Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NY Assemblyman seeks to restrict pesticide use...And More

Jan 5, 2009
NY Assemblyman seeks to restrict pesticide use
LM Direct!
ALBANY, NY — New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., who representsthe 2nd Assembly District (Suffolk), is introducing a bill to permitlocal regulation of pesticide use in special groundwater protectionareas.
The proposal, if passed, would amend the state's environmentalconservation law and permit local governments more stringentregulation of “nonessential pesticide uses” to protect drinking watersupplies. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation would devisethe standards applying to pesticide use, and would develop a modellocal law for use by counties, according to the proposal.
If approved, the bill would allow any county to petition the NY DECfor the authority “to regulate or prohibit ornamental, aesthetic andcosmetic pesticide use,” assuming it demonstrates a need for theaction based upon environmental, health and safety criteriaestablished by the DEC.
The proposal is being referred to the Assembly's Committee onEnvironmental Conservation.
Click here for the link to the proposal on the NY Assembly Web site.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Human health undervalued
In reference to the story ‘Farmers concerned over pesticideban’ (Belfast Telegraph, January 2).
A retired intelligence analyst, I am currently honorary Canadianobserver on the Pesticide Working Group with headquarters inWashington DC.
In discussing bans of toxic pesticides, there is a tendency toundervalue human health. After all, the key issue here is healthversus profit for large chemical corporations.
With the most toxic pesticides banned and healthier populations, thehealth costs for both the individual and the state are bound todiminish. Isn't this a worthwhile goal to strive for?
What about the farmer? So the price of vegetables could be doubled.This may not be the case, but even if the costs of
buying vegetables should rise, there is no reason to believe thatfarmers would be adversely affected.
People are unlikely to stop buying vegetables, especially if and whenthey are made aware that the produce they are buying is healthier andless likely to adversely impact their health.
The Truro Daily News
Local war veteran feels guidelines for Agent Orange compensation aretoo strict
DEBERT – It has been more than 40 years since Debert resident JimDykens was first exposed to the powerful herbicide Agent Orange.
“I walked and crawled through every drop of that stuff,” Dykens, 74,said in disgust.
He was just a young man at the time, serving in the infantry with theBlack Watch Regiment out of CFB Gagetown.
Back then everyone knew there had been something sprayed around thebase, said Dykens, but no one knew what it was at the time.
Since 2007 a program has existed which distributes one-time, tax-freeex gratia payments of $20,000 to anyone now suffering from the effectsof Agent Orange. However there has been a list of guidelines put inplace to determine who is eligible for compensation.
Guidelines Dykens believes are too strict.
“My biggest concern is to get everybody who deserves something whatthey deserve,” he said.
Everyone who was at Gagetown when Agent Orange was sprayed in the 60sshould be compensated if they are now sick, stressed Dykens. Thefamily of a person who may have qualified for compensation but whopassed away before the plan was introduced should also be able toapply.
“I think basically everyone who crawled through it, from the firsttime it was sprayed to the last time it was sprayed, probably gotsomething (an illness) from it,” he said, shaking his head.
As the qualifications now stand the victim must have been alive as ofFeb. 6, 2006. They also need to have at least one of 12 predeterminedillnesses.
These decisions are consistent with other ex gratia payments made bythe government, said Heather MacDonald, a spokesperson with theDepartment of Veterans Affairs.
“As a government, difficult decisions had to be made to resolve theissue. And that included identifying criteria for the eligibility forAgent Orange payments,” she said.
Dykens himself applied for the compensation in 2005 but was turneddown.
He accepts the decision, but the application process made him moreaware of the challenges other vets face. By coming forward with hisconcerns Dykens hopes to help raise awareness of the Agent Orangesituation.“To tell you the truth it wouldn’t bother me if everybody got (thecompensation) and I didn’t. Wouldn’t bother me at all.”
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Kelly Preston's Crusade Against Toxic Chemicals
filed under: AOL Living
Since his tragic death last week, much has been said about JettTravolta's battle with Kawaski Disease when he was 15 months old. Howcan we protect our children from this dangerous disease?Travolta Family
According to the Children's Health Environment Coalition (CHEC)website, when Jett was 15 months old he became very ill with a highfever and a rash. His parents John and Kelly rushed him to thehospital and were told that he had contracted a rare disease.
Jett was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, a childhood immune systemdisease that causes the inflammation of blood vessels throughout thebody and, if untreated, may affect the heart. Though only about 15 outof 100,000 children under the age of five get the disease in theUnited States every year, it is the leading cause of acquired heartdisease among kids here.
In the hospital, Kelly was asked to fill out a questionnaire, whichcontained questions about family habits and activities. One of thequestions asked if the carpets in their home had been recentlycleaned. "Until then, I thought that cleaning the carpets religiouslywas the healthy thing to do for my children," says Kelly. In fact,Kelly had the carpets cleaned frequently --a nd just prior to Jett'sillness.
Luckily, Jett was diagnosed and treated early, so he suffered nodamage to his heart or other organs -- other children might not be solucky.
But what are you supposed to do if you have carpeting and kids? As weall know, kids are messy and if you want to keep a clean home, it issometimes necessary to clean the carpets.
Here are some suggestions from CHEC to help you keep your kids safeand healthy.
1. Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpets.Throw rugs, tile, wood and other non-carpet materials are easier tokeep clean. Wall-to-wall carpets and their pads are reservoirs fordust mites, dirt, mold and pollutants. They are especially problematicin bathrooms, kitchens, basements and bedrooms, and should not be usedin homes of asthmatics. Wood and tile floors can be covered withmachine washable throw rugs.
2. Place doormats at all entrances and encourage family members towipe!That keeps dirt, pesticides and other pollutants from getting oncarpets. Large mats, that cover two or three strides, will ensure thateven those that refuse to wipe will leave most of the dirt clinging totheir shoes on the mat rather than your carpet.
