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February Update 2023

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Crazy warm winter.  In Ottawa, skating on the Rideau Canal never happened.  Just like on the Great Cataraqui River here in Kingston. Kenny Ruelland posted that some turtles are actually basking in Sarnia – in February! And plans are afoot for opening the St. Lawrence Seaway for business – in February! Thanks so much Hilbert for all the wonderful pictures you post on Facebook. Here is one.
Lots happening in Kingston.

1. Upcoming Patry Appeal for Tannery Development at the Ontario Land Tribunal – Feb 21
2. Tell Council Your Priorities for Strategic Planning Decisions. Survey Deadline, Feb 28
3. Great Stuff from the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation
4. Music in Kingston? Your Wishes? Survey Deadline March 1
5. Little Forests Kingston Update
6. Credit Union Matches Your Donations for Climate Change
7. News from local Health Coalition: Campaigns, Speakers, Events
8. Waterfront Trail Challenges
9. Cataraqui Conservation Extends Water Safety Statement.
10. Family Day Fun in Kingston’s Downtown
1. Upcoming Patry Appeal for Tannery Development at the Ontario Land Tribunal – Feb 21

We, along with other Kingston non-profits including River First YGK, No Clearcuts Kingston, 350 Kingston, Building Kingston’s Future, Kingston Field Naturalists, Little Forests Kingston, and Seniors for Climate Action Now (SCAN), feel there are many unanswered questions about this proposal that should be addressed before it proceeds.
Do tune in to this appeal, listen to the arguments, and judge for yourself.
To attend, here is an edited version of information received earlier from Chris Wicke, City Planner:

The Ontario Land Tribunal (“Tribunal”) will conduct a Case Management Conference by video conference for this matter.
The event will be held: AT: 10:00 AM: February 21, 2023 at:
The 9 digit access ID number is  638422541 

The Tribunal has set aside 1 Day for this matter using the GoTo Meetings service.
It would be a good idea to go online a bit early to make sure you can access it.

The web application is available:  or
A compatible web browser for this service is Chrome.
Persons who experience technical difficulties accessing the GoToMeeting application or who only wish to listen to the event can connect to the event by calling into an audio only telephone line: Canada (Toll Free): 1 888 299-1889 or Canada: +1 (647) 497- 9373. The access code is 638-422-541

2. Tell Council Your Priorities for Strategic Planning Decisions. Survey Deadline, Feb 28
Tell Council your priorities for upcoming strategic planning decisions occurring March 28-30. Survey open til Feb 28.
Of course, our priorities are parks, trails, active transportation, and climate change initiatives.

3. Great Stuff from the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation 
School Streets Update
The School Streets team continues into 2023! At Central Public School, they have had over 100 street school clostures on Sydenham Street since they started in September.
8-80 Cities and Green Communities Canada recently published the Ontario School Streets Pilot Summary Report, summarizing findings from the pilot School Streets in Kingston and three other cities in Ontario.

2023: A year for key action on climate change 
As Dianne Saxe told Kingston City Council and residents in 2019, climate changes everything:
1). It is the greatest health threat of the 21st century.
2). In March 2019, Kingston officially declared a climate emergency, committing to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2023, the City of Kingston will be updating transportation plans that will set the trajectory for our city’s collective impact on climate change. The transportation sector accounts for the largest rate of emissions in Kingston.
3). For Kingston to achieve its goal of becoming the most sustainable city in Canada, all aspects of the transportation system need to be considered and tangible measures taken to reduce emissions. Transportation choices are influenced by many factors including convenience, safety, efficiency, affordability, accessibility, connectivity, and comfort. By making active and sustainable transportation (AST) options more appealing and single occupancy vehicle use less appealing, we would be on the road to effectively reduce emissions, as a City, across sectors, and as individuals.

