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21 July 2008
24 June was the 24th day of the twelfth month of the 2nd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:
24 June 2008
The Globe and Mail - Blue-chip firms sign on to green plan (24 June 2008) Some of Canada's largest companies intend to cut back their environmental impacts as part of a plan to make Greater Toronto 'the greenest city region in North America'. In an initiative they call 'unprecedented', dozens of blue-chip corporations, including all of the country's major banks, IBM Canada, GE Canada, and Manulife Financial, have endorsed the Toronto City Summit Alliance's Greening Greater Toronto plan, which takes particular aim at the waste production and energy consumption of businesses. Occupants of Toronto-area commercial buildings throw out 64 per cent of the region's garbage and are responsible for almost 45 per cent of its greenhouse-gas emissions.
The environmental coalition is launching four specific measures: An effort to promote energy-efficient refits of commercial and residential buildings; a fund to assist schools, hospitals, and other public institutions to become more energy efficient; a centralized database and trade fair for 'green procurement'; work on a system of environmental education centres. Mike Pedersen, group head for corporate operations at TD Bank and one of Greening Greater Toronto's co-authors, said that governments must 'provide a level playing field' to encourage environmental progress. Greening Greater Toronto hopes to capitalize on a trend toward environmental friendliness in businesses large and small. Local examples range from TD Bank's plan to go carbon-neutral by 2010 to one at Idomo, the furniture retailer, that aims to take the store 'off the grid' by using solar and geothermal energy.
Whatever the results of Greening Greater Toronto, what may be most significant is its origin— through lengthy meetings involving powerful executives, environmentalists of various stripes, and government representatives. Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn, who participated in one of the report's working groups, said he found it remarkable that the 'corporate community was sitting with people who probably would have been protesting on the street 10 years ago'.
The Toronto Star on Toronto bans gun clubs from city property (24 June 2008) Mayor David Miller's measures to address gun violence in Toronto won council approval Monday by a vote of 31-9. The 16-point plan includes the cancellation of a lease and permit for two recreational gun clubs that operate separately in city-run facilities. The city doesn't have the legal power to close ranges on private land and the two clubs will be allowed re-establish themselves on private property in Toronto. But the city will also prepare a zoning by-law restricting any new firing ranges or gun clubs from setting up shop in Toronto; the same for operations that make, assemble, warehouse, and distribute guns. Miller said it's incumbent on the city to do everything possible to help protect the people of Toronto and help save lives. He said that from a 'moral perspective' the council has to end the use of guns in city facilities.
From a Globe and Mailreport on this: Mr Miller cited police reports that show legal handguns are often stolen and used in crimes. In 2007, the Toronto Police Service said that 178 of 368 traceable crime guns seized by authorities were stolen from owners with a permit. Mr Miller predicted that other gun clubs on private property in the city would eventually 'wither away' as they close and new ones cannot be opened.
From a CBC News report on this: 'There will be no more gun clubs on city property. There will be no new gun clubs in Toronto, ever. There will be no new manufacturers or wholesalers, ever. That's what happened today,' Mr Miller said.
From a National Post report on this: The measures are meant to ensure the city does everything in its jurisdiction to reduce gun crime and also to give Toronto the moral high ground in its call on Ottawa for a national handgun ban.
The Globe and Mail on Canada's net worth grew in first quarter (24 June 2008) Canada's net worth—total assets less liabilities—rose 1.2 per cent or C$68 billion in the first three months of the year, compared to the previous quarter, Statistics Canada says. Per capita, national net worth rose 1.0 per cent, to C$171,000, up from $169,300 at the end of 2007. Overall national wealth (the sum of economy-wide non-financial assets) rose to C$5.7 trillion, up 1.2 per cent. One third of the increase was thanks to residential real estate.
From the Statistics Canada report: Though down slightly from the previous quarter, growth in national net worth remained robust, mainly as a result of steady gains in non-financial assets. Sustained saving by both the corporate and government sectors remained a driving force behind the gains in national net worth. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), government net debt further declined, representing about 40% of GDP compared with 90% in 1996. Household net worth expanded by 0.4% in the first quarter, as increases in financial and non-financial assets outpaced growth in liabilities. The value of residential real estate further buttressed the growth in non-financial assets.
The Canadian Press - Number of employment insurance recipients declines in April (24 June 2008) The number of Canadians who received regular employment insurance benefits in April was down 1,090 from March. Compared with April 2007, the number receiving regular benefits nationally declined 3.6 per cent. Provincially, the largest year-over-year declines in regular beneficiaries occurred in Saskatchewan (down 16 per cent), Nova Scotia (down 7.7 per cent), and Quebec (down 6.9 per cent).
The Victoria Times Colonist - UVic opens green facility (24 June 2008) The new Social Sciences and Mathematics Building at the University of Victoria (UVic) is an example of sustainable building methods. The C$37.7-million facility is the third UVic building to meet LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The building will also house UVic's school of environmental studies. Students helped grow many of the plants at the building, and the native-plant gardens installed will be part of the curriculum.
Canwest News Service on P.E.I. farmer finds a growing market for organic dandelion root (24 June 2008) Raymond Loo, a farmer in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), has a contract with a Japanese company to produce dried dandelion root, used as a diuretic and coffee substitute in Japan. People keep saying you can come to my lawn and have them for free, he said. 'And, of course, I had to keep explaining that they have to be certified organic and weed-free.' Weed-free because there can't be plants with a similar root growing with the dandelions. Mr Loo's Hiroshima distributor sells the dried roots to a company that makes dandelion drinks. '[The company's owner] was having trouble sourcing his product from China because of some chemical residue showing up, so he got interested in using organic products . . . ,' he said. The buyer gave him an order for 1,400 kilograms, and if the product works out he'd like three tonnes. 'It's a really interesting herb. . . . it does have medicinal properties,' he said.
The Globe and Mail - The daddy shift (24 June 2008) Alex Smith had grown used to his BlackBerry and cellphone, the tools of his trade as a communications officer with the federal government. But now Mr Smith answers only to calls of 'Papa'. Mr Smith is taking a paternity leave to spend time with his two youngest children, 2½-year-old Noah-David and seven-month-old Nellie-Rose. The idea of paternity leave is rapidly gaining acceptance, says Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Vanier Institute of the Family. Studies have shown that greater father involvement correlates with better cognitive development in infants, higher educational attainment, fewer behavioural problems in the teen years, lower rates of criminal behaviour, and better social functioning. Mr Smith, for one, highly recommends the experience to anyone who has the chance. 'You can always make money, but you can never make time,' he says. 'The time is precious.'
These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.
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