Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

6 MORE QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on April 21, 2011

1. What will you do to ensure safe, secure, and affordable housing for all Canadians?

Between 150,000 and 300,000 Canadians do not have a home. 3,618 of those Canadians are homeless in Regina. More than 1.5 million households–or almost 13% of all households in Canada–live in ‘core housing need,’ meaning they can’t find a home that costs less than 30% of their household income, that has enough room for its occupants, and doesn’t need major repairs. In Regina, the percentage is even higher: 20%.

What the federal government can do to respond to the housing crisis: ●Support Bill C-304–an Act to ensure safe, secure, and affordable housing for all Canadians–when it is reintroduced in the next parliament ●Work with the provincial and municipal levels of government to develop a national housing strategy ●Maintain current annual funding of $1.7 billion for social housing ●Commit to long-term federal funding and engagement in housing and homelessness.

Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked.  Shelter the homeless.” –from the Corporal Acts of Mercy.   

2. Why do First Nations youth living on reserves not have an education equal to that of other Canadian children?

The federal government, which is responsible for education on reserves, pays between $2,000 and $3,000 less per student than provincial governments pay to educate all other students. Is it any wonder that the high school graduation rate for on-reserve schools in Saskatchewan is just 38%, as compared to 90.5% for schools in the provincial education system?

To address this funding inequality, the federal government can take the following measures: 1) Remove the 2% cap on funding increases for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs; 2) Index increases for First Nations programs to inflation and population growth, retroactive to 1996, the year the cap was introduced.

 When we open a door to a school, we close a door to a jail cell.” Shawn Atleo, Chief, Assembly of First Nations

3. Where do you stand on “tough on crime” legislation?

Reality Check:

  • Crime in Canada began to decline in 1991, long before Stephen Harper’s government began to introduce “tough on crime” legislation.
  • According to Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, the legislation will more than double the annual spending on the country’s prisons.
  • In March, Stephen Harper’s government was found guilty of being in contempt of parliament for refusing to release detailed cost estimates of its “tough on crime” agenda.
  • If even half of the $4.4 billion Canada currently spends annually on imprisoning people were to be invested in education, healthcare, and affordable housing, all Canadians would benefit enormously.

Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zooobedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.” –Angela Davis

4. Will your party push for long-term, predictable, and sustainable funding for public transit?

●Public transit reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 million tones. ●Transit saves about $115 million in annual healthcare costs related to respiratory illness ●Transit reduces vehicle operating costs for Canadian households by about $5 billion.

Concern for the environment, along with sky-rocketing gas prices has caused a surge in demand for public transportation. Increased funding is needed to expand and renew transit systems. Canada also needs a national transit policy, involving all three levels of government. We remain the only G8 nation without a central policy of predictable, long-term support for public transit.

  “Transit is hip, it’s healthier, and it’s no hassle.” David Suzuki

5. Why is the war in Afghanistan not an election issue?

9: Number of years Canadians have been fighting in Afghanistan. It is already the longest war Canadians have ever engaged in.

155: Number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

10,000: Estimated number of Afghan civilians who have died in the war, more than half of them as a direct result of US-led NATO  military action.

2014: The year NATO has set to end the war, and even this is not a firm deadline.

18.5: The amount in billions of dollars that Canada will have spent on the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2011. This is money that could have been spent on healthcare, education, and affordable housing. How many more of our tax dollars will be spent on this war?

 You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb the world to peace.” –Michael Franti

6. Do you support bringing nuclear waste from Ontario to Saskatchewan?

Despite claims to the contrary, nuclear power is not safe. There have been 33 serious incidents and accidents at nuclear power stations. The worst accident to date is the April 26 1986 explosion of a reactor at Chernobyl, which released 400 times more radiation than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Now, 25 years after Chernobyl, the nuclear disaster continues at Fukushima, with much of the radioactive contamination threatening Japan coming from uranium mined in Saskatchewan.

Even if nuclear accidents could somehow be eliminated, the stubborn problem of nuclear waste would remain. Nuclear reactors produce ever-accumulating radioactive wastes as spent fuel that will have to be managed for millennia–essentially forever. No safe and secure system of permanently storing nuclear wastes has been created.  

In 2009, Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization began targeting Saskatchewan as a possible site for the burial of Ontario’s nuclear waste. No containers exist that can last as long as the radioactive materials they would have to encase.  Moreover, to transport the amount of waste already accumu-lated (about 45,000 tonnes) would require thousands of truckloads over several decades, with the deadly wastes being conveyed past farms, towns and cities.  

 What about investing in renewable energy and leaving the toxic uranium in the ground?Jim Harding

THE ELM DANCE AND PUBLIC VIGIL

TO COMMEMORATE 25 YEARS SINCE THE CHERNOBYL DISASTER

Monday April 25, 4 pm

Legislative Building Lawn

The Elm Dance took form in Germany in the 1980s, and in the 1990s moved eastward to areas poisoned by the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. There, and especially in Novozybkov, the most contaminated of inhabited cities, the dance became an expression of the will to live. This simple beautiful dance has now spread around the planet as people gather to work together for the healing of the world.

Sponsored by Sacred Web SK, Making Peace Vigil, & Clean Green Saskatchewan

For more information, call 550-7023

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