58 posts categorized "sustainable development"

June 28, 2010

G20 Video and Blog Package I Prepared for Indie Media Site PtboCanada.com


PTBOCANADA: Peterborough Activists Insist The Media is Missing the Message with the G8/G20 Protests

is a G20 blog and video package I prepared for indie media outlet PtboCanada.com yesterday afternoon. There are a dozen videos (accessible on YouTube via a link in the article) plus a blog post with many embedded links. You'll find eye-witness accounts from activists who were in Toronto on Saturday, analysis of G20 issues - including media coverage of the protests - from Peterborough-area activists, protests songs and a whole lot more.

November 08, 2009

Let's Have a Grownup Conversation About Climate Change: Pembina Institute to Harper Government

Denying Canada's Environmental Truths, (The Toronto Star, November 8, 2009) is another must-read. But be forewarned: you'll feel frustrated as you're reminded, yet again, of how far Canada has strayed from its once-proud record of environmental leadership -- and how far out of synch the Canadian government is with the attitudes of the Canadian public when it comes to taking action on climate change.

Here's a key quote.

"[The Harper government's attitudes towards the environment] runs counter to modern ideas of sustainable development and green growth, which are now part of mainstream business thinking. As countries around the world act to cut emissions, the federal government's approach risks putting Canada at a serious disadvantage in the global race for clean energy jobs....It's clear that Canada can choose to be both green and prosperous. Science and economics both argue that we need stronger climate policies urgently. Now the politicians need to show that they are grown up enough to face the climate challenge."
- Clare Demerse, Associate Director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program.


ParentCentral.ca: Moms Against Climate Change

September 19, 2009

Economist Jim Stanford at Peterborough Public Library: Oct. 8, 2009 at 7 pm

Looking for someone to help you cut through all the economic double-speak - to explain what's really going on with the Canadian and North American economies?

Jim Stanford is an economist who actually makes sense (as you can see from this YouTube clip) -- and he's coming to Peterborough in early October.

Author and economist Jim Stanford will be giving a free public lecture at the Peterborough Public Library on October 8, 2009, beginning at 7 pm.

The event is being hosted by The Peterborough Community Legal Centre, Peterborough and District Labour Council, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Trent Canadian Studies Department and the Council of Canadians.

Stanford's most recent book is Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism.

Stanford received his master's degree in economics from Cambridge University, UK, and his PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York City. He was the founding chairman of the Progressive Economics Forum, Canada's network of progressive economists. In 2007 he was appointed vice-chair of the Ontario Manufacturing Council. Stanford is the chief economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union.


The Globe and Mail: Canada's Productivity Numbers Reveal a Real Structural Weakness by Jim Stanford

The Tyee: Fixing the Real Economy

Rabble.ca: Jim Stanford: Columnist

The Progressive Economics Forum: Jim Stanford

June 17, 2009

Facebook Group Created for Those Who Oppose MP Dean Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan

IMG_2698 I just posted this to the wall of the newly created Facebook group We Oppose MP Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan:

I'm every bit as opposed to the process (the balloting process; how inappropriate it is for our MP [Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro] to be pitching a project on behalf of one private developer) as I am to the project (environmental concerns, conflict between Parks Canada mandate to project the land for everyone's enjoyment vs. how the land would be used by public developer).

Our MP should have backed away from this project the moment early objections about the project and the process were raised, as opposed to forging ahead with a highly flawed and undemocratic balloting process. Every day, more facts emerge about this situation that raise additional concerns about the project and the process.

So far, political checks and balances aren't serving the people of Peterborough well.

Perhaps a major media outlet with the investigative reporting resources to thoroughly research this story can help the citizens of Peterborough get the answers they deserve.


Impolitical: Conservative Dean Del Mastro Should Run for Peterborough City Council

Impolitical: Why Is Dean Del Mastro Taking Surveys on Behalf of a Private Developer?

