Saturday, February 25, 2006



Dear Ann M. Foss,

I am aware of The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency allowance of the United States Steel's dumping of the Minntac (taconite mining and processing operation) two mile by three mile reservoir. Billions of gallons of dirty water could be emptied into streams, rivers and lakes, so that it can be purged of contaminants to make the production process meet higher standards. This dumping in northern Minnesota could have serious consequences for Lake of the Woods, Rainy River, and Lake Superior in Canada.

Please send me a copy of the Environmental Impact Statement: "Minntac's Water Inventory Reduction Proposal" from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. I hope that you will inform the government of Canada, and the provincial governments of Manitoba and Ontario, of the intent.

I was told that the reservoir water contains heavy metals and will generate very high levels of mercury. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have written off one of the most pristine trout streams as the cost of industrialization. To be clear, people in Canada would like to be informed and made part of the decision making process.

Friday, February 17, 2006



Re: Abdelkader Belaouni

Dear Minister Solberg,

I am sending you this message in solidarity with the Committee to Support Abdelkader Belaouni. In order to avoid deportation, Mr. Abdelkader Belaouni has found sanctuary in St. Gabriel's Church in Point St. Charles, Montreal. In your new capacity as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, you must take immediate action on this case (as outlined below). Since moving to Montreal nearly three years ago, Mr. Belaouni has worked hard to achieve a life of dignity, autonomy and security for himself. However, as is the case of many thousands of other non-status people living in this country, Immigration Canada left Abdelkader no choice, but to defy his deportation order and take sanctuary. Owing to the significant contributions, and strong connections, he has made to his community and Montreal, Abdelkader has seen an outpouring of support from Montreal-based organizations and countless individuals since taking sanctuary. While confined to the rooms of St. Gabriel's Church for already more than one month, his struggle against deportation and for status continues. I support Abdelkader Belaouni's demand that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada immediately regularize his status, and make a meeting with him and his support committee. As the Minister of Citizenship and Immigrations, you have the power to grant him permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds. I therefore urge you to grant Mr. Abdelkader Belaouni status in Canada immediately.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Because I need to save this somewhere:

WORLD: WHO Shuts Life Sciences Industry Group Out of Setting Health StandardsEnvironment News ServiceFebruary 2nd, 2006

