temporary foreign workers

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

Tour of Alberta’s “Industrial Heartland”

This week on Terra Informa we cover a breadth of topics in addition to your weekly eco news headlines. Ellis Agbenyeg takes a look at temporary foreign workers in the Alberta tar sands, Brett Tegart provides some insight into new bio cremation processes and Marcus Peterson takes us on a tour of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

Shell Upgrader, Fort Saskatchewan By Matthew Dance

Environmental News Headlines

G20 documents show no Canadian movement on tax breaks for oil sands (OilWeek)

Harper rejects advice to budge on oil patch tax breaks (CTV)

Syncrude verdict encourages Fort Chip residents, Oilsands need better government regulation, environmentalist says (CBC)

Australia’s Leadership Change Rekindles Hope for Climate Health (ENS)

Gillard to fight for carbon tax (ABC)

Natural pesticides may hurt environment (CBC)

Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans

Whaling ‘peace deal’ falls apart (BBC)

Temporary Foreign Workers

Terra Informa’s CSL intern Ellis Agbenyeg takes a look at the environmental and social justice aspects of temporary foreign workers in Alberta’s oil industry

Alberta Federation of Labour


Its known as the last bonfire. Over half of Canadians these days choose to be cremated rather than buried, but of late the process has come under fire. Cremation consumes huge  amounts of electricity and produces about 400 kilograms of carbon dioxide for each cremation. But new processes which Terra Informa correspondent Brett Tegart investigates, are changing how people are looking at death.

Tour of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland

Most people associate tar sands impacts with fort McMurray or fort Chipewyan, but in reality the destruction continues right into Edmonton’s back yard. The industrial heartland located just NE of Edmonton is 300 km square  in size and includes 5 regions. For many residents the areas is quickly becoming known as cancer alley due to the levels of pollution and increase in development. Terra Informa corespondent Marcus Peterson bring us a first hand account of a tour put on by residents and environmental groups of this less known area of tar sands infrastructure.

Suncor Refinery 'Upset' in the Industrial Heartland

Pembina Institute’s new report, Upgrader Alley, provides the first in-depth look at the environmental impacts of upgrading oil sands bitumen in the Edmonton region.

Marcus Peterson – Podcast – Industrial Heartland Tour

Heartland Tour Toolkit