Sunday, 30 October 2011

from one of our GTA correspondents at Occupy TO...

..."Occupy Toronto is heading into its third week. With many visits to the financial district. There was also a march to Novotel; a French chain of hotels. One employee at Novotel Ottawa was fired for trying to organize a union. There are many challenges with the corporate media dismissing the movement. In general, people know that some politicians are working to help business rather than the people. The City of Toronto has announced that it will begin privatizing garbage pick up in August 2012."

Monday, 24 October 2011

What's happening in democratic Toronto...and most other 'developed' democracies, it seems

Capitalism screws up from time to time. It’s in the nature of the beast. You don’t have to be a Marxist to accept this. And various instruments are then installed to allow levels of profit to recover, and the beast cavorts on. It was a form of devilish amnesia that, in the early 2000’s, with the 'victory' (aka self-defeat) over communism now several years behind them, led a new MBA generation of financial “notsosmarties”  to remove regulations put in place in earlier generations to avoid the risks of economic collapse and political revolution. Given globalization and the hubris associated with being the one combatant left standing in the ring, consequences were predictable. Economic collapse on a global scale, with the poor left poorer and the 1% holding their spoils. Although “bail-outs” were adopted by many former anti-Keynesians to staunch the blood flow somewhat, what could not be staunched indefinitely were the ultimately more profound political consequences. That’s what the “Occupy” movement represents: international resistance by the powerless and victimized majority to a world run by private businesses with the “legal” right to do with societal (aka our) wealth what they wish. Why this movement is so important is that like all fundamental change it starts with a stirring in the roots and will result in formal political change, i.e. in the relations between people. The problem is not with bankers; like boys, bankers will be bankers. The problem is with political structures which have lost popular support because whatever party is in power nothing fundamentally changes. They are all dancing to the same more or less neo-con tune. The erosion of the power of government in liberal democracies has been the goal of most right wing neo-conservative governments and they have been successful. Governments have reduced their capacity to govern to such an extent that their electorates have concluded they are powerless. They are not, but it will take a re-guttification to start the process. In the words of the street slogan, “you say cutback, we say Fight Back”.  Our movie this week “Beyond Elections” will help us consider what form of politics we want to replace the “bankrupt” (no metaphor that, any more) forms we – decreasingly -  participate in, every few months it seems, in Canada. If we’re doing it so often, because the electorate sees not much difference between the flavours on offer, and so elect minorities, then how about ewe do things differently. Electoral reform won’t do it – the bankers will still be in charge. We need fundamental change. Looks like we might have to start using the R word.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

"Laugh for the Environment"

Join the Toronto Green Community at our 2nd Annual
"Laugh for the Environment" 
     Comedy Fundraiser


Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Time: Show starts at 

Second City99 Blue Jays WayToronto

Tickets: $20, available through 
Second City:
online at

call the box office at 

Invite your friends and Buy your tickets today!! We’ll turn you green with laughter!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

NatureBite partners with Aangen: buy organic health food & contribute to centre's families in need fund.

Nature-bite has recently partnered with the Aangen Community Centre...from Aangen's latest email newsletter:

"We are very excited to announce our new partnership with NatureBite, a Toronto-based business that specializes in organic health foods, supplements and Eco-friendly cleaning products. They are committed to environmental protection and raising awareness of products that are organic, non-toxic and better for the health and wellness of the consumer.

At Aangen we are always looking to work with like-minded people and businesses and are thrilled that NatureBite has decided to support our cause. A percentage of all NatureBite sales made through Aangen, will go to our families in need fund.

A range of NatureBite products are available to buy from our marketplace OR you can buy directly online from them at Just make sure to let them know you heard about them through Aangen, so that part of the proceeds come back to our families in need.
NatureBite Products

* Himalayan Salt Lamps
* Himalayan Salt Products and Grinders
* Yoga Chips (all-natural apple chips)
* Organic Golden Quinoa, Black Chia Seeds, Raw Maca Powder, Roasted Hemp Seeds
* Teechino Coffee Alternative
* Organic Coconut Sweetener
* Bio+ Green Crystals All-Purpose Cleaner
* Organic Coconut Oil"

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Another Story Bookshop Book Party/Public Forum on Labour; 26 Oct. 2011

Another Story Bookshop is hosting a Book Party and Public Forum on Labour in Canada and the US ...

