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this came to my attention a few days ago:
the Canadian government has proposed an amendment to the Food and Drug Act, called Bill C-51. This amendment is currently being discussed in Parliament, and has already gone through 2 of the 3 stages of debate. There is only one more debate in Parliament (the "Third Reading") before it is decided whether this bill can be passed as is or not..

There are a couple VERY WORRYING things about this Bill:

Basically, the amendment proposes to change a crucial definition in the Food and Drug Act, which would bring *natural therapeutic products* (so, including all natural medicines, as well as things like dandelion tea or aloe vera gel, or pretty much any plant product used for its therapeutic/ medicinal properties) under the same category as *pharmaceutical drugs*.

So what, you may ask. Well, A LOT:

Obviously, big pharmaceutical companies have more resources to dedicate to rigorous trial testing of all their ingredients and final products than do the majority of natural medicine companies. At this point I'd like to note that although "rigorous testing" may seem like a good idea even for natural products, we are talking about remedies that have been in use for hundreds of years...... *not* some new synthesis previously unknown to the human body. Bill C-51, meant to improve regulatory standards for food and drugs in Canada, would have all the procedures required of big pharma be applicable to small natural medicine practitioners and suppliers too.
**NOT REALISTIC**. Perhaps even a little suspicious? keep reading........:

Legal analyses of this bill has brought many to the conclusion that around 60% OF ALL NATURAL MEDICINES currently on the market in Canada would become in violation of the Food and Drug Act, and therefore be TAKEN OFF THE MARKET. This of course would have repercussions for all businesses depending on these products, from your naturopath or Chinese medicine specialist, to your local organic grocery store selling loose herbs.
Besides no longer being able to obtain these products in shops, any of these would also be illegal to sell at markets for example, so if you were "caught" selling dandelion tea at your local market, you stand to cop a 500,000$ fine. If the bill is passed the government plans to start training university students so they can increase the number of regular inspections.

Now, whether or not the pharmaceutical lobby has anything to do with this...... ah hem.
Better testing for pharmaceutical drugs is fine, but if this new legislation affects natural medicines, IT SHOULD REFLECT THE REALITY OF THE INDUSTRY.

If any of this worries you at all, I strongly suggest writing a *handwritten* letter to your local MP.
Its just that health is obviously a VERY important and also very personal aspect of our lives, and I don't want to be restricted to pharmaceutical drugs just because of unrealistic bureaucratic bullshit.

Ok, I've added some links below if you want to do your own reading.
Meanwhile I'm going to email as many ppl as possible who might be concerned about this. If your local organic food store/ co-op/ natural medicine practitioners don't already know about this, I'm sure they'd be very interested and keen to help stop this from going through.
If you're not too bothered but you know someone who might be, PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO THEM, we need all the help we can get!

thanks for reading!!!

links about Bill C-51:

Article in the Georgia Straight

Website with some info

Online petition

Second Reading of Bill C-51 in parliament, that took place on the 1st of May, 2008:
(links brings you to entire day's proceedings in parliament, so you have to scroll down about 3/4 of the page to get to "Food and Drug Act" related text)

Volunteer Opportunity

Please pardon my cross-posting! I am trying to increase the visibility of individuals of all sexualities, ethnicities, ages, and genders at this year's Vancouver Pride events. Please don't hesitate to post this in your own journals and/or communities =)

Rumor has it...

You want to volunteer for the Vancouver Pride Society this year!

If the rumor is true, and you do want to be apart of the Vancouver Pride Society 2008 Volunteer Team, then this is how you do it!

But first off, here is what you will receive:
-Your very own (hopefully purple) Vancouver Pride T-Shirt.
-A Letter of Recommendation upon completion of your volunteer hours (upon request).
-For the completion of 3 or more shifts, you will get a free Vancouver Pride Society Membership.
-Log volunteer hours for school or other programs
-Meet amazing new people! Network! Make new friends!
-Attend our groovy Volunteer Appreciation Party.
-Receive a volunteer appreciation certificate
-Develop useful skills
-Attend and have a great time at Pride events!

This year, we will also be holding 2 volunteer orientations where you will be able to meet the VPS board and some other volunteers. Further, you will recieve a brand new Volunteer Manual!

So are you ready now to find out how you can sign up to volunteer?

Go to the following page of the Vancouver Pride Society Website and fill out the volunteer form:


That is it! I will contact you about your availability, and you will be on your way!
So, my question is, when a country's citizens can be yanked across the border on charges for which there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL, is that country still a country anymore? If not, then Canada now has a date of death: December 6, 2007.

