Volume 25 • Number 3 • May–June 2010
FREE! Inside... PEN Insider— * Green Business
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Peace Award Forest Under Threat Arms Show Protest Cluster Munitions Ban Credible Edibles welcomes children with a special table and pretend cooking toys. Photo courtesy Credible Edibles.
Target: Tar Sands Creating Green Power
Making a Restaurant Eco-friendly by Adrian Larose
lack of convenient, ecologically friendly and healthy school lunch options pushed Judi Varga-Toth to launch her Credible Edibles business three years ago. Now, in its new location on Hinton Avenue, the environmentally friendly café and catering company is growing strong. “We promise our customers convenience without compromise,” Varga-Toth said.
“Essentially, you can get a quick and tasty lunch from us without compromising either your health or the environment.” The company mission, Varga-Toth said, is “to provide convenient and affordable lunch options that are delicious, nutritious and environmentally conscious.” Green catering, eat-in and take-out lunches, school and daycare meal services, and various locally made products are all on the menu. Few plates have been left unturned (to change the classic phrase a bit!) in the search for
Submissions are invited for the July-August 2010 Peace and Environment News. Articles can be on any topic related to peace, environment or social justice. Deadline is June 16, 2010. Call 613-230-4590, leave a message for Margaret; or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
ways to build a greener café. “We focus as much as possible on local, seasonal ingredients,” Varga-Toth said, as well as organic and unprocessed foods. “We do not serve any red meat or seafood,” she added, with exceptions for specific sustainable salmon and tuna catches. Strictly off the menu (which the store never prints paper copies of!) are bottled water and single-use items such as straws and paper napkins, to avoid waste. Take-out containers are all compostable. For those who need delivery (only available within a 10-kilometre range), the store uses an energy-efficient vehicle and, when possible, delivers via bicycle. For excess food that can’t be sold, the orders of the day are composting, recycling and donating, Varga-Toth said. “We also offer a cyclist discount of 10 per cent for anyone who rode their bike to our cafe,” Varga-Toth said. The proof is the
helmet! So biking up to this café is an even better idea. Actively responding to ongoing environmental needs and opportunities is part of Credible Edibles’ business model. “Currently, we are debating whether or not to continue to serve salmon,” Varga-Toth said, citing low and falling salmon stocks in many North American salmon fisheries. “This is not an issue that a non-green café would ever consider, until they could no longer get salmon!” The compostable containers are another example of evolution. Previously, Credible Edibles relied on a supplier far off in the United States, the only viable choice they could find. Ecology Ottawa, a local environmental group, helped the café solve that problem with a closer supplier. “We found a much more appropriate source, in Montreal. We now order all of our com-
Email: email@example.com For PEN: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://perc.ca/ Mailing address: Box 4075, Station E, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B1 Phone: 613-230-4590 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40050912
postable containers through Nova-Envirocom, and feel better about reducing the distance they have to travel,” Varga-Toth said. In the future, Credible Edibles hopes to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel transportation even further. Once a suitable all-electric car becomes available in Ontario, Varga-Toth said, the company will be sure to sign up. In the meantime, for those busy days or special occasions when cooking healthy food at home is not possible, Credible Edibles is a credibly eco-friendly choice. To reach Credible Edibles, visit 78 Hinton Avenue North, phone 613-558-7569, e-mail email@example.com or visit <www.credible-edibles.ca > Adrian Larose writes on environmental and social justice issues.
Peace and Environment Resource Centre
Peace and Environment News Circulation 5,000—ISSN 1487-9514
Editor: Margaret Jensen. Editorial Committee: Richard F. Charles, Steffan Hammonds, Adrian Larose, David Mills. PEN Support: Kim Dickinson, Julie Houle Cezer Photography: Richard F. Charles Layout and Design: John T. Jensen. Mailing Coordinator: Robert Bigras. Regular Mailing Assistant: David Alexander. Distributors: Erna Alaart, Angela Beale, Krishna Bera, Jana Bishop, Dominique Boily, Heather Burke, Richard F. Charles, Gerard Daechsel, Mandhir Dhesi, Ian Hlavats, Hazel Jack, John and Margaret Jensen, Loris Jordan, Mike Kaulbars, Dan Morrison, Janet Olson, Keri Robertson, Colleen Turpin. Printing: Butler Printing and Design. Printed on recycled newsprint. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40050912 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Dept., 330-123 Main St., Toronto ON M5W 1A1. Send change of address and memberships to the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, P.O. Box 4075, Station E, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B1. Cover design by Catherine Beddall. The Peace and Environment News is published by the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, an incorporated, charitable organization which provides educational and referral services on peace- and environmentrelated issues. Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN. Health-related information printed in the PEN is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. We encourage readers to submit articles, notices, resource information, and graphics. Submissions are subject to selection and editing. Reproduction of editorial content is welcomed provided permission is obtained in advance. Contact the PEN Editor. Please send a copy of the reprinted article to the Peace and Environment Resource Centre for our files. The Peace and Environment News is mailed free to members and donors and is available free at selected locations. See form on this page for membership rates.
Hans Sinn Receives Peace Award
by Bill Bhaneja
he Friends of Peace Award for 2009 was presented to peace activist Hans Sinn as part of the Annual Friends for Peace Day celebrations last October at Ottawa City Hall. The award is given to outstanding Ottawa citizens for their life-long contributions to peace in the community and internationally. Recipients of the Friends of Peace award since 2002 have included Marion Dewar, Bruce Cockburn, Grandfather William Commanda, Dave Smith, and Murray Thomson. Few people have spent virtually their whole working life dedicated to national and international peace work, most of it unpaid. Hans Sinn is one of them. His path to peace may have begun when he was living in the bombed out ruins of his home city of Hamburg. From his days as a youth in post-war Germany, to marching from Vancouver to Berlin as a young man, to establishing a number of peace organizations and writing widely about issues of war and peace, Hans has always maintained his focus—the futility of war as a means of settling differences. In 1962, he organized an unusual peace walk from Vancouver to Berlin to publicize the need for nuclear disarmament. This was at the height of the coldwar period. While based in Montreal, he was the co-editor and publisher of the first nuclear disarmament periodical in Quebec (and Canada). Hans has a unique ability to seize the moment by pursuing an “out-of-thebox” idea that has a strong potential for altering the way we look at solving problems, whether it concerns social injustice, human rights violations, or fighting unnecessary wars. Hans’s initiatives display his insightful understanding about the need to create a space in which dialogues can be fostered to help uncover the truth so that mainstream media, the public and politicians will not ignore it. Particularly noteworthy among Hans’s achievements is the establishment of Peace Brigades International, which led to the founding of Nonviolent Peaceforce Canada and the development of Civilian Peace Services Canada, of which Hans's is the founding Co-Chair. These organizations have pioneered the concept of bringing third party neutral witnesses to report on conflicts and violation of human rights in Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and South America. Civilian Peace Services Canada, launched under Hans’s leadership in
Want to Advertise? Interested in advertising in the PEN? Call 613-2304590, leave message for Margaret. • Peace and Environment News • May–June 2010
2004, is currently developing a training program for nonviolent peace professionals for deployment in conflict zones. Recently, his focus has been on engaging youth in community development work. This is part of his plan to develop a cadre of youth peace specialists similar to the military cadets program. The aim is to have a well-funded program for youth peace specialists similar to the $200 million the federal government spends annually on training military cadets. In 2003, Hans realized that to reach its full potential, a Civilian Peace Service would need a Department of Peace in the federal government. That led to the creation of a Canadian Department of Peace movement, which has now 12 chapters across the country. One of Hans Sinn’s lesser known contributions is the part he played in initiating the crucial public debate on Afghanistan. In the summer of 2005, he invited Dr. Sediq Weera, an Afghan-Canadian scholar from McMaster University, who had just come home from his job in Kabul, to
come to Ottawa to speak with politicians and press at Parliament Hill on the need for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. As a consequence, the NDP became the first party in the House to question the government’s policy on Afghanistan. Until then, neither the media nor the public dared to challenge government decisions about sending troops into the battle zone because of the fear of being branded as anti-patriotic. An activist’s work is like a candle—a light that lights other candles so that the room eventually is flooded with brightness and the truth cannot be hidden. In turn, citizens may use this insight to engage a new level of political reality. Hans Sinn is one of those candles that have lit many candles in this town, across Canada and abroad. His newest project is engaging youth in building peace. Pay attention to how he changes the world. Bill Bhaneja is Co-founder of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (www.departmentofpeace.ca).
