Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


Scientists fear Canada will fish bluefin tuna and other species to extinction -

Scientists fear Canada will fish bluefin tuna and other species to extinction -
Top marine scientists are denouncing Canada’s management of fish stocks as a commercially driven approach threatening to wipe out species at risk.
The attack comes from two senior members of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) — the body mandated by federal law to advise the government on species at risk.
They note the federal government has consistently refused to list several endangered fish under the Species at Risk Act, which would make their fishing or trade illegal. They include Atlantic cod, cusk and porbeagle shark.
During the act’s 10-year history, “there has not been a commercially exploited fish — assessed as endangered or threatened — that has been included on that list,” says Jeffrey Hutchings, a biology professor at Dalhousie University and member and former chair of COSEWIC.
Commercial interests always trump ecological ones, Hutchings charges. A stark example, he insists, is the porbeagle shark, whose population has declined by at least 85 per cent since the 1960s. It was assessed by COSEWIC as endangered in 2004. The government refused to list it as a species at risk because a handful of Canadians were fishing it.
Today, a dozen fishermen have licences to fish porbeagle in the Atlantic. No one used the licence to fish them this year and only one fisherman did so in each of the last two years. Yet Canada, which fishes more porbeagle than any other country, was roundly criticized last month for blocking a European proposal at an international conference that would have ended porbeagle fishing.
“Our (international) reputation is very poor,” says Alan Sinclair, a COSEWIC expert on fish populations who retired from the federal Department of Fisheries and oceans three years ago.
“We used to be a leader internationally in conservation and protecting our fish resources back in the 1970s and ’80s,” he adds. “Now people look at us and I’m sure they shake their heads and wonder what the heck is going on in Canada.”
Frustration hit a boiling point when Canada pushed for an increase in the bluefin tuna fishing quota at a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in November. At the same time back home, the government was consulting Canadians on whether to list bluefin tuna as a species at risk, a process triggered by COSEWIC’s 2011 assessment of bluefin as “endangered.”...

CCAT will be setting up workshops with scientists and government officials to try to resolve what Scattolon calls the recruitment “conundrum.” Until then, critics say Canada should err on the side of caution.
In Canada, Hutchings doesn’t see stock management improving until Canadians become better informed about what he describes as a dire state of affairs.
“There are few if any political costs in this country to making bad ocean management decisions,” says Hutchings, who recently chaired the Royal Society of Canada’s expert panel on marine biodiversity. “If there were political costs, we wouldn’t see these types of decisions being made on an almost routine basis.”


Saudi Arabia uses capital offence of ‘apostasy’ to stifle debate | Amnesty International Canada

Saudi Arabia uses capital offence of ‘apostasy’ to stifle debate | Amnesty International Canada

A court in Saudi Arabia has decided to proceed with the prosecution of an online activist for apostasy, a charge which carries the death penalty, in what Amnesty International said is a new bid to stifle political and social debate.
On 22 December the General Court in Jeddah had Raif Badawi, 25, sign documents to enable his trial on apostasy charges to go ahead, after his case was passed to it by a District Court on 17 December.
Badawi – who founded “Saudi Arabian Liberals”, a website for political and social debate – has been in detention since June 2012 on charges including “setting up a website that undermines general security” and ridiculing Islamic religious figures.
Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
“Even in Saudi Arabia where state repression is rife, it is beyond the pale to seek the death penalty for an activist whose only ‘crime’ was to enable social debate online,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty Internationals Middle East and North Africa Program.
“Raif Badawi’s trial for ‘apostasy’ is a clear case of intimidation against him and others who seek to engage in open debates about the issues that Saudi Arabians face in their daily lives. He is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
Badawi’s trial began in June 2012 in a Jeddah District Court and was rife with irregularities.
According to his lawyer, the original trial judge was replaced by another judge who had previously advocated that Badawi be punished for apostasy. His lawyer has contested the judge’s impartiality in the case.
The charges against Badawi relate to a number of articles, including one he wrote about Valentine’s Day – the celebration of which is prohibited in Saudi Arabia.
He was accused of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s Commission on the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – also known as the religious police – in the conclusion of his article: “Congratulations to us for the Commission on the Promotion of Virtue for teaching us virtue and for its eagerness to ensure that all members of the Saudi public are among the people of paradise”.
The charges against Badawi also mention his failure to remove articles by other people on his website – including one insinuating that the al-Imam Mohamed ibn Saud University had become “a den for terrorists”.
“Articles on Badawi’s website included references to individuals or institutions that some people might have found offensive, but charging him with criminal offences punishable by imprisonment or execution cannot be justified on any level,” said Luther.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities must end their intolerance of people peacefully exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression.”
For further information contact John Tackaberry,Media Relations  