Impolitical: Checking in on Dean Del Mastro's Survey on Behalf of a Private Developer

May 27, 2009

The Timing of Del Mastro's Survey "Couldn't Have Been Worse": Peterborough City Planner

"The timing with [Dean Del Mastro's Little Lake] survey couldn't have been worse for us," said City planner Mary Gallop, at the City of Peterborough's first community meeting to develop a master plan for Little Lake.

"Many people who turned out to Tuesday's meeting wanted to vent about MP Del Mastro's proposal for a 7.2-acre parcel of land where the Trent Severn headquarters are currently located," noted MyKawartha.com.

Citizens aren't happy about having their Federal MP jumping the gun on the city's own planning process - particularly given that their municipal tax dollars are being spent to pay The Planning Partnership, a planning and design firm based in Toronto, to take the community through a community-based planning process to determine the future of an historic and much-loved public green space.

That's not to say that they're entirely happy with the city-led planning process. According to The Peterborough Examiner, citizens who showed up for the kick-off meeting grilled City officials about the integrity of its own planning process for Little Lake:

There was applause when Rob Cory asked why the city would want to reverse its policy of buying waterfront property in that area to create more waterfront space for public use.

“The city taxpayers bought frontage for its natural environment and public use,” he said. “Why would the city want to reverse that policy?

“Now they want to put a wall of condominiums up there.”

Another person at the table said that’s Del Mastro’s plan, not the city’s proposal.

Del Mastro’s plan has brought people together to defend the green space, said Mary-Anne Johnston, a Lakefield resident.

“His plan [to allow a private developer to build on the Trent-Severn Waterway headquarters property that’s owned by the federal government ] has totally galvanized people against it,” she said.

Meanwhile, citizens continue to sign a petition designed to declare Del Mastro's ballot about the future of Little Lake null and void. After all, voting about the future of Little Lake before citizens have had a chance to participate in the city-led planning process (which will continue into the summer) certainly isn't in the best interests of the citizens of Peterborough. That certainly begs the question: in whose best interest is it to have those ballots signed, mailed, and delivered to Ottawa in such a hurry?


Impolitical is also asking questions: "Why Is Dean Del Mastro Taking Surveys on Behalf of Private Developers in Peterborough?"

April 19, 2009

Flora MacDonald to Speak in Peterborough Tomorrow Night: Event in Support of YWCA Peterborough

This comes via Betsy McGregor (Peterborough Federal Liberal candidate):

An Evening with Flora MacDonald

The Hon. Flora MacDonald will be speaking on Monday April 20th, at 7:00 PM, at the Princess Gardens Atrium in Peterborough. Donations will support YWCA Peterborough Victoria and Haliburton's fundraising efforts for its new women’s shelter.

The evening will commence with the showing of her recent CBC documentary Flora’s Mission about her courageous work building girl’s schools in Afghanistan and promoting the use of solar panels in mountain villages. That will be followed by a short talk by Flora on Canada’s challenges; and an open community discussion.

Flora MacDonald has been active in Canadian politics since the 1970s. She served as an MP and Cabinet Minister, and in 1979 she became the first woman to be appointed Secretary of State for External Affairs. Since leaving politics in 1989, Flora has been deeply involved in a range of human rights and environmental activities around the globe, and is currently working in Afghanistan and India.

Flora MacDonald has received numerous honours in her life, including the Order of Canada and Companion of the Order; the Pearson Peace Medal; the Churchill Society’s award for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy; the El Kawkab Medal by King Hussein for significant contribution to public service and was the Padma Shri Award (India’s highest award to civilians) from the President of India for distinguished service in the field of public affairs. She was given the EVE award from Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan advocacy organization committed to promoting the election of more women to every level of government, and to raising awareness about the under-representation of women in Canadian politics. Ms. MacDonald holds honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom.

This remarkable woman was born in North Sydney, NS, in 1926, is a sixth generation Canadian whose forebears came to Canada from the Scottish Highlands in the 1790s. She also worked in Peterborough in her early career, singing in a local church choir. She will be departing within weeks of this event for her 11th solo trip to Afghanistan.

There is no charge for this event.

Seating is limited so please come early.

