Letters to the Editor
The election in Alberta may have come as a surprise to many "eastern elites", but it is us easterners who remember when Rene Levesque and the PQ won their first majority government. The sky was falling! Canada's mainstream media ran photos of lines of cars of people and businesses leaving Quebec; CBC interviewed weeping Anglo-Quebecers who were convinced they had lost their homes, history and their futures here. Worse than wildfires! Curiously it was from Alberta that the most maniacal reactions came ... and yet today we have an avowed "separatist" majority government in that very province, a once-province hoping to be a petro-state of is own! Does the world actually turn, or are we Canadians just stuck in reverse gear?
Alberta's new government has at its core the TBA, "Take Back Alberta" organization which is just spoiling for a battle with the feds, especially with anyone named Trudeau. How is it they are so well-financed? And shouldn't we wonder how Mr Polievre sees the TBA, in public, anyway? Both shared a passion for the "Occupy Ottawa" Show, presented by some folks who own or drive tractor-trailer trucks. They are both tip-toeing along the margins of treason, to be frank. And Mr Polievre wants us to vote him as our next Prime Minister? He promises to witch-hunt all the Chinese operatives within the Liberal Party. That worked for McCarthy in the '50s.
Or is this all just the Gong Show revived?
Gerald Gauthier, ret.
The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (MRNF) and the Ministère de la Sécurité publique (MSP) are issuing a preventive notice concerning the risk of forest fires, and are asking the entire population to cooperate in avoiding or restricting forest travel as much as possible over the next few days, due to the extreme flammability index and worrying fires underway in certain parts of the province.
This government recommendation, made in conjunction with the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) and covering all regions of Quebec, is intended to reduce the risk of fire, facilitate SOPFEU operations and ensure public safety. It is important to remember that open fires in or near forests are currently prohibited throughout Quebec. (Translated)
Melanie Morin, SOPFEU
Due to climate change, forest fires are becoming more of a problem every year. We need more resources, and Canada's military has helicopters that are being used mostly to prepare for war. During heavy forest fire season these resources could be better used for fighting potentially immense forest fires. Helicopters may be used with buckets or belly tanks and other uses. And the skill to do these tasks is similar skills needed for military tasks.
An experienced pilot who also flew water bombers in BC for ten years, Peter Lauren has tried to convince the federal and provincial governments to implement this idea for many years. The governments have given him little or no response. The military may be reluctant because they are heavily tasked, understaffed and underfunded. The federal government will be reluctant because forests are a provincial responsibility. And the provinces are often reluctant to ask for support from the federal government. Perhaps this could all work smoother through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.
In order to convince our governments, the public has to contact many politicians and officials to show support for an idea that is overdue for implementation. We must contact public servants such as: your MP, your MLA, the Minister of Forests in your province and othr ministers ( Public Safety "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com; Natural Resources form at "https://contact-contactez.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/" https://contact-contactez.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca; Minister of National Defence "mailto:DND_MND@forces.gc.ca" DND_MND@forces.gc.ca and the Prime Minister via "https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact" https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact)
If we all act together, we can convince our governments to work together -- a little more efficiency and effectiveness!
Fred Trudell and Peter Lauren
The Fédération des CAAP has submitted a brief in response to Bill 15, An Act to make the health and social services system more efficient. The FCAAP believes that the government's intention is to put the user back at the heart of the healthcare system with this new reform. However, there can be no real improvements without a clear and assertive determination on the part of the various players to change things.
From the outset, we welcome the progress that has been made in relation to previous bills with regard to the independence and standardization of the role of complaints and service quality commissioners (CPQS). The creation of the position of National Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner (CNPQS) is a step in this direction.
However, Bill 15 misses the mark when it comes to extending the complaints review system (REP) to people receiving care or services from FMGs, UFGs and certain private establishments. These citizens are not entitled to benefit from the REP in the same way as those receiving care in public establishments, nor are they eligible for CAAP support.
There is a clear imbalance between users, depending on where they receive their services. Any procedure reimbursed by the RAMQ should enable a person to appeal to the complaints examination system if they are dissatisfied, and to be supported by a CAAP in their efforts. (Translated)
Pierre Trahan, CAAP
Support for a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform is growing! First, Mike Morrice’s private member’s motion for a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform reached its maximum of joint seconders: "https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=233222&qid=24901278" 20 MPs have seconded the motion —13 Liberals, 5 NDP, 1 Green and 1 Conservative.
On May 6, "https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=233223&qid=24901278" Liberal Party members voted overwhelmingly to back a call for the government to convene a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.
The Liberal Party policy process, involving over 10,000 party members, started a year ago with about 300 resolutions and finished last month with 24 new party policies. In the prioritization vote at the convention, a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform "https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=233224&qid=24901278" finished number 11.
Your persistent efforts are paying off, but we must keep building support across party lines. Please ask your MP to publicly back a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform!
While the Prime Minister continues to claim there is "no consensus", "https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=233226&qid=24901278" 76% of Canadians—and now the Liberal Party membership itself—back a National Citizens’ Assembly.
Democracy is facing unprecedented threats. Low voter turnout, polarization, and increasingly hostile partisan politics are producing frightening consequences and are chipping away at trust in institutions that belong to all of us. Winner-take-all voting makes all of this worse.
Please "https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=233221&qid=24901278" email your MP now.
Anita Nickerson, Fair Vote Canada
Western societies have been built on the basis of both "liberal" and "conservative" philosophical thought, a reality letter-writer Lefebvre seems to forget.
Liberal thinking supports the ideas of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, separation of church and state, due process for citizens under the law. Conservative thinking includes believing in law and order, tradition, and so on.
These grand philosophical ideas on which modern civilizations have been built on are necessarily changed and moulded as society moves forward, learning more about science, human behaviour, the environment, the cosmos. So it is simplistic to say society should be only one type or the other. Realities of daily living tell the tale of how we want to live.
For example, we know hygienic practices such as washing one's hands are good for human health. If we went the conservative route of maintaining tradition, humans would have kept eating, drinking and living in dangerous conditions with dirty hands, not paying attention to what science has taught us!
As a citizen of Canada I am happy we have an elected responsible government, and not a religious figure governing our society. I am happy Lefebvre believes in law and order; I just wish his conservative friends who stormed the U.S. Capitol felt the same way.
Most authoritarian regimes in the world are built on conservative lines of thinking. This choice is not a good one for Canadians.
I totally agree with Pierre Létourneau's last week letter concerning the crosswalk at the corner of Wilfrid Lavigne and Principale.
There is also a mention of the crosswalk at the exit of Super C and Wilfrid Lavigne. I have been complaining to the city since July 12, 2022 (yes, 9 months ago) asking why does it take them so long to fix those “newly installed” flashing lights on that very dangerous crosswalk?
I did get an e-mail from 3-1-1 months later (after requesting information) telling me that the city engineers think they found the problem. Seems it has to do with "Radio Interference”. (but funny that the lights were working perfectly well the first month after they were installed).
Fed up with the situation, I finally e-mailed Steven Boivin (our municipal councillor) to see what is going on and, mostly, what the delay is all about (9 months!). Seems he received the same information I did: “Radio Interference” and city engineers are working on it."
Since I first contacted Steven a few weeks ago on this he has replied to my e-mails every time.
Hopefully someone will find a solution soon before someone gets injured.
And did I mention it has been 9 months?
Dementia is a condition that gets more severe over time and is often characterized by a decline in memory, language and judgement, physical changes and changes in mood and behaviour. Each person experiences dementia differently. People living with dementia may still be able to remain active and engaged in work, home life and other responsibilities. Uninformed attitudes and beliefs about dementia can result in stigma.
Being respectful, listening actively and speaking with care are good ways to overcome the cha lenges of stigma. To help people living with dementia, you can also: a)make efforts to include them in conversations and/or activities; b)encourage them to share their experiences; and refuse to accept actions and language that are belittling, dehumanizing, discriminatory and patronizing
However is never too early or too late to take action that can benefit your brain health. Changes in the brain that may lead to dementia can begin decades before signs or symptoms appear.
Most cases of dementia aren’t related to genetics or inherited. A healthy lifestyle can lower the chance of developing dementia, including: being physically active (physical inactivity can increase the risk of dementia by 40%); limiting alcohol consumption; eating a healthy, balanced diet --too much sodium (salt) in highly processed foods can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of dementia by 60% -- managing depression, if you have it; reducing your exposure to air pollution; paying attention to the quality of your sleep; quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke.
Maganga Lumbu, Health Canada (Québec)
I grew up in Aylmer. I moved away 7 years ago. Being back today and seeing the environmental destruction by the residential development along the highways, Aylmer Road, and in the Plateau has made my heart sink. Those beautiful and wild woods I explored growing up have been clear-cut and replaced with housing developments that resemble ominous industrial clouds. This commercial and residential cookie-cutter sprawl offers no charm or uniqueness, contributes to rising temperatures in summer and dull scenery in winter.
I ask developers and the City planners: when will you stop? What is it worth to you? Is more money really worth destroying these beautiful, living ecosystems? Is more money really worth losing the quality of life, air and beauty the trees in a neighborhood bring to all of us, including you? Is more money worth all the life these trees offer to song birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and even insects? Can you conscientiously keep cutting the last few forests down, in 2023, with all that is known about today's environmental crisis? Where will you run with your millions when the air quality and heat become insufferable? Where can people go to escape the concrete jungles you create with this urban sprawl? All the living, feeling beings -- plants, animals, and insects -- are alive and feel just like us. They also need homes. They are our relatives in the circle of life. We need each other to live.
It is great to plant trees as part of Gatineau's urban forestry plan... but can't we remember to preserve the older-growth forests?
Imagine if the City and developers decided to think differently. Imagine if you decided to donate to all the citizens of Gatineau those last plots of wild woodland -- and protect them. Imagine if you said, "That's enough. We won't do this to the earth anymore."
Will you do something that is meaningful for all of us? I believe you can, and I beg of you to o so.
Lila (name with-held)
What strange bedfellows right-wing politics and evangelical religion make. And Canadian conservatism is right there under the duvet.
On Feb. 12, 2022 former prime minister Stephen Harper gave an address to the Universal Peace Federation World Summit 2022 taking place in Seoul, South Korea. The UPF is the political arm of the Unification Church, founded by Sun Myung Moon and now headed by his wife Hak Ja Han Moon.
Harper’s remarks were focused on the role of religious freedom “in our grand objective, the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.” Even Harper admitted that some of his remarks “may sound bizarre” in praising the Universal Peace Federation ...
Mr. McCauley, April 26, laments the funding of the CBC and seems concerned with how they process the news. Just because someone takes a liberal view does not make them anymore removed from reality than a right-wing network that pays for distortions of the news. Mr. McCauley obviously has some difficulty accepting that there are people out there who rather than follow his conservative mindset instead follow a liberal stance. To aid in understanding this, some definitions:
Con-serv-a-tive: Averse to change or innovation; holds traditional values (e.g., middle of the road, reactionary, right-wing, temperate, "stick in the mud"). In a political context they favour free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas; diehard, conventional, pro-establishment.
When it comes to business and private ownership, conservatives feel they should be able to do whatever they want, but are averse to change for everyone or everything else.
Lib-er-al: Willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one's own, open to new ideas, tolerant, unprejudiced, broad-minded. In politics, a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and, also, free enterprise. Support policies that are socially progressive and promote social welfare. In the political world, liberals are open, caring and willing to change for a just cause. That is a sign of wisdom, knowing that you do not know all; it's a willingness to change to bring positive growth to our society rather than filling the pockets of the greedy.
Neither the Liberal nor Conservative always lives up to the definition in their party's name, but they try. Liberals inch forward toward toward a just society while fending off the greed at the heart of conservatism. However, conservatives demand they be allowed to do whatever they please (e.g. truckers' convoy)
As to CBC's "referencing what is happening south of the border" it seems obvious there is a correlation between what happens in the USA and it's impact on Canadians; this can't be ignored. The "fear mongering ... by progressives" (somehow tied to Bill C-11) eludes me, but it seems merely wagging their fingers at their detractors when in fact it is they themselves doing the dirty deeds.
Canada justice, strength, and freedom.
The Task Force on Linguistic Policy is calling out MPs who plan to vote in favour of Bill C-13, the amendments to the Official Languages Act. The Bill, which has been in parliamentary committee since last September, is expected to be voted on in the House of Commons in the next week. The Task Force has written to Quebec MPs expected to vote in favour of the legislation.
“We know there are ... MPs who plan to vote against this terrible bill, and we applaud them for their courage. But we know many others will support it, and we plan to name and shame them.” At the same time, the legislation has been made worse by amendments brought forth in committee by the Bloc Quebecois and Conservatives. “We know neither the Bloc nor the Conservatives care about national unity and have complete disregard for the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers.".”
Bill C-13, under the guise of protecting French in the rest of Canada, has the potential of eliminating jobs for English Quebecers in the federal public service and federally-regulated businesses, and could mean the elimination of English school boards. It incorporates the egregious provincial Bill 96, and recognizes the use of the notwithstanding clause and Quebec’s purported unilateral amendment of the Constitution. We call upon MPs to remember the oath they took, “to protect our Constitution and our laws, by acting forcefully and directly in the interests of the country we love.” We are sending the Task Force parliamentary brief to MPs as well.
