Newsletter 084, 18 November 2013


Where is the Value in Food?

foodcoreLGL / November 2013
A Food Charter is a guiding document, shaped by community members, that outlines a vision for the future of the food system, including everything from growing food, to processing, storing, transporting, selling, buying, and eating it.

A Food Charter for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is now being produced by foodcoreLGL, a team of individuals, community organizations, farmers, growers, producers, institutions, businesses, local government representatives -- and you. Please take 10 to 15 minutes to complete this survey.

Our hope is that the Food Charter will inspire action throughout the counties, and that it will be used by everyone -- farmers, growers, producers, consumers, institutions, businesses and local governments -- to guide the development of food policies and programs.


Next Up: Learn about solar PV net-metering systems

When the grid goes down, a Brockville area couple with a flood-prone basement won't be bailing with buckets after their sump pump shuts off - because it won't shut off. And when the grid is functioning, they'll be using less electricity from the grid and actually selling their excess to their commercial electricity supplier.

Bob and Chris Stesky have installed a grid-tied net-metered solar PV system with battery backup and will discuss it at our next meeting. They will describe their system in detail, explain how the net-metering contract works, and discuss their reasons for setting the system up. Their system combines the emergency-handling capabilities of a completely off-grid system at one extreme and some of the economic benefits of a microFIT contract at the other. Photos will illustrate the construction process and the various types of equipment used. Bob will get into some of the technicalities of the system they chose.

Believing that dependence on fossil fuels is unsustainable and that the cost of energy all over the world will rise significantly in the future, relative to what people will be able to afford, they decided this system is a reasonable investment for them, in spite of the initial expense. Although the potential financial returns are less than those of a microFIT sytem, net-metering offers other advantages, such as the ability to use the electricity you generate, whether the grid is up or down.

Both Chris and Bob will discuss why this route seemed best for their situation, as retirees owning an old stone farmhouse on enough acreage to establish a sustainable homestead. They'll talk briefly about other things they are doing in their lives to reduce their need for energy in the first place. This was advice they heard from Bill Kemp at the Energy Efficient Lifestyle Fair in Kemptville in 2006, to which they went hoping to learn about going off the grid.

"It gives us great peace of mind to know that, should there be another ice storm or other disaster, we have the power needed to carry on and even help others in our community," Bob says.

WHEN: Sunday, November 24, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Later Presentations

January 26: Alan Medcalf and Tim Webb: E-bikes
February 23: [TBA]
March 23: [TBA]

Please let us know what you'd like to hear about, or to hear more about, through this online form.


Call for Steering Committee Members

Would you like to delve more deeply into global warming and peak oil issues on a regular basis? To make a tangible contribution to your community's resilience, rather than just ignoring or worrying? Join our Steering Committee and dedicate a few hours a month helping to guide our work. Contact us at

New Listings on Brockville Reuses

From black currant bushes and dahlias to small business software - just some of the items currently available on Brockville Reuses. Yours for the asking or at a nominal cost. Check it out!

Community Outreach

Members of our Steering Committee are available to speak to groups throughout the community, whether it be a lunch-and-learn at your place of business, a formal presentation to your faith group, or an informal neighbourhood discussion. Contact us at

Local Business Directory

One of the most popular features of the TB website is our searchable Local Business Directory, which we set up to encourage patronage of locally owned businesses. Would you like to list your business with this free service? Would you like us to add any others? Contact us at

Our Top 50 Article Tags


Nobel laureate takes aim at Energy East pipeline

Ottawa Citizen / Derek Spalding / 28 October 2013
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams says Ottawa residents can help stop an oil pipeline expansion that aims to connect Alberta's tar sands to the East Coast along a path that runs through the nation's capital. Williams spoke at an event Monday night about climate change and more speci...

'Wake up' to area health crisis

Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 08 October 2013
"It's like we've gone into a state where we've lost the basic building blocks of health," said Stewart. Those building blocks, adds Stewart, are physical activity - at least an hour a day for children - healthy food and mental health...

