choice as was that of Soleil Hutchinson this year.  She is responding to a letter from a former Islander deputy minister and PEI Federation of Agriculture executive director, now CEO of the Ottawa-based "Canadian Centre for Food Integrity" promotional group, LINK HERE.

GUEST OPINION: Science and technology oversimplified - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Edith Ling

Published on Friday, May 28th, 2021

https://www.saltwire.com/prince-edward-island/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-science-and-technology-oversimplified-100593244/

John Jamieson in his op-ed, Undermining science and technology (May 18), made it sound so simple. Follow the science and technology, and all will be well with the world.

The problem with such simplification is that it ignores so many of the other factors in the equation, such as, humans do make mistakes, and what is the motivation of the people behind the science. Unfortunately not all humans display unselfishness coupled with a genuine concern for the welfare of others. Personal and corporate gains often play a large role behind the science. For that reason, science is not infallible and history has shown us it is not always wise to blindly embrace something simply because of The Science.

The terrible human suffering caused by the anxiety and morning sickness drug Thalidomide would be an example, as is the current opioid crisis, and as was the scientific development of the herbicide Agent Orange. Then there is the questionable science of food flavouring to make some foods addictive. There are many other scientific mistakes, including some of the science-based agricultural practices we have employed to mass-produce food to free up human labour for other economic endeavours.

The Science knew another pandemic was coming as humans had created the conditions. Yet apparently it was not profitable to be prepared. The spread of misinformation around vaccines is unfortunate, but is it a surprise considering that the spreading of medical falsehoods has become a form of warfare against the western world? Is it a surprise considering people have been given many reasons by their own governments to lose trust? Is it a surprise considering people have observed science being used by industry to exploit common resources, while other scientists speaking out against such practices are ignored or muzzled?

Don’t get me wrong. Science has done incredible wonders for our world, as has technology, but in the wrong hands it can cause great harm. As the species capable of intellectual thought, we should not blindly accept The Science especially when our own survival instincts tell us differently. Perhaps that is what many Islanders are doing these days. Mr. Jamieson states that “What is missing from many conversations on food is that farmers in P.E.I. establish production methods based on verified scientific data, are on a path of continuous improvement, and share the same concerns the public has for the environment, climate change and animal welfare.” This is a true statement about many farmers. However, there are others whose margins are so thin that they must use practices that are detrimental to our soil and water resources.

Regarding this latter group, I ask you, Mr. Jamieson, if they have done as you say or are they following in good faith The Science that the agro-industry has sold them for its own profitability? Do they have the freedom to do as you say since farmers are at the bottom of the food production chain?

I am wondering why so many in the industry seem fearful of the debate around their science. It would seem debate should be encouraged especially when it means mistakes can be corrected. We must indeed make sure we have the right information, which is not easily accessible when profit motivates The Science. But we must never stop questioning. It is what makes us human.

Edith Ling is the National Farmers Union women's district director. She lives on her farm in North Winsloe.

-30-


Some world Covid news: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/01/covid-19-variants-to-be-given-greek-alphabet-names-to-avoid-stigma

Covid-19 variants to be given Greek alphabet names to avoid stigma - The (U.K.) Guardian article by Edna Mohamed

WHO unveils new names for variants of concern to replace ones linked to where they were discovered

Published on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Coronavirus variants are to be named after letters of the Greek alphabet instead of their place of first discovery, the World Health Organization has announced, in a move to avoid stigma.

The WHO has named four variants of concern, known to the public as the UK/Kent (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1) and India (B.1.617.2) variants. They will now be given the letters Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta respectively, to reflect their order of detection, with any new variants following the pattern down the Greek alphabet.

The decision to go for this naming system came after months of deliberations with experts considering a range of other possibilities such as Greek Gods, according to bacteriologist Mark Pallen who was involved in the talks.

The organisation said the labels do not replace existing scientific names involving numbers, Roman letters and full stops, which convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research.

The WHO said: “While they have their advantages, these scientific names can be difficult to say and recall and are prone to misreporting … As a result, people often resort to calling variants by the places where they are detected, which is stigmatising and discriminatory.

“To avoid this and to simplify public communications, [the] WHO encourages national authorities, media outlets and others to adopt these new labels.”

Historically, diseases have frequently been named after the locations they were thought to have developed, such as the Ebola virus, which takes its name from the Congolese river. However, such associations can be damaging for those places and are often inaccurate, as is the case with the “Spanish flu” of 1918, whose origins are unknown.

Earlier this month, the Indian government ordered social media platforms to take down content that referred to the “Indian variant”. The government order was cited as an example of its sensitivity to accusations that it had mishandled the latest outbreak.

Anti-Asian hate crime has risen as a result of the pandemic and associations between Covid and the site of its first outbreak in Wuhan, China.

US anti-extremist groups said a rise in attacks on Asian-Americans was partly down to Donald Trump, who referred to Covid-19 as the “China virus”.Trump’s successor as president, Joe Biden, signed a hate crimes law this month to protect those who have suffered a surge in attacks during the pandemic.

With US anti-extremist groups saying that the rise in hate crimes was partly due to former president Donald Trump who referred to Covid-19 as the “China virus”.

The WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said of adopting new variant names: “No country should be stigmatised for detecting and reporting variants.”

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Metropolitan Opera video performance streaming:

https://www.metopera.org/

Puccini’s Turandot, today until 6:30PM

Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov, and James Morris, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From October 12, 2019.

Striking costumes, classic melodies and songs (including the tenor's Nessun Dora) all in 2hours 23minutes.

Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, tonight 7:30PM until Wednesday about 6:30PM

Starring Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Production by Darko Tresnjak. From October 20, 2018.

He of the superb hair and she of the most exquisite costumes, singing and dancing, with a new spectacular set design -- such a show!   2hours 20minutes

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