The Task Force on Linguistic Policy/Comité Spécial sur la politique linguistique was formed in June of 2021 to fight Bill 96 and now Bill C-13. It boasts thousands of followers. It is active in the community and has undertaken many successful interventions to fight intolerance in Quebec. We intend to file our lawsuit to challenge Bill 96 by the end of May 2023. Learn more at "https://protegermesdroits.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7a2fb2420a15c27a634558fa9&id=3c78c2385e&e=7ec6df3cf5" www.ProtectOurRights.ca
Andrew Caddell, Task Force on Linguistic Policy
In the biggest leap forward since 2015, the federal Liberal Party has voted at their convention in Ottawa to back a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. The vote passed with overwhelming support from party members and Liberal MPs from across the country.
To the thousands of you who have been supporting the push for a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform through years of polls, advertisements, MP visits, emails, door hangers and more―Thank you!
This resolution will now be the official policy of the Liberal Party for the next eight years. While resolutions passed at party conventions cannot compel a government to act, resolutions matter. The last resolution passed on electoral reform at a Liberal Party convention (in 2014) led directly to the 2015 platform promise to Make Every Vote Count.
This win at the Liberal Party’s convention―with the backing of so many Liberal MPs―sends a clear message to the party leadership that it’s time to reignite the conversation about ditching our unfair first-past-the-post electoral system.
Anita Nickerson, Fair Vote Canada
We’re at a turning point for federal climate politics. After years of pressure, the federal government is expected to finally introduce just transition (aka Sustainable Jobs) legislation in the coming months. Indications are pointing to legislation being frustratingly weak. We need to escalate pressure on the government to get it to commit to passing the strong just transition legislation we need.
Join us for two livestreamed events at the coming Canadian Labour Congress convention on how we can win a just transition by building solidarity across movements. Tune in at "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=3d32cf2b34&e=4cef51d000" canadians.org/JustTransition.
Often the labour and environmental movements are framed as being in opposition. Governments and CEOs like that. But you and I know that our movements are well-aligned. We're on the same side. And we can – and must – build a common front to work together across movements to win a just transition. With a just transition, workers, communities, and the planet we live on will win.
The Council of Canadians, Blue Green Canada, and our allies believe we can create and keep good jobs across the country, protect workers and the environment. We are proud to invite you to the following events:
1) Forward together for jobs, justice, and climate. Monday May 8th, 1-2 p.m. ET Hear stories of solidarity:
2) Movements vs. money: Building a common front to take on the climate profiteers. Thursday, May 11.
Dylan Penner, COC
I have read all the Bulletin's letters about the city's loss of green space & trees -- and the pros of urban forests; here's the word from an expert (German forester, Peter Wohlleben):
"It’s impossible to reconstruct a city forest to be the same as a primeval forest, but reforesting a city is still heavily discussed in Europe. In Paris city council tried to cool the city using pipes under the city. Now they’re trying to make Paris greener. City streets on hot summer days that have trees growing on them are 20 degrees C cooler than streets without trees. It’s a serious health problem to live on a street "https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/06/29/Vancouver-Shady-Inequality/" without trees.
"It’s a very hard life for trees to grow in a city, but it’s also a good laboratory for native species of trees to see what they are able to withstand. If the conditions are bad but they’re still growing it’s good news: if they can grow in the city they can grow in the forest. ... It’s important to make cities green as fast as possible because that’s our best air conditioner. I can’t imagine a machine which is able to cool streets by 20 degrees C every hot summer’s day without any energy input. Plus trees are good for birds and mammals living in cities.
"That also brings people to act locally, which gives me hope. I’ve gotten emails from local NGOs who are caring for their city’s forest. People are aware of how important every tree is.
"I don’t think my own book will rescue the forest. But they will do a little part. I’m also very optimistic that we can handle climate change and we can have a good future. So long as we have big intact forests we can restore them by letting them come back. We can fight climate change efficiently and we don’t have to wait 50 to 100 years. We can start right now, on every single spot on Earth where trees are integral. Even planting a single tree in your garden or in front of your office can make a difference."
I am informing you that the 2023 edition of the 50+ recreational tournament, May 6 & 7, generated a significant profit. Combined with spare funds collected during the past winter hockey season the Sleeman Hockey League will be donating t$4,000.00 to the Aylmer Food Bank!
The League was able to host the tournament for the first time since 2019, and we intend to carry on; since the first 50+ tournament (2016), the League has donated almost $25,000 to the food bank.
I extend my gratitude to all who contributed to the tournament (including the food and beverages). A special thank you to Joe Chiuchiarelli and to all of the players and fans who support this worthwhile cause…Job well done!
Charles Ethier, 50+ Hockey Tournament
I am addressing a letter of April 12th. Some its statements were not accurate.
With the flood two weeks ago, the damage inside our school was extensive. All students got a message saying that school was cancelled. The main level of the school was flooded.
Some of the students here may not have computers to go online. Our teachers gave us work during the ice storm, but with the power outage not all of us had power. Our principal went driving all over Ottawa for a place with power to send an email.
In addition to our sports, we have a Travel and Cooking Club, Native Circle, Pride Club, Lunch Bunch, Board Game Club, Star Quest Club, Theatre Guild Club, Joy of Crafting Club, Chess Club, Art Club, D&D Club, Homework Club, etc.
Our school is not “limping along”, as the author claimed.
Erin Forcier, Grade 9 Student
D’Arcy McGee High School
We wish to clear up some misinformation about our school that appeared in a letter, April 12th. Some statements and assumptions were wrong. We are students in this community, and we are definitely not being “short-changed”. We learn new things every day. Right now, we are working on some cool science projects, a math project, and a cross-curricular project in English, GHC (Geography, History and Citizenship), and ASP (Autonomy and Social Participation).
The writer says there are barely any sports, but that is not true. We have basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis and many more. On April 21st students are competing against teachers in basketball! No trips? We have gone on a lot of trips. For example, the Food and Travel Club recently went on a field trip to a maple sugar shack. It was very interesting and yummy – everyone should visit a sugar shack in the spring!
The Automotive Program, a project with the Career Centre, is a fascinating experience, and we think the leadership from the school board is amazing. We found online school boring and would rather come to school. Nor were we told to go home and play video games. Our teachers have plenty of work for us to do!
Mazen Aiden Clarke & Landon Splane-Maat,
Grade 9, D’Arcy McGee High School
We saw a letter in your paper on April 12th about our school. It was not very accurate. The letter-writer stated that our school offers almost no sports. We have school teams, groups and clubs that play basketball, hockey, soccer, rugby, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, flag football, track and field, and conditioning.
In Physical Education, we play all of the above, plus pickle ball, floor hockey, dodgeball, football, badminton, frisbee, lacrosse, soccer baseball, tennis, and we get to use the weight room.
We really like that our school cares about our academics as well as our fitness and wellness. Those are the facts!
Nathan Soto Reyes, Justin Cooper, Brandon Studor
Grade 9, D’Arcy McGee High School
We would like to correct some things that were printed in a letter to the Editor on April 12th regarding our school. Regarding the “flood” , the reason we had to go home was because the water was too deep to walk around! We did not do online school because not everyone has a laptop or internet. It takes time to get it set up and it would not happen overnight. How would people know that there is online school if they do not have a laptop?
The writer claimed we don't have field trips. We do go on field trips: we have gone zip-lining, rock climbing, the National Gallery of Art, a sugar shack, a reggae concert at the National Arts Centre, and three more this school year. These have taught us many skills, like how to take public transit somewhere, how to work as a team, learn about and respect culture, practice geography, language skills, and feeling more confident in public, both in the country and in the city. Many of us are visual learners, and our field trips have taught us so much and given us experience of the world.
Our leaders at every level care about our future, and we see that every day.
Vénissia Dorvil and Kayla Sarty,
Bravo to the National Gallery for owning up to their recent ransomware attack. I wish that more places would do so.
I know that the attacks are happening every day. I deal with two different banks in our business, and have both been attacked. Unfortunately my information was captured by whoever generated the attack. But, apparently, the attackers did not know that galleries are impoverished for the most part.
Do you get any reports of this on our side of the river?
Thank you for bringing to the attention of the citizens of Aylmer the new law allowing people to lock credit applications to their accounts, sent to the credit card companies, TransUnion and Equifax.
I will tell my adult children about this. It's a great law and deserves to be known. (Translated)
I want to thank the Bulletin for being such a great community organizer. My family and I are super excited to hear who won for all the categories, but we have some favourites. We love Aylmer and it’s really fun to have this competition. Who will win for best Poutine??? Who is the local hero? At my place we had a huge discussion about the Vegetarian food category, the Burger category, and the Customer Service category. Can you believe that one of my kids thinks the best burger in town is at McDonald’s? We all protested but he put it on the form anyways.
Have you thought about a category for Best Place to walk? And best Social Media account? That would be a fun category, we love to follow some social media accounts locally like, Shopping carts of Aylmer and there’s another one, Mayor of Aylmer which is really the opposite of a mayor’s account (junky backs of businesses etc).
All this to say: we will be watching for the results!
(At the Parliamentary Press Gallery, May 12, I announced that our party, the Canadian Party of Quebec (CaPQ) is calling) on the federal government to disallow Bill 96: "An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec" which would nullify current law. On June 1, Canada’s constitutional window of opportunity to veto the law forever shuts.
On June 1, 2022, Bill 96 became law in Quebec. This law allows the Government of Quebec to: a) Shield the law from court challenge by pre-emptively invoking Canada’s Notwithstanding Clause; b) Permit warrantless search and seizure powers to investigate anonymous complaints about violations of the law; c) Intrude into private professional client relationships to require notes and interactions be kept in French; d) Remove adults’ choice in language of education at the CEGEP level; e) Require after June 1, 2023, civil servants to address citizens in French only if they could not prove they educated in English; f) Unilaterally amend the Constitution Act of 1867 by inserting the concept of a territorial and ethno-linguistic nation into Canada's foundational document.
Even though parts of Bill 96 are before the courts, we outlined why the use of federal "disallowance" is vital to the future of Quebec’s English-speaking minority and to Canada’s reputation as an upholder of fundamental individual human rights.
Colin Standish, Canadian Party of Quebec
I would like to add my opinion to the debate on these pages about CBC -- whether it should be funded by Canadians (government) or have to compete with commercial stations, for example. I listen to CBC radio a lot, since I now work from home, and as much as there is really no alternative, since commercial radio is so bad and trivialized, I have seen CBC's content and programming decline in quality immensely. Yet I assume their budget allocation has not declined. I understand that ex-PM Stephen Harper took an alternative route and replace CBC's managing voices with people alined to his own views, rather than people committed to Canadian broadcasting.
One of the biggest flops CBC undertook, and is still going strong, is this shift from current affairs analysis to "blogs". A blog, as I understand the term is equivalent to opinion columns (or feature stories) in the print media. Would we really want a newspaper which is largely all columns and features? No, we want news and interviews of news-makers; we want clear and thoughtful analysis by experts or people directly involved -- not "stories" about these things. One of your Bulletin editorialists wrote, a while ago, that media's (and CBC's) continual identification with "stories" and "story telling" reminded him of kids being chastised for "telling stories" -- lying, in other words. Good analogy. I am sorry I no longer teach media studies, because that is an important thing for broadcasters and the audience to consider: "stories"? Really? OK, stories are warm and cuddly and can make us feel good --- but is that the purpose of public media? Make people feel good? Hello, twenty-first century! Where are you?
The best suggestion in my view is that we should be pushing for improved news-gathering by CBC, not defunding it or reducing everything to what will sell cars.
Thanks for this debate on your pages, Bulletin!
The Canadian government has supported journalism for generations. Since the founding of Canada’s first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, in 1752, government advertising has been an important source of revenue for newspapers. Even prior to Confederation, direct supports, like the former Publications Assistance Program, which subsidized the postal delivery of non-daily newspapers, ensured that Canadians have access to high-quality Canadian news.
Twenty years ago, the federal government spent $110 million on advertising, which was managed by 30 advertising agencies. Print newspapers and magazines accounted for about one-third of federal advertising spending, while internet advertising accounted for less than 1 per cent of the spend.
Last year, the Government spent $140 million on advertising, involving one Agency of Record for media planning and placement. While the one Agency of Record model is efficient, we are concerned with where scarce ad dollars are being spent.
Last year, just five per cent of federal advertising dollars went toward print publications. That is a far from the roughly one-third of twenty years ago. For comparison, government spending on Facebook/Instagram ads alone accounted for almost double what is spent on all print advertising combined.
And the spending on Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok combined was greater than all print expenditures
Today, digital advertising accounts for more than 50 per cent of all federal ad spending. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, which is suing Google, the company “pockets on average more than 30 per cent of the advertising dollars that flow through its digital advertising technology products.”
Social media companies operating in Canada do not employ journalists and they are shielded from liability by Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code. They enjoy all the benefits of being a publisher without any of the obligations.
Digital search and social giants have contributed greatly to connecting people, businesses, and communities. Yet, there have been unintended consequences. While they provide the essential plumbing of our digital age, they have not figured out a way to separate the clean drinking water (e.g., fact-based news and information) from the sewage (e.g., fake news).
Trusted news sources provide an important filter that helps Canadians make informed choices. Real journalism, which is based on editorial judgment and rigorous fact-checking, costs real money, which comes from advertising and/or subscription revenue. Canadian news publishers employ real journalists, who adhere to strict editorial standards, and publishers can be held liable for their content. Yet, federal advertising dollars that once helped fund our newsrooms have shifted largely to Big Tech companies [ American} that benefit from our content.
The federal government has recognized that journalism is in trouble. It has taken steps to fill news deserts and areas of news poverty through the Local Journalism Initiative. It has also introduced Bill C-18, the Online News Act, which will allow publishers to come together to negotiate fair content licensing agreements with web giants and level the digital playing field.
