Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BOREAL FOREST!!trees...caribou...fresh air

The Boreal Forest. What is it? No really, what is it? Many of us have heard of it, maybe talked a bit about it in school, but how many people know the significants of it, and the stress it lives under.

After canvassing I am starting to learn a lot more about the Boreal, and frankly, fall in love with it.

The heart Boreal Forest is the largest intact forest in…THE WHOLE WORLD! That’s right, its bigger then the Amazon!! The reason I say “heart” is because the boreal forest used to be a lot bigger, but because of mining and forestry, the rest of the forest has become broken up and spotty, leaving the heart as the only intact portion left. Can you how big it would be if the other areas of the forest were left unscarred too?! CRAZY!! So it’s big! Since it is home to such a diverse range of animals and plant species, as well as it being the home to over 600 different aboriginal tribes, Canada is in the process of getting it recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Pretty sweet eh?!

However, Canada is also in the process of DESTROYING the heart. Or at least we are thinking about it. Currently there is a road that goes along the east side of Lake Winnipeg, however they are in process of extending this road. This sucks because it will put a lot of stress on the forest, however it does provide communities that are living in the boreal forest better access to outside goods, which would reduce the cost of food that is brought it. Whether or not bringing in food is the best way to feed such communities is another discustion all together. But anyways, so this road is being created, however along with this a lot of discussion has been going on about Bipole 3, which is a power line which they are planning on running from northern Canada to the USA. The debate is whether or not to run the line down the east or west side of Lake Winnipeg. It’s definitely a hot button topic, which I am faced with every night I go canvassing. There is no answer that will satisfy all parties, every option has draw backs, however, obviously, I am for the west side, as it does not run through the heart of the forest. Reducing the destruction that the forest has to deal with.

However, even if bipole 3 goes down the west side, there is still battle with forestry and mining. Its not that these operations can’t happen, but they need to be done RESPONSIBLY. But who sets the bar? Who watches to make sure the companies are being responsible? And where does responsible end and irresponsible begin? Many questions, perhaps you have a perspective or answer! Lay it out sister/brother!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Assiniboine Flooding

Have you heard about the Assiniboine river in Manitoba? If you live in Manitoba you probably have, since it’s kinda a big deal, however if not, let me elaborate.

I’m no Manitoban, so I may get this wrong, but as far as I understand, the Assiniboine is one of the two large rivers (the other being the Red River) that flows in and through Winnipeg. Usually it’s the Red River that causes flooding issues, however this year the tables have turned and the Assiniboine is reeking havoc. Many farmlands and rural areas have been flooded, since they rest on low-lying floodplains. However, what is so controversial about the flooding is the fact that it was intentional. To save Winnipeg and avoid random bursting of the built up dykes a break in the dam was intentionally made.

As a result several hundreds of individuals had to evacuate, and many farmers have lost what some say to be their entire livelihood for the year. Premiere Selinger says that compensation will be provided, however to what extent in unclear.

Therefore, this is no laughing matter. In fact it was reported that the last time such an intense ordeal has occurred in Manitoba was 30 years ago, I don’t know about that, but I do know its intense. Even in the city the flooding of the river can be seen. Where trees are suppose to line the river there are no longer trees, since they have been engulfed by the rising water level. In Winnipeg there has not been any state of emergency (thanks to the sacrifice of rural communities) however who knows what’s in store.

Last I read the flooding was flowing with a current fast enough to fill 2 Olympic swimming pools every minute, that’s fast, and that’s only the water that is flooding out of the river. It’s a crazy time here, and crazier to think that all those people were sacrificed for me, and for others that are dwelling in the city.

How do you make those decisions? Kill one person to save 4, its still killing. But I would probably have done the same as the premier, its for the greater good. But its no easy choice. I definitely am not jealous of the place that Selinger is in.

Here’s to dry lands.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Mind is Reality, isn't it?!

It’s funny how we try to predict life, create storylines and fairytales in our minds of what the future will be like. Where we will live, what we will do, who we will spend our time with. It’s funny how these fairytales rairly reflect reality. Not to say that’s a good or bad thing, but simply that our minds reality is different from the reality that exists around us.