Hans Sinn receiving the Friends of Peace award. Photo: Bill Bhaneja.
SimplyRaw Commuters Go Green Festival by Mike Buckthought
by Natasha Kyssa
ttawa’s SimplyRaw will be hosting the Fourth Healthy Lifestyles Festival and Raw Vegan Pie Contest in Central Park—east of Bank Street and north of Clemow Avenue—on June 19, 2010 from 10 am to 9 pm. This is Canada’s premier and only raw food festival. It is a free, familyand community-oriented event hosted by local Ottawa businesses. As in past years, there will be demonstrations, exhibits and lectures by authorities on healthy lifestyles and raw food. This year, raw food samples and activities for the whole family will be available for everyone to enjoy. Several raffles will be
held throughout the day. The SimplyRaw Pie contest, the highlight of the Festival, will be judged by local community celebrities. The Raw Vegan Pie contest is open to anyone. The prizes are substantial. Raw pie registration is limited, so interested participants are encouraged to submit their entries now. We extend a special thank you to our sponsor, The Table vegetarian restaurant. For more information contact SimplyRaw at: (613) 2340806. Website: http://www. s i m p l y r a w. c a / c o m m u n i t y / festival-2010/. Facebook: http://bit.ly/cOD0BN. Twitter: http://twitter.com/ simplyrawfest” Natasha Kyssa is a member of SimplyRaw.
Circle of Members and Donors Peace and Environment Resource Centre
Thanks to our recent donors... Linda Belanger Tania Boutilier Robin Campbell Calvin Climie Mandhir Dhesi Skye Faris Helen Forsey Julie A. Gourley Bettina Hamacher Philip & Dorothy Hepworth Jan and Maria Heynen Christine Jannasch
Loris Jordan Samer Kardan Pat & Marion Kerans Cameron Laing Denis Limoges John F. McRae David Mills Janet Mrenica Bob Nye Leah Roseman Ottawa Group Sierra Club Location #04 Sisters of Service of Canada
uring Environment Week, May 30-June 5, people across the country will be joining the Commuter Challenge. This annual event encourages everyone to use sustainable modes of transportation, such as walking, bicycling, public transit, car pooling and telecommuting. Participants use environment-friendly modes of transport to get to work, and keep track of how far they have travelled. The distances are used to calculate reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2009, over 44,000 Canadians took part in the Commuter Challenge, including 2,600 people from the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The program includes an environment-friendly competition between different communities and workplaces, to see which have the highest partici-
of greenhouse gases. Ottawa produced an estimated 4.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2004. The transportation sector accounted for about 36 per cent of this total. For more information about registering for the Commuter Challenge, visit: <www.commuterchallenge.ca>. Workplaces can register starting in April. Employees and individuals can register online starting May 15, 2010. Celebrate bicycle commuting on Clean Air Day, Wednesday, June 2, noon-1pm at Ottawa City Hall, Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Avenue West. This event is organized by Councillor Clive Doucet’s office in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy. For more information, visit: <www.clivedoucet. com>, <www.netherlandsembassy.ca>. Mike Buckthought founded and coordinated the Commuter Challenge in Ottawa-Gatineau.
Hello PERC Volunteer!
Kristin Miller: guiding PERC as part of the team by Steffan Hammonds
ristin Miller has worked her way through the Peace and Environment Resource Centre and has learnt many things on her way to her current position as President/ Chair of the Board of Directors. Kristin first came to PERC early in 2000 when she helped out at an event. Her experiences at the event led her to become a volunteer. Kristin likes the way that
A Community Leader on City Council
PERC provides its volunteers with opportunities to learn and to try different volunteer positions within PERC. Kristin decided after many years of working in the restaurant business to go back to school. She obtained a diploma in Advertising from Algonquin College, and after graduating, worked for five years in the advertising industry. Her current volunteer job at PERC is as President/Chair of the Board of Directors. In this position, Kristin works with other board members to guide
the PERC and ensure that the mandate is followed. Kristin’s paid work is with the Canada Revenue Agency. Kristin enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing. She also enjoys Scottish country dance and badminton, as well as reading many different types of books. Kristin has remained with PERC as a volunteer for so many years because she has been able to do so many different things, from chairing the Special Events Committee to serving as Board Chair. She says she has had tremendous support from other PERC members. Through her volunteering at PERC, Kristin has learnt many group skills which she has been able to put to good use both at PERC and at her place of employment. Kristin hopes that PERC will continue to thrive and evolve. She hopes that PERC can continue to educate the public about the environment and expand the tools that it currently has. She hopes that PERC can bring together more groups that have the same interests and goals. Steffan Hammonds is a PERC volunteer.
Tel: (613) 580-2477 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alexcullen.ca
Your Councillor on the Environment
pation rates during the week. You don’t have to be working to join the Challenge; individuals can also register. How do you join the Challenge? You start out by registering online, at the website <www.commuterchallenge.ca>. Participants keep track of the distance travelled using environment-friendly modes of transport, for each day of the week. Starting May 30, you can report the distances you have commuted. By keeping track of the distances you’ve travelled, it’s possible to estimate your reductions in emissions of air pollutants over the course of a week. You’re able to see how much carbon dioxide you keep out of the atmosphere by choosing green modes of transport. You can also keep track of reductions in air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. By going car-free, we can improve our health, and also take action to reduce emissions
People featured here are volunteers with the Peace and Environment Resource Centre (PERC). If you’d like to get involved, give us a call at 2304590.
May–June 2010 • Peace and Environment News •
Peace and Environment Calendar
For a free listing in the July–August Calendar, please submit events by June 20. Call 613-230-4590. Please confirm events before attending.
May 2010 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23/30 24/31 25 26 27 28 29 We provide a free listing for not-for-profit events open to the public, with a peace, environment, or social justice focus. Due to Revenue Canada regulations, we cannot accept political advertisements.