A few measures to increase Active Transportation include:
– dedicated, connected, well-maintained facilities for walking and cycling,
– paid parking for motorized vehicles,
– efficient, reliable, affordable, easy-to-use transit services,
– multi-modal options such as Rack and Roll (bike racks on city buses),
– secure/sheltered bike parking; and lighting on pathways and at transit stops.
Workplace incentives also include:
– transpass supports,
– alternate work schedules as feasible to accommodate bus schedules and quieter times to commute by AT,
– cash-in-lieu of parking,
– car pooling, and
– Emergency Ride Programs. 

1.    Saxe, D. (Oct. 22/23, 2019). Climate Changes Everything. Presentation at Kingston City Hall. 
2.    Canadian Public Health Association (2019). Position Statement: Climate Change and Human Health:
3.    TriEdge & Associates (June 2020). Kingston Community GHG Inventory Update – 2018:
What can you do in 2023 that can really make a difference?
1. Know that you can make a difference.
2. Contribute to policy documents that address climate change in real and tangible ways. The Williamsville Transportation Study is currently underway with public engagement closing March 7. City of Kingston plans that will be updated this year include the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Kingston Transit Development Plan, and North Kings Town Secondary Plan. Watch for opportunities to engage with these and other plans/projects by registering with Get Involved Kingston and adding your name to the City of Kingston mailing list. You can also subscribe to any of a number of City newsletters.
3. Follow the City of Kingston on social media and attend Committee and Council meetings.

4. Let your City Councillor know about your concerns and your thoughts about ways to reduce emissions. Consider other city’s/country’s efforts to reduce emissions through active and sustainable transportation (AST). The City of Toronto, for example, encourages residents to use AST for trips under 5 km, as part of its strategy for net zero emissions by 2040. Ireland has committed more than half of its transportation budget to ‘greener, cleaner transport’ including investment of nearly €1 million per day (€360 million per year) in walking and cycling projects nationwide including €60 million for greenways.  
5. Use AT, including public transit,
 when you can to get to where you need and want to go.
6. Let the City or KCAT know if you see something that’s a barrier to walking, cycling, or using transit safely, for example, a car parked in a bike lane, a cracked sidewalk, or snow or ice blocking a transit stop. 
7. To calculate your carbon footprint, use an Ecological Footprint Calculator like this one.
8. Lastly, consider joining a group like KCAT. We always welcome new members! Visit for more details.
Winter Cycling Tips 
These excellent tips are from Carla, KCAT Cycling Committee Lead
Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen more and more people cycling on the roads of Kingston, regardless of the weather. This holds true even as the temperature drops, the winds get harsher, and the roads become treacherous with snow and ice. This being said, cycling during the “cycling season” is not the same as winter cycling. For this reason, I’d like to provide some tips and tricks for cycling in the winter. 
1. Check the weather before you leave your house. Because weather conditions in the winter can vary drastically from day to day, it is important to know what to wear to stay comfortable. 
2. Layer up. Winter cycling is all about layers, because it’s really cold when you start, but when you pick up the pace, you will warm up quite quickly. The more you cycle in the winter, the more you’ll understand how different types of fabrics and materials work to protect you from the wind and cold, but also let you release your own body heat.
3. Be visible. The snow makes things brighter, but everyone and everything has lights which can be distracting for drivers. Wear bright colours when cycling and, if it’s dark out, use a good light! Visibility can go a long way for keeping you safe. 
4. Start with small rides. I have been cycling year-round for seven years, and every year I have to re-learn how to cycle in the winter. The different types of snow and slush textures will react differently with your tires so take your time to learn how to maneuver and how those textures will affect your ride. Once you’ve got it down, ride everywhere!!
5. Plan your routes. Roads are plowed at different times and frequencies (major roads and bus routes will be plowed more frequently) but depending on when the snow falls and time of day, it can be better to ride on a road that has fresh fluffy snow (the best kind of snow). Keep an eye out for patterns in traffic and pick your routes accordingly. The City’s cycling network is another good resource for knowing which roads will be prioritized as well.
6. Ride slow. The snow, slush, puddles, sand, and salt are formidable obstacles on the best of days. But all of these also hide potholes, drain holes, and other road deformities that could knock you off your bike. I always say speed is not your friend as falling at a higher speed is more dangerous.
7. Maintain your bike. The salt and sand on the roads cause bike parts to rust and the snow and low temperatures can freeze cables. Keeping your chain lubricated and cleaning your bike after every few rides can ensure that your spring tune up doesn’t have to be an overhaul! 
8. Report to the City. Sometimes, key roads that should be prioritized by the City are not. Sometimes there is a pile of snow in the bike lane. All of these things should be reported to the City via their “contact us” tool. Additionally, if you’d like, send us a copy as well and we’ll add it to our archives to see what has and has not been done.
City of Kingston Road and Sidewalk Winter Maintenance
The City of Kingston winter operations are guided by its level of service requirements defined in its Winter Maintenance Policy, using resources provided by City Council. These requirements are based on provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways. 

