October 2023


I’m starting to feel a bit self-conscious that so many of these newsletters begin with a remark on the weather. But October has started off with another heat wave and record-breaking temperatures—Tuesday’s 30.9C set a new high for Ottawa’s warmest Autumn day on record, and it was followed by a 30.0C day on Wednesday.

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

September’s newsletter also started off discussing a heatwave, and earlier editions opened with updates on flooding and ice storms. Talking about the weather has long been a cliche for a go-to neutral conversation topic—according to one survey, British people will spend over four months of their lives talking about weather.

But given that the exceptionally remark-able weather of late is tied to the larger issue of climate change, weather is now an increasingly important and political point of discussion and could probably be talked about even more. Future British people, perhaps, will average 5 or 6 months of their lives discussing weather.

In any case, the next PEN will probably start with some remarks about the weather, too.

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

Stories From The PEN!

And now on to the Stories from the PEN, where you can read articles by individuals and organizations stepping up to engage in issues affecting our local communities.

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

From the PEN Archives

by: Hayley Copan

In our October 2000 edition, Jacquie Johnson wrote about the World March of Women that took place on October 15th. Part of the International Women’s Day campaign that began on March 8th, this march intended to lobby the government for policy changes to help women. Demands were outlined in the document “A Time For Change”, emphasizing the need for social housing, increased funding for healthcare, Old Age Security and Employment Insurance, and so forth. With 157 countries involved in the march, international unity was a key driver in this ongoing campaign and encouraged women around the world to unite in a common cause.

Read the full article, as well as more from the October 2000 issue, in our archives.

Peace & Environment News, October 2000: Volume 15 Number 8

Other News

  • The City Council is seeking input about a plan to adjust the Tree Protection Bylaw, and has asked staff to amend it to be universal across both urban and suburban areas, providing tree protection to all trees with a diameter of 30 cm, no matter which side of the Greenbelt they're on.

  • On Friday, September 29th at 10 am Sustainable Eastern Ontario hosted the September edition of the NCENN (National Capital Nonprofit Network). Read the recap on the meeting here.

  • The Ottawa South Eco-Action Network is gearing up for another great year of Pumpkins for the Planet! Together, with the help of volunteers and neighbours in the community, this year’s goal is to continue reducing food waste, improve access to food, and enrich agricultural soil. OSEAN is hoping to divert even more pumpkins than years prior, enacting their Pumpkins for Pigs initiative to ensure Halloween jack-o’-lanterns don’t end up in the landfill. You can get more details about this program here. If you are interested in getting involved, you can also fill out the Volunteer Intake Form.

  • Ottawa Public Health is awaiting shipments for the two latest COVID vaccines that target the the KBB.1.5 variant, and don’t expect them to be widely available until the end of October. With COVID cases on the rise, there has been confusion and mixed messaging about whether Canadians due for a booster shot should hold off until the new vaccines arrive.

  • Towards the end of September, Ontario Premier Doug Ford reversed his decision to open the Greenbelt to development, saying that he was “very, very sorry.” But as the Ontario Farmland Trust pointed out in August, the controversy revealed “a much larger and pressing issue about Ontario’s dwindling farmland” that has received less media attention.

This controversy, as vital as it is, only scratches the surface of a much larger crisis looming over Ontario. Despite the size of our province, less than five per cent of Ontario’s land base is prime agricultural land. The Greenbelt protects 750,000 acres of this prime farmland. Between 2016 and 2021, we witnessed the disappearance of 582,392 acres of farmland across the province.”

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

—Christopher Bonasia, PEN editor

PERC appreciates all of our readers for giving us this chance to connect with members of our community, and we love being able to provide you with a forum to discuss pressing environmental and social justice issues.

But we also rely on your support to make this happen. If you are interested in helping our organization continue to use storytelling and networking to help individuals, non-profits, and community groups work locally for a greener and more peaceful world, please consider making a donation to the Peace and Environment Resource Centre. You can find out more on our website, or by using this link.

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