Idle No More: A crucial call for justice | Amnesty International Canada

Idle No More: A crucial call for justice | Amnesty International Canada
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 13:32
Grassroots rallies across Canada under the banner 'Idle No More' have put the spotlight on a federal legislative agenda that is trampling the rights of Indigenous peoples set out in  domestic and international law.
Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill, introduced changes to the Indian Act, including measures that would make it easier for First Nations to 'surrender' their lands, even without the support of the majority of their members. The omnibus bill also further narrowed the scope of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and numerous related laws, so that resource development projects on the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples will be much less likely to be subject to a rigorous public environmental impact assessment. These changes are on top of dramatic restrictions on environmental assessments already passed in the previous budget bill.
These are not the only legislative changes that raise concerns. For example, as Amnesty International has previously highlighted, a Senate bill to regulate First Nations water services asserts the power to unilaterally disregard treaty rights.
These changes in legislation have the potential to profoundly affect the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples. In each case, these legislative changes have been brought forward without adequate or meaningful consultation with Indigenous peoples - and in many case, over their clearly expressed opposition.
International human rights standards, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, require that decisions affecting the rights of Indigenous peoples be made only with their full and effective participation. And when the decisions concern the lands and resources of Indigenous peoples, the appropriate standard is generally, if not always, free, prior and informed consent.
The rushed adoption of new laws affecting the rights of First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis peoples not only violates these international human rights standards, it falls far short of the legal requirements established in Canadian law.
In Canada, the rights of Indigenous peoples are enshrined in the Constitution and set out in nation to nation Treaties.  The Supreme Court has clearly said that Parliament cannot ignore these rights. There must be "reconciliation" between the power of the state and the prior sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. Laws passed by Parliament must be balanced against the laws, customs and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and "equal weight" must be given to each. Any infringement on Indigenous rights must be strictly justified. The government must deal "honourably" with both the established and the asserted rights of Indigenous peoples. And in every case, in order to uphold the "honour of the Crown", there must be good faith consultations to ensure that Indigenous peoples' concerns are at least "substantially addressed."
The Idle No More movement is a vital, grassroots response to the blatant disregard for the rights of Indigenous peoples that is being demonstrated by Parliament. Amnesty International members are encouraged to learn more about the movement and to get involved in rallies in their own communities. Many have already done so.
For more information, please see:


FDA Quietly Pushes Through Genetically Modified Salmon Over Christmas Break

FDA Quietly Pushes Through Genetically Modified Salmon Over Christmas Break | NationofChange
While you were likely resting or enjoying time with friends and family over the Christmas break, the United States Food and Drug Administration was hard at work ramming through genetically modified salmon towards the final acceptance process. Despite the frankenfish actually being blocked by Congress last year over serious health and environmental concerns, the FDA is making a massive push to release the genetically modified salmon into the world as the FDA-backed biotech giant and creator of the fish AquaAdvantage screams for profits...
What to do?  There are a number of methods here, but first and foremost the word needs to be spread far and wide that genetically modified salmon is being pushed through by the FDA. People despise GM products on average, with 90 plus percent in favor of at least labeling. In addition, there is a petition going around to send to politicians to ask them to stop this approval as they did in 2011.
Ultimately, it comes down to opposition. If enough people know this is coming and are very upset about it, they will have trouble ramming it through. That’s why they announce these things over Christmas weekend. They don’t want anyone to even hear about it — they want to make it harder to popularize since hardly anyone saw it.
We can beat this as we did back in 2011, and the FDA knows it. Their dirty tactics are not effective in the technological age in which the transfer of information is more powerful than ever. Share this news and spread the word. Block genetically modified salmon from getting put on your dinner table without any labels.

| Tell President Obama and the FDA you won't eat GMO salmon!

Food Democracy Now | Tell President Obama and the FDA you won't eat GMO salmon!

