Sunday, April 24, 2005

This weekend in the news:

Bill C-27 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Enforcement Act
Bill C-27 is getting little press, but concerns me deeply as it will severely reduce the safety of our food. If it is passed, imports of food from other countries won't be subject to the same scrutiny as Canadian food. This is in itself is awfully dangerous (Got BHG in your milk?) but will also mean that local farms are put at yet another disadvantage. There will then be two choices: continue to let Canadian agri-business die or deregulate. The obvious choice will be deregulation. Every other time they've tried to put this type of bill through, there has been public outcry. They're being smarter about it this time, burying it in other regulations. Protect Canada’s food system – tell your Member of Parliament to vote against Bill C-27! It only takes a minute of your time.

Gap between native, non-native schools growing
If you read Saturday's star, you would have been nearly brought to tears by this article. The question is... what to do about it. It seems to me in addition to bringing in the speech pathologists, psychologists and occupational therapists, etc, maybe there can be some free intensive training for the local community members. When I worked up north, the library was a real community centre (and where I lived was MUCH less isolated). Schools can provide the same thing - adult education and community development programs are so important, and can easily find their home in a grade school - if that school is properly funded and staffed. But communities need support and help to run things their way. At the very least, the teachers who are already there should be given free professional training to upgrade their skills and to deal with specific issues, such as special needs. Unemployment is 75% up there - can the government put aside money to pay community members who volunteer to work with the children, for example? Just a thought.

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