Deaths of indigenous women ‘a Canadian genocide’, leaked report says

 

Photograph from 2015 demonstration showing protest after Tina Fontaine death
Activists say thousands of indigenous women and girls may have been killed

A national public inquiry into possibly thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada has called the deaths a “Canadian genocide”.

The report was leaked to Canada’s national broadcaster CBC which published details on Friday.

The 1,200-page document reportedly blames the disproportionate violence faced by indigenous women on deep-rooted colonialism and state inaction.

The report is due to be formally released at a ceremony on Monday.

The findings of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are long-awaited in Canada, where there are about 1.6m indigenous people.

“It took 40 years to get to this present moment and only because indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this,” Robyn Bourgeois, a campaigner on the issue, told the BBC.

The inquiry concluded that about 1,200 aboriginal women had been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1980, but some activists say the number is likely to have been far higher.

The report acknowledged disagreements over what constituted genocide, but concluded: “The national inquiry’s findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people, as genocide.” MORE

RELATED:

National inquiry calls murders and disappearances of Indigenous women a ‘Canadian genocide’

Why It Is Too Late for the Green New Deal (As Presently Envisioned)

“We live in a strange world. Where we think we can buy or build our way out of a crisis that has been created by buying and building things.” Greta Thunberg

 

Image result for doomsday clockWe all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who have articulated the Green New Deal (GND), especially Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement. We needed something that focused attention on how serious climate change has become and the need for government action. The GND has shattered the neoliberal insistence upon incremental, market-oriented climate mitigation.

But, considering the emerging climate science and our diminished carbon budget after at least three decades of denial, and with carbon concentration in the atmosphere higher than it has been in 3 million years, it is too late to speed up the slow transition from fossil fuels to renewables with government facilitated renewable building; too late to build renewables under a Keynesian plan that employs all the workers in transition; too late for a transition that makes money and lets us keep living our present lifestyles.

The GND challenged neoliberalism with a “Big Government Plan” for climate mitigation, but as presently envisioned, these policy actions remain completely within a market transition where renewables will only replace fossil fuels by out-competing coal, oil and natural gas.

The GND could greatly speed up this slow transition, but it’s still a plan to let fossil fuels compete for far too long; it still doesn’t regulate production and distribution; it still envisions supplying 100 percent of today’s energy, plus projected growth. The GND is ultimately predicated upon a growing GDP in a business-as-usual scenario where there is enough created wealth to redistribute to marginalized populations.

If it had been implemented in the ‘90s, this carbon-price aided decarbonization, with renewables out-competing fossil fuels, could have worked and largely solved our problem. But now, there is no time and no carbon budget left for such a slow transition; no time for a tapering period or for a carbon price to work its market magic. As Sunrise Movement founder Varsini Prakash told the Guardian, “If there was a free market solution to the climate crisis, we would’ve seen it in the last 40 years.”

It is already possible that we are on the wrong side of a threshold to that cascade of tipping points leading to Hothouse Earth and the destruction of all we love and care about, including the extinction of most species. Fossil fuels are now a potentially lethal toxin already at too high a level in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels must now be kept in the ground. Governments must regulate a scheduled, rapid managed decline of all fossil fuel production based upon the best science and risk management expertise.

Instead of a climate mitigation plan that is shoehorned into the economic and political status quo, there is no time to taper-in mitigation to protect the economy: emissions must peak immediately and substantial emission reduction from the present high of more than 37 billion tons annually must happen immediately.

We don’t have until 2050 for a slow transition. We must cut emissions by half globally by 2030 — by 65 to 70 percent in wealthy countries like the U.S. and Canada. As climate activist Alex Steffen writes, our emission reduction curve has to bend so steeply that winning slowly becomes the same as losing. Thus, GND decarbonization is a plan to fail.

Oakville mayor slams Ontario as ‘centralized authoritarian regime’ after Doug Ford tries to weaken wildlife law

The trail of mindless destruction of public safeguards continues.


Ontario Premier Doug Ford applauds Finance Minister Vic Fideli during the presentation of the 2019 Ontario Budget at Queens Park in Toronto on April 11, 2019. Photo by Christopher Katsarov

Premier Doug Ford’s government is facing vehement opposition from municipalities across Ontario for proposing to weaken legislation protecting endangered species in order to allow mass development to occur in critical habitat for wildlife.

The changes were proposed in a housing bill, Bill 108, that proposes amendments to 15 laws, including 20-pages of sweeping changes to existing protections for endangered wildlife. These protections are spelled out under Schedule 5 of the legislation.