One of the most powerful tools in any government’s policy toolkit is procurement. Procurement can help governments advance socio economic policy objectives, including job creation, and deliver better outcomes. Indeed, the federal government’s Policy on Social Procurement facilitates and supports the inclusion of socio-economic measures in procurement to support the goal of achieving best value for the Crown and, in turn, for Canadians.
Isn’t it time for the federal government to align its advertising spending with its public policy goal of supporting accountable and trusted sources of information? Isn’t it time to support the home team and keep advertising dollars, which support fact-based, fact-checked civic journalism, in Canada? The consequences of inaction are more misinformation and disinformation, a less informed and engaged citizenry, less robust public discourse, and a loss of community.
Paul Deegan, News Media Canada
Join the the May 25th day of action to go all-in for a Bold Emissions Cap that delivers the climate action we need. It’s time to hold Big Oil accountable for their own pollution. And with just weeks until the Emissions Cap policy is released, we're launching a massive wave of actions across the country to call on key Liberal MPs to up their climate ambition.
Thursday May 25, 10am. Prime Minister's Office, Wellington Street
La Peche Green
Whereas the Deschênes dam is of major importance in the hydroelectric development of Aylmer and the entire region (one of the first hydroelectric power plants in Quebec), notably by supplying Aylmer and, for a time, Hull, with electricity. This 1895 feat of engineering by the Conroy brothers of Aylmer and Deschênes brought the first streetcar service between Ottawa, Hull, Aylmer and the famous Queen's Park amusement park, at Aylmer's western end.
Any proposed demolition of the dam will inevitably have negative, if not disastrous, ecological consequences; the preservation of natural heritage is also the focus of the Association, and archaeological research on the site has revealed artefacts from an ancestral aboriginal occupation; hence, the Quebec government designated this section of the Ottawa River as a historic site in 2017.
The site is also part of a ZICO (Zone importante de conservation des oiseaux) [Important Bird Area] and is home to the greatest diversity of bird species in the Outaouais, with more than 266 species recorded.
The Deschênes Rapids Park is part of the Chemins d'eau [Water Ways], a Quebec tourist route that runs along the Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers, and the Park is listed as a potential development site in the Urban Outdoor Plan adopted by the City of Gatineau in 2019.
And whereas the community is committed to the preservation and development of the site to protect its heritage, archaeological, identity, ecological, recreational and tourism values, it is resolved that the Aylmer Heritage Association strongly opposes any project to demolish the remains of the Deschênes dam and joins all groups wishing to maintain it as a major heritage and tourist site for the region.
for the Aylmer Heritage Association
Making our buildings climate-safe by making heat pumps the standard, and updating insulation and ventilation in most buildings would significantly reduce emissions from the third largest emitting sector while ensuring all have access to lifesaving cooling and fresh air during summer months.
Vulnerable populations are especially hard hit by the weather extremes brought on by climate change. Over "https://connect.pembina.org/e/358671/cs-extreme-heat-event-strategy/5nfnkp/723428222?h=aKYbDUVOA0-sLfwAnZEC3olSE3r4bUeX9D4wm0_lseo" 600 people died in June and July 2021 in B.C. from heat-related conditions in their homes and places of care as a result of just one extreme heat event.
Modern "https://connect.pembina.org/e/358671/f-heat-pumps-executive-summary/5nfnks/723428222?h=aKYbDUVOA0-sLfwAnZEC3olSE3r4bUeX9D4wm0_lseo" heat pumps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent compared with gas boilers when running on emissions‐intensive electricity. This reduction can be as large as 80 per cent when coupled with cleaner sources of electricity.
Upgrading Canada’s existing housing, offices, schools and industrial buildings, while also
transitioning to a clean electricity grid achieves more than just increasing affordability and energy efficiency while reducing emissions; technologies such as heat pumps which heat more efficiently in the winter, also provide the added benefit of cooling during the summer. Especially at times when air quality is too poor to open a window.
Sealing up leaky walls and roofs also stops smoke and pollution from leaking into homes, and ventilation with air filters ensures continuous fresh air, while increasing overall energy efficiency.
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Media Request: Updating Canada's Buildings
Karen Garth , Pembina Institute
Many of us at one time or another have sold a property. When doing so one needs a surveyor. I sold a property in 2021 and hired a surveyor.
The lack of professionalism of this individual was simply appalling. He did not show for agreed meetings and did not bother to advise of his cancellation. He did not offer a written contract and assured me that the price quoted covered all expenses. He later reneged saying that it did not include the corner markers.
I did the Google review and filed a complaint ( in 2021) with the surveyors' association. No results, just more justifications and… Maybe the association is overwhelmed with complaints and can’t cope. Maybe the association is understaffed. Maybe the association is exercising strategies known in the corporate world as “Dark Patterns”; using different methods of discouraging complainers to pursue and encouraging them to abandon.
My big mistake was to not demand a written contract, not all professionals are born equal, some are, though competent, arrogant and irresponsible and frustrating.
Canada has failed to #KeepthePromise to increase international aid every year. Canada’s cutting its international aid budget in the midst of overlapping crises means more suffering for children around the world. Cutting international aid is undoing years of impactful Canadian investments, reversing hard-won progress to advance children’s access to food, education, healthcare, and protection. We need to build a future where all children can grow up to reach their fullest potentials. These programs will advance children’s access to food, education, healthcare, and protection.
Ron Temchuk’s definitions of conservative and liberal (in his letter to the Bulletin) were simplistic and
self-serving, common practice when the purpose is propaganda, not enlightenment. His sanctimonious
description of liberals as “tolerant, unprejudiced, and broad-minded” self-immolated when he,
exemplar of the breed, wrongfully accused conservatives of being reactionary and averse to change, and treated with contempt worried truckers who were ignored by the Trudeau government. As for the conservative inclination to proceed with caution, and according to one’s means, using time and experience as a gauge of risk, rather than chasing alternatives of questionable value, that, to me, is wise and responsible. Change for change’s sake is not.
To suggest that liberals are outstanding defendants of “individual rights, civil liberties, democracy and free enterprise”, is to ignore the differences between classical liberals and contemporary Liberals. The latter, allied with the NDP, seem convinced that average Canadians would make a mess of their lives were it not for the guidance of politicians who throw huge sums of money at projects and programs, all to bribe their way back into power at the next election.
Mr. Temchuk appears to be promoting socialism over capitalism, statism over individualism, and government by minorities. History records that many such ventures have not worked out. Statists feel threatened by the primacy of the individual and the importance of self-government. The danger is that we end up destroying the individual, crushing that which makes him or her proud, self-reliant, resourceful, responsible and determined. Only strong citizens will, of their own volition, make significant contributions to society. Infantilize them and you’ve destroyed self-confidence, self-respect and assertiveness ... all necessary qualities for community builders.
The political disquiet of today is one born of anger and frustration. Hard-working, tax-paying
Canadians seem fed up with a political class ceaselessly invading their private lives. Governments should be promoting personal responsibility. Instead, they pit one group against the other, encouraging envy, accusing the well-to-do of being greedy and averse to helping others. That only serves to destroy a sense of community, of person-to-person support and is definitely not what we should be striving after.
More than 17,000 residents of long-term care in Canada died because of COVID. Early in the pandemic, 80 per cent of deaths took place in long-term care homes, giving Canada the distinction of having the highest such numbers among nations in the OECD.
Those who lost loved ones haven’t forgotten about commitments made at the height of the pandemic by all levels of government and by the sector itself to right these systemic wrongs. I was pleased to see the recent release of national standards for long-term care and to see feedback from the National Association of Federal Retirees reflected in the final standards.
The problem, however, is that the standards are still voluntary. Enforceability and regulation are needed to have a real impact. Now is the time to implement enforced principles and national standards for long-term care. As part of a national seniors strategy these standards must specify conditions and criteria the provinces and territories must meet to receive federal health and social transfer payments, with repercussions for failing to meet the standards. This will ensure equitable and consistent quality care across the country, and adequate levels of funding for these types of care. It will also ensure greater public accountability of government delivery of long-term care.
I urge all Canadians to call on the government to implement and enforce principles and national standards for long-term care. The time for this is now.
Lisette M Wallingford
With fewer and fewer people wearing face masks and interest in booster shots tapering off, it’s almost as if the COVID-19 pandemic were over. The problem is, it’s not. In fact, it’s the second-leading cause of hospitalization in Canada (childbirth is first), and is also a leading cause of death. So why aren’t we doing more to prevent infection? The major clue is the affected demographic: those suffering and dying from COVID are mostly older adults.
Today in The Conversation Canada, Dawn Bowdish of McMaster University "https://theconversationcanada.cmail20.com/t/r-l-ttpiyty-bhijlidkry-i/" writes about the continuing burden of COVID-19 in older people — including in long-term care, where a lesson should have been learned in 2020. She cites ageism as the reason there isn’t more being done to address this.
Patricia Nicholson, The Conversation Canada
I would like to urge Bulletin readers to check out a brand-new news source on Alberta's frothey political world and its strategy to privatize health care and the educational system, the result of a new party -- and an ambitious effort to even further radicalize Alberta nationalists within that party. Sound new .... to us living in Legault's Quebec?
This news source, the Alberta Edge, is produced by the Tyee -- a nationally recognized online news source for news from Canada's western half, especially the West Coast. It is free and comes weekly (as does the Tyee). Check out The Tyee's website. No obligations as far as I can see. It's a bit like looking at our own province in a distorting mirror.
In response to Susan Gauhier’ letter to the Bulletin, Mar 15, 2023: "Pesticide control in Gatineau", we thank her for her interest in the Bti issue, a pesticide massively sprayed by our municipality to kill mosquitoe and black fly larvae. We also appreciate that she wishes that “the citizens make an informed decision before asking city councillors to vote on our behalf regarding this issue” at their next meeting in Aylmer. Gatineau citizens must learn of the negative impacts of this pesticide on birds, fish, frogs and dragonflies, and that they be aware that it’s been sprayed by our city for close to 30 years in wetlands, ponds and streams in 7 districts in the East side of Gatineau.
A multitude of studies in the last 15 years have shown how Bti affects the whole food chain in these fragile ecosystems; since 2019 the Ministère de la faune recommends this insecticide be avoided by cities (precautionary principle). We recommend a CBC May 21 interview in which Professor Marc Belisle (Sherbrooke University, specialized in insectivorous bird declines), explains, in a nutshell, what is Bti and what are its impacts.
If your family enjoys eating outside all summer long in Aylmer, you might be happy that there is no anti-larvae spraying in Aylmer (there never was). Our group is asking that citizens from all districts of Gatineau make it clear to city council on April 18 (Robert-Middlemiss Pavillion at the Marina- 19H00) that we want Bti banned from our territory in Gatineau to preserve what is left of our regional biodiversity. See Petition Non au Bti dans nos marais à Gatineau. I hope all readers will join us!
France Gagnon, FB Gatineau Sans Pesticides
The Chalk River labs is still planning its untested, first-in-the-world sized nuclear dump, seven football fields of toxic waste, upstream from the Pontiac, Ottawa, Gatineau and beyond.
Stephan Harper, seeing the expense of dealing with these toxic wastes, privatized the job to reduce the federal government's legal liability for accidents. The waste will last for tousands of years; by the time any accidents began, the corporate managers will be gone -- or living in places where they cannot be sued by us. And what if they were convicted? Do they have the billions of dollars needed to fix any disaster? Can anyone fix the potential deaths and disease?
No, this nuclear dump is a very bad deal for the Pontiac. But when has a federal Liberal government ever not supported the corporate sector (examples: SNC Lavalin, Transmountain Pipeline and the Rodgers cable deal).
Good for MRC-Pontiac for objecting. We must keep up our protests, even if if our liberal MP, Ms Chatel, has said it's a done deal.
Iles des Allumettes, Pontiac
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Similar to the 100-mile diet, there is another concept in city planning, the ‘15-minute city’ , a plan proposed to keep shops, parks, cycling trails, and most of the services we need to live in any city within a 15-minute walk or cycle from their homes. Gatineau itself proposed something similar, with neighbourhood cities, where yhe entire city is made up of self-supporting neighbourhoods (in terms of shopping and schools -- add workplaces and this concept really shines!) Despite a lot of favourable talk about these concepts of neighbourhoods, the discussion has also sparked opposition by conspiracy nuts who claim this is a plan to keep people in ghettos, easily managed by police and authorities. Apparently this fits with some QAnon threats about attacks on "liberty" and "freedom". Can the nuts define their terms in a workable way? I've yet to hear it .... but I wonder if Gatineau couldn't look again at the neighbourhood-centres concept of city planning? One more alternative to mowing down all the trees and planting big boxes of condos?
Vanier Road is one of Aylmer’s oldest North/South ways, with big old trees along both sides. There are residential neighbourhoods in different parts of the long road, plus the west border of the industrial park, quarry lake with woods, and now a shopping area at the corner of des Allumettières.
A few years ago, I read the editor’s suggestion that the city require an easement along Vanier Road between des Allumettieres and Pink Road. She suggested enough of Vanier Road’s sides be preserved for multi-use pathways, conserving the large trees along the Road.
I see her vision! I imagine riding my bike between Vanier Road and new neighbourhoods that are going in where there were once car sales lots and a few large-lot homes. I imaged roller-blading under mature trees. I imagined those new housing developments wouldn’t all back onto Vanier Road as if Vanier were the ugly old Road no one wants to see, stripped of its mature trees.
Driving in this section today I see lot-clearing with not a single tree left.
And this is right to Vanier Road, so for sure what is in store is exactly what no one wants: butts of new housing developments, turned in upon themselves with spindly new trees planted where once there were massive old ones.
