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 We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

More about the PERC


The Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre (PERC) is an incorporated, registered charity. It is primarily a volunteer-run, grassroots organization with a Board of Directors to govern its operations.

So why do we have the Peace and Environment Resource Centre, and what does it do?

 The PERC exists to address several community needs:

  • The need for alternative local media that address Peace and Environment issues;the mainstream press usually doesn't, or covers issues very superficially.
  • The need for a resource centre where alternative publications are available to the public. Local libraries carry a few of these, but not very many.
  • An outlet is needed for local groups to communicate with the public. Most groups are too small and financially poor to advertise, and they are ignored by the media.
  • The public need to be involved in finding solutions to environmental and social problems.

To address these needs, the centre has set some goals:

  • To create an informed public on Peace, Environmental and Social Justice Issues
  • Community involvement in these issues
  • Provide assistance to local groups in getting their information to the public

In order to meet our goals, the PERC has many activities, and provides several services:

  • The Peace and Environment News (PEN), published 6 times a year, in which local groups can print articles and place free ads for meetings, events and so on.
  • The upcoming E-PEN electronic newsletter, containing highlights of the PEN and online site, distributed through partner groups
  • A website portal to Ottawa's environmental sector, featuring:
    • highlights and archives of the PEN
    • multimedia components
    • an online resource library of environmental materials
    • a directory of and links to local groups and resources
  • Working with and supporting Ottawa area non-profits and place-based community groups through partnerships, web hosting, promotion, and cooperation
  • Information handbooks, like the Bringing Nature to the City handbook (a wonderful resource for teachers)
  • A resource centre with books, periodicals, and multimedia resources on environmental, peace, and social justice issues.


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. 

Want more PEN?

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.