“I am fine the way I am!” Wolfville NS
Sacha, almost 3, at the rally in Wolfville Nova Scotia. Thanks to Sacha and his parents for coming out on April 9, with around 90 other people! Photo Credit: Aube Giroux
Monsanto Out of My Food in Wolfville
Roundup Ready alfalfa is engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. The GM alfalfa seeds would be sold in Canada by a company called Forage Genetics International but the company Monsanto has owns the genetic sequence in the GM alfalfa plant.
Precautionary Principle is no laughing matter in Wolfville
See how much fun it is to take action? The precautionary principle advises us to take action to anticipate and prevent harm even when we don’t have conclusive evidence about causes.
Outside the Constituency Office of MP Scott Brison
Scott Brison is the federal Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, NS. Scott was not in town but sent a letter to protestors saying “it is absolutely vital that we must place a moratorium on the approval of Roundup Ready Alfalfa.” Rally organizer Holly Stewart collected over 80 signatures on the petition to Stop GM Alfalfa that she sent to Scott Brison. Wolfville NS. Photo Credit: Holly Stewart
Raging Grannies Sing to Halifax MP Megan Leslie
The Raging Grannies, and some honorary Grannies, joined a meeting with Megan Leslie, Member of Parliament for Halifax on April 9!
Megan Leslie joins in with Raging Grannies
Halifax MP Megan Leslie joins in with the Raging Grannies, in protest of GM alfalfa! Many groups organized meetings with their Members of Parliament on April 9, only one included a sing-a-long with the MP!
Moncton, New Brunswick
Watch the great TV news report, in French, where young National Farmers Union member Alain Rousselle, pictured here, describes why he is concerned about the first perennial GM plant being introduced.
Moncton, New Brunswick
The rally in Moncton was hosted by the National Farmers Union New Brunswick. The company Forage Genetics International says they will introduce GM alfalfa into Eastern Canada first…farmers in the East say no! Check out the handout on GM alfalfa that farmers shared with one another on April 9 – prepared by CBAN and the NFU.
Dairy farmer at Montreal rally explains his concerns
An organic dairy farmer explains his concerns about GM alfalfa in Montreal. The Federation of Quebec Milk Producers passed a resolution against GM alfalfa in 2011. Here is the statement, in French released on April 9 by four farmer organizations in Quebec including the Union des producteurs agricoles (Union of Agricultural Producers).
Media at the Montreal rally
Thibault Rehn of CBAN Member Group Vigilance OGM speaks to a journalist from La Press, at the Montreal rally. And here is what he said: Watch the video from La Press, in French.
Monsanto harvesting all the profits
“We want organic, not genetic.” “Monsanto harvesting all the profits.” Montreal.
Action in Lévis Quebec
Rally in Lévis. Outside the office of Steven Blaney, MP for Lévis-Bellechasse et Les Etchemins, Quebec. Here is the article, in French, from Le Devoir, about farmer resistance in Quebec. Félicitations tout le monde!
Info Picket in Barrie Ontario!
Folks in Barrie Ontario collected 200 signatures on the petition to stop GM alfalfa! On April 9 local farmers and consumers headed out for this information picket outside their MP office. Farmer Sharyn Rutledge of Allensville joined in and said: “I don’t want any genetically modified product near my farm. If it’s nearby – the bees pollinate everything.” You see more photos from Barrie and read the local story here!
A huge showing in Belleville, rural Ontario, outside the office of Member of Parliament for Prince Edward Hastings Daryl Kramp, hosted by National Farmers Union Northumberland/ Hastings/ Prince Edward Local 334. Pictured here: John Della Bosca. President of the NFU Local speaks to the crowd. He reported, “We collected 133 signatures on a petition that we circulated so somewhere about that number showed up. Members of Ecological Farmers, Slow Food, Harvest Hastings, the NDP, beekeepers, local Liberal association and others. Quite a number of mothers brought their children. We had three media interviews, two print and one radio. Our MP Daryl Kramp was not in the country, however his wife drove by! We delivered a letter and info package. I gave a short presentation thanking everyone and emphasizing the importance of the issue. All in all I would say successful.”
The rally takes to the street! Belleville, Ontario.
