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Allan's Perspective

We got trouble in River City folks!

Posted August 24, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers; I should warn you from the get-go that this article will not be politically correct or even nice! It might even border on the racist and elitist according to some, but I am going to say things that need to be said! Ya see, these last few weeks is one of those periods […]

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Activism

Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Posted August 11, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Happy August! Happy Day! I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things. But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I […]

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Activism

Lego Pimps Your Kids’ Brains For Shell Oil

Posted July 13, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

This is just too much. Lego has teamed up with Shell Oil to pimp your kids’ brains for Shell. We need to be helping our children understand that our future lies in the post-carbon energy infrastructure and things like solar roadways. Here’s one way to do that, at Lego Block Shell. Another is to share […]

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Activism

How Translink Impedes Transit Use

Posted July 9, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Translink is “being evasive on exactly how much money is being spent on this.” via Compass Card program delayed again by TransLink – British Columbia – CBC News. How’s that for not surprising. Translink is notorious for its taxation without representation: taking municipalities’ money without providing democratic representation to municipalities. This was a gift from […]

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Activism

The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Posted July 8, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption. Now we see that the CEO […]

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Activism

How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Posted June 27, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed. Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand. With […]

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Allan's Perspective

“Assholes of the Day!”

Posted June 18, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Two! Count ‘em, Two for the price of one! The Government announced the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline yesterday, which means thousands of jobs and billions of dollars pumped into our economy …., and both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau came out against it! For playing politics, and jeopardizing the economic health of Canada, […]

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Climate Change

Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines!

Posted June 16, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Well, I found yet another [like this] study showing how many MORE jobs we’d get by moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure and dumping LNG, tarsands, pipelines and all the other Mordor Industrial Complex BC and Alberta are embracing. Not only is dumping the carbon energy infrastructure essential to do what we can to minimize […]

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Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion About XL Pipeline!

Posted April 12, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: First of all we have some news from the town of Kitimat, way out in the wilds of British Columbia. You know about Kitimat, that’s the place where the XL pipeline is supposed to feed into a marine terminal for shipping oil overseas! Well, the tree huggers have been poring all sorts of […]

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Ecology

When feeding wildlife is fowl

Posted April 11, 2014 by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
Did someone mention sauce?
What’s the difference between feeding a chipmunk and feeding a goose? In Barrie, one is illegal, the other is not.
Last year the City passed a bylaw wisely banning the feeding of wildlife, with the notable exception of well-maintained backyard bird feeders, because wildlife feeding causes many problems. It attracts animals that become habituated to humans, and can then be more aggressive. Their feces on our lawns and beaches can be a health risk. And the foods people commonly throw to them –bread, crackers, popcorn – is “junk food” not suited to their nutritional needs.

But in their wisdom, Council restricted the bylaw to mammals; feeding ducks and geese is still permitted, although discouraged in parks. Yet this is one of the more problematic feeding issues. It is one thing to attract squirrels or raccoons to your backyard – you (and your immediate neighbours) will suffer the direct consequences. But feeding waterfowl at Barrie’s waterfront ends up despoiling the area for all of us who share this wonderful natural feature.

As other cities like Mississauga and Oakville have shown, you can include waterfowl among animals prohibited to feed. Doing so is probably easier to enforce, too, because squirrel-feeding usually happens at home while duck-feeding is usually done in public parks and waterways. And even if the by-law isn’t aggressively enforced, visible signage can help reduce the harms.

And the harms will become more apparent. Canada goose populations are at an all-time peak, and continue to rise. These geese thrive under human development, which actually provides more convenient spaces for them to live & eat than nature does. Their increase is most noticeable at the waterfront upon which rest so many of Barrie’s hopes for economic growth and amenity improvement. Do we want to attract more geese, and their poop, to the same place we are drawing people? Will aggressive geese and ducks make visiting the waterfront more fun?

There are even some who feel it’s such a problem that the City should start aggressively reducing the goose population. In more rural areas, hunting them is permitted but I don’t think we want guns around our lakeshore. You can also destroy eggs or nests, or try to scare geese away periodically (usually with guns or aircraft – again, not great for our waterfront), or even have the birds relocated. But none of that works in the long term if we keep attracting them by feeding them junk food.

There may be options for bird relocation the City would not have to pay for, which would be a good way to get a handle on the problem, but when it comes to dealing with nature, prevention beats a cure. We should learn to watch wildlife behaving naturally, which for geese means eating plants and seeds, not running after us to eat a scattering of human food. It’s not like there will be a sudden shortage of these common birds; they are very capable of feeding themselves and don’t need our help.

So what do you think? Should Barrie expand its bylaw to disallow feeding geese and ducks? Should we look into ways to reduce excess birds, by increasing suitable natural spaces away from the parklands maintained for human use, and trying not to attract them to the places we use? Should we be more aggressive in removing geese to other locations? As spring finally lets us return to enjoying a cherished green lakeshore whose amenity value grows with our own population, this is a conversation worth having.

An accidentally-truncated version of this was published in the Barrie Examiner as “Should we keep feeding ducks and geese at the waterfront?
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
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Allan's Perspective

North Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change Any More Than They Did in 1979!

Posted April 6, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, just over one-third of north Americans worry “a great deal” about climate change, down one percent from 1989. That despite nearly every other climate change metric — temperatures, sea levels, carbon dioxide concentration, and major storms — continuing to steadily increase. By Philip Bump Gallup released the new data on Friday, noting that Canadians and Americans show […]

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Commentary

Ya can’t fix stupid!

Posted March 25, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, I would like to show an article here that I think exemplifies what is wrong with a lot of people in general! Here is a guy who was dead set against GMO’s (genetically modified foods) the same as some people are bent out of shape about fluoridation of water, immunization shots, climate change, nuclear […]

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Bizarre/Oddities

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Posted January 29, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Traffic inches along the connector of Interstate’s 75 and 85 as snow blankets Metro Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014 as seen from the Pryor Street overpass. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is preparing to declare a state of emergency as a winter storm coats the region with snow and ice. State transportation officials said […]

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