3. Encourage family members to remove shoes upon entrance into thehome.Pesticides, pollutants and dirt come indoors on shoes and are trackedonto carpets. If going shoeless is not acceptable to family members,suggest that they wear house shoes (that don't go outside), slippersor socks. In fact, bare feet can deposit natural skin oils on carpet.The oils attract dirt.
4. Vacuum two or more times per week.Frequent vacuuming helps reduce the level of dust mites, which triggerasthma and allergy attacks. It also means getting rid of surface dirton carpets before it has a chance to get ground in. A vacuum cleanerwith strong suction, rotating brushes and a HEPA filter, so the dirtand dust won't get blown back out in the exhaust, is best. Go back andforth over the same spot several times, especially in high trafficareas, to get all of the dirt and dust. Take care also to vacuumthoroughly along walls and carpet edges because dirt and dustaccumulates there.
5. Clean up spills on carpets immediately to prevent stains.Soak up liquid spills by covering them with clean white (or light-colored) towels or paper towels. Scrape sticky substances off carpetswith a spatula or spoon. Don't rub the spill. That will damage carpetfibers and make the stain spread.
To clean the stain, mix 1 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild liquidsoap, such as dishwashing liquid or fine fabric detergent. Apply asmall amount, blot by pressing a clean white towel into the carpet andlift. Then repeat the process until the spot is gone.See Also:
* John Travolta's Last Words to Jett * Travolta Family Doc Present During Autopsy * What is Kawasaki Syndrome? * Travolta Family Speaks Out * The Latest on the Travolta Tragedy * Update: Bahamas Using Two Experts For Travolta Son Autopsy * John Travolta and Kelly Preston's Son Dies
January 06, 2009
Invermere Valley Echo
Putting work to practice in the home
By Lindsay McPherson - Invermere Valley Echo
It was her passion for the outdoors that led Heather Leschied to thevalley, and started her work with a highly acclaimed endeavour.
Leschied (pictured above at left) began working with the LakeWindermere Project in 2005. With a degree in Environmental Studiesfrom Lakehead University, her studies were concentrated in rivergeomorphology, which tied into the ongoing study on Lake Windermere.
Getting into the backcountry to hike and tour has further instilled inLeschied her commitment to preservation.
“After really seeing what’s out there, we work harder to protect it,”she said.
Practising what she preaches, Leschied has made changes in her homethat affect the health and vitality of Lake Windermere.
“We make sure to reduce water consumption and use environmentallyconscious products when cleaning,” she noted.
When it comes to lawn care, Leschied has adopted a no pesticidephilosophy, explaining that pesticide runoff from Invermere is stillwithin the catchment area for Lake Windermere.
Learning the ropes from neighbours, Leschied had started an organicgarden in her yard to create her own food supply.
“Being able to grow our own food here is a great experience,” shesaid.
One of the most recent initiatives that Leschied and the LakeWindermere Project have taken on is the formation of a partnershipbetween our own lake and the other Lake Windermere, located in theLake District of Northern England. Both lakes are facing similarpressures and hope to learn from one another through the partnership.
“Through our history and success in the community with the LakeWindermere Project and our partnerships with the District ofInvermere, the RDEK and the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, theyfeel they can learn from us how to form those partnerships,” explainedLeschied.
The lake is one of the main reasons people love to call this placehome and it’s thanks to the dedication and commitment of Heather thathelp preserve that precious resource.
Find this article at:
© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved.
Dow AgroSciences LLC had 90 days to file a notice of arbitration whichwould continue the NAFTA challenge under Chapter 11. Dow spokeswomanBrenda Harris stated to Canadian Press on November 20th that Dow willnot comment on whether it would pursue its claim until the periodexpires on Monday, November 24, 2008.
Dispute SettlementNAFTA - Chapter 11 - InvestmentCases Filed Against the Government of Canada"Dow AgroSciences LLC" v. Government of Canada
Legal Documents (all documents are in pdf) Copies of all legaldocuments posted in the document archive have been prepared in alanguage of operation of the Tribunal or Court in question. TheGovernment of Canada has not modified or changed them in any way. Assuch they have not been translated from the original. They areprovided in Acrobat (pdf) files. To view or download pdf files youneed Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™ a free software that you can downloadfrom the web.
* Notice of Intent - August 25, 2008
According to the Notice of Intent above the law firm representing DowAgroSciences LLC is Ogilvy Renault.and the lawyer handling the file isPaul D. Conlin. He is an expert in Access to Information as well asinternational trade (NAFTA , WTO) and investment.
Paul D. Conlin Partner, LawyerOgilvy Renault.DIRECT LINE 613.780.8639EMAILpconlin@ogilvyrenault.comFAX 613.230.5459office locationOttawa
BiographyPaul D. Conlin focuses on international trade and investment, WTOdisputes, trade remedies, customs law, export controls and governmentcontracting. He regularly appears before the Canadian InternationalTrade Tribunal in anti-dumping, countervailing duty, safeguard andgovernment procurement proceedings. He advises clients on foreigninvestment, import and export regulation, as well as NAFTA and WTOobligations and disputes. He is one of very few lawyers in privatepractice in Canada to have argued before a WTO dispute settlementpanel.
Mr. Conlin also advises clients on all aspects of federal, provincialand municipal government contracting in Canada, including teamingagreements, strategic planning, bid preparation, contract negotiation,regulatory compliance, contract audits, bid challenges and litigation.He has advised government and private sector clients and representedclients in several of the largest dollar-value procurements in Canadaover the past decade.
Mr. Conlin has broad experience representing clients that producecontrolled or strategic products. He assists with developingcompliance programs, responding to customs audits, obtaining securityclearances and export permits, and satisfying other regulatoryrequirements. He also advises on Canadian foreign ownership andcontrol restrictions in regulated sectors such as communications andcultural industries.
