Monday, 24 March 2014

London's Urban Forest Strategy needs your input

Wednesday, March 26, 12:15pm - 3:00pm
Trees and Forests Advisory Committee Meeting

Location: Committee Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 300 Dufferin Ave

Unless “provide food” becomes a goal of the Urban Forest Strategy, the chances are the next 20 years will continue to be a battle for achieving this sort of goal. The draft Urban Forest Strategy is being presented to the Trees and Forests Advisory Committee this week. We encourage people to attend the meeting to speak to the need for food trees and the road blocks currently being put in the way. If the TFAC agree with us, and recommend the suggestion to Council, it will go in the strategy.

This is a chance for public input, as well as when it is presented to Planning and Environment Committee in May or June (and public support for adopting the strategy will be welcome, should anyone wish to speak to the Committee at that time).

If you wish to make a presentation, you need to ask Committee Secretary Betty Mercier to place you on the agenda as a delegate. ( / 519-661-2500 x0835)

If you can not attend, please consider sending a letter of support to Betty Mercier, CC: Sara Rowland ( / 519-661-2500 x4490). Sara is an Urban Forestry Planner for City of London who supports this initiative. In your letter, be sure to ask for minutes of the meeting and updates re: future meetings.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Film Screening: Food - Farmers - Our Future

Film still from Seeds of Freedom

Food - Farmers - Our Future: Sowing The Seeds Of Our Survival

Join Food Not Lawns London Canada, in partnership with USC Canada, for a screening of
short films followed by a discussion about the importance of seeds, seed diversity, the GMO
seed issue, seed saving, and the local movement.

Saturday, March 1st, starting at 5pm (free)
Presented by Narcise Datura with special guest speaker Malorie Knoester
East Village Coffee House
768 Dundas Street (corner of English)

The Gift, by Jean-Marc Abela, 2012, Canada. (3 min.)

Seeds Of Freedom, by Jess Phillimore, 2012, UK. (30 min.)
Watch the trailer.

Hey! Honduras, by Malcolm Hamilton, 2012, Canada. (13 min.)

Saving Canadian Seeds, by CTV/Canada AM, Canada, 2013. (4 min.)

Saving The Seed, by Scott Turner & Claire Kane Boychuk, Canada, 2010. (20 min.)
Watch the trailer.

USC Canada supports programs, training, and policies that strengthen biodiversity, food sovereignty, and the rights of those at the heart of resilient food systems – women, indigenous peoples, and small-scale farmers. The Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, founded in 1945 by Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. For more information, please visit the website:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Poison-laced plants at Home Depot and Lowe's


Home Depot and Lowe’s are still selling “bee-friendly” plants -- laced with the poison that is killing bees around the world! This Valentines, it’s time they showed the bees some love -- and pulled these products from their shelves.

Can you take two minutes to call Home Depot at 1-800-466-3337 and Lowe’s at 1-800-445-6937, and tell them to stop selling bee-killing pesticides and garden plants laced with these pesticides?

Click here for a calling script, full instructions and to let us know how your call went.

Things do not look good for the bees. After 37 million bees turned up dead on a single Canadian farm last year, early indications are that this winter’s bee die-off could be one of the worst to date. Scientists have shown that one of the key culprits behind the deaths are pesticides known as “neonics” -- and Europe has already imposed a temporary ban in response.

But Home Depot and Lowe’s are refusing to pull the bee killers from their shelves. That’s why this week, tens of thousands of people coast-to-coast are calling them to demand they act and “show the bees some love.”

Can you call Home Depot and Lowe's and tell them to remove bee-killers from the shelves?

Already, we've achieved a lot to save the bees. Hundred of thousands of us have signed a petition demanding that Home Depot and Lowe's remove neonics from their shelves. We crowdfunded to fight to stop Bayer pushing their disingenuous ‘we love the bees’ marketing campaign at a Chicago garden center show. And most impressive of all, together we chipped in to take legal action against Bayer in its attempt to overturn the two-year ban on neonics in the European Union -- and the court is now considering our claim.