Food less affordable locally

Recorder & Times / Darcy Cheek / 08 November 2013
The 'Nutritious Food Basket' costing for 2013 calculated the cost of 67 items from grocery stores in the area, coming up with a figure of $178 per week to feed a family of two adults and two children, up from about $162 in 2010. "We expect to see some increases in costs every year because ther...

Cornwall food bank plants fruit forest

Seaway News / 04 November 2013
The Agape Centre has planted 100 new dwarf apple and pear trees on the property of Fountaingate Christian Assembly, as well as 100 seedless grape vines. The first fruit harvest is expected in 2015. The Agape Centre wants to get more fresh, local and organically grown produce onto the tables of individuals a...

Ecology Ottawa launches new tree challenge

Ottawa Community News / Michelle Nash / 17 October 2013
A new initiative launched by Ecology Ottawa aims to combat dying city trees by asking Ottawans to plant thousands in their place. Tree Ottawa is a community-based project which asks residents, private companies and organizations to help protect the city's tree canopy by planting, protec...

City of Ottawa wants clearer rules to separate bikes from electric scooter

Ottawa Citizen / David Reevely / 02 November 2013
The city wants help from the province to tell bicycles with electric boosters apart from battery-powered scooters - so it can more easily ban the heavier scooters from dedicated bike paths and encourage regular cycling. Right now, they're all legally "e-bikes." That covers everything f...

Westboro Brainery brings community learning concept to Ottawa

Ottawa Citizen / Elizabeth Payne / 29 October 2013
With courses on everything from how to talk to your children about sex, to self-hypnosis, the philosophy of Ottawa's new virtual schoolhouse is that almost everyone is an expert at something. The Westboro Brainery, a community learning program modelled after the wildly popular Brooklyn Brai...


Enbridge Line 9B Reversal: Waterkeeper submission to NEB

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Lake Erie Waterkeeper, and the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper / 06 August 2013
In order to minimize Line 9's threat to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water, the following measures would have to be taken: Replace the existing pipeline with thicker pipe or reducing the diameter of the pipeline...

Ontario to launch consultations on Energy East pipeline

Ottawa Citizen / Matthew Pearson / 13 November 2013
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said Wednesday the province has asked the OEB to launch the consultations early in the new year to provide all Ontarians, including First Nations and Métis, with an opportunity to express their views on the project. Proposed by TransCanada, the project would se...

Ontario must stand ground on pipeline projects, report says

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 11 November 2013
The former provincial official acknowledged that the growing resources production benefits the national economy, including higher federal tax revenues. But he said 94 per cent of the economic benefits from oil sands growth remains in Alberta, even as other regions deal with issues like higher GH...

Enbridge rejects Ontario demands on pipeline

Toronto Star / Jessica McDiarmid / 25 October 2013
A third-party review of risk and engineering assessments, a $1 billion U.S. insurance policy and a full hydrostatic test of an aging pipeline that cuts across Toronto aren't necessary, Enbridge argued in its final reply to federal regulators who will decide whether to approve an overhaul of Li...

OPG seeks 30% rate hike for nuclear generation

Ottawa Citizen / Keith Leslie / 13 November 2013
OPG said the rate increase, if approved by the Ontario Energy Board, would add about $5.36 each month to the bill for typical residential customers. The reasons for the requested hike "include ensuring obligations for used nuclear fuel management and decommissioning costs are met," the gove...

Helping Social Enterprises Grow and Create Jobs

Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment / Press Release / 26 September 2013
Ontario has launched a new plan that will help social enterprises start and grow their businesses while supporting the creation of 1,600 new jobs in the sector. Impact - A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario is the province's plan to become the number one jurisdiction in North America for businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue...

Bill 36, the Local Food Act, Passes Third Reading

AMO Breaking News / 05 November 2013
Today, the Ontario Legislature proclaimed the Local Food Act. AMO was actively involved and provided input on behalf of municipal governments as the Bill was developed and considered by the Legislature. The government has clarified the section on goals and targets in the legislation. The Minister of Agricu...