Year of CallOntario Bar 1999Law SchoolLL.B., University of Ottawa, 1997EDUCATIONM.A., Norman Paterson Schools of International Affairs, 1998B.A. (Hons.), Carleton University, 1993PublicationsBorder Control of Intellectual Property Rights (Chapter on Canada),Sweet & Maxwell, 2008."Draft Code of Conduct for Procurement Poses New Challenges forGovernment Suppliers," Client Update, April 2007."Amendments to Procurement Contracts are Subject to CITT Review,"Information bulletin, Ogilvy Renault, October 2006. "Government of Canada Launches Trade Agreements Guide forMunicipalities," Information bulletin, Ogilvy Renault, June 2005."The Reporting of Exported Goods Regulations (2004): ImportantChanges to Export Reporting," Information bulletin, Ogilvy Renault,October 2004."Safeguard Remedies: New Rights Result from China's WTO Accession,"Journal of International Trade Law and Regulation, No. 5, 2002.House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence: Testimony onGovernment Procurement and Bid Challenges, November 1999.Speaking Engagements"The Tension Within: Canadian Human Rights Law and U.S. InternationalTraffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)" (co-presenter: Daphne Fedoruk),Canadian Institute seminar, Toronto: September 24, 2008.How to Sell Technology to Government Conference (Chair), Toronto:April 2001."Trade in Telecommunications Service: Canada's Domestic Agenda" paperpresented at University of Toronto Conference, February 17 - 18, 2000.Rankings and RecognitionsThe Best Lawyers in Canada, 2009 - International Trade and Finance LawChambers Global Guide to the World's Leading LawyersWoodward/White's The Best Lawyers in CanadaEuromoney's Guide to the World's Leading International Trade LawyersMemberships and ActivitiesLaw Society of Upper CanadaCanadian Bar AssociationOntario Bar AssociationAmerican Bar AssociationInternational Bar AssociationOttawa Chair of the firm's Students CommitteeCanadian correspondent, Journal of International Trade Law &Regulation
Wed, Nov 19, 2008
Ottawa Business Journal
Biz bemoans accessibility issues
By Peter Kovessy, Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Paul Conlin of Ogilvy Renault. (Etienne Ranger, OBJ)Delays in accessto information requests hurting system's largest users
Increasingly lengthy delays in responding to federal Access toInformation (ATI) requests are undercutting the system's usefulness tocompanies seeking more information about government procurement andregulations, observes a local lawyer.
Businesses are the biggest user of ATI in Canada, filing more than 44per cent of the 29,000 requests received by the federal government in2006-07. That's more than the amount filed by journalists, academicsand other organizations combined, when excluding requests from thepublic.
Businesses generally use ATI to obtain information on governmentcontracts and gain commercial intelligence to put them in a strongerposition, or learn of new regulations under consideration.
But the relevance of this information decreases with time, notes PaulConlin, an Ottawa-based lawyer at Ogilvy Renault specializing ingovernment contracting and federal regulatory issues. "Informationtends to be most valuable when it is timely," he says. "It creates adisincentive to file access requests if (a private company) doesn'tthink it is going to get any information for a period of six months orlonger."
For a $5 fee, individuals and companies can request governmentrecords, including briefing notes, budgets, correspondence and audits.While the Access to Information Act sets a target of 30 days torespond to requests, Mr. Conlin says this goal is rarely met.
Indeed, two recent reports concluded federal delays have reached a"crisis" level as federal employees struggle with a growing number ofincreasingly complex requests.
Mr. Conlin says there has been growing use of ATI procedures bybusinesses, which generally fall into two categories – suppliers ofgoods and services, and those operating in heavily regulatedenvironments.On the regulatory side, companies often want a sneak peek at newfederal policies to get a head start on adapting, says Mr. Conlin. Ifthe government is considering further regulatory burdens on a certainsubstance, for example, companies may want to examine alternatives andpotential changes to supply chains.In the procurement realm, losing bidders often try for a copy ofawarded contracts to gain information about their competitors orstrengthen a future bid.
For example, Mr. Conlin says a request for proposals may say thegovernment intends to purchase 10 basic widgets and require the bidderto provide a unit price. That bid would then be evaluated on the unitprice multiplied by 10, he adds.
However, if a company learns through ATI that the government purchased15 upgraded widgets, it could then adjust its pricing strategy in afuture bid.
Businesses can also gain valuable information by requestingcorrespondence between various departments, says Dave Lowdon, asecurities lawyer at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall.
Mr. Lowdon says there's a general reluctance among businesses to useATI too often out of fear they will offend government purchasers, anotion he tries to dispel.
"These are quite simply your rights and you should feel free to usethem," says Mr. Lowdon. "The government is supposed to be open." Headds government response times have become increasingly longer.
Likewise, Ottawa-based public interest researcher Ken Rubin, who sayshe files hundreds of ATI requests annually, says new users of thesystem will likely find it frustrating in terms of the lengthy processand exemptions the government often employs to avoid releasinginformation.
He advises anyone filing a request to be persistent, but says the lawneeds an overhaul."It drastically needs a revamp and become a little more fast-moving,"he says.
Time required to complete requests0-30 days: 57.8% (17,028)31-60 days: 16.9% (4,983)61-120 days: 12.1% (3,557)121 days or more: 13.2% (3,905)
Source of requestsBusinesses: 44.1% (12,868)Public: 32.4% (9,461)Media: 12.4% (3,617)Organizations: 10% (2,932)Academics: 1% (304)
Institutions, ranked by number of requests received:Citizenship and Immigration Canada: 35.9% (10,497)National Defence: 6.2% (1,808)Canada Revenue Agency: 5.5% (1,604)
Source: Statistical tables – 2006-07 – Access to information, InfoSource Bulletin No. 30
The Council of Canadians
ACTION ALERT: Re-negotiate NAFTA now!
