Five Foot Square Brewery

Happy news from Wales where they have the common sense to allow tiny batch breweries to exist – the smallest in the world in a former outhouse has just reopened. Practically impossible in Canada where a whacking excise fee has to be paid unless you fall into section 172(1) of the Excise Act:

172. (1) Notwithstanding sections 170 and 171, the duties of excise thereby imposed shall not be levied or collected on beer that is made or brewed by any person for personal or family consumption or to be given away without charge and that is not for sale or commercial use.

Notice that “not for charge” but still “commercial use” nonetheless requires the whacking fee – pubs couldn’t even give it away. Then, under section 3(1) of the Brewery Regulations [C.R.C., c. 565] you have to phone the government up when you do your job:

3. (1) A brewer shall establish a production day in respect of the brewer’s brewery and shall, in writing, notify the appropriate superior officer of the time of commencement and the duration of the production day.

and then pony up:

5. The excise duty on beer shall be charged and computed on the quantities of beer produced during each production day…

All to stop the madness of Canadian pubs making 9 gallons of real ale every two weeks in an outhouse. Thanks government.

The Barachois is Claimed!

I used to live a walk from the sand bar – or barachois in Acadian French – near North Rustico, PEI which is now being claimed by someone as ownable land. Funny until you remember the bit that is not covered by the tides twice a day is a nesting site for rare plovers. Thank God we can rest easy knowing the top guns are on the case:

Lewie Creed is the deputy minister and says something will be done, he just hasn’t decided yet what that will be.

Beautiful. I have found this handy map and I think the area in question is that identified as “Dune Bar” above Anglo Rustico – that is the bit known locally as the barachois.

It is interesting to note the absence of South Rustico on the map as well as Rusticoville (not to mention Rustico Cross but we won’t get into that one) and the Hunter River is known as the Clyde River at that point of the flow. Hence the name Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group. Hunter River PEI and Hunter Valley Australia, home of plumy reasonably priced red wines, share a common history in that the same group settled each area and one named itself after the other (but I can’t recall which way it went).

Permission Denied

While I am not clear in myself as to what Canada should have done in relation to Iraq, I can’t recall ever being so clear as when I understood what was happening in Rwanda and how democracies, the world community, whoever was at the wheel failed. Canadian General Romeo Dallaire is testifying this week at United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. I do not think I will ever forget the CBC radio piece on Rwanda in 1994 when he was interviewed and described walking into a stadium where children had been butchered wondering why he was walking on sausages when he realized they were all little severed fingers. 800,000 people died there just ten years ago in a few weeks to people with only rifles and machetes. Yesterday, he identified the accused who gave the orders:

Dallaire, who led the ill-fated 1994 United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, rose to his feet, glanced around, then fixed an icy glare on his former nemesis. “He’s on the extreme right, in the last row,” Dallaire said, pointing at Theoneste Bagosora…

…Today Dallaire is expected to testify about the secret informant who warned in January, 1994, that death squads were compiling lists and training to kill thousands of people a day. When Dallaire told U.N. headquarters in New York he planned to raid the arms caches of the death squads, he was told not to take any military action, that he had to remain neutral.

They told him not to act on a plan.   I can’t get around the numbers. 267 World Trade Centres. Downstream in Burundi, the river was red with human blood and parts. Then you remember fifteen years before that two and a half times that many died in Cambodia.