Celebrate our Earth with a free tree from the City of Toronto

Planet earth is where we live, work and play. Earth Day, on April 22, 2016, is when we say ” THANK YOU” to Mother Earth and as in all special occasions, let us give meaning to our gratitude by requesting a FREE tree from the City of Toronto!

There are 34 different kinds of trees to choose from and they can be ordered for planting (by City of Toronto) on your front yard by calling 311, or online at toronto.ca/311.

Trees are amazingly good for us for a number of reasons:
1) Trees get rid of bad pollution (by producing good oxygen, trees are in fact, the City’s lungs -which keep our kids, our seniors and every one of us able to breathe healthy air.

2) Trees increase the property value of a home by 15% (that is why wealthy communities like Rosedale and Forest Hill have lots of trees).

3) Trees provide habitat for birds and other small animals.

4) Trees provide shade, which is not only pleasant on hot days but also helps individuals avoid skin cancer (a growing problem, especially in our older years).

These trees are planted on the portion of your property that is owned by the city (mostly front lawns). You may be asking yourself: why does the City of Toronto provide and plant a FREE tree on your property? Because the city knows all the healthy benefits of trees and wants to help increase the area under a tree cover from about 27% of the city’s geographic area to 40%.

Help yourself, your family and our community in the Downsview area by ordering one of the 34 different types of trees to Celebrate Earth Day!!

Everything is Free at the North York Really Really Free Market

If you happened to be hanging around the Driftwood Community Center on January 31st, you likely would have stumbled across what appeared to be an indoor Garage Sale.

What was actually going on, was the second North York Really Really Free Market. Downsview residents joined together at the community center with things that they didn’t need any more and left with a few things that they did.
In hosting or attending a Really Really Free Market, or RRFM for short, the Downsview community was became a part of what is now a global movement. The RRFM movement began with markets being hosted in both Miami, Florida and North Carolina in 2003. Since then different markets have been hosted in places like Washington, Minneapolis, Russia, England, New Zealand and Toronto just to name a few.

The whole idea of the Really Really Free Market is based on the idea of a gift economy, in other words, you don’t need to give to get anything. You show up with items that are no longer needed in the hopes that someone else does. Or you can show up, look around and see if there is anything you need. It is also common that people show up to offer services or skills provided for free. These can be things like sewing skills, bands show up to play music, people giving out free massages or jokes.

The point of the markets is to encourage an anti-capitalist market system. Of course this sentiment is not surprising given that part of the original organizers of the movement were anarchist groups. You don’t have to be an anarchist, though, to be a fan of getting a bunch of free stuff and decluttering your own space!

The last North York RRFM happened in November and hopefully there will be another springing up in a month or so as the weather heats up. This is something to watch out for because the more people who show up to participate in an event like this, the more there is to offer and enjoy. As a sort of anti-establishment movement, it really does rely on the participation of others to make it as great as possible. So be sure to keep an eye out for the next one, it will be posted on our events page as soon as we hear any news of it at: www.downsviewadvocate.ca/events

The truth behind Line 9 in Downsview

Line 9 is part of the controversial Energy East Pipeline and runs from Sarnia to Montreal.

Entering Downsview from a point near Eglinton and Hwy 427, Line 9 runs north-east to north of Hwy 400 and Finch Ave. Then it runs east through metro.

Line 9 is a quarter inch thick steel pipe over 40 years old, originally built for natural gas. It carries a toxic carcinogenic, corrosive and explosive mix of crude oil, imported diluents and benzene. The newly revised “Line Rules and Regulations Tariff” passed and will also allow transportation of a substance known as “dilbit.” Unprocessed, bitumen is a solid and cannot flow in pipelines, bitumen will be mixed with another fossil fuel product called “diluent” -which is imported into Canada. This mix is what makes dilbit and is toxic to the human central nervous system.

In 2015, while government representatives at the critical Paris Climate Conference were all declaring their support for ending fossil fuel usage to save our planet, Canada through Energy East’s Line 9 began adding 32 million tons of CO2 per year to the atmosphere.

Enbridge cite studies tells us Line 9 is safe from corrosive elements. Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, found that between 2007 and 2010 pipelines carrying dilbit had a spill-rate three times higher than pipelines carrying conventional crude.

Oil sand products have a higher sulfur and a higher acidic content than conventional crude oil and those properties could explain its increased corrosive nature. According to CTV’s W5, there have been at least 35 spills associated with the pipeline. Some of these haven’t even been reported to the communities they affect and parts of Line 9 have been exempted from the hydrostatic testing required in other sections.

What would a spill near Lake Ontario mean for the water supply of millions of people? What are the risks for York University students and Downsview residents living right on top of the pipe?

“Social licence is more important than ever. Government may be able to issue permits. But only communities can grant permission,” said Justin Trudeau on pipelines and energy projects. That’s strange…I do not recall anyone asking us for pipeline permission.

As part of Toronto’s 2014 submission to the National Energy Board, an excerpt from the Supreme Court of Canada stated that “municipalities are trustees of the environment”, and that as the level of government “being closest to the people, should be empowered to exceed, not lower, the national norms”. This was part of a precedent-setting 2001 decision in favour of municipalities’ taking control of their cities.

Torontonians are being forced to risk their safety in order to support out of province jobs in a fading planet killing fossil fuel era. As Stanford’s professor Mark Z. Jacobson tells us: renewable energy can completely replace fossil fuels and their CO2. Only the politics of entrenched interests is in the way.
Canada could commit to becoming a leader in clean energy and be a part of a Green Marshall Plan currently being advocated for the planet.

There is no amount of regulation, legislation or consultation that will 100% guarantee a pipeline disaster just won’t happen.

Call your Mayor, your city council member and your MP. Stop Line 9!