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Posts Tagged ‘Council of Canadians’

We were pleased to welcome Norah Chaloner (from the Council of Canadians, Guelph Chapter and Guelph Urban Forest Friends) and Judy Martin (Sierra Club and Guelph Urban Forest Friends) back to Royal City Rag on October 9.

Both Guelph Urban Forest Friends and the Council of Canadians, Guelph Chapter have sent questionnaires to candidates with respect to issues they see as very important for voters to consider before heading to the polls on October 25.

Tree Protection
Guelph Urban Forest Friends is a local group that advocates for better protection of urban trees and canopy. We make delegations to City Council, hold events to raise awareness about the importance of urban trees, and distribute information about the many benefits of trees, and the threats to trees, through our web site.

We have serious concerns about the continued loss of mature trees in our City and hear frequently from upset residents about tree removals. We are submitting these questions to candidates for City Council and respectfully request your response by October 18. The responses we receive will be posted on our web site and e-mailed to our list of some 500 supporters.

The responses from candidates to the questions from Guelph Urban Forest Friends regarding tree protection can be found here.

CETA, Cities and Water
With 80 per cent of Canadians now living in urban areas, our cities and towns are a foundation of the social economy, innovators of public policy, environmental first responders, and stewards of our shared waters. Across Canada, we need to support municipal leaders who will who understand that progressive economic and environmental policy should be fostered. We can’t let the future we want for our communities be threatened by international trade regimes and privatization.
 
In Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, the EU is trying to restrict or ban municipalities from applying local preferences or local hiring conditions on public contracts, from directing projects to social enterprises and low-income communities, and from favoring the purchase of local foods in public buildings. Even the right to choose the public delivery of essential services such as water and electricity is threatened by CETA. For more information on CETA, see our website: http://www.canadians.org/CETA.
 
Because CETA and other new trade deals put public water at risk, the best way to protect water is for cities and towns to become “Blue Communities”. This happens when a community agrees to adopt water commons framework that:

  • recognizes water as a human right
  • promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services
  • bans the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events

The responses from candidates to questions from the the Council of Canadians, Guelph Chapter regarding water protection and the proposed Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) can be found here.

Listen to the Show:

Music:
Dave and Ken Hills, Pipeline Blues (Demo)

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Royal City Rag on Saturday October 9 should be known as the show we weren’t supposed to get as we thought we were going to be pre-empted for the annual 24 Hours of Spanish Programming on CFRU 93.3fm. The good news is that the 24 Hours of Spanish Programming goes ahead from 6.00 p.m. on Saturday so we are no longer pre-empted.

In the first hour (8-9 a.m.) we’ll be focusing on the Guelph Studio Tour and dusting off some interviews from 2008 with blacksmith Graeme Sheffield, painter and printmaker Margaret Peter and painter Josef Kratochvil. The Guelph studio tour takes place from October 15-17. For more information on the studio tour visit www.guelphstudiotour.ca.

In the second hour (9-10 a.m.) we’ll be heading back on the municipal election beat with the first of two issues-based discussions, this one focusing on water, trees, the natural heritage strategy, public-private partnerships (P3s) as well as the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

Sounds like a lot to squeeze in, but this is information you need to have before you head to the polls on October 25. To help us navigate through all this, we’re pleased to welcome back to the show, Norah Chaloner (from the Council of Canadians, Guelph Chapter and Guelph Urban Forest Friends)  and Judy Martin (Sierra Club and Guelph Urban Forest Friends).

As always we’ll wrap it all up with some great music. You won’t want to miss it!

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Royal City Rag on June 26 focused on community advocacy and municipal politics.

In the first hour we played an excerpt from a great presentation by Liz Benneian, President of Oakvillegreen and a very effective advocate for environmental protection, sustainable planning and building resilient communities.

Liz was in Guelph on April 10 for a talk hosted by the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians entitled “Organizing to Win!”.

An inspiring speaker, her presentation should be required listening for all community activists, especially prior to advocating on a particular issue before city council.

Listen to Hour 1:
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Listen to the full audio of Liz Benneian’s Presentation:
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In the second hour of the show we replayed an interview with Mayor Karen Farbridge from February 2006. The interview is interesting as it was recorded while the Mayor was still teaching at the university, and prior to her decision to run for office again.

Food for thought for all of us as we move towards another municipal election.

We have asked Mayor Farbridge for another interview. Hopefully we will be able to confirm a date for that fairly shortly.

Listen to Hour 2:
Download (right click and save)

Music:
Mumford and Sons, Sister from Communion
Basia Bulat, I’m Forgetting Everyone from Heart Of My Own
Nabi Loney, Bright Square from Myspace
Eddie Vedder, Society from Into The Wild
A Camp, Love Has Left The Room from Colonia
Zeus, I know from Say Us
Julia Fordham, Where Does The Time Go from Julia Fordham
Billy Bragg, NPWA from The Essential Billy Bragg

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The Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians invites you to a Dialogue on Degrowth at 10 Carden on Tuesday June 29 at 6.00 p.m. Tapas and drinks will be served at 6.00 p.m. followed by a presentation featuring video clips from the recent “degrowth” conferences in Vancouver and Barcelona.

According to Wikipedia, Degrowth is a movement that advocates a downscaling of production and consumption, leading to the contraction of economies. Over-consumption is believed to be at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Proponents of degrowth believe that reducing consumption should not require individual martyrdom or a decrease in well-being. Advocates aim to maximize happiness and well-being by non-consumptive means – sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community.

At the individual level, degrowth is achieved by voluntary simplicity. Global solutions, for ‘degrowthists’, involve a relocalization of economic activities in order to end humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce its ecological imprint.

Degrowth opposes sustainable development because, while sustainable development aims to address environmental concerns, it does so with the goal of promoting economic growth which has failed to improve the lives of people and inevitably leads to environmental degradation. In this way, degrowth stands in sharp contrast to current forms of productivist capitalism that consider the accumulation of capital and commodities a desirable end.

Sounds like a very interesting concept… though I really dislike the term ‘degrowth’. However, many of us have been advocating for this for a long, long time. It’s great to see if gaining momentum.

The discussion will be followed by the election of the Council of Canadians Guelph Chapter 2010-2011 steering committee. A number of positions on the steering committee are still open. CoC members, that have a bit of extra time to devote to chapter activities, are encouraged to stand for election.

Degrowth: What Is It? Will It Help Create Happier Sustainable Cities?
When:  Tuesday, June 29 from 6.00 – 7.30 p.m.
Where:  10 Carden Street  Downtown Guelph
Admission:  free (though donations will be gratefully accepted)

Note that this meeting will be followed by a meeting of the Guelph Wellington Health Coalition:

June 29, 2010 at 7.30 p.m.
How the Community Health Centre Works For You
Dr. Lori Hasulo, Guelph General Practitioner at the Guelph Community Health Centre
Learn more about the wealth of services available in this type of healthcare delivery model.

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Royal City Rag on June 26 will be back on the city beat. In the first hour we are going to play an excerpt from a great presentation by Liz Benneian.

Liz Benneian (Photo: Alternativesjournal.ca)

Liz Benneian is the President of Oakvillegreen and a very effective advocate for environmental protection, sustainable planning and building resilient communities.

Liz was in Guelph on April 10 for a talk hosted by the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians entitled “Organizing to Win!”.

She is an inspiring speaker. Her presentation should be required listening for all community activists, especially prior to advocating on a particular issue before city council.

Later in the show we will be playing an interview with Karen Farbridge from February 2006. The interview is interesting as it was recorded while Karen was still teaching at the university, and prior to her decision to run again for Mayor. Its a good interview and definitely worth another listen. As we are moving towards another municipal election the time is right to give it another airing.

We’ll have more to say about the upcoming election on the show tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it. As usual we’ll wrap it up with some great music.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Royal City Rag on May 29 was our last 7.00 a.m. start before we move to our new, more-civilised 8-10 a.m. Saturday slot.

In the first hour we were joined by our good friends Chris and Sally from Transition Guelph. Among other things, we chatted about Canadian Environment Week (May 30 – June 5), Saturday’s ecomarket at Stone Road Mall and the Council of Canadians special townhall style meeting on Growth, Gravel and Groundwater and the threats facing our community that takes place at Harcourt Memorial United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, ON on June 3 a 7 p.m.

