- We did it! For the first time in Canadian history, a notable Canadian woman will be featured on the face of one of our bank notes. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on December 8, 2016 that he selected civil rights icon Viola Desmond to appear on the front of a new $10 note which will be issued in 2018 by the Bank of Canada. Both Morneau and Status of Women Minister Patty Hadju acknowledged.
Some members of CFUW Mississauga signed the "Bank of Canada: Add women from Canadian history to Canadian bank notes" petition. This update on the petition was just posted on December 9, 2016:
Nov.4, 2016, marked the one year anniversary of the present federal government. The following report attempts to inform the CFUW membership of the Liberal Government's actions to date on 10 of its election promises. The following questions were drawn up by members of the CFUW Mississauga Issues Group for presentation to candidates before the 2015 federal election. The ﬁrst review was done in March, the second in July. This is the third and ﬁnal review for this year. A selected announcement is included from each review. Red stars beside the question indicate the government response to this issue is less than stellar, green stars indicate the issue is being addressed by the government as promised, and mixed stars show some progress, some lack of progress.
Evaluation of Progress one year later:
2 Promises failed to address the issue by any standards
2 Promises met the federal government’s goals
*** #1 Fair Elections Act of 2014
Question: What is your position on the following changes to the act?
Mr. Trudeau promised he’d introduce electoral reform legislation within 18 months of forming government. The legislation would be based on the recommendations of a special, all-party parliamentary committee mandated to fully and fairly study alternatives to ﬁrst-past-the-post, including ranked ballots and proportional representation. The committee would also explore the notions of mandatory voting and online voting.
Jan. 2, 2016 -
“It is not our plan to have a referendum to ratify electoral reform of ﬁrst past the post system. There will be a parliamentary committee to consider including preferential ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting and online voting,”
Source: Gov’t House Leader Dominic LeBlanc
July 6, 2016 -
The government encouraged Canadians to learn about electoral reform on its new website designed to help ”everyday Canadians” to plan, host and share the results of the dialogue about electoral reform.
Source: Government of Canada web page
August 19, 2016 -
With a mandate to broadly consult Canadians from all walks of life, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform will criss-cross Canada this coming September and October. The Committee will use this opportunity to hold formal hearings and public sessions where members of the public may share their views on electoral reform, online voting and mandatory voting. For the open-mic sessions, it will be first come, first served. The format for these public sessions and the specific locations for the sessions remain to be determined. A press release providing further details will be issued at a later date.
The Committee’s mandate was set out in the motion adopted by the House of Commons on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The Committee must present its report to the House of Commons no later than December 1, 2016.
Source: Government of Canada web page.
*** #2 NATIONAL ENQUIRY INTO THE LOST AND MURDERED ABORIGINAL WOMEN
What is your stand on the issue of a national investigation into the many murdered and lost Aboriginal women and girls?
Dec. 9, 2015
Ministers Carolyn Bennett (Indigenous and Northern Affairs), Jody WilsonRaybould (Justice and Attorney General) and Patty Hajdu (Status of Women) made the announcement in Ottawa, breaking down what is to be a two phase process. The ﬁrst phase is to begin immediately and will involve meeting with families of victims, frontline service workers, national Aboriginal, provincial, and territorial representatives over the next two months. This phase will be used to design and set the scope of the inquiry.
While the Liberals outlined a two-year, $40 million commitment to the inquiry, Minister Bennett was clear that the ﬁgures were simply “place holders” in the platform and would be adjusted depending on what the ministers heard as consultations progressed.
Government of Canada launches inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
*** # 3 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
What answers do you have to help rectify the ongoing youth unemployment situation in Canada today?
Justin Trudeau said a Liberal government would create 40,000 youth jobs each year for three years as part of a $1.3-billion jobs program. Key to the program would be the 40,000 youth jobs, paid internships and co-op placements through an annual $300-million investment in a new Youth Employment Strategy. The party also promised to pay up to one-quarter of a co-op student’s salary, up to a maximum of $5,000, for every new position an employer creates.
February 2016, the Government announced that it would create up to 35,000 additional jobs in each of the next three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program. The investment of $339 million over three years starting in 2016-17, would nearly double the number of job opportunities supported by the program.
Source: Government of Canada web page
July 19, 2016
Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) provides funding to not-for-proﬁt organizations, public-sector employers, and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for students.
