Maude Barlow in Kelowna (Dec 2007)

On the front cover is Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and Bob Ages, treasurer, enjoying the presentation Troops out of Afghanistan along with approximately 200 people, including the Raging Grannies of Kelowna, on Saturday, October 27. Maude learned early in life to empower herself, and now she is empowering many people to speak clearly to our government about our rights.

I drove to Kelowna on Friday, October 26, to listen to her speak and joined a conference room filled with social justice activists from across Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is great and important that she travels around the world exposing the secrecy of the World Bank/WTO and multi-national corporations.

I was delighted Maude’s group chose Kelowna as the site for their 22nd annual AGM. Maude was joined by Wenona Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch in Washington, DC and Claudia Campero Arena, founding member of COMDA (the Mexican Committee for the Defense of Water Rights). They took turns explaining the harmful effects of continental integration on water and the environment. Wenona spent extra time giving examples of how President Bush’s deregulation policies are affecting the food they ship to Canada. She had lists of toxic chemicals and the irradiation used to preserve food so that when it arrives it is considered “safe” for us to eat.

Towards the end of the evening, Maude answered questions about the SPP, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, and the negative impacts of this proposed deal, so that we can develop strategies for resistance. Maude believes the SPP is a threat to our environment, our civil liberties and our social programs, and she is making sure it does not move ahead without public discussion or parliamentary debate. Maude also told us how North America’s richest corporations would like us to believe that it is in our best interest to trust them and become locked into an undemocratic move towards continental economic and social integration that is aimed at establishing common policies between Canada, the United States and Mexico. The 300 policy areas include Energy, Security, Food and Health Standards, Foreign Affairs, the Military and Immigration.

The sole advisory body to the SPP process is the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), an elite body of 33 corporate giants, comprised of ten from each country with three extra from the US. For regular updates about what is happening with the SPP, please visit www.integratethis.ca or www.canadians.org.

After the meeting, Maude autographed her new book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, which outlines a bold new solution to address the water crisis threatening Canada and the world. Details about the book are on page 22 and an article about Maude on page 08.

For me, life is exciting as we turn the corner to 2008 … only four years left before 2012. With the vortex of change rapidly approaching, this energy will force us to get off the fence or get sucked into the mechanized world where corporations rule. Movie series like The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings and even Harry Potter hint at the coming upheavals of duality, a reflection of what “Oneness” means.

Either an internal connection to the Divine and our knowingness of what feels right, or the external control of logic as the “One World Government” tells us what we can and cannot do. This yin/yang shift of energy shift-shapes as each one of us inputs our thoughts, feelings and actions into the giant computer database in the ethers. It is important that each of us becomes aware of how we spend the life force that we are graced with when we are born. We do make a difference and we must become the change we wish to see in the world.

Many movies today depict similar scenarios with the same message. I believe we are given choices to make in life about how to use this power, and that we need to use our will power to make good, clear choices about love and loyalty so that we can overcome the monster (corporations) we have created through our ignorance or innocence. We have been trained by society and by our school system to be seen and not heard, to use the logical brain and succeed above all else.

Now is the time to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway,’ to be seen and heard, to become conscious of our ability to shape our future or die doing it, only to be born again with the energy of our presence still intact. The opportunities we are given today represent many lifetimes with many choices, often called Karma. With so many good books, people and organizations around to help the shift happen in a way that does not infringe on our free will, I encourage you to get involved and support people like Maude and the Council of Canadians. The choice is yours.

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