Governments and big business have spent the last 15 years telling usthat free trade is good for us. But Canadians know better. TheCouncil of Canadians has found that 61% of Canadians agree that NAFTAshould be renegotiated to include enforceable labour and environmentalstandards.
Chapter 11The investor-state provisions in the NAFTA act both preventively aswell as punitively in undermining strong environmental and labourstandards. These provisions allow corporations to sue membergovernments for compensation in secretive NAFTA trade tribunals, notstate courts, over almost any state measure that impacts predictedprofits. As reported in the CBC, at least 42 cases have been filedsince chapter 11 came into effect, more than half of the complaintslodged so far have arisen because of environmental laws. Chapter 11can also be used by corporations to challenge measures that helpworkers. For example, ExxonMobil announced it would sue Canada overrequirements for research and development and local employment in theNewfoundland offshore oil industry
NAFTA and bulk water exportsWater is included in Chapter 3 of NAFTA as a tradable good, subject toall the disciplines of an international treaty. Hence, once a foreigncorporation invests in water, its interests are protected by the tradeagreement. While voluntary provincial bans and public pressure haveprevented corporations from exporting water so far, there is growingpressure on the provinces to lift these bans. Both Newfoundland andOntario have attempted to export water but backed away due to intensepublic pressure. More recently, Quebec’s Charest government expressedan openness to the idea of bulk water exports as a source of revenuefor the province. Under the “national treatment” provision of chapter11, once one province allows the commercial export of water, otherprovinces will be forced to provide the same treatment to corporationsseeking to export water.
Energy provisionsNAFTA signed away significant control of our energy resources to themarket and big oil companies. Obligations under NAFTA prevent us fromever cutting back the proportion of energy we produce and sell to theU.S., even to meet Canadians’ needs or conserve energy resources.NAFTA limits the ability of the Canadian government to impose importor export restrictions, or to intervene in energy trade except inextraordinary circumstances. Furthermore, the Canadian governmentcannot treat foreign owners less favorably than it does domesticinvestors and cannot implement a two-price system for domestic use andfor exports. NAFTA has contributed to a disconnection of production ofenergy to consumption of energy in our country, Canada produces about40 per cent more oil than it consumes, but relies heavily on importedoil from offshore. Canada exports close to 70 per cent of the oil and60 per cent of the natural gas we produce each year to the U.S. Thisis at the expense of ensuring Canadian’s energy security for basicenergy needs and results in energy production greenhouse gas emissionsbeing largely divorced from potential conservation and efficiencyfocused measures in Canadian energy use.
TAKE ACTIONSend an email to our prime minister telling him that it’s time to re-negotiate NAFTA.
Compose your letter in the box below.
Prime Minister, 61% of Canadians agree that NAFTA should berenegotiated to include enforceable labour and environmental standardsaccording to a September 2008 Environics poll commissioned by theCouncil of Canadians. Now is the time to pay attention to the Canadianpublic and review NAFTA’s energy and water provisions. In particular,I demand: - The rejection of investor-state provisions in the NAFTAthat allow corporations to sue member governments for compensation insecretive NAFTA trade tribunals, not state courts, over almost anystate measure that impacts predicted profits. This helps to prevent aswell as undermines strong environmental and labour standards - Anenergy exemption from NAFTA to allow for greater direction in thepublic interest of Canadian non-renewable energy sources, in seeingmore conservation and energy efficiency, meeting Canadian’s energysecurity needs and prioritizing the security of the environment. Inparticular, Canada should obtain an exemption on the proportionalsharing clause, article 605 - The exclusion of water from the NAFTAstarting with immediately following through with the mandate arisingfrom a Members of Parliament vote June 4, 2007, to begin talks onexcluding water from the NAFTA I demand that you stop promoting tradedeals that undermine labour and environmental standards and put ourwater and energy resources at risk, and take immediate action to re-negotiate NAFTA.
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Attention Business Editors:TILMA legislation flouts rule of law, democracy: Shrybman
Trade law expert cites Liberal government's Bill 32 withconstitutional violations
VICTORIA, May 21 /CNW/ - The Trade, Investment and Labour MobilityAgreement (TILMA) between British Columbia and Alberta - and the B.C.legislation enabling it - violate the Canadian constitution byusurping the role of judges and endowing cabinet with too much power,says a leading trade law expert in a legal opinion released today.
In the written opinion, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell lawyer StevenShrybman says that the TILMA and the BC Liberal government's Bill 32"confront basic constitutional norms, including the rule of law anddemocracy", by trumping the authority of both judges and parliaments.
"By imposing financial penalties and other sanctions on theprovince for the lawful actions of governments and other publicbodies, TILMA and Bill 32 improperly fetter the exercise oflegislative and public authority," Shrybman says, in the May 7document.
They also usurp the role of senior courts "by empowering ad hoctribunals to adjudicate private claims concerning the actions ofgovernment and other public bodies." TILMA and Bill 32 also offendconstitutional limits on the delegation of legislative power to theexecutive branch of government "by amending certain provincialstatutes to accord Cabinet the discretionary power to nullify, throughregulation, the application of provisions of those laws to companiesand other entities from outside the province."
The legal opinion was commissioned by the Canadian Union of PublicEmployees.
CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill, attending a press conference todayin his capacity as CUPE National general vice president representingB.C. and Alberta, calls Shrybman's report "the most damning indictmentyet" of the controversial TILMA deal, which was reached in secretbetween the Campbell Liberals and Alberta's Ralph Klein government.
"Bill 32's amendment granting the Cabinet discretionary powers tooverrule laws affecting companies from outside B.C. is one of the morearrogant manipulations of legislation we have seen from thisgovernment," says O'Neill.