John Graham, a Canadian First Nations man (Tutchone) originally from the Yukon, was taken to South Dakota from Vancouver last December on the charge of murdering Anna Mae Aquash. Anna Mae was a Micmac woman originally from Nova Scotia, and they were friends and comrades in the American Indian Movement back in the 1970s. Anna Mae was killed in December 1975, and John was charged 4 years ago, with his co-accused - a homeless alcoholic man named Arlo Looking Cloud - being railroaded into prison after a 4-day farce of a trial in 2004. There is nothing in the record of the case that John's Canadian lawyers didn't shred to pieces, but the nature of Canada's extradition treaty with the United States makes it so that judges can't even look at the evidence presented in cases such as this.

The Supreme Court of Canada refused to review the case, and now dear John - one of the warmest, kindest people I've ever met - is being held in South Dakota awaiting his trial. I am so afraid that it'll be a repeat of the Leonard Peltier debacle. Yet in a way it's even worse: John is a Canadian citizen, and yet with the exception of Bill Siksay and a few others, no person in Ottawa lifted a finger to stop this from happening. John wasn't allowed to speak to his lawyer, or even say goodbye to his family. How could the unbelievable bastards do this?

Here is some more information:

From a forum held in Vancouver in August, here is the bit from Rex Weyler, Pulitzer prize-nominated author and journalist, co-founder of Greenpeace, and John's longtime friend and supporter:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Here is a bit, at the same forum, from John's daughters, two of the strongest, bravest women I've ever had the joy of knowing:


A few days after her father was taken, Naneek informed me that what CBC had written was, alas, too true. Here's what CBC wrote:


John's trial is set to start September 23 in Rapid City, SD. I pray that justice will be done. Anna Mae was his friend, and unlike many others he stood by her even when the vicious FBI-started rumours about the true nature of her loyalties began to circulate. AIM had no history of executing informers, even though they had ample opportunity to do so. Plus, there's no proof at all that she was an informer - the struggle for Indian rights was everything to Anna Mae!

John never killed anybody, and whoever did kill Anna Mae has gotten away with it for over three decades. Where's the justice?


My name is Rebecca Haskell. I am a graduate student in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. I am conducting a study about homophobic and transphobic bullying in high schools. The study has gone on longer than expected due to some health issues, but I'm back in action and looking to set up a group discussion for the end of February. The research, involving group discussions with former high school students, is designed to inform practice, policy, and research and promote a safer learning environment for high school students in Canada.


Interested in being involved? Join a short (1-1.5 hour) one-time discussion group.


Do you meet the following criteria?


1)      Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited or queer (GLBTTQ) individual who feels that you were bullied in high school because of your sexual orientation or gender identity;


2)      19 years of age or older;


3)      graduated from or left a Canadian high school in the year 2002 or later.

NOTE: You did NOT have to be 'out' in high school to participate.


If you fit these criteria and are interested in discussing your experiences (both positive and negative) with other GLBTTQ people who have also experienced bullying you’re invited to participate! Refreshments will be provided.


For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Rebecca at bullystudy@hotmail.com or see www.myspace.com/htpbullystudy


Vancouver - November 22, 2007: Orato.com - Teenagers have plenty of
good reasons to hide their beliefs about sexuality from adults, but
one thing's clear: teens are deeply affected by sexuality - their own,
that of their peers, and the stuff saturating the media. The online
citizen news site Orato.com wants to hire a teen sex columnist to be a
voice of Generation Net.

While their parents are installing electronic nannies, the Internet
generation is busy planning their Friday night on one of the biggest
social networking sites known to humankind. If you think MySpace or
Facebook have revolutionized communication, just think of the impact
it has on the psyches of this generation poised to become the largest
consumers and producers of Internet content!

The Internet has proven to be a dangerous place for teenagers. In the
words of ProtectKids.com, "Never before have pedophiles had the
opportunity to communicate so freely and directly with each other as
they do online."

The fact teenagers are prime targets on the Internet is precisely one
of the reasons why Orato.com will tackle these taboo issues by giving
teens a safe and prominent place to talk openly and honestly about
their experiences, online and otherwise.

Other subjects - like the latest Britney Spears video - are talked
about incessantly in media, but less is heard from teens themselves
about how Spears' provocative dress (or undress) translates in the
high school hallway. Orato.com will provide a platform where teens can
respond to the pressures they face to grow up fast and the conflicts
they feel those days when they just want to be a kid.

"Sexuality hits a young person like a ton of bricks. And it's a jungle
out there," says Orato.com's Editor in Chief Paul Sullivan "We hope
that teenagers will see Orato as a safe place to talk about this human

Teens have always had a sexual identity, whether it's abstinence or
experimentation. What has changed definitively is the world in which
teens grow up. Orato.com will open the door to a straight up look at
what this means, and the only way to get it straight is from the
mouths of teens. After all, teens are already talking about sex
amongst themselves - why not open the dialogue and find out what they
really feel?

