Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Call for Toronto Youth Submission - Toronto Palestine Film Festival

From the Toronto Palestine Film Festival:

Call for Toronto Youth Submission

Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) 2008 is pleased to announce the
"Show Us Your Toronto!" Youth Competition. Young filmmakers in Toronto
and the Greater Toronto Area are encouraged to make short films (no
longer than 3 minutes) about what it means to them to be Torontonian
given their diverse heritage, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
There will be 7 winning entries and these will be premiered before
each night's program.

The objective of TPFF's Youth Competition is to allow our youth
audience to explore their identity as a concept of their perception of
who they are and how their surrounding environments have shaped them.
This competition will allow youth to use the medium of film to express
their views, and actively play a role in conveying the parallels in
the narratives of Torontonian and Palestinian youth. Given the
diversity of both these communities, TPFF is proud to showcase a
vibrant array of creative film submissions from yet-to-be-discovered,
young, artistic talents.

Conceived by Palestine House, the Festival is an important component
of the year-long activities commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the
Nakba. The Nakba, "the catastrophe" in Arabic, describes the 1948
expulsion of the indigenous population from Palestine. Organizers of
TPFF came together to highlight the often neglected, suppressed and
distorted Palestinian narrative, a collective experience similar to
indigenous peoples in Canada and in other countries around the world.
While highlighting the work of Palestinian filmmakers, the Festival
will showcase the diverse and creative work of all filmmakers (any
nationality) exploring both historic and contemporary themes related
to Palestinian identities, culture, and narrative.

While the Palestinian Diaspora in Toronto has been growing, there is
little mainstream knowledge about Palestinian history, culture and
arts. TPFF emerged out of calls for such knowledge by community
leaders and members. Since cinema is a powerful means for visually
interpreting the collective identity and historic struggle of the
Palestinian people, we hope to create an opening in the artistic field
within Toronto, in attempts to contribute to the multi-cultural and
diverse nature of this city. The "Show Us Your Toronto" Youth
Competition will be an integral means of organically creating this

See their Submission page for details.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Support for Migrant Farmworker, Hermelindo Gutierrez

This appeal came via email from a colleague for a colleague, one Salimah Valiani - apparently an Ottawa-based labour and immigration activist; loooks good to me:

Support for Migrant Farmworker, Hermelindo Gutierrez

Dear Friends,

Please see below for a brief description of the situation
of migrant worker and his family looking to remain in Canada
for emergency health reasons.

This worker has committed to Canadian farming for the past
several years, and now risks deportation because he fell
ill along the way. One of the most harrowing thoughts is
whether the kidney failure actually is linked to working
conditions on the farm. As you know, several toxicchemicals
are used in farms, with little or no protection
and information provided to migrant farm workers in Canada.

If you have the time, please do sign the petition at the
link below in suport of Hermelindo Gultierrez's application
for permanent residency on humantiarian and compassionate grounds.

Even if it does little to change the minds of Citizenship
and Immigration, I am sure that more signatures will help
raise the spirits and determination of Hermelindo and his family.

In solidarity,

URGENT Action Needed to Save Wind Energy Development in Ontario

From the latest Anarres Natural Health newsletter:

URGENT Action Needed to Save Wind Energy Development in Ontario

Anarres Natural Health Clinic, as part of my home, is 100% powered by wind generated electricity. I am a member of WindShare, as well as a Green Tag purchaser. Now more than ever, the viability of our cooperative and the development of renewable energy is threatened, with new rules, seemingly cooked up for the benefit of nuclear power developers, that make it virtually impossible to develop new projects where these are most needed.

The Premier will be attending the World Wind Energy Conference in Kingston, Ontario June 23rd. We have a short window of opportunity to let him know that these changes are detrimental to the sector and a potential embarrassment to his government on the international stage.

