Fri, 24 October 2008
In January 2008, Deconstructing Dinner launched the first in a series of episodes that began tracking the evolution of a campaign that is working towards creating a region that declares itself free of genetically-engineered plants and trees.
The first region in North America to become a GE-Free Zone was Mendocino County, California, back in 2004. Soon after, Powell River, British Columbia, became Canada's first. The Southern Gulf Islands of B.C. have also declared themselves a GE-Free zone, and since November 2007, a group in the interior of the province has been working towards becoming the third such region in the country.
As Deconstructing Dinner has long covered the topic of genetically-modified organisms (G.M.Os) or genetically-engineered (G.E.) foods, Host Jon Steinman has lent his knowledge and experience to the campaign. Since November 2007, Jon has compiled many audio recordings of the campaign with the hope that other regions and municipalities throughout North America can use these recordings as a resource and tool if they too are wishing to create GE-Free regions.
This series will hear from campaigners and politicians from Mendocino County and Powell River in order to learn how their GE-Free zones are holding up. We'll also explore recordings from the October 20th presentations to the Cities of Castlegar and Nelson, British Columbia, both of whom are, as this broadcast goes to air, contemplating the passing of a GE-Free resolution.
On this episode, we listen in on the July 10, 2008, official campaign launch of the GE-Free Kootenays campaign. Featured at the event was the most vocal and well-known critic of genetically-engineered foods, Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser.
This broadcast will extend into next week's show when we will hear the continuation of Percy's speech alongside a short presentation by GE-Free Kootenays spokesperson, Andy Morel. You can also expect an exclusive interview with Percy and his wife Louise.
Percy Schmeiser, Farmer, www.percyschmeiser.com (Bruno, SK) Schmeiser is a 77-year old farmer who, along with his wife Louise, have received global recognition for their passion and devotion to standing up for the rights of farmers. In December 2007, the Schmeisers were awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the "Alternative Nobel"). "I have always campaigned on the right of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed. This is what I have been doing for the last 50 years. I will continue to support any efforts to strengthen the rights of a farmer to save and re-use his own seed."
Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (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 ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He most recently served as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.
Fri, 17 October 2008
Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of Canada's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, British Columbia, are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.
On this Part III of the series, Host Jon Steinman sits in on the July 14 meeting of the CSA steering committee with the hope that audio recordings from the meeting can help guide other communities towards launching a similar project.
Jon also visits with David Everest, who came forward in late 2007 to become the Nelson-based miller. When members receive their grain in late October, David will make himself and his mill available each week to turn member's grains into flour.
With so many people in the community coming forward to lend a hand to the formation of this local food system, perhaps the most exciting has been the group of sailors who have come forward and offered to sail the grain from the southern shores of Kootenay Lake to Nelson. This will take place between October 24-26 and will reduce the fossil fuels required to transport the grain. Perhaps this effort will lay the foundation for a fossil-fuel-free transportation corridor between the two communities. We hear from one of the sailors on this broadcast.
David Everest, Nelson Grain CSA Miller, Nelson-Creston Grain CSA (Nelson, BC) - In late 2007, David heard about the CSA and quickly came forward to lend a hand. When Nelson-based CSA members receive their grain in late October, David has volunteered to mill their grain into flour on a weekly basis. This will give members readily available access to fresh milled flour.
Jay Blackmore, Sailor, Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (Nelson, BC) - When Jay first heard about the CSA, he was eager to become part of this exciting initiative. He quickly gathered a group of sailors who will be sailing the grains from the Creston Valley to Nelson on the weekend of October 25, 2008.
Keith Huscroft, Farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, BC) - Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers farming with horses instead of fossil-fuel dependent technologies.
Abra Brynne, Foodshed Animator (Nelson, BC) - Abra is a familiar voice on Deconstructing Dinner as she is involved in a number of local food projects and businesses in the southern interior of British Columbia.
Roy Lawrence, Farmer, Lawrence Farm (Creston, BC)
Fri, 3 October 2008
On September 29, 2008, four candidates running in the 2008 federal election debated in Ottawa on the topic of Agriculture. CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) provided live coverage of the event hosted by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Moderated by Hugh Maynard, the debate featured Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz; Liberal Agriculture critic, Wayne Easter; the NDP's MP Tony Martin; and Green Party candidate Kate Storey.
Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods / MP Battlefords-Lloydminster - Conservative Party of Canada (Brightsand Lake, SK) - Gerry Ritz was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997, and re-elected Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster in 2000, 2004 and 2006.
Wayne Easter, MP Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wilitshire, PEI) - Wayne Easter is the Liberal Party's critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food. He represents the riding of Malpeque which is the central part of Prince Edward Island. He was first elected as the MP in 1993 and has been re-elected ever since
Tony Martin, MP Sault Ste. Marie, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) - Tony Martin was first elected Member of Parliament for the Riding of Sault Ste. Marie on June 28th, 2004. As M.P., Tony serves as the critic for FedNor, Human Resources Development, Social Development and Policy, and Child Care.
Kate Storey, Candidate Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, Green Party of Canada (Grandview, MB) - Kate Storey ran as the GPC candidate for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette in the 2006 federal election. That year she was elected to the Green Party federal council and to the Shadow Cabinet. Kate serves as party critic for Sustainable Agriculture and Prairie issues.