Brantford rally hosted by National Farmers Union Brant/Hamilton/Halton Local 351. “Approximately 25 people demonstrated in front of Brant Conservative M.P. Phil McColeman’s office. Research was presented to office staff, since the M.P. was not in town. Good coverage was provided by The Brantford Expositer and The Brant News. That evening, a meeting was held at Langford Community Hall, with Malcom Allen, the MP for the Welland area. He is the Agriculture Critic for the NDP. Approximately 50 were in attendance.” Local organic farmer Ted Shelegy said, “If GM alfalfa cross-contaminated my farm I could lose my certification. If that happens, who’s going to compensate me? Or am I SOL?”
Petition presented to MP Malcolm Allen
On April 9, Malcolm Allen, MP for Welland and NDP Agriculture Critic was on the road for meetings about food issues with local people. Ian Edgar and Cathy McGregor Smith from the National Farmers Union made sure to present Malcolm with over 1000 signatures on the petition.
Goderich with CBAN banner
Goderich, rural Ontario. About 50 people, with a number of farmers including young farmers and young people. “GM alfalfa is not needed or wanted by farmers. It will become another [herbicide] resistant weed in soy and corn fields,” said Tony McQuail, President of the Huron National Farmers Union local. The rally was hosted by the National Farmers Union Locals Bruce 320 and Huron 335. Extra “Stop GM Alfalfa” banners were printed for the campaign by Harmony Organic!
“GM Perennials are Permanent” Goderich Ontario
A delegation of people in Goderich met with Ben Lobb, MP for Huron-Bruce for an hour or so ahead of the rally and presented him with a petition of close to 200 signatures. Here is the article that quotes MP Ben Lobb saying “I’m pretty much on the same page.”
200 people march in Guelph
“250-300 people showed up at our rally in Guelph!!! What an amazing turnout and what a wonderful and colourful group of people! There were costumes, masks, props, amazingly creative signs, banners and chants. The young and beautifully aged, farmers, students, mothers and fathers…all full of life, love and a powerful commitment to a healthy, safe and sustainable world. Love was all around. We handed in 1067 petition signatures to our MP Frank Valeriote who will deliver them to the House on our behalf. Many thanks to all who came out to make this a most splendid day! Many thanks to Artisanale for the wonderful street food!” – local Guelph organizer Donna Jennison. The action was organized by NFU Local 340 – Waterloo/Wellington, the Council of Canadians-Guelph Chapter, Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice, OPIRG-Guelph and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and supported by local business Artisanale French Country Cooking who prepared lunch with!
“Save Our Hay” Guelph Ontario
Marching to the Monsanto office in Guelph! Check out some of the footage including the thoughts of Jodi Koberinski (Organic Council of Ontario), Linda Laepple (NFU-O) and farmer Paul Noble among others.
Yasser and Grace make lunch for Guelph protestors
Chef Yasser Qahawish, owner of local restaurant Artisanale French Country Cooking, and his daughter Grace prepared lunch for protestors. Artisanale served up a GMO-free lunch to farmers and their allies, with the support of organic farm Sprouts for Life and Polestar Hearth, who donated organic ingredients. “Our local family farmers raise their crops and their livestock with a care and dedication that translates into the quality and freshness of the ingredient,” said Yasser, “GM Alfalfa would threaten the local farmers we work with, and who have become a part of our extended family.”
Guelph Group Shot!
The jolly crowd at Guelph! After marching to Monsanto’s office down the street and eating a great GMO-free lunch!
Guelph cows and horses agree
Alfalfa is important feed for cows and horses!
Presenting 1007 signatures to MP Frank Valeriote
Local organizer Norah Chaloner presents the petition with over 1000 signatures to Guelph MP and Liberal Agriculture Critic Frank Valeriote. Frank announced that he had submitted a motion for a moratorium on Roundup Ready GM alfalfa to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The motion reads:
“The Committee recommends that the government place a moratorium on any approval of Roundup
Ready Alfalfa until the Government completes public research:
(a) into Canada’s ability to ensure the genetic integrity, production and preservation of a
diversity of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), non-GMO and organic alfalfa
(b) the ability of Canada’s handling and transportation system to ensure segregation of
forage seeds and detection of genetic co-mingling in alfalfa seeds and hay;
(c) the development of industry-led, third party audit and verification systems and
(d) that these findings be reported back to the Committee.”
The motion has yet to be debated.