Take for example, my moving to Winnipeg. Before coming here, I did research on organizations, events, and so on that were part of Winnipeg. After doing this research I started to form ideas and fairytales about what my life would be like here, how I would spend my time, and where I would work. Insert reality. Now being here the story is quite different.

My life is uncertain. My mind continues to run around in circles being in love with the moment, then scared about my future, then confused as to what the heck I am doing with my life. What the heck am I doing? It’s a good question. I am obsessed with immediate answers, but life is not immediate, yet trying to rest into patience is also hard, because I feel like I am wasting my time. I feel like there is so much potential to better myself, and when I sit around and do nothing (like this morning…it is now noon, I have been up for over 3 hrs, and have not left the house) I feel as though I am not grabbing my life by the horns. And yet, I also realize that this notion is somewhat silly, because to grab lifes horns we sometimes need patience, oh those horns.

Ok, so take the serious of events that have befalled me since I arrived in Winnipeg 5 days ago. I arrived and almost immediately got a job at a resturant here. Sweet, I can pay rent! Then I got another job with an environmental group, ever more sweetness. However, I went to my first shift at the resturant yesterday and I just couldn’t do it. As a vegan, I have strong feelings/morals/values…whatever you want to call them…towards eating meat, and, this resturant served meat. It just hurt my heart every time I served customers meat: I was promoting something I stand against! When my shift ended I knew I couldn’t continue, I had to quit. And so I spend the entire night tossing and turning as my mind went in circles thinking about how to break the news, is this the right choice, etc. I was a nervous reck because it was through the generosity of people I knew that I got the job, so I had to quit without causing tension! Intense! But I did it and this morning I quit. An end to that fairytale.

Oh the minds fairytales. So my life is in a state of confusion, turmoil, unrest. Everyday I struggle to find some control, which often causes more harm then not as I get kinda stressed about the control thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Re-Start and Off to WInni!

Its been a while…well, actually, its been a long while (at least three months). However, now that I am on my way to Winnipeg I thought I would re-establish my blog. I hope my past months of slacking have not tainted its reputation in your eyes. My plan is for this blog to continue as an expression of my life angst’s, articles that I find interesting and inspiring, and simply note-worthy life events. It’s a way to stay connected, keep those that matter in my life updated, however since it is a public domain I plan on keeping it fairly impersonal, so if you REALLY want to know how I'm doing, shoot me an email.

Revamp here we come!

A few months ago I decided to move to Winnipeg. It is a big step; I am scared, but also excited. When people asked me why I was moving to Winnipeg I never had much of an answer, “Uh, family and friends?”, “It’s a groovy scene there…”, which for some reason seemed somewhat unsatisfying for them, and slowly I started to wonder about my reasoning too.

How do we make choices? What defines a good versus bad choice? Are there bad or good choices or are there “just” choices? I find that if one moves because of a job, significant other, or school, then moving is socially acceptable/understandable. But what if one moves just for life? What if it just feels like the thing to do? In case you are wondering, that is why I am making my move. I don’t know if it’s the right choice to make, but then again I am not sure I believe in right or wrong choices. As my aunt says, “it’s not the choice that matters, but what you do with the choice once you’ve made it.” So here I go about to do something with the choice!

I am at a stage in my life where it would be really nice to root down somewhere for a bit. I don’t know what that is going to mean, how it is going to manifest, but I just feel like my soul needs it. There are so many things I want to do with my life that I will most likely move around throughout my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t grow roots. Within the past 6 years I have grown so used to (and fond of) moving that the longest I have ever been in one place is 8 months, however more often then not it was less then 6 month. I blame this addiction to moving on the co-op program, which is a great program, but has created a nomad out of me. Although it is good in many ways, it makes for an impatient, flighty person that is scared of commitment and personal connection. This is why I plan on working on my personal patience. With patience I hope to adjust my perspective on life to the larger picture, focusing on the far off horizon, rather then the shoreline waves (or lack of waves).

Stay tuned as I face life and try to use this new found patience to find comfort with all of the unknowns.