The proposed changes include the creation of a new fund that would allow developers to pay the equivalent of a tax, rather than taking steps to protect and restore habitat of species at risk. The government has also proposed to change the makeup of a scientific committee that reviews the status of species at risk, in order to allow people with no scientific expertise to join and provide scientific advice.

The Ontario municipalities of York, Muskoka Lakes, Oakville, Aurora, Archipelago and Lennox-Addington have all voiced their opposition to Bill 108 and passed motions or resolutions to that effect.

Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas says his municipality was neither consulted nor informed that these changes were coming. He worries that the bill will eliminate the ability of local councils to make decisions about how their natural and wildlife areas are managed.

“At the end of the day, Aurora has a lot of green space in southern parts. We have protected habitats in the Oak Ridges Moraine and there are a lot of species in the area,” he said in a phone call. “We need to ensure that we protect those species from harmful development that will take over the area.”

Oakville council also opposes Ontario’s proposed changes to Endangered Species Act. The city council passed a resolution Monday that urged the province to stop the advancement of Bill 108 and give municipalities more time to review the omnibus bill, comment on and consult with the government on changes to regulations. MORE

RELATED:

Ontario Government has it completely backwards on Ontario wildlife

Reverse your extremely bad decision as Climate Change crisis worsens

Send a letter to Todd Smith, (Bay of Quinte), Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Government House Leader.  todd.smithco@pc.ola.org


Wind energy appears poised for large-scale expansion. (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld)

MPP Smith,

With respect, I ask of you, as our elected representative,  to do everything within your powers to reverse the recent decision to cancel and revoke the contract for the nearly completed 9 turbine wpd White Pines Wind farm project in Prince Edward County.

I also ask you to not proceed with the current  proposal to dismantle them.

This is a pivotal time in our history when our window of opportunity to act decisively to address climate change is only 10 to 12 years before tipping points will be reached that will have catastrophic impacts on our civilization. Tearing down a wind farm is not part of the solution to our problems and will further diminish hope.

The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change is urging governments to immediately move climate targets from 2 degrees C to 1.5 degrees C. We are now at 1.2 degrees C.

We must rapidly  de-carbonize our electricity system, as is happening across Canada and the entire world, by increasing the amount of energy from clean, affordable, infinite renewable energy sources such as would be provided by this 20 MW wind farm in Prince Edward County.

We have entered the era of ‘The New Norm’: Massive forest fires, rapidly changing weather patterns, extreme heat waves and the exponential rate of extinction of species we share this Earth with. CO2 levels are rising and have reached between 405 and 412 PPM ,O2 production is falling and oceans are warming as a result of human behaviour.  Is this the legacy our generation wants to leave for our children and grandchildren to deal with?

Sincerely,

Don  & Heather Ross , Milford

Climate change making for sour grapes

“The reality is, one person can do a lot and if we get more and more people to start thinking about this, it will make a huge difference to the planet.”
—Caroline Granger, Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery


BRUCE BELL Caroline Granger, of the Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery in Hillier, inspects some of the vines at the Closson Road vineyard. Granger said climate change is making grapes difficult to grow. JPG, BI

HILLIER — The owner of a winery here is hoping Prince Edward County council is taking pleas to help the environment seriously.

Caroline Granger has operated the Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery for almost two decades, but it wasn’t until her daughter Maggie got involved with the operation in 2012 did things begin to change.

“Maggie was the driving force behind it because when she joined me here, she simply said we have to stop producing garbage — no ifs, ands or buts about it — we need to stop,” Granger said with a laugh. “Immediately we reduced our garbage by 85 per cent and we only have one bag of garbage every two weeks. That was Maggie’s initiative and I’m proud of it because we’ve been able to stick to it and, in fact, most of that one bag of garbage is from trash people leave when they are visiting here.”

Granger said the weather in four of the last five years has more than convinced her it is time for immediate action.

“On May 23, 2015 the vines had four little leaves on them and were doing extremely well, but that all changed in a matter of 70 minutes overnight,” she said. “Then by 4:15  in the morning the temperature had dropped to -5.5 C and by 5:30 (a.m.) the damage was done — we lost 90 cent of the plants. It wasn’t as bad for some people, but for others it was a complete loss.”

…Granger said the municipality’s council needs to consider carefully what steps can be taken to reduce the County’s carbon footprint going forward.

“I’ll be the first to admit that this concept is extremely intimidating because this is a huge world we live in and it’s really easy to feel like… what can I as one person do?” she said. “The reality is, one person can do a lot and if we get more and more people to start thinking about this, it will make a huge difference to the planet. We’re hearing from the United Nations that we have very little time to change before the damage being done to the planet becomes irreversible and I really do think people are becoming frightened, but the idea that you need to change the climate of the planet is too big of an idea for many.”

