Sunday, 20 December 2009

Fun in the St. Clair West Community

On Friday night, as I was leaving one of the many parties I’ve been attending over the week (and into the weekend), the host asked me to stay longer. It was midnight, which was far later than I’d intended on staying. I told her that I had a big day the next day. She asked what I was doing, and I began to explain with excitement my plans.

"Wake up and walk to the Cedarvale bridge for sunrise, go to the Wychwood farmers market and film the heritage PCC vehicles opening the St. Clair streetcar." She said, ‘that’s what you call fun social plans?’. I said, ‘oh yes, it’s a lot of fun.’

She said, "you’re strange.”

As I went home, I thought about what I consider to be fun social plans. Not to say, I don’t enjoy being with new and old friends at gatherings, listening to live music and dancing. But what truly gives me comfort and pleasure is celebrating community. Yesterday was just that and I’m not the only one that had a good time.

There was a lot of people in the community celebrating. We laughed, we listened to the Hillcrest choir (which was on one of the two streetcars), and swapped stories from the early days of the St. Clair streetcar.
I was videotaping the event for Joe TV (http://www.joemihevc.com). I’ll be spending Christmas day editing. Probably a strange way to spend Christmas but I like it.

I took these pictures with my still camera. I'll post the final video from the event after Christmas.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Support Toronto Women's Bookstore in their hour of need

In a recent Torontoist.com article, Suzannah Showler reports that the Toronto Women's Bookstore is on the brink, needing $40,000 in order to stay open for the next three months.

For anyone doing some last minute holiday shopping, please consider getting over to Harbord Street and showing your support, after all...

'If the store closes, it will be a loss of something more than just purveyor of books. "We’re not just a bookstore," Bourgeois says, "Our mandate has always been to fight oppression. Bookselling is what allows us to stay alive as a non-profit organization, but it’s just one part of what we do. We hold events of all kinds: book launches, workshops, readings. We have a great relationship with the academic community, and we also partner with other organizations doing meaningful frontline work with some with of the most disadvantaged members of this city. We’ll be losing a member of a thriving community if the Toronto Women’s Bookstore closes."'

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

homemade fruit cakes at Java Mama

they will be available at Java Mama 1075 Bathurst Street-at Vermont-from Wed. Dec 15th on
open 1-7 daily-closed on tuesdays

please reserve by email or come in
$20 a pound
cakes are a pound each more or less.-sold by weight

booze free
7 kinds of dried fruits-mango,pineapple,craisins,raisins,prunes,unsulphured apricots,dates,
raw carrots and raw apples
3 kinds of nuts-walnuts,almonds,pecans
honey/butter/eggs

simple packaging


javamama.susan@gmail.com

Monday, 23 November 2009

Bicycling in Toronto, Nov.24th TorontotheBetter movie - QUESTIONS and IDEAS

- What new uses for bikes and biking in Toronto do you recommend?

- How can we make Toronto workplaces more bike-friendly?

AND PLEASE post any other questions/suggestions you have about
biking for a Better Toronto.suggestioo

Monday, 16 November 2009

Buy Nothing Day morphs into a Wildcat General Strike on November 27

We are glad to repost this notice from the Adbusters email list:


There is only one way to avoid the collapse of this human experiment of ours on Planet Earth: we have to consume less. So this November 27 (November 28 in Europe and overseas), we’re calling for a Wildcat General Strike.

We’re asking tens of millions of people around the world to bring the capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt. We want you to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day. We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse – not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.


...To learn more and to get involved, visit the Buy Nothing Day web page.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Simply Raw kicks off 2009-2010 TorontotheBetter movie series

On Oct. 27th TorontotheBetter kicked off its 2009-2010 movie series with a successful screening of Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, which showed what happened when 6 diabetics took up the challenge of the Dr. Gabriel Cousens' "Tree of Life Rejuvenation Centre" to go cold turkey onto raw food for 30 days. While the flick is a feelgood vindication of the Tree of Life method - hint: noone's diabetes got worse with less insulin (understatement) - it certainly got the audience thinking about the practical consequences for their body of the type of food they eat. Thanks to Nutritionist Lisa Villary who answered questions from the audience about things like "Are there any obese vegans?" One audience member confirmed that yes, it's possible! Watch how much you eat, not just what.

The next TorontotheBetter movie is Pedal Power [about biking in Toronto] on Tuesday Nov.24th, again at OISE. of course, its not enough just to eat as well as we saw in Simply Raw; we have to exercise. TorontotheBetter movies build relevant life skills, obviously! Movie co-director Chris Sumton will be on hand, with a speaker from Toronto's Community Bicycle network, to answer questions.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Toronto Cyclists Union Fundraiser; 28 October 2009

Everyone's probably already been invited to the Toronto Cyclists Union's Cocktail and Masquerade Fundraiser, but just in case, here are the details:


Toronto Cyclists Union Fundraiser: Cocktail and Masquerade

Oct. 28th, 6pm @ Steamwhistle’s Roundhouse ** 2 part event - Reception & Party**
Please join us for this very special evening. Together we are building a bike-friendly Toronto.

The evening will include:
* Special Intimate Performances by top Canadian entertainers Molly Johnson (http://mollyjohnson.com) & Coco Love Alcorn (http://www.cocolovealcorn.com)
* Silent auction 6-9, raffle 9-12 featuring great bikes, great items from businesses in Southern Ontario, and other bikephenalia
* Open bar 6-9, delectable finger foods and fine Canadian beer, wine and spirits
* Bike expo featuring Toronto’s top bike shops showcasing the latest and greatest in 2010 cycling technology
* Oyster Bar at 7pm with Celebrity Shucker, David Donnelly, of Donnelly LPC

If there was ever a time to get behind our city's most dedicated, and high profile cycling advocates, it's now. Thanks in large part to the Toronto Cyclists Union, our city's first member-based cycling advocacy organisation, cycling issues are now most definitely on the map in Toronto. If you've ever cared about improving conditions for cyclists in this city, and about getting bikes meaningfully incorporated into our transportation system, now is the time to show support for the first group with real traction. Whether or not you have joined yet as a member, we represent your interests as a cyclist. We have some real momentum, but we need your help to keep it going.

Brought to you by:

The Toronto Cyclists Union - the face of the new, and much needed, bike advocacy in Toronto – the voice of optimism and pragmatism, of a common effort to work toward a more harmonious and efficient way to move our city. We are growing but we need you to be a part of that growth. All funds raised will go directly towards maintaining the ongoing operational and project costs of our still nascent, but already well respected organisation - one that has finally filled the gap in cycling advocacy in Toronto.

Oct. 28th @ Steamwhistle’s Roundhouse

* 6 to 9pm - Masquerade Cocktail Reception: Special Guests (musical & political), Open bar, Cocktail Catering & Silent Auction - $100 single, $150 couple
* 9pm to 12am - Masquerade 'Bike Love' Party: Live Music, DJs for dancing, Cash bar and Raffle - $25 single, $40 couple

** Buy tickets here: https://bikeunion.to/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1

Please consider purchasing tickets, or making a contribution, even if you are unable to attend.