NEW & ONGOING Food for All: an Ottawa Community Response. Join the Food Action Planning Conversations. All are welcome; registration required. *Food, Access and Health in Our Communities, Time: 7–9 pm; Dates: February 9th, March 9th, April 13th and May 11th, 2010; Contact: <coordinator@ justfood.ca> or 613-236-9300 ext. 301. *Food and Newcomers to Canada, Time: 7–9 pm; Dates: April 6th and May 4th, 2010; Contact: <email@example.com> or 613-236-9300 ext. 301. *Food Retail Environments, Time: 2–4 pm; Dates: May 25th and June 22nd, 2010; Contact: Heather Hossie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-236-9300 ext. 305. *Food in Our Schools, Time: 7–9 pm; Dates: February 16th, March 30th and May 18th, 2010; Contact: < coordinator@ justfood.ca> or 613-236-9300 ext. 301. For more information: (email@example.com); (www.justfood. ca/foodforall). Befriending The Earth learning circle based on “The Suicidal Planet” by Hillman, Fawcett and Rajan, begins Sunday May 2, 7 pm at Bethany Baptist Church (corner Centrepointe Dr W and Baseline Road.) 8 week study group on preventing global climate catastrophe. Rob Campbell--host facilitator. Cost $30. For more info call Rob at 613-837-7750. Organic Veggie Gardening Workshop Series 2010. Wednesdays 7:30–9:30 pm, Winter session: March 3, 10, 24. Spring session: Apr 28, May 5 & 12. Registration at Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset E; call (613) 564-1062; opens March 16, 2010 for Spring sessions. People with disabilities are asked to indicate if assistance is needed at time of registration. Workshops sponsored by City of Ottawa and Canadian Organic Growers - Ottawa Chapter. Info: www.cog.ca/ottawa or call 613-244-4000. The 2010 Canadian Association of African Studies Conference at Carleton University (with co-operation of Université d’Ottawa) celebrates the opening of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton and CAAS’s 40 Anniversary May 5–7. Info: (http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~caas/ en/2010conference.htm) or (caas2010carleton@ gmail.com). Greening Ottawa NGOs: workshops on sustainable development using The Natural Step Framework. For nonprofit organizations. Thursdays, March 4 to October 7th, 8:30 am–12:30 pm. At Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue W. Info: 613-580-2582; firstname.lastname@example.org Green Buildings Conference, Carleton University, May 12-14. Theme: “Retrofit - sustainability for the future” For information: (http://www. greenbuildingottawa.ca/index.html). Sustainability for Leaders Course (Level 1): A Transformative Approach to Sustainability Thinking, Strategy, and Results. May 18-19, 8:30 am-5 pm. At Lago Bar & Grill, Dow’s Lake Pavilion, 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa. Cost: $649–$999. Register at (www.thenaturalstep. org/en/canada/sustainability-leaders-level-1ottawa. Info: The Natural Step Canada, Kim Larocque at 613.748.3001 x228 or (klarocque@ naturalstep.ca); (www.thenaturalstep.org/canada). Commuter Challenge, May 30–June 5. Join thousands of people across Canada using sustainable transportation during Environment Week. Leave your car at home, and walk, cycle, take transit, ride share or telework to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases. For more information: (www. commuterchallenge.ca). The Otesha Project bike tours: the Ferocious Farm Tour (Ottawa - Toronto - Ottawa) May 3rd to June 25th; the Coast to Capital Tour (Vancouver to Ottawa) June 25th to October 20th, and the Highlands and Islands Tour (Fredericton to Halifax) September 7th to November 3rd. Contact (email@example.com) or visit (www.otesha. ca). Youth Summit for Biodiversity, June 4–6. At Camp Cedar Glen, Schomberg ON. Information: Ontario Nature, Gabe Camozzi, gabec@ ontarionature.org; 416-444-8419 x241. ****** Farmers markets in the Ottawa area: Ontario Side: *Carp Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Opens May 8, Annual Easter market in April. www.carpfarmersmarket.com / 613-786-1010. *Cumberland Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Opens June 19. www. cumberlandfarmersmarket.ca / 613-833-2635. *Main Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Opens May 8. www.mainfarmersmarket.org / 613-489-3675. *Metcalfe Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Opens in May, Annual Easter market on April 3rd (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). www.metcalfefm.com /613-821-2729. *North Gower Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 8:30 to 1 p.m. Opens May 29. www.ngfarmersmarket. com / 613-282-1686. *Ottawa Farmers’ Market: Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St, 613-986-2770, Opens May 9. Thursday or other weekday market to be determined. www. ottawafarmersmarket.ca. *Ottawa Organic Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open year round. www.oofmarket. ca / 613-826-2286. *Quartier Vanier Outdoor Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. http://www.vanierbia.com/market. html / 613-745-0040. *Stittsville Farmers’ Market (Organic): Thursdays 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (may change to Wednesdays). Opens Mid to late May (when products are ready). alpenblickfarm@sympatico. ca / 613-253-2640. *Parkdale Market-7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Opens May 8. www.wellingtonwest.ca/ shopwellingtonwest/parkdalemarketarea /613-2444410. *ByWard Market: 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open year round with seasonal offerings. www. byward-market.com /613-244-4410. Quebec side: *Marché Vieux Hull: Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Opens Mid-June. 819-827-2156. *Marché Old Chelsea Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Opens in June. www. marcheoldchelseamarket.ca /613-296-1916. *Marché Wakefield Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Opens end of May. firstname.lastname@example.org / 819-457-9001. See also www.justfood.ca ****** Weekly vigil for peace, Women for Peace (Les Artisanes de la Paix), Wednesdays, 12:15-12:45 p.m. at the Flame, Parliament Hill. Wear a green scarf. Info: KAIROS, Spirituality for Social Justice Centre, 613- 236-6557.
• Peace and Environment News • May–June 2010
Ottawa 9/11 Truth hosts information distribution event the 11th of every month at a public location in downtown Ottawa. Come out and help distribute free DVD’s and information packets! For information: <http://truthactionottawa.com/main/ >. Ottawa Peace Kitchen cooperative vegetarian/ vegan meal every Sunday, 11:30 am–2 pm, at Bethel Field House, St. Luke’s Park, 166 Frank St. (at Gladstone). Info: <www.justfood.ca> Critical Mass bike ride. Meets in Confederation Park the last Friday of the month, 5:30 p.m. Info: <http://www.ottawacriticalmass.blogspot.com/>. Carleton Cinema Politica will screen free films during the fall 2010 term at Carleton University. For information: (www.cinemapolitica.org/ carleton); (email@example.com). uOttawa Cinema Academica (Friday night film and discussion series): documentaries on current issues. Free. Every Friday during school term, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 pm). Starts again in September. At University of Ottawa, Montpetit 202 or Montpetit 203. Info: Ronda, 613-230-3076. Friends of the Farm programs. Information: <www.friendsofthefarm.ca>; call 613-230-3276; email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Kairos Spirituality for Social Justice Centre programs: Info: Kairos, 211 Bronson Ave, Rm 306, Ottawa; 613-236-6557; <email@example.com>. Tucker House Renewal Centre: 1731 Tucker Road, Clarence-Rockland ON. Information: <www. tuckerhouse.ca> or contact <info@tuckerhouse. ca> or 613-446-2117. Canadian Museum of Nature programs: At Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod Street (at Metcalfe). Information: 613-566-4700; <http:// nature.ca>. Earth*tones: drum and dance circle. Sundays 8:30-10:15 p.m. Arts Court, 2nd floor, Studio B, 2 Daly at Nicholas. $3-$5, benefit for the PEN. Call 613-567-7244.
