A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We get mail.....

Recently I have been getting an increasing amount of Email, much of it due to getting on some 'media' list directed at my efforts at Democracy Under Fire which results in many political promotional material from U.S. 'consultants'. Most is sent directly to the electronic garbage bin however once in a while I get some interesting stuff.

I welcome the updates from Lead Now “a group of young Canadians taking action together for the fair, responsible and democratic Canada that we believe in.” Their latest projects are detailed below and I encourage those who are concerned with the direction that the Harper Regime is taking our democratic processes (and that SHOULD be all of you) to get involved.

  1. Pilot Campaigns to hold Conservative MPs accountable to their constituents

    We’d like to try an experiment: local mass-mobilization campaigns in key ridings. We’ll encourage Conservative MPs, especially back-benchers who won with less than 50% of the vote, to become pro-democracy independents before the next election. If 13 of them joined together they could shift the balance of power in Parliament, and hold the Harper Conservatives accountable to a majority of Canadians. This is a powerful strategy, and we need to do it right.

    Are you interested in committing your time to be part of a pilot campaign? Click here to sign up: Yes, I would like to volunteer as part of a local accountability campaign in my riding.

  1. Host a Leadnow Summer Gathering (July 24-August 10)

    The Leadnow Summer Gatherings will connect pro-democracy Canadians in a casual setting to meet each other, make local connections, and talk about our long-term strategy. Together, we’ll take the next step in hosting a national conversation to create a long-term campaign for major improvements to our democracy, with a focus on electoral reform. Our goal is to build a game-changing strategy before the 2015 federal election to make our democracy work better for all Canadians.

    Today, we’d just like to know if you’d be interested in hosting a Summer Gathering. Next week, we’ll send out an invitation for everyone in the Leadnow community to find and join the gathering closest to them.

    You can decide whether your Summer Gathering is public or private, whether it will be a big group or just you and a few friends, and whether it will take place at a local coffee shop, in your living room, or as a backyard BBQ. Click here to learn more about hosting a Leadnow Summer Gathering: http://www.tfaforms.com/250842

  1. Build the Pro-Democracy Movement Online

    Can’t join a Summer Gathering? No problem. Watch for another note from us in the next couple of weeks. We will ask for your feedback to help create the long-term democracy campaign focused on the 2015 election.


The second piece of 'interesting mail was from one of those 'consultants' promoting an info-graphic detailing the resources used in raising animals for food as opposed to the vegetarian diet. This was of interest to me because I am a lifelong vegetarian, however not for reasons of animal welfare, food resources or economics but simply for healthy eating. I have nothing against those that get a portion of their protein from animal sources however I do believe that, at least in North America, that greater diversity of diet needs to be practiced, moderation and a balanced diet is more important than what is part of that intake in my view.

That said we should bear in mind, given the increasing world population and finite food sources, that as the info-graphic details it takes much more resources to provide meat protein than direct intake of vegetable protein. Something to think about!


The third bit of mail was from the Edmonton Folk Music Festival detailing their efforts to making their even 'green' and have minimal impact upon the location and the environment as detailed below.

Since the 1980’s, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (August 9th - 12th) has implemented a legion of 2,000+ volunteers that include an environmental crew, who have committed to minimizing the impact that the festival has on the local grounds. This task is not easy considering the four day event attracts over 80,000 people and Gallagher Park, where the festival takes place, has no paved pathways or roads.

Since the beginning, efforts to minimize impact on the environment during the festival included:
·         Installing temporary plastic walkways to minimize damage to the park
·         Sending out cleaning crews throughout the day to pick up garbage: the morning clean-up crew, called EnviroPower, is staffed by youth volunteers and then the Site Environment crew monitors the park during the day and evenings.
·         Recycling: the Festival Site Environment collects recyclable items to minimize garbage sent to the landfill and composts organic waste generated during the Festival.
·         Restoring Gallagher Park: this includes removing facilities and equipment in a timely manner and restoring the grass.

Over the past few years, the green movement has grown and other programs that have been instated are:
·         Bringing in 5,000 washable plates to onsite concessionaries and implementing a ‘No Styrofoam’ policy on site.
·         Using Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) beer cups which derive entirely from natural corn materials, is 100% renewable through annual corn harvests and fully compostable. Installing solar panels on merchandising tents which run lights and cash registers
·         The Festival and all concessionaries use bio-degradable cutlery, napkins and other products which are composted

Congratulation to the organizers for their efforts, these large outdoor events do have a considerable impact upon the surroundings and any effort to minimize it is a good thing. Well done folks.


Please note that this is NOT an invite for every organization or 'public relations firm to send me a bunch of crap in the hope that I will republish it on my blogs. I some how have been added to a U.S. media list that has left me inundated with mostly political 'Info Blasts' that I have little or no interest in. No doubt that much of that is due to my 'Democracy Under Fire' pages but some have bled over into the 'Rural Canadian', I do like to keep up on CANADIAN political stuff and in these days of kill the messenger it is NESSARY to keep up with environmental and scientific concerns. In short if you are reading this please use restraint in using my email links supplied for those reader that are not comfortable (or internet savvy) enough to use the comment section. Dialog is good ...... but too much crap from 'media relation' types simply clogs the pipes!!

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