Message from Executive Director, Yvonne Bambrick - http://www.youtube.com/v/bQ513765R8A

Supporters: Bicycle Trade Association of Canada, Sweet Pete’s, Steamwhistle, Opus, Specialized, Donnelly LPC, Spacing, Positive Change, Bikes Without Borders, Urbane, and more...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Cine-Cuba Toronto Film Festival opens on Oct. 22nd

CINE-CUBA Toronto Film Festival runs from Thursday Oct.22 to Friday Oct.23rd,2009
at the Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave.
For details see: http://revuecinema.ca/

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Public Launch of Asia Floor Wage Campaign

From the 7 Ocotober 2009 Maquila Solidarity wire:

Asian Floor Wage Campaign seeks to end poverty wages

Today workers' rights groups in over a dozen countries throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas are participating in the public launch of the Asia Floor Wage Campaign (AFWC). The campaign is demanding a common minimum living wage for garment workers across the Asian region, in order to stop the destructive race to the bottom on wages and labour standards - which is being fueled in part by companies moving production between countries in the region in search of ever-cheaper labour costs.

To this end the AFWC has calculated a minimum living wage (Asia Floor Wage) for the region as a whole, which has been standardized so that it can be easily converted to national currencies in key Asian garment-producing countries. The AFWC now turns its efforts to campaigning for the adoption of the Asian Floor Wage across the region.

For more information and links, visit Worker rights group launch Asia Floor Wage Campaign.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Tinto Events: Visual Voices for a Better Toronto & About the Olympics

Two events worth checking out at Tinto Coffee House:


Libra Information Services and TorontoTheBetter presents Visual Voices for a Better Toronto: An exhibit of photographs that represent a better Toronto until October 7.


Plus, Vancouver 2010 means Olympic Games. But what does that mean?...

Come to Tinto on Wednesday, September 30th at 7 pm to share some of the wealth of valuable information and insight into the many implications of the games for Vancouver and beyond.

Hear it all from John Richmond. John lives in Toronto but he grew up in Vancouver. He is now back to Toronto from an extended stay in the region. He'll tell us about the people and places that are going to be impacted by the long-lasting but already palpable effects of the games.
John says that the people know what the games means for them, and so does the government. And they are both taking steps, because the effects of the Olympics, which would normally only become apparent after the event, are already leaving their mark.

Join us, for free, to hear it from John Richmond and engage in a dialogue and discussion that is sure to be informing and thought-provoking.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

To Do Today: Sign up for Whole Foods class and Vote for Green Party

Today is an important day for two reasons. Firstly, today is the last chance to sign-up for Cooking for Health – Diabetes class, happening at Whole Foods Market – Yorkville this Tuesday September 22nd @ 6:30pm. I guarantee you’ll be feed, meet interesting people, and learn something new. Go on now, and call Whole Foods @ 416-944-0500 or better yet, visit them (it’s a lovely store) at 87 Avenue road.

Secondly, if you’re in the St. Paul’s riding, today is by-election day. This blog is usually about wellness and not politics. I’m going to tell you why I’m voting for the Green Party and how that's related to wellness.

Every election I vote for the Green party. Sure it’s always the party that’s a guaranteed loose and those strategic voters call it a wasted vote. I still vote for them. Why? Because wellness issues like the environment, personal health, equality and human rights are issues I care about and so does the Green Party. I’m tired of the three main parties taking over at debates. I’m tired of the bitching and stabbing they do to one another. I know that I’m not the only one that’s tired.

This election is particularly important to me because I actually know the candidate. I’d call him a friend.
Chris Chopik lives the life that the Green Party stands for. He has done more to clean up, bring awareness, create bonds, friendship and connections within this community than any of the other candidates. He’s easy to talk to, non-judgmental, and cares about the future of our city and the impact it has on the earth. I couldn’t think of a better person to take on the job.

If you live in St. Paul’s and haven’t voted already, think about your loyalty and what your party has done for you. Think about change and accepting the new. If we all gave the little guy a chance, we might just make some big gains. On that note, I’m heading out shortly to vote for the Green Party. We will return to our regular wellness blog programming tomorrow...new recipe to be posted!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Workers Cooperatives: Possibilities and Limitations; Saturday September 19, 2009

Workers Cooperatives: Possibilities and Limitations

Saturday September 19, 2009; 2pm-4pm

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto; Room 8-280

Speakers:
J.J. McMurtry, York University, Editor of Living Economics: Canadian Perspectives on the Social Economy, Co-operatives, and Community Economic Development

Wesley Morgan, McMaster University / Abiwin Housing Co-operative

Simone Schmidt, Punchclock Artists Workers Cooperative


Sponsored by Common Cause, Pan-African Solidarity Network (U of T), Toronto Anarchist Discussion Group



J.J. McMurtry holds a doctorate in Social and Political Thought from York University. His research focuses on linking contemporary social, political and economic theory with the practice of co-operatives and the social economy using a life-theory perspective. He has also been active in a number of movements and organizations for over two decades including co-operative businesses, a research firm, unions at the local and national level, as well as various community and volunteer organizations.

Wesley Morgan is currently on parental leave from a dissertation looking at collectivization and self-management in the Barcelona area during the Spanish Civil War/ Revolution, focusing on the food and textile industries. Wesley is also currently a board member of the Abiwin Housing Co-operative in Ottawa.

Simone Schmidt is a member/owner of Punchclock - Punchclock is a trans-disciplinary democratic organization of cultural workers, political activists and trades people operating out of and around two hives functioning as collective metal and screen printing studios. Our mandates are economic sustainability and artistic direct action.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Left Feet says goodbye to Nassau Street

Steven Fish from Left Feet has the following news:


Left Feet has called Kensington Market home since the December of 2004 and this winter would have marked the shops fifth anniversary on Nassau Street. I am disappointed to announce that we were unable to secure a new lease for this location and Left Feet must find a new home. The last day at 88 Nassau St. will be Friday September 11th, 2009.

While the store is in transition, I will continue to accept special orders for Vegetarian Shoes and mail order footwear anywhere in Canada. All of my contact information will stay the same so please continue to call or email with your questions.



If you are in the area before the 11th, please drop by and say your goodbyes to the shop -

all of our Fall stock will be 25% off and Summer stock will be 50% off.



Opening Left Feet to the public has been a tremendous experience so far and getting the chance to meet so many of you in person has made it all worthwhile. Thank you for your part in making this happen. Despite all the challenges of running a shoe shop with a vegan only/sweatshop free policy, your continued support and words of encouragement have kept me inspired and Left Feet going for the past 5 years.

Green Enterprise Toronto News & Job Posting, September 2009

Chris Lowry is stepping aside as Executive Director of Green Enterprise Toronto, with the following announcement:


Dear GET Members and Friends,

After four years growing the organization and our remarkable community of 300+ members, the GET Steering Committee has decided to expand the mandate of GET to 'go big' and become a regional green business alliance. With great pride in our accomplishments, I am writing to let you know that I am stepping aside as Founding Executive Director of Green Enterprise Toronto.

GET is poised to become the new voice of business in the GTA and beyond. We intend to move from strength to strength, building on the solid foundation of excellent programming and partnerships, enabled by the substantial trust, respect and brand loyalty that GET has earned to date. The organization needs new leadership to take us to the next level, to expand our membership and the scope of our work. GET will offer common voice and policy influence to the hundreds of medium sized companies in southern Ontario that are working hard to become sustainable, to convert the grey industrial economy to green through eco-smart manufacturing, clean tech, renewable energy, and a triple bottom line appoach to all kinds of business. As the new collective voice of sustainable business in the GTA, we can do what other industry associations can't do; we can influence policy and respond the the challenges ahead with a common commitment to people and planet as well as profit.