World Health Organization (WHO) has barred a life sciences industry association from participating in setting global standards protecting food and water supplies because its members have a financial stake in the outcome.At a meeting in Geneva that concluded Saturday, the UN health agency’s Executive Board decided that the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), an association of food, chemical and pharmaceutical companies based in Washington, DC, can no longer participate in WHO health standard setting activities.The WHO Executive Board took this action at the urging of a coalition of environment, health and labor organizations. In late December, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and 17 other organizations, including Physicians for Social Responsibility and the United Steelworkers of America, sent a letter to the WHO Executive Board requesting that it sever its ties to ILSI because the relationship violates the health agency’s own guidelines.WHO requires that nongovernmental organizations working with the agency “be free from concerns which are primarily of a commercial or profit-making nature.” ILSI does not meet that standard.“At best, ILSI’s participation in WHO’s decisionmaking process is a blatant conflict of interest,” says Dr. Jennifer Sass, the NRDC scientist who organized the coalition effort. “At worst, its participation has biased WHO policies and jeopardized public health in dozens of countries.”The industry group still will remain one of the nearly 200 nongovernmental organizations the health agency considers to be working partners.ILSI represents several hundred corporations in the chemical, processed food, agro-chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Its membership includes 3M Pharmaceuticals, Aginomoto, Atofina Chemicals, Bayer CropScience, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, Dow Agrosciences/Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, General Mills, Glaxo Smith Kline, Heinz, Hershey Foods, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, Merck & Co., Monsanto, Nestle, Novartis, Nutrasweet, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Proctor and Gamble, Syngenta, and Unilever.ILSI has branches in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, North Africa and the Gulf, South Africa, and Southeast Asia. For a complete list, go to says its goal is "to further the understanding of scientific issues relating to nutrition, food safety, toxicology, risk assessment, and the environment by bringing together scientists from academia, government, and industry."ILSI says it strives to provide "new knowledge" on the role of nutrition in human health, alleviation of worldwide micronutrient deficiency, the safety of food ingredients and additives, and evaluation of water purification methodologies and standards.But the NRDC says that over the years, ILSI has participated in WHO activities despite its members’ financial interest in the outcome.ILSI funded a 1998 WHO-UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report on carbohydrates and nutrition that concluded there was no direct link between sugar consumption and obesity or any other lifestyle disease, and suggested there be no upper limit for sugar in the diet.That conclusion contrasts with common sense, as well as with a 1990 WHO report that found that sugar contributes to the risk of chronic disease and a 2003 WHO-FAO report recommending that people restrict sugar consumption sugar to less than 10 percent of their food energy intake.ILSI also has tried to avoid stronger curbs on toxic pollutants by "misrepresenting study results and sowing doubt about existing science," the NRDC says.Between 1983 and 1998, ILSI, whose membership includes tobacco company Altria’s subsidiary Kraft Foods, repeatedly attempted to weaken WHO’s position on the dangers of secondhand smoke.As documented by Derek Yach, a former senior WHO official, in the November 2001 "American Journal of Public Health," ILSI tried to raise doubts about those risks by funding scientists who claimed there was still uncertainty about the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke.The relationship between ILSI and the tobacco industry is detailed in a February 2001 report by the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative online at: the United States, ILSI hosts workshops for industry, academic and federal agency scientists that have been a tool for influencing health and environmental policy decisions.When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed a class of chemicals that includes perfluorochemicals used by DuPont to make Teflon, the EPA drafted its policy based on an ILSI review claiming that although the chemicals caused cancer in test rodents, the way they caused cancer was irrelevant to humans, so the class of chemicals could be considered safe. The ILSI review said there was insufficient evidence to determine how the chemicals cause liver tumors in rodents, and the possibility that they could cause liver tumors in humans "could not be ruled out."An independent scientific panel rejected EPA’s draft policy because it was not supported by the data. Late last year DuPont was hit with the largest administrative fine in EPA history to settle charges that it hid information for more than two decades showing that perfluorochemicals used in the manufacture of its Teflon coated products are a significant threat to human health. Lab animal tests have linked the chemical with liver and testicular cancer, reduced weight of newborns, and immune system suppression.Last week, the EPA launched a program that encourages companies to reduce perfluorooctanoic acid releases and its presence in products by 95 percent by no later than 2010 and to work toward eliminating these sources of exposure five years after that but no later than 2015.The letter NRDC sent to the WHO Executive Board in late December was signed by the California Committee on Safety and Health; Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids; Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice; Environmental Health Fund; Environmental Working Group; Infant Feeding Action Coalition Canada; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; International Federation of Building and Woodworkers; International Federation of Journalists; International Metalworkers’ Federation; IUF-International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Association; Natural Resources Defense Council; Pesticide Action Network North America ; Physicians for Social Responsibility; The Breast Cancer Fund; Third World Network; United Steelworkers of America; and Women’s Environment and Development Organization

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A letter by Soleil


Dear Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister Of Agriculture

I am writing about my enthusiam for the ALUS program. Alternate Land Use Services (ALUS) is an ecological goods and services program propsal that recognizes the value of conserving and restoring Canada’s natural capital while respecting and rewarding the important role that farmers play in environmental management. A mix of public and private ownership of resources exists on private land, so the stewardship of natural capital and environmental resources must be a shared responsibility of governments and landowners. Due to this shared nature, environmental services should be cost-shared with producers. Farmers should receive annual payments or other forms of compensation to deliver and maintain environmental services. ALUS is an environmental goods and services delivery program that uses a “fee- for service” concept to provide environmental benefits to all Canadians. ALUS is designed to provide these benefits at a fair market value, and will not provide environmental subsidies that artificially increase farm incomes. I encourage the Canadian government to support the ALUS program which would benefit all Canadians. I look forward to hearing about your plans regarding the ALUS program.