NEW IN MAY Saturday, May 1 3 pm. Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers. At Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane. Part of the Organizing for Justice Mayday Weekend. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. ipsmo.org; http://www.OrganizingForJustice.ca
Sunday, May 2 2–4 pm. Tulipathon: Walk to raise money for affordable housing for low-income households in Ottawa. At Commissioner’s Park, Corner Preston street and the Driveway. Sponsor: Multifaith Housing Initiative. Pledge sheets and information: www.multifaithhousing.ca; or call 613-686-1825.
Thursday, May 6 7 pm. Talk: “Palestinian political dynamics and the realities for Middle East Peace,” with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. At Marion Hall, Rm 130, University of Ottawa, 140 Louis Pasteur. $15/$10. Tickets 1-888-222-6608. Info: Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, email@example.com 7:15 pm. Talk: “Ecology + Environment—Healing Mother Earth,” at Ottawa Citizen Building, 1101 Baxter Rd. Info: Heart and Soul Light Centre, www.spiritualfrontiers.ca; or call 819-684-3099.
Saturday, May 8 10 am–4 pm. Free Workshop: “Equal in Dignity and Rights: Why the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Matters to All of Us.” Facilitator Ed Bianchi, Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator at KAIROS Canada. Light lunch provided. First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Ave (off Richmond Rd, east of Woodroffe). Bus#2 -ample free parking. To register call 613-725-1066 or<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Wednesday, May 12 7–9 pm. “Kanata, Elections 2010, and the Environment”: discussion of environmental issues facing Kanata residents and the next municipal election. At Malack Centre, Hall D, 2500 Campeau Drive, Kanata. Info: Ecology Ottawa, (email@example.com).
Thursday, May 13 7–9 pm. Public meeting on urban hen-keeping in Ottawa. At St. Joseph’s Church. 151 Laurier East, Ottawa. With clips from the documentary “Mad
City Chickens.” Info: Cluck Ottawa (http://www. cluckottawa.co.nr/). 7 pm. Annual General Meeting, Peace and Environment Resource Centre. Info: 613-2304590.
Friday, May 14 7 pm. Film: “You Are On Indian Land— Akwesasne’s Land Struggles, Past and Present.” At Exile Infoshop, 256 Bank St. Info: (ipsmo@ riseup.net); (http://www.ipsmo.org).
Sunday, May 16 Maypole Dance and Spring Fair. At Great River School - a Waldorf Initiative, 1151 North River Rd. Info: (www.greatriverschool.ca); 613-850-4797.
Wednesday, May 19 7–9 pm. KEN Solar Micro Feed-In Tarif seminar: Making green money from solar power. At Kanata United Church, 33 Leacock Dr., Kanata (in Beaverbrook). On Ontario’s new Feed in Tariff program. Info: Kanata Environmental Network, (www.kanataenvironmentalnetwork.com).
Tuesday, May 25 7–9 pm. Sierra Club Peak Oil Discussion Group. At Exile Infoshop, 256 Bank St. (upstairs). Info and to confirm: 613-852-5063 or email (ron@ firstgatedreamer.com).
Sunday, May 30 10 am–5 pm. Ottawa Veg Fest ‘10. At Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue at Lyon. Food demonstrations, guest speakers, free food samples. Info: National Capital Vegetarian Association (http://www.ncva.ca/Home/ottawaveg-fest-10/).
NEW IN JUNE Wednesday, June 2 12 noon–1 p.m. Celebrate Bicycle Commuting on Clean Air Day. Speakers, cycling groups, a “best dressed” bicycle commuter contest (prizes for best male and female participants), refreshments. At Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. For more information: (www. clivedoucet.com), (www.netherlandsembassy.ca), (www.commuterchallenge.ca). 5–7 pm. Rally for Peace to oppose the CANSEC Weapons Bazaar. At the Bank St. entrance to Lansdowne Park. Information: Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, (http://coat.ncf.ca).
Thursday, June 3 11:30 am–1:30 pm. The Sustainable Enterprise Alliance is hosting our first get-together. At the Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St. West, Ottawa. $100 to attend and become a founding member; $125 just to come for lunch. Information and to register: (www.sustainableenterprisealliance.ca).
Saturday, June 5 11 am.–5 pm. 20th Anniversary Celebration, Arbour Environmental Shoppe. Refreshments, free product samples, live music. At Arbour Environmental Shoppe, 800 Bank St. Info: 613567-3168; (Arbourshop.com).
Monday, June 14 7:15 pm Talk: “Celebrating Indigenous First Nations Spirituality,” at the Ottawa Citizen Building, Baxter Rd. Ottawa. Info: Heart and Soul Light Centre, bob-judy.matheson@sympatico. ca; www.spiritualfrontiers.ca; www.matheson. mediconsult.tv; or call 819-684-3099.
Saturday, June 19 10 am–9 pm. Simply Raw will be hosting the 4th Healthy Lifestyles Festival and Raw Vegan Pie Contest. In Central Park, east of Bank Street and north of Clemow Avenue. Demonstrations, exhibits and lectures; raw food samples. Information: SimplyRaw at: (613) 234-0806. Website: (http:// www.simplyraw.ca/community/festival-2010/). Facebook: (http://bit.ly/cOD0BN). Twitter: (http:// twitter.com/simplyrawfest).
COMING UP Coming in October September 21–October 2: Ottawa Peace Festival 2010. Info: (www.departmentofpeace.ca).
Peace and Environment Calendar
For a free listing in the July–August Calendar, please submit events by June 20. Call 613-230-4590. Please confirm events before attending. October 2, 10 am.–4 pm. 8th annual Celebrate Friends for Peace Day. At Ottawa City Hall. Info: (www.friendsforpeace.ca).
GROUPS ActCity Ottawa. Social issues discussion and collaboration. ACT--a Community Talks, 3rd Wed of each month, Sept to Apr ex. Dec., 7–9 pm. Web: <http://ato.smartcapital.ca/actcity>; Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The Environmental Health Association of Ontario meets 3-4 times a year. For dates and details on meetings or for information on environmental health and environmental sensitivities, please visit <www.ehaontario.ca> or call our Help Line at 613-860-2342. Amnesty International Group 56 and Group 5 meet monthly. Call 613-445-3996. Amnesty International Group 75 (Glengarry, Prescott, Russell counties). Phone 613-874-2293. Email: <email@example.com>. Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) - Ottawa Chapter meets monthly at 91A Fourth Ave. Call: 613-244-1979; or 613-276-6764; <www.departmentofpeace.ca>. Canadian Friends of Burma, 145 Spruce St., Suite 206. Call 613-237-8056; web: <www.cfob. org>; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Canpalnet-Ottawa: an affiliate of the CanadaPalestine Support Network. Visit <www.canpalnetottawa.org> to find out what is really happening in Palestine and our government’s betrayal of its obligations under international law. Contact: <email@example.com>. Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade. For information: (firstname.lastname@example.org); <http://coat. ncf.ca>. Common Cause Ottawa is an anarchist group that works in solidarity with local struggles. We host regular discussions on anarchist topics, and publish the “Linchpin” paper: <www.linchpin.ca, email@example.com>. Ecology Ottawa is a grassroots non-profit organization working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada. To volunteer, or receive our e-newsletter, see <ecologyottawa.ca>; or call 613860-5353. Environmental Working Group of the 1st Unitarian Congregation, call 613-562-2253 or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Faith and the Common Good is a multi-faith environmental network working with faith communities in Ottawa. Monthly learning circles, Greening Sacred Spaces. Contact Kristina Inrig at <email@example.com> or 1-866-2311877; <www.Faith-commongood.net>. GreenDrinks Perth monthly environmental meeting, the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 pm at The Crown, 71 Gore St, Perth. Info: (www. greendrinks.org); (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital works to join individuals and citizens’ groups to protect significant green spaces in the national capital area. Members include scientists, journalists and economists. Visit <www.greenspace-alliance. ca>, e-mail <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or phone 613521-4894.
