It must be fall, bringing with it Thanksgiving. This October, however, more than 16,000 families in Ontario will have no other choice but to visit a food bank for the first time in their entire lives. And while the idea of turkey dinner with all the trimmings certainly sounds delicious, for over 375,000 adults and children, it is simply not the reality of the season.
It has been so exciting to visit local markets, meeting the farmers who work so hard to bring us the very best, and there is no shortage of stalls anywhere you go in Ontario right now! Inspired by the vast variety the harvest has to offer, I filled my reusable bags with carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, kale, apples and more.
The need for food support does not, however, stop with students under the age of 18. Post-secondary and recent university graduates are one of the fastest growing groups of food bank users across the province. With growing tuition rates, on campus living accommodations, and money for textbooks it's no surprise the wallets of students are being stretched to the limits.
Last week, Canadian beekeepers filed a class action lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court (Windsor) against two massive chemical companies, Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, for over $400 million in losses allegedly caused by neonicotinoid pesticides to Ontario bees. This is the first Canadian class action lawsuit filed for harm to bees caused by these widely used pesticides.
Ontario, once Canada's flourishing economic and manufacturing hub, is in steady decline with slow economic growth and rapidly expanding government debt being a sad yet reoccurring story. An important example of Ontario's biased labour relations laws is in the area of worker choice. Mandatory union membership and dues is problematic for many reasons. First, it means that unions can be less responsive to their membership since members don't have the option to leave the union. Restricting worker choice also artificially strengthens unions which can manifest in higher rates of unionization. But when workers are given more choice, they more often choose not to join unions.
Ecology Ottawa Executive Director Graham Saul did things backwards."Most activists I know started at the grassroots level then worked their way up to the national or international levels," he says. "I've gone the other way because I'm more and more convinced we'll make a bigger difference working locally."
This week, two European tourists complained about the Canadian car culture after a brief stint in the 10 million square kilometer nation of over 35-million people. The British and Danish complainers now reside in Aarhus, Denmark. While I support criticizing a country, it is also good to have the facts in order. To that end, here are some stats Chabowski should have taken into account before making rush judgments on Canadian society.
There have been complaints about the three Ottawa doctors who won't prescribe the birth control pill. They don't prescribe it partly out of religious conviction, but also because they believe it's bad medicine. Research shows plenty of evidence against the pill. If conscience is overturned and doctors who disagree are forced to prescribe it, this will ironically mean the provision of inferior care. Using hearts and minds together is what conscience protection allows for. Does anyone actually want anything less in their doctor?
Bob Rae and Kathleen Wynne are hardly the only (former and current) politicians to engage in storytelling. Politicians of every partisan stripe do the same thing. But while stories are useful and guide us in a variety of beneficial ways, the rational side of human nature should revisit tales now and then, especially political ones. That leads to better, smarter government. Ontario is no exception.
This suggests that simply shifting our language from "epileptic" to "person with epilepsy" can alter the way others think about those living with epilepsy. Employers, colleagues, teachers, and peers may think of their friends differently if we all start referring to "people with epilepsy" instead of "epileptics."
Tim Hudak had no plan to address this pension crisis and the provincial Conservatives are, in fact, out of the picture on this issue. There is very little disagreement between the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario NDP when it comes to the need to restructure existing federal and provincial retirement coverage, with or without federal impetus.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa complained on Thursday that the federal government underfunds Ontario. The complaint is part of a political effort by some Ontario politicians and others to distract Ontarians from the real issue: made-in-Ontario policy that is killing investment and jobs in that province and creating massive provincial deficits.
Vaccines are the only effective prevention we have, but right now they are only available against certain strains of the disease. I believe that all Canadians need to get vaccinated, but families and medical professionals still need to remain vigilant and know the signs and symptoms, in order to get the proper medical help before it's too late.
Georgian Bay Forever maintains that we need climate-resilient structures strategically placed to control the water levels throughout the basin. Such structures will mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Premier Wynne and her reelected government can act to prioritize research into engineering measures to mitigate declining water levels, which will only get worse with climate change.
Looking for a charming escape from big city Toronto or Ottawa? Between Canada's business mecca and Parliament Hill, sits Canada's very first capital. And she's a breath of fresh air. Of Kingston's many assets, I'm most impressed by the cobbled streets of downtown, and the European style of Market Square.
As the war recedes even farther into the past, the experience of the Great War risks sliding out of our collective memory. The centenary of WWI challenges us to renew our understanding of the conflict and reconsider its contemporary meaning. In that same spirit, my office is hosting Lest We Forget, an exhibition of WWI-inspired paintings by celebrated contemporary artist Charles Pachter.