green jobs

Replanting Ontario’s Wild Rice and Connecting New Canadians with Green Jobs

On today’s show we visit the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario to speak to a man who is working to replant the area’s once abundant wild rice, and pass on traditional harvesting techniques to a new generation. We also talk to FutureWatch, a group that’s trying to address barriers faced by new Canadians looking for jobs in the environmental sector.

Download this week’s show.

Wild rice. Photo by LexnGer.

Everyday we hear stories about people polluting rivers, chopping down sacred forests or pushing species to the brink of extinction. Such stories make it easy to lose faith in humanity. Never fear though – correspondent Chris Chang-Yen Phillips brings you a story about James Whetung, a member of southern Ontario’s Curve Lake First Nation, who is trying to give something back to the environment for a change. Wild rice is considered a sacred part of Anishinaabe culture, but was virtually wiped out in waterways in Ontario in the 20th century. James Whetung is working hard to replant beds of wild rice in lakes in his area, and teach others how to harvest it again. Tune in to find out more on why he is trying to revive this plant’s place in the watershed, and in his community.

More on this story: Visit Our Table, Trent Arthur Interview with James Whetung, Northumberland Today (p. 25)

For new immigrants to Canada, and foreign-trained professionals working with environmental expertise, it can be a challenge to find employment. How can businesses, government departments, settlement organizations and community and environmental groups work together to better connect newcomers to green jobs? Kathryn Lennon speaks with Eduardo Garay, a program director of FutureWatch Environment and Development Education Partners, about an upcoming forum held to discuss these issues.

If you are in the Guelph or Toronto area and are interested in sharing ideas on how the settlement sector and the environmental sector can work together, then you can attend FutureWatch’s Second Annual Regional Forum titled “Bridging the Gap”. It will happen in Guelph on January 31st and in Toronto on February 22nd.


Keystone Pipeline: The Obama administration last Wednesday rejected the Keystone KL crude oil pipeline proposal. Whitehouse spokesperson Jay Carney blamed the Republicans for imposing a February deadline on the administration’s review of TransCanada’s plan to build the 2700 kilometre pipeline.

More on this story: Vancouver Sun

Activism in Columbia: The Regional Movement for the Defense of the Territory launched a regional strike in Huila, Colombia on January 3 to protest the destructive impacts of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project. The multi-stakeholder coalition is also protesting the  entering of UK-based petroleum company Emerald Energy into the biodiverse mountaintop ecosystem of the Páramo of Miraflores.

More on this story: Upside Down World, Paro Regional, You Tube

Promising Future for Seaweed: Researchers at Bio Architecture Labs  and the University of Washington in Seattle have taken the first step to exploit the natural advantages of seaweed. They have built a microbe capable of digesting it and converting it into ethanol or other fuels or chemicals.

More on this story: Bio Architecture Labs, E. Coli, Science Report, Scientific American (1), Scientific American (2), Scientific American (3), Scientific American (3), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Green Jobs, Backyard Composting, and Permiculture

This week on Terra Informa we hear from an Ontario coalition that’s working to create green jobs by placing solar panels on publicly owned buildings in Toronto. Garry the Garbage Guy visits his friend Tannis to provide some advice on backyard composting. And Ron Berezan tells us how to get started with permiculture.

The Toronto Skyline. Soon To Be The Home Of More Solar Panels.

Local Campaigns: Green Jobs for All at Toronto Hydro

All across Canada there are countless groups and individuals fighting for environmental justice. In an attempt to highlight these unreported actions we here at Terra Informa have a recurring segment called local campaigns where we focus attention upon a group doing great environmental work in their community. This week Myles Curry interviews Nigle Barriffe of the ‘Green jobs for all at Toronto Hydro‘ campaign which is building on the development of a social justice coalition, Good Jobs For All, to demand that Toronto hydro begin installing solar panels on public buildings. Here is Myles with the interview.

Good Green Jobs For All Framework for Action

Communities tell Toronto Hydro: green jobs for all now

Good news for Green Jobs at City Hall

Garry The Garbage Guy: Backyard Composting

We haven’t heard from Garry the Garbage Guy in a while, and we miss him. Garry Spotowski works for the City of Edmonton’s Waste Management Division and used to do a regular series on the show, dropping in to tell us about waste disposal and recycling. Well, for everyone who misses hearing his reports, here’s some vintage Garry the Garbage Guy. In this episode Garry stops by his friend Tanis’ house to give some advice on backyard composting.

Best of Terra Informa: Ron Berezan, The Urban Farmer

Giving you a sample of some of the jems in the Terra Informa archives this week we pull out a interview between Terra Informa corespondent  Zoe Luski and Ron Berezan on permaculture. Ron Berezan lives in Edmonton where he’s affectionately known as the Urban Farmer and in this segment Ron explaining his take on permaculture. This piece originally aired last June.

Terra Bloga: Green Jobs and Public Transit in Alberta

This week on Terra Bloga Myles expands on David Kaczan’s interview with  city councilor Don Iveson about the recent developments at city hall for the expansion of Edmonton’s light rail transit (LRT) system.

The job creation side of this debate has largely  been ignored or underplayed to date. This is largely because the provincial government has  chosen not to engage in the rhetoric of job creation  or entertain stimulus politics, something  that is pervasive in most other jurisdictions responses to the economic crisis….In addition to the immediate environmental benefits of reducing global carbon emissions and local smog, public transportation, such as the LRT system, offers profound socio-economic benefits in our current economic recession. By investing in public transit development as a combined economic stimulus and climate change policy, both policy goals can be achieved faster and more efficiently.

Urban Environmentalism & Mercury Pollution


Listen Online

This week John Harvey bringing us Omar Yaqub – executive director of Sustainability Works. Omar discusses the Greater Edmonton Alliance sustainability works project that aims to make eco-retrofits more plausible for low income families while creating green jobs in the city of Edmonton.

Sustainable Works Fact Sheet

After a health warning was announced pertaining to mercury levels in some Albertan fish, Demmi Connolly took a look into how mercury accumulates in fish, some of the effects of mercury and what can be done to help stop rising mercury levels.

Minamata, Japan Information

Garry the Garbage Guy is back with another report on the world of garbage and recycling. Today he’ll be telling us about the origins of Edmonton’s recycling program — how the city moved from landfilling anything and everything to having one of the most comprehensive waste diversion programs in North America.


Listen Online