"This is power by proclamation, which the courts have referred toas 'King Henry the Eighth clauses'. Does Mr. Campbell wish to becompared to such a monarch?"
For further information: Contact: Steven Shrybman, Sack GoldblattMitchell LLP: (613) 482-2456; Barry O'Neill, CUPE BC president: (604)340-6768; Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132
The key conclusions of Steven Shrybman’s legal opinion on Bill 32/TILMA are:
1. Because Bill 32 purports to deal with matters of inter-provincialtrade, investment and labour mobility, it infringes federalconstitutional authority with respect to trade and commerce under 91(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
2. By imposing financial penalties and other sanctions on the provincefor the lawful actions of governments and other public bodies, TILMAand Bill 32 improperly fetter (tie the hands) of the legislature,municipalities and many other public bodies.
3. By empowering ad hoc arbitral tribunals to adjudicate privateclaims concerning the otherwise lawful actions of government and otherpublic bodies, Bill 32 improperly derogates from the authority andindependence of Canadian superior courts which is protected under s.96 of the Constitution.
4. By empowering Cabinet the discretionary power to nullify, throughregulation, the application of provincial laws, Bill 32 offendsconstitutional limits on the delegation of legislative power to theexecutive. The courts have named such provisions “King Henry VIIIclauses” after the propensity of that monarch to arrogate legislativepower by proclamation.
Stephen Shrybman's Legal Opinion on TILMA & Bill 32 - Pt. 1Constitutional and International Trade lawyer Stephen Shrybmancomments on Bill 32, the law which implements the Trade, Investmentand Labour Mobility Agreement in British Columbia. Stephen is joinedby Barry O'Neill, President of CUPE B.C., for a short question andanswer session following his commentary
Stephen Shrybman's Legal Opinion on TILMA & Bill 32 - Pt. 2
Stephen Shrybman's Legal Opinion on TILMA & Bill 32 - Pt. 3
Stephen Shrybman's Legal Opinion on TILMA & Bill 32 - Pt. 4
CUPE's Paul Moist on TILMATILMA would override existing inter-provincial trade agreements, andallow corporations to sue towns and cities for supposed barriers totrade. Visit to find out more, and to send amessage to your premier telling him that TILMA is not the way to go.
TILMA Press Conference (Part 1 of 3)
TILMA Press Conference (Part 2 of 3)
TILMA Press Conference (Part 3 of 3)
Not Counting Canadians: The Security and Prosperity Partnership andpublic opinion
On April 21, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper traveled to NewOrleans to attend the fourth annual North American Leaders’ Summit todiscuss progress to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) withhis American and Mexican counterparts. It has been four years sincethis process began, and no one beyond an elite group of corporate CEOshas been asked how they feel about the SPP—until now.
» Click here to read the report.
Click here to read a letter to Prime Minister Harper demanding adebate on the SPP, which was signed by Maude Barlow (Council ofCanadians), David Suzuki, Ken Georgetti (Canadian Labour Congress),and Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh.
Visit for SPP updates, to download audio, video andto read more about the SPP.
=========================Warning Industry Propaganda Below=========================
Phenoxy Value-Benefits Study Released
In 2006 the research task forces representing the registrants of 2,4-D, MCPA and mecoprop-p (MCPP-p) commissioned the preparation of aphenoxy herbicide value-benefits study. The report identifies andquantifies, where possible, the economic, environmental, health andother benefits that accrue to Canadians from the use of the threephenoxy herbicides.
Undertaken by RIAS Inc. – regulatory impacts, alternatives andstrategies, the study estimates the benefits of usage of the phenoxyherbicides as the increased costs producers and consumers would incurif phenoxy herbicides were withdrawn from the market. The reportfocuses on:
§ wheat and barley markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitobaand Ontario;
§ non-crop industrial sector that uses phenoxy herbicides tomanage harmful vegetation; and,
§ lawn and turf sector as examples of the uses made of phenoxyherbicides by individual Canadians and businesses for privateinvestment, aesthetic and recreational purposes.
These sectors represent a large percentage of all usages of phenoxyherbicides in Canada.
Executive Summary
Value-Benefits Presentation
Complete Value-Benefits Study
RIAS Inc.- regulatory impacts, alternatives and strategies2255B Queen St. East,Suite 220M4E 1G3Toronto, CanadaTel: 1-416-699-9422Fax: 1-416-699-9858Contact Eric CowanE-mail:
specialists in regulatory economics and competitiveness; alternativesto regulatory approaches to achieving societal goals, especially infields of health, environment and financial services.
Contact Us - RIAS INC - [Cached Version]Published on: 2/3/2002 Last Visited: 10/26/2002
Doug Blair...Doug Blair, President...Doug Blair is an economist specializing in federal regulatory policyand process, business impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis.Hehas over 16 years experience in the regulatory field, with extensiveknowledge and expertise in conducting competitiveness impact analysesand cost of compliance studies of government regulations, policies,programs and proposals for a wide range of industry and governmentclientsConsulting for 5 years, Mr. Blair provides economic analysisand strategic policy advice to both industry and government clients inthe fields of human and veterinary drugs, medical devices, pesticides,and specialty chemicals.As an expert in regulatory reform, businessimpact analyses and cost-benefit assessment, Mr. Blair has been calledupon to speak to many groups, including Canadian businessassociations, federal departments, provincial and state governmentsand the OECD.Regulatory reform, 5 years.Mr. Blair worked at RegulatoryAffairs, Treasury Board where he helped develop the FederalGovernment's regulatory policy and was an original architect of theBusiness Impact Test (BIT) and the policies governing its use.Heprovided advice and assistance to regulatory programs and the privatesector regarding competitiveness impact analysis, cost-benefitanalysis, and cost of compliance analysis.12 years as an economist,policy analyst and project manager within various departments andcentral agencies of the federal government.Also President, BlairConsulting Group, providing data collection and analysis services forindustry clients.