Right now President Obama and bureaucrats at the FDA are preparing to unleash genetically engineered salmon on the market. After years of controversial regulatory review, this past week, the Obama administration cleared a final hurdle for AquaBounty’s GMO salmon to be approved at any moment.
On Friday, December 21st, 2012, FDA bureaucrats declared that AquaBounty’s GMO salmon poses no “significant” risk to the environment. This recent FDA decision comes on top of the agency’s 2010 declaration that the GMO salmon were safe for humans to eat, despite no independent long-term studies. Once again, the FDA is putting corporate science over public health.
If approved, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to be sold for human consumption and could appear in restaurants and supermarkets as early 2013.
We can't allow this to happen. Tell President Obama and the FDA that you won't eat GMO salmon!

First Nations prepared to fight Harper government, Enbridge in international court | The Vancouver Observer

First Nations prepared to fight Harper government, Enbridge in international court | The Vancouver Observer

Dancer Harriet Prince from Manitoba
Harriet Prince, a visitor from Manitoba dances at the Idle No More rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Darla Goodwin wasn’t surprised when she first heard about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
“We have ancient pictorials and scrolls that speak of a time when the women rise up,” she said. “A great snake was supposed to cross the land and poison Turtle Island, and we’re looking at that as the pipeline.”
Goodwin, an organizer for the Idle No More Vancouver and a member of the Cree First Nation, points to a prophecy, made several hundred years ago and passed down through the indigenous peoples of North America, that describes a time when a great snake will travel across the country, poisoning the land, the water and the air. There is another prophecy that references a time when one of the races would lose its way, and it would be up to the others—the women in particular—to remind the fallen nation what is means to steward the land.
She said her people were definitely not surprised when four women from Saskatchewan founded Idle No More in response to Bill C-45 and began a movement that now spans the country.
Matriarchal First Nations societies are based on traditional teachings of the moon and earth as female beings, the Mother and the Grandmother, and the 28-day cycle.
“In our culture the women are actually the leaders of our community,” Goodwin said. “The clan mothers were the ones who decided when people would move, they decided who married who, what grounds were good to hunt on.”
Goodwin’s grandfather was present for the signing of Treaty 4, but she said it was the clan mothers who decided what needed to go into that treaty.
“Traditionally, non-indigenous folks would see chiefs standing out in front, but what the people didn’t know was that those chiefs took their directions from the women.”
Now, with the Enbridge hearings taking place in BC and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence entering her third week without food in Ontario, Goodwin said the struggles of First Nations across the country come down to one key issue: will Stephen Harper respect indigenous land rights?
One of the biggest misconceptions non-indigenous Canadians have, she said, is that Crown lands belong to the government.
“All the Crown land across Canada is owned by Aboriginal people and Canadians do not know that.” BC’s unceded Coast Salish territory, while not covered by its own treaty, is still Crown land, and by law, the federal government is required to have free, prior and informed consent from First Nations before undertaking any measure that affects the land.
“I don’t foresee Harper backpedalling whatsoever,” Goodwin said. “I know that our next stop as indigenous people is to fight him on an international scale. … And if it has to go to international court, it will. Until we lose in international court we will not stop.”
But Goodwin is quick to stress that this is not an indigenous movement. It’s not solely about a First Nations issue. It’s a labour movement and it’s a women’s movement. It’s a people’s movement in response to a human rights issue.
This was immediately apparent today at the Idle No More Vancouver rally on the steps at the Vancouver Art Gallery where First Nations leaders and youth were flanked by members of the BC Nurses’ Union, CUPE and migrant justice group No One is Illegal.


Why ‘Idle No More’ is gaining strength, and why all Canadians should care -

Why ‘Idle No More’ is gaining strength, and why all Canadians should care -
First, it is a matter of social and environmental justice. When corporate profit is privileged over the health of our lands and waters, we all suffer. When government stifles debate, democracy is diminished. Bill C-45 is just the latest in a slew of legislation that undermines Canadians’ rights. In standing against it, the First Nations are standing for us too.
Second, as Justice Linden of the Ipperwash Inquiry said, “we are all treaty people.” When our governments unilaterally impose legislation on the First Nations, they dishonour the Crown, they dishonour us, and they dishonour our treaty relationship. We are responsible for ensuring that our governments fulfill their commitments. If our governments do not respect Indigenous and treaty rights, then the very legitimacy of the Canadian state — and thus of all our citizenship rights — is in doubt. That’s what Idle No More is about.