GET is committed to continue to serve the entrepreneurs and small, local living economy businessss in our network. Your membership benefits will continue and new benefits will be added. At the same time, more medium-sized companies (19-100 employees) will be joining GET with the expectation of achieving new levels of peer-to-peer cooperatioin and policy influence.

As Founding ED, I will serve on the GET Steering Committee and I will continue to work with GET on programming, special events, and communications. I look forward to continuing work with many of you.

Warm regards,

Chris Lowry

Job Posting: Executive Director, Green Enterprise Toronto—GET

Are you a tree hugger trapped inside a business suit? Are you the visionary who ‘gets’ how green business is great business? Are you looking for a way to reconcile your skills and your values? Got a bit of energy and feel like leading a revolution?

Green Enterprise Toronto is looking for a new Executive Director to become a key player in the greening of North America’s fourth largest urban market. If you love big challenges and got business creds to boot, this is the job for you!

GET believes that Toronto can become a sustainable city by supporting its local, green businesses. Through market research, consumer awareness campaigns and building the capacity of locally-owned businesses, GET is the necessary catalyst to make this vision a reality.

We’ve spent the last four years building up our network of 300+ green businesses and it’s time to take advantage of it! As the new leader of this network, you would become the voice of green business in Ontario. With the right amount of passion, vision, and drive, this job opportunity can become a part of ground-breaking change in the business sector.

We need to be clear. This position won’t be a cakewalk. There are no gianormous pay cheques – you will have to raise your own salary. Small businesses can be a bit like herding cats. And the steering committee is full of wily entrepreneurs with too many ideas. For the right person, this is an amazing opportunity.

If we haven’t scared you yet, tell us all about yourself. Send a resume and letter to:

Application Deadline: September 25
Apply to GET Steering Committee, Tonya Surman @ tonya@socialinovation.ca

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Nike, Gap and Adidas on the Honduras coup and other brand name labour news

With thanks to, and in solidarity with, the Maquila Solidarity Wire (July28,2009)...

APPAREL BRANDS OPERATING IN HONDURAS CALL FOR PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OFCOUP
A group of apparel brands sourcing products from Honduras havewritten to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing theirconcern over the situation in Honduras following June's military coup.The brands, which include Nike, Gap and The adidas Group, called forthe situation to be "resolved through peaceful, democratic dialogue,rather than through military action." » Read more [4]

SUPPORT THAI AND FILIPINO WORKERS AGAINST TRIUMPHABUSES Triumph International supplier, Body Fashion Thailand, announced onJune 29th that it would lay off half of its 4200 workers. In the Philippines 1660 Triumph garment workers will lose their jobs by theend of August due to closures. In both countries Triumph has failed to conduct transparentnegotiations with factory workers' unions as required by internationallabour standards. Please join the Clean Clothes Campaign in writing toTriumph's CEO to urge him to restart the process of reduction of theworkforce in close co-operation with the unions and in a transparentmanner . »Take Action [5]

Maquila Solidarity Network LAUNCHES WEBPAGE DOCUMENTING DEVELOPMENTS IN HONDURAS
On June 28, 2009, the democratically-elected President of Honduras,Manuel Zelaya, was kidnapped, put on a plane, and exiled by theHonduran military. Since then civil liberties have been suspended,journalists expelled, and critics of the coup have been detained andviolently suppressed. MSN is working with Honduran and international organizations topush for the restoration of democracy in Honduras. As part of itsefforts MSN has set up a webpage to keep track of responses to thecoup as well as other developments. » Visit webpage [6] » Visit us on del.icio.us [7] MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK address phone The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) is a labour and womens rightsorganization that supports the efforts of workers in global supplychains to win improved wages and working conditions and a betterquality of life. We welcome your donations [8]. + [9] Unless otherwise noted, all work in this message is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 CanadaLicense [10].
[1]
http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=286&qid=12131 [2]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=287&qid=12131 [3]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=288&qid=12131 [4]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=280&qid=12131 [5]
http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=281&qid=12131
[6]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=282&qid=12131 [7]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=283&qid=12131 [8]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=284&qid=12131 [9]http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=285&qid=12131 [10] http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/sites/maquilasolidarity.civicrm.ca/
modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=285&qid=12131
[11]
http://secure.civicrm.ca/http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/subscribe&reset=1 [12]
http://secure.civicrm.ca/http://secure.civicrm.ca/maquilasolidarity.org/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/unsubscribe&reset=1&jid=84&qid=12131&h=dd82ccda5f2bafc3 [13]
http://secure.civicrm.ca/o.1.84.12131.dd82ccda5f2bafc3@network.maquilasolidarity.org

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

2 Notices from Holistic Cooking: Open House & Unjust Restaurant Pricing

The Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada asked us to post two items of intererest:

1.
The Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada Presents

An Open House
at 34 May Avenue
Richmond Hill
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
August 22, 09

10 – 11 a.m. Greet, mix and mingle, Meet Water Expert, Frank Reid, who will do a water filter talk. Meet holistic teacher Patricia Watt, RHN, who will serve ginger ale and beet kvass, our specialist in fermented foods to build friendly flora for cancer prevention. .

11 - 1 p.m. Luncheon demo. Sandy Clubb from Salad Master Surgical Stainless Steel Pots and Pans will demo the world’s best for Prevention of Cancer. Taste the flavor difference. See the baking soda test to discover how to test your pots at home for metal toxicity. Get rid of bitter metallic flavors and become the best cook ever.

1 – 2 p.m. 90 minute film, Food Matters.

2 – 4 p.m. Mix and mingle
Bring a bushel to collect and take home your load of organic pears and apples from our four fruit trees in the backyard. The grapes are ready to harvest. Make fresh juice and have fun doing a feet-stomping, crushing of grapes to prepare the grapes for our wine maker. The wine maker is a brand new garbage pail with a special, food-quality liner and lid to allow these crushed grapes to ferment for next year.


2.
The Holistic Cooking Academy has some social justice concerns about unfair pricing of lard for restaurants:

"Ontario’s largest restaurant food supplier, Cisco Foods Inc, charges to professional chefs three times the price for lard compared to the hydrogenated Crisco shortening. Hydrogenated fat is a killer fat that causes heart attacks. (1994 – Harvard University studies, 40,000 heart attacks a year from the ingestion of hydrogenated fats.) This unfair pricing (in grocery stores to the home consumers, Crisco and Tenderflake lard are the same price - $1.49 per pound.) drives professional chefs in most restaurants to prefer to buy the hydrogenated Crisco shortening. I say this pricing variation is causing heart disease deliberately by someone at Cisco foods. Who owns Cisco Foods? Where is the distribution house located? I cannot find them on the internet to contact them, as I wished to make inquiries or to protest, and to inform them, threaten them with media exposure."

Does anyone have any leads concerning this?

Monday, 27 July 2009

Wobbly/TorontoTheBetter singer has new website, CD is available

Thanks to the latest email bulletin from the Centre for Study of Education and Work for bringing Smokey Dymny's new website to my attention:

"RADICAL SONGS FROM YOUR LOCAL WOBBLY AVAILABLE FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE!

Radical songs from your local Wobbly available for your listening pleasure and edification at: www.SmokeyDymny.ca

Jerzy Smokey Dymny started performing songs publicly while working with ACT for Disarmament, a peace group in Toronto. He played at peace demonstrations and was the host at their coffeehouse The Fallout Shelter. Over the last 30 years Smokey has played numerous strikes, rallies, union picket lines, labour conventions, anti-poverty events and anti-nuclear events.

