Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

10 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CANADA AND CANADIANS

Posted by strattof on January 2, 2011

To make the world a better place for all of us who dwell here

WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO

#1    Bring our troops home from Afghanistan now.

At nine years and counting, Afghanistan is the longest war Canadians have ever engaged in. 154 Canadian soldiers have already died. 2,949 Canadian Afghan war veterans are currently receiving disability benefits. So far, the war in Afghanistan has cost the Canadian taxpayer $22 billion.

# 2   Provide proper funding for First Nations education.

For First Nations, education is a Treaty right. Under Treaty 4, which covers most of southern Saskatchewan, First Nations were promised a school on each reserve. Instead, the government implemented the genocidal residential school system. Today, children who attend schools on reserves receive 30% less funding than other Canadian children. Funding per student at First Nations University is also less than at other universities.

#3    Stop building prisons.

Crime rates in Canada have been dropping since the 1990s. Why, then, has the federal government initiated “tough on crime” legislation–laws that will make more Canadians spend more time in prison? The average annual cost of incarcerating a single offender in a federal prison is $100,000. That figure does not include the estimated $9 billion it will cost to build new prisons for the growing prison population. If even half of that money was invested in education and affordable housing, all Canadians would benefit enormously.

#4    Ensure all Canadians have access to adequate housing.

The vacancy rate for rental housing in Regina continues to stay below 1%. Between 2006 and 2009, rents increased by 40%.  Those who could afford to rent a reasonable place to live can no longer do so. In 2009, 3618 individuals slept in homeless shelters in Regina.  That homelessness exists in our affluent society is scandalous.

While City Hall cannot solve all of Regina’s housing problems, it can take measures that will go some way to addressing the current housing crisis. For example, it can pass rent control and landlord licensing laws. It can also deny applications for condo conversions and require developers to include affordable housing in their plans.

#5    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 Cancun. These tactics led to Canada being dishonoured with the Fossil of the Year award. They also helped put the world on a path to catastrophic global warming.

WHAT YOU AND I CAN DO

#6    We can contact our MPs, MLAs, and City Councillors about these and other issues.

#7    We can USE LESS STUFF. In other words, we can resist massacring the earth through thoughtless and pointless consumerism.

#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 towards 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

 

 

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