Some Recent Projects on Regulatory Issues and Related Topics...Mr. Blair led this effort on behalf of Treasury Board, and wasresponsible for developing and implementing the BIT process andpolicy.
EducationB.A. (Honours), Economics.Queen's University, May 1984.
Economic Impact Study Focus Group Meeting, Collingwood August 19, 2006
A report outlining the results of a Economic Impact Study strategymeeting held by all provincial and national Executive Directors is nowavailable. The meeting was held on August 19th, 2006 at the CNLAsummer meeting in Collingwood, Ontario. The report is expected to leadto a research proposal submission to fund an Economic Impact Study ofthe Green Industry in Canada.
The Executive Directors of all provincial associations met on August19, 2006 at the Board of Directors meetings at Collingwood, Ontario.The stated purpose of the meeting was to:
* Identify the key components and framework for the proposedNational Economic Impact Study of the Horticultural Industry/GreenIndustry * Identify logistical and funding strategies for completing a fullscale proposal and Call for Proposals for the Economic Impact Study
Note: The study will provide Provincial statistics as well asaggregate national figures.
1.0 Attendance
* Luce Daigneault, Federation Interdisciplinaire de l'HorticultureOrnementale du Quebec (FIHOQ) * Jane Stock, British Columbia Nursery Landscape Association(BCLNA) * Cle Newhook, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador (LNL) * Nigel Bowles, Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association(LANTA) * Michelle Lavigne, Landscape Nova Scotia (LNS) * Jim Landry, Landscape New Brunswick Nursery Trades association(LNBHTA) * Tony DiGiovanni, Landscape Ontario Nursery Trades Association(LOHTA) * Notes by Lee Ann Knudsen, Landscape Trades * Victor Santacruz, CNLA * Jamie Aalbers, LOHTA Research Director
Doug Blair and Eric Cowan from RIAS Inc. attended as guest advisors.
2.0 RationaleCNLA's Strategic Plan provides for a range of promotional and publicrelations activities aimed at increasing awareness about both CNLA andthe industry as a whole. Continual dialogue and information sharingbetween CNLA and its members is crucial to aligning agendas andensuring that the provincial issues are at the top of CNLA's agenda.At the same time CNLA must find effective ways to engage the federalgovernment at both the bureaucratic and political levels in order toinfluence federal policies and legislation to the benefit andprosperity of our members and the industry generally. Equally ourpromotional strategies and activities must continue to build publicawareness about the intrinsic aesthetic, environmental, social, healthand economic benefits of the "green industries" and promote a deeperunderstanding of the complete value chain associated with ourindustry.
To this end CNLA is developing a suite of promotional instruments tobetter penetrate our target audiences. The proposed Economic ImpactStudy will fill a key void in our current instruments and will providea crucial body of data for a wide variety of applications and ongoingactivities of CNLA and its members.
3.0 Key Elements of the Economic Impact StudyAs indicated above the target audiences for CNLA promotional andlobbying include:
* All levels of government * CNLA members (i.e. provincial associations) * Other industry associations and interest groups * The general public
It is proposed that the study be conducted over two distinct Phases asfollows.
Phase One will consist of:
* A comprehensive inventory of relevant literature and researchmaterials in US and Canada * A comprehensive review and analysis of key findings fromsecondary sources * Identification of gaps and recommendations for primary researchin Phase Two
Phase Two will consist of:
* Design of survey instruments and other research methodologies * Engage key informants from the industry in gathering a range ofquantitative and qualitative data * Analysis of key findings * Detailed description of the impacts of the green industry onprovincial and national economies
4.0 Applications for the Economic Impact StudyThe Economic Impact Study will provide a timely opportunity to "tellour stories" to our key target audiences. The Study will addcredibility to CNLA's claims about the green industry and byquantifying the impacts of the green industry CNLA and its memberswill be in a stronger position to both inform and influence otheragendas. Furthermore the study will be a useful tool in:
* Government relations * Partnership and relationship building * Developing synergies and aligning agendas with likemindedorganizations * Public relations * Developing funding proposals * Internal promotions * Building corporate pride and communities of interest * Providing market research for sponsorships and corporatealliances * Benchmarking for future years * Providing a means for comparing impacts with other industrysectors * Mitigating potential damaging legislation and promotingbeneficial measures * Showcasing the industry's entrepreneurial efficiencies * Identifying competitive and growth opportunities * Support claims of industry enterprises as SME family businesses * Recruiting new entrants to the industry
5.0 Defining the Value ChainThe study will address the complete value chain of the greenindustry. The list of sectors that should be included in the studyincludes but not limited to:
* Landscape contracting * Landscape maintenance, including snow * Lawn care * Designers, architects * Irrigation contractors * Lighting contractors * Nursery crops/growers, including forestry growers * Turf producers * Garden centres, other retail * Arborists * Greenhouse growers (floriculture) * Florists * Golf course management * Parks Depts., municipalities, botanical gardens * Suppliers (list to be derived from Source Book) * Educational institutions * Publishing enterprises * Cemeteries * Christmas tree growers * Associations * Contractors (roads, rights of ways, vegetation management) * Manufacturing (Greenhouse, equipment, fertilizer etc.) * Garden/green tourism * Flower and garden shows
6.0 Measuring the SectorsIndicators for the study will include but not limited to:
* Housing starts * Sales * Employment (numbers, payroll, wages) * Purchases * Numbers of businesses * Tax contribution * Land use * Financial performance, including capital investment * Trends * Export sales * Financing sources (use info from Doug Blair)
7.0 Funding SourcesPotential funding sources could include the following:
* Agriculture Adaptation Council Collective Outcomes * Agriculture Policy Framework (APF) * Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agrifood (ACAAF) * Agriculture Human Resources Sector Council * Value Chain Project * Industry Canada (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Program//WesternDiversification Fund) * CNLA partners * Suppliers
8.0 Suggested Level of Effort/Time LineThe suggested level of effort (i.e. our fundraising target) is in theregion of $350,000. The suggested duration of the project should beeight to ten months from letting a contract. It is noted that primarydata collection be restricted to winter months 07/08.
