10 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CANADA AND CANADIANS
To make the world a better place for all of us who dwell here
WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO
# 1 Bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan now.
Since 2001, Afghanistan has been a killing field for 134 Canadian soldiers, over 1,400 other coalition soldiers, around 6,000 Afghan forces, and at least 12,000 Afghan civilians. Promised development is not taking place. There is no hope for a military solution in Afghanistan.
# 2 Lift the 2% cap on funding increases for First Nations education.
Education at all levels is a First Nations treaty right. Since 1996, a 2% growth cap on funding increases has been in place for First Nations education. As a result ●First Nations children who attend school on reserves receive 30% less funding for education than other Canadian children ●Only 20 of Saskatchewan’s 142 on-reserve schools are in good condition ●2,100 First Nations students in Saskatchewan were denied post-secondary education grants between 2005 and 2008.
# 3 Set serious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and develop a plan for meeting them.
Canada has one of the world’s worst climate action records. We rank 1st among G8 nations for increasing greenhouse gas emissions. We rank 10th in the world in per capita emissions: 17.4 tonnes per person, as compared, say, to China’s 4.6 or India’s 1.2 tonnes. Vehicles are Canada’s single largest source of emissions, while tar sands development is our fastest growing source of emissions. To protect the tar sands from being adversely effected by climate change policy, Canada engaged in obstructionist tactics at the recent climate change summit in Copenhagen. These tactics helped put the world on a path to catastrophic global warming.
# 4 Eliminate child poverty.
Twenty years ago, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate child poverty in Canada. Today, the child poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1989: 15%. In Saskatchewan, the rate is even higher: 17%. That’s 35,000 children living in poverty. One-third of poor children in Saskatchewan live in families with full-time, full-year employment. Saskatchewan has the third highest provincial child poverty rate. Only British Columbia and Manitoba are higher.
# 5 Ensure that all Canadians have access to adequate housing.
Between 2006 and 2008, the number of homeless shelter users in Regina rose by 30%. In 2009, an average of 345 people slept in homeless shelters every night in Regina. These statistics do not include the large number of people sleeping in parks, doorways, stairwells, tents, trailers, garages, and unsanitary overcrowded basements. Skyrocketing rents, low vacancy rates, condo conversions, and substandard rental units have all contributed to a housing crisis in Regina.
WHAT YOU AND I CAN DO
# 6 We can contact our MPs, MLAs, and City Councillors about these and other issues.
# 7 We can live cleaner and greener to preserve the earth for those who follow.
# 8 We can speak out against injustice, be it social, political, economic, or environmental.
# 9 We can work for peace in small ways everyday: at home, in the neighbourhood, in the city, the province, the country, and the world.
#10 We can join with others in Canada and around the world, in organizations, political parties, and citizens’ movements, to work toward peace and justice.
The Making Peace Vigil wishes you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
We look forward in the hope that one day soon
PEACE WILL BREAK OUT
AND JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL
MAKING PEACE VIGIL December 31 2009