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17 March 2009

28 February was the 28th day of the eighth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility.

28 February 2009

Dr William Overall, National Director of the Global Country of World Peace in Canada, presented highlights of news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the large Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

Extensive scientific research has documented the Maharishi Effect of rising coherence, harmony, and peace created in the collective consciousness of a nation by large groups of Yogic Flyers. The effect has been found to extend beyond national borders when the group is of sufficient size.

Following are press reports featured in Dr Overall's presentation:

The National Post - Toronto school board thinks outside the box (28 February 2009) At the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), a movement is growing for new alternative or specialty schools, and they have a fan in the board's new director of education. Dr Christopher Spence, introduced at a press conference this week, told reporters that specialty schools help retain and attract students. He touted the success of the 'programs of choice' instituted under his watch as director of education in the Hamilton public board, adding, 'I think that's the wave of the future.' The board distinguishes between alternative schools and specialized programmes. The board currently offers nine arts-focused programmes, six sports programmes, and 11 programmes that focus on technology, math, or science. In addition, 37 alternative schools take different educational approaches. Three alternative schools open for the first time in September: the holistic Whole Child School, the Africentric Alternative School and the da Vinci school, which puts as much emphasis on physical education and art as on traditional subjects such as math and science. There are likely more to come. Alternative schools focus more on the way in which the curriculum is presented. Inglenook Community High School, for instance, creates what it calls a 'family-like atmosphere' and uses community assets, including art galleries and museums, to stimulate students. The Downtown Alternative School developed a strategy of conflict resolution called 'peacemaking' that it instills in its Kindergarten to Grade 6 students. Schools of this sort are open to all students of appropriate age across the board. Though they usually have student-to-teacher ratios comparable to regular schools, the overall student populations rarely exceed 200, and in some cases are lower than 50. This allows teaching staff to better acquaint themselves with students, not always possible in larger community schools. Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, noted that alternative and specialized programmes give parents an important voice in education. 'I believe strongly that parents should have the right to seek out whatever education they feel is most appropriate for their children,' he said.

The Globe and Mail on survey of parents of students in Toronto schools (28 February 2009) Almost all parents in Toronto dream of sending their child to university, according to a voluntary survey last spring of 95,000 parents with children in classes from junior kindergarten to Grade 6. Clear messages of hope rang through. Ninety per cent of parents said they want their child to go to university and a vast majority of parents said their youngster feels welcome and safe at school. 'One of the findings here that is very stark is that 95 per cent of parents have exceedingly high expectations,' Toronto District School Board chairman John Campbell said. 'It's critical that all of our teachers and principals and vice-principals have the same high expectations for their students.' The survey also found eighty per cent of pupils have one or both parents born outside of Canada and that the 43 per cent of pupils who did not learn English as a first language actually recorded better pass rates than their English-only classmates.

The Canadian Press - Federal government remained in surplus through December (27 February 2009) The federal government still managed to remain in surplus at the end of 2008. The Finance Department says December produced a C$200 million surplus. That allowed Ottawa to remain in the black by C$500 million for the first nine months of its current financial year, which ends 31 March. Offsetting higher spending were C$1.2 billion in savings as a result of lower interest rates, which brought down debt charges.

The Canadian Press - Feds unveil $3-billion stimulus stash (26 February 2009) The federal government has announced plans for a C$3 billion emergency fund so it can begin pumping out economic-stimulus money in just over a month. The one-time only special fund is designed to get cash flowing to projects far sooner than June, when the budget's supplementary estimates would normally be adopted by Parliament. The money could start flowing by April if the fund receives parliamentary approval.

The Montreal Gazette - City borrowing $12 million to buy more green space (28 February 2009) Conservation groups welcomed news that Montreal's executive committee approved borrowing C$12 million to buy and protect more ecologically sensitive lands within the city. Alan DeSousa, the committee member responsible for green space, said the city has managed to preserve 5 per cent of its territory, but needs to buy more land to meet the six per cent goal in its natural spaces protection policy adopted in 2004. He said that goal should be met this year.