CSJ creates summer job opportunities and provides valuable work experience for youth intending to return to their studies full-time in the next school year. The program also helps employers generate jobs that focus on priorities important to their local communities as well as on a number of national priorities that include:
Oct. 19, 2016
The Federal Student Work Experience Program announces jobs now and upcoming November and January provides full-time students with the opportunity to explore their interests and develop their skills.
*** # 4 USEFULNESS OF THE LONG FORM CENSUS
Where will Stats Canada get its information for developing long range policies relevant to the needs of our citizens if the Long Form Census is no longer used?
“A promise to "immediately" restore the long-form census was one of the planks in the Liberal Party's platform during the recent federal election. The day after the election, the Liberal government reinstated the mandatory long-form census (for 2016) that was scrapped by the Conservatives ﬁve years ago.
"We need good, reliable data," said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, who made the announcement on Parliament Hill.”
Source: Bruce Campion-Smith, Ottawa Bureau beta.thestar.com
May 10, 2016
Canada Census marked the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census, which had been dropped in favour of the voluntary National Household Survey for the 2011 census.
*** #5 PROVIDING SAFE, CLEAN WATER FOR ABORIGINAL RESERVES
What would you do to remedy this situation?
As of September 30, 2015, there were 138 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 94 First Nations communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia.
Oct. 7, 2015 -
Voice News Canada managing editor Natalie Alcoba asked, “just to be clear,” if Trudeau was indeed promising clean water on all reserves within ﬁve years of forming government.
“In all those 93 communities, yes,” Trudeau replied.
(Apparently one reserve had clean water in the week after the ﬁrst statement.)
No policy established as yet by the new government.
yShort and long term drinking water advisories that are in place in First Nation communities on reserve located south of the 60 degree parallel in Canada.
As of May 31, 2016, there were 126 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 84 First Nation communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia.
Note: Health Canada no longer reports drinking water advisories in British Columbia First Nations.
June 7, 2016, Tanya Talaga Global Economics Reporter
One of the world’s leading human rights groups has turned its focus on the consequences of the decades-old problem of contaminated water in indigenous communities throughout Ontario. From July 2015 to April 2016, Human Rights Watch conducted research in 99 homes located in Ontario First Nations, examining water and sanitation surveys in Batchewana, Grassy Narrows, Shoal Lake 40, Neskantaga, and Six Nations of Grand River. They found children suffering with skin disorders, mothers who spend hours a day disinfecting bottles to feed their babies, children and adults skipping baths, and, the presence of E.coli and other pollutants in untreated water. There are unsafe water advisories for 133 water systems — 89 in First Nations communities across Canada, according to their 92page report, “Make it Safe: Canada’s Obligation to End the First Nations Water Crisis,” released on Tuesday
Nov. 7, 2016, Health Canada Update
Short and long term drinking water advisories that are in place in First Nation communities on reserve located south of the 60 degree parallel in Canada.
As of 30 September, 2016, there were 139 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 94 First Nations communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia. The longest running water advisory is in the Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario, where residents have been boiling their water for 20 years.
*** #6 CLIMATE CHANGE & GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS If elected, what steps would you take to see that Canada undertakes its commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and meet international commitments on climate change?
After the Paris Conference Prime Minister Trudeau issued a statement saying he will meet with the premiers within the next three months to hammer out Canada’s emission targets.
“We will move toward a climate resilient economy, and we will invest in public transit, green infrastructure and clean technologies to create new jobs and support our communities,” the statement said. Experts and environmentalists tried to inject a practical note into the celebration over the agreement, pointing out Canada still doesn’t have a national emissions target. The Conference did not set a target, nor has Canada released one yet, Conservative environment critic Ed Fast was quick to point out.
March 10, 2016, Washington, D.C.
“Canada and the U.S. will work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, and commit to join and sign the Agreement as soon as feasible. As we implement our respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the leaders also commit to, in 2016, completing midcentury, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the Paris Agreement and encouraging this approach with members of the G-20.”
Source: Ofﬁce of the P.M.
April 22, 2016
Canada signed the Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise. The Paris Agreement was opened for signature on 22 April, 2016, at a highlevel signature ceremony convened by the Secretary General in New York. At that ceremony, 174 States and the European Union signed the agreement and 15 States also deposited their instruments of ratification.