Tar Sands Battle Takes Distinct Turns in Vermont, Montana

Tar Sands Battle Takes Distinct Turns in Vermont, Montana | Common Dreams
As the battle over transporting tar sands out of Alberta continues, two distinct paths emerged on Monday, one chosen by Burlington, Vermont and the other by Montana, and show how decisions made at the local level can have serious impacts for ongoing battles over fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

Burlington VT City Council on Monday night voted its disapproval over the transport of tar sands oil, which it termed as an unacceptable risk to "public health and safety, property values and our natural resources."

To make sure the message is loud and clear to those involved in the prospective pipeline, the resolution also requires that
the Council transmit a copy of the resolution to the governor of Vermont, the Vermont Congressional delegation, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the CEOs of companies associated with the pipeline: Portland Pipe Line Corporation, Montreal Pipe Line Limited, Imperial Oil Limited, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Enbridge, Inc., BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
While campaigners fighting for a tar sands-free New England celebrated the victory in Burlington, a decision in Montana offered nothing to cheer about.
KPAX Missoula reports:
On Monday, the state's top lawmakers green-lighted the Keystone XL pipeline route in Montana allowing the line to cross two of Montana's largest rivers.
The Keystone XL is a proposed oil pipeline which would span 1,200 miles from Alberta, Canada, through Montana to Nebraska.
The State Land Board, made up of Montana's top five elected officials, approved nearly 40 easements running through seven Montana counties, giving TransCanada permission to put the pipeline on state land.
The Great Falls Tribune adds that the state board decision came despite objections from environmental groups, including Jim Jensen of the Montana Environmental Information Center, who argued that the pipeline would jeopardize the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.


Monsanto Protection Act being slipped into Ag Bill

According to sources in DC, Monsanto has once again succeeded in slipping provisions into the House Agricultural Appropriations Bill that have now been added to an omnibus spending bill that certain members of the House of Representatives are desperate to get passed before the end of the year. The Monsanto Protection Act could pass as early as next week and we need your help today. Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
These riders, which we dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act" earlier this year, would strip federal courts of their authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal and potentially hazardous GMO crop.
As they did earlier this summer, these new provisions, called “riders”, would allow biotech companies to continue to sell their unapproved seeds to farmers, who could plant them while important legal appeals are taking place, instead of halting the planting of the unapproved crop until the court settled the appeal as has been done up until now.
In classic form, the biotech industry has cleverly hidden their toxic plan under the deceptive title of a “Farmer Assurance Provision” (Sec. 733). In truth, the “Monsanto Protection Act” would allow the biotech industry to continue to flout American legal precedence and violate the constitutional separation of powers set forth by our Founding Fathers.
In short, the “Farmer Assurance Provision” is the greatest threat to farmers’ and citizens’ rights that Monsanto and the biotech industry has ever devised and it must be stopped - today!
Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
According to legal experts, this provision “would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review” and is a “dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards”.
This current rider is a response to the successful lawsuits that farmers have filed to prevent the sale, distribution and cultivation of GMO sugarbeets and GMO alfalfa, both of which were forced to stop from being planted while the USDA finalized full environment reviews. But once again, Monsanto and the biotech industry are working behind the scenes to shred vital legal rights simply so they can make endless profits.
If allowed to pass, the Monsanto Protection Act would:
  • Violate the constitutional precedent of separation of powers by interfering with the process of judicial review.
  • Eliminate federal agency oversight to protect farmers, consumers and the environment from potential harms caused by unapproved biotech crops.
  • Allow Monsanto and biotech seed and chemical companies to profit by overriding the rule of law and plant their untested GMO crops despite no proof of their safety for the public and environment.
Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
No matter what you believe about GMOs, the fact is that corporations should not have the right to fundamentally undermine our basic rights and constitutional freedoms in their relentless pursuit of profits. Even the consideration of this dangerous provision is a sign of just how much power Monsanto has over our federal government and how far the biotech industry will go to force its genetically engineered food on to the American public.
If allowed to pass, the Monsanto Protection Act will only open farmers and the agricultural economy to very real and significant harm from cross-contamination events. Currently, the Plant Protection Act requires the USDA to regulate GMO crops to protect “the agriculture, environment and economy of the United States”. As a result of previous lawsuits, the USDA is required to complete court-mandated environmental impact statements (EIS) prior to the sale and planting of GMO crops, but even the USDA has shown little regard for this law.
Now, the new provision set forth in the FY 2013 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill and added to a new omnibus spending bill will allow biotech seed and chemical companies to openly skirt even minimal protections of human health and environmental concerns.
Fortunately, Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-D) is working to circulate a Dear Colleague letter to fellow Representatives in an effort to strike the “farmer assurance provision” currently included in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and we need your help to make sure your member of Congress signs this important letter to stop the Monsanto Protection Act.
Join Food Democracy Now! and our allies to help stop the Monsanto Protection Act. It’s time that our elected officials start putting our rights over the profits of Monsanto and biotech companies.


