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28 March 2009

28 March was the 28th day of the ninth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility.

28 March 2009

Dr William Overall, National Director of the Global Country of World Peace in Canada, presented highlights of news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the large Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

Extensive scientific research has documented the Maharishi Effect of rising coherence, harmony, and peace created in the collective consciousness of a nation by large groups of Yogic Flyers. The effect has been found to extend beyond national borders when the group is of sufficient size.

Following are press reports featured in Dr Overall's presentation:

The Toronto Star - McGuinty makes new friends (28 March 2009) Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's rocky relations with the federal Conservatives has evolved into a workable, even amiable, relationship. The dramatic shift from barbed name-calling to back-slapping praise hardly seemed possible not so long ago. McGuinty told reporters Friday that the economic crisis has forced the two governments to set aside their squabbling. 'It's our shared challenge, the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This is a big challenge. We are so much better working together than working against each other,' McGuinty said.

The Canadian Press - $3-billion stimulus fund passes Senate (27 March 2009) The Senate has given the green light to a C$3-billion fund aimed at quickly kickstarting Canada's economy. The move clears the way for the federal government to start doling out funds as early as Wednesday. The fund is essentially an advance on the C$40-billion economic recovery package unveiled in the 27 Jan. budget. It will allow the government to start spending on job-creating infrastructure projects as of 1 April, rather than waiting until June when much of the rest of the economic stimulus package is to begin flowing.

Reuters Canada on Toronto stocks rise for third straight week (27 March 2009) Toronto's TSX Composite Index ended lower on Friday, but still rose on the week, up 3.7 per cent. It marked the index's third straight weekly gain. Friday's fall did not generate much concern among analysts, who said the slide was relatively contained. 'In the decline today there didn't seem to be a sense of panic and that's a good thing,' said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. With the third straight week of gains for the TSX now in the books, investors are looking ahead to next week when the index has a chance to record its first higher monthly close since August. 'It's quite likely that we may be in the early stages of a turnaround in market sentiment so I think investors should expect to see these sort of [higher] moves in the market for the next little while,' said Picardo.

From a Vancouver Sun report on this: With just two trading days left in March, the market is sitting on a cushion, on track to finish the month in the winning column. The TSX benchmark is up 8.6 per cent so far this month.

From a Canadian Press report on this: Stock markets closed lower Friday as traders took profits from an exuberant rally which is into its third week. This still leaves the TSX Composite Index up 16.5 per cent since the market's rally took off March 10. 'We have had a whole string of generally favourable surprises in the information flow, and people are interpreting things with a more balanced assessment right now,' said John Johnston, chief strategist at the Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities. After months of extreme risk aversion, he said, 'now I think it is more balanced because the policymakers seem to be on their game much more'. Canadian investors digested plans by the Ontario government to give businesses C$4.5 billion in tax cuts over three years. The provincial corporate income tax rate is to drop to 10 per cent by 2013 from the current 14. 'They've taken a very, very significant step towards making Ontario a competitive locale over the longer run,' said Johnston. The TSX financial group fell one per cent on Friday but is up 30 per cent from March 9.

Canwest News Service - Ottawa to limit use of toxic flame retardant (28 March 2009) The federal government released a plan to effectively ban a widely used chemical used as a flame retardant in televisions, computers, and other electronics. The Department of Environment stated in a formal notice of pending regulations that DecaBDE has become so ubiquitous in the environment that this step in electronic equipment is needed because 'they have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity.' Environment Canada is proposing to limit the concentration of DecaBDE to 0.1% by weight. 'This is the level whereby its release would not pose a harm to the environment,' said George Enei, acting director-general of science and risk assessment. But he said the ministry is working with the industry to provide a better substitute. Environmental Defence says there is enough evidence to identify DecaBDE as a developmental toxin affecting the brain, immune, reproductive, and hormonal systems, policy director Aaron Freeman said. 'We are delighted to see the government take action on this chemical. This is a serious win for Canadians' health and the environment.' Studies have found firefighters have a greater risk of contracting cancer and heart and lung disease from flame retardants, which become particularly toxic when burning. Jim Lee, head of the Canadian office of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said he would like to see an effective ban extended to other home products in which the toxic flame retardant is used, such as furniture, carpets, and textiles. ' . . . but this is an exceptionally good first step on behalf of the government,' he said.