In the late 1980s he compiled the first Canadian Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) songbook. These songs were collected from songwriters across Canada, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. The songbook hit the streets on May 1st, 1990 when the Toronto Wobblies (I.W.W.) spread the last of Joe Hill’s ashes at the Sears picket line on Jarvis Street and at the May Day celebrations at Trinity Bellwoods Park."

Monday, 13 July 2009

Office Share opportunity with New Libra Information/TorontoTheBetter oficces at Bathurs and Bloor

Libra Knowledge and Information Services Coop Inc., creators and operators of TorontoTheBetter, is now sharing office space with CAP AIDS (The Canada Africa Partnership on AIDS).

The office is located at 565 Bloor Street West, just above the The Green Beanery Retail Store and Cafe.

We are also looking for suitable people or organziations to join us in co-sharing this space and/or collaborating on a book supply/online catalogue service.

Monday, 22 June 2009

OUR TIMES LABOUR MAGAZINE SUMMER ISSUE

From the latest Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) email newsletter:


OUR TIMES LABOUR MAGAZINE SUMMER ISSUE

"In Cornwall, a high school teacher told us that while they used to raise funds for school trips and sports teams, now they raise money to buy food, because too many students are too hungry to learn."- Irene Harris, Ontario Federation of Labour's Drive to Work Caravan

Our Times' summer issue (Vol. 28 No.3) will be heading to the printer shortly. In this issue, we're highlighting the courageous struggle of migrant agricultural workers for safe and healthy working conditions and the right to unionize. We're also featuring the recent historic union stewards' assembly in Toronto. Plus we've got some great creative fiction and non-fiction, including Part 2 of Newfoundland writer Mike Heffernan's story about a deadly explosion aboard an oil tanker. It's a great issue, geared to building solidarity in hard times.

If you think you may want to order extra copies of this issue as an education resource for your workshops, schools, or to include in your conference or convention kits, please contact our business manager by June 25 at the latest. Telephone: 416-703-7661. Toll-free: 1-800-648-6131. E-mail: office@ourtimes.ca. Discounted prices are available for bulk orders.

Friday, 12 June 2009

I'm almost there! Help me raise money to travel to Uganda and volunteer

The online donation portion of the raffle is now closed, but there is still time to send a cheque! Click HERE for details or see my previous post. The time of departure fast approaches. In less than a month I am off to Uganda to volunteer with Kirabo Canada - helping to educate and raise the confidence level of former child soldiers and orphans. I am nervous and excited. In addition to teaching jewelry making as an after school activity, I have also volunteered to teach the girls how to make their own reusable menstrual pads. Apparently they are missing school when the menstruate and need help to find a solution. I found detailed instructions online and even though I am not the greatest at sewing, I can definitely purchase the materials with the money everyone has donated and teach the manufacturing. Wish me luck! Lara Bazant - Bazant Unique Adornments (member of Toronto the Better)

Friday, 5 June 2009

Tinto wins TFPC Local Food Hero Award

Tinto Coffee House is receiving a Toronto Food Policy Council Local Food Hero award at TFPC's June 10th meeting at City Hall, Room 4 at City Hall, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.

From a recent TFPC Facebook message:

"Almost everything at the meeting is local, including the famous farmers market snacks served during the break, but some have come from far away to be local with us.

...

June's choice for the Local Food Hero award will also be rewarding. It's going to the folks at Tinto, who've made a bootstrap success of their restaurant thanks to servings with a local and social justice flair based on Latin American recipes. Come early (at 1:45) to talk with these inspired ecopreneurs and sample some of their wares, just before the formal meeting starts.

...

If you have questions or need more information, please call Leslie at 416-338-7934."

Thursday, 4 June 2009

TorontoTheBetter joins Bike 2 CAPAIDS Bike-a-thon

CAP AIDS's 2009 Bike 2 CAP AIDS Bike-a-thon is only one week away.And TorontoTheBetter has entered a team.

The Canada Africa Partnership on AIDS (CAP AIDS) is a young Canadian charity focused on providing resources to the grassroots community-based organizations that are on the front lines in the battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

The details for the Toronto event are as follows:
Venue: Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club
Date: Sunday, June 14th, from 9AM to 1PM. Ride begins at 10AM.
Contact: Obert Madondo
Tel: (416) 783 0002
E-mail: capaids@sympatico.ca / obert@capaids.org

To sponsor the TorontoTheBetter team, go to Tim Burns' page.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Urban Harvest's 2009 Summer Address

I received this notice in my latest Good Food Box from FoodShare and thought I'd report it here...

Urban Harvest Garden Alternatives has a new address for Summer 2009:

59 Elm Grove Avenue - 2 blocks west of Dufferin and south of Queen Street West

Tues-Sat 10-7 PM & Sundays and Mondays 10-5 PM

FARMERS MARKETS 2009:
- Dufferin Grove Park; Thursdays 3-7 PM

- The Green Barn, 601 Christie Street; Saturdays 7:30-2 PM

- Waldorf School, 9100 Bathurst Street; May and June, Saturdays 8:30-1 PM

- The Brickworks on the Bayview Extension; May 24 to end of October, Saturdays 8-1 PM

- Riverdale Farm; Tuesdays 3-7 PM starting May 12

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A chance to make a difference


In my youth I lived in the third world and was inspired to create art that promotes fair trade and environmentalism (www.bazant.ca). I've wanted to return for years and now I finally have another chance to make a difference. With your help I can make it really count.

On July 3rd I depart for Northern Uganda to complete a month long volunteer effort with Kirabo Canada. The results of this non-profit excursion will have a direct impact on the impoverished children of Lira who have been terrorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army for decades.

To raise money for airfare and much needed provisions for the children I have created a raffle for a luxury eco prize pack valued over $700. It is a fantastic set of products and services from seven like-minded globally conscious small businesses and artisans.

For more info, and to purchase raffle tickets online, click HERE. To donate in person, come and see me (Lara Bazant) at the AppleTree Market - North Toronto Memorial Community Centre - 200 Eglinton Avenue West (behind the building – by the tennis courts/ice rink).

I will be there every Thursday from 3:00pm - 7:00pm.

It's a great prize for a great cause! Thanks in advance for your support.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Anarres Natural Health Events for May

Shampoo!!! Mother's Day, Buddha Lounge, Grand Opening, Love Lab, DIY Sun Screen, Films and Detox at Anarres events! http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/435

Anarres Membership Launch Wholesale Sale, Mother's 2-for-1 Treatments, Incense Galore, Get Out Your Bicycle... and other Spring Specials for May http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/436

Testimonials of The Month: Excellent Reflexology!
Grounded and Energized by Chakra Balancing! http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/437

News: Membership Sale, Emo Oils, Local Liniment Rub and New Partnerships http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/441
Bonus Article: How To Protect Yourself Against The 'Flu
http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/443

Be the Change You Want To See in the World Action Alerts:
Stop Nuclear Subsidies DEADLINE: June, 2009!! http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/439
Sign the petition: http://www.ontariosgreenfuture.ca/petition.php

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cooking for Change: TorontoTheBetter talks with Lori Nichols Davies about Better Food For All

Lori Nichols-Davies is a passionate cook, a cook with a message, and a mission to change our lives. Since the mid-90’s, and over thirty years of research and development on nutrition, with a multiplicity of reasearchers and professionals, she has been acting on her realization that if we are what we eat and what we eat is unhealthy, then it follows we will be unhealthy. She operates The Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada [the ToorntotheBetter listing is at http://www.torontothebetter.net/2Bholisticooking.htm] , which is expanding to Toronto, from Ottawa, in spring, 2009. It is a train the chef programme for serious “cookers”, aka chefs of all kinds. The evidence supports her. The exploding North American incidence of obesity and diabetes is now well known, but perhaps even more acutely concerning is the conclusion of North America’s largest recent survey (from the American Institute for Cancer Prevention) that 30% of North American cancers can be attributed to avoidable lifestyle issues, including, eminently, what we eat. So, what Lori talks about in her books, presentations and cooking classes, is important, arguably one of the most important public issues of our time. We all eat, and the choices we make are matters of life and death.

