Opinion

Les opinions sur les questions relatives à la municipalité de Pontiac - Opinions about issues concerning the Municipality of Pontiac

The State of Kate: To the EC, with love...

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I don't know what you do when you listen to radio reports on the situation in Syria and the resulting refugee flood assaulting southern Europe.

Personally, I cry... which probably means I should stop listening to CBC in the car.

Just over the mountain in Wakefield, incredible things are happening: money is flowing into bank accounts and houses are being rented. Volunteers are forming committees and signing their names to forms to sponsor refugee families into the community.

This Omnivore's Dilemma: Pontiac Style

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In my younger years I tried to be a vegetarian. I was embracing the back-to-the-land dream of self-sufficiency, earth sheltered houses, that sort of thing. I tried cooking my way through the Moosewood Cookbook and indeed there are delicious recipes in there that I still use. But inevitably I would go to my parents’ for dinner.

Welcome to nowhere, you are here

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Someone once described the Pontiac region to me as being 'in the middle of nowhere but close to everything', and that is surprisingly true. I can be driving past the RCMP cars and construction vehicles parked on Parliament Hill in almost 30 minutes from my front gate. 

Having both distance from and proximity to not only a major urban centre but the nation's capital is a unique and potentially useful circumstance. Let's take a bit of time to think about how we can get this to work for us.

K

FPAQ and UPA reaction to the Gagné Report: An unfounded report that will ruin maple syrup producers and destabilize an entire sector

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Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) and Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) sharply criticize the Gagné Report for its lack of seriousness, objectivity, analysis, and economic foundation with regard to the future of Québec maple syrup. "The report's recommendations will lead the maple syrup industry to ruin. Mr. Gagné's goal is not to give the industry a boost, but rather to knock the legs from under it," FPAQ president Serge Beaulieu said today at a big meeting in front of the Québec National Assembly. A group of over 1,000 maple syrup producers braved the bad weather in order to say NO to the Gagné Report and YES to prosperity in their sector through their collective development tools.

Rapport Gagné: c’est la fin du plan conjoint

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— Clairement, le rapport Gagné possède tous les ingrédients pour détruire le plan conjoint acéricole et rendre inopérants les mécanismes de développement des marchés mis en place par les producteurs, comme la réserve stratégique mondiale de sirop d’érable.

“Big Organic”: Threat or Opportunity?

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Rob Wallbridge

I’m proud of the growth in the organic sector. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales in the United States have increased from $3.6 billion in  1997 to over $39 billion in 2014. This double-digit rate of growth holds true for Canada, too, which is now the fourth-largest organic market in the world.

Trading Places: Two farmers step out of their comfort zones

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Rob Wallbridge

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step across the “conventional/organic divide”? During the first week of December, we (Jen Christie and Rob Wallbridge) did just that. Rob (an organic vegetable grower) had been invited to speak on a social media panel at Agri-trend’s Farm Forum Event in Saskatoon, SK; an annual gathering of hundreds of primarily large-scale Prairie farmers. Jen, (a conventional dairy farmer) attended the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Conference in London, ON, a gathering of a couple hundred farmers from a wide variety of organic and ecological farms, mostly small-scale. A conversation on Twitter afterwards inspired this blog post where we share our thoughts and reflections in more detail.

The Unintended Consequences of Proportional Representation

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Jonathan Crowe

Now that the election is over, many disappointed Canadians are talking about proportional representation, and how much fairer it would have been than our first-past-the-post electoral system.

I have never been a fan of proportional representation, partly because I think its supporters are mostly unhappy with the results of the most recent election and want to re-run it under different rules that they think are more favourable to their side, and partly because I’m a big fan of holding members of Parliament accountable to a constituency. But also because I’ve seen how PR systems operate in other countries. Not in the intricate, technical, here’s-how-it-works terms that PR advocates like geeking over — the real-world effects. And some of those real-world effects are precisely the opposite of what PR advocates want.

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Actually, It’s About Ethics in Book Reviewing

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Jonathan Crowe

As I mentioned in a previous post, I appeared on a panel called “It’s Actually About Ethics: Reviewing the Work of Colleagues and Friends” at Readercon. That was last weekend. Scott Edelman recorded video of that panel, so you can see me in all my questionable glory. As you will see, I have a few suggestions about who you should and should not review.

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