An expert panel featuring members from Gravel Watch, Grand River Environmental Network, FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), CARRA (Cranberry Area Ratepayers and Residents Association),  North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Taskforce (opposing the giant quarry above Luther Marsh, at the top of Grand River headwaters) as well as local hydrologist Hugh Whiteley will discuss the impact of quarries, pipelines, roads and new development on the future sustainability of both our city and the Grand River watershed.

Listen to Hour 1:

Download Hour 1

In the second hour, Royal City Rag Culture Vulture Daniel Poulin returned to the show to discuss the upcoming Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival.

This year the festival runs from June 3-6 at locations throughout our lovely city. On the Stage A, B & C (formerly the Main Stage Series) and Youth Moves will be held at the River Run Centre. In the Park (formerly the Site-Specific Series) will be taking place at Exhibition Park and On the Street (formerly the Noon-time Series) in St. George’s Square. The four days of dance will feature youth performers, local artists as well as acclaimed national performers from across Canada.

Listen to Hour 2:

Download Hour 2

In the third hour (9-10 a.m.) we were pleased to welcome Jay Lefler, co-founder of Spark of Brilliance into the studio.

Spark of Brilliance is a community-based initiative that promotes healing and recovery for people coping with mental health challenges. Creative art programs and services are designed to enhance quality of life for participants, inspire independent thinking and grow self-esteem. Spark programs empower individuals and families with the skills they need help make meaningful contributions to their community.

Spark of Brilliance is bringing the work of four talented artists to Guelph community space, 10 Carden in an exhibition entitled “Power To The Arts”. This exhibition will demonstrate a broad range of artistic expressions in oil, ink, collage, mosaic, and mixed media. Artists Barb Cohen, Lisa Cosier, Marcey Gray and Jay Lefler hope to raise awareness of how their personal experiences with mental health issues have been overcome. They also want the community to understand how recovery can happen through connecting with the creative spirit.

This special event takes place on Monday, May 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. Local singer-songwriter D Eve Archer will entertain and refreshments will be served.

Listen to Hour 3:

Download Hour 3

Music:
Kate Bush, Hello Earth from Hounds Of Love
Peter Mayer, Blue Boat Home from Earth Town Square
Kermit The Frog, It’s Not Easy Being Green from Muppets Greatest Hits
Ray Charles, Lucky Old Sun from  A Look Homeward
Gord Downie And The Country Of Miracles, The East Wind from The Ground Bounce
Kid Coma (featuring Doug Larson), Little Bird from Nightmares And Dreamers
Los Lobos, Little Things from The Town And The City
M Mucci, Chase Down Alice Street from Time Lost
Kid Coma (featuring Doug Larson), Omar Bradley from Complete Metamorphosis
Don Amero, Hometown from Change Your Life
Darden Smith, The Painter from Native Soil
Spark Of Brilliance Troubadours, Healing Embers from Healing Embers

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We have a 3-hour Royal City rag planned for May 29. This will be our last show starting at 7.00 a.m. before we move to our new, more-civilised 8-10 a.m. Saturday slot.

In the first hour we will be joined by our good friends Chris and Sally from Transition Guelph.

Among other things we’ll be chatting about Canadian Environment Week (May 30 – June 5), Saturday’s ecomarket at Stone Road Mall and the Council of Canadians townhall meeting on Growth, Gravel and Groundwater and the threats facing our community that takes place at Harcourt Memorial United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, ON on June 3 a 7 p.m.

An expert panel featuring members from Gravel Watch, Grand River Environmental Network, FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), CARRA (Cranberry Area Ratepayers and Residents Association),  North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Taskforce (opposing the giant quarry above Luther Marsh, at the top of Grand River headwaters) as well as local hydrologist Hugh Whiteley will discuss the impact of quarries, pipelines, roads and new development on the future sustainability of both our city and the Grand River watershed.

In the second hour, we’ll be reconvening the renowned Royal City Rag Culture Vultures when Marie Zimmerman and Daniel Poulin return to the show to discuss the upcoming Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival.

This year the festival runs from June 3-6 at locations throughout our lovely city. On the Stage A, B & C (formerly the Main Stage Series) and Youth Moves will be held at the River Run Centre. In the Park (formerly the Site-Specific Series) will be taking place at Exhibition Park and On the Street (formerly the Noon-time Series) in St. George’s Square. The four days of dance will feature youth performers, local artists as well as acclaimed national performers from across Canada.

In the third hour (9-10 a.m.) we will be welcoming Jay Lefler, co-founder of Spark of Brilliance into the studio.

Spark of Brilliance is a community-based initiative that promotes healing and recovery for people coping with mental health challenges. Creative art programs and services are designed to enhance quality of life for participants, inspire independent thinking and grow self-esteem. Spark programs empower individuals and families with the skills they need help make meaningful contributions to their community.

Spark of Brilliance is bringing the work of four talented artists to Guelph community space, 10 Carden in an exhibition entitled “Power To The Arts”. This exhibition will demonstrate a broad range of artistic expressions in oil, ink, collage, mosaic, and mixed media. Artists Barb Cohen, Lisa Cosier, Marcey Gray and Jay Lefler hope to raise awareness of how their personal experiences with mental health issues have been overcome. They also want the community to understand how recovery can happen through connecting with the creative spirit.

This special event takes place on Monday, May 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. Local singer-songwriter D Eve Archer will entertain and refreshments will be served.

As always we’ll wrap the whole thing up with some great music. Should be fun. You won’t want to miss it!

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live , you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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The Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians are presenting a very special Canadian Environment Week panel discussion on Growth, Gravel and Groundwater and the threats facing our community on June 3 a 7 p.m. The townhall style meeting takes place at Harcourt Memorial United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, ON

An expert panel featuring members of Gravel Watch, Grand River Environmental Network, FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), CARRA (Cranberry Area Ratepayers and Residents Association),  North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Taskforce (opposing the giant quarry above Luther Marsh, at the top of Grand River headwaters) and local hydrologist Hugh Whiteley will discuss the impact of quarries, pipelines, roads and new development on our future sustainability within the city and Grand River watershed.

Unfortunately the ever increasing demand for gravel, limestone and concrete for more and bigger roads and new-builds is taking precedence over prime agricultural land, and our local water security.

It is also important to note that although a pipeline to Lake Erie is not currently being considered for Guelph, discussions about a pipeline have been continuing with other communities in the region.

The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session.

Growth, Gravel and Groundwater – A Panel Discussion On The Imminent Threats Facing Our Community
When: June 3 a 7 p.m.
Where: Harcourt Memorial United Church,87 Dean Ave, Guelph, ON
Free (Donations gratefully accepted)

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Liz Benneian (Photo: Alternativesjournal.ca)

Liz Benneian will be in Guelph on April 10 for a talk hosted by the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians entitled “Organizing to Win!”. Her presentation takes place from 10 a.m. to Noon at Norfolk United Church, 75 Norfolk Street, Downtown Guelph. Admission is free.

Liz Benneian is the President of Oakvillegreen and is an effective advocate for environmental protection, sustainable planning and building resilient communities.

A poet, playwright, community advocate, history buff and outspoken environmentalist, Liz was awarded both the Individual Community Spirit Award and the Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2007 for outstanding contributions to her community and the 2009 “Home Town Hero” award from Earth Day Canada.

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Frank Valeriote In Debate

It was our great pleasure to welcome Frank Valeriote, MP for Guelph, back to Royal City Rag on February 27.

During a wide ranging conversation in the first hour, we talked about the resumation of parliamentary activities in Ottawa on March 3 after Stephen Harper’s self-serving prorogation, the upcoming budget (to be tabled by the government on March 4) and Frank’s own committee work in the agriculture and food sectors.

Its also appropriate to mention that their will be another awareness event in Guelph on March 2 with respect to the inappropriate use of prorogation to stifle parliamentary debate. 

The Guelph chapters of the Council of Canadians and Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament and Guelph Participates are encouraging people to come out to Carden Street, in front of City Hall for the “Searchlight on Democracy Walk and Talk” at 7.00 p.m. for some short speeches, followed by a short candlelight procession to Norfolk St United Church for a discussion on how we can hold the government accountable for their actions and avoid such abuses in the future.