So, how did Lori act on her realization? Starting from her experience as a personal chef and a small set of client referrals, Lori, a self-designated maverick, found her own ways of reaching out to those interested in eating for good health. Cooking lessons, TV and radio appearances, conference demonstrations and 14 books in her "Enlightened Home Chef" series have followed, an innovative part of the growing global green industrial sector, a nutrition-centred idea of cooking that embraces all aspects of our lives, from what we ingest to what we think and how we feel.

Like most radicals, Lori is impatient with mainstream actors who just don’t get her message. She roasts “stupid PhD’s” and bureaucrats boxed in and blinded by regulations. When you’re in a hurry placeholders are downpressors, standing in the way of better lives for all, and, in the case of food, of longer and healthier lives.

All well and good. My question for Lori about how we can take her idea of holistic cooking from the smart insights of a cooking insider to make them practical options for everybody drew this response: “Cheap food is expensive” and “grow your own is the cheap option”. She’s right, of course. But if these ideas are as important as they seem to be, and Lori’s holistic notion of food, makes it much more than just a necessity of life which comes with the territory, then as citizens we have a responsibility to make the good the normal. For instance, as a Spanish speaking friend of mine replied when I recited the generous sentiment “mi casa es su casa”, not everybody has a house. When it comes to the “expensive” long term effects of cheap food, in the long term we’re all dead, and for many the Macdonald’s on the corner that needs no car, or transit or cab to get to is the accessible and doable option for eating. As for growing your own food, not everybody has a garden, in fact fewer and fewer in today’s economy. So, if we’re to implant Lori’s ideas in the mainstream and so make everybody’s lives better, we have need to think hard about how to do that.

The means to meet the challenges are traditional if not easy: political action, education, legislation, and regulation. And all of these require political will. If politicians don’t have the will to regulate fast food, provide land for urban agriculture or mandate better institutional nutrition for instance, then citizens must compel them to do it. We can all start by helping to spread the better nutrition message, informally, through people we know. And by learning more about the many issues involved, from genetically modified foods, to urban agriculture. TorontotheBetter requires TorontotheHealthier. And TorontotheHealthier requires TorontotheBetterFed.

For more food information and political action, see theToronto Food Policy Council.

Taodhg Burns for TorontotheBetter

Canadian Responsible Investment Conference 2009

The Social Investment Organization has organized the Canadian Responsible Investment Conference 2009: Sustainable investing in unprecedented times at The Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg; June 7-9, 2009:


--Join us in June for the Canadian Summit on socially responsible investment

With the headlines full of economic uncertainty, this conference will explore how socially responsible investment (SRI) is responding to current market volatility. Sessions on climate change, green investing, community investing, retail markets and institutional investment will provide insight and hope for how SRI can point a way forward through the current market turmoil. Whether you are actively involved in SRI or want to know more, the Canadian Responsible Investment Conference offers an accessible, comprehensive program to learn about SRI.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Toronto Wobblies at Hamilton Anarchist Book Fair, 6 June 2009

The Toronto branch of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, aka Wobblies) will be conducting a workshop and will have an information table at Ontario's Second Annual Anarchist Book Fair:

Hamilton's 2nd Annual Anarchist Bookfair
Date: June 6, 2009
Time: 10am - 4pm
Place: Westdale High School
700 Main St. West Hamilton, ON

After last year's success, Common Cause is once again organizing the
Hamilton Anarchist Book Fair. In a city with a vibrant history of struggle and in a time
of deep political and economic crisis, the Book Fair presents a unique opportunity for
people coming together to network, learn and build community. Don't miss this opportunity!

Child care and lunch provided. Free admission (donations welcome).

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Rachel De Stilj at Carrot City exhibition

Today I received a suggestion to...

Check out these Toronto photos from an artist featured in the Carrot City urban agriculture exhibition at the Design Exchange until April 30th.

The artist is Rachel De Stilj, and the photos are definately worth checking out...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

With a little help for our friends

On May 17 – 19th we’ll be selling our cuffs, chains and bangles to support Toronto’s dog and cat rescues.

A big fundrasing event our friend Candice’s cat rescue has been invited to participate in. They will be having a booth at Pawsway, www.pawsway.ca , on May 17, 18, 19. There will be over 20 dog and cat rescues invited to set up booths to sell items and raise awareness- hundreds of people are expected to attend over the three days at the Pawsway centre. Check it out at www.northtorontocatrescue.com

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Make Custom Shampoos and Conditioners; Watch Orgasm Inc.

I recently received the following two invitations, and thought I'd repost them here:

Make Custom Shampoos and Conditioners
When: April 24, 6 to 8 pm
Where: Anarres Natural Health, College & Ossington
Cost: $30 pre-paid, $25 each when you register with a friend, $50 the day of and drop in.

Register at: http://www.anarreshealth.ca/catalog/12/workshopslabs_events

Caught in a vicious cycle of flaky scalp, frizzy hair, then oily scalp, lifeless hair? That's the cycle if you are using almost any shampoo. Sodium Laurel/th Sulfate strips the scalp, causing dandruff, over production of oil, and can even lead to hair loss.

This hands-on workshop will have you discovering the secrets of natural hair care using real soaps, enriching ingredients and essential oils for scalp health and radiant hair. You'll learn how to identify your hair's needs, and choose the ingredients that will work best for you.

You'll make a custom shampoo, and a custom conditioner. You'll come away with 200 ml of products you've made for yourself, or as a gift, and skills that can serve you for a lifetime for a fraction of the cost of a high quality organic shampoo and conditioner!

-----

Come As You Are is sponsoring the screening of Orgasm Inc. as part of Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival.

From the festival website: Forty-three per cent of American women suffer from female sexual dysfunction. Or do they? Can female sexual dysfunction even be considered a disease, or is it only marketed as one by profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies looking to create demand in need of a supply?

After editing porn to be used in research conducted by the drug company Vivus-which was racing against Big Pharma firms to develop a Viagra equivalent for women-documentary filmmaker Liz Canner set out to dissect the corporate commoditization of perfectly normal sexual problems. Along the way, Canner encounters a sex shop owner who crashes pharmaceutical conferences to educate the doctors who attend, a vintage vibrator collector who provides insight into the history of female "hysteria," an orgasmatron, and a man whose monkeys have taught him to pay more attention to women.

Upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative, Orgasm, Inc. will change the way you think about sex.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

2 Important Events

April 17 : Earth alert - raising environmental consciousness

Event Summary: Climate change is with us. A decade ago it was conjecture, now the future is unfolding before our eyes. Now, more than ever, Mother Earth needs us to tread as lightly on her as possible. But, how do we change the deeply embedded lifestyles and habits? Join us for an insightful workshop with him at the Multifaith centre, University of Toronto. Check event details and RSVP at http://www.urbanedgeyoga.com/index.php?d=inSpirit2009&p=earthAlert .



