Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

Archive for February, 2019

WE LOVE PEACE!

Posted by strattof on February 14, 2019

We love peace, but the Canadian government seems to prefer war. Since 2001, Canada has been endlessly at war!

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

War is a disaster for everyone it touches! War is also very stupid!! When will Canada stop making war and start making peace in the world?

MAKING PEACE VIGIL WISHES YOU A VERY HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY & P E A C E I N 2019!

MORE WAR MAKING

  • 2017: Canada increased its war spending by 70% over the next 10 years.
  • 2017: Canada extended its military missions in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria until March 2019.
  • 2017: Canada was not one of the 122 countries that signed a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
  • 2018: Canada extended its commitment to the NATO battle group in Latvia to 2023.
  • 2018: Canada sent troops to Iraq to head up a NATO training mission.
  • 2018: Canada exported between $2 and $3 billion worth of military equipment.

WHY IS CANADA NOT WORKING FOR PEACE?

Why, instead of working for peace, has Canada chosen an 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.

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.
  • 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. Break up the fight and ask them to work out their differences in a non-violent manner.

WE WANT PEACE

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or under the holy name of liberty or democracy?—Mahatma Gandhi

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.—Albert Einstein 

Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their difference themselves instead of organizing nothing better than legalized mass murder.—Harry Patch, World War I Veteran 

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

May the noise of weapons cease! War always marks the failure of peace. It is always a defeat for humanity.—Pope Francis 

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 international in scope in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.—US Major General Smedley Butler 

Violence begets more violence, war begets further wars, more enemies, and more suffering. War does not work, not even for the warriors.—Ursula Franklin 

All we are saying is give peace a chance.—John Lennon

TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE

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.

ENTER THE PEACE SYMBOL CONTEST

Create a peace symbol on any surface: for example, a sidewalk, a snowbank, a cake or cookies using icing.

Take a photo of your peace symbol and email it to makingpeace@sasktel.net You will, in return, receive a peace gift and become eligible to win a major peace prize.

The deadline is August 31, 2019.

MAKING PEACE VIGIL

EVERY THURSDAY–until PEACE breaks out

From 12 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 February 14, 2019

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH A CARBON TAX?

Posted by strattof on February 8, 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 on February 13 and 14. (For details see the back page of this pamphlet.)

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 four 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, both urban and inter-city options.

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.

CLIMATE CHANGE, by Kristen Bowen

 

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JUSTICE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Posted by strattof on February 1, 2019

Next week will mark the first anniversary of the verdict in the Gerald Stanley murder trial. On February 9, 2018, an all-white jury found Stanley not guilty in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.

On August 9, 2016, the car in which Boushie was travelling pulled into a farmyard near Biggar. Stanley, a 56-year-old white farmer, shot Boushie, at close range, in the back of the head. Boushie, a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation, was 22-years-old when he was killed.

Stanley’s defence hinged on the argument that the bullet that killed Boushie was “a hang fire”—a delay between when the trigger was pulled and the shot fired. This argument was discredited by expert witnesses. The office of Saskatchewan’s Attorney General declined to appeal the not guilty verdict.

There was no justice for Colten Boushie in the Canadian justice system.

RACISM & INJUSTICE IN SASKATCHEWAN

The tragic death of Colten Boushie continues to shine a light on racism and injustice in our society. For example:

  • The arrest of Gerald Stanley ignited a firestorm of racism against Indigenous Peoples, much of it promoting even more violence against Indigenous Peoples. The RCMP laid no hate-speech charges against those who posted hate-speech online.
  • In 2017, the RCMP, in an internal investigation, cleared itself of any wrong-doing when its officers visited the home of Colten Boushie’s mother, immediately following his death, and behaved as if Boushie’s family members were the criminals.
  • In 2017, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for an expansion of self-defence laws to include property rights.
  • In 2018, the Saskatchewan government started arming rural conservation officers with semi-automatic carbine rifles.
  • In 2018, the Saskatchewan government introduced new trespassing laws “to reduce rural crime.” Much of the discussion of rural crime is thinly-veiled racism. The legislation sends a signal that vigilante justice against Indigenous people has government approval.
  • In February 2018, partly in response to the not guilty verdict in the Stanley trial, the Justice For Our Stolen Children Camp was set up in front of the Legislative Building. From the moment the Camp was established, the provincial government wanted it gone, offering a number of flimsy reasons for its removal, including lawn maintenance and space for a Canada Day beer garden.
  • Premier Scott Moe refused to meet with members of the Camp to discuss the issues they were raising, saying he hasn’t “conversed with anyone directly that is running a protest…in front of the Legislature.” Funny, earlier this month, Premier Moe was more than happy to meet with the pro-pipeline protesters in front of the Legislature.

TODAY I GRIEVE FOR MY COUNTRY

by Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission–in response to the verdict in the Stanley murder trial

Today I grieve for my country.
I grieve for a family
that has seen only injustice
from the moment a farmer with a handgun
(why does a farmer need a handgun?)
killed their son.
I grieve for a mother
who saw the police raid her house
and treat her like a criminal
and not the victim she was.
I grieve for other mothers
with empty arms
who are reminded of their own loss
at the hands of others
and the lack of answers that haunt them still.
I grieve for the youth
who now see no hope,
and whose hunger for justice
gives rise to anger.
I grieve for the children
whose lives now have
one more jeopardy.
I grieve for the elders
who have seen this before.
And whose wisdom holds no means
to get through this evenly.
I may grieve for some time.
But then again…
we have been grieving a long time.
This is why
we can’t “just get over it and move on”.
My country won’t let me.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CANADIAN INJUSTICE 

INDIGENOUS FUTURISMS: APOCALYPTIC SURVIVAL WITH PRECEDENT

WHEN           FRIDAY FEBRUARY 8, 4 pm

WHERE         RESEARCH & INNOVATION 117, U OF R

WHAT           A LECTURE BY MÉTIS AUTHOR, CHERIE DIMALINE

Cherie Dimaline is the author of The Marrow Thieves, winner of a 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award. Set in a dystopian future, the novel features a group of Indigenous people who are being hunted for their bone marrow as a cure for what non-Indigenous people have lost.

Dimaline will discuss The Marrow Thieves, along with works by other Indigenous writers. Her focus will be on how Indigenous stories address dystopian potentials and speak to an uncertain future with authority born of recent and ongoing experience.

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