There was an excellent panel discussion on this issue on January 2. You can check out the audio from that event including Frank Valeriote’s speech here.

Searchlight on Democracy Walk and Talk
When: Tuesday, March 2 at 7.00 p.m.
Where: City Hall – Guelph (1 Carden St.) and then to Norfolk Street United Church for presentations and a group discussion

We also had a chance to discuss the burgeoning contorversy concerning Canada’s financial aid for earthquake stricken Haiti. It seems that the aid the government is providing may be coming out of funds already earmarked for Haiti prior to the earthquake and not new funding at all. This situation needs to be watched very closely.

The Canada Haiti Action Network are screening the documentary Aristide and the Endless Revolution at the Bookshelf Cinema on Saturday March 6 at 1.00 p.m. This is a free event. A discussion about the current situation in Haiti, including financial aid from the Government of Canada, will occur after the screening.

Aristide and The Endless Revolution
When: Saturday March 6 @ 1 p.m.
Where: The Bookshelf Cinema, Quebec St, Downtown Guelph
Admission: Free (donations gratefully accepted).

Frank Valeriote can be contacted via his Gueph office, 40 Cork Street East, Guelph, N1H 2W8, 519-837-8276, 519-837-8443  or by e-mail to Valeriote.F@parl.gc.ca. While in Ottawa he may also be reached at Room 713 Confederation Building, House of Commons, Ottawa, K1A 0A6, 613-996-4758, 613-996-9922 (fax).

Listen to Hour 1:

You can also follow the links here to check out Frank’s previous visits to Royal City Rag in April and June 2009. He’s a great interview.

We started the second hour of the show with a personal commentary regarding the upcoming municipal election scheduled for October 25Mayor Farbridge announced her bid for re-election this week. Other candidates for mayor and council are sure to follow in short order.

Royal City Rag will continue to follow the municipal scene closely, focusing on the community issues that we believe are important as we move towards the election. Expect to hear more commentaries on the record of the current council and our hopes for the next.

Listen to the Commentary:

Po'Girl

Later in the second hour we talked to Alli Russell from Po’Girl. Po’Girl are in Guelph on March 9 for a show at Dublin St United Church as part of their “No Shame” tour, highlighting the serious problem of child sexual abuse.

Russell is the survivor of ten years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather.  She wrote the song “No Shame” in 2006 after her stepfather was released from prison . You can find it on their critically acclaimed album, Deer in the Night.

Proceeds from the tour will support Little Warriors in Canada and the National Children’s Alliance in the USA. Alli Russell will also be running the Athens, Ohio marathon, on April 11 to support these groups.

Hailing originally from Canada, Po’Girl weave a blend of musical influences, sweetness, grit & soul into a fresh and original sound. Their latest release, 2009’s Deer in the Night still includes many of the trappings of the trademark Po’ Girl sound – the echoes of speakeasy jazz, the western lament, the accordion-strapped ghosts of European folk – but it’s all delivered with a soulful clarity and depth only hinted at on previous records.

Po’Girl And The No Shame Tour To Combat Child Abuse
featuring Po’Girl (with special guest JT Nero) and Noise and the Ghost
When: March 9 at 7.30 p.m.
Where: Dublin St United Church, 68 Suffolk St W, Guelph
Tickets: $16/$20

Listen to Hour 2:

Music:
Johnny Cash, Redemption Day from American Recordings VI, Ain’t No Grave
Roseanne Cash, I’m Moving On from The List
Tony Bennett, Rags To Riches from Mob Life
Michael Buble, A Song For You from It’s time
Janis Ian, The Great Divide from Folk Is The New Black
Po’Girl, Bloom from Deer In The Night
Po’Girl, No Shame from Deer In The Night

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The Canadian Parliament finally gets back to work on March 3 after their enforced vacation, that began on December 30, 2009, courtesy of Prime minister Stephen Harper’s prorogation.

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, the Guelph chapters of the Council of Canadians and Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament and Guelph Participates are holding “Searchlight on Democracy Walk and Talk” on March 2.

People are asked to gather at 7.00 p.m. in front of Guelph City Hall (1 Carden St) and are encouraged to bring flash lights or candles to the event.

Several speakers will address the group. Following that, the group will walk to Norfolk United church for presentations and discussions on how to hold government accountable for their actions and to consider changes in parliamentary procedure to avoid such abuses in the future.

People interested in attending the event can find more details at www.guelphparticipates.com.

Searchlight on Democracy Walk and Talk
When: Tuesday, March 2 at 7.00 p.m.
Where: City Hall – Guelph (1 Carden St.) and then to Norfolk Street United Church for presentations and a group discussion

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Saturday’s Perogies not Proroguing rally in Guelph on Saturday January 23 was a huge success.

More than 350 Guelphites attended the event organised by the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians, the Guelph Chapter of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Far more than the 200 people the organisers had expected to turn up.

The rally was not only an opportunity to register opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to shut down parliament but also allowed those present  to educate themselves on the fragile state of our democracy.

Stephen Harper’s cynical decision to stifle debate is far more than just a storm in a teacup on the internet. There are a great many Canadians who are deeply troubled about an excessive concentration of arbitrarily-exercised power in the office of Prime Minister. 

Even analysts who normally support the actions of Canada’s right wing government believe that Stephen Harper has seriously miscalculated the mood of the nation. Quite clearly, Canadians really do care about this issue.

As Tom Flanagan, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said on January 12 in a panel interview on CBC Television’s ‘Power & Politics’ with Evan Solomon, “Everybody knows that Parliament was prorogued in order to shut down the Afghan inquiry, and the trouble is that the government doesn’t want to explain why that was necessary,” adding “instead of having an adult defence of it, the government comes up with these childish talking points. So then you try and backfill with other stuff that doesn’t make much sense either. So it’s a self-created problem.”

Left to Right: Jim Profit, Phil Allt and Byron Sheldrick

Many of those present attended the, standing room only, panel discussion at Knox Church featuring Guelph MP Frank Valeriote, Accessibility Advocate/Writer Susan Wheeler, University of Guelph Political Science Professor Byron Sheldrick, History professor/former NDP candidate Phil Allt and Father Jim Profit from the Ignatius Jesuit Centre. The panel discussion was moderated by Rev. John Lawson.

Susan Wheeler with Frank Valeriote MP

Frank Valeriote gave an excellent speech on parliamentary democracy while the panelists provided a lot of food for thought. There was also an excellent question and answer session.

It really was a wonderful session and a great primer on the problems currently afflicting our parliamentary democracy. Definitely worth a listen if you missed it.

Listen to Frank Valeriote’s Speech:

Listen to the Panelists Comments:

Listen to the Question & Answer Session:

The urgent need for parliamentary procedure reform will be discussed in a lecture on February 8 featuring Dr. Ned Franks, Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University. Professor Franks, who has been frequently quoted in recent editorials on the prorogation issue, will present a lecture on “The State of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada”.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians – Guelph Chapter, the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph and the Central Students Association. The lecture will be held at the University of Guelph’s War Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m.

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The Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians is organizing a second event related to restoring democracy in Canada! This follows the success of the Perogies not Prorogation rally that took place  in Guelph on Saturday, January 23.

The need for reform of parliamentary procedures will be discussed on February 8 when Dr. Ned Franks, Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University, will present a lecture on “The State of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada”.

Dr. Franks has been frequently quoted in recent editorials on the prorogation issue.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians – Guelph Chapter, the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph and the Central Students Association and will be held at the University of Guelph’s War Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m. on Monday February 8.

Here is a clip of Ned Franks discussing Canada’s current minority government with Steve Paikin (from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, September 25, 2009):

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Don’t forget to attend the big Perogies not Proroguing rally in St George’s Square on Saturday January 23.

This is your opportunity to express your dissatisfaction with Stephen Harper’s self-serving decision to shut down parliament on December 30. Let’s send the Prime Minister a strong message – get our MPs back to work!