April 18 : Beyond vegetarianism - a mouthful of spirituality

Event Summary : People tend to think that the way we eat is the way it always has been and the way it always will be. But food is in constant flux, traveling all over the world and taking root from one continent to the next. Come join hands with Toronto’s bustling Vegan community and make a wish for a change in Status Quo. Employ the power of sound vibration or Kirtan yoga. Check details and RSVP at http://www.urbanedgeyoga.com/index.php?d=inSpirit2009&p=vegan

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Three Wobbly musicians performing April 3rd, 2009 in Toronto

Smokey Dymny recently send the following notice through the IWW email list:


Get it while you can.

The IWW gig at the Steelworker's Hall is on Friday April 3 at 8pm. Tickets $20 sliding scale to $10. LCBO.

Anne Feeney, IWW from the U.S. - Utah Phillips called her the best labour singer in North America.
Dr. Joey Only, IWW from Vancouver - the best young punk-folk-country outrageous Wobbly out there. He recently drove across Canada and planted hundreds of white crosses on the lawns of the riding offices of the major Conservative MPs to represent the number of folks whose lives were saved by the Safe Injection Site in Vancouver. (The Conservatives were trying to close the place.) Planted those 350 crosses on the front walk of Parliament and then sang his songs.

This is the only gig in North America in decades with three Wobblies playing at once!
We may have unannounced local back-up musicians dropping out of their other gigs early that night just to play along with these folks.

J. Smokey Dymny


I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few. - William Morris, 1877

Sunday, 29 March 2009

TorontoTheBetter businesses at 2009 Halton Eco Festival

Me to We Style is one of several sponsors of the 9th Annual Halton Eco Festival, happening at the Glen Abbey Rec Centre (1415 Third Line, Oakville) on Saturday April 18th from 9 am to 5 pm.

This free-to-attend event features 105 green exhibitors, 25 educational speakers, a kids' eco fun area, a silent auction with gifts valued at more than $4,000, a challenging eco-jeopardy game, and organic ice cream cones.

The 9th Annual Halton Eco Festival is organized by the Oakville Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights.

Thanks to exhibitor Chocoland for the notice.

Other TorontoTheBetter businesses participating are Essere Organics, Global ware, and Goldwater Solar Services.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Brewers' Plate Toronto Local Food Event - April 17, 2009

This notice came to us from Robin Elliott, a volunteer with Green Enterprise Toronto:


The Second Annual Brewers Plate

Calling all local food and beer lovers! Join us for the feast of the
season celebrating Toronto’s local and sustainable brewers, chefs and
food artisans.

The evening features amazing local fare prepared by six great Toronto
chefs, six craft breweries, wonderful creations by local food artisans
and live entertainment.


Friday April 17, 2009. Doors open: 6:30pm

Hart House, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle

Ticket price: $96.86 (incl. gst and service charge).

See here for event details and tickets.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Three awesome events in Toronto Mar 20-22!

• Fri Mar 20, 2009 (doors @ 7:30pm, event starts @ 8pm) -

Spring Equinox Celebration: dance/music fundraiser
Gary Diggins and Triune, Laura Nashman, Michael Moon & Friends
Enjoy an evening of dance, fun and great live music.
In support of the Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA) & HumaneFood.ca
"Promoting the humane treatment of animals raised for food in Canada."
$20 in advance or at the door
Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Rd (2 blocks north of Bloor)
http://www.spa-la-la.com/fundraiser.html
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=51366534354

• Sat Mar 21, 2009 (10am-6pm) -

Spring Market at Toronto Sprouts & fundraiser in support of Juice for the Cure!

21 local vendors (including the Toronto Vegetarian Association) at Toronto Sprouts for a special 1-day event. (Come buy your TVA membership & discount cards too!)

The vendor market will have on offer tasty food, healthy supplements, sustainable clothing, essential oils, unique jewellery, inspired music, fine art, great books, DVD's, information/resources, and of course - sprouts! WIN great door & raffle prizes!
Free admission.
720 Bathurst Street (1.5 blocks South of Bloor)
http://torontosprouts.com/Toronto_Sprouts/Spring_Market.html
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=71230571042

This is going to be the last market held at this location! Join in making this a special event!

Juice for the Cure is dedicated to raising awareness of the role nutrition plays in helping cure major illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

This is a new initiative from the folks behind Rawlicious, that Toronto Sprouts, the Spring Market exhibitors & friends are proud to support. The Juice for the Cure website is under construction now! http://juiceforthecure.com/

• Sun Mar 22, 2009 (2pm-7pm)

Equinox Chocolatada
ChocoSol will be celebrating the release of local food hero Wayne Roberts’ new book “The No Nonsense Guide to World Food”! Bring your convivial spirit and share song, story or sustenance!
$15 gets you a signed book and unlimited Chocolate drinks for the evening!
CacaoLoft, 6 St. Joseph (west side of Yonge, north of Wellesley)
http://chocosoltraders.com/
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=54425293819

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Leslieveille community group wins at OMB against "big box" plan

On Thursday, 5 March 2009, the Globe and Mail reported that the OMB quashes plan for Leslieville mega mall:

"A contentious plan for a shopping centre in Leslieville - derided as a suburban-style "big box" with Wal-Mart as a likely tenant - has been quashed by the province's planning tribunal, after a five-year fight by local councillors and residents.

The Ontario Municipal Board, often accused by critics of favouring developers, sided with the city and struck down an application to convert the Toronto Film Studios site on Eastern Avenue between Carlaw Avenue and Leslie Street into a 600,000 square-foot retail complex with 1,800 parking spaces."

But Brady Yauch of BlogTO cautions that:

"City officials and community activists may have won this case, but they would be silly to think the war is over. Like it or not, corporate retailers are going to continue with their quest to expand their operations in cities across the country. Finding a way to incorporate them into the fabric of city life is going to be a major challenge for both city officials and developers. But it's one they're going to have to face.:

Thursday, 5 March 2009

LabourStart news: International Women's Day etc.

Four items from today's LabourStart email by Eric Lee:


International working women's day:
8 March is international working women's day - a 100-year old holiday celebrated in different ways in our different countries. LabourStart has a page of news specifically affecting women workers here - please make sure your union links to it.

Iran: Repression intensifies

In our last mailing, we told you about the trial of leaders of a sugar workers union affiliated to the IUF. While we await the results, more union leaders have been jailed. Full coverage of Iranian labour news can be found here.

Iraq: Two appeals

We've had two appeals this week from Iraq - both are important.

First, a leader of the agricultural workers union has been arrested. US Labor Against the War is circulating a call for action.

Second, there's this appeal from the teachers union. The NASUWT in Britain has issued a call for email protests to be sent to minister.centraloffice@moedu.gov.iq with messages of support to abdullahmuhsin@iraqitradeunions.org .

UnionBook after one month

It's been little more than a month since we announced the launch of the social network for trade unionists, UnionBook. In that time, the network has grown rapidly, with over 2,500 trade unionists having signed up. There are now 167 groups of which the most popular are Unions 2.0, Labour Films, Left History, Union Staff, Labour Podcasting, CUPE, LabourTech (Canada) and Our Times. If you haven't yet done so, sign up today - and sign up your fellow union members!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Don't Forget the War Resisters


Please try to attend. Remember, the War Resisters "love this country" just like the U.S. President says he does -- and they want to live here! Sallie

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Canadian Olympic Committee bans "Right to Play" from Vancouver games

A recent Canadian Press report confirms that the international humanitarian organization Right to Play, which uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities in some of the world's most disadvantaged areas, has been told by the International Olympic Committee it is not welcomed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, or future Olympics.