The City of Kingston clears more than 1,800 km of road lanes and 600 km of sidewalks in the winter. For more information about road and sidewalk plowing please go to There you can see the “Where’s my plow?” infographic that shows the City’s targets for clearing roads and sidewalks, the road and sidewalk plow priority route maps, and information about the snowplow tracker. 

The Winter Cycling Network was identified during the 2019-2023 implementation phase of the Active Transportation Master Plan. The network consists of priority routes that are maintained when cycling lanes are cleared by snowplows during the winter months. 

Active Transportation Feature
Cities for Everyone with Gil Penalosa.
KCAT members have been loving these free webinars, featureing guest experts from cities around the world.
These happen every other Tuesday and recordings are available.

4. Music in Kingston? Your Wishes? Survey Deadline March 1
Survey to create a thriving music economy in the city.

5. Little Forests Kingston Update
Little Forests Kingston –
Will publish a newsletter every full moon.
Three little forests are being planned  (Bird Forest, Walking Forest, and Great Lakes Forest) and a Food Forest at the Senior’s Centre on Francis Street. The working group is full steam ahead. If you are interested in joining the senior’s  centre group contact
A Youth Climate Action Summit was organized by the Frontenac Arch Bioshpere was on Nov 22, 2022 for students all over Southern Ontario. With a talk by Joyce Hostyn and Joanne Whitfield entitles It’s All about Relationships: Little Forests and Local Action
Here is the link to subscribe to Little Forests Kingston

