Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

SASKATCHEWAN ELECTION SPECIAL: 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on April 2, 2016

  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 Indigenous children in care.

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

#62: Make teaching about residential schools and Indigenous history mandatory in the public education system, K – 12.

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. Does your party think prairie pastures should remain in public hands?

BACKGROUND

1935: In order to stop soil erosion, the federal government established the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) Community Pasture Program. This program gave protection to .7 million acres of community pasture land in Manitoba and 1.8 million acres in Saskatchewan, rehabilitating them from near desert conditions to natural grassland.

2012: The Harper government cancelled this program and transferred the management of the PFRA pasture lands to provincial authorities.

TODAY

Manitoba has committed to keeping the land under public ownership. Saskatchewan may choose to privatize the land. 

WHAT IS AT STAKE?

  • First Nations and Métis sacred and ceremonial sites
  • The livelihood of small ranchers who use the pastures for grazing
  • The prairie grasslands themselves
  • The survival of many plant and animal species, including song birds that rely on the grasslands during migration
  1. What are your party’s plans to expand quality affordable rental housing?

Rents in Saskatchewan doubled between 2006 and 2014. They are still increasing.

As a result:

  • Our province has a growing population of homeless people.
  • Many Saskatchewan residents have to choose between paying the rent and buying food.

Buying homeless people a one-way bus ticket to Vancouver is not an acceptable remedy for homelessness. What we need are more truly affordable (social) rental housing units!

  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 in order to collect information.

PROBLEMS

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

Because of these problems, Ontario is banning carding.

  1. What action will your party take on climate change?

At the 2015 Paris climate conference, Canada pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Will Saskatchewan do its part to help Canada keep this promise?

  • Saskatchewan has the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
  • Between 1990 & 2013, Saskatchewan emissions grew by 66%.
  • The oil. gas, and mining industries account for 34% of Saskatchewan emissions; electricity generation for 21%; transportation for 21%; and agriculture for 16%.

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, which cuts right through Saskatchewan, is also an environmental hazard. Its purpose is to expand Canadian tar sands, production—the main cause of increasing emissions in Canada.

To avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change, a global rise in average temperature of 2° must be prevented. The effects in Saskatchewan of breeching this limit will include devastating droughts, heatwaves, and forest fires. February 2016 was the hottest February in recorded history.

  1. Will your party ban the mining of uranium?

Canada is the world’s second-largest producer of uranium. Saskatchewan is the principal source of Canada’s uranium.

  • Uranium mining has taken a serious toll on the environment and human health in northern Saskatchewan.
  • Saskatchewan uranium supplies nuclear reactors both in Canada and abroad. Nuclear reactors release cancer-causing radiation into the air, land, and water and produce ever-accumulating radioactive wastes as spent fuel that will have to be managed for millennia.
  • Saskatchewan uranium is exported to nuclear-weapons states, including the United States, India, and China. Nuclear weapons constitute a catastrophic global risk, with the potential to wipe out human life.
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