Tag Archives: farming

CKMS News – Mobilising to defend the Greenbelt and “Stop the Sprawl”

Listen: 2023-07-29 – Mobilising to defend the Greenbelt and “Stop the Sprawl”

By: dan kellar

Premier Dog Ford and the Ontario Conservative party have pushed forward with legislation which will allow housing development across swaths of the previously protected land, despite previous promises to leave the Greenbelt alone.

Across the province residents have organized against the changes to Greenbelt protections, and in Waterloo Region many groups and individuals have been working to “Stop the Sprawl”. Ahead of the July 29th “Rally Against the Big Sprawl” in Waterloo, CKMS News spoke with Kevin Thomason of the Grand River Environmental Network and a number of other social and environmental justice oriented organizations.

Thomason spoke about efforts to mobilize against of the Ontario government’s actions and legislation which they he argues will dismantle the rules protecting the Greenbelt from destruction by development (such as with Bill 23) and undermine local democracy (such as with Bill 39). He also spoke of continuing to engage in public participation processes, the work of GREN, and some of the solutions that could be implemented to address the housing crisis without causing further damage to the ecological services associated with Greenbelt lands.

People and signs on both sides of a road, with pepole and signs in the grassy median as well. Signs reading "Stop The Sprawl" Among Others.
Photo: dan kellar

Lawn signs placed on either side of the road and in the median ahead of the Stop the Sprawl Rally. The first sign, red and dark green with white text which reads: "Stop Sprawl. Respect Waterloo Region's Plan. Stop Forced Urban Boundary Expansion on Farmland and Natural Spaces.
Photo: dan kellar
Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles standing with local NDP MPP Catherine Fife. They are having a friendly chat with a rally participant. Others at the demo are in the background.
Photo: dan kellar
A crowd of folks at the demonstration.
As the Ontario government works to overrule local decision making and accelerate the dismantling of the ecologically significant lands of the Greenbelt to facilitate suburban sprawl, groups across Ontario have organised to resist these actions.
Photo: dan kellar

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Heritage Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program on radiowaterloo.ca/news, and listen to all the LJI content at canada-info.ca.

If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2020-12-24- Local Connections with the 2020 Indian Farmers’ Protest

Host: Shalaka Jadhav

In the last few months, infographics on the 2020 Indian farmers’ protest have been circulating across social media, with little large scale media coverage on the issue.  These are a series of ongoing protests against legislation passed by Parliament of India, led by Prime Minister Modi, in September 2020, which does away with the “mandis system”, which sets a minimum set price; this minimum set price allows for more predictable incomes for farmers, which is especially important when the impacts of climate change are already unraveling. Not only is the legislation being contested, but also the way it was pushed through, as there was no substantial consultation with the farmers unions.

These acts of farmers’ and workers’ resistance have been noted to be the largest protest in recorded history, with over 250 million farmers and workers across India going on strike against agricultural reform that leaves farmers at the mercy of corporations.  For this segment, I will be in conversation with three community members:

  • Asha Virdee, a graduate from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, who has worked locally on farms;
  • Zabeen Khamisa, a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo studying socio-political movements through digital ethnography; and
  • Jodi Koberinski, member of the Waterloo Regional Food Systems Roundtable, and a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo, studying commodification, and how food commons are a mechanism to develop economic structures.

Together, they will consider the importance of these farmer strikes globally, and why we need to consider the parallels and relevant to Waterloo’s regional food system.  These considerations touch ecological concerns, the interconnectedness of our food systems, and ultimately, why farmers rights are everyone’s rights.  

If you’re interested in supporting these efforts, Asha Virdee has offered up the following organizations, which are linked below:

  • Khalsa Aid, an international NGO with the aim to providing humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones around the world. 
  • United Sikhs, affiliated with the United Nations, is an international non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization.
  • Sahaita.org, a non-profit organization committed to educating, supporting and uplifting the underprivileged members of society. 

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca.

Music for this episode was courtesy of Dylan Prowse.