The rally is being put on by the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians, the Guelph Chapter of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The rally starts in St George’s Square at 1.00 p.m. before moving to Knox Church where perogies and hot drinks will be served. There will then be an opportunity to share concerns about the prorogation during a panel discussion moderated by Rev. John Lawson.

1.00 p.m.   Rally in St George’s Square and parade to Knox Church
1.30 p.m.   Perogies / hot drinks will be served at Knox Church
2.00 p.m.   MP FrankValeriote and panel discussion/Q&A

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament is a national grassroots group started on Facebook about two weeks ago. The group now has a wopping 210,000 members and is growing daily!

There will be anti-proroguation events all over Canada this weekend. Please come out to St George’s Square and make your voice heard.

If you haven’t yet joined Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, visit them on the web now.

Also, check out the website www.noprorogue.ca.

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It seems that the Perogies not Proroguing event planned for January 23 is creating quite a stir in Guelph. Stephen Harper’s decision to close down parliament is clearly more than just a storm in a teacup on Facebook.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees have now joined the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians and the Guelph Chapter of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament in setting up a rally downtown in Guelph.

The rally will now start in St George’s Square at 1.00 p.m. before moving to Knox Church where perogies and hot drinks will be served. There will then be an opportunity to share concerns about the prorogation during a panel discussion moderated by Rev. John Lawson.

The rally will be a clear demonstration of concern over the Prime Minister’s recent prorogation of Parliament, the deepening crisis in Parliamentary democracy, and the broader implications of this crisis.  Over 200 citizens are now expected to attend.

Almost 50 cities across the country are having rallies, forums and protests, including St. John’s, Halifax, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Yellowknife and Whitehorse. There are even rallies being planned in the US and the UK!

Perogies Not Proroguing
1.00 p.m.   Rally in St George’s Square and parade to Knox Church (note new venue!)
1.30 p.m.   Perogies / hot drinks will be served at Knox Church
2.00 p.m.   MP FrankValeriote and panel discussion/Q&A

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament is a national grassroots group started on Facebook about two weeks ago. The group now has an incredible 195,000 members and is growing daily.

If you haven’t yet joined the group, visit them on the web here.

Also, check out the website www.noprorogue.ca.

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As far as the act of proroguing parliament is concerned, its starting to look like Stephen Harper may have seriously misjudged the mood of the nation.

As if there isn’t enough cynicism out there with regard to the antics of politicians.

With a Facebook group that is growing exponentially, we now have a Guelph event to support, Perogies not Proroguing! Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.

They are still working on the details but its good to see Guelph’s MP Frank Valeriote getting involved. With talk of the liberals attending parliament as usual on January 25, Stephen Harper may be left with a significant amount of egg or soured cream on his chin.

What were they saying about not being able to talk and chew gum at the same time?

Shutting down parliament so we can all focus on the olympic-sized boondoggle in Vancouver? Ridiculous.

Can we please have a new Prime Minister?

One that believes in democracy.

Perogies not Proroguing! Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament

When:  Saturday, January 23,  2010
Time:  1.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Location:  Downtown Guelph

The Council of Canadians-Guelph Chapter and Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (Guelph Chapter) are having a public rally in St George’s Square and a panel discussion at Knox Church in Downtown Guelph on January 23 starting at 1.00 p.m. Hot perogies and beverages will be served.

Voice your support for a working government. Let’s sign a Back to Work order!

Rev. John Lawson will moderate a discussion including our MP Frank Valeriote, history teacher Phil Allt, and more. Bring your questions!

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Celebrate the season at this first-ever collaborative event with all your favourite green-minded, socially conscious organisations.

Participating organisations include:

Enjoy complimentary appetizers and grooves by DJ Dino.

Tuesday December 15, 8:30 p.m. Upstairs at the Albion

Admission: a non-perishable food donation for the Guelph Food Bank

More information: Arlene.slocombe@gmail.com

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saybyetobuylocalWe devoted the whole of a special 3-hour Royal City Rag on October 17 to CFRU 93.3fm’s Raise Your Voice fundraising campaign. Thank you to everyone who helped the station reach our goal of $10,000 to support repairs to our transmitter. Here’s looking forward to being able to return to 250W of community power in the not to distant future!

During the first hour we chatted on the phone to both Annie O’Donoghue (from the Guelph Civic League )about Judy Rebick’s recent visit and Virginia Gilham (from Friends of the Guelph Public Library) about their giant book sale taking place October 24-25. Guelph guitarist extrordinaire Mike Mucci came in to play live during the second hour.

In the third hour, Guelph Storytellers Brad Woods and Sya Van Geest joined us to share a few tales and Norah Chaloner from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians popped in to remind us about the Say Bye to Buy Local speaking tour featuring Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan from CUPE Ontario, visiting Kitchener on October 19 and Hamilton on November 19. Expect to hear more about this issue on Royal City Rag.

Finally, we squeezed in a phone interview with Simon Irving from the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Catch their performance of autumn classics at the River Run on October 25.

Not quite a cast of thousands, but lots of fun nevertheless.

Thanks again to all the Royal City Rag listeners who pledged their support to CFRU93.3fm. A special thank you to Sheila O’Reilly and Sarah Mangle for all their help during the show.

Music:
Cuff The Duke, Promises from Way Down Here
Hazel Dickens Busted from Hard-hitting Songs For Hard Hit People
Bonnie Raitt & Friends Something To Talk About from Bonnie Raitt And Friends Live
Ocote Soul Sounds, Vendende-Saude-Y-Fe from Coconut Rock
Mike Mucci, Sunnyside Of Guelph from Sunnyside E.P.
John Fahey, On Doing An Evil Deed Blues from The Legend Of Blind Joe Death
Mike Mucci, Nico! from M.Mucci (Live)
Mike Mucci, As Yet Untitled (Live)
Mike Mucci, As Yet Untitled (Live)
Mike Mucci, Eramosa from Under The Tulip Tree (Live)
Nick Lowe, What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding from At Your Age (Bonus Tracks)
Fugitives, Broken Promises from Find Me EP
Flying Lizards, (I Want) Money from Flying Lizards

Listen to the show:
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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It was another packed show on October 10, despite the fact that it was the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Dave Sills from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Royal City Rag’s own Bob Gordon joined us in the first hour to talk about the so-called “third way” approach to the development of the Hanlon Creek Business Park, a plan favoured by several prominent community groups and local activists.

After extensive research, they are proposing a number of “reasonable changes” to the current plan to ensure that environmental protection will be in place to protect the health of the Hanlon Creek and associated wetlands. They are also recommending that construction continue to be delayed until more is known about the habitat of species at risk in the project area and calling for increased investment in the reuse of existing buildings and the redevelopment of ‘brownfield’ sites.

It was a great interview and a must listen for those still questionning why people are calling for a rethink to the current plans for the project.

RebickwebIn the second hour, we discussed Judy Rebick’s upcoming visit to Guelph. 

Judy is coming to town on Wednesday October 14 to introduce the award-winning film Fierce Light and to do a ‘Guelph-launch’ of her latest book, “Transforming Power”. The event is co-hosted by Guelph Civic League, The Bookshelf and 10 Carden with guest Judy Rebick.

Fierce Light will be shown at 7.00 p.m. in the Bookshelf cinema followed by a reception for Transforming Power in the Green Room.

Judy Rebick sums up the theme presented in both the film and her book this way, “This convergence of the spiritual and political is a theme of my book and of Velcrow’s film and it is a powerful movement  emerging.”  

Velcrow Ripper, the director of Fierce Light is in high demand across Canada and is now in the U.S. leading workshops on spiritual activism.  He describes his approach this way: “Spiritual Activism is the coming together of spirituality, and activism. It is not about any form of dogma, it is simply activism that comes from the heart, not just the head, activism that is compassionate, positive, kind, fierce and transformative.  It focuses as much on what we are for, as on what we are against.  It is rooted in an understanding of interdependence, and works to end of the suffering of all beings, even our opponents.  Nothing could be more inspiring and more rewarding than being the change we want to see in the world, within and without.”

Rebick_TransPower[1]According to a review of Transforming Power by Anama Leadership: “Judy Rebick’s new book Transforming Power captures the new paradigm of leadership and social change – from top-down, power-over, externally-directed models to one where power is shared, collaboration is possible and power comes from the inside out. Judy aptly chose the subtitle “from the personal to the political”, laying out the case for social change leaders and organizations to focus not just on external power inequalities but also on the way we re-create and perpetuate these external dynamics in both our professional and personal relationships.” 

