November 2, 2009

The New York Times reports that, "Across Yemen, the underground water sources that sustain 24 million people are running out, and some areas could be depleted in just a few years. It is a crisis that threatens the very survival of this arid, overpopulated country, and one that could prove deadlier than the better known resurgence of Al Qaeda here."

"The government now supplies water once every 45 days in some urban areas, and in much of the country there is no public water supply at all. Meanwhile, the market price of water has quadrupled in the past four years, pushing more and more people to drill illegally into rapidly receding aquifers."

"For millenniums, Yemen preserved traditions of careful water use. Farmers depended mostly on rainwater collection and shallow wells. In some areas they built dams, including the great Marib dam in northern Yemen, which lasted for more than 1,000 years until it collapsed in the sixth century A.D."

October 31, 2009

CBC reports that, "Hundreds of protesters interrupted the Olympic torch relay through downtown Victoria on Friday night."

The "presenting partner" sponsors of the Torch Relay are Coca-Cola and the Royal Bank of Canada.

"As the torch and its entourage were heading toward a celebration at the B.C. legislature, it appeared they would be intercepted by a raucus demonstration of anti-Olympic activists. Organizers and security forces quickly packed the torchbearers into vehicles and moved around the demonstration. It's not certain if the flame remained lit during the unexpected detour."

"Several hundred protesters had blocked Victoria city streets for hours and later demonstrated noisily during a celebratory stage show in the rain in front of the legislature."

"Police were planning to build what authorities called 'safe assembly zones,' but the protesters said they didn't plan to stay put. ...Police say that's fine, unless protests turn violent."

October 30, 2009

The Harper government wants to give police and other security officers in Canada the right to snoop around your computer without getting a warrant. It's totally unnecessary, designed more to convince U.S. and other international buddies that we're serious about security in this country. But don't take my word for it. Here's Canada's federal privacy commissioner in a letter to the Standing Commission on Public Safety this week:

"Though isolated anecdotes abound, and extreme incidents are generally referred to, no systematic case has yet been made that demonstrates a need to circumvent the current legal regime for judicial authorization to obtain personal information. Before all else, law enforcement and national security authorities need to explain how the current provisions on judicial warrants do not meet their needs."

October 30, 2009

A Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment media release states, "(At a meeting in Kingston on October 29), federal, provincial and territorial Ministers (of the Environment) approved in principle two major initiatives designed to reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfills, and adopted a Canada-Wide vision for water."


"Ministers endorsed a Canada-wide strategic vision for water, which outlines how CCME will help ensure that Canadians have access to clean, safe and sufficient water to meet their needs in ways that also maintain the integrity of ecosystems."

"Consistent with the Canada-wide strategic vision for water, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further collaborative efforts to address a number of issues including nutrient loading in Canadian waters, the valuation of water-based natural capital, and developing a better understanding of groundwater resources and management."

October 30, 2009

Today marks the one-month countdown to the tenth anniversary of what many will remember as N30.

To help celebrate this anniversary of the 'Battle in Seattle', please see this special resource section on our website,

Thank you to communications officer Pam Woolridge for putting this together.