Canada’s Record on Climate Change
The Canadian Government hands out around a billion dollars a year in tax breaks to oil, coal and gas companies.
Canada's annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to be between 749 and 790 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) in 2020 and between 765 and 875 Mt CO2 eq in 2030, without taking into account the contribution of the land use, land use change and forestry sector (LULUCF).
Source: Canada's Second Biennial Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Sept. 30, 2016, Tim Louis on the Issues blog
“Are the federal Liberals really serious about climate change?”
Oct. 5, 2016 Government of Canada
*** #7 PRIVATIZATION OF PARKS CANADA
"What is your position on privatization within our National Parks?”
Workers at three mountain hot springs remain in limbo four years after Parks Canada announced it wanted to privatize the tourist attractions in Alberta and B.C. The initial announcement caused an uproar with local communities and First Nations, and protests and heated town hall meetings soon followed. Concerns include the impact on admission prices and whether the sites could be turned into private spas.
Parks would still own the facilities but would contract out the business operations at the Banff, Radium and Miette Hot Springs in Jasper.
The 2012 decision by Parks Canada put employees at the three sites in a perilous employment situation as they have a notification of affected status, which means the operations of the hot springs could face commercialization in the future.
Jan 11, 2016
Not everyone is opposed to commercializing the hot springs, with some optimistic that it could improve the visitor experience. "If something can be run more efficiently than it has in the past that would be a benefit to our mountain park users," said Casey Pierce with the Association for Mountain Parks Protection & Enjoyment.
Pierce questions whether Parks Canada should be running hot pools, considering the organization's mandate includes culture, ecological integrity, conservation and education.
"No wonder they were looking at options," she said.
Source: CBC News Calgary
Park Canada rejects Mother Canada memorial:
Blair Pardy, the ﬁeld unit superintendent from Cape Breton, wrote the Friends of Green Cove on Friday, saying that after careful consideration Parks Canada has decided to withdraw from the project.
"As a result, the project will not be moving forward on Parks Canada land." the message reads.
Source: Charles Mandel National Observer
Sept. 2, 2016
Parks Canada won’t privatize Rocky Mountain Hot springs after all:
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the government would no longer be seeking a private operator for the Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park, Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park, and Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park. She said that after extensive analysis, the government has determined that it is in the best interest of Canadians for Parks Canada to retain the responsibility of running the hot springs.
“The decision for Parks Canada to keep the responsibility for operating the hot springs will mean all Canadians can continue to have access to the hot springs,” McKenna said in a release. “And it will make sure we are able to continue the traditional use of these special places by Indigenous Peoples.”
Source: Amanda Stephenson Calgary Herald.com
*** #8 AFFORDABLE HOUSING
How would you address the problem of funding more affordable housing?
Would you be willing to re-establish the partnership with the provinces and municipalities?
Sept. 9, 2015
“The Liberals promised to invest $20 billion in social infrastructure - $125 million annually to renovate the supply of rental housing; to ﬁnance affordable rental housing for middle and low income Canadians; inventory all available federal lands and buildings to see what could be repurposed, and make it available at low cost for affordable housing in communities where there is a pressing need; modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan so that it helps more Canadians ﬁnance the purchase of a home; and review escalating home prices in high-priced markets – like Vancouver and Toronto – to keep home ownership within reach for Canadians living in these areas.”
Source: Liberal Party web page
March 7, 2016
“In a new United Nations report released today, Canada is criticized harshly for its ongoing housing and homelessness crisis. Some of the problems identiﬁed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights include: absence of a national housing strategy; insufﬁcient funding for housing; inadequate housing subsidy within the social assistance beneﬁt; shortage of social housing units; increased evictions related to rental arrears; increased numbers of homeless and lack of homelessness prevention; shortage of emergency shelters; laws that penalize people for being homeless; lack of adequate housing for people with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities; and the poor housing conditions of Canada’s indigenous peoples.”
Source: Right to Housing
June 21,2016, Government Canada
Measures over the next two years to give Canadians greater access to more affordable housing include:
Doubling of the current IAH funding levels by the Government of Canada and provinces and territories, to more than $1 billion over two years, starting in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
Through the IAH, the Government of Canada is also providing over two years:
Nov. 10, 2016, Ont. Ministry of Housing News Release
London, ON - The Governments of Canada and Ontario, along with the City of London, celebrated the ofﬁcial opening of 18 new affordable housing initiatives in London and the surrounding area today.