Texas landowner secures temporary restraining order against Keystone XL |

Texas landowner secures temporary restraining order against Keystone XL | The Raw Story

A Texas landowner in Nacogdoches County secured a temporary restraining order on Tuesday against the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline by arguing that tar sands is not actually a type of oil.
Judge Jack Sinz granted the order without first notifying TransCanada, the company behind the ambitious pipeline that aims to transport Canadian tar sands to the Texas gulf coast for further refinement. In his ruling, Judge Sinz noted that the order was granted immediately because construction had already begun on the plaintiff’s property and any delay could potentially result in further damages. A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday, December 19.
“You can’t argue the science,” 64-year-old Michael Bishop, the plaintiff in the case, told Raw Story on Tuesday. “That’s number one. TransCanada has defrauded the American people into thinking this is crude oil coming in from Canada and is going to be the savior of America. It’s just beyond me. This has been totally misrepresented. The people have been misled. Landowners have been coerced and bullied into thinking the company has the power of eminent domain.”
Bishop, who’s representing himself in the case, has filed several lawsuits in an effort to stop TransCanada’s pipeline, but unlike other land owners who’ve sued over abuse of eminent domain — or protesters who’ve taken to physically blocking construction or simply living in east Texas trees — Bishop has a different strategy.
“He believes that TransCanada has defrauded the people of Texas and of the United States in misrepresenting this as a crude oil pipeline, when it’s not,” Christine Wilson, consultant for Public Citizen Texas, told Raw Story. “He feels that he has a good case. He’s asked for a jury trial for his ultimate permanent injunction case. He intends to prove that diluted bitumen is not crude oil.”


Nutmeg: | 17th century Monsanto-like violent Monopoly wars

Nutmeg: A Spice with a Secret That Isn't So Nice | Care2 Causes
What people do for food — or, I should say, what people do to make money on food. To a degree, the Dutch East India Company is not unlike today’s food corporations, whose pursuit of profits comes at considerable cost to people and planet. 
It’s a spice whose aroma evokes warm memories of the holidays for many — baked into pumpkin pies, kneaded into sausages and sprinkled atop mugs of eggnog. It has a pungent, earthy and slightly sweet taste, making it versatile for use in a variety of foods and beverages. You can find it just about anywhere these days and especially this time of year. But that wasn’t always the case, as Allison Aubrey of NPR recently reminded us.
Until the 18th and 19th centuries, nutmeg was a lot harder to come by. Indigenous to the Banda islands, part of the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) of Indonesia, this was also once the only place in the world that nutmeg grew. And once European spice traders learned of its existence, they began to battle for exclusive rights to the spice.
In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) seized the islands from the Portuguese and moved to monopolize the trade with what Oliver Thring, writing for the Guardian, described as “paranoid brutality, banning the export of the trees, drenching every nutmeg in lime before shipping to render it infertile, and imposing the death penalty on anyone suspected of stealing, growing or selling nutmegs elsewhere.” The Dutch, in fact, perpetrated a massacre.
When some native islanders dared protest, the head of the VOC “ordered the systematic quartering and beheading of every Bandanese male over the age of 15. The population of the Banda islands was around 15,000 when the VOC arrived. 15 years later, it was 600.” An entire population decimated, and for what? A bit of flavoring for food?
Nutmeg wasn’t just a spice, though. It was also used as an incense as well as a medicine that was supposed to cure stomach ailments, headaches and fever. It was even thought to ward off plague. At one point in the 1300s, a pound of nutmeg cost seven fattened oxen.
At any rate, the Dutch clearly wanted the monopoly on nutmeg, which it just about had but for one nutmeg-producing island held by the British, called Run. After decades of skirmishes, the two companies agreed to a swap in the mid-17th century. In handing over Run to the Dutch, the British got a trading post out west that we now know as Manhattan.
In 1769, a French horticulturist named Pierre Poivre managed to smuggle some nutmeg from the Banda islands to Mauritius, ending the Dutch monopoly at last. The British East India Company brought the tree to Penang, Singapore, India, the West Indies and Grenada, which is now the second largest producer of nutmeg.
What people do for food — or, I should say, what people do to make money on food. To a degree, the Dutch East India Company is not unlike today’s food corporations, whose pursuit of profits comes at considerable cost to people and planet.


