Deconstructing Dinner
Deconstructing Dinner is a podcast/radio show that broadcast between 2006 through 2011 with a brief return of a handful of episodes in 2014. Almost 200 episodes are available on topics ranging from corporate consolidation, animal welfare, urban food production and the local and good food movements. With host Jon Steinman.
Trade Agreements Over Dinner

The impact of trade agreements on food systems and agriculture is probably brought up on almost every broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner, but never have we tackled this topic head on. On this broadcast we look into how trade agreements affect the fruits on our trees, the animals in our fields and the food on our plates. We will focus on two agreements and a "partnership" that have either had devastating effects on our food, and/or will have further impacts in the near and distant future.

A short segment will also be featured covering the recently tabled Bill C-448, calling for a ban on Terminator Seed Technology.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
For years, we have been told that globalization and free trade are inevitable, and that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would bring jobs and prosperity to Canadians. But in the aftermath of the softwood lumber decision, even former supporters of free trade are arguing that NAFTA isn't working for Canada. Critics suggest it undermines democracy, strips Canada of control over our energy resources, threatens to put water up for sale, and endangers health care and other public services.

Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)
In March 2005, Paul Martin, George W. Bush and Vicente Fox met in Waco, Texas to ratify the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The SPP takes NAFTA's goal of continental economic integration much further by including security and foreign policy issues, and by speeding up the process of regulatory harmonization integral to the first Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Despite a lack of public awareness or input, all three North American governments are moving quickly toward a continental resource pact, North American security perimeter, and common agricultural and other polices related to our health and environment.

Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA)
On April 1, 2007, a new free trade pact (TILMA) came into effect between Alberta and B.C. Critics say it will have a devastating effect on local democracy, public health and the environment. While currently confined to Western Canada, provincial governments in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes have all shown an interest in signing on. TILMA was signed by the premiers of Alberta and B.C., without public consultation or legislative debate, in April 2006. The agreement allows corporations and individuals to sue provincial governments for any provincial or municipal government measure they feel "restricts or impairs" their investment (i.e. their profits). Under TILMA, critics suggest that even measures designed to protect the environment and public health are vulnerable to attack from corporate lawsuits.


Alex Atamanenko, MP BC Southern Interior / NDP Agriculture Critic, "New Democratic Party of Canada" (Ottawa, ON / Castlegar, BC) - Elected the Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior in 2006. Alex is the critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Canadian Wheat Board. Atamanenko was born in New Westminster, and was educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.
Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Victoria, BC / Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
Stuart Trew, Communications Administrator, "Council of Canadians" (Ottawa, ON) - Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada's largest citizens' organization, with members and chapters across the country. We work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.
Direct download: DD060707.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

Salmon Wars: The Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery

Perhaps nowhere within our food system is the source of our food so disconnected from our dinner plates than that food which originates from the sea. Only a fraction of the Canadian population lives by the ocean, and those who do, are only exposed to a glistening sheet of water stretching out to the horizon, oblivious of what lies beneath.

When Canadians think of food from our oceans, it is without doubt, our country's populations of wild salmon that pop into mind. On this broadcast we will learn of the management of Canada's wild salmon populations and the history of how such an important industry began heading in the same direction that eventually led to the collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery.

On the West Coast, few debates have been so passionate or long-running as the one over management of wild salmon stocks, yet few issues remain so confused in the public mind.

In his 2005 book "Salmon Wars", author Dennis Brown reviews the history of the West Coast salmon resource with such comprehensiveness and clarity that even those closest to the issue will find themselves viewing it with new understanding.

In 2005, Dennis was recorded speaking in Vancouver by the Necessary Voices Society.


Dennis Brown, Author, "Salmon Wars: The Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery" (Burnaby, BC) - A member of a third generation fishing family, was born and raised in Vancouver. He was educated at the University of British Columbia. In 1980, he joined the staff of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union and worked as the union's Fraser Valley organizer, dealing primarily with the gillnet and troll fleets. In 1990 he was elected to the post of business agent of the UFAWU and three years later he became secretary-treasurer. In 1996 he was hired as Premier Glen Clark's special advisor on the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Direct download: DD053107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:03pm EST