New changes include:
1. No new community or other renewable projects will be processed until the Fall.
2. Most of Ontario is off-limits to new renewable development, including Toronto and most of Northern Ontario (i.e. all orange and yellow zones in the attached map).
3. Limitations on project connection. This rule will limit who can participate and where.

These rule changes and suspensions were introduced with no warning or stakeholder engagement and contradict every basic principle of effective renewable energy policy making, namely the need for a stable, clear, consistent and fair policy environment.

Please send an email to the premier ASAP and copy your MPP. You can find your MPPs email address here:

For detailed information and a sample letter or email, please contact me at Thank you for your attention and support.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Canadian Labour International Film Festival coming to Toronto in 2009

An announcement regarding Canada's first labour-oriented film festival from TORONTOpedia:

MAGINE A WORLD where thousands of films are made about workers and the conditions under which they live, work, fight, and succeed in their daily lives!

In 2009, Toronto will see the first-ever Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF). This will also mark the first ever labour-oriented film festival in Canada.

The world of labour has found it increasingly difficult to communicate its message as fewer and fewer people have greater control over the means of communication — the media.

It is more important than ever that working people be able to tell their own stories in their own words and in their own images.

With the wide availability of digital still and video cameras, camera-phones, and other tools, activists can now make their stories — but still find it difficult to exhibit their narratives.

CLiFF will be that venue, the first of many throughout Canada, we hope, and around the world.

Not only do we want to show films, we want to encourage MAKING films to show at this and other festivals.

We want to partner with any and all organizations friendly to those who do work, those who represent workers, and those who advocate on the behalf of workers. We also want to work with those whose mission it is to tell the stories of workers.

We also plan to create partnerships with organizations that teach the arts of film-making. Visit our website to see things as they develop and (please) send us ideas.


Website: [WWW]

Monday, 9 June 2008

Ethical Trading Forum Igniting the Flame for a Sweat-free Olympics

A recent notice from the Maquila Solidarity Network's Ethical Trading Action Group regarding their Igniting the flame for a sweat-free Olympics Ethical Trading Forum:

Forum participants will discuss and debate:

* Can workers making Olympic-branded products expect fair labour practices?
* How far and how fast do sportswear brands need to go to improve wages and working conditions?
* Does "made in China" equal "poor working conditions"?
* What can companies, governments, trade unions and NGOs do to promote and protect worker rights in China?

Speakers at the forum will include:

* Doug Miller, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation
* Monina Wong, Labour Action China, Hong Kong
* Caitlin Morris, Director of Compliance, Integration and Collaboration, Nike Inc.
* Ann Duffy, Corporate Sustainability Officer, VANOC
* Ginny Coughlin, Global Strategies Director, UNITE HERE!
* Jim Sinclair, President, British Columbia Federation of Labour
* Kevin Thomas, Director of Advocacy, Maquila Solidarity Network

For more information on the forum, as well as a flyer to download,
please go to:

The forum is co-sponsored by the BC Federation of Labour, the Canadian
Labour Congress, the Ethical Trading Action Group, and the New
Westminster and Vancouver labour councils.

To register, please contact the CLC Pacific Regional Office:, 604-430-6766. (Registration fee: $30 civil society
organizations; $50 companies; $10 students.)

Thank you.

Lynda Yanz
Coordinator, Maquila Solidarity Network
Secretariat, Ethical Trading Action Group

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Taste for Justice 2008 at Tinto

A message from Tinto Coffee House:

Tinto is glad to join forces with you in supporting Amnesty International.

From June 1 - 15, 2008 we take part in Taste for Justice. This fundraising campaign puts food and justice together.

We will donate 20% of the sales from the Amnesty Special Menu to AI so they may continue their work toward the universal protection of Human Rights.

This will be the third year in a row that you and us are together in Taste for Justice.

The Amnesty International Special Menu includes Spicy Chicken Summer Wrap, Sasuauge Grilled Wrap, Guava & Fresh Orange Juice Smoothie, Red Iced Tea and Tipsy Revuelto.