The Canadian Press - B.C. environmentalists welcome moves to protect caribou (28 February 2009) The British Columbia Environment Ministry said it would take measures to limit disturbances to caribou in a large portion of the province's mountainous backcountry. BC's Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan puts more than 20,000 square kilometres off limits for logging and road building. It also means 10,000 square kilometres of alpine caribou habitat will be out of reach for snowmobilers in the BC Interior. The goal is to restore the mountain caribou population to the pre-1995 level of 2,500 animals throughout their range in BC. There are now about 1,200 to 1,400 mountain caribou. Mountain caribou in BC are the world's southernmost population of the animals and the only remaining population that lives in rugged, mountainous terrain. Mountain caribou are 'red listed' in BC, meaning they're endangered or threatened. It is illegal to kill any endangered species, including mountain caribou.

The Toronto Star - Earth Hour's bright lead-up (28 February 2009) In exactly one month (28 March, 8:30 p.m.), for exactly one hour, Toronto and cities around the world will turn off the lights to raise global awareness of climate change. It is a purely symbolic gesture, as easy as the flick of 5.8 million switches—the number of light bulbs Torontonians are estimated to have turned off last year. But if Earth Hour lacks a practical solution to climate change, it compensates with sheer numbers. ' . . . for a one-hour event with the scope and scale we're tying to reach, there's nothing I can think of that would compare,' says Tara Wood, of World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour's organizers. Last year, the first time Earth Hour went global, 35 countries participated. Toronto was supposed to be Canada's only participant. Before they knew it, WWF Canada organizers were quarterbacking a 200-city effort. 'It became a national phenomenon that we could barely keep up with,' Wood said. Toronto reported a drop of 8.7 per cent in energy consumption—enough to power 150,000 homes. This time around, buoyed by last year's results, organizers are reaching for a billion participants in 1,000 cities worldwide. There is reason to believe they will reach their goal. With a month to go, 538 cities in 75 countries have pledged to participate. Vast swaths of Europe have signed on for the first time. South Africa and Kenya are the first African countries to join in. India and China, with a combined population of almost 2.5 billion, will also participate. Canada is leading the way. 'We've actually already got 100 cities signed up, so in terms of our global goal, we're already 10 per cent there in Canada,' Wood said.

The Globe and Mail - Proposed law would enshrine native rights and land title (28 February 2009) British Columbia is poised to introduce an unprecedented law that will recreate the economic interdependence that once existed between early colonists and aboriginal populations, a top native leader said. On Friday, the First Nations Leadership Council distributed to the 203 native bands in BC a discussion paper that would form the basis of the proposed Recognition Act. 'It's unprecedented—there is nowhere in Canada that has legislative recognition of the land rights of the First Nations people,' said Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. The proposed legislation would formally recognize aboriginal rights and title, and it would map out the terms for shared decision-making over lands and resources. Most of the province remains subject to unsettled land claims, leading to frequent land-use conflicts and litigation. The law will establish that it will not affect the status of existing interests or tenures in land and resources that have already be granted by the province, nor override federal jurisdictions. The proposed law would 'recognize that Aboriginal rights and title exist in British Columbia throughout the territory of each Indigenous Nation that is the proper title and rights holder, without requirement of proof or strength of claim,' the document says. It includes a proposal to recreate 30 indigenous governments across the province. The new law would amend the BC Constitution Act to allow for the creation of a Council of Indigenous Nations. If that organization can't be assembled, however, the law includes options for decision-making based on the existing band structure. 'I have been involved in this for 35 years and we have never been at this point, on the doorstep of bringing forward recognition legislation,' Grand Chief Phillip said. 'There are many leaders that went before us that worked for this to come about, there is a great sense of history to what is going on here.'

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