These neighbourhoods are terrible for walking and bike-riding for provisions. It could have been a lovely ride over to the Maxi for groceries. Now there will be closed-in neighbourhoods, only accessible by car.
I can’t believe Gatineau city council is letting this happen – again. Shame on the councillors. Shame on the new mayor. It is unbelievable that the administration is not counselling against this.
In the last month, the Bulletin reported the retirement of the head of one of the school boards here -- I wish to avoid naming names. Your report was brief enough, but seemed to congratulate him/her for their leadership and service. However, to anyone looking from the outside (I do not have children), where is his leadership and service? One of his city schools here -- "high school" level, in old terms -- offers almost no sports. In high school! And parents and teachers can't volunteer to step into the breech? At least ask parents for help -- for their kids? Nope. That same school was closed for a week due to a "PD day" followed by a "flood" in the plumbing. The kids were told to go home. What, to play video games? This is not responsible leadership.
Not long go there would be field trips to museums, art galleries, nearby universities, nature preserves, a factory or a farm, etc. All of Canada has just set up a massive on-line learning system for Covid -- so why no on-line learning when there's a flood or other emergency?
Our community's children are being short-changed, and this will hurt our future, all of us. So why congratulate anyone, especially a retiring head, when they leave the system in shambles? Maybe it was that way when they arrived, but leadership means taking initiative to not only keep things limping along but to actually solve problems, improve some services -- for students. I would prefer to read that the retiring head had apologized for not improving our schools during his tenure.
Letters to the editor in the Bulletin d'Aylmer are read by approximately 50,000 people (match that social media!) who live within your community and share your concerns. Some guidelines to make sure your letter is published:
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At the UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) last December, Indigenous peoples reminded us of their long history of sustainably managing diverse and abundant ecosystems, as is the case with Anishnabe people in La Verendrye Wildlife Park. They specifically rely on moose for healthy food, clothing, and ceremony.
The community has noted a sharp decline in the moose population in the last 15 years. The Quebec government’s study shows that moose numbers in the Park have dropped by "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=4ffb4d548a&e=4cef51d000" 35% in the last 12 years, butt the government has failed to take adequate action to address it. In response to this decline in a once stable population, the Anishnabe communities in and around the Park came together to form the "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=4d7e7de946&e=4cef51d000" Anishnabe Moose Committee in 2021, and conducted the most in-depth study to date on the region’s moose population. The report pointed to sport hunting, logging, and climate change as causes of the population collapse.
This steep decline in the moose population raises a number of questions: What economic, political, and social forces have contributed to the decline in the moose population? Where can we go from here? This study explores the role that forestry, mining, sport hunting, and resource management by colonial governments has played on this ecosystem and the moose – and people – that have lived here for millennia.
The Council of Canadians
Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut Regions
The Bulletin's article on the mess in our region's minor hockey (about a month ago) was very interesting. Our sports authorities cannot afford to keep all the levels of minor play operating and separate, so they put together kids who are woefully mismatched. Why bother? To give these kids the feeling of really getting beaten by bigger, more experienced players? The authorities are probably doing their best -- it is the old story: they have budget limits.
Several hospitals in our region have closed essential services -- birthing mothers have to drive for hours to get to Gatineau (oh, there are promises. ...), on and on, schools are "consolidated" giving the kids over an hour ride each morning and evening ... they are sure to love education after three years of that! All of this is because of budget shortfalls and because of "Tax cuts!"
Please, if you hear a politician or media person claim, "tax cuts keep your money in your pocket!" turn off the radio; these people are crooks. Taxes are what support all the services that government is expected to provide. The point of government is not to "save money". That's the point of banks. Government is to provide services, frugally.
But somehow these public-relations experts (that's all what many politicians seem to be) can say whatever they want and the media just moves along to the next topic -- another sales pitch probably -- and no one calls them in a public way. They walk off counting their coming bonus, both politician and media reporter.
"A tax cut" ... isn't that like getting pick-pocked? If we want better health service we have to pay for it.
I have to write a note of appreciation to all our co-citizens in Aylmer during the ice storm last week, and afterwards. One gentleman on our street had wood heating still functioning and got his furnace going. He invited several older neighbours over for a hot cup of coffee and a "warm-up". There is no law saying he had to do this, is there? So it comes out of the human heart. There is so much more going on in just one block of homes than we think and none of it is obvious, except when we have a crisis. Thank you everyone! Thank you Bulletin d'Aylmer, also!
I wish to extend a big "thank you" to all the Hydro-Quebec workers who kept working to get us over this last ice storm. Hopefully it is the last of this winter! Here is a government service that is provided all over the Outaouais' huge rural territory -- and still we pay less than the privatised electricity in Ontario! Thank you!
What a welcome sight to see our lights come on this morning as we we arose, expecting at least another day without power. Last night we had emptied our refrig into coolers, with ice! Our family is indebted to all those Hydro workers -- and engineers -- who do their best against whatever Mother Nature throws at us. This looks like our planet's future.
Do we know if the NCC is going ahead with the weekend closures of the Ottawa River Parkway for outdoor enthusiasts? If yes, this will only compound the frustration with commuting in either direction.
Pleasure for a few and frustration for so many!
Can we maybe have our city councillor look into this? Thank you!
I have to agree with the letter from Oliver Simms re "the 15 minute city" and Samantha Jennings re the depressing development of Vanier Road. Great ideas to start! But the reality is that without a City plan that forces developers to build them it doesn't happen.
The Connaught Park Hippodrome was torn down in 2009 and the developers plan published in this newspaper touted (with artists renditions) the wonderful neighbourhood that would replace it with walking / bicycling paths linked to local food stores, boutiques, etc. The result is large single family homes at the back of the development followed by large semi detached and progressively smaller units closer and closer to Aylmer Blvd and not a store or boutique in site. Check the original design for ZIBI or Lebreton flats which are slowly being filled with condo's. Sad to say, but "Money Talks".
The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and researchers from five universities are urging Ottawa to reconsider its financial and political support for extracting plutonium from used nuclear fuel. Plutonium is key to nuclear weapons— and is created as a byproduct in nuclear reactors.
Last week, a House of Commons committee recommended that the government “examine nuclear waste reprocessing and its implications for waste management and [nuclear weapons] proliferation .”
Canada granted $50.5 million to the Moltex corporation, March 2021, for a plutonium reprocessing facility at the Point Lepreau nuclear site on the Bay of Fundy.
Plutonium reprocessing in Canada increases the risk of spreading nuclear weapons to countries that do not possess the means to make nuclear weapons. The risk is even greater if Canada sells the technology.
Reprocessing is often justified as dealing with nuclear waste, but in reality, it only makes the challenge even harder. Instead of keeping radioactive materials in solid spent fuel, they get dispersed into multiple solid, liquid and gaseous waste streams.
University researchers are supporting an international review. "http://www.ccnr.org/3_Letters_to_Trudeau_2021.pdf" three letters were written to Prime Minister Trudeau by nine nonproliferation experts. The Prime Minister’s failure to respond indicates an appalling lack of good governance on the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The government has not responded nor even acknowledged the significance of the nuclear weapons connection with reprocessing.
Commercial reprocessing has never been done in Canada but Canada has been complicit in producing nuclear weapons. Cold War-era reprocessing was done at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory, while Canada sold both uranium and plutonium to the US army for nuclear weapons. This resulted in a permanent legacy of nuclear waste and radioactive contamination (at Chalk River).
The first reactors were built to produce plutonium for bombs, the first reprocessing plants to extract plutonium as a nuclear explosive. Canada has had an "https://www.nwmo.ca/~/media/Site/Files/PDFs/2015/11/09/12/54/656_6-4StatusofNuclearFuelReprocessingPartitioningandTransmutation.ashx?la=en" informal ban on reprocessing since the 1970s. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel advised that the reprocessing technology proposed by the Moltex corporation “does not provide significant proliferation resistance.”
The need for an independent international review is urgent, as Moltex has announced it is seeking an additional $250 million in government funding.
Many researchers supporting an international review of plutonium reprocessing in relation to the spread of nuclear weapons have signed this letter. "http://ccnr.org/GE_CV.pdf" Dr. Gordon Edwards, "https://ccnr.org/" Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Dr. Susan O’Donnell, University of New Brunswick
I want to add a footnote to the debate (in the Bulletin's letters) re pesticides used for mosquitoes and black flies. Thirty-two years ago when I moved to Aylmer the spring days had black flies and the evenings were full of mosquitoes, bats and swallows. Now there are very few black flies or mosquitoes but no bats or swallows. I can't believe that bats and swallows have no ecological use and that we are better off without them.
Another year, another major weather event leading to power outages. When the ice storm was at its worst, I was in the backyard when two thirty-year-old branches came crashing down on my neighbour's property. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and they were nowhere near overhead power lines. Climate change means that extreme weather and high winds are going to become a distressingly common occurrence. Now is the time to adapt. Let's start with voting for local councilors and politicians who support burying power lines. For those who say that it costs too much, take a moment to consider how much the recent ice storm (and the derecho last year) has cost the region in terms of lost income, replacement of damaged property and spoiled food, raised insurance premiums, etc... Overhead power lines have outlived their utility - lets bury them as part of a multiyear resiliency program. It will also save healthy mature trees currently close to power lines from being brutally pruned (not to mention the countless trees used for poles).
Martin de Vries
It is important to remember that any study can be biased if it is designed or interpreted in a way that favours a particular outcome. Bias can come from the industry, the study's methodology, the choice of data, the people conducting the study and many other factors.
It is commonly accepted that the need for the tramway (to Ottawa) depends primarily on expected ridership. Let me discredit one study on the subject.
The May 15, 2020, study titled "Update on the Progress of Insertion Analyses in Downtown Ottawa" nebulously explains that between 7,500 and 12,000 people per hour will need to be transported on the Du Portage Bridge within fifteen years, which seems unlikely. Quebec City is planning for 3,200 passengers per hour. This is especially true given the widespread use of telecommuting. To meet this demand, the study recommends the use of 105 articulated buses with 72 passengers, or 25 streetcars with 300 passengers each, without specifying whether it is for one direction or for both, although this information is essential for a good understanding of the needs.
Let's assume that there are 7,500 passengers in one direction and 3,500 in the other, which would immediately saturate the tramway. By comparison, the articulated bus is half empty. With a capacity of 260 passengers, the Quebec City model would not meet the need. In comparison, the Waterloo, Ontario, model carries 200 passengers. The longest Spirit configuration by Alstom carried 344 passengers. Beyond that, it requires coupled streetcars, double-surface garages and disproportionately long stations. According to the scenario of this study, it is inferred that massive new investments will be required in 15 years.
It is important to note that the study requires a frequency of no less than 25 streetcars per hour, which is more intense than that of the Montreal metro. It is obvious that the safety of users is not taken seriously.
If you still believe that the streetcar ("tram") is the solution to public transit in Aylmer, don't worry. It is understandable; we are being bombarded with positive messages for streetcars. Not long ago, the tobacco industry would have us believe that smoking mentholated cigarettes was good for coughs. The streetcar industry wants to sell streetcars! ( Translated )
In Didier's latest editorial, he states that the taxpayer’s contribution to CBC is small; 1.24 billion is not small, unless it’s other people’s money. My guess is he went to the Chrystia Freeland University of Finance and was top of class. Didier, did you also have to cancel your Disney Plus subscription?
The federal Liberals do not control the CBC; they do not have to; CBC is a bastion of left wing ideology that mirrors the Liberals' propaganda. Please stop referencing what is happening south of the border to justify what we should do in Canada; focus on what is actually happening here. Fear mongering is a classic ploy by "progressives" to justify their control the freedom of expression; Bill C-11 is a prime example. Canada strong and free!
According to a survey by the non-governmental organization, Global Witness, almost 40% of climate researchers report having experienced online harassment or abuse related to their climate research.
This abuse is more than just raising objections. "https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=1a1b9bd9ce&e=8bbda66a73" One-third of the female climate scientists who report abuse said they had received attacks specifically relating to their gender. Since these trolls hide their identity, they use the grossest language, unacceptable in any daily conversation. I guess they feel they are geniuses because they can throw a stone, or rotten egg, without any chance of being caught! Why do so many people on social media give up their own moral principles when they engage with other users? Controversy is helpful, but only if helpfully done.
These online attacks could discourage researchers from pursuing climate research (or any other subject) and, certainly, from sharing their findings with the public, according to an employee of Global Witness who is cataloguing these attacks. It is up to all of us to condemn this destructive practise and certainly at minimum we should not respond to nor forward such brainless postings.
LePlateau / Gatineau
"The global economy is on the path to hyperinflation and risks societal collapse if soaring prices are not brought under control", writes Yahoo. How to stop it? Even though the action required is clear; our era's condemnation of "toxic masculinity" and "extremism" rules out the tough policy I believe is needed.
For inflation to be crushed, according to my thinking, interest rates must outpace the inflation rate, so they must go to about 15%; but instead, the central bankers give us 0.25% increases and cower in shame. There is no fundamental change in people's behaviour. Instead, consumers claim "bananas are up another 5 cents this week!" and shore up their finances using their credit cards and unpaid mortgages; they "hang on" for Santa Claus to make it all right again.
Long-terms interests rates over the last couple of centuries have been about 9%, yet the politicians, fearing backlash, slashed those rates to almost nil in 2008. No pension funds or insurance companies will invest in government bonds that are only paying 1% a year in dividends. So, non-socialist governments everywhere then passed laws forcing banks and institutions to keep buying government bonds, even though they would be close to valueless with any interest rate rise.