The Winnipeg Free Press - CEC nixes nitrogen as well (27 March 2009) The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission stuck to its guns Thursday by reaffirming its decision to remove both nitrogen and phosphorus from Winnipeg's waste water. The commission reopened the file after questions came up about the science and cost of removing nitrogen. Millions will now be spent on upgrades to the city's waste-water treatment plants in a push to clean up Lake Winnipeg and reduce blue-green algae blooms. Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said to ignore nitrogen sends a bad message to others in the watershed that the province and city don't care what ends up in the lake. 'Not acting is simply not an option,' Struthers said. 'If you ignore nitrogen you ignore ammonia and ammonia kills fish. We need to be concerned about the big picture and the whole health of Lake Winnipeg.'

CBC News - Manitoba adds 14,000 hectares to protected lands (27 March 2009) Manitoba has declared another 14,000 hectares of land as protected natural habitats or wildlife management areas (WMA). The three new areas are the Whitemouth Bog Ecological Reserve, Whitemouth Bog Wildlife Management Area, and Observation Point Wildlife Management Area. Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said the protected areas will be free from any logging, mining, and oil, gas, and hydroelectric development—anything that could harm the natural habitat. The new WMAs can only be accessed by foot. Currently there are 81 wildlife management areas in Manitoba encompassing some 1.89 million hectares of habitat. Since 1999, approximately 869,000 hectares of land has been permanently protected in parks, wildlife management areas, and ecological reserves.

From a Winnipeg Free Press report on this: 'If we don't step forward to protect these plants and species then we owe an explanation to the next generation,' Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said Thursday, explaining each is unique for its animals, birds, and plants.

The Edmonton Journal - Farmers markets busier than ever: study (28 March 2009) A new study says more people are shopping at Alberta farmers markets, and they are spending more money on each visit. The study, based on phone interviews with more than 1,000 Alberta households and published in February by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, notes that average spending per visit to farmers markets has risen 30 per cent, up to C$45 per visit in 2008, compared with C$35 in 2004. Annual spending per household rose for farmers markets from C$317 to C$449 over the period. Vendors interviewed Saturday at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market in Edmonton say their business is up. Honey producer Pat Nolan (who has been at the market for 17 years) and organic vegetable farmer Margaret Lyseng (a 25-year veteran) say their booths are busier than ever.

From another Edmonton Journal report on this: Bill Reynolds, spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development, says that almost one-third of the households surveyed thought they would buy more local food in the next year. One surprise in the survey, according to Reynolds, was that respondents weren't bothered by the prices at farmers markets, which are often higher than at the grocery store. Only 13 per cent of those surveyed cited higher costs as a barrier to purchasing at farmers markets. 'I recognize that sometimes they are a little bit more expensive but it's worth it for me,' said Shauna Gibbons at Old Strathcona on Saturday. 'I buy a little less junk food and get some good organic stuff. I like that I can see the vendors and can meet them and know where they grow their food and know I am feeding my son organic, healthy and well-grown local food.' Sharon McFall, president of the board of the Alberta Farmers Market Association, says the survey confirms what her members already knew: It's boom times in the market business.