NOTE: RIAS is recommending that CNLA stipulate that an undertaking fora peer review must be provided for in any response to a Request forProposals (RFP) as a key component of credibility in the deliverables.
10.0 RFPAn RFP and Terms of Reference will be developed either as soon aspossible or as soon as funding is in place. It is proposed that onecontractor be engaged for both phases of the contract and that thecontractor is fluent in English and French.
11.0 Next StepsJamie Aalbers, LOHTA Research Director will develop a draft-fundingproposal and circulate it to Executive Directors for comment andsuggestions. RIAS is offering to help where appropriate.
12.0 Other Issues for Future consideration
* Development of RFP and Terms of Reference * Follow-up to Funding Application(s) * Open Contest for RFP Versus Selection of a Consultant * Interview/Selection Process
"Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council and theBritish Columbia Investment Agriculture Foundation"
January 7, 2009
Wheat Growers Convention This Week
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers are preparing for their annualconvention January 7th to 9th, 2009 at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg.The convention theme is "On the Verge . . . " and topics underdiscussion include biotechnology, wheat research, urban and provincialpesticide bans, grain marketing, transportation and regulation.
Featured speakers include Dennis Avery, the Director of The Centre forGlobal Food Issues of the Washington-based Hudson Institute, andauthor of Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic andUnstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 years. Also Neil Wandel,Chairman, CBH Group of Australia who will talk about developments inAustralia following the removal of the Australian Wheat Board’s wheatexport monopoly.
The convention also includes tours of the Canadian InternationalGrains Institute, the Canadian Wheat Board, the Royal Canadian Mintand MacDon Industries.
For more information on the convention click here .
Who is Dennis Avery? - SourceWatch Profile
Dennis Avery is the director of the Center for Global Food Issues atthe Hudson Institute, where he edits Global Food Quarterly. Averycrusades against organic agriculture claiming that modern industrialagriculture and biotechnology will save the world from starvation anddisaster. Avery also disputes the scientific consensus on globalwarming, ascribing the warming to sunspots - this based on evidencegathered from ice cores and deep ocean sediment deposits.[1] He isalso the originator of a controversial organic foods claim thatorganic foods are more dangerous than foods sprayed with chemicalpesticides.[2]
Avery served as a senior agricultural analyst for the US Department ofState for between 1980 and 1988 under the Reagan administration,"where he was responsible for assessing the foreign-policyimplications of food and farming developments worldwide".[3]
"As a staff member of the President's National Advisory Commission onFood and Fiber, he wrote the Commission's landmark report, "Food andFiber for the Future," his biographical note states.[3]
"Avery studied agricultural economics at Michigan State University andthe University of Wisconsin ... At Hudson, Avery continues to monitordevelopments in world food production, farm product demand, the safetyand security of food supplies, and the sustainability of worldagriculture," his biographical note states.[3]
Avery writes a weekly column for The BridgeNews Forum.
According to his biographical note "Avery travels the world as aspeaker, has testified before Congress, and has appeared on most ofthe nation's major television networks, including a program discussingthe bacterial dangers of organic foods on ABC's 20/20".[3]
Avery is also a member of the scientific policy advisory panel for thecorporate-funded American Council on Science and Health.[4]
Innovative, farmer-driven solutions.
Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association502 - 45th Street W., 2nd FloorSaskatoon, SKCANADA S7L 6H2 T: 306-586-5866F:
39th Annual Convention
“On the Verge ...”
January 7 to 9, 2009Winnipeg Fairmont HotelWinnipeg, MB
The Wheat Growers wish to invite you to attend our 39th annualconvention, to be heldJanuary 7 to 9 at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg. The conventionoffers a great opportunityto meet and mingle with like-minded farmers and industry leaders.
We have an excellent line-up of speakers, including:
• Dennis Avery, Director of The Centre for Global Food Issues of theWashington-basedHudson Institute, and author of Saving the Planet with Pesticides andPlastic andUnstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 years.• Neil Wandel, Chairman, CBH Group of Australia who will talk aboutdevelopments inAustralia following the removal of the Australian Wheat Board’s wheatexportmonopoly.• Ian White, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Wheat Board.• Elwin Hermanson, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Grain Commission.• Clyde Graham, Vice President of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute.• Lorne Hepworth, President of CropLife Canada.
The convention will also feature tours of the Canadian InternationalGrains Institute, theCanadian Wheat Board, the Royal Canadian Mint and MacDon Industries.
The convention will kick off with an opening reception at 7:00 p.m. atthe Fairmont Hotel onWednesday, January 7 and will close with a banquet on Friday evening,featuring thecomedy routine of Big Daddy Tazz. The Wheat Growers’ annual generalmeeting will beheld Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.
Please join us for what promises to be an informative and entertainingevent. The fullprogram is shown on the reverse. The registration form is enclosed.Be sure to registerand book your hotel room by December 22 to take advantage of early-bird rates.
Wheat Grower 2009 Convention ProgramFairmont Hotel, Winnipeg, MBJanuary 7 to 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7Noon to 6:00 p.m. Registration desk open, 2nd floor, Fairmont Hotel7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. President’s Reception.
