“By Marni Soupcoff | National Post The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) definition of “political activities” might sound like an obscure detail of little import. But it is, in fact, one of the main ways in which the government controls this country’s charitable organizations, by restricting them to spending no more than 10 per cent of their resources on advocating for a change in law or government policy.
That means it is considered a political activity for an animal welfare charity to try to convince the public that stricter limits on deer hunting would be a good idea, or for a senior citizens’ charity to run a public campaign urging for crosswalks to be replaced with traffic lights at crossings near seniors’ homes.
And with millions of extra dollars budgeted for investigating political activities as a special project, the CRA has been busy over the past few years auditing dozens upon dozens of Canadian charities to enforce this restriction. These investigations have touched groups on all parts of the political spectrum, draining time, money and the courage to voice concerns about the status quo. Continue reading →
David E. Gumpert writes in the excerpt below about how some American food rights activists have recently taken their cause to the people by running for political office, in some cases against their former oppressors.
Residents of Ontario will likely be aware that there is a provincial election currently in progress. This means that we have an opportunity to raise food rights issues in questioning our candidates. One of the few politicians who have publicly supported the raw milk movement in Ontario is Randy Hillier, who was elected as a Progressive Conservative MPP in 2007. His private members bill asking the government to study the raw milk issue did not however, gain enough support at Queen’s Park.Continue reading →
“Early in October 2013, the entire nation heard about how Sarah Hershberger, a 10-year old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia (now recovered), is being forced into a two-year unproven experimental chemotherapy study by Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH). It was just learned the parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, took their significantly recovered daughter out of the United States before the court ruled that a hospital-affiliated, attorney-nurse, Maria Schimer, was made the medical guardian to make sure Sarah will get her treatments. Continue reading →
“Any politician worth his or her salt is good at charades–you know, the game where you pretend you are something that you’re not.
Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has given a masterful performance as a supporter of small farms since he was elected as a Republican in 2009. In September 2011, after receiving complaints from farmers about a crackdown by the state’s Department of Agriculture to end a decades-long tradition whereby Maine’s small farms were able to sell raw milk directly to friends and neighbors, without needing a dairy license, LePage wrote a memo questioning the crackdown. He expressed his support for legislation to restore the traditional practice. (Dairies that want to advertise their raw milk, or sell via retail, need to obtain a license to sell raw milk.)
During the legislative session just ending now, the Maine legislature passed a version of the legislation he said he supported in his 2011 memo, to allow raw milk sales of up to twenty gallons daily for unlicensed dairies. And suddenly, the governor seemed to vacillate, and as Deborah Evans notes in a comment following my previous post, he vetoed the legislation. Continue reading →
420 celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Photo Clayton Perry via The Tyee’s Photo Pool.
“In 2009, three gunshot-wound patients were wheeled into Wood’s emergency room at Vancouver General Hospital, all victims of gang violence. Wood had to ask himself: why? As he began to pore over research about organized crime, he discovered how central the marijuana trade was to funding gangs around British Columbia.
Stirred to arms, Wood and a coalition of academics and professionals founded Stop the Violence BC which has been lobbying for the taxation and regulation of the marijuana industry. Continue reading →
“With the “Safe Drinking Water Disclosure Act” – H.B. 72 – the state of Utah is holding the companies that “fluoridate” Utah’s drinking waters accountable for pouring huge amounts of other toxic chemicals in the water along with the fluoridation chemicals.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill last week that requires chemical companies to fully disclose all the chemicals they are dumping into Utah’s water along with the toxic fluoride which has been represented for more than 60 years across the U.S. as a means of preventing dental caries. Continue reading →
Michael Schmidt at yesterday’s “Fresh Milk, Food Rights”. Click image for more photos.
“Michael Schmidt who Jackie called “Our stubborn German” was up next and he gave us some of his personal background with growing up with the rise of the Nazis and his history of interaction with the various Canadian health authorities who raided his farm, sent in undercover spies to join his cowshare and more. He stressed again how important it is to remember that even these government officals who seem to think they can mindlessly hide behind the excuse that they are “just doing their jobs” are still human underneath it all. Continue reading →
Embattled raw milk advocate and accused sheep-napper Michael Schmidt breaks radio silence with a missive to readers of The Bovine:
Bert Jongerden, Alice Jongerden, Mark McAfee at the little Chilliwack dairy in British Columbia. Mark is likely there for tomorrow’s “Fresh Milk, Food Rights” conference in Vancouver.
Having been through enough court proceedings where material from the Bovine has been submitted as evidence, I am honored to pretend once again, that I am the one this time, who is writing another piece for all my friends out there who are currently plotting another action to stop those freedom renegades and food freedom advocates.
I mean I write this for those who seem to enjoy their time in bed with those who support corporate corruption and the destructive exploitation of human lives and the natural resources we are all supposed to be blessed with.
The plutocratic remaking of America has a parallel in the countryside. In rural America less than 3 percent of farmers make more than 63 percent of the money, including government subsidies.
The results of this emerging feudal economy are everywhere. Large areas of the United States are becoming impoverished farm towns with abandoned farmhouses and deserted land. More and more of the countryside has been devoted to massive factory farms and plantations. The consequences, though worse now than ever, have been there for all to see and feel, for decades. Continue reading →
Left: Jeremiah Crane, 21, does the evening milking, a chore that has been a rite of passage for the Crane children. Right: Elizabeth Minor feeds her two year old daughter Maren with milk from the Holly Grove Cowshare. They started feeding her raw milk when she was one. (Preston Gannaway | The Virginian-Pilot) Photos and caption info via Hampton Roads.com. Click image for more.
“It’s a scorching summer morning, and David Crane is standing with arms stretched wide in the middle of a pasture.
He steps cautiously toward a stubborn cow, cajoling her to move out of the heat and into a shady patch a few hundred feet away.
“Come on, girl,” he says quietly, almost whispering. “It’s OK.”
The cow bucks suddenly, knocking the husky middle-aged farmer off-balance and onto the ground in a cloud of dust. Crane hops back up, pats the dirt from his blue jeans and moves in again, arms wide, toward the cow. Continue reading →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)