The Ottawa Organic Farmers’ Market yearround, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Canada Care, behind Canadian Tire, Bank at Heron. Call 613826-2286. Peace Watch Working Group/1st Unitarian Congregation meets the third Sunday of the month (except June to Aug), 12:15 p.m., 30 Cleary Ave. Call 613-225-7216. The Peace and Environment Resource Centre, office hours irregular. 174 First Avenue (near Bank), top floor, Room 5. Call 613-230-4590. Ploughshares Ottawa meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Anglican Church, 2345 Alta Vista Dr. Bus route 8. Info: (www.ploughshares.ca) . March 23: Karen Christie on the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, Afghanistan. April 27: Paul Dewar, MP, on nuclear disarmament. May 25: Kathryn Aubrey-Horvath on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. The Population Institute of Canada, a group concerned with the effects of world overpopulation, meets monthly. Call 613-833-3668 or e-mail email@example.com. Website: www.populationinstituteofcanada.ca. Raw Vegan Potlucks in the Glebe at St. Giles Church, held the last Friday of each month. Info: 613-234-0806; <www.SimplyRaw.ca>. RESULTS Canada meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month to take action on an issue related to absolute poverty. The world`s poor desperately need advocates in the rich world. Call Larry, 613829-4310; www.results-resultats.ca Seventh Generation Community Projects: Contact (613) 446-2117 ext 4 (Tucker House); <www.seventhgeneration.ca>. Sierra Club Canada-Ottawa Group meets the 2nd Monday of each month. Info: (firstname.lastname@example.org) The Utne Reader Salon Discussion Group meets monthly. Call Andrew at 613-259-5704. Vegetarians and Vegans of Ottawa have a veg*an (vegan and vegetarian) meetup twice a month. Visit <www.ottawaveg.com> or call 613-240-6018. World Federalists Movement - Canada holds discussion meetings. Contact <email@example.com>, 613-244-3334 (ask for Roma or Peter). <www. worldfederalistscanada.org>.
WEBSITES Independent media websites: <www. indymedia.org> <www.rabble.ca> <http://www.straightgoods.com/> Iraq occupation: <http://www.internationalanswer.org/ <www.resisters.ca> <www.50years.org> <econjustice.net/wbbb> < http://www.corpwatch.org >
NOWAR/PAIX meets irregularly. Info: <nowar. firstname.lastname@example.org>; web: <http://www.nowar-paix. ca>.
OPIRG-Carleton resource library and working groups. 326 Unicentre, Carleton University. Call 613-520-2757; web: <http://www.opirg-carleton. org/opirghome.php>.
<www.seventhgeneration.ca/otevents.html> <www.GreenOttawa.ca> <www.ecologyottawa.ca/calendar/> Wildlife problems:
The OPIRG-Ottawa Resource Centre. 631 King Edward, 3rd floor. Call 613-230-3076.
Ottawa-Cuba Connections. Call 613-225-6232; web: <www.ottawacuba.org>; emai
Ottawa Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee. Search for Roads and Cycling at <www.ottawa. ca>.
Ottawa Haiti Solidarity Committee. Info: email. <email@example.com>, tel. 613-864-1590.
<www.scholarsfor911truth.org> <http://physics911.net> <http://stj911.org> http://www.ae911truth.org> http://www.911review.com/> http://911research.wtc7.net/ < h t t p : / / t r u t h a c t i o n . o rg / f o r u m / v i e w t o p i c . php?t=1813> Australia (Brisbane) <http://norway911truth.blogspot.com/> Norway <http://www.investigar11s.org/> Spain (Madrid)
BULLETINS Capital City Workers’ Choir. Songs about working people. No audition required. $20/month (come try it out first for free). Info: <www. workerschoir.ca>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 613-277-9208. Just Voices Activist Choir. Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. at the Bronson Centre. Info: Greg 613-761-1023; <www.justvoices.ca>. The re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op sells secondhand bikes, takes donations of old bikes (in any shape), and teaches bike repair. Volunteers welcome. 477 Bronson Ave. (at Gladstone). Winter hours: Tues., Wed., 6-9 pm., Sunday afternoons <www. re-cycles.ca>. “Thinking about War and Peace”: Explore the issues through an alternative audio tour of the Canadian War Museum independently produced by Pathwords Audio Publications. <http://www. pathwords.com>.
The Ottawa Buy Local Food Guide – 5th edition, with Food Link Directory. Your guide to buying fresh, local food. Includes pick-your-own and community shared agriculture. Available online <www.justfood.ca> or from Just Food (613-2369300x301).
Films on global themes available for rent at World Inter-Action Mondiale. Web: <www.wiam.ca> or call (613) 238-4659. WIAM, 323 Chapel St.
COG Ottawa Region Organic Food Directory: <www.cog.ca/ottawa/ottlist.htm>; or email <email@example.com> for a printed copy.
Events in Ontario:
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons: <www.icanw.org>
Heartwood House recycles used electronics. Info: 613-241-5937; drop off at 153 Chapel St.
The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement - Ottawa (IPSMO) is a grassroots organization that supports indigenous peoples in struggles for justice. Info: (firstname.lastname@example.org); (www.ipsmo. org).
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June 2010 Tue Wed Thu 1 2 3 8 9 10 15 16 17 22 23 24 29 30
Terrorism & Peace: <www.alternet.org> <globalresearch.ca>
Practice your Spanish at CALE (Círculo de Amigos de la Lengua Española). Free. Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Earl of Sussex Pub, 431 Sussex Drive. Info: Gerry: 613-241-1258; <gerryobrien@ sympatico.ca>. Animals Choice Rescue Network needs foster homes for rescued cats and dogs. Call 613-2535548; email: email@example.com. Address: Animals Choice Rescue Network, 440 Joseph Street, Carleton Place, ON K7C 3T5. Cat Rescue Network needs foster and permanent homes for cats and kittens. Visit our website at <www.catrescuenetwork.petfinder.org> or phone 613-233-6117. Have you had unprotected sex? Then you may have been exposed to the HIV virus. For information about our anonymous HIV testing sites, call 613563-2437.
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RADIO & TV Monday to Friday Mon–Fri 7 am, Radio: Special Blend. 12 noon: BBC News. CKCU 93.1 FM.
Monday 5–6 p.m. Radio: Demockery’s Demise. Alternative news and views. CHUO 89.1 FM. 10–11 pm. Monday Night Scribes, with John Akpata. CHUO 89.1 FM.
Tuesday 12–1 p.m. Namaste. Light music, interviews and information that motivates and inspires. CKCU 93.1 FM.
Wednesday 9:30–10 a.m. Radio: Sound Mind. Mental health advocacy. CKCU 93.1 FM. 5–6 p.m. Radio: Click Here. Events and issues, as seen from outside the mainstream. CHUO 89.1 FM. 7–8 p.m. Radio: Punto de Encuentro. News on regional and Latin American issues. CKCU 93.1 FM.
Thursday 5–6 p.m. Radio: The 5 O’Clock Train. Interviews on social justice issues, with co-hosts Denis Rancourt and Mireille Gervais. CHUO 89.1 FM. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday 9–9:30 a.m. Radio: A Luta Continua. Third World issues. CKCU 93.1 FM.
Saturday 7–8 am. Afrique Plus. CKCU 93.1 FM. 8–10 a.m Radio. Ici Afrique: CHUO 89.1 FM. 10–11 a.m. Radio. Afrika Revisited. CHUO 89.1 FM. 11 a.m.–12 noon. Radio. Black on Black: Discussions on the African diaspora. CHUO 89.1 FM. 4–6 p.m. Radio. Fréquence Antillaise (FrenchCaribbean). CHUO 89.1 FM. 6–8 p.m. Radio: Orígenes. Central America news, music. (In Spanish) CHUO 89.1 FM. 7–8 p.m. TV: National Geographic. TVO Channel 24, Cable 2.
Sunday 2–7 a.m. Rick’s Rhythm Ride. “Music...message... for the masses.” Every 2nd Sunday. CKCU 93.1 FM. 9–10 a.m. Radio: Aboriginal CKCU. Aboriginal issues. CKCU 93.1 FM. 5–6 p.m. Radio: Men Kontré. Haitian issues. (in Creole) CHUO 89.1 FM. 6–7 p.m. Radio: Bouyon rasin. Haitian issues. (in Creole) CHUO 89.1 FM. 6–7 p.m. Radio: Voice of Somalia. News from Somalia. (in English and Arabic) CKCU 93.1 FM. 8–9 p.m. Radio: Somali Show. Politics, religion and music. CHUO 89.1 FM. 9–10 p.m. Radio: Ro-Magazine. Romanian-based news and music. CHUO 89.1 FM.
For weekly updates on local events: <email@example.com>. For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
May–June 2010 • Peace and Environment News •
Why Equal Societies are Better The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett Allen Lane, London, (Penguin), 2009 ISBN 978-1-846-14039-6 $38 Canadian Reviewed by Ruth Latta
he left has always claimed that social problems are rooted in inequality and that a fairer and more equal society would benefit everyone living in it. But claiming is not proving. In The Spirit Level, two British epidemiologists, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, have analyzed international data to show “why more equal societies almost always do better.” Social problems, the authors found, are related to the distribution of wealth in a society and not to its overall wealth. They first traced the deterioration of health as one goes downward on the income scale, and then compared health data to statistics for income disparity in each “rich” country. They did likewise for other social problems, such as youth violence and teen pregnancy. Using internationally comparable data from established, reputable sources (e.g. the UN), they employed the same measuring systems as these sources so as not to be accused of “picking and choosing” their standards of measurement. In the 20 countries with the largest Gross National Products, the bigger the income gap, the worse the rates of mental illness, substance abuse, teen pregnancy,
domestic violence, homicide, incarceration and short life expectancy. The United Kingdom, the United States and Portugal had the greatest income disparities and the highest incidence of these. Equality is important at a spiritual level: the more equal the society, the higher the level of trust and the lower the stress. Status anxiety leads to negative behaviours such as fight-or-flight attitudes and status obsession, behaviours that erode friendship and community. Income disparity matters in poor countries, too, where many people lack food, clean water and housing. Economic growth can raise their material living standards and quality of life. But “economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work... As you get more and more of anything, each addition to what you have contributes less and less to your well being.” The diseases of poverty (such as tuberculosis and cholera) have disappeared in the wealthy countries, replaced by diseases of affluence (such as heart disease and cancer). Once the bane of plutocrats, now these are diseases of the poor. What has caused the trend toward greater income disparity over the past 30 years? Denationalization and privatization, decline in union membership, huge salaries and bonuses paid to executives in the private sector, and media messages that “there are no alternatives” to unfettered capitalism, with its inherent inequities. Yet over 75 per cent of Americans
Conservation Forest in Ottawa Under Threat
by Ben Liadsky
pristine piece of land in Ottawa featuring wetlands, forests, and endangered species of flora and fauna is under threat due to the proposed extension of Terry Fox Drive in Kanata and the development of a future subdivision. The Terry Fox Dr. project has received the go-ahead from the City as well as Infrastructure Minister John Baird, despite not having had a proper environmental assessment so that it could benefit from stimulus money. In total, the road is set to cost $47.7 million. On March 1st, construction began on the first section of the proposed Terry Fox Dr. Extension. Approval is still needed from the Province to go ahead with the development of the second section. Sierra Club Canada has been fighting this project with the support of many from the local community to try to stop what is seen as an unnecessary project. Proponents say that this road is necessary because the existing road connecting north and south Kanata, Goulbourn Forced Road, is full of potholes and is dangerous. However, the City of Ottawa has already committed to spending $18.2 million to upgrade this road. Meanwhile, the development of Terry Fox Dr. will have severe consequences for several threatened and endangered species such as the
Blanding’s Turtles. Dr. Ron Brooks, a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, has said that the road will threaten the turtles’ existence. The area in question is known as the South March Highlands. In 1974, this area contained 1,100 hectares and was recognized as a “Natural Environmental Area” by the Regional Official Plan. Today, due to urban sprawl, only 400 hectares (or 35 per cent) remain. This area is now described as a Conservation Forest. It is commonly used for recreational purposes such as bird watching, hiking, and cycling. Now, the proposed Terry Fox Dr. extension will cut through 90 per cent of the Conservation Forest. In addition, 30 per cent will go through the Carp River Floodplain. This is a unique area in the Ottawa region, full of rich biological diversity. With further ecological fragmentation its future is under threat. The proposed road is not a priority. It was not scheduled to be built by the city until 2021, according to the 2003 Transportation Master Plan. It is only being built now to capitalize on provincial and federal stimulus money. To learn more about this project and Sierra Club Canada’s campaign visit: http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/endangeredspecies/save-blandings-turtle. Ben Liadsky is Campaign Coordinator with Sierra Club Canada.