6. Credit Union Matches $5K in Donations for Climate Change
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 7, 2023 – Tori Stafford
With just under two months until the deadline for contributions to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund, the local fundraising campaign has received a substantial cash injection.
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, the Kingston Community Credit Union (KCCU) presented the Climate Action Fund with a $5,000 cheque. The funds were donated to match the first $5,000 donated to the fund from the local community.
Now in its third year, the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund supports local projects that will help reduce greenhouse gases in the community. This year, three such projects will benefit from the Climate Action Fund. Those projects (see details below) have been proposed by the Frontenac Club Day Care Integration Program, Sustainable Kingston, and Ongwanada.
“The Community Climate Action Fund is a great grassroots initiative that is funding sustainability initiatives across the community, giving residents a chance to be able to contribute to those projects,” explained Mayor Bryan Paterson. The fundraising campaign, he said, “all started when we agreed that we wanted to provide an extra way for people to help” such causes.
“We have so many people in our community that are passionate about climate action. Obviously, there’s only so much we can do as a City. This is something above and beyond,” Paterson continued, “And it’s great to see the community coming forward with their own funds to be able to support further initiatives – it means that we can reach our goals that much more quickly.”
In the three years the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund has benefited local projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, KCCU has matched the first $5,000 raised in the campaign; across those three years, the local credit union has donated $15,000 to the fund, and therefore projects aimed at taking “climate action.”
Jon Dessau, CEO of KCCU, explained that the local credit union has been involved in the Climate Action fund “since the moment the City started planning” the fundraising project. At the cheque presentation, he spoke to some of the past projects that have benefited through the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund.
“Well, the first year, it was fun to help Martha’s Table and Habitat for Humanity,” he shared.
“You know, Martha’s Table is so busy providing meals,” Dessau continued, noting that while Martha’s Table was already renovating inside their premises in 2021, the Climate Action Fund was able to help with that, and help them make some changes outside their building by way of a new electric vehicle to allow the organization to continue their work while reducing its carbon footprint.
“That was fantastic because they’re busy collecting money for the people they serve, not for their own chairs and tables and vehicles,” Dessau expressed.
“So, I think this really fills an important hole or niche that needs to be filled.”
As KCCU presented $5,000 to the fundraising campaign, Kingstonist was able to catch up with a representative from one of this year’s benefactors.
“We’ve been accepted as part of the Climate Action Fund to install two heat pumps and insulation. We are renovating to have 22 more spaces in our daycare,” Erin Monts, Director of Frontenac Club Day Care, confirmed.
For her organization, taking on the project might not have even happened if not for the Climate Action Fund and the support of the community, Monts shared.
“It definitely would not have been possible, and we probably wouldn’t have even thought about it,” she said.
“The kids have really enjoyed watching the renovations and it’s been a good learning experience for them, teaching them about the climate and all that fun stuff.”
Monts expressed excitement over the perfect timing of this round of the Climate Action Fund, which aligned with the renovations Frontenac Club Day Care already had planned – and helped to make those renovations better for the environment. Having started on the renovation work in the summer of 2022, Monts said they expect the work to be completed by the end of this month. With the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund accepting donations until the end of March, Frontenac Club Day Care has plans to host an open house around the same time, allowing the community to come into their facilities and check out the impacts their donations helped make first hand.
“Thank you to the community for supporting us. We’re in our 40th year this year, so this has been huge,” said Monts, noting she and her organization are thrilled to “be able to just continue serving the community.”
According to the City of Kingston, the three projects benefiting from the 2023 Community Climate Action Fund are as follows:
Frontenac Club Day Care Integration Programme – Fundraising goal: $59,510
“Frontenac Club Day Care is seeking your support for building retrofits to create 22 new licensed daycare spaces in Kingston and wheelchair-accessible preschool and infant rooms,” the City said in a press release.
“These building retrofits include the installation of two new heat pump systems in both the coach house and infant house well as spray foam insulation, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).”
Ongwanada – Fundraising goal: $19,600 
“Ongwanada is seeking your support to purchase an electric wheelchair transport bike that can be used to take the residents of Ongwanada on outdoor excursions in Kingston to help maintain their mental and physical health,” the City of Kingston relayed.
“The electric bike will provide residents with the necessary support while enjoying the outdoors and staying active. These bikes would reduce Ongwanada’s contribution to GHGs by taking residents out for excursions in an electric-powered bike instead of a fossil fuel-burning van.”
Sustainable Kingston – Fundraising goal: $33,198    
“Sustainable Kingston is seeking your support for the purchase of an electric vehicle that will replace gas-powered vehicle use,” according to the City.
“The Residential Energy Auditors will use this electric vehicle when they perform home energy audits across Kingston, directly reducing GHGs and promoting energy conservation.”
Donations to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund are accepted at all KCCU branches, can be made online through CanadaHelps, and can be made in person at the Kingston City Hall Payment Centre. For more information on the three organizations benefiting from the 2023 Community Climate Action Fund, visit the Frontenac Club Day Care website, the Ongwanada website, and the Sustainable Kingston website.