Close to 120 people in London Ontario! Outside the office of MP Ed Holder. Hosted by the National Farmers Union Middlesex Local 31. Photo Credit: Chris Dancey
Petition-signing and media interviews in London Ontario
The petition-signing stand in London Ontario! There was great media coverage from the day including this CTV News report. Photo Credit: Chris Dancey
London Ontario loves bees
“Ed’s office gets a LOT of drive-by traffic, so this was huge in spreading awareness for the cause!” – rally organizer Malorie Knoester. London Ontario, outside the office of MP Ed Holder. Photo Credit: Will Dancey.
Kingston crowd at Market Square. The event in Kingston was hosted by National Farmers Union Local 316 – Frontenac, Lennox-Addington. Photo Credit: Aric McBay
Sarah Harmer and Lamb! Kingston Ontario
Singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer performed at the Kingston rally in support of the call to Stop GM Alfalfa. Great music and lambs! (Sheep eat alfalfa!) Who wouldn’t want to join this movement?! Click here to see more great photos from the local newspaper! Photo Credit: Aric McBay
Feeding the Lambs at the Kingston Rally
Yep, this is the type of fun you can have in the movement for food sovereignty! Feeding lambs! Kingston, Ontario. Photo Credit: Aric McBay
MP speaks at the Kingston rally
Kingston and the Islands Member of Parliament Ted Hsu spoke at the rally. “We ran out of petition forms and presented 140 signature to MP Ted Hsu – with more to follow. Some folks took blanks with them to local businesses.” said Peter Dowling of the National Farmers Union local in Kingston. On April 19, Ted presented the petition in the House of Commons. Photo Credit: Aric McBay
Kingston Says “Gnomes yes, GMOs no”
Kingston, Ontario. Photo Credit: Aric McBay
Kitchener Waterloo “Farmers say We Want Safe Hay”
100 people rallied on a sidewalk outside the office of Member of Parliament Peter Braid, which is right in the centre of downtown Waterloo. The rally essentially took up a whole block. Pictured here at the megaphone is organic vegetable farmer Angie Koch, and in the reflective vest is concerned eater Kelly Wilson. A beekeeper and another farmer spoke.
Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario
Check out the on-the-street CTV news report from downtown Kitchener!
MP Braid comes out to speak
“Our MP Peter Braid come out half way through, and spoke to us for about 15 mins. He thanked us for participating in our democracy, and then we had a spontaneous Q and A. Several people – farmers and eaters – spoke up, and all were, very articulate and brought up some great points re: need for better regulation, need for farmer consultation, contamination risk, GM Alfalfa being a violation of farmer choice etc. Braid’s primary response was that we have a stringent science based regulatory system that is capable of making these decisions. I presented him a package of information, and he said he looks forward to educating himself on the issue.After the protest we presented him with the petitions from the protest and from a health food store that has had them out the past couple of days. approx 230 signatures.” – Taarini Chopra, CBAN Campaigner, Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario.
Spot the Rubber Duck!
Can you find the surprise rubber duckie in this photo? Folks in Kitchener Waterloo Ontario gather around their Member of Parliament to discuss GM alfalfa concerns.
Ottawa, outside the CFIA office!
Over 100 people gathered outside the Variety Registration Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on the outskirts of Ottawa – this is the very office where the final signature to allow Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM Alfalfa will be made – or not! The action was hosted by National Farmers Union Local 362 – Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Ottawa, Prescott-Russell; 310 – Lanark. Watch the great news video report of the action here!
Farmer Coral Sproule at the megaphone, Ottawa.
Coral Sproule, Regional Council Member of National Farmers Union Ontario, at the megaphone! We all learned how to use the megaphone on April 9! One by one, local farmers from surrounding areas spoke about how GM alfalfa would affect them, including local honey producers. And then there was organic cake! Ottawa.
Maureen Bostock in front of the CFIA
Lanark area farmer Maureen Bostock is at the megaphone, outside the office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The homemade sign says “No GMOs on my plate!” We chanted “Hey Hey CFIA, Keep Monsanto Out of Our Hay!”
Small calf at the Day of Action!
Paul Slomp, local grassfed beef producer and Vice President (Operations) of the National Farmers Union, at the megaphone with his baby Felix, dressed in his cow costume! Ottawa.
Thank you Jenny!
CBAN’s Graphic Designer Jenny Walker at the rally in Ottawa! Thank you Jenny for designing posters, flyers, web graphics, info graphics, handouts, and reports for the Day of Action!
Owen Sound Ontario
Over 100 people rallied in Owen Sound Ontario outside the office of MP Larry Miller, who used to be Chair of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee. Young farmer Nathan Carey spoke at the rally. He said: “I’m deeply moved and inspired by all of you today. Your concern and passion for this issue resonate in me and inspire me to keep fighting. Our reward for making a stand is to create the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible. The future we want is present right now in our stand, in our opposition to this insanity called GM Alfalfa.” Read Nathan’s whole speech.
Port Colborne Ontario
We agree Port Colborne! Doug McEachern, farmer and member of the National Farmers’ Union, shakes hands with rally organizer, Tracy Tarran. Organizers ran an information picket – passing information on GM alfalfa to passers-by! Here is the handout that CBAN and the NFU provided for consumer education. Photo Credit: Heidi Grzesina
Stratford Farmers Say No
The farmer at the front of the photo is Lenus Yeo, holding out a small bag of alfalfa seed he grew and harvested in Huron County. “60 – 70 people, about half were farmers from across commodities – dairy, sheep, beef, field crops, vegetables, strawberries – some organic, some not. We resented a petition to Gary Schellenberger with 28 names, collected prior to the rally. Have another 45 or so names collected today. Gary was in his office – George Stevers and I went in to talk with him. He is not supportive of our position, but will take the petition…Having actions in Goderich, Owen Sound and Stratford is significant because those MPs cover Huron, Bruce, Grey and Perth counties, as well as part of Wellington. That is a major farming area.” – initial report from Ann Slater, NFU member, from Stratford Ontario action. You can watch a great news video report from Stratford here! – the title of the article in the Stratford Beacon Herald was “MP Gary Schellenberger stays inside as farmers rally outside office.”
Public Outcry in Stratford
You can listen to short audio clips from Ann Slater from the National Farmers Union Local 341 which hosted the rally. Ann says they are not finding a lot of farmers that want Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready Alfalfa. Stratford, Ontario.
Decorating the MP Office in Stratford Ontario
“If Roundup Ready alfalfa is released, farmers will pay more for seed and for herbicides to control resistant weeds, while chemical, biotechnology and seed corporations gain more control over our farms and our food. We refuse to let one company destroy our livelihoods with RR alfalfa,” said Ann Slater, Oxford County farmer and secretary of the Perth/Oxford Local of the National Farmers Union. “Farmers are standing up against this uncontrolled biotech experiment and we thank consumers for standing with us.”
Do the Bees Want a Blind Date with GMOs?
Protect Farmers, Not Corporations
Dairy farmers Ron and Deb Vice speak in Toronto
Dairy farmers Ron and Deb Vice spoke at the rally in Toronto! “Thank you so much! We had such a wonderful day! We came home so thankful that so many people really do care. Thank you for all your hard work to organize these events.” – Ron and Deb Vice. Thank you Ron and Deb for coming to the city to share your knowledge and concerns!
We Changed the Cityscape
Author and broadcaster, nutritionist Julie Daniluk, in her famous fish-tomato costume, takes over the Toronto skyline to stop GM alfalfa. Thank you for MC’ing Julie! Toronto. (The fish-tomato was a real GM experiment to create a frost-resistant tomato using genetic material from a flounder – it, uh, floundered! and never made it to market. Check the list of GM foods on the market here.)
Heather is a marshall
Crowd marshal volunteer Heather Lee of No More GMOs Toronto! The St Lawrence Market would not permit the rally on their premises so the rally was planned for outside, on the sidewalk. Thank you local organizers who worked so hard to organize the logistics and make sure everyone would be safe in the big city!
Rachel in her Squash Hat!
13-year old Rachel Parent of the Kids Right to Know March at the megaphone. The Toronto rally was hosted by The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, No More GMOs Toronto, Kids Right to Know March, Millions Against Monsanto Toronto, Canadian Organic Growers Toronto and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network! (There are some varieties of GM squash grown in the US – See the list of GM crops on the market here)
Hay in Toronto
Possibly the first time this century that a hay bale has made its way into Toronto! Alfalfa is a legume that is often part of a mix with grasses for hay! In the picture: urban market gardener Debbie Nolan and Sarah Bakker of Field Sparrow Farms (grass-fed beef and pastured pork) and the National Farmers Union Ontario.