We completed the show with an interview with Hillside Festival’s Jessie O’Donnell regarding volunteer opportunities at Hillside Inside which takes place on Saturday February 6, 2010.

Music:
Cuff The Duke, The Words You Ignore from Way Down Here
Jayhawks, Waiting For The Sun from Music From The North Country
James Gordon, Kelvinator from Youtube/www.royalcityrag.ca
Eliza Gilkyson, Unsustainable from Emerald Street
Mike Mucci, Sunnyside Of Guelph from Sunnyside E.P.
Mary Gauthier, Thanksgiving from Between Daylight And Darkness
Levon Helm, I Wish I knew How It Would Feel To Be Free from Electric Dirt
Proclaimers, Three More Days from Notes And Rhymes
Jeff Beck, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers from Performing This Week… Live At Ronnie Scott’s
Jann Arden, All The Days from Free

Listen to the show:
Part 1

Part 2

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From the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians:

The Council of Canadians, The Critical Knowledge Collective and OPIRG invite you to “You, Me and the SPP”, a cutting edge documentary that exposes the secretive, anti-democratic, corporate agenda behind the Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

After the screening, the film director Paul Manly will be present for a Q&A. Soup and Snacks will also be available.

“Manly has created an extremely thorough introduction to a set of issues that will increasingly affect every Canadian. As the film progressed, I was shocked at my own ignorance about the SPP and TILMA and their implications and I am indebted to this film for the research and revelations it presents.” – Mark Achbar – Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation

“After the shock of Sept. 11 … that crisis was expertly manipulated by our political leaders to push through a range of policies they actually had wanted to push through before Sept. 11, but didn’t have the political conditions that made that possible.” – Naomi Klein, journalist, author The Shock Doctrine

“What the SPP really represents is a parallel government, so that the important decisions are made outside of parliament and outside of legislatures … democracy is slowly being gutted.” – Murray Dobbin, Canadian author, journalist

“The ultimate goal, quite obviously, is to create such tight integration that effectively we only have one North American political, security, military, and economic place – that there really are no differentials between this country and the country next door.” – Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair, Global Politics

You, Me And The SPP
Film screening with film director Paul Manly
Where: Uof G University Centre – Room 103
When: 5 p.m. on Friday October 16.

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We have another full show planned for October 10, even if it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Dave Sills from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Royal City Rag’s own Bob Gordon will join us to talk about the so-called “third way” approach to the development of the Hanlon Creek Business Park, a plan favoured by several prominent community groups and local activists.

After extensive research, they are proposing a number of “reasonable changes” to the current plan to ensure that environmental protection will be in place to protect the health of the Hanlon Creek and associated wetlands. They are also recommending that construction continue to be delayed until more is known about the habitat of species at risk in the project area and calling for increased investment in the reuse of existing buildings and the redevelopment of ‘brownfield’ sites.

RebickwebIn the second hour we will be chatting to Annie O’Donoghue from the Guelph Civic League about Judy Rebick’s visit to Guelph next week.  Judy is coming to town on October 14 to introduce the award-winning film Fierce Light, When Spirit Meets Action, and to do a ‘Guelph-launch’ of her latest book, “Transforming Power”. Fierce Light will be shown at 7.00 p.m. in the Bookshelf cinema followed by a reception for Transforming Power in the Green Room.

Finally, we will be speaking to the Hillside Festival’s Jessie O’Donnell about volunteer opportunities at Hillside Inside taking place on Saturday February 6, 2010.

Hope you can join us.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU 93.3fm. Don’t miss it!

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Today, a formal letter was sent to Mayor Karen Farbridge, Guelph City Council and the City of Guelph’s Manager of Tourism and Economic Development, Peter Cartwright, that both recognizes the merits of the Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) plan and calls for adjustments to help the project truly “meet the environmental side of the triple bottom line.”

The letter was extensively researched and is signed by several community groups (Council of Canadians, Guelph Urban Forest Friends and the Sierra Club) and prominent Guelph activists (James Gordon, Hugh Whiteley, Gail McCormack and Mike Darmon).

It recommends a number of “reasonable changes” to the HCBP plan that would help to ensure the health of provincially significant wetlands and wildlife, retain more mature native trees, reduce soil disruption to ensure the growth of new trees and shrubs, lessen the impact of roads on natural areas, and protect aquifer recharge areas that are important for our water supply. It also includes the recommendation that construction continue to be delayed until more is known about the habitat of species at risk in the project area.

Finally, the letter calls for increased investment in the reuse of existing buildings and the redevelopment of ‘brownfield’ sites.

View the text of the letter here.

Add Your Voice…

Contacting Guelph City Council

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map.

Expect to hear more about this issue on Royal City Rag,  Saturdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm. If it happens in Guelph, you’ll hear about it on Royal City Rag!

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Bob Gordon

Bob Gordon

The Elephant In The Living Room Is Green
Bob Gordon, Freelance Journalist/Royal City Rag Contributor

In the wake of the occupation of the land slated to become the Hanlon Creek Businesss Park (HCBP) and the ensuing injunction hearings I contacted a variety of Guelph civic and environmental organizations.

I did not contact the organization known as LIMITS nor did I speak to the occupants themselves. In both cases, their positions seemed self-evident. They want the construction of the business park to be permanently deep-sixed.

I did however contact local Sierra Club representative Judy Martin, the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians (CoC-Guelph) and the Guelph Civic League (GCL). Co-Chair Norah Chaloner (with Dave Sills) responded for the CoC-Guelph as did President Annie O’Donoghue on behalf of the GCL.

None of these organizations expressed support for the occupation.

However Norah Chaloner noted that “the action taken by these young people lead to the revelation of information that was not being made available to the public…. the two letters from MNR to the city, dated May 25 and July 31, strongly advising against continued development.” Judy Martin concurred, “We believe the protesters brought attention to an important matter.”

Chaloner and Martin were also united in the view that both the Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield and Mayor Karen Farbridge should accept the conclusions of the MNR’s Guelph District office and stop work until appropriate investigation of the Jefferson Salamnder issue could be conducted.

Looking to the future, on August 17, Annie O’Donoghue stated, “GCL’s position is to urge the city to bring all community stakeholders together to seek a collaborative solution to the issues surrounding HCBP.” The GCL has continued to take this approach.

On September 22, the Guelph Mercury published an open letter from the GCL to the mayor that continues to espouse this consultative approach. “We would like to invite Farbridge to re-engage the community within a collaborative process that addresses any legitimate citizen concerns and reinstates community cohesion.”

The bottom-line is five community organizations have significant concerns with the situation as it now stands and the plans for the HCBP in there present form.

Even a group such as the GCL that believes “the Hanlon Creek Business Park has the potential to strengthen our economy and increase job opportunities while protecting the environment” has concerns.

The mayor firmly rejected any further dialogue.

The real story here is the ‘silence of the Greens.’

Repeatedly, throughout August, I contacted various members of the Green Party requesting information or answers. They simply refused to reply or respond.

Speaking in Guelph on September 10, Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May declined to comment on the HCBP issue specifically, “Yes, it’s important to protect moraine, wetlands and old growth forest. On the other hand, this is an issue I think I’ll defer to the local Greens.”

Subsequently, I informed the leader’s executive assistant, Debra Eindiguer that it seemed unusual to defer to a group that refused to comment.

She assured me that a statement from the local Greens would be forthcoming early in the week of September 21-25.

By e-mail I received a response from Guelph Greens’ CEO Tara Treanor that speaks for itself: “How odd. I can’t imagine why Debra would say such a thing – unless she has been in touch with someone other than me (I’m supposed to be the head honcho as much as the Greens have a hierarchy – which isn’t really at all, at least not locally).”

“In any case, we are not in a position to “issue a statement”, not least because it would be about 40 pages long so hardly a statement! I’m sorry to say that Debra was wrong.”

There is an elephant in the living room folks. It is Green. It is confused… and it is very long-winded.

