Making Peace Vigil

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Archive for January, 2019

SOLIDARITY WITH THE WET’SUWET’EN

Posted by strattof on January 24, 2019

Making Peace Vigil joins Mother Earth Justice Advocates in standing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people in their struggle to protect their land and water, as well as Mother Earth herself, from environmental destruction and to save them for future generations.  

On January 7, RCMP officers, carrying assault rifles, descended on to unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northern BC and arrested 14 peaceful Wet’suwet’en land defenders. The RCMP was enforcing a BC Supreme Court injunction ordering the removal of blockades the Wet’suwet’en had set up to stop the construction of a pipeline on their traditional territory.

The pipeline, Coastal GasLink, is owned by TransCanada. This pipeline is meant to carry fracked natural gas from northeastern BC, across Wet’suwet’en territory, to a LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline

  • Threatens Wet’suwet’en land and water.
  • Will be detrimental to the climate.
  • Violates the1997 Supreme Court ruling in the Delgamuukw case.
  • Violates the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, signed by Canada in 2016.

Nevertheless, both the BC government and the federal government support the pipeline. Is this what reconciliation looks like?

WHO CONTROLS THE LAND?

ELECTED VS HEREDITARY CHIEFS

  • Wet’suwet’en are represented by both elected and hereditary chiefs. The elected chief and council system was introduced in 1869 under the Indian Act, as part of a set of colonial policies aimed at undermining traditional governance systems that had lasted thousands of years.
  • Elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs have signed on to the pipeline.
  • However, Coastal GasLink has failed to get consent from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
  • Under Canadian law, Wet’suwet’en elected chiefs have authority over the reserves created by the Crown, while authority over the much larger area—22,000 square kilometres — that comprises the Wet’suwet’en traditional territory belongs to the hereditary chiefs.

DELGAMUUKW VS THE QUEEN

Most BC First Nations, including the Wet’suwet’en, have never signed Treaties or otherwise surrendered their land. The ground- breaking 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision confirmed

  • That Wet’suwet’en title to traditional Wet’suwet’en territory has never been extinguished; and
  • That title is based on hereditary governance systems.

Despite the Delgamuukw decision, the governments of BC and Canada claim agreements with elected chiefs and band councils constitute consent in the case of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (UNDRIP)

UNDRIP requires that governments must seek Indigenous communities’ “free, prior and informed consent” before approving resource development projects on their land.

  • One of Prime Minister Trudeau’s 2016 election promises was to implement UNDRIP.
  • The BC government has committed to implementing UNDRIP.

PM TRUDEAU & THE RULE OF LAW

Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that the arrest of Wet’suwet’en land protectors is “not an ideal situation,” but that “the rule of law” must be upheld. Whose “rule of law” is he talking about?

PIPELINE PROBLEMS

PIPELINE SPILLS

Pipelines are accidents waiting to happen. TransCanada, the owner of Coastal GasLink, claims its pipelines are safe. Its safety record tells a different story. For example, TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline has had three major spills since it began operating in 2010.

Pipeline spills contaminate land, water, and air. They also kill wildlife and sicken people.

FRACKED NATURAL GAS

The Coastal GasLink pipeline will carry fracked natural gas. The fracking process—the injection of water, chemicals, and sand underground at high pressure—depletes water sources and contaminates groundwater with methane and chemicals.

Although political and industry officials promote natural gas as a “clean, green” fuel, it is anything but. Indeed, fracking has a heavy carbon footprint.

  • The fracking process requires more energy than the conventional gas extraction process.
  • Fracking releases large amounts of natural gas—CO2 and methane—directly into the atmosphere.

CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

We have just 12 years left before climate catastrophe. This is the grim warning issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ leading body for climate change.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline will lead to the expansion of the fracking industry. Fracking, along with the rest of the fossil fuel industry, is preventing Canada from reducing its carbon emissions and thus from doing its part to stop climate catastrophe.

A HUGE DEBT OF GRATITUDE

We are all in the debt of the Wet’suwet’en people who have taken up the struggle to protect the land, water, and climate from the dangers of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. THANK YOU!

STAND WITH THE WET’SUWET’EN

  1. RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WET’SUWET’EN: JANUARY 31, 5 pm, ALBERT STREET BRIDGE

Let’s all join Mother Earth Justice Advocates (MEJA) and show our support for the Wet’suwet’en people in their struggle to protect their land and water, as well as Mother Earth herself.