So, as see it, government intervention messes up the functioning of the open-market system, by intervening directly to raise interest rates -- which eventually crashes the investors, or the general public.
Six years ago, I personally warned MP Greg Fergus of the end result of his government's attempts to rig the casino. I was, pretty much, laughed out of his office as a crank. Today, the results are obvious around the world.
Robert L Thompsett
Reps from civil society groups across Canada will be in Ottawa to tell MPs and climate NGOs about the serious downsides of the nuclear buildup that our federal government is promoting.
At the Centennial Flame will be our rally "Red Light for Nuclear Buildup". We will highlight the ongoing nuclear waste problems and plans to expand reactors into communities across Canada. Check our website for the details, reasons, and possible safe ways forward.
The rally will feature a few short speeches from "Not-the-Nuclear-Lobby" Week organizers, and the Ottawa Raging Grannies will lead us in some songs including "Red Light for Nuclear buildup." Bring signs, if you wish, to send a strong message to the Trudeau government.
Following the rally is a press conference in the National Press Theatre. MPs from four parties will speak along with Susan O'Donnell from the Coalition for Responsible Energy in New Brunswick and Ginette Charbonneau from Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive in Quebec.
Later there will be a debate at the University of Ottawa with Dr. Gordon Edwards and Dr. Chris Keefer: Do We Need to Scale up Nuclear Power to Combat Climate Change? Find details and register on HYPERLINK "https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/do-we-need-to-scale-up-nuclear-power-to-combat-climate-change-tickets-596055978477" Eventbrite. This should be an excellent debate! Gordon debated Dr. Edward Teller ("father of the hydrogen bomb") on "https://youtu.be/RZy10obDkoo" national television in the early 70's and won hands down.
Thanks everyone trying to keep the Ottawa Valley free of irresponsible radioactive waste projects!
"http://concernedcitizens.net/" Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area
Vivre en Ville welcomes the decision to study a dedicated link for public transit announced by the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault. The cancellation of the third highway link project is a responsible decision and the will to offer a true sustainable alternative for inter-urban mobility is inspiring.
Urban sprawl, which is costing us personally and collectively a great deal of money, is the result of decades of highway construction that has had a significant and damaging effect on communities. Reversing this trend and winning the challenge of sustainable mobility will require at least as much investment in public transit.
The ambition to structure urban development around an ambitious sustainable mobility project is exciting, especially since there is a great opportunity to interconnect the project with the future tramway. This is a vision that is consistent with Quebec's National Policy on Architecture and Land Use Planning, whose implementation plan is expected in the coming weeks. -Translated
Christian Savard, Vivre en Ville
A Day of Action Against Overdoses in Outaouais, was led by CIPTO last week. It included A Collective Memorial Art Action, A Tribute March for the dozens of lives lost to the toxic drug crisis and a Panel Discussion on Safer Supply at Le LAB (Hull).
The safer supply panel will convene people with experience of substance use, as well as experts in medicine, harm reduction and policy implementation. Panelists will discuss evidence-based solutions to harm reduction, including safer supply and decriminalization.
The panel coincides with a new report highlighting six community-identified actions that can help prevent deaths from the toxic drug crisis. It is published by CIPTO and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.
The goal is to raise awareness about the drug poisoning crisis that is affecting so many families and to have a dialogue about solutions, including safer supply and decriminalization.
Janick Allyson , CIPTO
In an effort to reduce the number of wildfires this spring, the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU) is launching its annual awareness campaign, debunking some of the myths about the subject. A series of educational vignettes and two animated videos will be released through the end of spring, primarily via social media. The objective of this campaign is to remind people that contrary to popular belief, it is in the spring that the majority of forest fires in Quebec occur, notably due to the loss of control of many brush fires initiated by residents.
SOPFEU points out that in the spring, municipal firefighters and SOPFEU forest firefighters intervene on an average of 275 fires affecting the forest. At this time of the year, despite the cool weather and the still wet soils, the risk of fire is often very high. In fact, before foliage and greenery appear, the fuel on the ground consists of wilted grasses, dead leaves and dry brush, which are highly flammable. It only takes a few hours of sunlight and a little wind for the dead vegetation to dry out quickly and the level of fire danger rises substantially. A fire can then spread over a good distance and threaten the forest as well as nearby buildings. (Translated)
Melanie Morin, SOPFEU
Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to express the profound concerns of the English-speaking community of Quebec about the current discussions in Committee over revisions to the Official Languages Act, Bill C-13. My organization represents thousands of Canadians, who support a moderate approach to language policy in Quebec.
As you know, the Act was passed in 1969 by your father's government after the extensive national discussions of the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission, spearheaded by your father's mentor, Frank Scott. The purpose of the law then and now was to ensure services to minority linguistic communities across the country and support their capacity to work in their official language.
Since that time, the English-speaking community and its institutions have worked collaboratively with francophone minority communities to support one another. In fights for Francophone school boards, provincial laws, and support for the status of the French Language, there has been solidarity. Many people forget the expression "Two Solitudes" used by Hugh MacLennan in his book, comes from a poem which states "Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other."
Bill C-13 has many redeeming qualities, not the least of which is the effort to encourage the flourishing of the French Language in the rest of Canada. However, by encouraging the idea there is only one minority language group in Canada worth supporting, you are not only abandoning the Anglophone community of Quebec in the short term, you are opening up a Pandora's Box which could lead to the elimination of jobs for English Quebecers in the federal public service and federally-regulated businesses, the elimination of English school boards via loss of Section 23 rights, and the continued marginalization of a community of 1.25 million Canadian citizens.
Your government has also managed to incorporate the egregious provincial law 96, and its unethical pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause, into federal legislation. Law 96 is nothing but a vengeful attack on our community. It does nothing to promote the French language and instead emphasizes the creation of a separate, ethnocentric, French speaking nation-state in Quebec. This is the precursor of the independence of Quebec and the end of Canada as we know it.
While incorporating Law 96 into Bill C-13 might have been seen as a clever political ploy to appeal to so-called "soft nationalists," it is unprecedented and appalling. By collaborating with the Bloc Québécois, the Conservatives and NDP have shown their own lack of concern for Canada's future. The only true leaders emerging from this mess are the handful of dissenting Liberal MPs with the courage to speak out for Canadian values, notably Marc Garneau, Marc Miller, Anthony Housefather and Emmanuella Lambropoulos.
In short, your government's actions and those of Premier François Legault, have put the English-speaking community of Quebec, Canadian official bilingualism, and the unity of Canada, in crisis.
Consequently, I call upon you to regain control of the legislative process, remove the references to the Charter of the French Language and reverse the harmful amendments being imposed by the opposition parties. If that is not possible, withdraw this extremely troubling legislation. Then you should call a national meeting of leaders of minority linguistic communities and create a path for understanding and solidarity between our communities that leads to a stronger, more equitable Official Languages Act.
As Prime Minister of Canada, your job as head of government (dating back to the Peace of Westphalia) is to ensure the security of your citizens. At this time, there are more than a million of your fellow Quebecers whose future is threatened. And you are putting the future of our country at risk by ignoring this crisis.
We ask you to take on the responsibilities you have sworn to uphold, to protect our Constitution and our laws, by acting forcefully and directly to protect the interests of the country we love.
President Comité spécial sur la politique linguistique / Task Force on Linguistic Policy
Congratulations on your new website, Bulletin Team! I’ve been following your Instagram account this winter and noticed an alert about your new website. I’ve been loving seeing our little town in pictures. The old website wasn’t bad or anything, but I see the website is modernized – better photo management, cleaner look.
Great job all around – love our local newspaper !!
After nearly 40 years, is it not time for Quebec residents to no longer be treated as second class citizens when they require medical or surgical care elsewhere in Canada?
One of the five principles of the Canada Health Act is portability. The CHA was passed unanimously in 1984, ie all Quebec MPs voted for it. Quebecers, like other Canadians, enjoy portable hospital benefits. However, Section 11 clearly stipulates that when patients are treated in another province or territory, the “host-province” rate of the physician applies, not the “home-province” rate of the patient. All provinces and territories have signed the Reciprocal Medical Billing Agreement (RMBA) to facilitate payment.
However, Quebec has refused to sign, and pays only its own rates. Few MDs in other parts of Canada will accept a Quebec health card. Most demand upfront payment, and leave the patient to obtain partial reimbursement from the Quebec government. This may take months.
This occurs in three situations:
• Patients from West Quebec who are unable to find a family physician, or wish to see a specialist may seek medical or surgical care in Ottawa.
• Quebec patients on vacation or business who need urgent medical or surgical treatment in another part of Canada
• Quebec patients who move permanently to another province or territory, and for the first three months are covered only by a Quebec health card that few MDs will accept. Some may need prescription refills or diagnostic tests soon after arrival.
For many decades, this problem has been ignored by prime ministers and federal health ministers of all political stripes.
I note that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Duclos both represent Quebec ridings. I find it surprising that they remain so unconcerned about the major gap in the public health coverage of other Quebecers when they venture from their province to another part of Canada.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on March 1, 2023 indicated that he was clawing back $82 million in federal health transfers to eight provinces over fees charged to patients in 2020 and 2021 – mainly for diagnostic procedures. He also warned about future clawbacks over private clinics charging for virtual care.
Quebec has always maintained that health care delivery was under provincial jurisdiction. Yet if a patient is treated in another province, which province now has jurisdiction - that of the patient or that of the treating physician?
Of interest is that Duclos stated quite clearly on March 10, “There should be no fees for medically necessary health-care services wherever people may live in this country.”
It is time to translate these words into action. I urge Minister Duclos to demonstrate political will on behalf of his constituents and meet with his counterpart, Christian Dube, and ensure every Quebec resident enjoys fully portable medical benefits.
Charles S. Shaver, MD
Ottawa physician Dr. Charles S. Shaver was born in Montreal. He graduated from Princeton University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and returned to Canada in 1970. He is Past-Chair of the Section on General Internal Medicine of the Ontario Medical Association. The views here are his own.
Oops! The team at the Aylmer Bulletin wish to draw reader attention to any error in the March 8 edition of the newspaper. In the article “UQO aims to tear down access barriers for LGBTQ+, trans and non-binary women looking to procreate”, the term “non-binary women” was used. These words together create an oxymoron. The term we use is “non-binary people” and “transgender women”. Apologies for an confusion this may have caused.
After reading about the “Gatineau sans pesticide” group in the March 8 edition, I’m left with two main thoughts. One is that I’m defiantly attending the Gatineau City Council meeting in Aylmer next month, and the second that I don’t know where I stand about mosquito control. Having grown up in the MRC des Collines, my family and I enjoyed eating dinner outside only a few times a year. Either before the mosquitos a few times that it was warm enough in the spring. Then another handful of occasions in late summer once the mosquitos had died out.
I hadn’t realized that anti-larvae spray programs run by the city is why my family eats outside all summer long in Aylmer. Not that I could ever really support a program that endangered a natural feeding cycle, but jeez, living without mosquitos is enjoyable!
I wonder if the Bulletin could run a research series about the effects of mosquito control on the other insect populations, and birds etc. Perhaps more of us could make an informed decision before asking city councillors to vote on our behalf regarding this issue.
See you the city council meeting in Aylmer! Since the city council building has been demolished, I hope residents find out where it is in advance.
I’d like to share some heartwarming news on a cold wet day. Maggie Bungay and Mackenzie Van Hoof, two local girls from Eardley Elementary school, on a PD day, were caught all the way down in the ditch doing their part
helping spring clean. This is a yearly event the girls do all on their own. I hope they can make a piece of the paper. Showing the rest of us that it doesn’t take that much to make a big difference. They may be small, but can do great things.
After Veterinarian confirmation, my question is what is being spread on our rural roads? All 4 paws were affected, raw affecting sensitivity plus mobility for days. The Municipality to date did not answer what chemicals are being spread upon request. Raising awareness in hopes no other dog gets affected in our Community.
I am a petsitter who drives Aylmer's roads every day. I've read hear so many people complaining about how bad our roads have become. I, too, have noticed a rapid and unnecessary decline of maintenance.
I encourage all people to write letters expressing this priority. In addition to complaining online, why not write a letter or email to your electoral representatives? Let's flood their offices with our complaints, pleas, and suggestions. Let's speak up to those who can take action on our behalf. I am including a list of links below with the contacts to assist you. Also, if you are not fluent in French like me, there is a link for an online translator. Let our voices and votes be heard where it counts !
List of representatives - https://www.gatineau.ca/portail/default.aspx?c=en-CA&p=guichet_municipal/conseil_municipal
Map of electoral districts- https://www.gatineau.ca/portail/default.aspx?p=publications_cartes_statistiques_donnees_ouvertes/cartes/carte_districts_electoraux&ref=navigation-secondaire
Language translator - https://www.deepl.com/en/translator
I have read the Aylmer Bulletin since it started a long time ago. I remember Mrs Virany, the editor, walking down rue Principale with camera in hand. She would talk with people on the way, reporting what was going on in the town of Aylmer.
I am still looking forward to every week to read the Bulletin, but it has changed. I find there are too many advertisements in it, not enough written about people.
In the last issue, on page 15, a smiling face surprised me --- it was Wayne Owens. He is a warmhearted gentleman I used to talk to on my walks along Fraser Road. I am 99 years old now and I live in Glenwood now since I was 63.
I did not know that Wayne had died in 2022, but I know that where he is now, he is smiling.
The picture is lovely – thank you very much Aylmer Bulletin, and the family of Wayne Owens.
We are approaching the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King that resulted in prolonged civil unrest and was a pivotal event in my life.
