Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 6, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Saturday, July 6, 2002Opinion
121st Year — No. 165OUR VIEW
Toronto raises stink over ‘crisis’
When Toronto sweats, we all feel the heat. When Toronto freezes we all feel the chill. When Toronto suffers, we all suffer.
Westerners, especially ones tuned in to national news broadcasts, have learned the lessons over the years.
We tough out a week when temperatures rise about 35-37 degrees Celsius.
We wipe our brows. Life goes on.
Then we watch a national disaster play out on television when heat rises to 31 C in Toronto The Good for a day or two.
The moaning and groaning is incessant. The whining is annoying.
We all feel the urge to send a message: Deal with it!
The classic example, of course, came a few years back when Mayor Mel Lastman called out the army to save the city from what would be a big, but typical, Prairie snowstorm.
Toronto suffered and we all suffered.
Now, we are all holding our breath because Toronto is ... well, to be honest, it is starting to get a little ripe.
And, when TO. stinks, the nation ... well, you get the picture.
A national “crisis” and possibly international “disaster” is brewing in the parks and public areas because garbage gatherers are on strike in the
They are not the only civic employees on strike but they are the ones who are raising the biggest stink.
Tons of rotten trash are brewing inside those solar-powered compost cookers — green garbage bags.
Trouble is Pope John Paul II is coming soon for World Youth Day.
No doubt Mayor Mel would prefer to see the pontiff smiling and kissing the ground rather than wincing and gagging when he gets off the plane.
Things will not get any better this weekend as tens of thousands of CART racing fans litter the city at the big Indy-style race.
No doubt the word “crisis” will be on the lips of the nation’s broadcasters in the days to come.
So, the nation now knows that Toronto politicians will be looking for help from Canadian taxpayers soon.
The province may try to pass back-to-work legislation to deal with a “public health problem” but even that process will likely be slowed.
So, we are all expecting Lastman to panic in the heat and appeal for some sort of government assistance.
Will it mean calling on the army?
But our advice to the good people of Toronto is rather simple: Deal with it.
Tornado rips Brandon area; district is picking up pieces
SIXTY YEARS AGO
London military quarters said Hitler, now pressing a full-scale offensive, has thrown more than one million troops into the Kursk drive in a mammoth operation to over-run the approaches to the Caucasus in Russia.
The Russians have launched a violent counter-offensive against the Germans at Izyum and Kupyansk on the southern flank of the Ukraine battlefield and have pushed the Germans back across the Krasnaya River.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Western Manitoba was recovering today from the effects of a wild tornado which ripped across the province last night, causing thousands of dollars of property damage. At the Brandon airport, winds stripped a tin roof off one building and blew down a concrete chimney from another.
In the Alexander area, four large
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trees uprooted and telephone and power lines blown down.
Wyton Brothers, who farm about 14 miles southeast of Brandon, brought in a sample of spring rye that stands at six feet two inches.
FORTY YEARS AGO
This year’s Travellers Day Parade was a grand success with more than 50 floats entered.
The beleaguered Algerian Nationalist government announced today an invasion of its terntory by Moroccan troops.
John Esau of Kemnay picked up the grand champion Shorthorn bull ribbon at the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba yesterday.
Supreme champion ram of the first All-Canada Sheep Show in history sold for $320 to Cedermains Farm, Bolton, Ont. Owner was Harold Trentham of Mornn, Alta.
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Blooming flower industry loses charm in Third World
Thousands of dollars worth of cattle, swine, sheep and horses passed in review before a jam-packed-grandstand crowd last night as the regular Provincial Exhibition parade was held along the race track.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
The Manitoba legislature gave third and final reading yesterday to a bill which would remove a provincial prohibition against Sunday horse racing.
City hall sold its 6,000th bicycle licence this year. Only 3,634 were sold in all of last year.
The Sun Publishing Company has been awarded a grant of $56,320 by the federal government under its development incentive program. The development calls for an extension of print facilities which will house a new offset press. The present traditional hot-metal printing equipment will be replaced in entirety with photo type-setting equipment.
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Until the city can raise more money, only one of two floors will be renovated in the future library-arts centre in the former Co-op building on Princess Avenue.
Several hundred troops may be sent into West Beirut as part of a plan to evacuate Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas from the Israeli-besieged PLO enclave in the Lebanese capital.
TEN YEARS AGO
Dauphin’s Countryfest is finally on the entertainment map. The three-day event, which lost money the last two years, averaged more than 7,000 people a day this year. With a break-even point of 6,(MXI people per day, profits this year could reach six figures.
