Bayer vs. the bees: we’re winning…

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Chicago, where beekeepers from across the US were speaking out about the danger of bee-killing pesticides on behalf of thousands of SumOfUs supporters. And here’s what I learned: the pesticide industry really, really doesn’t want people to hear our message.

I went to Chicago to attend a massive commercial gardening convention, where the beekeepers (who call themselves ‘beeks’) and I were delivering the voices of over 140,000 SumOfUs supporters. Our message: stop selling the pesticides that are killing the bees! It wasn’t a message that Bayer and the pesticide giants wanted the world to hear. I was barely off the plane in Chicago when I learned that the industry-sponsored convention organizers had threatened SumOfUs with a lawsuit if we took our message inside the convention grounds!

But we had come prepared (thanks to thousands of donations from SumOfUs supporters!) — and we didn’t leave until the beekeepers had reached out to thousands of commercial garden center owners and the national media about the dangers of these bee-killing pesticides. Here’s the most remarkable thing: many of the garden center owners signed on in support as soon as they heard our message — exactly why Big Pesticide is scared of our campaign to save the bees.

Big Pesticide is determined to silence us, but we’re not going to let them — and we won’t back down to legal intimidation. Our colorful bus ads blanketed Chicago during the conference, and were featured on morning TV news across the US — and now, thanks to you, we’re taking the message straight to garden center owners themselves with ads in the biggest commercial garden publications. With your support, we’re going to keep fighting until these pesticides are banned around the world and the bees — and our food supply — are safe.

Click here to see more photos of the beekeepers delivering our message in Chicago, and to share the campaign with your friends to keep building the opposition to bee-killing pesticides.

The threat of a lawsuit wasn’t the only tactic they used to silence us in Chicago. They rolled out a full campaign of intimidation, including:

  • telling hotels across the city not to book rooms to our beekeepers, and not to allow us to screen a documentary about bees;
  • ordering security guards to prevent our accredited beekeepers and two human-size bees (okay, our friendly volunteers in bee costumes!) from entering the conference;
  • and even stopping an 85 year-old local beekeeper from delivering 140,000 signatures from SumOfUs members to Bayer, one of the largest manufacturers of bee-killing pesticides!

Meanwhile, Bayer spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on huge ads all over the convention center and a booth advocating their “bee care” program, all the while selling the pesticides that are killing them at the convention!

But despite these dirty tactics, we got our message out loud and clear. Our beekeeper friends had hundreds of one-on-one conversations with convention attendees, handed out thousands of flyers about the deadly effects of ‘neonics’, the pesticides that are killing the bees, plastered the city’s buses with our ads, and took the city by swarm.

Bayer’s reaction shows one thing — it’s scared. Europe has already banned these killer chemicals, so now the industry is fighting with all they’ve got to dump the neonics on North America. Just last week, Time Magazine wrote about the global bee die-off and neonic bee killers in its cover story, and this week, the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordering an immediate reduction in the use of these pesticides, and admitted that the chemical is partly responsible for the disappearance of honey bees. Big Pesticide is terrified that its profits will take a hit if we win in the US as well.

Thanks to your support, we’re going to keep up the fight. First up, we’re planning hard-hitting ads in gardening industry publications next month, to make sure the garden center owners get this vital information. And we’ve got more ideas in the works — but after the legal threats in Chicago, we’re keeping them under wraps to stop the industry from trying to block us again.

Together, we can save the bees. We hope you’ll stay with us until we win this fight.

On behalf of all of us,

Angus and the beekeepers (Terry, Reba, Sam, Amy, and Edie)

PS: we don’t take any corporate funding, so all of this and more is made possible through your support. If you want to donate to make sure that we can keep campaigning to save the bees in the months ahead, you can do that here.

Hungary is Fallen!

Blink and you’ve missed it: Hungary is no longer a democracy.

President János Áder has just signed away the rights of all that was left of Hungary’s opposition parties after years of gutting legislative powers, crippling the free press, and eliminating all mention of a “republic” in the country’s constitution.

If this trend doesn’t sound familiar, here’s something to jog your memory: along with criminalization of the homeless and attacks on women and the LGBT community, Hungary’s seen ahorrific spike in state-sanctioned antisemitism and racism, including the decoration of three men known for their connection to the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party.

We’ve seen the steps Áder’s taken before. We know these signs. And while the European Union continues to stay silent, the situation for women, ethnic minorities and religious groups in Hungary becomes deadlier by the second.

Please, join us in calling on the member states to act on Article VII of the EU Treaty, which demands they intervene to prevent any state from being robbed of its democratic freedoms. We still have time to stop Áder’s men from stripping Hungary’s people of more rights and protections — but we cannot afford to stay silent for long!

PETITION TO EU MEMBER STATES: We cannot afford to sit by while another European country represses state protections, targets minorities, and spreads antisemitism while eliminating free speech. Don’t let Hungary go the way of Nazi Germany — act on Article VII to ensure Hungarians‘ rights and freedoms!

