Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

PROVINCIAL ELECTION: 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on March 1, 2016

  1. Will your party stop squandering taxpayers’ money on the Boundary Dam carbon capture facility?

$1.5 billion has already been spent on this project and it doesn’t work.

  • It has only been able to achieve its target of capturing 90% of emissions for very short periods.
  • 55% of the time it doesn’t work at all.

And because it doesn’t work, SaskPower has had to pay Cenovus Energy $12 million in penalties for failing to deliver the agreed-upon quantity of carbon dioxide. That’s our money too!

But even if it did work, the Boundary Dam project would still be a boondoggle. Its purpose is to green-wash the coal and oil industries by ►capturing 90% of the CO2 emissions from the coal-fueled Boundary Dam Power Plant and ►piping it in compressed form to Cenovus’s Weyburn oil field to be used to increase the amount of crude that can be removed.

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, 75% of fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground, say leading scientists.

  1. Will you speak out against the Energy East pipeline?

TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline cuts right through Regina in the Harbour Landing area. The pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil a day.

PROBLEMS

  • TransCanada has a poor safety record. Its first Keystone pipeline, built in 2010, had 12 spills in its first year of operation.
  • Energy East is also an environmental hazard. Its purpose is to expand Canadian tar sands production—the main cause of increasing carbon emissions in Canada.
  • At the December 2015 Paris climate conference, Canada promised to cut carbon emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Climate leadership means saying ‘no’ to tar sands pipelines and ‘yes’ to developing a sustainable green economy.

  1. How does your party intend to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Many of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission include provincial governments in the calls to action. Here are three of them:

#1: Reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care.

#30: Eliminate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody.

#43: Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

All Canadians must make a firm and lasting commitment to reconciliation to ensure that Canada is a country where our children and grandchildren can thrive.”—TRC 364

  1. Where does your party stand on prison privatization?

As part of its prison privatization scheme, in 2015 the Wall government privatized prison food services, contracting out meal preparation to Compass Group, a for-profit, multi-national corporation. Now meals for Saskatchewan’s prison population are prepared in Alberta and trucked in frozen.

Since food privatization took effect, prisoners at Regina’s Correctional Centre have gone on four hunger strikes, citing concerns about food quality and quantity.

CHARTER RIGHT

Adequate food of reasonable quality is a Charter right, under section 12, banning cruel and unusual punishment.

REHABILITATION

Nutritious food is an essential part of prisoner rehabilitation and brings lasting benefits to prisoners and society.

COLONIAL SETTLER SOCIETY POLICIES

The privatization of prison food services must also be seen in its particular cultural and historical context:

  1. The demographics of Saskatchewan’s prison population = 80% – 90% Indigenous.
  2. Its relationship to other colonial settler society polices using food to weaken and control Indigenous peoples: ►John A. Macdonald’s starvation policy, implemented in 1878, to force Indigenous peoples into submission ►inadequate diets at residential schools that undermined the health of generations of Indigenous children.
  3. The call of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for re-conciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

PREMIER BRAD WALL’S COLONIAL MINDSET

Brad Wall’s response to the prisoners’ concerns? “If you really don’t like the prison food, there’s one way to avoid it, and that’s don’t go to prison.” Wall would be well-advised to read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

  1. If elected, will your party ban the police practice of carding?

Carding—also known as street checks—is the police practice of randomly stopping people for questioning when there is no reason to do so.

The “card” in carding refers to the contact cards police create on individuals they stop. The information on these cards gets entered in a police data base where it stays indefinitely.

PROBLEMS

  • Statistics show that so-called “random” stops always end up targeting racialized and marginalized people. In Regina, the practice is an excuse for harassing Indigenous people.
  • The information on the data base becomes the basis for further police harassment.

 

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