“Our Government is dedicated to helping those in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in these projects in London and surrounding area. The 281 new housing units we are announcing today are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are key to a better life for the residents who will call them home.” Kate Young MP for London West
*** #9 EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE
What is your stand on a national child care policy?
What will you do to ensure equitable access to top quality and affordable child care for all Canadians?
“The Liberal Party of Canada promised to develop a child care framework that meets the needs of Canadian families, wherever they live. Child care needs vary from family to family, and provinces and territories have responded to these needs in different ways. A one-size-ﬁts all national program – particularly one that imposes pre-determined costs on other orders of government – is impractical and unfair.
We will meet with provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities to begin work on a new National Early Learning and Child Care Framework, to deliver affordable, high-quality, ﬂexible, and fully inclusive child care for Canadian families. This work will begin in the ﬁrst 100 days of a Liberal government and will be funded through our investments in social infrastructure. The framework we design together will be administered in collaboration with, and in respect of, provincial jurisdictions.”
Source: Liberal Party of Canada
. . .proposes to invest $500 million in 2017-18 to support the establishment of a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care. Of this amount, $100 million would be for Indigenous child care and early learning on reserve.. . . Developing the Framework will begin in 2016-17, and will be a joint effort-the Government, provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples will all contribute to its creation. Investments under the new Framework are expected to ﬂow in 2017-18."
Source: Government of Canada Federal Budget
March 22, 2016
By deferring urgently needed funds for child care to the 2017 budget, the Trudeau government has missed an excellent opportunity to do better to advance women’s equality, reduce poverty and give real help to the middle class this year. All these were recurring key themes in the October election campaign and in the lead up to the budget.
Source: Child Care Advocacy Association
Nov. 7, 2016
Rhiannon Archer was excited about having her ﬁrst baby -- until she found out about the high cost of child care in Canada. In contrast, Quebec, Manitoba, and PEI all cap child care fees and make up the difference for families through core transfers to services. The CCPA report ﬁnds Winnipeg, Manitoba, parents typically pay $451 a month for a preschool child care space. In Charlottetown, PEI, they pay $586, and in Quebec cities such as Montreal, Laval, and Quebec City they pay just $174.
"The fees are high in all the provinces -- except the three that are regulated," Macdonald says.
A federal ﬁx?
Could the federal government step in to help ﬁx this mess? Macdonald hopes so.
"The federal role could be to set up a national system whereby fees have a maximum across the country, but then (child care) centres are subsidized so they don't go bankrupt," he says.
Source: Blog by Lauren Pelley, Hufﬁngton Post
*** #10 THE SITUATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS
What is your position on restricting communication for the scientiﬁc community?
What is your position on the reinstatement of scientiﬁc funding?
The Liberal platform stated that their government would appoint a Chief Science Ofﬁcer who will ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientiﬁc analyses are considered when the government makes decisions. New Minister of Science is Kirsty Duncan and Navdeep Bains is Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Nov. 30, 2015
Globe and Mail - . . . many wonder how she and her cabinet colleagues can accomplish what they have been asked to do – not just reverse the policies so unpopular under Mr. Harper but craft a new role for science that has never been present in Canada’s government before and, even more important, boost the value of science to the economy.
The task is ambitious in scope and ambiguous in detail, and there is plenty of room for missteps. Ms. Duncan isn’t ready to say what she will do but lists the guiding principles behind her mandate and that of the chief science ofﬁcer, a new position she has been asked to create: “It’s transparency in decision-making, ensuring that science is available to Canadians and ensuring evidence-based decision-making across government.”
March 19, 2016
Senior civil servants warned the new Liberal government that “unmuzzled” scientists still need a tight leash, internal documents show. Documents prepared for Treasury Board President Scott Brison warn that when government policy and scientific pursuits don’t align, the scientists may exact their revenge.
“It is the legitimate role of politicians to set priorities. In setting priorities for government programs, science is but one factor,” read the documents, obtained under access to information laws. “While scientists may be disappointed when projects receive less funding or attention, it remains the role of ministers to determine priorities and defend them before the Canadian public.” The documents were sent to Brison by Yaprak Baltacioglu, the top bureaucrat at Treasury Board. Brison is not the minister responsible for government science, but as the head of Treasury Board is responsible for the government’s overall communications policy.