Food Bee-longs to Everyone, Toronto
We agree Toronto! “Food Bee-longs to everyone”! This great banner was made at a banner-making party hosted at The Big Carrot and organized by No More GMOs Toronto, Occupy Garden’s Toronto and the Toronto Seed Library. Thanks to Lilian from the Kids Right to Know March for bringing supplies!
Thunder Bay says No GM Hay!
54 people came out in Thunder Bay Ontario! This action was organized by Ann McGoey, local beekeeper, retired nurse practitioner and grandmother of 4! To the left you will see another beekeeper.
Petitions Presented to MPs, Thunder Bay ON
People in Thunder Bay presented a total of 107 signatures on the petition on April 9. Some were presented to MP John Rafferty MP (NDP) who is pictured here standing behind the sign, and some were given to staff inside this Constituency Office of MP Bruce Hyer’s (Indep.).
In Thunder Bay, Babies Say “No GM Hay!”
Youngest participant Gretchen Mills (7 weeks old) with mother, Maureen.
Local farmer Fred Tait speaks at the Brandon rally
Local farmer Fred Tait speaks outside the Office of MP Merve Tweed, to the left is Ian Robson of Region 5 National Farmers Union which hosted the rally. Photo credit: Tim Smith/Brandon Sun
A great group shot in The Minnedosa Tribune – Read the article here! Photo Credit: Kate Sjoberg
Winnipeg Discussion and Film Screening April 9
On April 9 the Jewish Chamber of Commerce and Green Action Centre supported the Day of Action with a screening of the documentary “The World According to Monsanto” and a discussion about GM alfalfa with Kurt Shmon, President of the Forage and Turf company Imperial Seeds, and Dean Harder from the National Farmers Union. Kurt said, “If Roundup Ready alfalfa is grown in Canada, it will cross-pollinate. It will cross-pollinate with feral alfalfa, the wild alfalfa in ditches and with other types of non-GM alfalfa. The economic ramifications are very plain and simple. If we ship something to Europe that has non-approved GM seed in it, then that seed shipment comes back to Canada and the contract could be cancelled.”
Office of the Minister of Agriculture in rural Saskatchewan!
North Battleford Saskatchewan, outside the Constituency Office of Gerry Ritz, federal Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food. “25 people stood on a cold shady sidewalk in front of Gerry Ritz’s office. Some drove well over an hour to get there. Conventional farmers, organic farmers, beekeepers, etc. Many signs & a banner. CTV, CBC, Western Producer, and Battleford’s News-Optimist covered. Office was closed for lunch. Many honks and shouts.” – Glenn Tait’s report, National Farmers Union. Photo Credit: Western Producer
Paul Schneider drove his tractor to the Calgary rally!
Paul Schneider brought this sign on his tractor to the rally outside the Prime Minister’s office in Calgary! “I am an organic farmer and I grow alfalfa hay for my cattle,” he told Global News, “Even if I don’t seed GMO alfalfa, my crop will eventually get contaminated by bees transferring the pollen.” Watch the Global News report here.
Calgary crowd says “No GMO Alfalfa” in really big letters!
About 120 people came out in Calgary!
Calgary horses say no GM alfalfa
Calgary horses say no to GM alfalfa: “Hay Don’t Feed me GMO!”
Coexistence is not possible!
“Explain the Coexistence Plan to the Bees”! The biotech and seed industry, under the Canadian Seed Trade Association, is attempting to create a “coexistence” plan for GM alfalfa – to sell the idea that contamination can be prevented, as a way of introducing GM alfalfa over the objections of farmers. Tell it to the bees! The week before the Day of Action, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network published the report “The Inevitability of Contamination from GM Alfalfa Release in Ontario” which exposes how ridiculous the idea of coexistence is. Calgary, Alberta.
“We had about 100 people turn up in very cold weather.” John Schneider from Gold Forest Grains and Doug Scott, who is a wheat and canola farmer and Coordinator for Region 7 (Alberta), spoke at the rally. Edmonton Alberta!
With just a few days notice, 33 people came out in Grande Prairie Alberta, an important alfalfa growing area of Canada. Check out the great local newspaper story including more great photos.
Grande Prairie makes some noise
Grande Prairie Alberta.
