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eggs-featureby Angela Freeman 

I am writing to encourage the City of Owen Sound to amend its current By-law 1997-089 in order to permit backyard laying hens within the city limits. As a resident of Owen Sound, I see the addition of chickens as an excellent opportunity for the City to adopt policies and create by-laws that foster sustainable and environmental practices, and support the growth of local food systems. Owen Sound has a strong local food movement and a close link to its rural food sources, yet what is more local than going to your backyard to find fresh organic egg?
Eggs area low-cost excellent source of protein and the flexibility of their use can benefit any household kitchen. Omelets or baked goods anyone? Eggs are also a great way to increase a sense of community between neighbours, as extra eggs can be shared between households.
The benefits of backyard chickens extend beyond eggs as a food source. Chickens make excellent pets, and are enjoyable to watch. People develop friendships with these fine birds. Hens also present opportunity for children to learn about the source of their food directly. Children helping with the simple chores involved with maintaining hens learn how to take care of animals, and also learn responsibility. Chickens can also be part of an ecological-centred yard as chickens eat many vegetative kitchen scraps, eat pests and also produce beneficial and sought-after manure. Thus, when I think of urban hens, I think of fresh eggs, education, food security, garden ecology, and entertainment!

climatemarch-featureText of petition being presented to Grey County Planning Committee April 21, 2015

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and transportation of natural gas releases methane into the atmosphere and contributes to the problem of global warming.

Additionally, fracking:

-uses millions of litres of fresh water and contributes to the depletion of local fresh water resources
-involves the use of large quantities of chemicals, some of which pose significant environmental and health risks
-has been scientifically linked to unsafe levels of contamination of well water with methane and other contaminates
-well pads emit carcinogenic & toxic air pollutants during natural gas extraction and production

It is for these reasons that we call upon the Council of Grey County to enact a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Grey County, Ontario.

pay-featby David McLaren

A little while ago, two right-wing think-tanks, the Fraser Institute (FI) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), took shots at public sector wages and benefits.
The CFIB's report said that full time jobs averaged about $60,000 in the public sector and roughly $55,000 in private firms. A couple of days later, the FI claimed public worker compensation had risen 47% in less than a decade.
Clearly, public sector unions are out of control, right?
Conveniently, both reports came out just days before Ontario's annual Sunshine List which is the Who's Who of public servants earning over $100,000. Ontario Power Generation's CEO made over $1.5 million last year. His CFO made $1.2 million. Many more—over 111,000 more (medical officers of health, school board officials, police chiefs and firemen)—made somewhere around the average: $127,000.

clouds-regby Dave Beverly-Foster

We in Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound aren't part of the 10% of people who live in low-lying coastal zones, or in one of the 2/3 of major global cities that will experience flooding from sea level rise. But we do know the hardships of drought and other erratic weather when it comes to farming. We know that we must do what we can to slow, mitigate, or reverse climate change. And to do this we must limit our greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change is a big scary thing that can be hard to even think about, let alone act on. But this week, we made progress. The Ontario Liberals have announced a carbon trading system known as cap-and-trade. This system puts a hard limit on the amount of greenhouse gasses that Ontario industry can release into the atmosphere, giving us a tool with which to control our climate change impact.
This tool is basically the creation of a new market. Each business will be given a quota of greenhouse gas emissions they can spew into the atmosphere. Once allocated, businesses have control over these quotas. If they find ways to live within their carbon means, they can trade these quotas on a carbon market, effectively incentivizing lower carbon emissions. In this way the whole Ontario economy lives within our atmospheric limits but businesses can still find ways to grow.

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