Local Food Act Recognizes Farmers' Generosity

Loving Spoonful / Press Release / 11 November 2013
The Local Food Act, passed by the Province last week, will promote, and set targets for, Ontario produce. It also acknowledges the generosity of farmers with a 25% tax rebate for all produce donated to eligible charitable agencies. "We collect and distribute thousands of pounds of fresh p...

New FIT/microFIT price schedule available

Ontario Power Authority / 01 November 2013
As required by the April 5, 2012, and June 12, 2013, FIT directions, the OPA has posted an updated FIT/microFIT price schedule. Please note that prices listed in the January 1, 2014, price schedule have not changed from the August 26, 2013, price schedule. View the new price schedule. The OPA is re...

Eureka Moment for North American Hydro Generation / Eli Shawn Jordan Wasserman / 23 October 2013
Last month, the first North American Archimedes screw power generation system was installed about 150 miles from Toronto, Ontario. The system was designed and installed by Greenbug Energy, the small team run by father and son duo Mike and Tony Bouk. The system uses the 2300 year ...


Canada praises Australia's repeal of carbon tax

The Guardian / Suzanne Goldenberg / 13 November 2013
Canada has dropped any remaining pretences of supporting global action on climate change by urging other countries to follow Australia's example in gutting its climate plan. In a formal statement, the Canadian government said it "applauds" the move by Australia this week to repeal a carbon ...

Environment minister casts doubt on climate change

Ottawa Citizen / Mike de Souza / 03 October 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's environment minister is casting doubt about scientific observations of melting summer sea ice in Canada's north. In a short televised interview on CTV's daily political show, Power Play, Leona Aglukkaq suggested that scientific observations were not as impo...

Oil industry successfully lobbied to delay climate regulations

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 08 November 2013
Canada's oil industry successfully lobbied Ottawa to delay proposed climate regulations last spring, arguing Alberta's proposed $40-a-tonne carbon tax would drive away investment while doing little to quell criticism of the emissions-heavy oil sands. In e-mails released under Access to In...

UN slams Canada for poor climate change record

Ottawa Citizen / William Marsden / 05 November 2013
The authors picked out Canada as a lead laggard. Canada is on track to exceed its 2020 target of 607 megatonnes by slightly more than 110 megatonnes or about 20 per cent, according to its own reports. (A megatonne is a million tonnes.) "So it is significantly off track right now," Taryn...

Quebec Adopts Social Economy Legislation

Canadian Co-Operative Association / Newsletter / 24 October 2013
Quebec's National Assembly has adopted legislation recognizing the contribution social economy organizations, including co-operatives and mutuals, make to the province's social and economic development. The new law, adopted on October 10, calls for the establishment of a perman...

Motion to further strengthen Canada's cooperatives

Hon. Mauril Bélanger / Press Release / 15 October 2013
[The Honourable Judy] Sgro will table, at the first opportunity, a motion at the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to establish a Subcommittee on Co-operatives. If established, Mr. Bélanger would be the liberal representative on that subcommittee. "Canada's co...

Soak it up!

Green Communities Canada / 23 October 2013
Green stormwater infrastructure is part of the answer to the problem of urban run-off, which is escalating as impervious surfaces like roads and buildings proliferate and vegetation is reduced. In nature, only 10% of precipitation results in surface run-off; the rest is infiltrated (50%) or evaporated (...


This year is the seventh warmest since records began in 1850 with a trend to weather extremes and the impact of storms such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines aggravated by rising sea levels, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday. A build-up of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphe...

Typhoon Haiyan: Strongest storm ever recorded

The Guardian / Kate Hodal / 08 November 2013
At least three people have been killed and another seven injured as typhoon Haiyan - thought to be the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land - barrelled through the Philippines with winds up to 195mph (315km/h) and waves as high as 19ft (5m). The category 5 storm, which made landfall early ...

UNEP: Efforts to slow global warming are failing

RTCC / Ed King / 05 November 2013
Global efforts to prevent dangerous levels of climate change are on course to fail, says a UN report released today. The UN Environment Programme says current pledges to reduce emissions are inadequate, and likely to see options to limit warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels fade by 2020. Produced with f...

Climate change linked to global food scarcity

The Guardian / Emma Bryce / 07 November 2013
Last week, a source leaked a draft report, drawn up by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and due to be released next March. It's the second of three reports, following the first that came out in September this year. Among other things, the text clearly outlines the threats...

Still Feel Confident About Collecting Your Pension After This?

The Automatic Earth / ilargi / 30 October 2013
If your answer to that question is affirmative, I suggest you take a good hard look at what's coming out of Detroit these days. Why don't we just call it a bail-in model, not unlike Cyprus, where the waters are tested for forcing parties who historically thought they were safe from cuts, find they n...

A Complex Problem: How the 3 E's Are Connected

How to Save the World / Dave Pollard / 08 November 2013
I've just been interviewed by Janaia and Robyn at Peak Moment TV (video will be up soon). The conversation inspired me to try to come up with a short summary of why I am so convinced that our civi...

Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist

Do the Math / Tom Murphy / 10 April 2012
Some while back, I found myself sitting next to an accomplished economics professor at a dinner event. Shortly after pleasantries, I said to him, "economic growth cannot continue indefinitely," just to see where things would go. It was a lively and informative conversation. I was somewhat alarmed by t...

Does the Earth need saving?

Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 03 November 2013
There is certainly an interest in protecting one's children and grandchildren who may face an increasingly perilous climate and shrinking resources including food. And, there is a broader concern that the world's poor will bear the brunt of these problems resulting in skyrocketing death rates. ...


The Brock Trail is potentially much more than a recreational trail. If extended and completed, and if existing sections are renovated to current standards, it can be a large and key backbone for an active transportation network within the City of Brockville.

Brockville City Council is currently going through its 2014 budget deliberations. As with many communities these days, the City is facing some difficult decisions due to increasing costs and decreasing revenues.

If you wish to see continued development of the Brock Trail and the benefits an active transportation network can bring -- from healthier, lower-emission lifestyles to decreased infrastructure costs and increased tourism -- our councillors will need to hear from you. Please take a few moments to contact your councillors, either by telephone or email. Contact info is available here.

As gardeners of all stripes will tell you, winter is the planning season. Stuck inside, with little chance to get your hands dirty, it is the perfect time to pause and reflect. What will your garden be? Who will you bring into the project? What are your hopes? How will you get the resources together? What will yo...

Using Leaves in the Garden

Mother Earth News / Vicki Mattern / 18 September 2013
Leaves are one of the main ingredients of the dark, rich humus that covers the forest floor - nature's compost. A gardener can replicate that humus by mixing carbon-rich leaves with nitrogen-rich manure or grass clippings to make compost. Maintaining an active compost pile in winter ca...

A Nature Walk Can Boost Recovery, Optimism And Self-Control

Medical Daily / Lizette Borreli 06 November 2013
Enjoying a nature walk can lead to a happy and healthy future by boosting your self-control and optimism by up to a sixth, according to a recent study. Human behavior is influenced by both natural and built environments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the physical and ...

Peterborough: Buy Local with the Kawartha Loon Local Currency

Transition Town Peterborough / TTP Insider / 02 November 2013
Buy Local from locally owned independent businesses and farming enterprises is the #1 Action that you can take to help fight climate change and enhance community prosperity. Turbo Charge the buy local economic multiplier effect by using the Kawartha Loon local Currency. Buy...

This guide aims to help communities across the United States create their own investment funds to grow local food businesses. It grows out of the efforts of a network called PVGrows in which local food advocates are working together in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts to revitalize the local economy, s...

Creative solutions fight flood vulnerability

Globe and Mail / Chris Atchison / 05 November 2013
Flood mitigation became a hot topic this year as devastating flooding in Calgary, High River, Alta., and Toronto - not to mention the frequent flooding that affects cities such as Winnipeg - put a spotlight on the need to prepare commercial properties for the worst. And after fire, water dam...


Enbridge tar sands pipeline threatens Great Lakes

Treehugger / Chris Tackett / 18 October 2013
After two years of pressing pipeline regulators to release inspection photos and videos of the 60-year-old Enbridge pipeline that carries tar sands oil through the Straits of Mackinac, the National Wildlife Federation took it upon themselves to inspect the pipeline. Unfortunately, their footage...

FAB Profile: Neil Kudrinko of Westport

Frontenac Arch Biosphere / 31 October 2013
Neil Kudrinko is the proud owner of Kudrinko's, a privately owned grocery store in Westport, Ontario.

Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. Making downtown into a walkable, viable community is the essential fix for the typical American city; it is eminently achievable and its benefits are manifold. Walkable City - bursting with sharp observations an...

For more than a decade now, Germany has been engaged in the most ambitious sustainability shift of any major industrial nation - a move to renewable energy and hyper-efficiency now known in German as the Energiewende ("Energy Transition"). Germany's pursuit of a low-carbon future is a case study for any community following the same path. Bes...

A fascinating talk by J. David Hughes, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, given at Cornell Universtiy on 5-2-12, "Energy Sustainability Dilemma : Powering the Future in a Finite World". Most of the easy energy is gone. Now we are pursuing Deep Ocean Drilling, Tar Sands, Fracked Shale Gas, etc. Are we heading for a dead end? What ab...

FOUR HORSEMEN is an award winning independent feature documentary which lifts the lid on how the world really works. As we will never return to 'business as usual' 23 international thinkers, government advisors and Wall Street money-men break their silence and explain how to establish a moral and just society. FOUR HORSEMEN is free from...

Bubble and Beyond

The Extraenvironmentalist / 16 October 2013
A massive pile of accumulated debts and a global credit bubble are tearing apart our politics and societies. As illusory wealth continues to evaporate, a battle ensues between creditors that lent too much and a rapidly growing class of debt serfs. With the ability for reform appearing increasingly futi...


Webinar: How to Feed 9 Billion on a Small Planet

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 12 noon
WHERE: Online

Growing evidence shows that agroecology will feed the world. Business as usual will not. Miguel Altieri from the University of California (Berkeley) - a widely published, leading authority on agroecology - will speak on ecological agriculture as a key solution to food insecurity, hunger, and climate change. He will be joined by panelists Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of Le jardinier maraîcher; Sarah Archibald, Meal Exchange Campus Food Project; and Henry Lickers, First Nations environmental leader. More info and free registration:

My Ecological Footprint at Mac Johnson

WHEN: Saturday, November 23, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Mac Johnson Wildlife Area, Debruge Road, Brockville

Get introduced to the basic concept of the ecological footprint. Through indoor and outdoor activities you can examine your own footprint and compare footprints to those of other cultures. Meet at the Nature Conservatory to participate in this event. Admission is free - donations are welcome. More info: / / 613-546-4228

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference: Innovation Driving Local Food

WHEN: Monday, December 2 - Tuesday, December 3
WHERE: Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre, Kingston, ON

Local food initiatives have been innovative in running their operations, adapting practices and looking for partners to be successful in this rapidly growing sector. Attend the Conference to share information, learn about success stories and gather information on innovative local food businesses, projects and best practices.

This year the conference is a two-day event, so come to Kingston early to explore and learn about local food enterprises in Kingston and the Frontenac area through a Local Food Mobile Tour on Monday afternoon, December 2. After the tour, participate in the Monday evening Welcome Reception sponsored by Quinte West and the City of Belleville highlighting their 'Cheddar and Ale Trail' with complimentary sampling of local products.

The formal conference kicks off on Tuesday, December 3 with a continental breakfast followed by a day filled with knowledge sharing and networking...all involving local food. Jim Slama (, Oak Park, Illinois) sets the tone with the keynote address focusing on innovative approaches that can be used to promote and stimulate local food activities. Subsequent plenary and concurrent sessions provide a range of informative topics and networking opportunities. Clark Day (AquaTerra Restaubistro by Clark, Kingston) wraps up the conference with an inspiring message of how local food has invigorated the culinary profession and presents opportunities for local food producers and processors to continue to engage and innovate.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives... nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.