February 17, 2009

The Globe and Mail: Dean's Train is Officially a Ghost Train

I'm pretty sure this was the funding announcement that Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro was anticipating when he assured area residents as recently as a few weeks ago that ground would be broken in 2009 for the much-talked about Toronto-Peterborough rail extension (a project that has recently earned the nickname "the ghost train" around town).

Problem is, a train that doesn't head any further east than Markham isn't going to score many points with the voters who were railroaded into voting for Del Mastro by his promise to bring the train to Peterborough.

It would appear that the ghost train has met the same unfortunate fate as the ghost battery plant. Guess that leaves the ever-optimistic voters of Peterborough Riding with just two of four Del Mastro campaign promises to pin their hopes on: the constitutional amendment regarding property rights and the resort complex for Little Lake -- both far-fetched but not officially dead yet.

Return on campaign promise investment (current stats):
2 out of 4, just four months post-election.

Rating: Not impressed. Not surprised.


GO Transit infrastructure investment details (Government of Ontario press release)

Comments @ Maclean's Magazine about potential for Montreal-Toronto high-speed rail: A couple of readers can't figure out where Peterborough would fit into the picture, except as a political-point-scoring pitstop: "Dean likes this route to Ott/Mtl because his riding is along the way." "Despite the fact I would love and use a Peterborough stop, it should go along the lakefront." "I’m a big fan of high-speed rail but when it comes to Dean Del Mastro - what a chooch(oo)!"

Metrolinx: The Big Move: Regional Transportation Plan: Peterborough is included in the long-term plans (15 to 25 year time frame). These are the immediate plans. Of course, all this has to make its way through the provincial government approval process. And anything can happen when the infrastructure fairy godmother is dropping taxpayer money from heaven.

January 13, 2009

Transition Town Peterborough: Meeting This Week

Plantman Transition Town Peterborough is hosting a meeting that will focus on permaculture (designing sustainable human settlements that mimic patterns and relationships found in nature) on Wednesday, January 14th. The meeting will be held at the Peterborough Public Library from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m.

The session will be introduced by Trent Rhode of Transition Town and led by Paula Anderson of Peterborough Green-Up. It will define permaculture, outline local action steps, and end with a public discussion.

To find out more about the event or Transition Town Peterborough, email Trent Rhode.

January 05, 2009

Campaign Promise Countdown: 2 Down, 2 to Go

Battery plant runs down - Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA.

It's no wonder voters are so cynical.

As The Peterborough Examiner reported on Saturday, the battery plant that Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro announced with much fanfare five days before the federal election in October appears to have run out of charge. Some of us with non-battery powered crystal balls had predicted this outcome right from the get-go -- proof that it pays to invest in a crystal ball with a power adapter.

And it appears quite certain that the commuter train to Toronto -- another key part of the Del Mastro platform -- won't be running between Peterborough and Toronto anytime soon. The only train between Peterborough and Toronto that's even pie-in-the-sky at this point (see this November 28, 2008, Metrolink map showing that Peterborough isn't a priority for them now or anytime soon) is a route that would go via Orillia -- not exactly a convenient route for commuters looking for an alternative to the car.

But Del Mastro isn't about to see half of his campaign promises go up in flames three months after the election. (That would only leave him with his promise to change the Canadian constitution to safeguard landowner rights against government interference (a pretty tall order, that); and his election-eve announcement of a flashy plan to build a resort on Little Lake (one that might bode well for his family's tourism-industry RV business, but that isn't necessarily the best use of this key piece of land, given the kind of innovative approaches that other communities are taking to community planning these days). Del Mastro is denying that the battery plant idea is dead and he's insisting that the train is still a comin'. He's either the most optimistic man in Peterborough or....

I'll let you fill in the blanks.

December 11, 2008

Emily Berrigan, Political Whirlwind

Peterborough Green Party of Canada Candidate Emily Berrigan must dream political dreams at night. (Does she count political sheep as she tries to fall asleep?)

It's the only way she can possibly have time to come up with all these great ideas -- and do all the things she's already doing.

In a town that has more than its share of political dinosaurs/neanderthals, it's so refreshing to have Emily speaking the language of political change. Go, Emily, Go!