• Peace and Environment News • May–June 2010
and Britons want more income equality and blame “materialism” for their inability to satisfy their social needs! Consumerism has led not only to personal debt but to environmental destruction. The authors would like a “steady state” economy, with a de-emphasis on growth and a limit on the use of the planet’s finite resources. They advocate a percapita carbon ration and say that “much of the benefits of greener technology get eaten up by higher consumerism.” Government action is crucial to reducing inequality; but, historically, governments usually pursue egalitarian policies only to gain support for war or to stay in office. Gains may be made, but a new party in power can turn back the clock. As well, government has focused on each social problem as a separate entity, not recognizing that all are rooted in relative deprivation. Consequently, the authors advocate “a continuous stream of small changes... (The) new society can begin to grow within and alongside the institutions it may gradually marginalize and replace.” Although big financial institutions have failed in the United States, there are 10,000 credit unions providing services to 83 million Americans, with total assets of $600 billion. In the U.K., “there still exist” some credit unions, mutual insurance companies and co-ops, which have a service ethic. Large non-profits, like hospitals and universities, are examples of human organization different from big business. The authors like “employee share ownership systems,” with genuine employee
participation in management. As examples of employee-owned and run endeavours, they mention the London Symphony Orchestra, South Wales’s Tower Colliery (employee-run for 13 years until the coal ran out) and Spain’s Mondragon co-op. Thanks to technology, there is a growing “free” sector, whether it be genuinely free “shareware” or illegally downloaded music. The authors demand new ways of paying creators and innovators “without restricting access to the benefits.” Drug companies, for instance, have patents on life-saving pharmaceuticals and sell them at high costs to the customer. If produced generically, these drugs would be within the price range of those who need them. “(After) several decades in which we have lived with the oppressive sense that there is no alternative to the social and environmental failure of modern societies,” the authors conclude, “we can now regain the sense of optimism which comes from knowing that problems can be solved.” Without a spirit level, a carpenter can not accurately determine whether surfaces are level and structures solid. Wilkinson and Pickett’s book is a “spirit level” for renovating societies. For information on Ruth Latta’s books and other writing activities, please visit her website at www.cyberus.ca/ ~rklatta/RuthLatta.html [This review previously appeared in the June 2009 issue of the CCPA Monitor, the publication of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.]
Opposition Planned to Weapons Bazaar in Ottawa by Richard Sanders
n June 2 and 3, 2010, Ottawa’s fairgrounds will be abuzz with thousands of people, but there won’t be a kid in sight. This exhibition at Lansdowne Park won’t include Ferris wheels, haunted houses, cotton candy, or roller coaster rides to turn your stomach. However, if you’re looking for gut-wrenching military weapons, large or small, you’re in the right place. This is CANSEC 2010, Canada’s largest weapons bazaar. Thousands of buyers, sellers, users and promoters of the latest technologies for war and repression will be rubbing shoulders at this huge, private event. Cloaking themselves behind a wall of deceptive euphemisms, like “defence” and “security,” hundreds of highly profitable Canadian corporations will showcase their deadly wares. CANSEC exhibitors manufacture various cutting-edge technologies, from air-launched missiles and armoured battle vehicles, to high-tech electronics for the world’s deadliest warplanes, multi-million dollar gizmos for the militarization of space, automatic weapons, and
tear-gas rifles and other crowdcontrol devices for keeping pesky protesters in line. Talent scouts from the world’s biggest war industries will also be there, looking for Canadian subcontractors to make components for major weapons systems that have wreaked havoc in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and elsewhere. Military attaches from foreign embassies will be on hand to see what Canadian corporations have to offer. Most of Canada’s military production is exported, and most of it goes to the US. Top Canadian politicians, flanked by government bureaucrats, will pontificate on the need to further escalate military spending. War is certainly big business, and business will be booming at CANSEC. In fact, the business association that organizes CANSEC has never been bigger. It now boasts 800 member companies. This lobby group, the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, is funded by the Canadian government to promote military exports. This year’s effort against CANSEC is the latest chapter in a struggle that began over two decades ago when the Coalition
to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) campaigned against ARMX, a now-defunct arms bazaar. COAT’s work against ARMX led the City of Ottawa to prohibit arms exhibitions on municipal property. CANSEC is returning to Lansdowne this spring because last year City Council overturned Ottawa’s historic 20-year ban on arms shows. COAT has brought together activists from many different groups to expose CANSEC and its role in fuelling wars and repression around the world. Here’s how you can help.
Rally for Peace, June 2 (5–7 pm) While a who’s who of Canada’s military-industrialpolitical complex, and their closest foreign friends, stage their fancy-dress dinner inside CANSEC, we’ll hold a large rally for peace. Join us for inspiring music and great speakers at the Bank Street entrance to Lansdowne. CANSEC organizers say their gala reception is “designed to optimize interactions with current and potential contacts, clients and stakeholders.” Join us in “optimizing interactions” with friends and fellow activists in the struggles for peace, the environment,
Stopping Investments in Cluster Munitions by Tatiana Stephens
n August 1st, 2010, campaigners, residents of cluster munition-contaminated communities, and survivors will join a worldwide celebration marking the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This treaty will protect the lives and limbs of civilians by banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. These weapons are made up of a container filled with submunitions, and can be dropped from the air or fired from the ground. Once deployed, the containers open and disperse hundreds, or even thousands, of lethal, armour-piercing submunitions over an area as wide as several football fields. Submunitions cannot distinguish between military or civilian targets, and their fatal consequences last long after a conflict has finished. Between 5 and 30 percent of submunitions do not explode as planned, and lie in wait—in schools, homes, fields, hospitals—ready to injure or kill anyone who comes within range. Ninety-eight percent of cluster munition victims are civilians and almost half are children. Despite the indiscriminate harm caused to civilians by
these weapons, the companies that make and profit from cluster munitions are able to attract funding from financial markets. The Ottawa Treaty banning landmines and the Convention on Cluster Munitions assert that member states must not encourage or assist any activities banned by the treaties. In reality, many member states do not automatically ban financial assistance for the production of landmines or cluster munitions. In April 2010, the organizations Netwerk Vlaanderen (Belgium) and IKV Pax Christi (Netherlands) issued an updated edition of their report “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: A shared responsibility,” which includes new research provided by Mines Action Canada on the role of Canadian financial institutions in funding cluster munition production. According to the report, four Canadian financial institutions—BMO Financial Group, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, Manulife Financial (Canada) and Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia)—are implicated in providing indirect funding to cluster munition producers through their participation in international financing syndicates. The Royal Bank of Canada is commended in the report for having taken initial steps to ban
human rights, democracy and Third-World solidarity.
Surround CANSEC with Peace Symbols We will decorate the fence around CANSEC with messages of peace and imaginative antiwar symbols, cartoons, photos, famous quotations, and poetry. This is an opportunity to send messages to CANSEC participants, peace activists, passers by, and the media. Bring your material to the Bank Street entrance to CANSEC on June 2. We are collecting anti-war symbols and messages online at our Facebook page called: “Don’t Sit on deFence, Decorate it! Surround a War Bazaar with Peace Symbols.” Help Make June 2 a Day of Peace Groups are invited to organize creative peace activities outside CANSEC’s Bank Street entrance sometime during the day on June 2. Organizations could hold an hour-long vigil, put on some street theatre, unfurl a huge banner, hold a peaceful sit-in, bring some giant pup-
pets, distribute fliers, or engage in dialogue with attendees as they enter or exit CANSEC. Let COAT know what you’re planning and we’ll help publicize it. Take a Stand Ask organizations to take a position on CANSEC. This may involve passing a resolution, making a public statement, issuing a media release, writing a letter to the government or media, joining our efforts on June 2, or endorsing COAT’s campaign. Spread the Word The COAT website has various resources for spreading the word about CANSEC, raising public awareness about Canada’s war industries and building support for our June 2 Peace Rally. For more information about CANSEC, and how you can get involved in this year’s efforts, see the COAT website: http:// coat.ncf.ca Richard Sanders is coordinator of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT).