From (hefiles of The Brandon Sun.
This is the time of year when our yards and gardens are beautified by flowers. Whether we plant them from seed or pick up flats of bedding plants at the local nursery, we contribute to a huge business that makes money for the seller and brings the satisfaction of lovely smell and colour to the buyer.
Year-round, an even bigger business is the production and sale of cut flowers.
Even in the dead of winter, consumers can purchase roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and other cut flowers at any local flower shop or supermarket.
While this is a good thing in many ways, there is a price being paid in developing countries for this luxury that we enjoy here.
After the Second World War, Europe became the _
great grower and exporter of cut flowers.
Over the past 20 years, however, European com- _
panies such as Unilever, with financial support from
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, have
moved this agricultural industry to the Third World.
Kenya, in East Africa, is now the leading exporter of cut flowers to the European market, with India not far behind.
In Kenya, cut flower production is now the second-leading industry, behind tea, and is growing while other sectors of their economy stagnate.
This relatively new industry is creating some economic security for thousands of floraculture workers, most of them women, but it is also a source of growing environmental and health concerns.
Knowing that Western consumers are very picky about how their flowers look, large amounts of virulent pesticides are used on flower crops.
While pesticide use on food crops is somewhat regulated, this is not true of chemical use on flowers.
Thus, workers are victims of very poor labour health conditions.
Pesticide use is also having an effect on Kenyan wildlife populations.
Another environmental effect is desertification caused by the huge amount of water needed to supply the flower industry.
Hundreds of thousands of litres of water are used daily from freshwater Lake Naivasha in Kenya, effectively now beginning to empty that body of water, dropping 15 centimetres per year.
A continent away in India, the acreage of flower greenhouses has quadrupled in recent years around Bangalore, Bombay and Delhi.
India is the third-highest debt-ndden country in the world, behind Mexico and Brazil, and sees the cut flower industry as a way to dig itself out of its economic and social
predicament. Unfortunately, while Indian people earn moderate wages in hazardous conditions, it is the entrepreneurial class and multinational corporations that earn the large profits.
As in Kenya, land given over to export crops is land taken away from food crops.
The best land is used for flowers, coffee, tea and cotton for export while much less fertile land is left for the people to grow their subsistence gardens.
High inputs of chemicals and continuous and intensive cultivation of flowers will eventually lead to sterile soil.
As well, the flower industry is not efficient in returning a benefit to India and its people.
Each acre planted requires an investment of
inputs and labour that is beyond what other devel- opment strategies might yield.
The international flower market is thought to be volatile at this time, too, as the quick profits of the industry have led to global overproduction.
Should the market collapse, Third World communities will be hurt the most.
The so-called “Green Revolution” has been a process promoted and implemented by agencies of the United Nations, various Western countries’ aid programs, universities and corporations since the 1960s.
Developing countries have been encouraged to use agrichemicals and hybrid seeds to increase yields to export crops for foreign exchange and to feed their own people. Unfortunately, this has often enriched the companies and better-off classes while impacting negatively on ordinary people, particularly in concentration of land ownership and dangers to health.
The cut flower industry is another manifestation of Green Revolution thinking.
The good news for flower growers in Kenya and India is that Western consumers are becoming more sensitive to environmental and social issues.
Labour and environmental practices are becoming business issues as North Americans and Europeans look for more organic and fair trade products.
This is forcing some producers to begin to switch to natural pest management and to train workers in the use of hazardous products, but there is still a long way to go in this regard.
The Indian flower industry says it offers a “rosy” future to its people, but those who see the downside to international floriculture say “there is no rose without a thorn.”
Zack Gross is Executive Director of the Marquis Project, a Brandon-based international development organization.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Another voice for proper care
Thank you for your editonal regarding palliative care. I would like to add my voice to your call for provincial funding of medication for palliative care patients.
As funeral directors, we see first hand the extreme emotional and financial commitments that families make when caring for a dying loved one at home.
Care givers should not be required to pay for medication that would be provided at no charge in a hospital setting.
Palliative care as a whole deserves more attention on local and provincial levels.
We need a plan that helps strengthen the resources we have
in place and that adds components to improve service.
There are many palliative care models in this country th we can draw from to create a system that best serves the pc pie of Manitoba.
In our community, we have excellent palliative care prof sionals and organizations who have ideas and energy.
All they need is the moral and financial support to ma their vision for palliative care a reality.
Brockle Donovan Funeral Directors
Glenn Johnson: Editor and Director of Readership Development Gordon Wright: City Editor Jim Lewthwaiter News Editor
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