No one would imagine that many of the rights and privileges we take for granted as citizens could be taken away without us knowing about it – BUT THEY WERE. One inconspicuous business law made it possible for Sharia Law and laws from other countries and groups to be used in Ontario, instead of the official Family Law Act. This new law gave power to groups to arbitrate in family disputes as THEY determined, and it greatly diminished our civil rights. Most people didn’t know anything about it and those who did, didn’t see how it eroded our freedoms – except for a few passionate advocates who saw the injustice of this bad law. At great personal expense, they fought ignorance, denial, political posturing, disinformation and the entire Government – just because it was right. Robert Simpson and Homa Arjimond fought “City Hall and won”. They are forerunners…and this is their story.
There is a pandemic killing 5 million people every year – no, it’s not AIDs, nor is it famine – it’s smoking related diseases. It’s shocking that governments have done so little about it – it could be because of the lies and deception of the tobacco industry itself. Garfield Mahood has been fighting ignorance and lies and promoting non-smokers’ rights for 30 years. Garfield Mahood is a forerunner…and this is his story.
Albert and Dulia Roes built their 2000 sq ft Cordwood home in 1996 for just over $50,000. Cordwood homes are inexpensive to build and operate and they are an excellent housing solution for people who want to own their own home, become mortgage free and start living their dreams now. They look good too!
For more information about Cordwood homes check out the 28 minute radio interview with Albert Roes in a previous blog post.
It was a crazy idea at the time, but not for those who could ‘see’ it in their mind’s eye. For 4 visionaries from Cambridge, Ontario, the idea of making a theatre and films 3 times the size to bring the viewer into the film and give them the experience of being there, was already real – all they had to do was build it and the people would come – and come they did! IMAX now has more than 400 theatres world-wide – but it wasn’t easy. Robert Kerr and Graeme Ferguson are forerunners…and this is their story.
It started out as just a wild idea, but he was encouraged to pursue it. Mark Yantzi wrestled with the idea of “loving his enemies” and that eventually led him to what he called, ‘restorative justice’. Today, his ideas have been incorporated into the laws of Canada and adopted by many countries around the world as a tool for all the parties in a crime to find healing and to resolve conflict. Mark and his associates are forerunners…and this is their story.
The Darien Gap is one of most primitive, unspoiled and resource rich regions in the world, but its people are in extreme poverty. The “Gap” is a literal wilderness barrier between Columbia and Panama that is the home of revolutionaries, poachers, drug runners, illegal loggers and the Embera–Wounaan 1st nation. Brinkman and Associates is partnering with these people in an innovative plan to manage their forest sustainably and build their communities. Brinkman Associates (Central America) are forerunners…and this is their story.
In the early years, Liz Marshall was fascinated with acting, then photography, and then she discovered film as her way of giving voice to other activists. She is now the director of many outstanding films which educate, inform and inspire people to make a difference. Her most recent work is “Water on the Table”, a landmark film about the right of everyone to clean water. Liz Marshall is an activist, a film maker and a forerunner….and this is her story.
On a trip to Malawi Africa, Dale and Linda Bolton were challenged with the aids pandemic and the orphans it was creating. 40 million children had no parents and many were under-nourished and sick and some were homeless. Dale and Linda’s journey of discovery began with a world-sized problem and a one-person-sized solution, but they continued to search for ways to increase their impact – finally they found an answer. Dale and Linda Bolton are forerunners…and this is their story.
After the war, Ira Needles wanted to help his community and Canada remain competitive by training 150,000 engineers. To do that, he would have to do what no one else had ever done – he innovated and improved on an existing idea that would vault him and his new school onto a world stage. It, in turn, has become the hub of innovation and technological foresight. Today, what he accomplished is still benefiting his community and most of Canada. Ira Needles is a forerunner…and this is his story.
It isn’t easy being a forerunner. It usually means that you are out ahead of the pack which can attract some attention. For Murray Bast, in the early 80s, it meant ridicule, opposition and suspicion about his organic approach to farming. The huge agricultural companies promoting chemical farming had all the attention, money and credibility. People took one look at Murray and accused him of being a lunatic. He was just one guy against the giants AND public opinion. He had no slick advertising campaigns and the media didn’t give him the time of day. All he had were countless examples of results of no harmful side effects that supported his claim that natural farming was better and safer. There were times when he felt like giving up because it wasn’t easy being one of the few forerunners in organic agriculture 30 years ago, but his discoveries, methods and products have become the foundation for organic farming world-wide. Murray Bast is a forerunner…and this is his story.