World Bank backs land grabs in poor nations » Send Flaherty a Card!

World Bank backs land grabs in poor nations »
OXFAM says:
Globally, an area more than double the size of British Columbia has been sold off in the rush for land. That's land that could feed nearly 900 million people — the number of people who go to bed hungry every night.

Oxfam's research shows that land sold as "unused" or "undeveloped" is often being used by women to grow food, raise livestock and collect water and firewood for their families. But because women have very limited ownership of land to begin with, it is even easier for companies to take this land away from them.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s birthday is December 30, and he is Canada’s governor of the World Bank. Oxfam Canada is urging Minister Flaherty to speak up on land grabs at the World Bank spring meeting. Send him this birthday card to help us get the message across. Here’s how:
  1. Download and print the birthday card.
    You can get it black and white, or in full colour. Make sure your printer is set to double-sided.
  2. Personalize the card by adding your return mailing address and signing it.
  3. Fold the card in half along the ‘fold’ line, and tape it shut.
  4. Drop it in the nearest mailbox anywhere in Canada. You do not need to add a stamp to send a letter to a Member of Parliament.
  5. Ask your friends to share this card on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, by email or in person. Consider printing off a bunch of letters and leaving them in your staff room or other community space for others to sign and send.
Oxfam Canada is calling on Canada’s governor for the World Bank, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, to encourage the World Bank to help end land grabs.
Ending land grabs is possible, but for it to happen, effective global action is necessary.
Learn more about land grabs and what it will take to stop them.


Oil And Gas Lobbying In Canada Overshadows All Other Pressure Groups: Polaris Study

Oil And Gas Lobbying In Canada Overshadows All Other Pressure Groups: Polaris Study
OTTAWA - A new study reveals heavy lobbying by the oil and gas industry has far outstripped any other interest group seeking to influence the Harper government over the last four years.
The left-leaning Polaris Institute contends that the more than 2,700 meetings between oil and gas lobbyists and federal office holders since 2008 have helped turn Canada into what it calls a petro state.
The Conservative government continues to rewrite or repeal laws governing environmental assessments, navigable waterways and other measures it says are an impediment to major resource developments.
Using the lobbyist registry to track meetings, the Polaris study shows that oil and gas interests dwarfed contact by other major industry groups, including the mining industry, car makers and the forestry industry.
The study found that environmental groups were all but shut out by the Conservative government.
The reports' authors say in a release that Canadians should be aware of the amount of lobbying by the oil and gas industry and its impact on public policy decisions.


Commemorating World AIDS Day  - December 1, 2012

Commemorating World AIDS Day  - December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day is on December 1, 2012.  It brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.  Leading up to this annual observance is the Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Week (November 24 – December 1).  Communities from across the country will be hosting events and/or activities to commemorate the importance behind the day.  The goal – to increase awareness on the continued struggles as well as to highlight the perpetual hope for a cure.  It is a demonstration of international solidarity in the face of this pandemic.  World AIDS Day is also an opportunity for public and private partners to advocate and shepherd continued progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care for people living with the disease around the world. 
World AIDS Day is dedicated to the memories of those who have lost their battle to the disease but also to honour those who continue to live with it.  The day also celebrates the amount of progress already achieved in the global response to HIV/AIDS. 
To look for an event in your area, click here: