First Nations to enforce ban on trophy bear hunt
First Nations on BC’s North and Central Coast have declared a ban on the trophy bear hunt in their traditional territories. “We will protect bears from cruel and unsustainable trophy hunts by any and all means,” says Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation Chief Doug Neasloss. “The trophy bear hunt is an issue that has been brewing in First Nations communities for several years. Despite years of effort by the Coastal First Nations to find a resolution to this issue with the province, this senseless and brutal trophy hunt continues.
Jessie Housty, a councillor with the Heiltsuk Nation, says bears are often gunned down by trophy hunters near shorelines as they forage for food. “It’s not a part of our culture to kill an animal for sport and hang them on a wall. When we go hunting, it’s for sustenance purposes, not trophy hunting. Only a total ban on trophy hunting will ensure bear populations can support the tourism opportunities that add valuable income to our communities, says Housty. “Trophy hunting is a threat to the lucrative ecotourism industry that we are creating. Tourists often come back year after year to watch the same bears and their young grow.”
Because the province is negligent in its responsibility to monitor the trophy hunt, the Coastal First Nations will now assume responsibility for bear management on the Coast, Neasloss says. “We will now assume the authority to monitor and enforce a closure of this senseless trophy hunt.”
From Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative, www.coastalfirstnations.ca
Local eco-friendly Tiffin Project saves diners $$
A Vancity-backed social entrepreneur is launching Vancouver’s first attempt to tackle our eat-and-toss disposable container habits, while supporting local agriculture. The Tiffin Project’s container is a leak-proof metal unit that gets you discounts on meals at 10 restaurants and takeaways (and growing) in Vancouver, with plans for 17 in the next six months. It is made of food-grade stainless steel by Onyx Containers. The Tiffin Project (www.tiffinproject.com) reduces restaurant industry waste, supports local agriculture and aims to change the eat-and-toss culture using positive incentives and community.
A portion of the sale of all Tiffin Project containers goes toward shifting the initiative’s restaurant partners to improve their own eco-habits by acquiring more of their ingredients from local producers. By the fall harvest of 2013, the Tiffin Project Foundation Fund will give funds to participating restaurants to pay the difference between the current price of local produce and the current price of imported produce. For consumers, a Tiffin will be less costly and healthier and improve the community by reducing our food miles and supporting local agriculture.
Consumers buy in to The Tiffin Project by purchasing a $24 Tiffin from participating restaurants. They then receive discount incentives when they go to any participating restaurant or takeaway with their Tiffin.
Tiffin Project founder Hunter Moyes is a Vancouver-area chef who has been behind Burgoo, The Waldorf Hotel (Nuba) and most-recently Tacofino. He is also a food writer for Urban Diner, a sustainable seafood ambassador with the David Suzuki Foundation and a frequent partner of Oxfam’s Western Canadian campaigns. For more information about Onyx Containers, visit www.thetickletrunk.com
Proposition 37 naysayers litter radio ads with lies
The Yes on 37 California Right to Know Campaign has released a fact sheet documenting numerous falsehoods in the No on 37 campaign’s first radio ads, which ran in September.
“When voters hear campaign ads, we urge them to consider the credibility of the source and check the facts for themselves,” says Gary Ruskin, campaign manager for California Right to Know. “The same chemical companies that lied about the safety of Agent Orange and DDT are now financing the $32 million campaign to keep Californians in the dark about what is in their food. The No on 37 campaign’s first radio ad is a fitting tribute to this legacy because the only shred of truth it contains is in the disclaimer that lists the special interests who paid for it.”
Below are just a few of the false statements in the No on 37 campaign’s first radio ad:
False claim #1: Prop 37 was written by trial lawyers for trial lawyers.
Truth: The California Right to Know campaign began with the efforts of Pamm Larry, a former midwife, farmer and long-time Chico resident. In 2011, Pamm started organizing mothers and volunteers across the state toward a 2012 ballot drive with only one goal in mind – to let California consumers know if the food they are eating contains Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), which a growing body of peer reviewed research links to human health risks and environmental problems. With the help of thousands of volunteers across the state, the Right to Know campaign gathered nearly one million signatures from California voters within a 10-week period. The initiative itself was written by a group of industry, science and health experts.
False claim #2: Prop. 37 is being pushed by special interests.
Truth: Nearly one million individuals – parents, grandparents, business people, women, farmers, nurses and everyday Californians – helped to put Prop 37 on the ballot. Thousands of individuals have made contributions (most of them for less than $100) to support the Yes on 37 campaign. Prop 37 is endorsed by a broad coalition of more than 2,000 groups including farm, public health, environmental, food safety organizations and local businesses. By contrast, the No on 37 campaign is supported and financed entirely by special interests, most of which are not located in California. More than half the funding for No on 37 is from the six largest pesticide companies.
False claim #3: Prop. 37 bans genetically engineered foods.
Truth: Prop. 37 bans nothing. It merely requires labelling of GMO-containing foods with the phrase “partially produced with genetic engineering” or “may be partially produced with genetic engineering” and it gives companies 18 months to change their labels. This type of labelling is already required in 50 countries around the world. The No on 37 campaign’s largest funder, the Monsanto Company, even produced a series of ads in Europe touting the benefits of GMO labelling and the importance of consumers’ right to know. Yet here in California they are spending more than $7 million to defeat our right to know.
For more information and to support Proposition 37, visit www.carighttoknow.org
Fragile victory for Burns Bog
The Burns Bog Conservation Society is thrilled to announce the Government of Canada has joined 20,682 hectares of Lower Mainland wetlands into the newly renamed Fraser River Delta Ramsar Site. The new Ramsar site designation includes all of Burns Bog and affirms the area’s deep ecological significance to BC and the international community. Burns Bog is the southernmost and largest raised peat bog on the west coast of North America. It is located between the municipalities of Delta and Richmond in the Metro Vancouver area.
The new Ramsar site designation comes as the area is threatened by development proposals. This includes the South Fraser Perimeter Road and a rezoning application by MK Delta Lands Group. “As wonderful as the Ramsar designation is, it won’t stop the destruction of Burns Bog unless the federal government honours its commitments to the Ramsar Convention,” says Olson. Over 2,000 people have signed a petition to stop the development of 89 acres of unprotected bogland at Highway 91 and 72nd Avenue. Visit www.burnsbog.org to sign the petition.
From Burns Bog Conservation Society
Aftershock raises money for Haiti
Two years have passed since a catastrophic earthquake and more than 52 aftershocks ripped through Haiti. And yet not much has changed in this impoverished island nation. Only 8% of the ensuing two million tons of rubble have been cleared and communicable diseases are still rampant. Even before the quake, Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. Now, it is quite possibly the poorest country in the world. Project Aftershock is dedicated to assisting medical relief efforts in Haiti through fundraising. www.projectaftershock.org