  1. Sign the Sierra Club Petition: https://sierraclub.bc.ca/wetsuweten-solidarity/ 
  2. Call a Minister for Leadnow: Google “leadnow call federal minister to support the Wet’suwet’en.”
  3. Take action using the Wet’suwet’en Strong Toolkit: http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit/

LEARN MORE ABOUT CANADIAN COLONIALISM

  • 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, by Bob Joseph
  • The Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King
  • The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Arthur Manuel

FOR MORE INFORMATION

MAKING PEACE VIGIL             

Email               makingpeace@sasktel.net

Facebook         www.facebook.com/MPeaceVigil/

On the web     https://makingpeace.wordpress.com

MOTHER EARTH JUSTICE ADVOCATES

Email               mejasask@gmail.com

Facebook         www.facebook.com/groups/158222590888992/

On the web     https://motherearthjusticeadvocates.wordpress.com/

 

 

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH A CARBON TAX?

Posted by strattof on January 10, 2019

In October 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that a carbon tax would be imposed on all provinces that do not have a carbon emissions pricing plan of their own. Those provinces are Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick.

The tax will be on emissions from fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and coal-fired electricity. It will come into effect on April 1 2019.

The carbon tax plan has set off a firestorm of controversy. Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe has even launched a court challenge on whether a federal carbon tax is constitutional—a case that will be heard in Regina in mid-February.

What is the truth about the carbon tax plan?

  • Is it a Liberal tax grab, as its opponents say?
  • Or is it, as Trudeau insists, the best way to fight climate change?

The answer: It is neither.

THE CARBON TAX: A TAX GRAB?

The carbon tax plan comes in two parts:

  1. THE TAX: The tax on emissions will start at $20 a tonne and increase by $10 a year until it reaches $50 a tonne in 2022.
  2. THE REBATE: To offset the cost of the carbon tax to those living in Saskatchewan and the other affected provinces, the Trudeau government has promised to return to residents 90% of the money it collects from the tax.

The rebate will vary depending on the province and household size. In Saskatchewan, a family of four will receive a rebate of $609 in 2019, while a single adult will receive $305.

Residents will start getting the rebate on their 2019 tax return where it will either be added to the refund payment or deducted from tax owing.

If the Trudeau government keeps its promise to return 90% of the carbon tax as a rebate, then the carbon tax is not a tax grab. (The remaining 10 per cent will be given to small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations that can’t pass on their costs from the carbon tax directly to consumers.) 

THE CARBON TAX & CARBON EMISSIONS?

Is the carbon tax an effective means of reducing carbon emissions? The short answer to this question is ‘no.’

According to the UN, Canada’s carbon price would have to reach between $140 and $590 a tonne by 2030 for Canada to meet the commitments it made under the Paris Climate Agreement: to reduce emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This does not mean the carbon tax as it stands is totally useless. It will have some (small) effect on emissions, possibly accounting for up to 7% of the required 30% reduction.

So let’s keep the carbon tax. But, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, it must not be Canada’s main climate policy. We must also implement policies that will radically reduce emissions.

RADICALLY REDUCING EMISSIONS

Here are five climate policies the federal government could implement that would radically reduce carbon emissions:

  1. Stop all new tar sands pipelines, including Trans Mountain and Energy East.
  2. Stop subsidizing fossil fuels—estimated at $3.3 trillion a year.
  3. Start investing in renewable energy industries.
  4. Fund public transportation, including urban, rural, and inter-city options.
  5. Invest in energy-efficient social housing.

CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE CHANGE

We have just 12 years left before catastrophic climate change. That is the grim warning issued last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s climate science body.

According to the IPCC, our burning of fossil fuels has already resulted in a 1°C increase in global temperature. We are already seeing the damaging consequences of global warming:

  • Deadly heatwaves ● Devastating droughts
  • Raging wildfires ● Record floods
  • Rising sea levels ● Extreme weather events

If we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, we must limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. This would mean

► A 45% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2010 levels by 2030.

► Zero emissions by 2050.

From A Poem To My Daughter, by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, performed at the 2014 UN Climate Summit

and there are thousands out on the street

marching with signs

hand in hand

chanting for change NOW

and they’re marching for you, baby

they’re marching for us

CLIMATE ACTION

CONTACT POLITICAL LEADERS

Tell Prime Minister Trudeau you want his government to implement policies that will radically reduce carbon emissions.