7. News from local Health Coalition: Campaigns, Speakers, Events
Received Feb 16, 2023
In addition to our work and that of the Ontario Health Coalition, there are events coming up that are of interest to our Members
1.  Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) Protest
Thursday, Feb 23  11 am – 1 pm,  Hotel Dieu, KGH, Providence Care
2.   Andre Picard – Michener Visitorship Series   March 2, 6 – 7:30 pm 
3.   Pharmacare Campaign, Council of Canadians
4.   Day of Action, OFL, Saturday, June 3 

Report on Feb 15 meeting:
More than twenty people attended the meeting that started around 7:20 pm.  We had a preliminary discussion on strategies to reach as many people as possible.  Education and conversations will help people recognize the harm that for-profit healthcare has on the system and us. 
There was lots of support for participating in Ontario Health Coalition’s province-wide Referendum on May 26 and 27. 

Those in attendance created an initial list of actions and there was general support for:
– door to door canvassing,
-setting up tables in markets,
-fundraising, hosting a series of public events,
-putting up signs, expanding our social media reach,
-contacting volunteers,
-doing outreach to other organizations, and
-having blitz days. 
All of these can only happen if you have people willing to do them. 

Upcoming Meeting link. All welcome!
Kingston Health Coalition is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 
Topic: KHC Planning Mtg
Time: Mar 1, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 833 0564 3379
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8. Waterfront Trail Challenges
There appear to be three problematic areas where the waterfront trail is proposed:
a) It is suggested that the trail might go through the Department of National Defense property at the causeway. Most probaably this will never happen due to security concerns on the part of DND. As a result, realistically, the city fire route along the south shore of Anglin Bay can never be part of the trail.
b) The small block on King Street between the Leon Centre and Food Basicsis often closed when events occur so it cannot be a viable part of the waterfront trail
c) The proposed trail section in the Anglin Bay parking lot is not accessible in winter as snow is plowed on it and there is no other place to take the snow.
Given these concerns, an alternate route is needed. We are suggesting that the waterfront trail instead go from City Hall along Ontario Street to either Queen Street or The Tragically Hip Way to Wellington Street and then along Wellington Street to the K&P trailhead in Doug Fluhrer Park.
Two weeks ago, we spoke with our new councillor for Kings Town district, Greg Ridge, and he took our concerns to the city. 
We are hoping to hear back from the city sometime soon.

9. Cataraqui Conservation Extends Water Safety Statement.
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 15, 2023 – Jessica Foley
 For ski and showshoe rental possibilities depending on weather contact –

10. Family Day Fun in Kingston’s Downtown
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 15, 2023 – Jessica Foley
Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, is Family Day — a holiday to enjoy with your friends and family. The Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA) is offering family-friendly events over the long weekend, some of which will be weather dependent.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, the Kingston Frontenacs, in partnership with the Kinsmen Club, will host a team skate in Springer Market Square from 1 to 2 p.m. “Lace up those skates and do a lap or two with some of your favourite players or cozy up with Barrack the Bear by one of the wood-burning fire pits,” the BIA said in a media release.
An Artsy Afternoon returns for one day only on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023. From 1 to 4 p.m., everyone is invited to tour downtown galleries and shops for an afternoon of artsy fun. According to the release, participating locations are offering family-friendly activities and crafts, live music, featured artists, special promotions, giveaways, and more.
The BIA provided the following list of participants for An Artsy Afternoon:

  • Hoopla Press and Gallery – 120 Princess Street, Unit IA 
  • Martello Alley – 203 B Wellington Street 
  • Kingston Community Arts & Design – 75 Princess Street 
  • Amanda’s House of Elegance – 70 Princess Street 
  • General Brock’s Commissary – 55 Brock Street 
  • Martello on Brock – 66 Brock Street 
  • Cornerstone Canadian Art – 255 Ontario Street 

The family fun continues on the holiday Monday, with free horse-drawn wagon rides running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Springer Market Square. If conditions allow, from 2 to 4 p.m., skaters are invited to don their favourite princess dress or mouse ears and take to the ice for a Disney-themed skate. The BIA said that those who need a little sustenance are invited to roast a marshmallow (or two) at one of the wood-burning fire pits. Then cap off your day with a family portrait in the Encanto photo booth.
“Post your family pic to social and tag @downtownkingston and you and your family could be seeing the Kingston Frontenacs play from the comfort of an exclusive suite!” the Downtown Kingston BIA said, adding that all skating events are weather permitting.