Apparently this is due to conflicting sponsors. And back in October 2008, the We Move To Canada blog commented:

"Of all the profit-motivated, corporate-ass-kissing, petty, uncharitable decisions an Olympic organizing committee has made, this surely ranks at the top of the charts."

Monday, 9 February 2009

Myths for Profit

http://www.wideopenexposure.com/M4P.php


We need help!
Currently we are in the post-production stage. We are getting great musicians, finishing the editing and trying to secure the rights to use some footage. But we need help! Please help us finish the documentary by pre-ordering the full-length DVD version of MYTHS FOR PROFIT for $15. Click the link below to pre-order via PayPal, or
contact us to place an order by phone or mail. (514-812-6817) Thank you! Regular price: $15

For organizations & individuals who would like to screen or publicly use this film in any non-commercial way (i.e. libraries, classrooms, etc.), the price for a copy with the lifetime public performance rights (PPR) is $50. This fee will be waived for groups hosting a screening during the Spring 2009 cross-Canada tour. For more information, don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you.Price with PPR: $50

‘MYTHS FOR PROFIT' is a dramatic, exposé documentary which explores 'Canada’s role in Industries of War and Peace’. Through diverse interviews and case studies this documentary unveils the specific interests and profits that are made by certain corporation, individuals and agency within Canada. By examining these myths we seek to find out what are the possible motives that hide behind these stories, and if there are certain people who stand to gain and maintain these misconceptions. Only by breaking down these myths can we hope to understand how these systems of power operate, and help empower people across Canada to change them.


MYTH 1) 'Canada is a peacekeeping nation' examines the changes in the Department of National Defence since 1999 and takes a serious look at the role Canada has taken in NATO. A particular focus is given to the current perpetual war in Afghanistan, how Canada assisted in the illegal coup d’état in Haiti, and how Canada played a pivotal role in pushing the policy of ‘bombing for humanitarian aid’ in Yugoslavia.

MYTH 2) 'Canada’s policies on ‘Reconstruction and Redevelopment’ are helping people around the world' investigates how various government agencies and ministries have specific agendas they are implementing around the world. From the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT) to Export Development Canada, policies are being designed and carried out to ensure a free market neo-liberal agenda in different countries, regardless of the negative effect they may have on the communities and environment they impact. This includes how Canada’s development agency’s (CIDA) tied and phantom aid function in post and present conflict zones.

MYTH 3) 'Canada’s military purpose is defence' By investigating the magnitude of the Canadian military industrial complex, from the mining of uranium used for depleted uranium weapons to the production of components in weapons systems, this section probes the intersecting relationships between various government agencies and corporations as well as public complicity in this vast industry.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Interesting Toronto Star articles: Janitorial Working Conditions and Training Jobless as Bike Mechanics

Two pieces of interest from the February 2nd, 2009 Toronto Star:

In Carol Goar's opion piece, You can help cleaners earn decent wages, she notes that:

"Cleaners don't work for the banks, investment houses, law firms and advertising agencies that do business downtown. Most are employed by independent janitorial firms, which compete fiercely for contracts awarded by the commercial real estate chains that own and manage these buildings.

To win a contract, a cleaning company has to submit a low bid. That means hiring cheap labour.

For decades, the commercial real estate industry seemed impervious to the tug of social conscience. Calls to adopt fair wage policies went unheeded.

But lately, there have been some promising glimmers.

...Three property management companies in Canada have voluntarily raised their standards.

Bentall LP, the country's largest commercial landlord, recently adopted a responsible contracting policy, the first in Canada. Concert Properties, a Vancouver-based firm, will only consider bids from contractors who employ unionized workers. And Great West Life Reality Advisors, who manage 283 commercial properties, review the professional conduct of their contractors regularly."

-----

And in Wheels turning to train jobless as bike mechanics, Paola Loriggio reports that:

"Toronto has Bike Month and Bike Winter, but what it doesn't have is bike mechanics – or, at least, not enough of them, according to those in the business.

...

A new project aims to fill that gap. The Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance Program will train out-of-work youths to fix and assemble all kinds of bikes so they can tap into a rising market, organizers say.

Many "will walk right into a job," says a project organizer, Rob White, sales vice-president at Outdoor Gear Canada. He estimates there are openings for 50 to 100 bike mechanics each year in the GTA.

The free eight-week program starts Feb. 17 and includes a two-week placement in bike shops such as Sweet Pete's and Duke's Cycle. The shops helped fund the project, a joint venture between the Learning Enrichment Foundation and the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada, of which Lilly is president."

Friday, 30 January 2009

January 30th video screening at Tinto; February 2009 events with Zatoun

A couple noteworthy invitations came to my inbox last night:


e-fagia presents: Video Screening - "Do Wambura" (Goodbye River) 
by Oscar Ordóñez

Friday, January 30th at 7:00 pm

Goodbye River shows the struggle of the Embera Katio peoples of the Sinu River in Cordoba, Colombia. It recovers the legacy of Kimi Pernia, indigenous leader who was assassinated for defending nature and the rights of his ethnic group.

This video is presented as part of the exhibition LEY DE ORIGEN (LAW OF ORIGIN).

e-fagia collective is pleased to present Oscar Ordóñez, a Colombian photographer and documentary film-maker based in Toronto; He is currently showing a series of photos of people from different native ethnic groups from various regions of Colombia. Through this exhibition, you will see rich cultural diversity in an extraordinary journey across several regions and peoples.

When the Spanish conquistadores arrived in Colombia, there were around nine million natives. Thereafter the vast majority of them were exterminated. Despite this, native peoples in Colombia have been fighting to preserve their own culture, autonomy, cosmogony, self-determination, and their rights to the land. At present there are around 84 native nations in Colombia and they speak approximately 64 different languages. This extraordinary cultural heritage is possible, in part, through a living oral tradition that remains strong across numerous generations.

For more information, please contact: Oscar Ordónez, mascalitoo@yahoo.com
Julieta Maria, 416-588-8171
contact@e-fagia.org
www.e-fagia.org

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Toronto Events with Zatoun:

- Wednesday, February 4; Poetry for Peace at OISE from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

- Sunday, February 8; Palestine, Israel, & Democracy at OISE from 7:30 pm

- Sunday, February 22; Bridge to the World: Fundraiser for Project Hope at Lula Lounge - 6:00 pm

( see below for details )


~ Poetry for Peace
Time: Wednesday, Feb-04 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: OISE - Peace Lounge, 7th floor South - 252 Bloor St. W. (St. George subway)
Sponsor: Tikkun Toronto & Transformative Learning Centre

Share music and poetry, coffee and dessert, as we collect funds to support "from Zatoun to Zatoun" initiative for humanitarian aid to Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood in Gaza City


~ Public Forum: Palestine, Israel, & Democracy
Time: Sunday, Feb-08 at 7:30 pm
Location: OISE Room 5-260 - 252 Bloor St. W. (St. George subway)
Sponsor: NION - Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism; Information: www.nion.ca

Speakers: Robert Massoud, Founder Zatoun Fair Trade Olive Oil from Palestine
Jenny Peto, Anti-Zionist Jewish activist, member of CAIA, graduate student at OISE


~ Bridge to the World: Fundraiser for Project Hopesdaf
Time: Sunday, Feb-22 Doors open at 6:00 pm
Location: Lula Lounge - 1585 Dundas St. W. (between Dufferin and Lansdown)
Information: www.projecthope.ps
Tickets: $35 per person (includes finger food)

A special evening of cultural performances, gallery of pictures showcasing Project Hope's six years of work with children in Palestine, raffle, auction of embroidered dress from Palestine, presentations by volunteers just back from Palestine, sale of cultural items from Zatoun and other vendors & much more!

