Latest posts in Notes from the Panther Lounge

What the Flup? Bee-ware of new pesticide flupyradifurone

October 22, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: What the Flup? Bee-ware of new pesticide flupyradifurone

By Lisa Gue, Researcher and Analyst

While dithering over neonicotinoids — bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe — Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word.

Take action! Tell the government to reconsider its "kill bees first, ask questions later" approach to regulating pesticides.

Like neonics, flupyradifurone attacks the nervous system of insect pests. Both are systemic pesticides that are taken up by plants and move through their tissues into pollen, fruits and seeds. Both are also persistent, sticking around in the environment and, with repeated applications, building up over time.

Health Canada says flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, birds, worms, spiders, small mammals and aquatic bugs — familiar words to anyone following Canada's slow-motion review of neonics. When first introduced, neonics were touted as safer for humans than other insecticides. Treating seeds with systemic pesticides instead of spraying crops should be better for the environment, too, right? Wrong. We now know that dust from corn seed treated with neonics is implicated in large-scale bee die-offs during planting season in Ontario and Quebec. Not only is this is alarming in its own right, the dead bees are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signalling broader ecological consequences.

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Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

October 16, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

(Credit: Francis Lynn)

By Sophika Kostyniuk, National Organizing Manager

People power, passion and perseverance. These are the key ingredients that helped convince Richmond city council to make environmental rights a top priority for the B.C. municipality, now and into the future.

A mere four months have passed since a small group of committed citizens gathered together for two days of community organizing training in Richmond. Over the course of those two days, they mapped out the Richmond Blue Dot 1 campaign — a campaign designed to bring together motivated and concerned citizens and galvanize them to work toward positive change in their community. It was the first of its kind in Canada.

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Eat, drink, parade! The Homegrown Park Crawl

October 15, 2014 | Leave a comment

(Video: Greg Francis)

By Jode Roberts, Homegrown National Park Project

Food, music, art, parades and smiles — all key ingredients at the second annual Homegrown Park Crawl in Toronto October 5.

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Chinese-Canadian elders and youth support Blue Dot Tour and Right to a Healthy Environment

October 8, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Chinese-Canadian elders and youth support Blue Dot Tour and Right to a Healthy Environment

Adelaide Wong may only be a couple of months old. But her grandfather is not taking any chances.

Adelaide is the granddaughter of physician Joseph Wong, founder of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in the Greater Toronto Area and a well-known community and human-rights activist with numerous awards, including the Toronto Star's 1986 Man of the Year, Order of Canada in 1993 and the Red Cross Power of Humanity Award in 2005.

Today, Dr. Wong is all grandpa!

Dr. Wong was one of many friends and guests of the David Suzuki Foundation who joined David at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.


Dr. Joseph Wong speaking at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.

"Two months ago, Adelaide, my first grandchild was born," Dr. Wong told the Blue Dot audience last Thursday. "I looked at her face and thought, what could I do to better her life? There is something I have to do within my lifetime to make sure she lives as comfortable a life as I do. Then I thought, what is more important than a healthy enivronment: fresh air, clean drinking water, healthy food, sunshine and blue sky without the shadow of pollution?"

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Protests give me hope for Canada and Hong Kong

October 3, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Protests give me hope for Canada and Hong Kong

(Credit: Pasu Au Yeung via Flickr)

By Winnie Hwo, Public Engagement Specialist

I started writing this blog to share some positive observations from my recent Chinese radio talk show about climate change. Then, Hong Kong happened!

By now, many Canadians have heard about Hong Kong's democracy protest. Thousands of students decided to let their passion for Hong Kong shine. They joined strangers and friends in the financial district for a peaceful rally. It was inspiring — some would even say refreshing, as Hong Kong residents have often been caricatured as materialistic, money-hungry and robotic.

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