The Toronto Star - Appetite for 'green' homes is increasing: Study (28 March 2009) Homebuyer demand for energy efficient and 'green' new home features is escalating rapidly, according to a new study released by the EnerQuality Corp. EnerQuality delivers Energy Star for New Homes, R-2000 and EnerGuide Rating System initiatives, as well as the new LEED Canada for Homes and GreenHouse new house certification programmes. According to the Energy Efficiency/Green Building Study, nearly nine of 10 homebuyers (87 per cent) value energy efficiency when making a new home purchase decision. Cost savings was the main reason cited by 92 per cent of respondents as to why energy efficiency is important. The study is based on approximately 2,200 responses to 20 questions EnerQuality included in the 2008 J.D. Power and Associates' survey of new home buyers. Michelle Cote, EnerQuality director of marketing and client relations, says the survey has been done for the last three years, with interest in 'green' houses escalating each year. She says the desire to save on energy costs has always been the top reason homebuyers were interested in 'green' features, but what came as a surprise was the growing importance of indoor air quality and people's desire to protect the environment. 'There's been a lot of media attention and more emphasis placed on healthy homes,' says Cote. Sixty per cent of new home buyers purchased at least one energy-efficient feature as part of the builder's offering in 2008, up from 48 per cent in 2007, paying an average of C$3,277 specifically for energy efficient options. On average, buyers of new homes stated they are willing to pay C$9,877 more for an energy-efficient new home. Ninety-four per cent say they will seek a home in future that is energy efficient. Cote says an Energy Star home offers 30 per cent savings on energy costs above those built to Ontario Building Code standard, which on average is C$60 a month.

From National Post reports on this: A new EnerQuality green study shows that 87% of homebuyers value energy efficiency when making a new-home purchase. When asked why, 92% cited cost savings, 68% said healthier indoor air quality, and 68% said for the protection of the environment. This enormous change in energy awareness translated rapidly into new offerings by home builders. The number of builders with green offerings more than doubled, to 52% in 2008 from 24% in 2007.

The National Post on homeowner survey finds energy efficiency as important as looks (28 March 2009) Royal Bank of Canada also has details on an energy efficiency study, conducted during its 16th annual RBC Home Ownership Survey, done by Ipsos Reid in January. It found that 95% of Canadians believe low-energy consumption is important when buying a home. Almost all (94%) said energy efficiency is as important as the look of the house.

The Toronto Star - Earth Hour II is a smash (28 March 2009) At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the conclusion of the second global Earth Hour, the metre at Toronto Hydro's control centre that measures city-wide electricity demand hit 2,545 megawatts—15 per cent below typical demand at that time and up from 8.7 per cent during Earth Hour in 2008. Before last night, Hydro officials had predicted a Toronto decrease of 10 per cent. At the control centre, supervisors smiled as the reduction far surpassed expectations. 'Torontonians have come through big time,' said grid operations supervisor John Fletcher. Toronto's reduction of 455 megawatts was larger than the cumulative savings of the entire Greater Toronto Area during last year's event. 'Torontonians want to do what's right for the environment because they get it,' Mayor David Miller told a cheering crowd at Nathan Phillips Square. 'It's a privilege to be mayor of a city that gets it.' The increasing local popularity of Earth Hour, for which people worldwide were asked to turn off their lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., reflected its rapid growth internationally. Launched in Sydney by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 to raise awareness of climate change, it spread to more than 35 countries and 400 cities in 2008. Today, more than 80 countries and 3,000 cities participated, including some 250 Canadian cities. Organizers claimed about 1 billion people spent the hour in the dark, an exponential increase from perhaps 50 million last year. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went noir. In Toronto, the CN Tower became as inconspicuous as a 553-metre building can ever be. Greater Toronto Area hotels and stores welcomed guests by candlelight. Community groups hosted flashlight-lit walks. Amateur astronomers set up their telescopes in parks. At Nathan Phillips Square outside City Hall, thousands gathered for the city's official Earth Hour event, which featured a free concert, cheering as City Hall went dark.

From a Canwest News Service report on this: Terry Young, a spokesman for the operator responsible for Ontario's bulk electricity system, said that approximately 920 megawatts of power were saved over the hour—a drop of more than six per cent from what would normally be seen. 'It was clear that there was an impact from Earth Hour, it wasn't just in one area, it was all across the province,' said Young. Power use fell during Earth Hour 2008 by about five per cent, so 'clearly [there was] more participation this year than last year'.

From another Toronto Star report on this: Many participants told the Star they planned to enjoy the event at home with family and friends, with candlelight dinners, games, conversation and acoustic music-making—and a peep at a sky they hoped would show more stars than usual.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: It was a collective experience. Most people surveyed in Canada said they would participate. The highest rate was in the Maritimes at 84 per cent. The rapid embrace has made Earth Hour one of the fastest growing social phenomena ever.

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