Thursday, January 87:30 a.m. Breakfast8:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks – Convention Chair8:40 a.m. Market Outlook – Brenda Tjaden Lepp, FarmLink MarketingSolutions9:40 a.m. Canadian Wheat Board study – Chuck Penner, SeniorConsultant, Informa Economics
10:30 a.m. Refreshment break
11:00 a.m. Australian situation – Neil Wandel, Chairman, CBH Group(Australia)
Noon Lunch
12:45 p.m. Luncheon Speaker – Les Kletke, agriculture journalist andcommentator1:30 p.m Adjourn2:00 p.m Tours of CIGI, CWB, the Royal Canadian Mint, and MacDonIndustries.
Free evening time
Friday, January 9
7:30 a.m. Breakfast8:00 a.m. WCWGA Annual General Meeting – members only9:00 a.m. Ian White, Chief Executive Officer, CWB
10:00 a.m. Refreshment break
10:30 a.m. Elwin Hermanson, Chief Commissioner, Canadian GrainCommission11:15 a.m. Rail Transportation – Mark Hemmes, President, QuorumCorporation
11:45 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m Dennis Avery, Director, The Center for Global Food Issues,Hudson Institute1:30 p.m Todd Hyra, Midge Tolerant SWAT Team2:15 p.m Clyde Graham, Vice President, Strategy & Alliances, CanadianFertilizer Institute
3:00 p.m Refreshment break
3:30 p.m Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada4:15 p.m Closing Remarks, Convention Chair
6:00 p.m Reception6:45 p.m Banquet – entertainment by Big Daddy Tazz
Posted: 1/7/09
The McGill Tribune
FEATURES: Of plants and patentsMonsanto is ready to round up seed patent violators
By: Meghna Marjadi and Carolyn Yates
Monsanto Canada Inc. will go to court on January 15 to settle a casewith four farmers who allegedly illegally grew, harvested, and soldproducts developed from patented Monsanto seeds.
The McGill Tribune contacted the farmers involved, but none werewilling to comment before they go to court.
The January hearing follows Monsanto's December settlement with threeQuebec farmers growing Roundup Ready canola without a license. Thefarmers agreed to pay $200 per acre.
Monsanto uses genetic engineering to produce the herbicide-resistantRoundup Ready, a line that includes seeds for regular and high-yieldsoybeans, canola, and high-yield corn. Monsanto also offers otherlines of enhanced crops that provide insect protection, weed control,and higher yields. Currently, Monsanto holds between a 70 and 100 percent market share of various genetically engineered crops.
Monsanto prosecutes farmers who use their patented products without alicense. The company encourages people who suspect patent infringementto call a toll-free number to report their claims. In the instance ofthe Quebec farmers, Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan said thatpeople in the area alerted Monsanto to the patent infringement.
"We were told by people in [the farmers']area that they thought thatthese guys were growing Roundup Ready canola without a license," saysJordan. "We checked their fields and it was Roundup Ready … Theyweren't accused of it. They admitted that they knowingly planted seeds[without a license]."
But Monsanto's field auditing techniques have come under criticism.The May 2008 issue of Vanity Fair included an account of Monsanto'slawsuit against Gary Rinehart, the owner of a small country store inEagleville, Missouri. Rinehart was charged by Monsanto with patentinfringement-despite the fact that he neither farms nor deals withseeds-based on observations by investigator Jeffery Moore. Afterbringing Rinehart to court, Monsanto eventually realized Moore hadaccused the wrong person.
"Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agentsin the American heartland to strike fear into farm country. They fanout into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape andphotograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate communitymeetings; and gather information from informants about farmingactivities," Vanity Fair reported.
Jordan, however, insists that Monsanto's tactics are legitimate.
"We do audit surveys every year and 90 per cent [of farmers] gothrough the audit and have no issue with it. Obviously people who arestealing the technology are going to be a little bit more difficult towork with, but the audit program is conducted completely within thelaw," says Jordan. "We cannot enter anybody's land without theirpermission. If we believe there is an expected violation we have to,number one, work with the grower to resolve that, and number two, haveevidence that that is indeed the case."
In addition, Jordan notes that the people who complete the auditsaren't Monsanto employees, but are rather just contracted for the job.
The threat of random audits prevents most farmers who legally buyMonsanto seeds from breaching contract guidelines, but they don'talways address farmers who acquire seeds illegally.
"When a grower is purchasing seeds illegally in the first place, weare not going to know about [it] unless somebody tells us," saysJordan. "Usually it could be another farmer, it could be a neighbour,it could be the local retail outlet. In those situations sometimes wecheck them out, and there are no issues: the guy has a contract and heis doing everything perfectly legally. In other situations that's notthe case, and that was the case with these three [Quebec] growers.They had never purchased the technology properly in the first placeand they had used the seed."
Farmers who purchase Monsanto seeds must sign a contract agreeing thatthey will not use the purchased seeds for more than one growing seasonor save any seeds from the season's crop (traditionally, farmers keepseeds from one crop to use for the next). Instead, farmers who areMonsanto customers must purchase new Monsanto seeds every year.
"Agronomically, it's going to give you your best chance at productivecrop if you purchase new seed every year … If you're a grower thatfeels adamant about saving and reusing seeds we have no problem withit. You can save and reuse seed all you want, just don't save andreuse the seed that has our technology in it," says Jordan. She admitsthat not everyone will agree with the agronomic benefits of buying newseed.
"I think there is a lack of knowledge," says Professor Jasminder Singhfrom McGill's Department of Plant Science. "But I understand that insome cases there are some self-pollinated crops where the seeds can begrown the next year, and in those cases sometimes companies want thefarmers to still buy seeds from them."
In the case of the Quebec farmers, the battle with Monsanto is over.But for the farmers in Ontario, and others, the worst is yet to come.
© Copyright 2009 The McGill Tribune
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone

Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise

Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use

Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the

Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that

Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't

Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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