Peace and Environment Resource Centre

Your community voice for peace and sustainability

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Event Calendars

Suggested Links:
Ecology Ottawa has an excellent calendar of local eco-events.
Green Ottawa has an events list as well as a directory of green groups, jobs, and more.

Old PERC site

Link to old PERC site

Please note: PEN archives and other online PERC projects prior to 2010 are provided as a courtesy but are not updated. We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

Upcoming Topics


The current edition of the PEN is on the topic of Homelessness and will be current through early January 2012. 

Our next edition in January-February will be on Water. We are seeking sponsors and partner groups for this edition. Sponsorship means that the Insider is placed in every edition and has a colour centrefold. Sponsors may receive benefits such as a profile article and featured link on our home page. If your organization is interested in sponsoring this or future editions of the PEN, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for information on our sponsorship opportunities. We also have very affordable ad rates!

As always, we welcome article submissions on the theme or other topics relating to our mandate of peace, social justice, and the environment. We also have very competitve rates for advertisers. If you would like to submit an article or ad, please contact the PEN editor Margaret Jensen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or view the submission guidelines. 

Are you interested in photography, videography, blogging, Twitter, or other multimedia or social media applications? We are seeking roving reporters who would like to do electronic journalism and/or multimedia submissions for our website. Do you like to attend talks, rallies, eco-fairs, workshops, or other community events? We welcome video clips, audio interviews, photos, and reports on what's happening in your area.

We do read your feedback forms and appreciate member and public input regarding issues and articles.

In this issue..

GM Alfalfa: Risk to Environment and Health
Genetically modified (GM) Alfalfa has been approved for sale in Canada. This is a huge environmental concern.
Alfalfa is used as a high protein feed for animals such as dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep. It is also used to build up nutrients in the soil. It is one of the most important and widely grown forage crops in Canada, and was produced on over 25 million acres across the country in 2011. That's 30% of Canada's cropland! 
Many parts of the Alfalfa plant are used for environmental and economic benefits, such as the leaves and stems as hay, the roots in building healthy soil, and the pollen and nectar for honey bees. Alfalfa is overall a very important plant that is deeply integrated in Ontario's food and farming culture.
The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and its corporate members, including Monsanto, Pioneer, and Forage Genetics International (FGI), are actively trying to get support for the release of GM Alfalfa. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has already granted registration to several varieties of GM Roundup Ready Alfalfa. 
Thus far Canada grows 6.8% of the world's GM crops, such as corn, canola, soy and white sugar beets. There are two main traits in GM crops that affect the Ontario market. These traits are herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Herbicide tolerant crops are engineered to withstand sprayings from certain broad-spectrum herbicides. (Therefore the crop will survive a herbicide spray that was intended to kill all weeds.) Insect resistant crops are engineered with genes from the soil bacterium and are toxic to certain classes of insects. 

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Look for the full print edition at community centres and select retailers throughout the Ottawa area.

The PERC site features highlights from the current edition. PDF versions of the full PEN will be available in the archives after the current edition is off the stands.

Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.