Born in Montreal, at age 2 years I moved to Ohio and then Kansas. My father, a neurosurgeon, died at age 51 during my first week in high school. I received scholarships to Princeton University and John Hopkins School of Medicine, and believed that I would remain forever in the United States.
However, Dr. King was shot on April 4, 1968, and riots erupted in over 100 American cities. In Baltimore, there was 4PM curfew with National Guardsmen on the streets. Eventually there were 6 deaths, 700 injured, 5800 arrests, and $12 million property damage.
It was too dangerous to remain in my row house, so I slept at the Homewood campus infirmary in a safer part of the city. For the first time ever, Hopkins cancelled exams, and urged us to go home. Several of us went out to the airport and rented cars. As I returned to the inner city that last night, I could hear snipers shooting from the rooftops.
By this point, my mother had returned to Kingston, Ontario. She arranged a research position for me, and a month later, I met my future wife, a Queen’s graduate from Ottawa. We married just before my last year at Hopkins, and moved to Toronto in 1970, and to Ottawa in 1974. Canada seemed a safer place, with more racial tolerance, fewer guns, and a less severe drug problem.
However, by the early 1990s the separatist movement was gaining momentum. Federal politicians seemed ineffective. The Baltimore riots had left a permanent mark on my brain. I could never forget what three days of anarchy felt like. The veneer of civilization is indeed very thin. I feared that similar violence might erupt in Canada, as all humans are wired the same, regardless of race or religion. Quebecers needed to be shown a new reason to hold onto their Canadian citizenship.
I telephoned hospitals around the country and discovered that virtually all quadrupled their rates for “nonresidents of Canada” which Quebecers would be; this was about $3000-$5000 daily. Quebec residents with pre-existing cardiac disease, malignancies, diabetes mellitus, etc. might find it impossible to purchase private travel insurance to visit friends and relatives in other parts of Canada – very important to “new Canadians” with extended families living in various cities across Canada. Others would no longer be able to travel freely on business or vacation. No politician had thought of this argument.
Though I had never taken a journalism course, large op-ed articles of mine on this topic were published from Vancouver to St. John’s. My French was not perfect, so I paid out-of-pocket for half a dozen different articles to be translated into French, and they appeared in most of the Quebec newspapers. All were in Le Droit and two were in Le Devoir with not one word removed.
The separatists were defeated in the 1995 Referendum, but by only 55,000 votes or 1.16%. However, the “Yes” side was supported by 60% of the Francophones. I hope, but will never know for sure, that my articles played a role.
The battle to preserve the integrity of Canada is not over. Unfortunately, many Quebec residents still feel like “second-class citizens” when they see a physician elsewhere in Canada as health coverage for Quebecers remains incomplete. As I have stressed in many articles, the Quebec government has been violating Section 11 of the Canada Health Act for 39 years and has refused to sign the Reciprocal Medical Billing Agreement (RMBA). As a result, Quebec residents who seek care in Ontario and other provinces must usually pay out-of-pocket, and later receive partial reimbursement. This is counter to the words of Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on March 10. Were he to finally persuade Health Minister Christian Dube to sign the RMBA Agreement, Quebecers would have one more thing to lose in the event of a future vote for independence. I note with interest that support for sovereignty in a Leger poll has risen by 6% from a year ago to 38%. Might this trend be slightly reversed if Quebecers at last had fully portable health benefits throughout Canada?
Charles S. Shaver, MD
Ottawa physician Dr. Charles S. Shaver was born in Montreal. He is Past-Chair of the Section on General Internal Medicine of the Ontario Medical Association.
The views here are his own.
With the theme "Prevention is Better than Death," the 33rd edition of Suicide Prevention Week reminds us that suicide is not inevitable. To reduce suicide rates, it is important to open up a dialogue on the topic.
Talking about suicide is an essential starting point for prevention that is within everyone’s reach. If you would like to participate, join AQPS to raise awareness through motivational messages and information about resources in your community: DareToTalkAboutSuicide.com
In response to Mr. Kossovan's letter (Part 2) ... Deciphering science can be difficult for most people. Receiving pertinent scientific information from the "mainstream media" is the norm today. There will always be a small percentage who question science because they don't, or won't, accept it as true. Those disbelievers may "bravely" challenge the science but that is not good enough to disprove the reality. Disbelievers are held to account for their judgements and it is hoped that civil dialogue will quell their fears. Some disbelievers however will not give up their screed of disbelief no matter the efforts of civil dialogue and scientific data.
Mr. Kossovan notes that "drinking is not contagious like COVID". Not in the general sense but it does have a direct effect on those around the drinkers. Drunk driving is the most obvious, physical abuses are often encountered, and drinking at work can be a real problem that can cost a lot, for many, even at a distance. The many ways alcohol impacts our medical system, both physically and mentally, can not be denied. Health Canada's new guidelines for alcohol are much less difficult to understand than vaccinations. The alcohol guidelines impact is also not as all encompassing to our society as vaccines. Those that continue to rail against the last years of vaccines, and masking for COVID-19 prevention, and who now try to equate them to these alcohol guidelines are misguided and or disingenuous.
"[D]on't all unhealthy lifestyle choices deserve outrage and ostracis[m]?" Many of the "unhealthy lifestyle choices" do and are directly dealt with by our legal system. As we progress we find some laws that overstep and some that must be strengthened and if this is done with democratic methods the laws will better represent us all, even those who do not or will not accept the realities of our times. We must assume that the science is correct here and take action. Action like we took with tobacco. This means a tax on alcohol that goes directly towards maintaining our health care services that have gone through the most difficult time in our generation. It would be hypocrisy to do otherwise. Alcohol data is now public knowledge and it is hypocrisy to deny the problem exists and to take no action in order to placate those who choose to deny science. Railing against taking action is ridiculous and inaction is a hypocrisy we must overcome lest it brings us all down.
The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Inc. (QFHSA) supports the Prime Minister of Canada asking the Supreme Court of Canada to investigate the possibility of regulating the use of the Notwithstanding Clause.
The Notwithstanding Clause, contained in Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms , allows the federal parliament or provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter and invoking it ahead of time prevents courts from weighing in.
Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that provinces should not be pre-emptively using the Notwithstanding Clause, because it means "suspending fundamental rights and freedoms."
The present government of Québec has made use of the Notwithstanding Clause twice since forming government in 2018 — for Bill 21: An Act respecting the laicity of the State and Bill 96: An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec.
The present government of Ontario pre-emptively used the Notwithstanding Clause to stop workers in the province's education sector from striking in 2022.
The QFHSA believes citizens have the right to challenge discriminatory legislation before the courts in Canada.
The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Inc.
Survivors and victims of mass killings who have been campaigning for decades to ban assault weapons are shocked by the unanimous withdrawal of amendments G-4 and G- 46 aimed at banning assault weapons by the Standing Committee on Public Safety. It is clear that the misinformation propagated by Conservative MPs and the gun lobby has won.
The only glimmer of hope lies in the Minister’s commitment to continue to “work with our parliamentary colleagues to craft a new, clear solution that will keep assault-style weapons off our streets” and the possibility of reintroducing new amendments based on the additional consultations that have simultaneously been voted on, especially if these will clarify the true impact of the proposed measures and effectively counter the rampant disinformation.
We are especially eager to hear from opposition parties with respect to the next steps, especially the Bloc Québécois. The government needs only one opposition party to deliver on their promise to ban assault weapons and it would be unthinkable for the Bloc not to collaborate in this regard.
Nathalie Provost, PolySeSouvient
Why does the eastbound lane on Allumettières at Samuel-Edey always smell like "farts"?
Every time I stop at that light, me and my kids always wonder what the cause is.
Seriously, I wonder if folks living nearby are suffering a health risk. What gives?
A reporter should be assigned to this “breaking” news.
Mick Gzowski & kids
People seem to be more likely to excuse the negative effects of driving — such as pollution and accidents — than those in other areas of life. In a survey of 2,157 drivers and non-drivers in the United Kingdom, roughly half were asked to rate a statement about cars.
The others were given an almost identical sentence about another issue. For example, 75% agreed that people shouldn’t smoke in highly populated areas where others have to breathe in the fumes — but only 17% agreed that people shouldn’t drive in highly populated areas.
The researchers suggest that this ‘motonormativity’ inhibits our ability to think objectively about how we use cars.
During events in the downtown, such as the Sunday market and services at the mosque, Broad Street is impassable with all the central speed signs. The street becomes blocked and this situation becomes dangerous for the public and causes conflicts between motorists. I have sent an e-mail to my councillor regarding this situation, but I have not received a response.
The police have already been made aware of this, but to no avail. These speed signs are dangerous and should be removed. One solution would be to paint a speed sign in the middle of the road. (Translated)
The fossil fuel era is ending whether Danielle Smith likes it or not. In her recent attacks on proposed federal Just Transition legislation, the Alberta Premier acted like the world has a choice between “transition” and “don’t transition.” Our only choice is between a just transition and an unjust one. Even in their most conservative projections, the typically pro-oil International Energy Agency (IEA) expects fossil fuel demand to peak in 2035. They’ve been clear that there can be no new oil, gas or coal development if the world is to reach net zero by 2050.
As the climate crisis gets worse, people around the world will put intense pressure on their governments to finally stop propping up Big Oil and start rapidly slashing emissions. The vast majority of Canadians, myself included, want our politicians to stop denying this reality and act now to make sure the transition is fair to all workers and communities.
We can’t trust fossil fuel companies to do right for their workers when oil goes bust for good. Even amidst record profits, Canada’s oil and gas sector currently employs tens of thousands fewer people than it did a decade ago. While these workers get layoffs, executives and shareholders get bonuses and stock buybacks.
That’s why I’m glad to see the Trudeau government finally moving forward with Just Transition legislation and I’ll be doing everything I can this year to push Parliament to deliver the boldest possible version of the bill.
Although the APA can count on the financial support of the city of Gatineau, it must also undertake some autonomous financing to carry out its mission. This autonomous financing comes mainly from public membership (its members), their donations, as well as from the sale of products (e.g. books) and services (eg digitization), in addition to some fundraising such as the perennial plants sale in the spring.
The beginning of the year is the period of renewal of memberships and the recruitment of new members. Thank you for supporting our organization in the protection and enhancement of the built heritage of Aylmer. To become a member or renew your membership:
Aylmer Heritage Association
Aylmer / Gatineau
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has revised its alcohol consumption guidelines. After two-years of research, they are shocking. CCSA's 89-page report says: "Even a small amount of alcohol can be damaging to health. Research shows that no amount, or kind, of alcohol is good for your health."
This is a 360-degree change from Canada's 2011 alcohol guidelines. They defined as "low risk" up to 10 drinks per week (max two per day) for women, and up to 15 per week (max three per day) for men.
What concerns me is what I am hearing (or not) from those around me and on my social media. Those who freaked out when anyone questioned the science behind COVID vaccines are now themselves questioning CCSA's science. But isn't this, "I will question, even denounce, any science that does not suit me" pure hypocrisy? In 2020/2021, Stats Canada reports 3,180 million litres of alcoholic beverages sold -- 9.7 drinks per week per Canadian.
It will be interesting to see whether Canadians who followed vaccine guidelines because they believed in the science will now follow Health Canada's new guidelines.
Will bars become dispensers of club soda and non-alcoholic fruit cocktails? Will liquor stores be joining the 'For Lease' landscape? Will grocery stores empty their shelves of alcohol? Will the feds see a dramatic decline in alcohol sales, a significant source of government revenue, forcing them to raise taxes on other vices they tax (gambling, cigarettes) to maintain the money flow? ... or will Canadians shrug and keep raising glasses, saying "What does the CCSA know? I bet their studies were commissioned by the Dairy Farmers of Canada."
Yes, deciphering the science is difficult, especially when filtered through mainstream media which benefits by keeping us in a constant state of anxiousness. Nevertheless, because of the science reports, most Canadians rolled up their sleeves, got vaccinated and then boosted. A small percentage questioned the vaccine's science and possible side effects. Civil dialogue never took place.
Many will argue, if a person drinks, that's their business. The logic being drinking is not contagious like COVID. Point taken. However, assuming CCSA's science is credible, and therefore alcohol is literally poison, I would expect people to be upset about all those drinking Canadians who are using our taxpayer-funded healthcare to treat illnesses and diseases that could have been prevented if they had abstained from alcohol. Where is the outrage against those who continue to smoke in 2023, despite decades of undeniable science that has clearly said smoking kills? Inevitably those who smoke end up using Canada's healthcare system more than Canadians who take their health seriously.
Undeniably, most health issues Canadians seek treatment for through our healthcare system are preventable. There is no doubt that a person's lifestyle choices have a direct impact on their health. Hence, are not all unhealthy lifestyle choices deserving of outrage, judgment, condemnation, and ostracization? Or is cherry-picking which science to believe—namely, the science that suits us—just the newest thing?
I am curious to see how much alcohol Canadians will consume in 2023.
Yes, deciphering the science is difficult, especially when filtered through mainstream media which benefits by keeping us in constant in anxiety. Yet because of the science the media did report, most Canadians rolled up their sleeves, got vaccinated and boosted. Only a small percentage questioned the vaccine's science and possible side effects down the road. Those who were, for lack of a better word, brave enough to challenge the science publicly, or said they were not comfortable getting vaccinated, were pummelled with insults, had their beliefs ridiculed and were ostracised by family, friends and employers. Civil dialogue never took place.
So why are those saying they will ignore Health Canada's new alcohol guidelines not being publicly burned at the stake?
Unvaccinated Canadians and those who went out in public unmasked experienced outrage, which their attackers justified by claiming that their "rebellious" behaviour (READ: Exercising their right to body autonomy) was burdening hospitals. If the media is believed, those who refuse to get vaccinated and/or wear a facemask are bringing Canada's healthcare system to its knees.
Many will argue that if a person decides to drink, that's their business. Their logic being that drinking is not contagious, like COVID. Point taken. However, assuming CCSA's science is credible, and therefore alcohol is literally poison, I would expect people to be upset about all the drinkers who are using Canada's taxpayer-funded healthcare to treat illnesses that could have been prevented if they had abstained from alcohol.
Where is the outrage against those who continue to smoke, despite decades of undeniable science that says smoking kills? It's inevitable that those who smoke end up using Canada's healthcare system more than Canadians who take their health seriously.
The non-existent outrage against those who question CCSA's science or dismiss it outright is mind-boggling hypocrisy! No wonder there is so much discourse when hypocrisy has become the norm.
Undeniably, many health issues Canadians face and seek treatment for through our healthcare system are preventable. A person's lifestyle choices have a direct impact on their health. Hence, don't all unhealthy lifestyle choices deserve outrage and ostracisation? Or is cherry-picking which science to believe—namely, the science that suits us—the new thing?
I am curious to see how much alcohol Canadians actually do consume in 2023.
Join us for our first climate cafe on February 5.
Transition écologique La Pêche Coalition for a Green New Deal will host its first Climate and Justice Café (Tea) of the year in Le Greenroom (Black Sheep Inn) on Sunday February 5 at 1:00.
Share what you care about, what worries you, listen to others, and share ideas about how we can work together, support one another and take action for a liveable future. Transition écologique La Pêche La Pêche coalition for a Green New Deal
Letter-writer Nelly claims (in his letter about the large public service, January 11 edition) that the gov't just prints more money to pay any salaries it agrees to -- he singles out Ontario, but how can Ontario print money (a federal responsibility) to pay its "Sunshine List"?
This is a standard accusation by Right-wingers against all "government" in general, and especially on virtually any government spending that is not on the armed forces or police! Obviously not a well-thought-out objection, if that matters to him.
Joshua Frank's genuinely unsettling book,
Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America", was dubbed one of the best books of 2022 (by The Progressive magazine), writing: "Joshua Frank blows the lid off 'the U.S. government’s gargantuan plutonium operation' that 'churned out nearly all of the radioactive fuel used in the country’s nuclear arsenal....'
The award-winning journalist makes a compelling case that Hanford has become 'the costliest environmental remediation project the world has ever seen, and arguably the most contaminated place on the entire planet...'"
As some turn to nuclear power as a supposed solution to the climate emergency, "Atomic Days" reminds readers of the perils of nuclear waste and its difficult disposal.
The fossil fuel era is ending whether Danielle Smith likes it or not. In her recent attacks on proposed federal Just Transition legislation, the Alberta Premier acted like the world has a choice between “transition” and “don’t transition.” In reality, our only choice is between a just transition and an unjust one. Even in their most conservative projections, the pro-oil International Energy Agency (IEA) expects fossil fuel demand to peak in 2035. They’ve been clear that there can be no new oil, gas or coal development if the world is to reach net zero by 2050.
As the climate crisis gets worse, people around the world will pressure their governments to finally stop propping up Big Oil and start slashing emissions. The vast majority of Canadians, myself included, want our politicians to stop denying this reality and act now to make sure the transition is fair to all, workers and communities.
We can’t trust fossil fuel companies to do right by workers when oil goes bust for good. Even amidst record profits, Canada’s oil and gas sector currently employs tens of thousands fewer people than it did a decade ago. While these workers get layoffs, executives and shareholders get bonuses and buybacks.
That’s why I’m glad to see the Trudeau government finally moving forward with Just Transition legislation and I’ll be doing everything I can this year to push Parliament to deliver the boldest possible version of the bill.
It has been frustrating but not surprising to see Alberta Premier Danielle Smith stirring up a new wave of fear and anger about the inevitable transition to clean energy. Smith obviously wants to motivate her base leading up to the spring election.
But no matter what Smith wants to believe, the fossil fuel era is ending. Between the hard truth of the climate crisis and the rapidly declining cost of clean power, the energy transition is going to be painful for energy workers unless we have a robust transition plan in place.
The idea of a Just Transition might outrage Big Oil and their allies, but the vast majority of Canadians are ahead of politicians in our support for the idea. Polling shows that most of us recognize that clean energy will bring good jobs along with cheaper and more reliable electricity. Everyday people want our government to work on a Just Transition, not against it, so that no worker or community gets left behind.
On January 26th, right after the big snow fall, I was out in Aylmer and my taxi did not show up. I decided to walk home. The plow had just passed, and I got stuck in the snow. I was panicking and this angel of a young lady helped me get out of the snow.
When I got stuck again, she helped me once more. I never got her name, but I want to thank you for coming to my aid. We often hear negative things about teenagers, and I wanted to highlight this good deed.
We are happy to share today the 2023 edition of our
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n _blankCanada Car Insurance Premiums Barometer" - which gives an overview on who pays what in the country and on which criteria. Here are some interesting findings of this document :
- As of the end of 2022, Alberta ($3,151), Nova Scotia ($2,491) and Ontario ($2,299) pay the highest annual car insurance premiums in the country
- Calgary ($3,182), Edmonton ($3,150) and Halifax ($2,490) are the cities where drivers are faced with the highest car insurance premiums in Canada
- Nationwide, Canadian male drivers pay on average 4.1% more in premiums than female drivers
- The highest annual car insurance premium found in all the country in October 2022 was $6,828 - the lowest $383.
- This report was made with available data on car insurance premiums for 33 Canadian cities in 9 provinces, for 27 driver profiles - mixing criteria such as gender, age, marital and employment status, numbers of years of license, history of claims and convictions, distance of commute, annual kilometers driven and the car type and model.
Mr. Insulted, “abomination” is not a text but a Haiku poem. You say that accusing Quebecois of being racist is out of bounds. I disagree. When a body (government or…) strategically modifies the Charter of Rights and Freedom to oppress people of a certain language or religion: I consider that to be racism.
I was married to a loving Irish (anglo) lady for 37 years and I have witnessed time and time again the disrespectful behaviour of Quebec civil servants toward my wife; “elle va attendre la maudite anglaise “ . So I started speaking English to those “un-”civil servants. I got exactly the same treatment. If I communicated in French there were no abusive comments.
As for being anonymous. I was wise enough to remember the hatred the Quebecois have for the English and your own aggressive response supports that wisdom. Why is my identity so important to you? If the hat fits ...
There was no real effort put in the translation. This time I will not bother.
You criticize this newspaper for printing my poem; as far as I know Quebec has not yet limited the freedom of speech. Could it be that if you were Premier such a poem would be banned?
Mansfield / Pontiac
Perhaps future folks are all destined to live in condos with no need for it (a lumber yard), but with an awesome (now forgotten) wood working shop in the back of that place, I still enjoy working with wood at home - can't we save the Rona lumber yard?
The Confederation des organismes de personnes handicapées du Quebec (COPHAN) welcomes the adoption of Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit (CDBP). Like the Disability Without Poverty movement, we are cautiously optimistic because the project is now in the hands of the Senate. Hurry up!
Persons with disabilities in Quebec are pleased with the passage of Bill C-22, . They thank the members of the House of Commons for quickly passing the third reading of the PCPSH.
It is now appropriate for the Senate of Canada to put in place the necessary arrangements to quickly study this important bill. The Senate can approve a bill unchanged, propose amendments or reject it. All of these possibilities can require countless delays that can result in a bill dying on the order paper. COPHAN therefore wishes the bill to be passed quickly. Time flies while a federal election remains possible, even if unlikely.
In Quebec, work to align the Canadian benefit with the Basic Income Program (BRP) and the disability pension will be required. This is the same with the provinces and territories with the particularities of each. Protecting Quebec's PRB that came into effect on January 1, 2023, will be necessary. It is necessary to enhance existing programs such as the PRB in Quebec to meet the needs of people with disabilities that still are unanswered. They are numerous.
For Quebec, we obviously support full indexation based on the cost of health care, rather than the cost of living. We are also of the opinion that the combined individualized benefit does not take into account the income of the spouses. The same applies to work income.
André Prévost, COPHAN
I'm the boomer child of immigrants who settled in Canada in the early '60s. In the last decade I've become aware of the history of the Dominion and the fundamental injustices that formed this country: genocide and land theft (perpetrated by church & state) that benefit corporations/oligarchs at the expense of Indigenous People. We have decimated Indigenous cultures in Canada and we have waged a war against nature (ecocide) -- that we're losing. Presently the scope of the genocide/ecocide is expanding globally while corporations/oligarchs enrich themselves. Traditional media are responsible for manufacturing the consent to this reprehensible endgame. You, the media, must stop, tell the truth and inform everyone of the injustices that bring us to civilizational collapse. We must end genocide, dismantle apartheid, and outlaw eugenics/white supremacy: cease to be a Dominion. Genocide precedes ecocide and Canadians are complicit to pursuing both, thanks to the practice of your “craft”. A healthy planet is required for our collective survival, our planet doesn't need our parasitic/toxic behaviour of extractive/settler colonialism and a violent economic system lead by grifters that pretend there are no limits. Shame on you -- and shame on us for not learning from our failures.
Mr Nelly of Westmeath claims a "progressive" government should claw-back (surcharge) excessive salaries, but complains that Ontario refuses to do anything more than tax them, business as usual. Is Mr Nelly claiming the Doug Ford gov't is progressive? Why should we read any further in this letter? He goes on to argue for a tax surcharge on earnings over $100,000 -- hello! Does he honesty think Ford would surcharge all the millionaires (& billionaires) in Ontario? Who financially supports the Conservative gov't, if it isn't the wealthy? But he no doubt means only to surcharge "workers" earning over 100K, not corporate bosses and officials. The "sunshine list" is a list of employees, is it not?
I spent part of last week in Ottawa, part of an announcement of the Fight for Pharmacare Alliance, and I want to ask you and your readers to join in. Public, single-payer pharmacare would truly be life-changing for 3.4 million people in Canada who can’t afford to take their medication as prescribed, and the millions more for whom high drug prices are an incredible financial burden. Since March, when the Liberals and NDP promised to deliver pharmacare legislation in 2023, Big Pharma and insurance industry lobbyists opposed to pharmacare have met with federal government officials 150 times – about 3 or 4 times per week. It’s never been clearer to me that the reason the Liberals haven’t implemented pharmacare yet isn’t the cost or the complexity – it’s concern for the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, not people. We need public, single-payer pharmacare and we need it now.
Robin Tress, Council of Canadians
A. Is there any evidence at all that the now-destroyed "balloons" had any spying apparatus on board them? Any evidence at all, any recordings of messages they sent or received, any unusual antennae? And why destroy them before they can be "captured" and physically investigated?
B. Is there any doubt that the prevailing winds of the world blow from west to east? Or that nations do not use weather balloons normally?
C. Do any of the "big powers" NOT fly devices, satellites and spy planes over the entire planet? Is there any region of the world which does not have some external surveillance? How unusual are such "balloons"? And now with drones? Didn't the USA itself get into hot water over it's U-2 spy flights over Russia, China, the Koreas, even over its own client state, Israel?
D. If these are spying devices, really, who cares? The US claims they are spying on missile silos and airbases, but can't anyone at all drive around those places and take photos, recordings, use fancy spy-gear -- all from the backseat of their cars? Why send a billboard floating across America's skies?
E. If these are spy devices, they must report their findings home -- but how? How is it that NORAD does not track all unusual messaging in its skies? Especially once they spot one of these devices.
F. Why, given all these points, would anyone consider that these are dangerous spy incursions on our airspace? Isn't it just as likely, say, that the NWT device was a trial run by the Dehcho First Nation's airforce!
G. In other regions wouldn't it be more likely to assume these are weather or scientific balloons blown off course? They are not disguised. Does China want to provoke a US counter-strike? Or are the rightwing nuts in the US banging the drums of war? There's so much manufactured crisis in the news about Chinese "intentions", isn't this one more step closer to hostilities -- long promoted by the American right.
Migrants and undocumented people call on Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his promise to regularize permanent resident status for all.
Evocative drawings by children of migrants separated from their families for decades and from those fearing family separation because of possible deportations were launched on Ontario's Family Day, at a pop-up art exhibit outside the office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. Photographs of the drawings have been put together into a sketchbook by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and were also mailed to every Member of Parliament.
The drawings from children as young as two years old include inscriptions about family separation and fear. A migrant farmworker’s child wrote, “I miss my dad so much. I wish I could be with him in Canada, reunite our broken family, finish my schooling and make my dad proud.” An undocumented child wrote, “I am six years old, I have no friends, I can’t register in school because I have no status. Please help all the kids in Canada to get an education.”
Permanent resident status is the mechanism through which families can be united and everyone has equal rights; without it migrants are separated. We are sending these drawings by migrant children to Prime Minister Trudeau and every Member of Parliament to remind them of the cost of their decision and urge them to keep their promise, ensure permanent resident status for all, and stop the suffering.”
Sarom Rho, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
At the February 7 Council meeting, Council unanimously adopted a resolution to maintain its official bilingual status. With the coming into force of Bill 96, the Municipality no longer had the criteria to maintain it since less than 50% of its population has English as its mother tongue. It had to adopt a resolution within 120 days of receiving the notice from the Office de la langue française. The Municipality of Chelsea received this notice in December 2022.