11.Great Lakes ice cover reaches record low, MPR News, February 13, 2023.  A much milder-than-average weather pattern across the Great Lakes for most of this winter has produced the lowest ice cover on record for the Great Lakes.  As of Monday, ice covered only 8 percent of the Great Lakes.  That’s way below the average of 41 percent for this date and at the record low levels previously set in 2012.

12.St. Catharines city council calls for more money for Great Lakes, St. Catharines Standard, January 31, 2023.  St. Catharines city council is joining other cities on the Great Lakes in calling for more money faster from the federal government to protect and restore the waters.  Council unanimously passed a motion Monday night asking the federal government to commit $1 billion in funding over five years for a strengthened freshwater action plan in the 2023 federal budget.  The binational Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, of which St. Catharines holds a board seat, is advocating the federal government carry through with the funding and accelerate it over five years.

13. Task Force asks Biden administration for $425 million forGreat Lakes Restoration Initiative, Michigan Radio, January 31, 2023.  A bipartisan Congressional task force has asked President Joe Biden to dedicate more money to the Great Lakes in his 2024 fiscal year budget.  In a letter to the President, the four-member task force from Ohio and Michigan asks for $425 million dollars for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  That’s up significantly from last fiscal year’s $368 million.  The letter was signed by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and Republican Congressman Bill Huizinga, from Michigan, and Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Republican Congressman David P. Joyce, from Ohio.

14.   Port of Montreal becoming a hotspot for stolen vehicles, CBC, February 1, 2023.  An increasing number of vehicles stolen from across the country are turning up at the Port of Montreal before they’re shipped overseas.  But police say enforcement is a challenge given the size of the port and the volume of shipments that go through it.

15.  Green shipping sails ahead of other transport sectors, TechHQ, February 14, 2023.  To mitigate the high level of greenhouse gas emissions coming from the shipping and logistics industry, at COP27 in late 2022, the United States and Norway organized the Green Shipping Challenge.  The Challenge urged ports, companies and governments to commit to the transition to greener shipping, and now, the first changes are being made to help the industry transition to a green shipping model.  Shipping is known to contribute 2-3% of all greenhouse emissions on its own, and so alternative, relatively green fuels, and significantly more efficient routes, must be found and deployed as soon as they’re viable.
  Spring icebreaking on St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Québec, Canadian Coast Guard, February 15, 2023.  The Canadian Coast Guard will begin its spring icebreaking operations on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec on the morning of February 20, or sooner if the weather conditions were to create an increased risk of the stalling of coastal pack ice.
17.  History Of The Welland Canal: Is It The Most Important Canal In North America?, gCaptain, February 14, 2023.  The Welland Canal is a vital waterway in the Great Lakes region of North America.  It is a man-made canal that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, allowing ships to bypass Niagara Falls.  The canal is an important part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a system of locks, canals, and channels that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.  The Welland Canal has a long and storied history.  It was first proposed in 1824 by William Hamilton Merritt, a Canadian politician and entrepreneur.  Merritt wanted to create a canal that would allow ships to bypass the dangerous rapids of the Niagara River.  Construction of the canal began in 1824 and was completed in 1829.  The canal was an immediate success, and it quickly became an important part of the Great Lakes shipping industry.


