Monday, March 23, 2015

Disability Advocacy in Easter Seals Thrive!

I am thrilled to share that Easter Seals has asked me to participate in Thrive, the charity's mentorship program, which helps young women with disabilities navigate issues in their transition into adulthood!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Posturing #RaceTogether Kicks Itself

Starbucks presently has a corporate social responsibility campaign that is supposed to get baristas to talk about race to their customers.

The hashtag is #RaceTogether and loads of people are using it on Twitter to call out the inequities within the company and express disgust that lecturing is the goal here instead of making changes to corporate social issues. It's the definition of a PR nightmare and, as a socially conscious person trained in public relations, I am dumbfounded that people thought this was a good idea.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How Does Health Canada License Natural Health Products?

This CBC Marketplace story reveals that Health Canada's review process for natural health product applications is scientifically insufficient. A Health Canada license implies scientific credibility and I am very concerned that natural drug company claims can deceive consumers. Over-the-counter natural health products should undergo the same review process as pharmaceuticals.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The r-word is hate speech in EVERY case

I'm really frustrated that so many people are okay with the word "Retarded," which its defenders so ironically guard tightly as if it belongs to them (It doesn't). A word that those awful PC people are trying to take away from them.

It's common that r-proponents troll those who condemn the word, by calling them "retarded," for example. You know, because that is so clever and rubbing perceived discrimination in someone's face is hilarious and proves that you are actually tolerant and logical.

Some r-users become defensive when criticized, merely because they understand the personal ramifications of an unjust negative perception and seek to avoid them. Another irony alert. What do you think the disability community and their allies are trying to do? Do you think your voice counts more? Do you think you are the one being oppressed because people are challenging you?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Protect the bees from pesticides in Ontario!

Bee on aster - nutmeg 66 / Flickr Creative Commons
I've been reading about the decline of bee populations for a while and it really alarms me because *about 75 per cent of our food requires bee pollination.

My province, Ontario, is planning to take steps to restrict the use of neonicotinoids, the pesticides that have been linked to mass bee deaths, but we're not out of the woods yet. 

I decided to write an email.

Subject: Protect the bees. Limit the use of neonics
To: The Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
CC: Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (Independent watchdog)

Dear Minister Leal,

I was relieved to read that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is set to limit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to mass bee deaths and thus pose a significant risk to our bee-dependent agriculture. I applaud the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario's recommendations that Ontario take action

It is my understanding that the pesticide industry and agriculture lobbyists can have a high influence on public opinion and government policy. Like many other Ontarians, I am concerned about the health and safety of our food system, so I am writing to you to ask you to resist a pesticide lobby. 

Please make Ontario a North American leader in bee protection by limiting or even banning neonicotinoids. I have posted this letter to my blog and I will do the same for any responses.


Ashley Ashbee
Communications Professional | Blogger | Advocate

Learn more about the Ontario Government's plans and research about the impact of neonicotinoids.

*From the David Suzuki Foundation. Join the campaign!
Send your own message through Sum of Us

UPDATE: The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs sent me a response letter from Minister Leal on his behalf. He explained that he understood and shared my concerns, detailed the risks of neonicotinoids and described the provincial government's proposal for a Pollinator Action Plan. Please let me know if you require a transcription to read it.