Study by Joan Barrett for the Issues Group, CFUW Mississauga
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeal of Inuit Clyde Solidarity Organization November 30th. The previous Conservative federal government gave permission to oil companies in 2014 to conduct seismic blasting for five years in the northern Arctic in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, an area that abounds in sea life, including a high percentage of the World’s narwhal whales, as well as belugas and bowheads. The blasting has been carried out daily at frequent intervals. This area includes part of the North Water Polynya, which is valuable for its abundant sea life. A polynya is an area of warm, open water surrounded by ice. This polynya consists of 85,000 square kilometres, and is a traditional Inuit hunting ground. Hunters became alarmed that the force of blasting could damage these creatures, including whales, affecting their hearing, reducing their ability to communicate and causing them to change their migration routes.
The Hunters and Trappers Organization of Clyde River, a community on the northwest coast of Baffin Island, with the support of other groups including Greenpeace and Amnesty International, formed the opposition Clyde River Solidarity Organization to contest the permit and have brought a court action against the oil companies and government to prevent this exploration. When the courts, including the Federal Court of Appeal, rejected their case, they went to the Supreme Court, which will hear the appeal November 30th.
Learning of the coalition’s forthcoming appeal to the Supreme Court, the conglomerate of companies carrying out the activity postponed blasting for the present year. Lined up against the coalition are: TGS-Nopec Geophysical Company (ASA) and Multiklient Invest as (MKI), the National Energy Board (NEB) and the federal Attorney General. The Inuit state that the affected communities on northern Baffin Island did not obtain adequate consultation and did not give consent. They base their case on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
A committee of the Inuit Circumpolar Council is calling for joint control by Inuit of Canada and Greenland of the North Water Polynya. This is the result of their months’ long consultations among the Inuit. The panel consists of Kuupek Kleist, former Prime Minister of Greenland, Eva Aareak, former premier of Nunavut, and Ookalik Eegeesiak, President of the Council. Ms. Eegeesiak states that many Inuit from both Nunavut and Greenland depend on the area for food on a near-daily basis. She listed their three major issues: the impact of shipping, oil and gas exploration and climate change.
The panel also calls for the restoration of the “ice bridge” around the north edge of the polynya which Inuit freely travelled by dogsled, snowmobile and even light plane between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Inuit have relatives on both sides of the two countries who used to exchange visits in the spring. After the terrorist attacks of 9-11 the government ended the free passage.
Transportation in the Arctic.
A Remarkable Book. The Right to be Cold, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Penguin, Canada, 2015. Ms. Cloutier was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights, especially in the Arctic. She was President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council from 1995 to 2002. An Inuit, she has devoted much of her life to the promotion of the health, education, independence and traditional life of her people. The Mississauga library system has a copy.
The Arctic has had many talented writers and artists over a long period. If you have information that you would like to send me at email@example.com, it will be helpful for an article here. There is now a law school at Akitsiraq, Nunavut.
Young Peoples’ Walk of Hope, June 7th- July 9th. Nine young people from Attawapiskat took part in a pilgrimage of 14 participants who walked from Cochrane to Niagara Falls, where, as members of the AFN they attended the First National Youth Summit on Wellness, July 9th. They stated that in undergoing this long walk they were following the custom of their ancestors who in times of duress would “walk great distances over our ancestral lands to gather strength and support from other Nations.”
Young people from many parts of Canada came to this conference at which they discussed issues of vital importance to young people. They called upon the AFN at its annual national assembly in Montreal in August to consider their resolutions.
Suicide of Azxraya Kokopenace, Attawapiskat. In April this 14 year old girl, who was in care, walked away from hospital and took her life not long after the death of her 17 year old brother, Calvin, from mercury poisoning and muscular dystrophy. The community has a new Facebook posting, “Attawapiskat Suicide Awarenness” , and underneath the words “Public Group.” It aims to extend a branch to young people to persevere in their difficulties.
Saskatchewan farmer charged in death of young Native man. Colten Boushie,22, of the Red Pheasant reserve north of Biggar, died August 9th from gunshot on the property of farmer, Gerald Stanley, who is charged with second degree murder. It is unfortunate that indigenous people on reserves in the region have a reputation of stealing from local residents. After the shooting and arrest of Mr. Stanley, there have been many racist comments on Facebook supporting him. Statistics Canada’s 2011 reports 43% of Red Pheasants unemployed, household income $19,091, and 55% without highschool graduation.
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin calls for Aboriginal appointments at lower courts. Chief Justice McLachlin, in an interview with the Toronto Star (Aug. 10/16) is reported to welcome ethnic diversity and more aboriginal judges on the Supreme Court, and stated that the most senior judges work their way up, starting at the trial level, and that Aboriginal judges should be appointed here and follow this route as she did. Osgoode Hall Dean, Lorne Sossin , in an article in the most recent issue of Policy Options wrote that an aboriginal appointment “would bring much needed perspective on indigenous law and treaties that are a fundamental aspect of the Constitution, ‘one that we’ve always had to interpret because we’ve never had anyone who can speak in a first-person understanding of the language and culture from which those treaties emerged.’”
A shameful living heritage of mercury poisoning, Grassy Narrows and Area. The First Nation of Grassy Narrows and the Ontario government reported May 30th on the results of a joint effort to research and report on mercury in the river. These stated that the chemical is still in the waters. The Supreme Court has held that the latest owners of the Dryden pulp and paper plant are not liable for the remediation of the Wabigoon River because of Ontario’s 1979 agreement with the owners not to hold them responsible for any future cleanup, a decision made to assist with the sale of the company. The Toronto Star (Aug. 27/16) carried an interview with a former labourer at the plant, Kas Glowacki, who said that he and another employee had dumped over 50 barrels of salt and mercury in a pit, separate from known contaminant sites, that was lined with only polyurethane. He had written to the band a year ago, who had sent the letter on to the province. The Department of the Environment did not take steps to investigate Mr. Glowacki’s claim.
Gord Downie Exhorts for Indigenous to have a better life. At his final concert with the Tragically Hip in Kingston Mr. Downie pointed to Prime Minister Trudeau in the audience and declared, “ ‘He is going to take us where we need to go,’ “ and “we’ve got the guy to do it, to start, to help.’ “
Ninety Percent of Canadians support more public spending for a better standard of living for Indigenous people. A recent poll by Environics of non-aboriginal Canadian adults reported that 90% support greater spending to provide indigenous people with decent housing, safe drinking water and schools that provide education that gives natives equality of opportunity. There is broad public support for key recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A Globe and Mail headline of Aug. 29/16 reads, ”Risky water systems pose health threat to one-third of people on First Nation reserves.”
Canada has signed on to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. This is a resolution and does not have the force of a treaty or convention. The preamble says that indigenous people have the right to “ ‘freely determine their political status.’ “ This may become a complicated issue in our governments’ relations with these citizens and private enterprise.
Premier Wynne has apologized for historic abuses toward Indigenous people and has committed the province to spend almost $222 million over three years on indigenous health care among First Nations in Northern Ontario. This is to be followed by permanent funding of $104.5 million to address inequities in health care and promote culturally appropriate medical services.
In September: the heritage and status of Métis and Inuit.
NEWS FLASH! It is time to start thinking SHOEBOXES!
Suggested Items to Include:
What to Leave Out:
CFUW Mississauga congratulates Fatmatta Rawdatu Kanu on being honoured at the Canada International Black Women Event
Fatmatta Rawdatu Kanu received an award for pioneering families, Refugees and Communities in Canada. One year ago, she also gained recognition as an author at the gala celebration of “100 Black Women to Watch in Canada”.
Not only is Fatmatta an active member of the community she is a active member of CFUW working with the Issues Group on resolutions and supporting the Shoebox Project to provide gifts for women in our shelters.
Titles of her books include:
- Through the Calabash, recounting the memories and reflections on growing up in an ordinary African family in Sierra Leone;
- Taste of the Kola Nut, the story of young African students who moved to Canada for a time to study in the 1960s;
- Rock Behind the Waterfall, book is more than an autobiographical account of a woman and her family in the period between 1971 and 1981. It covers the life of a diplomat couple abroad – in the social and economic impact on their extended families. It also gives an insider’s account of the behind-the-scene activities that contributed to the successes of a diplomatic mission.
Reporting from the UN! This has been the most amazing week and we are only half way. This morning, I heard the PM speak and there were 5 cabinet ministers in attendance. Lots of exciting things happening. Yesterday I attended an event at UNICEF house - the launch of a project to end child marriage. They are already working in Sierra Leone and the moderator was also from Sierra Leone.
The discussion at this year’s session will primarily focus on women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development.
