“She motivated us, she encouraged us and she inspired us to make our world a better place.”
Provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton on June Callwood’s legacy.
The bear facts
The environment minister of Nunavut, Patterk Netser, is sounding more like a tourism minister these days, siding with American big game hunters, who may not be able to take prized polar bear trophies over the border now that the U.S. Endangered Species Act has declared the iconic kings of the ice endangered. Patterk says polar bears aren't threatened at all, but the facts don't bear this out. In more than half of the 13 bear populations in Canada their numbers are severely reduced or declining. Overhunting ranks just behind global warming, contamination of their food supply and disturbances to their habitat as a causal factor. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada is preparing its report for 2008. Its 2002 review listed polar bears as a species of "special concern." The World Wildlife Fund says, "Polar bears may vanish from large portions of their current Canadian range before the end of this century" if current trends continue. Still, what's a few dozen more to appease American hunters?
T.O. tap water put to taste test
Toronto tap water was pitted against three contenders: Markham tap water, Evian mineral water and Dasani distilled water in a taste test sponsored by Spacing magazine on Saturday (April 14) at Alexander the Great Parkette. Taste testers seemed shocked that many of them had blindly chosen mineral water over the city's free-flowing liquid. The water department says it finds the opposite result when it does its own taste tests. But not all those surveyed chose bottle over substance. "Toronto water tasted really clean and fresh," says Jessica Westhead, the only person who favoured tap. "I really noticed the metallic taste in the Dasani, and I like that brand, which I'm now embarrassed to say." Franz Hartmann of the Toronto Environmental Alliance says that if the only drawback with Toronto water is that it doesn't taste quite as good, so be it. "Drinking it is much better for curbing global warming and reducing smog than buying bottled water." We'll raise a glass to that.