18. The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication for Kids: It’s not what you say; It’s how you say it.
Received from the Kingstonist, – Jessica Foley
Zoom Meeting, Tues, Feb 21, 2023, 7-8 pm.
Registration required at or by phoning 613-549-8888

19. Protecting Yourself from Misinformation
Received from The Conversation, Feb 2, 2023
The spread of misinformation is a major problem impacting many areas of society from public health, to science and even democracy itself.
But online misinformation is a problem that is very difficult to address. Policing social media is like playing an infinite game of whack-a-mole. Even if we could address one type of misinformation, others quickly spring up in its place. Furthermore, there are valid concerns about how governments and corporations might address this problem and the dangers of censorship.
Talking to experts
We wanted to determine how people could best protect themselves from misinformation online, so in a recent project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we created a podcast where we interviewed a group of experts from North America and the UK about misinformation. We found their answers could be grouped into 5 broad themes.
1) Alter your sharing behaviour and take more time to consider the source of the information, as Philip Mai from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Social Media Lab suggests:
“Don’t be so trigger happy with that retweet button or that share, but know your source. So if something is emotionally triggering you before you share it stop and see who’s sharing…how did they get that information so it’s not just who is sharing it but how did they get that information before you share it.”
Lateral reading can also help people identify the quality of information. Lateral reading involves seeking out additional sources that speak to the trustworthiness of what you’re about to share. For example, cognitive psychology professor Stephan Lewandowsky says:
“Look for other sites that can tell you something about your target. So you know Wikipedia may pop up and say that website is a front for the fossil fuel industry or…it’s funded by unknown sources or whatever. And the moment you know that, then you have the means to dismiss sources as being likely untrustworthy.”

2) Seek out a variety of different news sources and consider paying for access to reputable news sources, if you are in a position to do so, to ensure that accurate news is available when you need it. Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta suggests:
“Read news and commentary from across the ideological spectrum and subscribe to newspapers across the ideological spectrum…so we know you’re kind of contributing to the marketplace of ideas and you’re also doing the best to get outside your echo chamber.”
It can be difficult to identify quality news sources when there are so many inaccurate ones out there, but there are tools to help. Philosophy scholar Cailin O’Connor, co-author of the book The Misinformation Age, told us:
“The website Prop Watch is all about teaching people what different propaganda techniques look like, as used by politicians and members of the media online, there are things like this that people can use to train themselves.”
Prop Watch is an educational non-profit. It provides a catalogue of searchable propaganda that people can access to learn what propaganda looks like so they can better identify it online.
Take more time to consider the sources of information and seek additional sources that speak to the trustworthiness of posts before you share them. (Shutterstock)

3) Educate yourself and be skeptical of information you encounter. Arming yourself with a critical filter may help protect you against misinformation that you would otherwise accept at face value. Yochai Benkler, faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, advises:
“You can prevent yourself from falling into a trap by having an appropriately skeptical view of most everything you hear. Whatever the outlet…The stance is one of skepticism without cynicism. You don’t have to think everyone is lying to understand that everything is prone to error.”
One way to practice healthy skepticism is to look for power in every story you come across. Journalist and author of the book Spin Doctors, Nora Loreto, suggests asking questions like: “Who has power? Who does not have power? Who’s challenging power? How is power being employed? And how is power being protected?.”

4) Reconnect with yourself and your communities so you can have better relationships with information and the world around you. We are constantly inundated with information and stimulation in our current attention economy.
As education and technology scholar Shandell Houlden describes, “the attention economy really is a disconnection economy and it disconnects us from ourselves.” She suggests that we should pay greater attention to our senses and to how things are trying to make us feel.
Social media platforms and online spaces can leave us disconnected. Reconnecting with our communities can help us combat misinformation by encouraging dialogue with people we disagree with. Communications scholar and artist Geo Takach recommends: “Engage with people, listen even if you disagree with them and try to find common ground based on values.”