Performances include: Al Lala Dance Group (www.al-lala.com) - a group of dancers and drummers bring true spirit of Arabic folklore. Spoken word by: Samah Sabawi.Mraya (with the talent of Maryem Tollar, Roula Said, Jayne Brown, Sophia Grigoriadis) - performing Arabic, Greek and Balkan music, drum and vocal songs. A special dance performance by members of the MOSAIC Arabic Folklore Ensemble (www.arabmosaic.ca).

To purchase tickets via PayPal or local contacts (mona@projecthope.ps or (416) 879-8939; lemloumah@yahoo.ca or (416) 570-3674)


Zatoun invites you to learn more about our mission and activities.

experience ~ learn ~ share

ZATOUN, fair trade olive oil from PALESTINE; info@zatoun.com - www.zatoun.com

Monday, 19 January 2009

Let Them Stay

I am asking for assistance from everyone who is willing in the War Resisters' Campaign this week. Thank you so much for any help you can give. Sallie

"LET THEM STAY" Week

January 19 to 26, 2009
The Conservative government has launched an unprecedented attack on US Iraq War resisters. In response, supporters across the country are rallying to stop threatened deportations. Every person and every action can make a difference. Below are activities and actions in which we encourage you to take part.

National events

See also local events to find actions planned in your city.

Leafletting Day
Choose a busy corner in your city and hand out leaflets in support of war resisters to help spread the word and involve more people. You can download a leaflet at http://www.resisters.ca/letthemstay.html.
See local events below to find out about leafletting sessions which are already planned in your city.

Monday, January 19: Letter-to-the-Editor Day

Send a letter to your local newspaper calling on the Conservative government to stop the deportations and let the resisters stay.

Thursday, January 22: National Phone-In Day

Contact Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to tell them you support war resisters.

Urge them to:- Stop the deportation proceedings against all US Iraq War resisters; and- Implement the Parliamentary motion from June 2008 to allow war resisters to apply for Permanent Resident status in Canada.

Contact info:Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Phone:613-954-1064 (Ministry office)613-992-2235 (Parliamentary office)Email: minister@cic.gc.caKenney.j@parl.gc.ca
Please cc the opposition party critics if you email Jason Kenney:
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Liberal party immigration critic: wrzesnewskyj.b@parl.gc.ca
Olivia Chow, NDP immigration critic:
chow.o@parl.gc.ca
Thierry St-Cyr, Bloc Québécois immigration critic:
st-cyr.t@parl.gc.ca
The Right Hon. Stephen Harper Phone: 613-992-4211 Email: mailto:pm@pm.gc.ca

Friday, January 23: Visit or call your local MP Day

Call or visit your local Members of Parliament and tell them you support war resisters. If your MPs are Conservatives, tell them you want the government to implement the Parliamentary motion to stop the deportations of war resisters and let them stay in Canada.

If your MPs are members of one of the opposition parties, remind them of their party's support for the motion and ask them to speak out publicly at this critical time against the deportations.

Events by City

To add events, please email resisters@sympatico.ca.
For a full listing of national events, please visit http://www.resisters.ca/letthemstay.html.

Toronto events

Monday, January 19

Prayer vigil to support war resisters
4:15pm Peace Garden, Toronto City Hall100 Queen Street West
Organized by Catholics for Peace--Pax Christi

Tuesday, January 20

Leafletting sessions in support of war resisters:- 8:00am St. George subway station (Meet at the Bedford entrance)- 11:30am to 4:30pm
Bloor Cinema
The Bloor Cinema will be showing the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. Join us for part or all of the showing to help distribute leaflets.

Wednesday, January 21

Parkdale Friends of War Resisters: community event
6:30pm May Robinson Manor 20 West Lodge Avenue
Featuring:Gerard Kennedy, Member of Parliament (Parkdale - High Park)
Kim Rivera and Dean Walcott,
US Iraq War resisters Press conference11:00amTrinity-St. Paul's Centre427 Bloor Street West

Thursday, January 22

Video premiere of Deserter
Featuring war resisters Jennifer and Ryan Johnson
7:00pm 25 Cecil Street (one block south of College, west of Beverly)

War Resisters Support CampaignPhone: 416-598-1222
Email: resisters@sympatico.ca
Web: www.resisters.ca


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Not Just Tourists Toronto looking for suitcases etc.

We recently received an email from Not Just Tourists Toronto, a volunteer-based, not-for-profit project that collects surplus medicines and medical supplies for use in Cuba and other developing countries:


Greetings. Over the past few weeks there has been a flood of requests
coming in to Not Just Tourists Toronto for packed suitcases. The
small mountain of empty suitcases we had stockpiled last fall is
almost depleted. We need your help in finding more.

What we are looking for are medium sized suitcases, either soft or
hard sided, as well as duffle bags, sports bags, and soft bags of
various kinds. The suitcases and bags need to be relatively clean and
have working handles or straps. We have found that large suitcases
with heavy wheels and handles, or foldable clothing bags don't serve
our purposes.

Can you help by looking in your basements and garages, and by speaking
to your relatives, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, and people in
the groups that you belong to?

All offers of suitcases should be directed to Dorothy Rusoff. She can
be reached at (416) 461 8709 or dorothy.rusoff@sympatico.ca

Friday, 9 January 2009

Plea for Help from the War Resisters

Because Canada took me and my husband in back in the 1960's when he was fleeing the U.S. in order not to be sent to Vietnam, I feel very strongly about helping those Americans who have come to Canada seeking refuge during this current conflict. Sallie Thayer

URGENT!

Please send an email right away to: Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Leader -- Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca; Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Liberal Immigration Critic -- Wrzesnewskyj.B@parl.gc.ca; Jim Karygiannis, MP -- Karygiannis.J@parl.gc.ca

Please urge them to issue an immediate statement concerning the deportation order against war resister Kim Rivera and her family (husband Mario, son Christian (6) daughters Rebecca (4) and Katie (6 weeks). Ask them to come out strongly in opposition to this order, which would mean that the Riveras would have to leave Canada by January 27 or be deported.

Don't forget the other war resisters facing imminent deportation: Chris Teske; Patrick Hart and family; Cliff Cornell; and Dean Walcott. The Liberals supported the motion of June 3, 2008, recommending that "conscientious objectors to wars not sanctioned by the UN Security Council" be allowed to stay in Canada and apply for Permanent Resident Status after two years..

It also recommended that the Government "cease all deportation proceedings" against such people. But in recent days, as deportation orders have come down against many war resisters, the Liberals have been silent. Please urge them to speak up, and demand that the Harper Government comply with the House of Commons motion of June 08, and state their intention of supporting a similar motion when the House reconvenes later this month.Peace,

Lee Zaslofsky, War Resisters Support Campaign
resisters@sympatico.ca