Red Deer on the move
Everyone met at Red Deer City Hall and walked to the Office of federal MP Earl Dreeshens! Some took hay along for the walk! Red Deer, Alberta.
Red Deer marching
Marching to Stop GM Alfalfa – a great way to stay warm on a cold-ish April 9 in Red Deer Alberta!
Support Our Family Farmers Red Deer
Red Deer Alberta
“Red Deer had around 80 people – local farmers, mothers, children – and around 180 signatures we presented to a representative at the MP’s office. We had an amazing march, lots of songs and chants. We presented the MP staff with a sack of alfalfa and had a pickup truck of hay bales.” – organizer Jem Mathieson, Red Deer Alberta
Red Deer Alberta
The rallies were part of ongoing community and movement building. “Protect Canadian Farms”! Red Deer, Alberta.
This is the photo that made it to the front page of the local paper in Camrose, Alberta. Folks in Camrose met at the University to make signs and prepare for the rally and then walked to the office of Kevin Sorenson, MP for Crowfoot. Rally organizer Takota Coen invited people to speak before highlighting his own concerns: “I would like to say that as a young person who is interested in becoming a farmer this genetically modified alfalfa, as well as other GMO’s is basically scaring me away from following my dream of becoming a farmer,” he said. “Things like this will prevent me from farming the way that I feel is best.” Camrose, Alberta.
Duncan Crowd April 9
Around 75 people came out to this great event organized by the Cowichan Green Community (CGC) and the National Farmers Union Region 8 (BC-Peace River), in Charles Hoey Park, Duncan BC!
Dan Ferguson is Farmed and Dangerous
Dan Ferguson, Director for National Farmers Union Region 8 (BC-Peace Region) is “Farmed and Dangerous”. Dan helped organize the rally and is pictured here answering questions from the crowd about GM alfalfa. Dan said “This is not just a ‘conventional versus organic’ farm battle; it’s all farmers standing united, across our nation, rallying for democracy. The only people that seem to want this product are seed and fertilizer company representatives. The NFU is comprised of all sizes and kinds of family farms nationally, and we are asking for all Canadians to help us keep Alfalfa clean and free of transgenetic manipulation.” You can read the Press Release from Duncan BC here.
MP Jean Crowder speaks at Duncan rally
Jean Crowder, Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Nanaimo spoke in support of a moratorium on GM alfalfa.”Farmers are rightly concerned that introducing a genetic modification to a crop that already works well for farmers, doesn’t suffer from heavy pest infestation, and is easily cross-pollinated may have unanticipated consequences,” she said in a column she published in support on April 9. She announced that the NDP have called for a moratorium on GM alfalfa!
Present petition to Jean Crowder
Eric Veale presenting 200 signatures from Gabriola Island residents to Jean Crowder, Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Nanaimo. (Gabriola Island is just off the coast of Nanaimo, BC.) Duncan, BC.
Haybales are perfect child-size chairs at the rally! From the action hosted by the Shuswap Thompson Organic Producers Association (STOPA) in Kamloops BC!
Kelowna Media interview organizer Heidi Osterman
Between 50-100 people joined the Kelowna BC rally organized by Heidi Osterman of the True Food Foundation, pictured being interviewed by media. “Here in Kelowna we held a protest outside the mall entrance where MP Ron Cannan has his office. Over 50 were there with signs and were signing petitions ..and we had several media reporters. Heard a report on the radio this morning when I woke up…Heidi Osterman and the True Food Foundation were central to the success of this day’s activities,” said local activist Carol Kergan. Watch the Global TV News report from Kelowna here!
Kelowna crowd on the bridge
The Kelowna rally took to the bridge!
Outside MP Ron Cannan’s office Kelowna BC
Heidi Osterman of the True Food Foundation delivered 1,007 signatures on the petition to stop GM alfalfa to Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, Ron Cannan, (Conservative) who presented them in the House of Commons.
Awareness raising from the street in Langley BC, in a rally organized in 2 days by GE Free Langley! Congratulations everyone!
Wally and Tony in Langley BC
Its Wally Martin, owner of Princess and the Pea B&B in Langley which serves non-GMO breakfasts to their guests! with Tony Mitra, member of the group AID (Association for India Development) which is dedicated to helping small farmers in India transition from chemical farming to ecological agriculture. Langley, BC.
