Nuke fallout & the industry grinds on

A couple of interesting items landed in the PnP mailbox this weekend.

Further to the Fukushima fallout comes this story of radioactive tuna.

Every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has shown to be contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Every single one.


But you won’t hear about that in the msm, even though it was expected a year ago.

Less than two weeks after the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, Michael Kane, an investigative journalist, reported, “In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life.”

The radiation has absolutely reached the shores of North America.  Water samples from across the continent have tested positive for unsafe levels of radioactivity.  The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times.”This means that the complete ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean is now poisoned with radiation and we aren’t being warned.


And still, the deadly nuke industry carries on.

Candu Energy is hopeful about selling Canada’s first nuclear reactors in years after Romanian and Chinese state-owned companies signed a letter of intent to invest in and develop two reactors in Romania.

The subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin (TSX:T.SNC, Stock Forum) said Wednesday that the new units would be built on the Cernavoda site where initial construction was halted in the early 1990s.


134 Million Investment in Frankenfood

Just what we don’t need.  More frankenfood and more commercialization of our lives.  But I’ll bet there are some fat cats who’ll get fatter off this dropping!

134 Million Investment by Canadas New Government to Boost Commercialization of Agri-Based Innovation

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, January 23, 2007 – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced a major investment of $134 million towards the Agri-Opportunities Program, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) program that will focus on the commercialization of new agri-based products, processes and services.

“This is just one of the steps Canada’s New Government is taking to fulfill its commitment to invest in the development of new opportunities for the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector,” said Minister Strahl. “Agri-Opportunities will help increase the demand for primary agricultural products – grains, oilseeds and other traditional and non-traditional products – for the benefit both of farmers and of the entire agricultural sector.”

The Agri-Opportunities program will help good ideas get from the drawing board and into the market. Funding will be provided for projects that can be expected to increase market opportunities for the Canadian agricultural industry across the value chain and generate demand for primary agricultural products.

Individuals, producers, agri-businesses, cooperatives, non-profit and for-profit organizations and academia are eligible to apply for the funding, which will be delivered through contribution agreements. Maximum contribution per project and per applicant will be capped at $10 million over a five-year period.

Agri-Opportunities will be delivered nationally by AAFC in all provinces and territories.


For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

CWB: Response from MP

I emailed my MP, Dave Batters, regarding my concerns about democracy for farmers within the Canadian Wheat Board — this was before Minister Strahl fired the CEO, Adrian Measner.  The arrogance of these men and women irks me to no end!  They act as if they have formed a majority government, with no respect for democracy or democratic processes.  They’re fascists!

What follows is the response I received from Batters:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Canadian Wheat Board.  

As you are aware, on January 23, 2006, Canadians voted for change.  The
Conservative Party campaigned on the promise of marketing choice for
western Canadian wheat and barley producers.  The Honourable Chuck
Strahl, Minister of Agriculture, has released the findings and
recommendations of a Task Force on implementing marketing choice.

The Task Force recommends a four-stage transition from a Canadian Wheat
Board (CWB) with monopoly powers, to a marketing choice environment
which includes: 
*	preparing for change;
*	forming the new CWB;
*	launching the new CWB with transition measures; and
*	post transition.

The Task Force concluded that a new CWB, owned by farmers, could thrive
and create value without monopoly selling powers.  Please be assured
that our government is carefully examining the Task Force's findings and
is listening to what western Canadian grain farmers have to say about
the ideas put forward in the report.

Our Conservative government is committed to delivering a plan which
offers Western farmers marketing choice and a strong, viable, and
voluntary farmer-owned Canadian Wheat Board that works for everyone.

Minister Strahl has announced the federal government's intention to hold
a plebiscite in the New Year on the issue of marketing choice for
western Canadian barley producers.  This plebiscite demonstrates that we
are listening to the opinions of farmers on this important issue.

Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers produce a world-class product
and our Conservative government sees a bright future for producers with
a voluntary Wheat Board.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue with me.  As your
Member of Parliament, it is important for me to hear the views of my


Dave Batters
Member of Parliament - Palliser 
Moose Jaw:   (306) 691-3577       Toll-free:  1-866-691-3577
Regina:         (306) 790-4646       e-mail: 
Ottawa:        (613) 992-9115

The Road to Peace

Nettie Wiebe has been in Regina this week, speaking at various events.  Today she was one of the guest speakers at Making Peace With Earth, a conference linking peace and environmental issues.  Nettie took an interesting approach, being a farmer.  She spoke about peace and ecology in terms of human security.  And she focused on food as a key component of that human security.  This woman is our new Tommy Douglas.  She gets it.  She gets social justice.  She gets environmental issues.  She gets women’s issues, agricultural issues, peace issues.  She just gets it all.

Notes from Nettie’s Speech 

Food is about human security; we cannot live without it.  Food is also about community.  Yet, we rarely hear a word about it in our news of war, devastation, and destruction.

Human Security 

To feel secure as a human we need to be able to go to bed at night knowing that when we rise in the morning our basic needs will be met.  We need also to feel safe in our environment.  And, we need to be able to participate, in a meaningful way, in the shaping of our future.


In Palestine, however, people have been separated from not only the olive trees, but also from their water systems, by the building of the wall.  Trees have been uprooted, water systems have been destroyed, cisterns have been dug up.  This kind of destruction is just as lethal as property destruction.

Peace in the Middle East will not happen unless food, water and land are returned to proper production and people can return to it and live securely.


In Afghanistan, many have always been poor.  The land doesn’t look farmable.  However, there are fertile river valleys.  In fact, pre-conflict (1970s) Afghanistan was the world’s major exporter of dried fruits and nuts.  And they also exported olives and dates and were near self-sufficiency in grains.

All that was destroyed by war.  When war came, poppy production grew in leaps and bounds until the Taliban took over, turning the land back to grains.

The huge anti-drug initiative spearheaded by the USA is supported by Canada.  However, the government in Afghanistan and Afghan soldiers ar actively supporting poppy growing.  And, there are now rumours that the Taliban are telling farmers to grow poppies in protest to the invasion.

Canadian Deaths

The area in which Canadian troops are active in Afghanistan is the area in which “reconstruction” is occurring.  Canadian soldiers are guarding the building of a 100 meter wide and 4 kilometer long stretch of road in a fertile valley.  Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from this farming area in the middle of the growing season!

When they came home, they returned to complete destruction.  Crops were devastated, animals were gone or dead and, worst of all, the road permanently cut off the water supply.  The road that Canadians are helping to reconstruct has devastated farming and the security of the people living their.  Some engineer gave no thought to human security when designing the road, focussed instead on how to move military equipment from point A to point B.

The Canadian government has promised grain to help the people of the region, but food aid is not a long-term solution.  And since when has the Canadian military become an expert on building roads?  Incidently, the area is full of roads.  But the roads are winding roads and not suitable for the transport of military equipment.

This is not the road to peace.

The Road to Peace

The new highway in the fertile Afghan valley is not the road to peace.  The road to peace is stopping the destruction, is negotiating, not handing out candy.  The road to peace is rebuilding imaginations so that dreams can live, grow and thrive.  The road to peace is in coming to sit at the table — not in a drive-by, fast food agenda.  The road to peace is a long, winding, and uncertain road that runs through all those Afghan villages.  It is not a road we can rebuild and run.

We have a responsibility in Afghanistan, but it’s not a military one.  We have a responsibility here, at our own tables, to remember that what we do in the world gathers around other tables; it reflects us.  As such, we should gather humbly, thoughtfully and ask for peace.