Click here to sign — it just takes a second.

Thanks,
— The folks at Watchdog.net

P.S. If the other links aren’t working for you, please go here to sign: http://act.watchdog.net/petitions/2675?n=34820784.fQSlDv

Outrage

That’s what I felt when I learned that Stephen Harper was shutting down Parliament once again – this time until October.

It seems that he’ll do anything to dodge the Senate scandal – anything to duck questions about Pamela Wallin’s expenses and the secret cheque his advisor wrote to Mike Duffy.

Stephen Harper must be hoping that things will blow over before he has to face Tom Mulcair in Question Period again.

But we’re not going to let that happen.

We’re using every tool we can find to hold these Conservatives to account. And I’m asking you to get on board – donate $5 or more today and help New Democrats keep the pressure on Harper.

Did you know this is the fourth time Stephen Harper has shut down Parliament? He seems to do it every time he finds himself in a tough spot.

And we’ve all learned what Stephen Harper does when he’s cornered. First he runs. Then he regroups. Then he comes back hard – on the offensive.

So what’ll it be this time? More partisan attack ads? We know something’s coming, and we need to be ready.

Please make a donation today. Don’t let Harper change the channel. Help us keep the focus where it belongs:

http://www.ndp.ca/dont-let-harper-change-the-channel

Canadians need to know exactly what role the Prime Minister’s Office played in the Senate scandal. And the only way we’ll get answers is by keeping the pressure on.

Let’s work together to get the job done.

Charlie Angus
MP, Timmins – James Bay
Canada’s New Democrats

 

Stephen Harper’s decision on Parliament may set back transgender ‘bathroom bill’

by Thaddeus Baklinski

OTTAWA, August 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews. com) – Prime Minister Stephen
Harper’s recently announced decision to prorogue Parliament has the effect
of killing all legislation currently being considered by the government,
including the controversial transgender bill.

The bill, C-279, seeks to include “gender identity” and “gender expression”
as protected rights in the hate crimes sections of the Canadian Human
Rights Act and the Criminal Code.

Since it is a private members bill, government rules stipulate that all
such bills are automatically reinstated when a new session of Parliament
begins.

Bill C-279 was before the Senate, but failed to pass third and final
reading before the summer break.

Harper made the announcement that he plans to ask the Governor General to
prorogue Parliament at a news conference in Whitehorse <
http://www.ottawaci tizen.com/ business/ Harper+says+ will+prorogue+ Parliament+ deliver+throne+ speech+October/ 8807299/story. html>
on Monday.

Prorogation shuts down the session of Parliament with the consequence that
all legislation on the Order Paper dies. A new session starts with a throne
speech, where the government’s priorities are summarized.

“There will be a new throne speech in the fall,” Harper told reporters. “We
will come back — October is our tentative timing — and we will obviously
have some unfulfilled commitments that we will continue to work on.”

Bill C-279, sponsored by NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca,
BC), proposes to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code
to give “specific protections” to “transsexual and transgendered Canadians”
and to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited
grounds of discrimination.

Critics of the bill have pointed to numerous troublesome aspects of the
legislation.

Jack Fonseca, Project Manager with Campaign Life Coalition, has called the
bill “lunacy,” and a “threat to the lives of girls and women.”

He said the bill would create a legal right for a man who calls himself
transgendered to use a public bathroom intended for women.

The controversial private members bill has been dubbed the “bathroom bill”
for this reason.

“This legal right will arise because the right to ‘gender expression’ will
be interpreted by the courts as giving men the right to ‘express their
gender’ by using a girl’s washroom, change room,or shower,” said Fonseca in
an interview with LifeSiteNews <
http://www.lifesite news.com/ news/federal- transsexual- bill-passes- second-reading- 150-to-132>
when the bill passed second reading in the House of Commons last year.

Numerous religious and pro-family organizations oppose the bill, including
the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Catholic Organization for Life
and Family, Campaign Life Coalition, REAL Women of Canada, and the Canada
Family Action Coalition.

Gwen Landolt, National Vice-President of REAL Women of Canada, said that
the passage of the bill would open a Pandora’s box eventually leading to
the normalization of “problematic sexual activities, including pedophilia.”

“It’s all in how the word ‘gender identity’ is defined,” said Landolt,
explaining that “gender identity” is a catch-all phrase that could be
interpreted by activist courts to legitimize “any kind of sexual deviancy”.

“This could include pedophilia, if that’s their deeply felt experience of
gender and if that’s their sexual preference”, she said.

REAL Women of Canada argues that another major effect of the bill would be
that “transgendered , transsexual, and sexually confused individuals will be
given full protection, re-employment, services, housing, etc., in public
institutions under federal jurisdiction. These behaviors will be
‘normalized’, accepted, and protected.”

