A new coalition of non government organizations concerned about the silencing of any opposition to the Federal Government has just been launched.    Check out their declaration - and consider adding your voice - at: 


Butt-kicking, but whose?

Published in the Globe and Mail, June 10 2010:

Re Searching for an ass to kick (editorial, June 9):  Perhaps we should implement the precautionary principle - institute a policy of reverse onus and kick our collective asses.    

Anne Mitchell, Toronto


Ursula Franklin on Scrupling

Want to hear Ursula Franklin on scrupling - an old Quaker practice used in discussing difficult issues of the time such as paying taxes for wars and slaveholding.   Quakers in Toronto recently experimented on scrupling on the erosion of democracy in Canada.    You can hear Ursula's views on the CBC's The Current at

The Oil Disaster: When Will We Ever Learn?

Once again profit and greed - and our lust for oil - has backfired.  We are facing a huge ecological and social disaster.  Once again the precautionary principle was not followed.  It is also time for us to insist on reverse onus - where the industry initiating the project has to ensure - in an open and transparent way - that the initiative can be carried out safely and that there are plans in place should there be an accident.   When will we learn that enough is enough?  If we ever get out of this mess - and reaffirm that sustainability is a goa

Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada

The Federal Government has published this document to encourage Canadians to respond and provide their views, thoughts, and opinions on Canada's draft Sustainable Development Strategy.   The Federal Government asks Canadians to respond by July 12 to   In 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Canada along with all other countries, committed to develop a Sustainable Development strategy for the country by 2005.    Last year, the Government passed the Fede

SERONICA   This is the website for a new e-journal.  I have an article in the first edition on whether or not GMOs can reduce poverty.

The GM Pig

Health Canada could soon approve the first genetically modified (GM) animal for human consumption. The University of Guelph has applied for food safety approval of its GM pig - they call it “Enviropig™”.
The GM pig contains genetic material from a mouse and E-coli bacteria, and is engineered to excrete less phosphorus in its feces.

Climate Change Through Women's Eyes: G20 Peoples' Summit

When women look at climate change they see a crisis not of their making but affecting them in many ways: the largest proportion of refugees and of the poor, the least able to affect political change. But there are many examples of what women are doing.

Genetic Engineering: Synthetic Organism

Globe and Mail, May 21 2010, page A2 - Second Life:  A Breakthrough leads to first synthetic organism.   This headline may excite us about how great this scientific discovery is - but does it not also alarm us somewhat?  Do we really know enough about nature, the environment, and the potential of these developments to say so categorically that the creation of articficial life is going to benefit society?  Genome-mapping pioneer, J Craig Venter states, "This is the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer".    I

More on Scrupling

On Saturday April 17 2010 a follow up working session on scrupling was held at Friends House, Toronto.  Fourteen people attended including representatives of the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches as well as Quakers.   The objective of the working group was to discuss the possibilities of convening scrupling sessions within our communities.   It was agreed that we would share our experiences and prepare some background materials on scrupling for community groups.

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