Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Earth Hour 2008 starts 8 PM in Toronto


Saturday, March 29, 2008
8:00pm - 9:00pm
Toronto, ON

On March 29, 2008, the City of Toronto will join cities around the world in literally "turning out the lights" for Earth Hour, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) event to raise awareness about climate change and symbolize that, working together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against global warming. Officially announced in December 2007 at the United Nations Climate Change meeting, Earth Hour has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and as many as 20 cities in 2008.

Toronto will be the flagship city in Canada to commemorate Earth Hour 2008. Our goal is to get thousands of businesses and individuals to participate in this historic event, so we can show the nation and the world that Toronto is a leader in addressing climate change, one of the most critical issues facing our world today.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Bikechain Movie Night this Thrusday: Klunkerz and Still We Ride

Bikechain is presenting two documentaries - Klunderz: A History of the Mountain Bike and Still We Ride (about the August 2004 Critical Mass in New York City) - this Thursday, 28 February 2008, from 7 to 9 PM in the Cumberland Room of the International Student Cetre at 33 St. George Street.

See the I Bike TO blog post here for more information.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Appeal for Ardoch Algonquin First Nation fighting Uranium Mine

Melodie Carew, of Dandelion Food & Herb comments on "Bob Lovelace to Serve Six Months In Jail," a 15 February 2008 press releave from the Christian Peacemaker Teams:

"Bob, the Ardoch Algonquins, and others have been fighting this uranium mine for quite some time now. The mining interests are making an example of him by treating his activism with a harsh hand.

Please spread the word on this to any one that you know that might want to help...Donate if you can.

Also please get in touch with me, if you would be interested in helping organize a benefit."

From the press release:

"Kingston Regional Police took Bob Lovelace away from the courthouse in handcuffs this morning to serve a six month sentence on a contempt of court charge handed down by Justice Douglas Cunningham. Lovelace, age fifty-nine, is an ex-chief and spokesperson for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN). He is also father to seven children and an instructor at Queen's University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College. Justice Cunningham imposed a fine of $25,000 on Lovelace and $10,000 on his community.

Lovelace said "I am in a dilemma. I want to obey Canadian law but Algonquin law instructs me that I must preserve Creation. I must follow Algonquin law." Judge Cunningham in his sentencing said, "There can only be one law - the law of Canada as expressed in this court."


Chris Reid, lawyer for AAFN, noted that there were other options available to the involved parties which would have prevented this outcome. The Province of Ontario could have removed the claimed land from the lands available to be staked and explored. Further, he observed "The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that all provinces have a duty to consult with First Nations who have even a weak claim on land before they permit any development. Ontario has not consulted with any Algonquin band about this claim".

Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is a federally-unrecognized community and so does not receive funding from any government. They urgently need support for costs related to Bob's defence. They are asking supporters to please send donations, made out to: "Chris Reid, in trust for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation" at the address below:

Christopher M. Reid
Barrister & Solicitor
154 Monarch Park Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 4R6
Tel: (416) 466-9928
Fax: (416) 466-1852"

See Ardoch Algonquin spokesperson fined and jailed for trying to prevent uranium mining on Algonquin lands, the 16 February 2008 CPT newsletter for more information.

29th Rhubarb Festival is underway.

From Festival Director Erika Hennebury...Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents The 29th Rhubarb Festival - Canada's Premier New Works Festival from February 29th to March 2nd, 2008:

The Rhubarb Festival returns following a one-year hiatus. At this year’s Rhubarb, we’re offering close to one hundred participating artists a critic-free environment in which to play and experiment -- and, after suffering through a ‘Rhubarb-Free’ 2007, we are dying to sample this year’s bounty!

Rhubarb is a great chance to catch one-of-a-kind performances, cruise installations, meet the artists, socialize and dance the night away in Tallulah’s Cabaret. Rhubarb is Canada’s oldest new works fest and is notorious for showcasing the most outrageous acts you’ll catch all year-round. The 29th Rhubarb Festival line-up features radical new hybrids of dance, theatre, video, stand-up, musical theatre, opera, animation, storytelling and rock ‘n’ roll - all under one roof.

Evening Passes are available for a lean $15, and that gets you in to your choice of shows and events scheduled for that evening.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

MEC wins 2008 National Award in Governance


Mountain Equipment Co-op is the overall winer of the Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart 2008 National Awards in Governance, for its implementation of a sustainability strategy.

In addition to the overall winner, awards for governance achievements in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors were presented at the February 11 gala dinner and ceremony in Toronto. MEC was the winner in the not-for-profit category.

Visitation and Memorial Celebration for Founding Member of Urbane Cyclist

Eugene Yao, a founding member of Urbane Cyclist, passed away peacefully on February 12th, 2008. He is survived by his wife Winnie, and his children Claire and Ryan.

His dedication to the co-operative movement and his actions on behalf of making Toronto a better place will be missed.

The visitation will be at the Cardinal Funeral Home Bathurst Chapel (366 Bathurst Street; 416-603-1444) from 3 to 9 PM this Friday (February 22nd), and the service is starting at 10 AM this Saturday.

There is also a memorial gathering to celebrate his life at the Cecil Community Centre (58 Cecil Street, 416-392-1090) starting at 4 PM this Saturday.

In honour of Eugene, the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD - 100 McCaul Street, 416-977-1600) has created an award to support excellence in bicycle design. In lieu of flowers, donations to the "Eugen Yao Urbane Cyclist Bicycle Design Award Fund" may be sent to OCAD or the Urbane Cyclist.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Countdown to change in Iran (LabourStart appeal)

From a recent LabourStart email:

In another three weeks, on 6 March, trade unions around the world are holding an international day of action in solidarity with the workers of Iran.

As you probably know, the Iranian government has been arresting workers who have stood up and tried to organize unions -- including Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi, who both languish in jails despite continuing health problems.

This repression is in violation of International Labour Organization core conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- the 60th anniversary of which we observe this year. That Declaration states that "everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."

It is our job to turn that promise into reality for workers everywhere -- including inside the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We have been asked by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for the day of action, to mobilize thousands of trade unionists online.

Please take a moment and send off a message to the Iranian leaders demanding respect for workers' rights and freedom for jailed trade unionists.

To sign the letter, go to Act Now!-Iran: Release jailed workers, respect rights.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Invitation from Tinto: Latin American art & culture series Feb. 15th

An invitation from Tinto
Una invitación de Tinto
Our Latin American Art & Culture series continues this Friday 15th at 7:30 p.m. with two more screenings of videos directed by Toronto based Jorge Lozano.

Puerto Rican Obituary - Pedro Pietri
Upon his discharge from the Army, Pietri affiliated himself with a Puerto Rican Civil Rights activist group called the Young Lords. In 1969, he read for the first time his most renown poem, "Puerto Rican Obituary". The poem which was published in 1973, tells about five Puerto Ricans who travel to New York in search of a better way of life only to find hardships and suffer heartbreaks.

Pietri, helped found the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, together with Miguel Piñero and Miguel Algarín. The Cafe is an institution where many Puerto Rican intellectuals perform. Pietri wrote the play "El Puerto Rican Embassy". The theme was that an island, which was neither an independent nation nor a state of the United States, should have an embassy. The idea for the play came about Pietri's nationalistic views.

During the performance, he would sing "The Spanglish National Anthem" and hand out simulated "Puerto Rican passports".

Paquita La del Barrio
She started her career in Ciudad de México in 1970. In her songs she takes a stance against Mexico's sexist male culture, which has made her popular especially with female audiences. She is known for her common song themes of women empowerment and man bashing; her signature phrase, with which she often teases male spectators in her shows, is "¿Me estás oyendo, inútil?" (Are you listening, good-for-nothing?). Many of Paquita's albums and songs are jukebox staples in Mexican clubs and cantinas, probably her best known song is Rata de dos patas (Two-legged rat)

Tinto Coffee House
Fair Trade - Latin American - Organic
89 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto M6R 2K6
Ph/Fx 416-530-5885

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Canada's Co-ops, Credit Unions Show More Interest in Issues of Poverty

From the Centre for the Study of Education and Work's Email Newsletter for the week of February 3rd, 2008:


Over the past five years Canadian co-op and credit union members have
become more interested in issues of poverty and development around the
world, and are more supportive of co-operative efforts to ease poverty in
the developing world. Those are two of the findings in the latest national
survey by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA).

Of the respondents to the survey, nearly 74 per cent strongly support the
efforts of Canadian co-operatives and credit unions - through the CCA - to ease
poverty around the world. Three similar surveys over the past five years
have shown a steady increase in awareness of the issue and support for
CCA’s efforts. Over the five year period, the percentage of respondents
who strongly support co-operative involvement in international development
has increased by nearly 18 per cent.

The three surveys were administered for CCA by Iolaire Consulting of Antigonish, NS.

For more information, contact John Julian, Director, International
Communications & Policy at

Monday, 4 February 2008

Amnesty International Conference on Business and Human Rights this Saturday

From Sucheta Rajagopal - Hampton Securities Ltd.:

On Saturday February 9th at Metro Hall, Amnesty International has organized a one day conference on Business and Human Rights, as a kick off to their Share Power campaign.

In the morning, there will be an SRI panel with Gillian Stein, Jantzi Research's mining analyst, Ian Bragg from Kingsdale Shareholder Services discussing mutual fund proxy voting records on social and environmental issues, Paula Glick from Jantzi Research talking about bold moves by pension plans around the world, and Roger Langen from the OSSTF talking about their efforts to get more social responsibility into the Teachers and OMERS pension plans.

Lunch follows, along with our keynote speaker, Bruce Cox, the Executive Director of Greenpeace.

The afternoon panel focuses on mining with Prof. Dirk Matten from the Schulich School of Business at York, Catherine Coumans of Mining Watch and Ulises Garcia, the protagonist of the film 'Tambogrande: Mining Mangoes and Murder' about his struggle against gold mining on his land in Peru.

Ian Heide, past President of Amnesty Canada and member of the national
Business & Human Rights Steering Committee, will host the day.

Workshops and lunch are provided free of charge, thanks to our sponsors Acuity Funds, Alterna Savings, Mavrix Funds, Meritas Mutual Funds and Alternative Grounds.

But we need to know how many people to plan for so please register in advance by emailing:

This promises to be an exciting and informative day, and I encourage you to attend.

Thanks, see you there!