Meg Borthwick

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Meg Borthwick (aka Rebecca West) is a babble moderator and has been a member of rabble.ca since 2001. She has a decorative liberal arts degree in Quoting Chaucer at Dinner Parties (English/Drama double major)from the University of Toronto, and has a piece of paper that says she has completed the extremely practical Non-Profit Management program at the University of Western Ontario. A veteran community radio broadcaster and journalist, Meg has devoted several decades to social justice advocacy and interminable board meetings. Despite being a socialist feminist, Meg enjoys such bourgeois hobbies as gardening, cookery and talking about real estate at social gatherings.
Meg Borthwick

rabble Vegan Challenge Diary: What I'm eating on the Vegan Challenge

| April 16, 2013
Meg Borthwick

rabble Vegan Challenge Diary: Shopping vegan at the grocery store

| April 16, 2013

Learning from a victory: How Ontario communities stopped a mega quarry

Residents of Melancthon Township are breathing a sigh of relief as years of activism have paid off.  Highland Companies has withdrawn its application for a license to mine aggregate from some of the most productive farmland in Ontario.

In 2006 Highland Companies, backed by a multi-billion dollar U.S.-based hedge fund, began buying up land in Melancthon Township, a community some 120 km north of Toronto. Highland told the community that their only goal was to grow potatoes, after buying out the community's two most productive potato farming operations.

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Occupying solidarity: Activists in London, Ontario protest Israeli attacks on Gaza

Protest for Gaza in London, Ontario. (Photo: Kevin Jones)

Rallies for Gaza took place this past weekend in cities and towns across Canada. Meg Borthwick reports on the gathering in London, Ontario. The Canadian Peace Alliance has called for a pan-Canadian weekend of action for Gaza Nov. 23-25. 

You wouldn't think of London, Ontario as a hotbed of civil unrest. It is, after all, home to the Labatt brewery, the London Knights,and General Dynamics (part of Canada's modest military industrial complex). If you're thinking that London is a tidy, by-lawed-to-death city, you'd be wrong.

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Stomp the Mega Quarry: Ontario farmers fight back

Two of the participants in the Stomp the Mega Quarry walk/run.

What happens when you combine a group of hard-working agriculturalists with a threat to the land they love? You get a serious force to be reckoned with.

Stomp the Mega Quarry was only the most recent event organized to raise funds and promote awareness of the fight against a U.S.-owned hedge fund that wants to dig a 200-foot deep hole in some of Ontario's most bountiful farmland. As if this weren't serious enough, the limestone, worth an estimated $14 billion, the Boston-based Baupost Group wants to gouge out of the earth, is an aquifer that filters the drinking water of over two million people.

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Greed comes first: CP Rail strikers ordered back to work

Teamsters rally on Parliament Hill earlier this week. (Photo: Karl Nerenberg)

Hey, it's all about the economy, right? Well, maybe not so much.

Earlier this week Conservative Labour Minister Lisa Raitt introduced bill C-39 - back to work legislation targeting striking Canadian Pacific Railroad engineers and conductors (TCRC).

It's the sixth time in five years that the federal government has issued back to work legislation that effectively defeats the bargaining position of unionized employees. In this particular instance, the Teamsters' union is being told that they can't strike because not moving freight in and out of the country is negatively impacting Canada's economic recovery.

Keeping corporate profits going: An essential service? 

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Maude Barlow on the Great Lakes: 'They must be protected for all time'

The Council of Canadians' Maude Barlow has been visiting communities around Ontario's Great Lakes, talking to people about the urgent need to address the toll industrial pollution, climate change, over-extraction, invasive species and wetland loss are taking on the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world.

Last night she spoke at London's Aeolian Hall, the last stop on her "Great Lakes Need Great Friends" tour.

"We're living in a world that is losing water," says Barlow. "We're taking water and removing it, polluting it and mismanaging it." Studies support Barlow's assertion, showing that by the year 2030 demand for water in the world will outstrip supply by 40 per cent. That, says Barlow, is catastrophic.

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NDP Convention: Don't miss your vote

Photo: dooq/Flickr

Want to be part of the NDP leadership decision and aren't quite sure how to go about it? Well, rabble.ca's got answers for you!

First of all, you need to be a member in good standing and need to have received the NDP membership voting package. That will contain a Voter ID and PIN number that will allow you to vote online.

The deadline for advance voting is March 23 and there are only a few hours left for advance voting. You must vote online by 11 a.m. Friday, March 23 if you want to vote in a one-time preferential ballot. If you haven't already voted online or mailed in your ballot, you can still virtually attend the convention.

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Canadian rail safety at risk

Photo:flickr.com/mcwetboy

It seems the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) aren't the only ones nagging the federal government to get with the rail safety program. The NDP have a few things to say as well. They want concrete measures to be implemented to improve rail safety in Canada and say the Harper government's unwillingness to comply with TSB recommendations continues to put Canadian travellers and railway employees at risk.

Olivia Chow (MP Trinity-Spadina) is the Transport Critic for the Official Opposition. "(The) statement from the TSB shows that the Conservatives are on the wrong track," says Chow. "The independent agency's calls for automatic safety measures have been ignored since 2001. First by the Liberals and now the Conservatives."

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Electro-Motive-CAW talks: Interview with Tim Carrie

Photo: Matt Adams

It's no secret that people in southwestern Ontario -- Londoners in particular -- are seriously pissed with Caterpillar. In fact, in an unprecedented show of support for labour, both London Mayor Joe Fontana and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty are on record as saying Caterpillar has been unfair to the employees of Electro-Motive.

Thursday afternoon I caught up with the president of CAW Local 27, Tim Carrie, in the lobby of the London Hilton during a break from closure negotiations with Caterpillar.

Meg Borthwick: So Tim, negotiations seem to be progressing ...

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