“All Canadians are already equal before and under the law. Bill C-279 is
not necessary,” the organization stated in a press release <
http://www.bcptl. org/?p=1397> .

The Canadian Human Rights Commission concurs with REAL Women of Canada that
the transgender bill isn’t “necessary. ”

Ian Fine, acting secretary general of the HRC, told a meeting of the
Canadian Justice Committee <
http://openparliame nt.ca/committees /justice/ 41-1/53/? page=1> late last year
that the private member’s bill that would afford special federal protection
to so-called ‘transgender’ men and women “strictly speaking…isn’t
necessary.”

Fine said that people who say they are transgender are already protected
under the law.

“If someone experiences discrimination based on gender identity or gender
expression, they are currently protected under the Canadian Human Rights
Act. The commission, the tribunal, and the courts view gender identity and
gender expression as protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act.”

Bill C-279 has even been criticized by some who might be expected to
support it.

Hon. Nancy Ruth, Canada’s first openly lesbian Senator, spoke against the
bill while it was before the Senate in June <
http://publications .gc.ca/collectio ns/collection_ 2013/sen/ Y3-411-167- eng.pdf>
, saying that it would “privilege men who choose to become women over women
who are born female.”

“While I do not question the good intentions of the sponsor and the
supporters of the bill, I simply do not understand how they could advance
this bill without including all women. Passage of Bill C-279 will mean that
only if a woman is born a man who later chooses to identify as a woman will
she receive protection, but a woman born a woman will not receive the same
protection.”

Hon. Don Meredith agreed with Ruth and additionally criticized the
“confusing jargon” and “murky terminology” used in the bill.

“I am concerned about the hazy definition of the terminology within the
bill,” he said, calling the bill’s language “problematic” because it will
lead to “court rulings based on speculation and assumption.”

“It is not the job of tribunals and courts to wade through murky
terminology, honourable senators. It is our job to introduce legislation
that is clear, concise and meaningful. If we cannot navigate confusing
jargon, we cannot reasonably expect tribunals and courts to do so,” he
said. Meredith said that the bill could be used by “certain individuals who
could use this proposed legislation to prey on society’s most vulnerable —
our youth.”

“There has been much controversy about granting transgendered individuals,
especially transgendered men, access to women’s public washroom facilities
and locker rooms,” he said, adding that a “threat to women and children
must be dealt with seriously.”

Without prorogation, Parliament would normally resume on September 16.
However, Ottawa pundits are speculating that Harper intends to begin a new
session of Parliament as early as October 21, right after Thanksgiving, or
wait until after the Conservative Convention in Calgary, which runs from
October 31 to November 2.

Keith Beardsley, former PMO deputy chief of staff for issues management,
suggested the later date as more probable, taking into account the time
needed to hold four byelections to fill recently vacated seats in Manitoba,
Quebec and Ontario.

“They could even use the convention speech as part of the effort to sell
the throne speech or prep the country for a throne speech. There’s any
number of ways they could do it, but they could link the two, there’s no
doubt about it,” said Beardsley in a Hill Times report <
http://www.hilltime s.com/news/ news/2013/ 08/19/tories- %E2%80%98taking- back-agenda% E2%80%99- with-fall- prorogation- insiders- say/35640>
.

To contact Prime Minister Harper, Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, and
your Member of Parliament, about Bill C-279:

The Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper

Office of the Prime Minister

House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Fax: 613-941-6900

Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

The Hon. Robert Nicholson

Minister of Justice

House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Fax: 613-992-7910

Email: rob.nicholson@ parl.gc.ca

Find contact information for Members of Parliament here <
http://www.parl. gc.ca/MembersOfP arliament/ MainMPsCompleteL ist.aspx? TimePeriod= current>
.

Copyright 1997-2012 LifeSiteNews. com, all rights reserved.

http://www.lifesite news.com/ news/stephen- harpers-decision -on-parliament- may-set-back- transgender- bathroom- bi

 

Speak Out Against Tar Sands

First, huge swaths of Canada’s boreal forests are ripped up, exposing the bare earth. Then, giant trucks dig up thousands of tons of soil and dump 11 million litres of toxic water per day. This water collects in lethal ponds that kill birds that land on them. This is what it takes to produce tar sands oil.

Tell Prime Minister Harper’s government to listen to the voices of thousands of Canadians and put an end to this horrific industrial process.

Harper is dead-set on tearing up Canada’s boreal forests and turning the country into a fossil fuel-powered wasteland. He’s done everything he can to silence his opponents in public hearings on tar sands development. But we’ve had enough. Stand with thousands of Canadians in calling on Harper’s government to protect our freedom of speech and stop silencing opponents of tar sand development.

We need to fight for our forests, not for corporate profit. We need to speak out for free speech. We need to make sure we preserve the Canada we know and love, not Harper’s dystopian wasteland. With your support, we can win this fight.