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca or 613-992-3100

Let Premier Moe know you do not want to live in a province where short-term gains from exploiting fossil fuels are valued over the well-being of the planet and all who live here.

premier@gov.sk.ca or 306-787-9433

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

  • See Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, screening at the Library Film Theatre, 2311 12th Avenue: Friday January 11, 8:30 pm; Saturday January 12, 6:30 pm; Sunday January 13, 8:30 pm. 
  • Watch Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner perform A Poem To My Daughter: Google “Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner United Nations.”
  • Read “The Leftists’ Case Against the Carbon Tax,” by James Wilt, in Briarpatch: https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/ view/the-leftists-case-against-the-carbon-tax 
  • Listen to No No No Keshagesh (which means “greedy guts”), by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Buffy tells us what we must say to oil and pipeline companies and the governments that kowtow to them: youtube.com/watch?v=XKmAb1gNN74

MAKING PEACE VIGIL, EVERY THURSDAY–UNTIL PEACE BREAKS OUT

From noon to 12:30 pm, on Scarth Street at 11th Avenue

EVERYONE IS WELCOME

For further information please contact: makingpeace@sasktel.net

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/MPeaceVigil/

On the web: https://makingpeace.wordpress.com

MAKING PEACE VIGIL January 10 2019

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PEACE IN 2019

Posted by strattof on January 3, 2019

Rather than making peace, Canada keeps on making war:

  • 2017: Canada extended its military mission in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria until March 2019.
  • 2017: Canadian troops arrived in Latvia to lead a NATO mission against “Russian aggression.”
  • 2017: Canada increased its war spending by 70% over the next 10 years.
  • 2017: Canada was not one of the 122 countries that signed a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
  • 2018: Canada exported between $2 and $3 billion worth of military equipment.
  • 2018: Canada sent troops to Iraq to head up a NATO training mission.

ENDLESS WAR: 2001 – 2018

CANADIAN ENGAGEMENT

AFGHANISTAN     October 2001 – March 2014: 12+ years

LIBYA                     March 2011 – October 2011: 7 months

IRAQ                      October 2014 – ongoing

SYRIA                     March 2015 – ongoing

UKRAINE               September 2015 – ongoing

LATVIA                  June 2017 – ongoing

 As this table indicates, since 2001, there have been only a few months—March to October 2014—that Canada has not been engaged in war.           

 Why, instead of working for peace, has Canada chosen this ongoing, seemingly never-ending involvement in war? There are three main reasons:

  1. Canada’s dependence on the US for its foreign policy.
  2. Canada’s membership in the US-led military alliance NATO.
  3. Profits for the Canadian arms industry.

 THE HUMAN COSTS OF WAR

WAR AND SUFFERING IN SYRIA

In armed conflict of any kind, people suffer. To take Syria as an example, with the war there now well into its eighth year, the human calamity is terrible and ongoing.

  • Over 480,000 Syrians have been killed in the war.
  • In the first half of 2018 alone, 4,796 civilians were killed, including 1,104 children.
  • More than 5 million Syrians are refugees outside Syria, while another 6.3 million are internally displaced. That’s more than half of Syria’s estimated pre-war population of 22 million.

CANADA MAKES WAR IN SYRIA

Canada bears some responsibility for the suffering. We have been making war in Syria as part of the US-led coalition since 2015, when the Harper government expanded Canada’s military mission in Iraq into Syria.

The Trudeau government has twice extended Canada’s military mission in Syria, most recently until March 31, 2019.

WAR IS A DISASTER

War is a disaster for everyone it touches.

  • Soldiers are killed, maimed, traumatized.
  • Civilians in the war zone pay a tremendous price: death, injury, bereavement, displacement, trauma, poverty.
  • Citizens of countries engaged in war elsewhere also pay a price: Dead or injured loved ones. Money that could have been spent on education, affordable housing, and healthcare.

WAR IS STUPID

You see children fighting. What do you do?

  1. Encourage them to keep on fighting.
  2. Or break up the fight and ask them to work out their differences in a non-violent manner. 

ENDLESS WAR: WHO BENEFITS?

War is big business and Canada is making a killing off it— between $2 and $3 billion annually in military exports.

  • Canada is the 6th largest exporter of arms in the world.
  • Canada is the 2nd largest exporter of arms to the Middle East.
  • The US, “the most warlike country on earth,” according to former president Jimmy Carter, is the recipient of more than half of all Canadian military exports.
  • Saudi Arabia, despite its human rights violations and involvement in the war in Yemen, is the next largest buyer of Canadian military exports.

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious….It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” —US Major General Smedley Butler, 1935

TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE IN 2019

CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS

  1. Let Prime Minister Trudeau know you want Canada to stop making war and to start making peace in the world. This would mean:
  • Withdrawing from the military missions in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Latvia.
  • Signing the treaty banning nuclear weapons.
  • Getting out of NATO.
  • Getting out of the arms industry.
  • Developing a foreign policy independent of the US.

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca or 613-992-4211

  1. Send the same message to Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan: sajjan@parl.gc.ca or 613-996-3100.

ATTEND A MOVIE FOR PEACE

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16, 6:30 pm: DR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, LIBRARY FILM THEATRE, 2311 12th AVE

Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film is a satire about nuclear war. Starring Peter Sellers, it tells the story of an unhinged US general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.

Dr. Strangelove is being screened at the request of PeaceQuest Regina. Admission is free.

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