So, if you are an outspoken teen who can write, isn't afraid to talk
about sexuality and has an honest relationship with your parents (who
must give their express written and verbal consent), contact
heather@orato.com. Orato.com wants you to write a weekly column, which
will be featured on our Love & Sex channel and also promoted
throughout the online community.

To protect your privacy, you can use an alias, and Orato.com will have
a sex education health counselor ready to weigh in when things get
touchy. (No pun intended) The point is, the floor is yours, so the
adult moderators will stand back and give you a space to take the
reigns. Just like at the school dance, you choose the music, we
chaperone - and listen.

To arrange an interview about this topic, contact Orato.com's Senior
Editor Heather Wallace at 604-688-3100.


Heather Wallace
Senior Editor
Orato Media Corporation
Tel (604) 688-3100
Fax (604) 689-3009
Please ask your local library/libraries to get a copy of the American Blackout DVD.

American Blackout is a documentary about how the last two USA elections were stolen by Bush and associates.

I checked Outlook Online ( http://bcuc-agent.auto-graphics.com/agent/login.asp?cid=bcuc&lid=bnvd&mode=g )
which searches catalogs of all BC libraries.

There is only one copy of the documentary in the GVRD lower-mainland (at Burnaby library). (Okanagan Regional Library has 3 copies.)


Dear all,

Please take action and forward this email widely and quickly.

On April 1, 2007, the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) came into effect in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The province of B.C. has yet to debate the need for such an agreement, even in the most obvious of places, including the legislature. The BC Liberals have introduced Bill 17, which amends the current legislation that allows courts to order the BC government to pay out monetary settlements, through the private court system set up under TILMA. When Bill 17 comes forward in the legislature the discussion will only allow for a debate on that Bill and discussion on the Agreement itself will be ruled out of order.

A Private Members Bill named M212, which would allow for debate on the Agreement, has been put on the floor. This Bill introduces the full text of the Agreement into the legislature and would allow for significant debate on TILMA to take place in the legislature.

If you are concerned about TILMA and the impact the Agreement will have on democratic process, we encourage you hit http://www.canadians.org/action/2007/09-Nov-07.html and send a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell and Minister of Economic Development Colin Hansen, letting them know that you want to see M212 brought forward to ensure debate on TILMA in the legislature.

You can ALSO fill out a petition online at:

If you want copies of this petition in order to collect signatures in your community you can download a pdf here: http://tinyurl.com/yokr3e

TILMA was signing in secret by the Premiers in 2006 without consultation with the bodies covered by the Agreement, without legislative debate and without public consultation with people in British Columbia. This is a sharp contrast to the pre-election promise of the BC Liberals to be the most open, transparent and accountable government in Canada.

The Agreement has been called an attack on local choice because it frames public policy decision-making as a restriction to investment.
The corporate investment model set up in TILMA allows those who see their investment as being trampled by public policies to sue governments for their loss of profit and make upwards of $5 million in tax-payer money in a NAFTA-style "court" system.

The lack of transparency and consultation for an Agreement that could have wide ranging and long-term effects over democratic decision- making in the Province needs a public debate For more information visit: http://www.canadians.org/DI/issues/TILMA/index.html


Carleen Pickard
BC-Yukon Regional Organizer, Council of Canadians
#700-207 West Hastings St. Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7
(Toll free)1.888.566.3888 or (Phone) 604.688.8846
(Fax) 604.688.5756 www.canadians.org <http://www.canadians.org/>

Upping the Anti Launch- Nov.15

Join us for the launch of the fifth issue!

Friday November 16, 2007
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Spartacus Books
319 West Hastings, 2nd floor
Free Entry - $5 for a copy of the new journal

Come for speeches, recaps on articles, engaging conversation and bevies.


- Interviews with Sunera Thobani, Gord Hill, and Michael Hardt

- Articles on TILMA and the Alberta Tar Sands, The Canadian Federation of Students, and the Resistance to the 'War on Terror'

- Roundtable on Political Prisoner Struggles with Ashanti Alston, Robert 'Seth' Hayes, Susan Tipograph, and Sara Falconer

- Reviews and More...


"Upping the Anti ... positions itself within contemporary social justice struggles, serving as a catalyst and forum for debate ... The journal's
commitment to 'theory and action' is demonstrated through its focus on building conceptual tools, its poaching of analytic
devices from a multiplicity of academic disciplines and its attention to questions of accessibility." - The Dominion

"Upping the Anti is an exciting new journal printed in Canada that does one of my favorite things: they argue. ... Putting the toughest arguments
to print means we move forward, or at least open the door." - Red Flag Magazine

For more information, visit http://uppingtheanti.org


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