Crawl Across the Ocean

Friday, November 19, 2004

Good news day

Some good news for a change in Canada today:

First off, as someone who consumes more than his share of pre-packaged, high-fat food, it's good to see the Canadian government moving to follow the lead of Denmark (and New York fries) and ban trans-fats (for the most part anyway).

There's a great, (albeit somewhat smug) quote from Dr. Steed Stender, the head of the Danish Nutrition Council on the CTV's website on the topic (note: this quote is from before today's decision, back when Canada was still planning mandatory labelling for trans-fats, but no other regulation).

As for the Canadian and U.S. governments' approach, Stender has strong words.

"As they say in North America: 'You can put poison in food, if you label it properly.' Here in Denmark, we remove the poison and people don't have to know anything about trans fatty acids," he says."

Let's just hope they follow through on this and it doesn't die in a cut-off minority session or get watered down by industry lobby groups in the Senate like the bill on animal cruelty.

Second on the good news front, the Ontario government seems to be following B.C.'s lead in appointing a 'citizen's assembly' to study electoral reform.

Let it be known I hereby predict that the assembly will propose a Mixed-Member Proportional system (in contrast to the one in B.C. which recommended STV (Single transferrable vote). Let it also be known that either STV or MMP would be a vast improvement over the current First-Past-the-Post system which was never designed to accommodate anything other than a 2 party system.

Finally, the last piece of good news "Canada will be champion of Kyoto, Dion vows":

Just words so far, but better words than we've heard on the topic in a long time from the Liberals. And coming from someone who just may have the smarts and guts to make it happen. I wish him all the luck in the world.

So that wraps up today's good news. OK, it's true, our civilization is still unlikely to make it to the end of the current century intact but that doesn't mean we shouldn't avoid unnecessary heart attacks, try to prevent the destabilization of the global environment and replace outdated electoral systems in the meantime.

Update (July 17, 2009): So the Federal government still has taken no action on trans-fat, but the B.C. government will limit them starting in September, 2009.

The Ontario citizen's assembly did recommend MMP as I predicted but it was defeated in the referendum. Stéphane Dion wasn't just all talk with his environmental rhetoric, but sadly was unable to form a government as Liberal leader to implement any of it - since 2004 Canada's record on the Kyoto/Climate Change file has been one of, if not the worst in the world.

So much for good news.

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