Bob Gordon
bob34g@gmail.com

For more on this and other community issues, tune into Royal City Rag, Saturdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU 93.3fm.

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Hanlon Creek Downstream In The Spring (Photo: Bob Gordon)

Hanlon Creek Downstream In The Spring (Photo: Bob Gordon)

This article was originally posted by Wellington Waterwatchers on their website on March 3, 2009.

I thought it would be a good idea to re-post it here to remind people why well-known and respected local organizations like Wellington Waterwatchers, the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Guelph Urban Forest Friends and the Sierra Club have all expressed serious concerns about the current plans for the Hanlon Creek Business Park.

 

Hanlon Creek Business Park threatens the sustainability of Guelph’s Water Supply
Wellington Waterwatchers

We acknowledge the necessity for more economic development and additional opportunities for business growth in our community. We desire sustainability in such growth. The initial Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) plan was envisioned originally as a ‘green’ initiative, with low impact development practices aimed at preserving provincially significant wetlands and old-growth trees found in the area between Downey Road and the Hanlon Expressway.

However the latest plans are not consistent with this ‘green’ plan.  It appears that cost-effectiveness has taken priority over low impact development goals.  In the SHORT term, the plan calls for over 500 acres to be affected, of which as much as 75% may be paved or built over. This plan would dramatically effect a water catchment area which is crucial to the Downey Well and the groundwater recharge of the Paris-Galt Moraine.  The Moraine is a critical source of municipal water supply for Guelph and surrounding area. The Guelph-Puslinch Groundwater Protection Study from 2005 states that increased industrial activity in this sensitive area raises the potential for toxic materials to seep into our drinking water.

There are over 1700  trees, 60 biodiverse hedgerows, plants and up to 4 ft. of topsoil.  Bulldozers and graders will entirely disrupt the soil integrity which will be mass graded for levelling high areas  to low areas. Included in this tree count is a remnant of old-growth forest that has been identified SINCE the development plan was approved in 2005. The Sierra Club of Canada has expressed serious concerns about grading this entire site before businesses have even agreed to locate there. Other communities with similar developments in uncertain economic times have been left with costly unused “Moonscapes”. We believe that more thought should be put into the scope and planning of the HCBP so that the wetland, recharge zones and old growth forest are preserved.

The Paris-Galt Moraine has not been fully mapped. Mayor Karen Farbridge and MPP Liz Sandals requested that the Minister of the Environment protect the Moraine as it overlies Guelph’s drinking water.  We have been questioning all along the wisdom of giving our water away to commercial water bottlers in our area without properly identifying whether our water supply can sustain us through the exponential growth predicted for our city. It is important not to threaten this high quality water supply more with this plan that seems out of step with our current awareness of its potential for environmental damage?

We believe that the City is missing a golden opportunity to be an effective leader in the province by planning a development that can be sensitive to the environment while at the same time provide a sustainable economic opportunity.

Along with a number of other citizens groups, we would like to be able to bring this issue to the City of Guelph Council to help address our concerns. We were surprised and disappointed to learn that there are no plans to bring this matter back to City Council except to examine the tenders offered for the construction of the business park.  This appears to be very premature considering the current economic times and lack of excess public funds.

To us, this does not appear to be within the spirit of the City of Guelph’s mandate for transparency and accountability.

We urge you to write to Mayor Farbridge and City of Guelph councilors to ask, based on the new economic and environmental climate, that the Hanlon Creek Business Park development plans be revisited.

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map.

Thanks as always for your ongoing support.

For more background information on the Hanlon Creek Business Park, please see this timeline.

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David Graham joined us again on March 11 to talk about some of the transit issues affecting Guelph. In David’s estimation, the GTA West project still looks like it’s leaning toward building a new 400 series highway despite the fact that light rail transportation would be a far better solution. Unfortunately the Ontario Ministry of Transportation only seems interested in solutions that involve the building of another highway.

The good news is that the Go Trains will be coming to Guelph sooner rather than later. However, the bad news is that both Go and the City of Guelph think (at least, initially) the downtown railway station should be the only Go Train facility.

This seems completely wrongheaded particularly as it will entail building a 1200 car parking garage near the station where commuters will leave their cars all day why they head off to Toronto for work.

Surely it would make more sense to build a Park and Ride parking lot on the LaFarge property close to the highway network?

As well, commuters would have to pay parking fees downtown so that developers can get their money back. Whereas, at a Park and Ride parking lot parking could be free. This would clearly be an incentive for people to leave their cars behind and take public transportation.

Seems like downtown is looking at three new parking garages in the near future… which will do nothing more than hold cars all day.

I’m all for encouraging people to go downtown, but just to park their cars?

Check out David Graham’s blog for more on how we can cope with our transportation challenges… and why investing in real public transportation would be a good thing for all of us, not just for those in the business of building roads and parking garages.

Did I also mention that we discussed what could be a better use of the billions being talked about to bailout North America’s failing auto companies?

Can you imagine the public transportation network we’d have if we threw $3 billion at it instead of trying to keep the “Big Three” car makers alive for a few more months?

Personally, I’d let Chrysler go to the wall after the threats their joke of a CEO made about pulling out of Canada, if they didn’t get all they wanted.

Beyond transit issues… we aired a great interview with Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario, recorded on the Unbottle It tour with Maude Barlow, about why we should ditch bottled water and go back to the tap.

The Council of Canadians would like to highlight the number of individuals who are rejecting bottled water by collecting pledge signatures through their website.

To sign the pledge, visit: http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/petition/index.php

Music:
Stephen Fearing, Home from The Man Who Married Music
Stompin Tom Connors, The Flying CPR from The Stompin Tom Phenomenon

Listen to the show:

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unbottle_smMarch 22 is World Water Day. To celebrate the occasion the Council of Canadians would like to invite you to sign the tap water pledge to show your support for public water.

Because water is a human right and a public resource, more and more Canadians are consciously choosing tap water over bottled water. So far, 24 municipalities have adopted policies to restrict the sale and purchase of bottled water. In addition, church groups, school boards, universities, restaurants and other institutions are choosing not to serve or sell bottled water in their facilities or at their events.

But the choice you make as an individual is important too.

The Council of Canadians would like to highlight the number of individuals who are rejecting bottled water by collecting signatures through an online tap water pledge.

To sign the pledge, visit: http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/petition/index.php

You can also show your support for public tap water by joining their tap water supporters’ gallery by sending a photo of yourself drinking a glass of water (or showing support for public water in other creative ways) to bluecommunities@canadians.org.

Set up a photo booth on World Water Day, March 22 and get members of your community to pose with a  glass of public water. They  will post the photos on our website shortly after World Water Day as part of our ongoing campaign to promote public water.

This World Water Day, help the Council of Canadians send a message to governments and the bottled water industry that people in Canada support public water!

For for more information on other ways to participate in World Water Day activities, please visit www.canadians.org/water.

Listen to why Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario, thinks we all need to dump bottled water and go back to the tap:

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gasvbottledwater1The Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right

Fresh from her latest visit to Guelph to talk about why we should dump bottled water, Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and United Nations Advisor on Water, will be in Waterloo on Thursday January 22 2009, at the First United Church, 16 William St. W., Waterloo. She will again be accompanied by Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario.

If you missed the tour in Guelph, it would be well worth going along to Waterloo. Both presentations are well worth hearing.

The goal of this visit is to build on local successes at banning bottled water from schools and municipalities, promote new bans, work toward a provincial ban, and help link bottled water to the commoditization of water in people’s minds.

According to the National Office of the Council of Canadians:

 “there are numerous reasons to hate bottled water, including environmental and health concerns, but we’re going on tour to focus on the importance of public water and seeing water as part of the commons, not a commodity. And of course we’ll talk about the need for strong provincial and federal policies to protect water and ensure access to clean water for all Canadians.”

The evening presentations start at 7.00 p.m.

The Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right
Who: Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan
When: Thursday, January 22.
Admission: FREE
Presented by The Council of Canadians and CUPE Ontario

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Here is the trailer for the new documentary movie, Blue Gold: World Water Wars featuring Maude Barlow based on the book Blue Gold by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke.

Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians and one of the world’s leading experts on the topic of water, has recently been appointed as senior adviser to the president of the Assembly of the United Nations. She will be in Guelph at the Norfolk United Church at 7 p.m. Wednesday January 14 as part of a 15-city tour of Ontario.

CUPE Ontario and the Council of Canadians co-sponsored the Unbottle It! Tour. Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, will also be speaking.

In every corner of the globe, we are polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an expediential level as population and technology grows. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry increase the demands for fresh water well beyond the finite supply, resulting in the desertification of the earth.

Corporate giants force developing countries to privatize their water supply for profit. Wall Street investors target desalination and mass bulk water export schemes. Corrupt governments use water for economic and political gain. Military control of water emerges and a new geo-political map and power structure forms, setting the stage for world water wars.

We follow numerous worldwide examples of people fighting for their basic right to water, from court cases to violent revolutions to U.N. conventions to revised constitutions to local protests at grade schools. As Maude Barlow proclaims, “This is our revolution, this is our war”. A line is crossed as water becomes a commodity. Will we survive?

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Are There Water Wars in Our Future?
Guelph Mercury, January 12, 2009
Letter to the Editor by Brian Skerrett

Dear Editor – Is it just melodrama or sensationalism to hear about the possibilities of war over access to water?

Not according to some of the world’s leading experts in the field. The relatively minor disagreements in Guelph between groups such as the Council of Canadians or Wellington Water Watchers and Nestlé Waters Canada may be a minor glimpse of what is coming.

Milton Clark, a senior health and science adviser for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated: “We will in fact get into major water wars. You will see water wars coming in every way, shape or form. In the U.S. there are some leading politicians who have said the Great Lakes do in fact belong (to everyone) and all water should be nationalized — and this certainly is a concern.”

Clark also said, “Water issues that are currently emerging will develop into bitter conflicts in the not-too-distant future when those dry states become increasingly desperate.”

Ontario and Quebec have already signed an agreement that would ban bulk transfers of Great Lakes water to other jurisdictions, and they are now waiting for the eight Great Lakes states and U.S. Congress to finalize a similar deal.

One of the problems is that this ban on bulk transfers does not cover transfers of quantities of water in smaller packages, such as 12-ounce (355 millilitre) plastic bottles. And this leads to the current disputes over water-taking licences involving Nestlé’s plant in Aberfoyle.

Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians and one of the world’s leading experts on the topic of water, has recently been appointed as senior adviser to the president of the Assembly of the United Nations. She will be in Guelph at the Norfolk United Church at 7 p.m. Wednesday January 14 as part of a 15-city tour of Ontario.

CUPE Ontario and the Council of Canadians co-sponsored the Unbottle It! Tour. Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, will also be speaking.

A special Water Information Fair will precede the speakers, at 5.30 p.m. Representatives from some of the local groups who are working to protect our water resources will attend to distribute written material and respond to questions.

Those who attend will have the opportunity to have their questions answered or their answers questioned. It promises to be an exciting event that is vital to our times.

If you are even a bit skeptical about the seriousness of this issue, check YouTube’s “Blue Gold: World Water Wars.”

Brian Skerrett, secretary, Council of Canadians, Guelph

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kitchenerFollowing up on Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, latest visit to Guelph on January 14 2009, to discuss water rights, the Guelph Chapter of Council of Canadians is looking to find new members and get current members to renew their membership.

The Guelph Chapter is regarded as one of the most active and successful in the country.

Because of the increasing concerns regarding the climate, the economy, and the environment, the group wants to step up their efforts to influence public policy. They  also want to lead a local effort in making necessary lifestyle changes that are consistent with a sustainable environment.

The Guelph group would like all members to renew their membership through the local chapter, hopefully at the Maude Barlow presentation on January 14 2009, as this allows the local chapter to benefit directly.

If members renew or join the CoC through the head office, they ask that you indicate that you are in the Guelph area, which will have the same effect.

The cost of a regular membership is $45, but for seniors and students it is still $6.

Following up on Maude Barlow’s visit to Guelph on Janaury 14, the Guelph Chaper is working on several interesting topics including:

  • Tar Sands = Environmental Crisis There has been great interest in this topic both at our previous event and in the news since then.  And of course, the news gets no better. Maude Barlow spoke of the environmental degradation she witnessed when she visited the Tar Sands site recently.
  • The Geography of Hope: Chris Turner Chris spoke at an Eden Mills Carbon Neutral dinner and he was a huge hit.  He gives practical and positive steps that can be taken now to move toward a sustainable environment. And yes, he gives us hope!
  • Steven Moore: Queen’s University This dynamic lecturer is teaching a new program on the environment and he will outline what he is doing and why he is able to present such a program in the business school at Queen’s.
  • Transition Guelph The transition from an oil-based economy to a green economy and all the related issues is the primary focus of this group. How we can build community resilience to withstand climate stress ahead.
  • Nuclear Energy and its Perils James Harding was going to speak at an earlier meeting of the CoC but he was hampered by an injury. They are trying one more time to get him to visit our city.
  • Wellington Water Watchers It could be that the activities in the water arena and the WWW’s response to them could make for an interesting and valuable update for our group.  Although they have been working closely together, there are many members who don’t know what the group has been doing over the past year and where it plans to go.

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0UNBOTTLEIT.ADThe Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and United Nations Advisor on Water, will be back in Guelph at Norfolk United Church on Wednesday January 14 2009 to talk about water as a right and not a commodity and why we should dump bottled water. She will be accompanied by Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario.

The goal of this visit is to build on local successes at banning bottled water from schools and municipalities, promote new bans, work toward a provincial ban, and help link bottled water to the commoditization of water in people’s minds.

According to the National Office of the Council of Canadians:

 “there are numerous reasons to hate bottled water, including environmental and health concerns, but we’re going on tour to focus on the importance of public water and seeing water as part of the commons, not a commodity. And of course we’ll talk about the need for strong provincial and federal policies to protect water and ensure access to clean water for all Canadians.”

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., there will be a Water Information Fair featuring representatives from CoC-Guelph, CUPE, Wellington Water Watchers, OPIRG Speed River Project, Transition Guelph, Kairos, TapIn, OXFAM and others. There will also be hot chili (vegetarian or con carne), buns, and coffee or tea.

The evening presentations will start at 6.45 p.m.

The Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right
Who: Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan
When: Wednesday January 14 at 6.45 p.m. (Water Information Fair at 5.30 p.m.)
Admission: FREE
Presented by The Council of Canadians and CUPE Ontario

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David Graham was in the studio to provide an update on a variety of transit-related issues including the proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway, the ongoing environment assessment for the GTA West Corridor transit route, the real possibility of the Go Train coming to Guelph in 2010 and parking in Downtown Guelph.

As David was also heavily involved in the campaign to elect Liberal Frank Valeriote as MP for Guelph we also had a chance to reminisce about the recent federal general election.

We started the show with a short interview from November 2007 with Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. Maude has recently been appointed United Nations Senior Advisor on Water Issues. Maude was in Guelph on November 20 to discuss the worldwide fight to protect public access to water as part of the University of Guelph Campus Cafe speaker series.

Music:
Fembots – God Keep Our Hands Clean from Calling Out
Funky Mamas – Rolling Along from Rolling Along
Johnny Cash – Come Along And Ride This Train from Johnny Cash’s America
Fred Eaglesmith – I Like Trains from Official Fred Eaglesmith Bootleg Volume 1

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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campus_cafe_ad_nov20_Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, will be back in Guelph on November 20th to give a presentation as part of the University of Guelph’s ‘Campus Cafe’ speaker series. She has very recently been appointed United Nations Senior Advisor on Water Issues.

Maude’s talk is entitled “The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water”.

The event will be at noon on November 20th in the Atrium of the Science Complex. Admission is free
and all are welcome.

For more details, see www.uoguelph.ca/CampusCafeTalks

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Yet another article that points out that bottled water may not be as good for you as tap water.

Its interesting to see how the companies now try to outdo each other by claiming their water to be the most pure. Marketing at its best!

Good to see that people are finally catching on to this scam.

Thanks to Dave Sills, Co-Chair from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians for sending this article on.

