Farm Workers’ Rights, Hurricane Sandy and Community Solar Power

This week, Terra Informa is all about power: Hear from Canadian and Latin American migrant agricultural workers trying to raise their power on Canada’s farms, Terra Informa veteran David Kaczan on Hurricane Sandy’s power, and a community solar power co-op starting up in Ontario.

Waves break on the shore behind a house.

Hurricane Sandy washes up on the shore at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina [Photo credit: County of Dare]

Download this week’s episode.

Food Secure Canada panel on migrant workers’ rights

For the last two weeks, community organizers from Latin America and Canada have been on a speaking tour to raise awareness of the struggles for migrant workers’ rights. Terra Informa correspondent Annie Banks recorded the tour’s concluding panel at the Food Secure Canada conference in Edmonton, Alberta, on Treaty 6 Territories. It was called “Breaking the Silent Harvest: Experiences of Agricultural Migrant Workers in Canada.” Annie spoke with Jose Sicajau and Juan Luis Carbajal.

Listen to the full-length story:

More information: Students Against Migrant ExploitationJust work? A special Inter Pares campaign in solidarity for migrant workers’ rights, Project Counselling ServiceEntrenching Exploitation: Second Rept of AFL Temporary Foreign Worker Advocate (Alberta Federation of Labour)

Hurricane Sandy Report from North Carolina

Long-time listeners may have missed the gentle rumble of David Kaczan’s voice. He was a correspondent on our show for a long time, but he’s since moved on to pursue a PhD in environmental economics in Durham, North Carolina. When Hurricane Sandy just pummelled the East Coast, we couldn’t resist calling him up to get his take on the response in the US.

More information: Businessweek, Charlotte Observer, ChapelBoro

Northumberland Power Co-op

Using the power of community to power communities. A group of residents in Northumberland County, Ontario has come together to found a community power co-operative that will own and manage solar panels on area rooftops. They hope their initiative will increase the supply of renewable energy in the power grid and bring investment to the local economy. We reached the cooperative’s secretary, Rich Tyssen, in Cobourg, ON.

More information: APPrO Magazine, Financial PostGuelph MercuryGrist Magazine, Northumberland Today

What’s Happening

Film Screening: The Carbon Rush
On November 6, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto is featuring The Carbon Rush—a gripping documentary that takes a hard look at the business of carbon trading through the eyes of those directly affected by it. This event is brought to you by Cinema Politica at The Bloor and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. The film’s director, Amy Miller will be attending. The show starts at 6:45 PM.
More information: Cinema Politica

Seed and Food Events
The Unitarian Service Committee of Canada is teaming up with event organizers across the across the country to bring you for hands-on seed and food events:

2012 ECOSGN Seed Symposium
On November 9-11, the Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers Network will host a symposium at Montreal’s Centennial Center. Enjoy courses and workshops on seed growing and cleaning, a talk on seed security, and a field trip to an organic farm.
More information: Seeds of Diversity

BC Seeds Gathering
Also on November 9-11, BC Seeds is hosting a conference at Kwantlen University in Richmond. Join seed growers, savers, and activists in deciding how to improve the quality and quantity of locally grown seed. You can even bring you seeds to clean and test different cleaning equipment.
More information: BC Seeds

Harvest and Hunger: Who Controls Our Food?
The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation is hosting the Harvest and Hunger conference on November 9th and 10th. Learn about Saskatchewan’s connection to the global food system, and what’s being done to create fairer, more sustainable food systems. This event will take place at the Mayfair United Church.
More information: Eventbrite, SCIC

Hurricanes, Canadian Politics & The BP Oil Disaster

Greenpeace’s Oceans Campaign Director speaks to us from Grand Isle, Louisiana to give a first hand report of the damage. The NDP’s Linda Duncan tells us about a motion she tabled to re-examine Canada’s regulations for offshore oil drilling. And we talk to atmospheric and oceanographic scientists about the possibility of a hurricane hitting the oil spill, and what effect that could have.

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill pools against the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay Tuesday, June 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

more pictures of the gulf oi spill (The Big Picture) (Greenpeace USA Flikr) (NASA Aqua)

For the last two months the news has been full of reports of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which seems to just be getting worse and worse. Today we’re dedicating the whole episode to taking an in depth look at the disaster, and what it means for Canada. To start things off, Steve Andersen talks to John Hocevar, the director of Greenpeace USA’s oceans campaign, in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Grand Isle is a small community located directly on the Mississippi delta and has been heavily effected by the oil spill. In this interview Steve gets John to describe the damage he’s seeing at the site of the BP oil spill.

How to stop oil spills: Kickstart an energy revolution (Greenpeace USA)

With the persisting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore drilling has become an issue of major concern here in Canada.  Tasneem Karbani spoke with the New Democratic Party’s environment critic Linda Duncan about her recent motion that unanimously passed in Parliament calling for a review of the regulations and policies surrounding unconventional oil development in Canada.

Parliament unanimously supports NDP call for review of risky oil projects

Linda Duncan website

June first was the opening day of the Atlantic hurricane season and scientists are predicting it will be an unusually active year.  With the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico still growing and recent estimates putting the amount of oil released at double what was previously thought, what will happen if a hurricane passes through it?  What effect on the oil spill would a hurricane have and is it possible that spill this large could have an effect on a hurricane?  Terra Informa regular Rebecca Rooney interviewed the experts and filed this report.

Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf (New York Times)

NY Times Oil Spill Tracker


Dr. Phil Klotzbach, 2010 Hurrican Season Predictions

Doron Nof, PhD, Physical Oceanography at Florida State University

For more on the Canadian dimension to the BP oil spill check out the blog post Myles Curry wrote about arctic offshore drilling.

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