Rally for Peace to oppose the CANSEC Weapons Bazaar Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 5–7 pm at the Bank St. entrance to Lansdowne Park
investments in cluster munition manufacturing companies. Mines Action Canada is helping Canadians put this information to use. Visit www.minesactioncanada.org and click on “Stop Explosive Investments!” to find out how you can participate in the Canadian campaign for a ban on direct and indirect investment in cluster munition production. • Learn how your money is being used. • Call on your financial institutions to create policies explicitly banning investment in cluster munition production, and email info@minesactioncanada. org to let us know if you receive a response. * Ask your Member of Parliament to make sure Canada passes legislation prohibiting investment in cluster munition production. You can do this easily online: visit www.minesactioncanada.org, click on “Act” and then click on the “Write Now! Etool” * Read Mines Action Canada’s open letter to Canadian financial institutions here: http://www.minesactioncanada.org/FILES/whatsnew/ Open letter to Canadian FIs.pdf Tatiana Stephens is Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Project Officer for Mines Action Canada.
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Barbara Stein Tel: (613) 748-3388 email@example.com www.evergreenpestcontrol.com
Non-toxic & Effective Pest Control for your Home
May–June 2010 • Peace and Environment News •
The Maypole Dance: Celebrating Spring by Darla Barrows
his,” my aunt Helen said as she stood up, “would be a great time to go looking for a May Apple.” The sun was beginning to wane in the sky over my parents’ farm where we had just begun gathering for a spring bonfire. “What,” I asked “is a May Apple?” “It is the only place in the forest,” Helen brought her voice to a whisper, “where you might actually find a real fairy.” My son jumped up ecstatically while I began tucking my pants into my socks, a bit begrudgingly. If it was warm enough for fairies, it was warm enough for wood ticks. My aunt ran up to the house to grab a flashlight and then we were off to the hickories, determined to find a May Apple. I had no idea what I was looking for. “It is big,” Helen said as she clicked on her flashlight. “Enormous,” she added. With a farmer’s flashlight, pink dusk and a nascent moon to light our way, we put our noses to the ground and sifted through last autumn’s black walnut husks, between layers of brush and around the trunks of trees. We gathered bouquets of flowers as we looked. The white Lilies of the Valley seemed almost easier to spot in the light of the moon. We had begun singing a favorite in our house, “Shoo Fly,” when Helen stopped abruptly. “There!” And on the ground in the
beam of her light was the largest green leaf I had ever seen. About the size of a dinner plate, the single colossal leaf seemed the queen of the forest. We looked under its canopy for any sign of fairies. Unfortunately, we had been too noisy and scared them away. Thrilled anyway with the satisfaction of a good hunt, we headed back to the bonfire in a caravan of lilies, singing again, “I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star...” Though I didn’t know it at the time, this is how men and women throughout the ages have celebrated May Day, one of our oldest surviving festivals. They head into the forest in early spring to gather bouquets to be brought back for a dance or bonfire, singing as they gather. May Day began as a Floralia, a Roman festival to celebrate Flora, the Goddess of Flowers and Bride of the West Wind. Flower garlands were made for her and brought to her temple, where they were placed on a column around which people danced. In the Celtic British Isles, the Druid festival of Beltane was celebrated on May 1st with a large bonfire. With the advent of the Stuart monarchy in England, the festival shed its pagan roots. Maypoles were erected outside churches for spring festivals and dancing, the poles symbolizing new life and rebirth. According to Ann Druit, author of All Year Round, during this period it was customary for women to rise early on May Day to go into the forest searching for the May dew of
Families participating in a Maypole Dance at Great River School. Photo courtesy Great River School.
hawthorn branches, patting it on their faces to give their skin a beautiful dewy complexion. When I was growing up in rural Iowa, we would wake early to gather bouquets of purple violets to fill May baskets for our neighbours, school bus drivers and teachers. The Maypole Dance is still enjoyed today by those who participate in the dancing or simply like to watch the silk ribbons wind into a carefully ordered pattern around the tree and then unfold. The closest place to participate in a Maypole Dance for those in Ottawa is at Great
Eagranie Yuh and Janet Mrenica read the PEN at the gates of Chinatown in Vancouver the last week of January 2010, pre-Olympics. Eagranie Yuh, who now lives in Vancouver, was the Coordinator for COG-Ottawa’s Feast of Fields 2007. Janet Mrenica is a supporter of the PERC, and a member of COG-Ottawa. If you are travelling to a far-off (or not so far-off) place, or just staying here at home, take a photo of a friend or new acquaintance reading the PEN and send it to us. Let us know where it is and who they are, and the name of the person who took the photo. We will print the photo in the PEN, to show how the PEN gets around!
• Peace and Environment News • May–June 2010
River School’s Spring Fair and Maypole dance. Each child holds a ribbon and forms a large circle around the Maypole while an adult guides the dance. Children and adults will also have the opportunity to make a May Crown, a garland of flowers traditionally worn during the
Maypole dance. The Maypole dance will be held on May 16th this year. For more information or for directions, visit www.greatriverschool.ca or call 613-850-4797. Darla Barrows volunteers with the Great River School.
Towards a Clean Energy Economy by Daniel Cayley-Daoust
t a time when many forward-thinking nations are in the process of moving away from Saudi Arabia style fossil-fuel based economies, the Government of Canada is investing in the environmentally harmful Tar Sands. You might have noticed the Canadian Government’s inaction at last December’s climate change conference in Copenhagen or the troubling development where the Canadian dollar has achieved parity with the U.S. dollar, causing job losses in the manufacturing sector. The truth is that the Canadian Tar Sands are behind both Canada’s environmental inaction and the increasing manufacturing job losses. A new clean energy economy is emerging across the world and unfortunately Canada is not part of it. Canada must change direction before we fall too far behind. In just two years Germany has managed to create 75,000 jobs in renewable energy. Even the United States is now investing 14 times more per person in renewable energy than Canada. In order to change direc-
tion and take advantage of the new clean economy, the Federal Government must stop supporting the dirty tar sands and instead invest in a clean energy economy. At the Ottawabased Polaris Institute we have launched a campaign urging all federal parties to create a new clean energy jobs law. Polaris’ campaign will approach several neighbourhoods in the Ottawa-Gatineau region to engage residents in discussions about the new clean energy economy, the destructive tar sands and the need for the Federal Government to take action now. Over the coming weeks and months residents of Ottawa-Gatineau will find canvassers on their doorsteps, events in their cafes, and petition drives at their festivals and shopping centres. A new clean energy economy that creates jobs and protects the environment is possible. With the support of Ottawa-Gatineau residents we can make it happen! To learn more and to send a letter to federal party leaders, visit: www.cleanenergyeconomy.ca Daniel Cayley-Daoust is Public Education and Outreach Officer at the Polaris Institute.
PEN Insider - Green Business! Featuring: Peace Award; Forest Under Threat; Arms Show Protest; Cluster Munitions Ban; Target: Tar Sands; Crea...
Published on May 1, 2010
PEN Insider - Green Business! Featuring: Peace Award; Forest Under Threat; Arms Show Protest; Cluster Munitions Ban; Target: Tar Sands; Crea...