Monday, October 24; 6:30 to 8 pm
315 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto

Meet Steve Early, author of “The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor”, and John Borsos
from the new California-based National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Steve Early was a Communications Workers (CWA) representative in the U.S.
and Canada for 27 years. He has written about union issues for Our Times,
Labor Notes, The Nation, and many other publications. John Borsos is a
veteran of struggles for union democracy and reform within the Service
Employees International Union.

Co-sponsored by: Greater Toronto Workers Assembly, CUPE Local 3903, Labor
Notes, NUHW, Haymarket Books, and Monthly Review.

Thanks to Centre for the Study of Education and Work for additional information.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Green Enterprise Ontario starting online forum, seeking contributors...

As a member of the Green Enterprise Ontario email list, I received this notice - which I think will be of interest and/or relevant to any readers here:

"As most of you are aware, we have begun taking the GEO brand in a new and exciting direction!

While we are passionate about promoting green and sustainable businesses, we are equally interested in transforming markets, shifting attitudes, and providing practical guidance to those looking to develop more efficient, environmentally responsible businesses.

Many tools currently exist through government and association programs, yet many small business owners have difficulty finding and understanding them. To that effect, we are developing a free online resource that will serve as a clearinghouse for practical, solutions-based information that small business can really use.

We have now built an online forum and blog and are looking for content providers to help beef it up. Before going to outsiders to find contributors we thought that we'd first ask you to see if you'd like to participate. If you have experience in developing an ecologically responsible, energy efficient business we'd like to share your wisdom and insight with others through a semi-regular, online posting.

If you are interested in participating, please email us at and either Jeremy or myself will follow up with you soon to discuss the details.

In the meantime, we encourage you all to visit, explore the content, start using the forum, and send us any comments you may have on how we can improve the site so that it best serves you and future users.


Tim Rudkins
Green Enterprise Ontario"

War Resisters: An Evening with S. Brian Willson

S. Brian Willson is a Vietnam veteran and peace activist. In September 1987, Willson lost both his legs when he was run over by a U.S. government munitions train during a nonviolent blocking action. He recently published a memoir, Blood on the Tracks.
Join us for an evening of food and conversation with S. Brian Willson, and get an update on the most recent developments in the campaign to win asylum in Canada for Iraq War resisters.

Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street,

6:00 pm Dinner • 7:00 pm Speakers

$20 suggested donation a fundraiser for the War Resisters Support Campaign •

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

TorontotheBetter supports fledgeling "Occupy Mississauga movement"!

I see a TorontoTheBetter colleague was involved in what he sees as part of the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement...

See ‘Hazel has to go,’ say protesters for details:

"A small group of residents went to City Hall this morning to demand Mayor Hazel McCallion’s resignation after a judge earlier this week said she used her office to promote her son’s City Centre project.


Tim, who described himself as a knowledge consultant and carried a copy of The News with the front-page headline “Unrepentant!”, said McCallion has overstayed her welcome at City Hall.

The protesters took up a prime spot at the main entrance at 8 a.m., exhorting employees arriving for work and later residents going in to City Hall to vote in today’s provincial election to “stand with us in solidarity.” At one point, a pair of security guards stopped by to inquire what they were doing.

“The response has been very positive. Lots of people stopped to talk to us. Cars driving by are even honking,” said Tim, who hopes the protest will be the beginning of a movement to get McCallion to step down.

“She’s been in office for more than three decades. Over that time, she’s become a dictator. She’s treating Mississauga as her personal kingdom, and that’s not right,” he said."

Monday, 10 October 2011

Beyond Elections: TorontoTheBetter PWYC Movie Screening on October 25, 2011

STARTS OFF OUR 2011-2012 movie series with a review of options beyond the norms most North Americans currently associate with democracy. There is a reason citizens are taking to the streets from New York to Londo, to Toronto, to Mississauga. Elections are not putting citizens in charge of their destinies. Join us to consider some alternatives.
At a time when  Canada’s federal government is the choice of less than half of Canadians and promotes policies the great majority of residents in Canada’s largest cities reject, and the lowest percentage of Canadians in history bother to vote, it is the right time to do things differently.

From Venezuela’s  communal  councils to Brazil’s Participatory Budgetin, Beyond Elections  looks at the range of alternatives in the Americas and asks us, “what is  the best way of doingdemocracy?. 

Join us for TorontotheBetter’s first movie screening of our 2011-12. Movies. Discussion. Action.

DATE: Tuesday Oct.25, 2011
TIME: 7pm
LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor St. West – Room 3311