Canada To Launch Billion-dollar Marijuana Free Market This Week

Oxfam Canada: Poor Communities Being Kicked off Land so Big Brands can Feed World’s Increasing Appetite for Sugar

Foreign Minister John Baird said Tuesday that he told his Egyptian counterpart that in “no uncertain terms” it is unacceptable. He said Canada’s prime minister has directed that all resources be brought to bear to secure their release. Filmmaker Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, a physician, have been held without charges since mid-August and were ordered detained for another 45 days on the weekend. The men say they were observing an anti-government demonstration Aug. 16 when Loubani heeded a call for a doctor and began treating wounded demonstrators while Greyson recorded the unrest on video. The pair released a statement on Saturday saying they’ve been beaten and subjected to degrading treatment. “It is simply unacceptable that Canadians can be held this long with no specific charges, no specific evidence,” Baird said. Baird said he told the new Egyptian foreign minister that it was “a significant problem in our bilateral relations.” Baird said he “didn’t’ see any light at the end of the tunnel” despite holding what he called a productive meeting with his Egyptian counterpart on Friday. He said the Canadian government is taking both a political and judicial approach to securing their release. “The government, at the prime minister’s direction, has been engaged in a big way to secure the release of these two Canadians,” Baird said. “I don’t want to up the rhetoric that would impede their expeditious release.

And its very hard to believe that statement when . . . for six years there was nothing done about the charter, said Parent, who served as a military search-and-rescue technician for three decades. Veterans already suffering financial hardship dont have time for a drawn-out review, Parent said. What we dont want to see is another long, extended review, he said, adding that the Veterans Affairs Department should use his report as a blueprint to make the required changes. Everything is there for them so, therefore, it could be expedited, Parent said. Fantino was not available for an interview Tuesday. He issued a statement saying the report was an important starting point for the upcoming review. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair accused the Conservatives of a double standard and said the shortfalls identified in Parents report are absolutely unacceptable. We have hundreds and hundreds of veterans who are simply not being taken care of by our government, Mulcair said Tuesday on Parliament Hill. This is the same government that talks about respecting our brave men and women in uniform. Lets do more than talk . . .

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-week low on U.S. fears; posts Q3 gain

Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images A new free market for medical marijuana in Canada will replace small growers with large-scale indoor farms. Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates. As Toronto’s Globe and Mail explains, a transition phase began Monday that will allow more price fluctuation and phase out home and small-scale production. “In its place, large indoor marijuana farms certified by the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and health inspectors will produce, package and distribute a range of standardized weed, all of it sold for whatever price the market will bear,” the newspaper reports. “The first sales are expected in the next few weeks, delivered directly by secure courier.” Large-scale growers have begun applying for licenses to produce marijuana; one Ontario company hopes to grow cannabis in an old Hershey chocolate plant, Reuters reported last week. At least two large growers have already received their licenses. The free market will likely establish a price of around $7.60 per gram of dried marijuana bud, according to “Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations” posted by Canada’s health department. (And if you’re wondering about that spelling, it follows a precedent set in Canada’s controlled substances law.) The health agency projects that the legal marijuana supply industry “could grow to more than $1.3 billion per year in annual sales” within 10 years. Officials say the illegal cannabis market “represents a multibillion dollar per year industry.” The Canadian government says the new plan will also reduce its own costs, on a website explaining some of the changes. “The current program costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year because the $5/gram charged to program participants who choose to purchase from Health Canada is heavily subsidized,” Health Canada says.

Women are especially hard hit when this happens.” “We are calling on Canadians to tell the world’s biggest producers and consumers of sugar -Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods – to act now to stamp out land grabs. Together these companies have a lot of influence and could change the way the industry does business,” she said. The global sugar trade is worth about $47 billion. The world produced 176 million tonnes of sugar last year. The food and drinks industry accounts for more half of it. Sugar production is predicted to increase by 25 per cent by 2020. Thirty one million hectares, an area the size of Italy, is already being used to grow our sugar, much of it in the developing world. Land grabs are big deals where local communities that rely on the land are evicted without consent or compensation. Oxfam’s “Behind the Brands” campaign says that the world’s ten biggest food and drink companies lack strong enough policies to stop land grabs and disputes from featuring in their supply chains. Oxfam has evidence of land grabs and conflicts in Brazil and other countries including: A fishing community in Pernambuco State, Brazil fighting for access to their land and fishing grounds, after having been violently evicted in 1998 by a sugar mill. The mill provides sugar to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Many of the families are now living in slums of the nearest town and struggling to make a living. In Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil indigenous communities are fighting the occupation of their land by sugar plantations supplying a mill owned by Bunge. Coca-Cola buys sugar from Bunge in Brazil but says it does not buy from this particular mill. The plantations have destroyed the forests that the people had relied upon for food.

Canada’s injured vets need immediate financial help, watchdog warns

The U.S. Congress, still in partisan deadlock on Monday over Republican efforts to halt President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, was on the verge of shutting down most of the U.S. government starting on Tuesday morning. “There is some nervousness as we approach the shutdown deadline, but there are no signs of panic yet,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver, adding that the Canadian market is viewing the debt crisis as a U.S. issue. “Investors believe that there will be a resolution to this problem,” he added. “It may not occur today or tomorrow, but it’s certainly what they’re hoping for.” The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 56.89 points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,787.19, after falling s low as 12,734.71, its lowest since Sept. 16. All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. For the third quarter, the TSX advanced 5.4 percent, compared with a 4.7 percent gain by the S&P 500. Helped by a rebound in appetite for commodities, the benchmark Canadian index has been regaining ground lost in the first half of the year. “I doubt if we’ve seen the highs for the year for the TSX,” Picardo said. “I still think there are more legs to the rally.” Tracking a drop in the price of oil, shares of energy producers shed 0.5 percent. In the group, Suncor Energy Inc was down 1.3 percent at C$36.83, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gave back 0.2 percent to C$32.37. Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, fell 0.6 percent.