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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You reap what you sow.

It was reported on CBC this morning that in a last ditch effort to win over votes for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, Canadian diplomats were giving out maple-leaf shaped bottles of maple syrup.
Maybe our government’s grasp of the concerns of the world’s nations is a bit lacking in substance.  Maybe it would have won some votes if the Harper government had sent any member of federal cabinet to the emergency meeting on the food crisis in Rome in June 2008.  Instead, we let our Ambassador to Italy sit there without instructions, speaking volumes about Canada’s concern for the world’s poor and hungry.
Maybe it would have helped if we answered the call for peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  We were once the world’s number 1 contributor to peace-keeping.  Now we are 56th.  From over 3,000 soldiers deployed in the past to this year’s compliment – 57.
Maybe it would have helped if we had lived up to our commitments to fight poverty in Africa.  Or maybe it would have worked better than maple syrup if Prime Minister Harper had not ignored the special meeting on climate at the General Assembly, leaving for an event at Tim Horton’s instead of staying to deliver a speech.
I remember once, a long time ago, when I was at Sierra Club, speaking to a Conservative MP when Stephen Harper was Leader of the Opposition.  I won’t use his or her name.  I wouldn’t want her (or him) to feel the PM’s wrath.
I was pushing for any kind of commitment that, in power, the Conservatives would reduce Greenhouse gases.  The answer stayed with me.  Regardless of how achievable Kyoto would be, the MP saw no chance of the Conservatives being able to support action, because Stephen Harper would “always see Kyoto as one of those U.N. things.”
So, no matter how much we give out last minute bottles of maple syrup, and no matter how sincere the pitch for membership from the PM to the General Assembly seemed two months ago, actions speak louder than words.  The actions of the Harper government led to this outcome  --  not their words, nor the words of Michael Ignatieff in saying what everyone knew, that our reputation in the world was tarnished after four and a half years of Harper government policies.
You reap what you sow.  Let us hope that this is the nadir in Canada’s world reputation.  Let us commit to be the country we once were, with a Prime Minister and a House of Commons that understands what it takes to be a constructive member of the family of nations.

From http://greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2010-10-12/there-s-not-enough-maple-syrup-world

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Milk is Hazardous to Your Health

Not that thin highly processed stuff with all the rich cream and much of the taste and goodness removed that you buy in the store, but the stuff that comes from cows.
Now that may come as a shock to some city folk and indeed some lawmakers, not the bit about it being hazardous but the fact that milk actually comes from cows and actually contains rich cream and tastes wonderful. We here in Canada are in fact one of the few places in the world where we cannot buy Real Milk, pretty much all of Europe has it available, in the third world many get it direct from the cow as has mankind for thousands of years. Even the Queen of England drinks it! But our lawmakers have decided that not only must all milk sold to the public must be “processed” and pasteurized , thus giving a defacto monopoly of milk distribution to a few large “milk Processors”, but that we individuals are so uninformed that we must be “protected” from the very small risk of drinking “contaminated” real milk by a total ban the sale and distribution of same. Not only that but now it would seem those knowledgeable folks that choose to enter into a “cow share” in order to protect their right to choose what they consume and those that share the work of caring for said cows are now criminals distributing “hazardous substances”. Say What! Has The World Gone Mad?

If one was to use logic, not a talent one often finds in government, one would ask “given the numerous heath scares from contaminated meat products, after processing one might add, how is it the cow its self is not declared hazardous material,” or the beef cattle, pigs, sheep and other food products issuing from the gates of farms across Canada. Mind you the government is working on that one, the farmer that butchers his own cow and GIVES a roast or chop to his neighbor or relative is now also breaking the law (at least here in Ontario) and can be charged. Should he want to have his local abattoir do the work for him he had better get it done soon as the regulations put upon those massive operations, from whence all the contaminated meat comes, have also been put upon the little one or two man operations that have been producing uncontaminated meat for eons. Some of them for longer than some of the big boys have even existed. The result? All the small abattoirs are closing unable to absorb the costs of all the regulatory hurdles intended to keep the big boys in line, but are in fact further cementing the big corporations monopoly on our food supply.

That my friends is what this is all about, it has little to do with health issues, but a lot to do with the mega corporations desire for a food monopoly, and the governments total lack of support for the small supplier and the family farm. It is a policy that may well come back and bite us as the corporations both domestic and international get more and more control over our food chain from farm to plate.

A Tip o the Hat to Bruce on the Bruce for this one!