 

Is that bottle of water better than tap?: Research group says to go with tap water
Janet Conner-Knox, The Wilson Daily Times, N.C., October 21, 2008

If you’ve just started a new health regimen, and at the top of your list is to drink more water, there is news you might want to consider before you grab your favorite brand of bottled water.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public health and environmental research group in Washington, D.C., said it could be healthier to get water right out of the tap.

A research team from the environmental group came to nine states, including eastern North Carolina, and purchased water from grocery stores and other retailers and found 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of eight contaminants in each brand.

Things like fertilizer residue and pain medication were found in some of the bottled drinking water.

The report took two years to complete and results were just published this month.

“Some of the brands had chemicals that exceed legal limits in safety standards the bottling industry has,” said Nneka Leiba, one of the researchers and an author of the report on the group’s Web site. “There were four brands contaminated with bacteria.”

Leiba said that is why EWG is asking the Federal Drug Administration to get involved and regulate water bottlers and to also enforce labeling bottles of water so consumers will know what they are getting.

“There is no way to know, at this point, if the water you get in a bottle is safe,” Leiba said. “There are ways to get around the rules that are in place.”

For instance, one method of purifying water is to use reverse osmosis. But Leiba said if the equipment is faulty, the results are the same — contaminated water. Bottlers are not regulated, so if their equipment breaks down, they can continue using bad equipment.

Leiba said they have found some water bottlers that let consumers know they used reverse osmosis but never told consumers that the water had contaminants because the equipment was broken.

Another loophole that bottlers use, she said, is if the company treats the water, they don’t have to write the source of the water on the label.

“Some people think they are drinking spring water, and it is treated tap water,” said Leiba.

She said 44 percent of bottled water is tap water any way.

During the laboratory studies, Walmart and Giant store brands were not distinguishable from tap water.

The report singled out Sam’s Club water stating it had exceeded legal limits for disinfection by-products (trihalomethanes) in some states.

The report said, “These by-products are linked to cancer and reproductive problems and form when disinfectants react with residual pollution in water.

Walmart’s corporate office issued an e-mailed statement and stands behind its bottled water and said they are puzzled by EWG’s findings.

The prepared statement said, “Both our suppliers’ tests and the tests from an additional external laboratory are not showing any amounts of chlorine or chlorine by-products. We’re disappointed that the EWG has not shared more details with us as we continue to investigate this matter.”

But said she Leiba feels stongly about the test results they got. She also said they were surprised the bottled waters looked so close to tap water, especially at the costs consumers pay for the bottled water.

Bottled water, unlike public utilities, are not required to notify their customers of the occurrence of contaminates, she said.

The U.S. EPA Web site (EPA2007b) states: “Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water. Consumers who choose to purchase bottled water should carefully read its label to understand what they are buying, whether it is a better taste, of a certain method of treatment.”

But the people from LeBleu, whose water was not on the list of contaminated waters, said that customers can be assured quality every time they take a swig of LeBleu water.

David Muller, warehouse supervisor in the Wilson office, said Le Bleu uses a five-step process to make sure they are giving their customers the cleanest water in the industry.

“We filter our water twice, then we steam it,” he said. “As you know, boiled water is pure water.”

Muller said that after the steam process, they discard the other water.

Muller said they run an ultraviolet light through the water at that point.

“That UV light will kill anything that could have possibly survived the steam process,” he said.

After that, he said the Le Blue folks oxygenate the water, which means they run electricity through it. Muller said water from lots of other water companies will turn green if left out in the sun for long.

He said it’s because other companies leave live organisms in the water that begin to grow in the sunlight.

He contends that Le Bleu water will not turn green if left in the sunlight.

The study on bottled water said that even the plastic bottles are not safe.

“That’s because the chemicals in the plastic gets into the water once the water sits in the plastic container,” said Leiba.

What Leiba and other scientists in her group recommend is for consumers to drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water.

Leiba said not only is filtered tap water safer, it costs less, too.

“Americans pay an average of two-tenths of a cent per gallon to drink water from the tap,” said Leiba. “A carbon filter at the tap or in a pitcher costs a manageable 31 cents for a gallon of water. Where else can you get a gallon of water for 31 cents?”

She also recommends buying a stainless container to carry water in,instead of a plastic bottle.

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This event has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to illness.
“CANADA’S DEADLY SECRET – Demystifying the nuclear system during election time
Oct.9th @ 7 p.m.
Norfolk Street United Church
75 Norfolk Street (at Cork Street)
This is a FREE event.
Speaker:
Dr. JIM HARDING is a KAIROS, environmental and social justice activist, as well as, author of “Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System“. Harding is a retired professor of justice studies at the University of Regina. He is a founding member of the Regina Group for a Non- Nuclear Society and was director of research for Prairie Justice Research at the University of Regina, where he headed up the Uranium Inquiries Project. Jim also acted as consultant to the NFB award-winning film Uranium. He will be tying issues of first nations struggles, uranium mining, water issues, nuclear proliferation (spread of nuclear weapons and technology from Canadian depleted uranium), alternatives to nuclear power, and ultimately debunking nuclear power as a safe and cheap option.
All PARTY CANDIDATES are invited to relate this issue to their platform!
Mike Nagy (Green Party), Karen Levenson (Animal Alliance Environment Voters), Drew Garvie (Communist Party of Canada) have confirmed their attendance! Tom King (NDP) and Frank Valeriote (Liberal) will either be attending or sending a letter of response.
For more info, contact Silvie Fojtik: sfojtik@uoguelph.ca.

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I can’t claim to have followed this issue very closely (too busy with the federal election) however there seem to be quite a few folk out there who have followed the issue closely and are very concerned about Guelph Hydro merging with Horizon Utilities.

The issue is coming to council tonight.

From what I’ve heard those that are pro the merger (including the Mayor, who is also a member of the Guelph Hydro board) believe they have enough votes to get the merger through.

If you have concerns about the merger, please make sure you let your councillors know or get down to City Hall at 6.00 p.m. to make your voice heard.

I know this has been a long time coming to council but this is a very complicated issue. 

Personally I’d prefer council table this until after the federal general election. There are just too many doubts for me to be sure which way to go.

The following documents were put together by a group of concerned citizens whose judgement I value. If they say, that this merger may be a wrong-headed idea I’d make absolutely sure that I was clear on the issue before I vote.

Distribution Costs in Ontario

Which Graph is Correct?

I hope that council will be cautious about moving ahead. Do not be swayed just because the Mayor is voting for the merger.

This is certainly a political hot potato.

If you don’t understand the issue well enough, please vote against it.

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Unfortunately there was no live show tonight. We played a rerun of the June 18 show, with an interview with Norah Chaloner from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians instead.

If you’d like to listen to some of our other previous shows, go to ‘Departments’ on the sidebar and select Radio Shows.

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Norah Chaloner from the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians joined us to talk about the work of the Council of Canadians and thie upcoming Annual General Meeting on June 26 at 7.30 p.m. at Norfolk United Church.

Music:
Tannis Slimmon: “Our Time Now” from “Lucky Blue” (Live version recorded at Guelph Christian Church on January 19 2008 at the launch of Lucky Blue)
Lewis Melville: The Light is Growing Dim (Oh Canada) from “Afghanistan, On Guard for Thee?”

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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Canadian author, Council of Canadians (CoC) Chairperson and water rights activist, Maude Barlow will be returning to Guelph on June 3 to present a new film about water issues called FLOW (For Love Of Water).

The event co-sponsored by the CoC and Wellington Water Watchers will take place at Norfolk United Church in downtown Guelph. The AGM of the Wellington Waterwatchers will also take place that night too.

 

 

FLOW (For Love Of Water), a film by award-winning director Irena Salina, shows how the global water crisis affects communities around the world.

Maude Barlow is featured prominently in the film as she uncovers the corporate profiteering that drives global water business.

The documentary featured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The Los Angeles Times calls FLOW a “lively and engaging look at a truly serious situation.”

Maude Barlow has won several awards for her leading role in the international movement to promote the right to water including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as “the alternative Nobel.”

Her latest book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, outlines a plan to reverse the alarming trend of water commodification which has led to environmental devastation, political turmoil and overwhelming rates of water-related deaths around the world.

It was my great pleasure to interview Maud Barlow in November 2007 on the “Blue Covenant” book tour.

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