5) Advocate for systemic change by, for example, electing politicians that care about misinformation, helping people feel less disenfranchised and supporting reliable sources of information. Misinformation is a symptom of much larger systemic issues, ranging from social inequalities to inadequate legal infrastructures. As O’Connor says:
“Honestly I would say the most important thing you can do is work to elect politicians who care about it… because again sweeping changes are going to be more important than anything an individual can do.”
By mobilizing to address the systematic structures that support a healthier information environment, individuals can do more to mitigate misinformation. Overall, it will take action at individual, organizational and systemic levels, but there are meaningful steps we can all take to fight back against misinformation if we have the will to do so.

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Scott White

20. How “Ugly Produce” Sellers Fight Food WasteReceived from CBC What on Earth, Feb 2, 2023 
Twisty carrots, lopsided apples and eggplants with interesting scars aren’t something you normally see at your local supermarket. But you can get them delivered straight to your door thanks to businesses across Canada dedicated to fighting food waste — and its greenhouse gas emissions.
The bonus? Amid rising food prices, eating “ugly produce” could save you money.
Supermarkets have strict cosmetic standards for fruits and vegetables — they need to be relatively uniform in size and shape, without blemishes such as scarring. Produce that doesn’t meet those standards is hard to sell and can end up in landfills.

A number of Canadian online grocers are now offering farmers a chance to sell that produce at a deep discount compared to similar fruits and veggies at the supermarket.
“As long as you can cut out a little blemish, you’re paying half the price for a 95 per cent usable product,” said Micky Tkac, senior director of produce for online grocer, which has customers in Calgary, Edmonton and B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Thompson Okanagan regions.

Tkac started to offer “imperfect produce” alongside’s other groceries in 2016, after being struck by the near-perfect appearance of fruits and vegetables in Canadian supermarkets, which was so different from what he saw growing up in Slovakia.

Companies that offer only imperfect and “surplus” produce say they’ve seen a lot of growth lately amid rising food prices. In fact, some say a key goal is making fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible to all.
“It’s been really nice to see that people are able to actually afford eating nutritious, whole foods,” said Divyansh Ojha, founder and CEO of London, Ont.-based FoodFund, which serves southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area.

They also say they’ve had a big impact on food waste. Thibaut Martelain started Montreal-based Marché Second Life in 2015 after being inspired by France’s efforts to fight food waste, and says the company has rescued 1,500 tonnes of food since then. 
Both Marché Second Life and FoodFund have expanded beyond produce to offer products like cheese and packaged foods that can’t be sold due to problems such as errors on their packaging or that were somehow produced in surplus.

Some companies also have other ways to reduce waste besides selling to customers. donates what it doesn’t sell to charities. Ojha said his company has managed to divert about 4,500 tonnes of food, by not just serving customers but also connecting food producers with food processors who might not otherwise find each other.
Some may wonder: why isn’t all imperfect produce processed into things like juices, sauces and canned soups? Martelain said there are more manufacturers that want to process certain items, such as oranges, compared to others, such as cauliflowers and eggplants, and the quantity needed may not match what’s available. 

Ojha added that large processors may not care about the appearance of the tomatoes or apples they use, but may not be able to get the steady and reliable supply they need if they specifically target lower-grade ingredients. For all these reasons, relying on food processors isn’t a complete solution to food waste.

For the same reasons, customers who choose to buy only imperfect and surplus produce will get more of some types of fruits and vegetables (such as apples, beets and yams) than others (berries). This may require a different approach to meal planning, Odja acknowledges.
That said, most of the produce that these companies sell is surplus and may not be “ugly” at all. Ojha said that’s one of his customers’ most common “complaints” when they get their first delivery.

While these efforts are diverting a lot of food waste, some suboptimal produce is still being missed.
Sang Le, co-founder of Peko Produce in Vancouver, noted that because misshapen produce is hard to sell, a lot of it actually gets left at the farm and is never harvested. 
“So that’s something that we’ve been thinking about how to tackle.”
— Emily Chung
21. Taking it Slow – What Turtles Can Teach Us About Living Longer.
Thanks so much John Thomas for sending this along.

Thanks so much everyone for doing your part.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour