In this issue: Jenn Hardy’s cover story on the new generation of farmers using the principles of permaculture to radically reshape our food system. Dawn Paley writes from the Cauca Valley, Colombia, about the plight of sugar-plantation workers there, and the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that threatens their already tenuous working conditions. Morgan Dunlop’s feature on modern church sanctuary tells the story of three Canadian church congregations who took in refugees whom Immigration Canada wanted deported, and the larger fight for a more just and humane refugee system in this country.
There’s more: Paul McLaughlin interviews Gordon Graff, the archictecture student who proposes a 59-storey “SkyFarm” for downtown Toronto, which he says could feed 40,000 people; Craig Saunders finds that Environment Canada appears to be muzzling its own researchers; Adel Iskandar asks the CRTC to finally bring Al Jazeera to Canadian airwaves; Veronica Islas parties with Ottawa’s Gay Guerilla Takeover; Andrea McDowell has strong feelings about Wind Turbine Syndrome; Nick Taylor-Vaisey surveys the recession’s effects on Canadian arts and culture; Elaisha Stokes sends a postcard from Lusaka, Zambia, about new anti-smoking laws that have locals lighting up in strange places; Bruce M. Hicks finds the Green Party of Canada skewing electoral strategies for every party, left and right; books columnist Darryl Whetter on creative-writing masters degrees; Dorothy Woodend on exploitation, documentary, and Jackass; Sean Michaels profiles the “conceptual comedy” duo Life of a Craphead; Navneet Alang’s chronicles emergent forms of “real-time citizenship” on the web; and returning economics columnist Ellen Russell dismantles the rhetoric around so-called “big government.”
PLUS: a new short story by Elisabeth de Mariaffi; new poems by Kathryn Mockler; Erica Butler on urban chickens; Rosemary Counter on electronic cigarettes; Anna Bowen on what stimulus dollars are buying; editor Graham F. Scott on applying Canadian law abroad; Graham Lanktree on electronic musician Tim Hecker; Terese Saplys on Nicole Brossard’s latest novel, Fences in Breathing; and an expanded letters section with your feedback on our May-June cover story on nuclear power.