Letters – Our readers write: August 2008
First, I love your magazine. I often see articles that I pass along to friends, but the article in this summer’s edition entitled “Local Farm to Local Food to Local Fuel” by Tim Shuff has me very excited.
Tony Maxwell’s article “Raising Cain” (summer ’08) was well written. However, he did not explain in detail why some environmental protection laws are dangerous to landowners.
The Endangered Species Act (and its federal counterpart, the Species at Risk Act) has a peculiar clause that may itself endanger listed species. Paragraph 9(1)(b) of the ESA forbids possession of listed species. Many of the species are not well-known and certainly hard to identify by the average person; how can a farmer know if he harbours a threatened, extirpated or endangered reptile, bird, shrub, mollusc, moss, vascular plant, mammal, amphibian, lichen, insect or fish? Do you “possess” a Swamp Rose-mallow, Rainbow Mussel or Pygmy Pocket Moss? It costs a year in jail and $250,000 to do so.
If you find such a living item on your property, will you risk punishment by protecting it?
Laws like the ESA authorize agents to enter property, outbuildings and vehicles without a warrant, to seek evidence of violations, despite the Canadian Constitution. The Mining Act allows anyone with a $25 prospector’s licence to enter your property without permission to cut down trees – something our local tree-cutting bylaw denies the landowner without government permission – and dig holes in the ground.
One may argue that the SARA, ESA, Clean Water Act, etc. will be applied only against those who flagrantly violate the law, but the legislation permits any government agent or even a neighbour with an axe to grind to prosecute the laws and cause serious pain to anyone. These laws are regressive and must be amended.
Charles Hooker, East Garafraxa
Oil system bypass
I look forward to reading your magazine every three months, especially any environment sections. I was a Cat heavy equipment mechanic for thirty years. Oil changes were required at 250-hour intervals for the heavy equipment and every 5,000 miles for cars. Then I found a company that informed me that they went 2,000 hours or yearly between oil changes by using an add-on bypass oil system.
The system comprises a remote canister with a filter cartridge that is changed every 250 hours. So this got my interest. I spent two years taking oil samples trying to prove it didn’t work. Every sample came back showing oil fit for further service, with an average oil extension of four times. I have installed smaller systems on my own vehicles, two VWs. For the last five years, my ’03 Jetta goes 60,000 km between changes. Just imagine if we all went even four times longer without buying oil, and without disposing of waste oil.
By the way, we have a bulk tank for fuel at our residence and we put any used cooking oil in there and burn it in our cars.
Richard Wright, Terra Nova
Local fuel goes urban
First, I love your magazine. I often see articles that I pass along to friends, but the article in this summer’s edition entitled “Local Farm to Local Food to Local Fuel” by Tim Shuff has me very excited. I intend to pass it along, in the hope that some people I know get interested and get on the bandwagon. Until I read the article, I was against biofuel, and very disappointed by how it seemed to be turning out.
Even though my position at the City of Toronto has (maybe) nothing to do with fuel, I’m going to forward the article to the energy and waste management staff in the facilities and real estate division, just in case they do not know of the Everpure Biodiesel Co-op and might be able to suggest the City of Toronto get in on this method of biofuel. I am also sure fleet management staff would be interested, since the city already has several hybrid cars and the city trucks use diesel. The thousands of local restaurants are an available source of used food oil.
Laurie Madigan, Facility Planner, City of Toronto
It was with great anticipation that I read the lovely story about our riding school (“Heads Up,” summer ’08). We sincerely thank you both for considering us in your beautiful magazine and for the time and work you put into the article. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome. I think you truly captured our philosophy.
Melanie Chin, Hockley Hills School of Horsemanship
In an attempt to clarify the location of letter-writer Bill Amos’s former Caledon farm (summer ’08), we made an error. His farm was located at The Grange Sideroad and Creditview Road.
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