But with planting season right around the corner, we can’t let another year pass with Home Depot and Lowe’s selling “poisoned plants” that harm the bees.

Thanks for all you do,
Angus, Paul, and the rest of the team at


More Information:

Bees exposed to neonic pesticides suck at gathering pollen, Grist, 31 January 2014.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Reforest London seeks input for Environmental Network

If you are a member, volunteer, or staff of a non-profit environmental organization in London, please take a few minutes to complete this survey.

The Thames Talbot Land Trust and ReForest London have been encouraged to submit a collaborative application to the Ontario Trillium Foundation to develop an environmental network for environmental non-profit organizations in London.  The purpose of the network is to improve the effectiveness, sustainability, and efficiency of the environmental sector in London by providing networking, training, shared resources, and other tools to London’s non-profit environmental groups.

This grant would include funding for a full-time network coordinator, materials to promote the network, and resources that can be shared by network members. To ensure that we plan the grant deliverables and budget correctly to meet your organization's needs, we are seeking input from members of environmental non-profit organizations.

This survey takes about 5-8 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by February 15.

Please feel free to forward this email to other environmental organizations in London. We're seeking broad input. If we are successful in our grant, you will hear from us again as we continue to seek your input as we develop the objectives of the group.

Julie Ryan
Director of Programs, ReForest London

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Stop Bill C-18

A message from the National Farmers Union:

On December 9, 2013 Bill C-18, the "Agricultural Growth Act" was introduced in Parliament. This agriculture omnibus bill amends several federal agricultural laws including the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Seeds Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Feeds Act and the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act. If Bill C-18 is passed, multinational agri-businesses will gain greater power and control over Canada’s seed industry, thus gaining much more money – largely on the backs of farmers. In analyzing Bill C-18, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has identified several concerns with the proposed amendments.

The NFU has worked to stop the introduction of the restrictive UPOV '91 regime of plant breeders’ rights in Canada through our long-standing “Save Our Seeds” campaign. The amendments to the Plant Breeders Rights’ Act outlined in Bill C-18 will align Canada with UPOV '91 requirements. We are asking you and your organization to join us in our efforts to Stop Bill C-18 via our just-launched campaign – "A Seed Act for Farmers, Not Corporations – Stop Bill C-18."

As part of our campaign, the NFU has released "Fundamental Principles for a Farmers' Seed Act" in which the inherent rights of farmers to save, reuse, select, exchange and sell seeds are recognized. These principles build on Canada's 2002 signing of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, through which farmers would retain their "customary" use of seed.

Fundamental Principles for a Farmers’ Seed Act

Bill C-18 Backgrounder – A Corporate Agri-business Promotion Act

More factsheets and action materials supporting the Stop Bill C-18 campaign are available on the NFU website. As well, in February, the NFU and Food Secure Canada will host "A Seed Act for Farmers, Not Corporations – Stop Bill C-18," a webinar that will provide more background on the effects of Bill C-18.

In the past, our organizations have worked jointly to build a strong, healthy, democratically-controlled food system. Once again we have that opportunity, as I invite you to participate with NFU members as we campaign to stop Bill C-18. Some of the actions your organization could take to immediately support our campaign include:

• share information on the “A Seed Act for Farmers, Not Corporations – Stop Bill C-18” campaign with your members and contacts;

• encourage them to contact their MP and ask them not to support Bill C-18;

• print and distribute the NFU Save Our Seeds postcard that individuals can send to their MP, or request copies from the NFU National Office;

• ask your members and contacts to download the NFU's Right to Save Seed petition, collect signatures and then personally submit as many petitions as possible (with at least 25
signatures) to their MP and ask him/her to present them to Parliament.

We would be very pleased to provide any further information you might need, or to discuss our work together.

In Solidarity,

Jan Slomp, NFU President
Ann Slater, NFU Vice President (Policy)


Ann Slater, National Farmers Union Vice President, will be speaking about Bill C-18:

Saturday, February 1

12pm - Solidarity Walk
380 Adelaide, Tolpuddle

2pm - Film & Social
East Village Coffeehouse, 754 Dundas

Contact: tradejusticelondon [at] gmail [dot] com