Monday, February 06, 2006

But I do not want the private sector and government brought together...

Mayor Katz said: "In 2005, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Kay Barnes and her business community went shopping for a city to build a unique cross border economic partnership. In this partnership, cities – not states, or regions, or countries – would promote their partnership and shared economic opportunities. Cities in Canada, the United States, and Mexico would become part of a true trade corridor, complete with mid-continent customs clearing, and plans to increase wholesale trade – the trade our city was built on. Which Canadian partner did she chose? - Winnipeg. Mayor Barnes chose us as a partner because her team found a confident voice at the other end of the phone – namely Destination Winnipeg. I want to take a moment to thank Destination Winnipeg chair, Bob Silver, President Stu Duncan, and their entire team, for being a superb marketing arm for the economic development in our city. Their team understands how to bring the private sector and government together."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Two things




As a voting resident of Manitoba, I care deeply about the things in life that really matter, such as clean air, water and land, the wellbeing of the community and the quality of life we are leaving to future generations.

The nonbinding public consultations on hog industry expansion scheduled for this summer are not enough.

Until you hold full environmental hearings, I support an immediate moratorium on hog industry expansion in Manitoba, including new factory hog barns. The rights of ecosystems ought to be protected by the full weight of the law. Perhaps we need new laws to do that.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stop the charging bison

The following is a call to join Winnipeg in opposing the occupation of our city by an imperialist army, the Canadian Armed Forces. Please circulate this to as many different people as possible, and make plans to be here in this crucial time. Every effort will be made to facilitate lodging and other arrangements. Send back comments and then numbers of people and when your group can arrive so we can organize from our end.

Beginning April 30th of this year, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be conducting a week-long, large-scale urban-warfare exercise in downtown Winnipeg. Taking place over May Day, International Worker's Day, this exercise is an outrageous provocation toward people's movements and must be opposed and resisted.

Around the world, the maple-leaf flown by the CAF has come to represent murder, torture and oppression to those unlucky enough to see it flying. In Afghanistan, Canadian Forces are helping to prop-up and defend a vicious theocracy that is completely opposed to the basic interests of the people there. In Haiti, Canadian Forces worked together with France and the US to carry out a coup d'etat against the elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and to install a government of business elites who are opening the already extremely-poor country to even more exploitation.

The urban-warfare exercise, already given the sobriquet 'Operation Charging Bison,' will serve to train the CAF to better carry out their reactionary, anti-people, anti-peace, counter-revolutionary, and pro-imperialist role.

We, the activists of the World People's Resistance Movement (Winnipeg) are therefore calling for massive resistance. In the weeks leading up to 'Operating Charging Bison' we will be conducting mass work in the nearby neighborhoods and communities where the exercises will be taking place. This mass work will serve to build up a basis of support for the upcoming actions as well as give us an opportunity to engage with the masses around the questions of internationalism, anti-imperialism, opposition to unjust war, and the possibilities of a much better world. During the operation itself we will be participating in many diverse actions, including (but certainly not limited to!) a May Day march calling for the withdrawal of all Canadian troops from Haiti, Afghanistan, and our city. It is abhorrent that they will be training to put down legitimate resistance movements and we need to ensure that they are not welcome.
In short, we want to change the whole political terrain, both in this city and around the world. We want to put opposition to Canada's terrible role in Haiti and Afghanistan in the mainstream. We want to make a splash so big that no one in the country will be able to ignore it. We want to send a message to the people of the whole world - from Port-au-Prince to Kadahar to Fallujah that we stand with them, against our government, in unity and in hope for all-the-way liberation. Drop your plans and come to Winnipeg for the weeks leading up to May Day. Help place Winnipeg in the same category as Seattle, Quebec City, and Genoa. Be part of history in the making.

Because the world can't wait.
World People's Resistance Movement (Winnipeg)