Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Subject: Omar Khadr and the need to fund research in organic agriculture

Dear Michael Ignatieff,

I am emailing you tonight to convey my family's thanks. We are joyfully anticipating your raising of the case of Omar Khadr in the company of the visiting American President. Please do whatever you can to get Omar back to Canada and into some kind of rehabilitation program. It seems to me that it is only to retain a friendly, safe, and happy relationship with the USA that Canadians have allowed Omar to stay in the Guantanamo prison. He has been and is physically ill, in tortured misery. It ought to be a crime to keep a young man in such misery. His being there is a weight upon every person in Canada, and an evil that degrades the nation. I hope I have conveyed our sentiments adequately, and I hope you take action on this issue immediately.

I have another reason to email you tonight. I was among the many, diverse attendees at the recent Guelph Organic Conference. While I was there, I spoke to Dr. Ann Clark. Her scholarship in the field of organic agriculture has been central in the organic movement in Canada. However, Dr. Clark told me that she would have to retire soon. She said that there simply wasn't any money for scientific research into organic agricultural techniques. At this time in our history, Michael Ignatieff, how can this be? How is it that – when our whole civilization is threatened by climatological crises – such an excellent and necessary scientist would be passed over? I hope that you will do what you can to push forward the necessity of funding toward the sciences that actually could enable people in Canada to live with ecological consciousness.

Good night,

Timothy Schwinghamer et al.
21111 Lakeshore Road
Ste Anne de Bellevue QC
H9X 3V9
phone: 514-398-2291

Monday, February 16, 2009




In the evening of February 7th, 2009, the Sikkim police arrested 41 anti-Panan Hydropower protestors from the Lepcha Reserve of Dzongu. The protestors were taken to the Mangan police station.

I strongly protest such an action by the Sikkim government. The arrest of these protestors violates the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Expression enshrined in the Indian Constitution. These were exclusively peaceful protests, which are legitimate, since heavy construction activities are going on at the Panan project without all the requisite clearances.

I am given to understand that, owing to the special powers enjoyed by the District Magistrate of the North District, and in the absence of any Resident Judge, the police custody of the arrested protestors could be extended to a week.

I demand the following actions by your office and the Sikkim government:
1. Unconditional release of the arrested;
2. Stop construction activities at the Panan project until all clearances are obtained; and
3. As per the demand of the ACT, review both Panan and Teesta IV projects.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Frontline voices of Indigenous resistance on Turtle Island

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 7 p.m.
1455 de Maisonneuve West, H-110
near Guy-Concordia metro
Wheelchair accessible.
Event is free.

This special panel features frontline Indigenous activists who are resisting the destruction and displacement of their lands on Turtle Island (occupied "North America"). Speakers include:

Elizabeth (Tshankuesh) Penashue
Innu elder from Nitassinan (Labrador)
Elizabeth was born and raised into a traditional hunting and trapping family whose way of life was devastated by the flooding of their lands and the destruction of hunting equipment. Elizabeth has raised awareness andresisted the militarization and appropriation of Innu territory by NATO low-level military flying exercises out of Goose Bay over land that the Innu use for hunting and fishing. She has also opposed the further development of the Churchill River to power mainly settler communities in the south.

Judy Da Silva
Anishinabekwe from Grassy Narrows, northwestern Ontario. Judy is the mother of 5 children, fighting to protect the way of life of the Anishnabe people. She is active in resisting the environmental devastation and destruction of the land, animals and people, by logging and mining companies and the provincial and federal governments. She is currently involved in an environmental contaminants study of three northwestern Ontario Indigenous communities.

Introduced by Laith Marouf of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). Laith has visited and worked in solidarity with various First Nations across Turtle island and has lectured on the similarity of the struggles forself-determination here and in Palestine. For the past decade he has organized with SPHR and currently is the Branches Coordinator at the National Office of the organization.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I Love American Barriers To Trade

I rarely post just how I feel about things. But I’ve heard so much “Canada opposes American protectionism” that I just have to write something to the contrary.

I live in Canada, and I support American protectionism. I am anti-trade. I am an enemy of the global market economy. I believe in bioregionalism and localized, small-scale economies. In this regard by all means refer to my “How to” post of October 4th, 2005.

I think that American protectionism is a big step toward the protection of the Boreal forest in Canada. The recent softwood lumber dispute was portrayed conventionally as a slight against Canadians by the big American forest industry. However, abominable wreckage is done to forests in Canada to feed American markets. There’s nothing dignified or professional about the forest industry in Canada. It is done in ways that are illegal, but the weight of the law never lands on the natural resource profiteers. In Canada, the weight of the law only ever falls on the people who try to defend the forest.

The Boreal Forest (just in case you have not yet been made aware) is a very large factor that contributes to the regulation of the global climate. Furthermore, it is the habitat of many beautiful animals and medicinal plants. I believe in the conservation of the Boreal Forest.

I believe in small-scale, sustainable forestry like that done by Nathan Keeshig on the Bruce Peninsula. Nathan takes extraordinary care of a forest that maintains – to the trained eye – its old growth dignity.

I hope that American protectionism will be the beginning of the end for natural resource piracy in Canada. The strip mines on Cape Breton Island and the Tar Sands in Alberta all have to stop.

That’s all for now. I hope you get me. Good night.