Langley Honk No GMO
Wally Martin and Terri Lynn Sullivan, a Langley mom who grew up on a farm.
The Queen Came out to Langley
Even the Queen was out in Langley BC.
Hopping outside the Coop
Petition-signing, information-sharing and rally outside the Kootenay Coop in Nelson BC! Organized by The National Farmers Union; Kootenay Lake Agricultural Society; Kootenay Organic Growers; West Kootenay Eco Society.
Laura Stavast Meadowbrook Farm Nelson
Small children learning how raise their fists in protest! One of many early lessons from the Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa! That, and how to make great signs! “GM Hay? Now Way!” Pictured here with Laura Stravast of Meadowbrook Farm. Nelson BC.
Colleen Ross, Margo and George Wilson of Meadowbrook Farm
Everyone is so friendly and cheery! Here is Colleen Ross, Vice President (Policy) of the National Farmers Union with Margo and George Wilson of Meadowbrook Farm. Nelson, BC.
Munching organic alfalfa in Nelson
Yummy organic alfalfa sprouts! The first GM alfalfa seeds are not designed for sprout growers and many would avoid GM alfalfa seeds, but sprout farmers are very worried about contamination of their seeds.
Songs and Sun in Vernon BC
More than 50 people came out to the Vernon rally organized by Kelsi Evans who was quoted in her local paper as saying, “GM alfalfa could be released on the market any day but farmers and young consumers like me don’t need it and we don’t believe in it.” Kelsi is 21 and was joined at the rally by many secondary school students. Congratulations Kelsi and everyone! Vernon BC.
About 80 people participated in Vernon and 150 signatures were collected to give to the local Member of Parliament!
Media interview students about their concerns
The Vernon Morning Star reported: The number of youth that turned out to the event was impressive to the experienced farmers on site – from young activists like Evans to even a few toddlers waving signs alongside their parents. Facebook and word of mouth were key to the turnout, said Kelsi Evans. “I went around all over Vernon, I went to the bottom of hospital hill and protested on my own and just tried to make it happen.” – Thanks for organizing the rally Kelsi! Kelsi also presented petitions to her local MP.
Victoria rain wont keep us down
A great and hardy crowd in Victoria outside 816 Government Street! Including farmers, urban eaters, retired scientists, songwriters, and at least one Member of Parliament (Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca (NDP)! Murray Rankin, the MP for Victoria (NDP) sent his greetings to the rally as he was out of town and could not be there. Pictured here is organic farmer Heather who said “We need to stand together and we need to stand firm, and we need to vote with our forks three times a day, vote with our our pens every time we write a letter, vote with our mouths and our hearts and our brains when we talk to our friends, when we invite our friends over for potlucks and explain what we are serving and why. And keep spreading the good word.”
Victoria organizer Joan Russow.
There were lots of great speeches and songs in Victoria! Songs thanks to Art Farquharson. Victoria organizer and rally MC Joan Russow is pictured here. Candace Thompson from Eagle Paws Organics-Agricultural Consultant (Sooke) said: “Farmers do this, we fight for what we believe in…Contamination is assured, it will for sure happen.Its not negotiable, we’re not okay with this happening. This is genetic pollution and we say no!…Let’s be healthy people and lets fight for what we believe in! We have to say no, lets just say no!” Graham Pusch, organic farmer from Saskatchewan spoke at the rally: “We use soil that we grow alfalfa in because it fixes nitrogen, we use that in our greenhouse every year. In late August we take all the soil out of our greenhouse and replace it with fresh soil from our field and then we don’t have to add any other fertlizer…that would require alfalfa. A genetically modified alfalfa would likely cost us our certification. I cannot see how we can exist.” Heather Stretch of Saanich Organics read out the statement against GMOs from COABC, the Certified Organic Associations of BC. You can watch the great video of the protest on Youtube! Part 1: http://youtu.be/5lPdFfJLH2g Part 2: http://youtu.be/_Eac5DYA1nU
Yukon Farmers Are Larger than Life
Yukon farmers marched to their MP’s office in Whitehorse. Here Graham Rudge is on stilts! The action was hosted by Growers of Organic Food Yukon (GoOFY).
Yukon MP Speaks With Protestors
Ryan Leef Member of Parliament Yukon (Conservative) came out and spoke at length with concerned citizens. He presented their petition to stop GM alfalfa in the House of Commons on May 10, 2013.