 

MORE

NDP Environment Plan: A clean economy that works better for people

Let’s build a fairer society  where everyone is included.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh presents the party’s plan for climate change in Montreal on Friday, May 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Creating good jobs across the country. Creating at least 300,000 new jobs building the clean energy future that will support families and bring local work to communities across the country – and providing the training and supports that workers need.

Kickstarting clean energy by stopping fossil fuel subsidies. Canadians are paying the price while big polluters profit. Ending oil and gas company subsidies means we can invest in renewable energy, and get Canada powered by net carbon-free electricity by 2030.

Saving you money while building for the future.By making all new buildings in Canada energy efficient by 2030, and retrofitting existing buildings by 2050, we can make a big dent in climate change and save families $900 or more every year.

Setting targets and meeting them. Revising Canada’s pollution targets so they’re in line with what scientists say is needed to stop dangerous climate change – and then holding ourselves to hitting them.

Cheaper, cleaner, more convenient transit.Changing the way we get around by moving to 100% electric transit and free public transit, investing in high speed rail, and bringing back critical rural and northern transit routes.

Zero-emission vehicles. We’ll make it easier to get and use Canadian-made zero-emission vehicles by making them more affordable, and build a network of charging stations across the country so nothing will slow you down.

Protecting our communities by investing in our communities. Extreme weather conditions like floods and forest fires are threatening people’s homes and jobs. From farming to forestry, supporting community climate action and energy projects will protect families and boost local economies.

No more single-use plastic. Plastic pollution threatens our oceans, our wildlife, and our health. It’s time to make plastic bags, cutlery, and other one-use items a thing of the past. SOURCE

We’re in a climate emergency — let’s act like it

This letter is by Cameron Fenton. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Cameron has worked on climate justice issues all across Canada. He currently works as the Canadian Tar Sands Organizer with 350.org. Please sign this urgent petition.

Image result for alberta wildfires
Drone footage via the Government of Alberta shows large clouds of smoke from the wildfires threatening areas of northern Alberta. Global News: Evacuation alerts and orders in place across the province

Friends,

After tediously debating it for the past week, the Canadian House of Commons is poised to declare a climate emergency.1 If and when it’s passed, Catherine McKenna’s climate emergency motion will commit Canada to “meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement” and go even further to“to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Frankly, this confuses me. If Canada is in a climate emergency, where is the emergency response plan?

That’s why today, I’m asking you to call on the Federal Leaders’ Debates Commission to organize a debate on climate change and Canada’s Green New Deal ahead of this fall’s federal election. Sign the petition.

Temperatures are rising across the country, and with it, the threat of another record-breaking wildfire season. Fires have already forced evacuations in communities like High Level and the Dene Tha’ First Nation in Northern Alberta.2 Just this week, smoke from these fires arrived in skies above Vancouver and blocked out the sun in Edmonton.3

I was born and raised in Edmonton, and for the past six years I’ve lived in Vancouver so I can say without question, that this is not normal. Honestly, I’m terrified. This could be the third record-breaking wildfire season in a row in British Columbia, and it’s average global temperatures have only risen 1ºC. Justin Trudeau’s current climate plan has us on a path to, in the best case scenario, warm the planet by another of 4-5ºC on average.

That would be devastating, and that’s why every person in this country needs to know which one of our major political parties has a real plan to tackle the climate emergency. The best way to that happen is with a federal leaders’ debate on climate change and Canada’s Green New Deal. Add your name to the petition.

In 2015, more than eleven million people watched the leaders’ debates, and there was only one question on climate change. This is unacceptable, especially for a country in a climate emergency.

This is the first election with a designated Leaders’ Debate Commission.4 And since they’ve been tasked with organizing election debates in the public interest, we have a chance to change the debate and make sure responding to a climate emergency is center stage.

Sign the petition to make sure climate change and Canada’s Green New Deal are at the center of the upcoming federal election.

This petition is just the start. When temperatures rise this summer, so will we. As climate impacts continue to strike our communities, we will keep building the movement for Canada’s Green New Deal and demanding a federal climate debate.

We need to change the debate. This is our time to do it.

With urgency,

Cam

PS – The movement for Canada’s Green New Deal is taking off. Over 100 town halls have already happened across the country to build a shared vision for a Green New Deal — and dozens are coming up. To find a town hall near you click here.


Resources:

1. Declaring a Climate Emergency is Meaningless Without Strong Policy
2. We’ve been through it before’: Dene Tha’ First Nation practiced evacuation years before recent wildfire
3. Smokey skies arrive as haze from Alberta wildfires reach Metro Vancouver
4. Canada Leaders’ Debates Commission