This subject is particularly important in the context of the twenty-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the recent adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As the international community implements the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, this UNCSW session provides a crucial opportunity to ensure that this work contributes to the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment.
“Kathryn Wilkinson is a member of CFUW Mississauga and we are delighted that she is part of the CFUW national delegation”, said Ann Kanppe, CFUW Mississauga President. “This is a wonderful opportunity to meet women from around the world, discuss matters of common concern, and bring back information and new perspectives on women and girls issues to our Club and community”.
As a Non-Government Organization with Consultative Status with the United Nations, the CFUW delegation will be actively participating in the discussions at CSW. It is the hope of CFUW that states will reach an agreement on how developed and developing countries can work together to promote sustainable development while ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment. CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace.
Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway to open in 2017-18. At present Inuvik, population 3400, situated in the Mackenzie Delta, is almost isolated, linked by road only to the Yukon highway system. The new road, begun in 2014, links the centre to Tuktoyaktuk, to the northeast on the Arctic coast, with a population of about 1,000. The route will be a two lane gravel road. The federal government pays about two thirds of the cost, the provinces and territories the remainder. The benefits will be cheaper goods, and greater access to health care, education, social and recreational opportunities. The highway is being built on top of the permafrost using geotextiles and huge amounts of gravel. The work can only be done during the winter, as access for trucks with building materials is over frozen water. Possibly the highway will increase oil and gas development. The highway will complete Canada’s road network from coast to coast.
LaLoche highschool reopens. On Monday teachers returned to the highschool and sent out a message of hope and unity to students. Next Monday students will begin classes.
LaLoche -Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River NDP MP, Georgina Jolibois. Ms. Jolibois is a Dene who has lived from childhood in LaLoche. She has a degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has been active in native organizations of the northern area of the province. She is chairperson of the New North, an advocacy group of 35 communities, and has served on local development and regional environmental organizations. In a recent press interview she rebutted the notion that natives were lacking in initiative. For example, the community had applied for government money to build a youth recreation centre four years ago and the building plans were still on the drawing board. She stated the people knew what they needed and that timely assistance was the requirement. It is worth noting that the rate of violent crime in LaLoche has dropped 50% in the past decade. Residents point out that there are 11 rental housing units under construction, some private funding toward the youth centre, people speak Dene and engage in trapping. Wab Kinew, of the University of Winnipeg, writes,
While the North certainly needs help, I have travelled enough to realize that there are
brilliant people in every community who know the solutions needed. They don’t need
saviours, they need allies. And yes, they need resources.
He reminds us that, “We pull natural resource wealth out of the North, but are sometimes reluctant to reinvest in human resources there.”
Ninety-four percent of human trafficking is domestic. Most of these cases are sexual exploitation. Indigenous women and girls figure disproportionately among the statistics. Dr. Carolyn Bennet, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women affirmed their commitment to strengthen Ottawa’s response, concentrating on prevention and addressing root causes. The RCMP consider Ontario to be a major hub for sex trafficking. The province is increasing its efforts to arrest perpetrators with an improved network of police information an “overarching” strategy .” (Globe & Mail, Feb 12/16).
AFN denounces omission in Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement of 2007. This settlement denied compensation to native children who suffered abuse while attending government financed schools which in the 1950s replaced religious administrations. Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the AFN, declares that this exclusion is counter to spirit of the Conservative government’s apology of 2008.
Northern Ontario First Nations declare health emergency. Reform comes from speaking out! Amid the abysmal conditions of some natives’ lives, let us take heart from the renaissance of native spirit. Representing about 75,000 indigenous people in the north, leaders this week pointed out that lack of good health care leaves people at risk for diabetes, hepatitis C, rheumatic fever and other bacterial infections. As well, cramped housing and dirty water aggravate the risks. They also point to youth suicides. “We’re talking about institutional racism in Canada’s and Ontario’s healthcare system” said Isadore Day, Ontario’s Regional Chief.
1020 Aboriginal job vacancies in Vancouver. This web heading leads to a listing of a variety of employment in the city specifically for Aboriginals.
Job with Native Shoes. The ad is for a “star graphic designer.”
ScotiaBank, Vancouver. Position for a Senior Aboriginal Banking Specialist.
Issues & Advocacy Blog
This Blog page will report on events and activities that the Issues Group participates in and/or sponsors.