Said Pierre Guénard, Mayor, ''Council believes that it is essential to maintain the status of bilingualism for the benefit of the municipality and its residents. This diversity is an asset and we wish to continue to serve our residents in their mother tongue."
The 2021 census indicates that 47.8% of Chelsea's population has English as their first language. Therefore, the Municipality will have to adopt a new resolution to maintain its bilingual status with each letter sent by the Office de la langue française.
Municipality of Chelsea
I'm Roland Montpellier, a grandfather of four. I've been active in the climate movement for 15 years. Millions of people around the world are working hard to pressure their leaders to take the climate action that aligns with the gravity and the scope of the crisis. But our emissions keep rising. We are losing the war.
The oil and gas sector is the largest and fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, so we can’t meet our climate targets without reducing these emissions. Yet Canada continues to use taxpayers’ dollars to subsidize and finance the oil and gas sector despite its obscene profits — which have increased by 1,000 per cent in Canada since 2019.
Renewable energy prices are more stable and predictable than oil and gas prices. If we want energy security, reliability and affordability, renewables are the way forward. We need to do more to save our world.
Finland's news media Ilta-Sanomat and CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation have taken a new approach to combat polarization. Ahead of Finland's parliamentary elections, they have turned the concept of an election debate upside down by hosting a “Peace Debate”, where candidates were measured by their ability to show empathy, build trust and find win-win outcomes.
Political polarization undermines societies around the world. Attempts to reverse this glooming trend have been scarce, as there is yet to be a clear consensus on what should be done. Now a surprising solution has emerged from Finland, where the first-ever “Peace Debate” was held, February 10th. The Peace Debate inverted the traditional concept of election debates.
Unlike regular debates, where participants try to dominate others and make them look bad, the Peace Debate requires the candidates to find shared solutions, build common ground and listen to each other. This way the new format of an election debate is not only bringing the competing candidates closer to each other but also setting an example for a better political discussion.
Top Finnish politicians including Finland's current foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (The Greens) were invited from six political parties. The debate dealt with political hot topics such as immigration, the economy, and the country's NATO application.
After the debate participants were rated by the audience based on which of the candidates succeeded best in finding shared solutions. The voting was carried out digitally. Both the live audience as well as the online viewers were able to participate in the vote.
Peace Debate calls for better political discussion and leadership. Election debates are a building block of democracy. They give voters important information about candidates' political opinions and personalities. However, CMI believes that because election debates follow a similar formula, it narrows down the kind of information voters get. CMI emphasizes that, despite disagreements, solutions must be found through dialogue and peacefulness.
The Peace Debate’s participants: Finland's current foreign minister Pekka Haavisto and five current members of the Finnish parliament.
Riikka Kämppi, CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation
In response to the letter from J.R.F. from the Pontiac: I agree completely with him. Legault’s government expects all government workers to pass a written as well as oral French test and if results do not amount to 75% they will not be hired. However, we do watch TVA news at 5:58 nightly and English words are included regularly in their broadcasts i.e., stocker, leader, manager, stopper, leadership, player, feeling, party, coach, mon scoop, etc. Both official Canadian languages must be respected in Quebec, as they are in the other provinces. English-speaking Quebeckers should have as many rights as French-speaking ones.
I am writing this on behalf of my teenage son, on his dare. We read the Bulletin, especially the letters. Almost every week there are letters about climate change, and according to him these letters are mostly complaints about what others are not doing, in our efforts to slow climate disintegration. They all have advice for others, lots of criticism about governments, but he wants to hear what these people are actually doing themselves. He sees very little being done (we both do) by our friends and relatives and he finds this hypocritical. Driving is his big complaint: have people actually cut their fuel emissions by changing their driving habits? Or do they still "jump in the car" whenever any little thing is missing or needed. Or in our homes. Have people actually reduced their water usage (and sewage production)? Dishwashers are very wasteful of water and heat, yet every house has one and they seem to be used all the time. Laundry, especially driers, all are especially wasteful, and we should all be angry about people washing their driveways and cars — even their whole houses. All the tree-cutting around town is also so depressing — it's like there are people who seem totally unaware of the effects of their actions, as long as they can make money somewhere in the process. Frankly I cannot disagree with him, but this pessimism which also seems so common only makes things worse.
There, I've written his letter. Does anybody have a reaction?
It is quite refreshing to read that your son takes climate change as seriously as he does. I would also like to see what people are doing to mitigate their own effect on the climate.
He should know that many people are still not driving their vehicles very much, as thousands of Federal employees are only working in an office 2-3 days a week and many are still at home 100% of the time. I also see a lot more electric cars on the road than in the past.
Governments have added incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. Both Federal and provincial rebates and tax deductions are available. (do you [Robert] drive one I wonder?)
However, I must correct his comments about water and electricity usage. There is as much water on the planet now as there was millions of years ago. Using it for laundry, dish washing, showers, does not waste it. Yes, it is no longer drinkable, but only temporarily. This water is purified by treatment plants and released back into the rivers. Some of it will evaporate, and any sediment or contaminants are left behind.
As for dishwashers, many homes do not have one! In my home I am the dishwasher (my wife and I). In Quebec electricity is created almost entirely by hydro (almost 95%), which has 0 emissions. Using a dryer or dishwasher may use electricity, but no emissions are generated as a result, therefore no damage to the atmosphere.
As for tree cutting, many municipalities have rules and guidelines for reforestation when a developer cuts down trees to build a home. While we may not see trees being planted in the same area, they are in fact being replanted. Developers pay a tax to the municipality to cover the cost of replanting trees.
I would caution him not to be too critical on whether a person drives to the grocery store or walks. Some people cannot carry heavy bags home from the store if they are walking. There are times when using a vehicle is required.
I am very concerned with what’s happening to our health care system (in Ontario). Doug Ford is doing his best to privatize it, and we cannot allow that. It is written in our Constitution that we have a right to health care. The long waiting lists and hours of wait times in ERs is not health care. We must stand up to Doug Ford and not allow him to continue dismantling our health care system.
My heart sank as a parent last week when the camp de jour Kinéactif that serves Aylmer-Hull announced that it would not be able to run out of Heritage College this summer as the College has placed a moratorium on all space rentals. This has put Kinéactif and its director in a very difficult position, trying to find another location to run all the outdoor camp activities, including its very popular mountain biking program. Heritage was a perfect location, it backed onto Gatineau Park providing a huge playground for all the camp’s outdoor activities. As a parent, we found this outdoor-based camp during the pandemic. It sparked a passion for mountain biking in my son who has now volunteered for two summers building leadership competencies as an aide-moniteur (junior camp counsellor) and has now applied to become a moniteur (camp counsellor). That’s what I find the most difficult about the camp losing its direct proximity to Gatineau Park – it affects our community, parents, kids and the youth who would be employed. In today’s electronic-focused world, this camp is about getting kids outside and developing leadership competencies in our youth. Through a recent discussion with the camp director, I understand that a few temporary locations have been found for this summer and registrations will start very soon, albeit not with the same direct proximity to Gatineau Park.
Hoping that the Western Quebec School Board will answer to the camp’s needs and that Heritage College will work together with our camps and community organizations to allow the rental of their facilities. This can be done around their maintenance schedules. Let’s work together to support programs like these that benefit our community, our kids and our youth, and get kids outside in Gatineau Park while parents work during the summer.
You may recognize my name from the many anti-tram documents I have written in the Bulletin. But what I have to say here is of the utmost importance and is beneficial to the tram plan.
There seems to be a general stubbornness to have the streetcar from/for Aylmer go over the Portage Bridge. The Portage Bridge is already at full capacity. Why not a new bridge dedicated only to public transit? This new bridge connects the National War Museum to the Taché-UQO station. It provides direct access from both sides of the river between the Gatineau Olympiques and the Ottawa Senators to the future LeBreton Flats arena. Even for the tram, this would be beneficial. A dedicated transit bridge is easy to convince the public. It doesn't have to be a tall, massive structure. The bridge would be small because it only requires two lanes. The river bottom is rocky and shallow. This one is easy to build. It can be turned into a masterpiece!
The well known phenomenon of "induced traffic" is that when you expand or add to a road infrastructure, soon it is full again. This is positive for the proposed bridge since it is a bridge used strictly for transit.
According to the theory of induced traffic, there will be an increase in the use of the new transit structure to the point that it will be full before long. We should savor this benefit. But, more conveniently, this bridge saves precious minutes for all commuters heading to downtown Ottawa. Everyone from Aylmer to Buckingham has access.
This bridge is in line with the existing Rapibus and can be part of the structuring project of Gatineau's public transit network.
This bridge significantly reduces transit traffic on the entire downtown Hull bus route network and on the Portage Bridge.
From LeBreton Flats to Sussex Street, a cut-and-cover "tunnel" is added.
What do you think? (Translated)
The recent editorial series by Ian Barrett is timely. I hope everyone is reading these and thinking through how we want to proceed as a society. It is time to truly pay attention to how we build our community and how we ensure the public good is at the core of all things.
Last week we learned that foreign influence in our federal, provincial and even municipal politics has a real impact on our electoral outcomes. Flatlining public trust with this reality, there is clearly far more work needed to improve our systems than anyone realized.
Keep it up, Bulletin! You are a local paper but bringing bigger issues to the front, with the local angle.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a path forward for Canada and the world that leaves no one behind. As co-chair of the SDG Advocates group, I look forward to rallying countries, governments, the private sector, and others to accelerate our progress and continue to raise our voices - and our ambition - on the way to 2030.” - JT
As countries face domestic health and economic shocks from the convergence of COVID-19, conflicts, and climate crises, Canada and the world need global solidarity to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. A plan in #Budget2023 is needed for the International Assistance Envelope (IAE) envelope to reach CAD$10 billion by 2025.
Canada needs to #KeepThePromise to increase our IAE every year to 2030, so that the SDGs can be achieved. Trudeau’s promises to realize the goals require an increase in investment in #Budget2023 to our International Assistance Envelope. By increasing Canada’s IAE budget in 2023, Canada can unlock more funding for all issue areas, including investments to global education and mechanisms like "Education Cannot Wait". Canada must increase its IAE by 1.9 billion over the next three years to reach a minimum of 10 billion in the 2025-26 budget, in line with the government’s commitment to increase IAE every year toward 2030 to realize the SDGs.
Canada should also fulfill its commitment to invest at least 10% of bilateral development assistance, assistance directly to a recipient country, in quality education.
Recent patients have died unexpectedly in emergency departments in New Brunswick and Ontario. CHEO has opened a second ICU. Due to exhaustion, burnout, and poor working conditions, many health-care workers have quit, forcing emergency departments across Canada to close temporarily. About five million Canadians have no family physician, only walk-in clinics. No wonder health care has surpassed inflation as the top national issue, according to Nanos polling.
Manitoba's Premier has reiterated her request that Ottawa increase the Canada Health Transfer from 22% to 35%. But Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos refuses to (talk additional money until the provinces guarantee its uses). He wants them to focus on recruiting and retaining professionals -- not good enough say the premiers.
What can be done? Medical and nursing school enrolment is increasing. B.C. is tripling places for foreign-trained physicians to obtain their licence; other provinces are fast-tracking foreign nursing and medical graduates. The Canadian Medical Association proposes a nationally portable medical licensure. Others also propose team-based care with salaries and fringe benefits for physicians.
We need incentives to keep older physicians working , say, reduced annual licence fees. Over 15-16% of our family physicians and specialists are 65 or over.
Physicians may be off work for weeks to months due to heart attacks, severe infection like COVID-19, resection of tumors, prostate or cardiac surgery, depression, knee or hip replacement, etc. This may end in retirement. Private disability insurance is usually unobtainable past age 65. All provinces have had different benefits such as medical leaves. Younger physicians are mobile, and attracted by these benefits. Nationally portable medical licenses would pressure all provinces for benefits such as short-term disability for older physicians.
I therefore propose that Quebec and all jurisdictions provide the following: Practicing physicians and surgeons covered, age 65 to 80, without delays: MDs would receive 70-80% of their average monthly billings for 60, or preferably 90 days.
For Ottawa to directly subsidize such a program would be an example of targeted health transfers which should be agreeable to Duclos and welcomed by most provinces. Yet by claiming "exclusive provincial jurisdiction", Quebec could protest these “strings attached” to federal funds. Ottawa could then pay the doctors directly! Recall that the Interim Federal Health Program pays physicians treating refugees directly, or for treating federal prisoners, and, until 2013, for members of the RCMP. Short-term disability coverage would help keep older physicians working, even part time. For example, 80% of patients in emergency departments could be managed by family physicians, lessening the burden on these overcrowded, understaffed facilities.
Charles S. Shaver, MD
At the UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) in December, Indigenous peoples reminded us of their long history of sustainably managing diverse and abundant ecosystems, as is the case with Anishnabe people in La Verendrye Wildlife Park. They specifically rely on moose for healthy food, clothing, and ceremony.
The community has noted a sharp decline in the moose population in the last 15 years. The Quebec government’s study shows that moose numbers in the Park have dropped by "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=4ffb4d548a&e=4cef51d000" 35% in the last 12 years, butt the government has failed to take adequate action to address it. In response to this decline in a once stable population, the Anishnabe communities in and around the Park came together to form the "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=4d7e7de946&e=4cef51d000"
Anishnabe Moose Committee in 2021, and conducted the most in-depth study to date on the region’s moose population. The report pointed to sport hunting, logging, and climate change as causes of the population collapse.
This steep decline in the moose population raises a number of questions: What economic, political, and social forces have contributed to the decline in the moose population? Where can we go from here? This study explores the role that forestry, mining, sport hunting, and resource management by colonial governments has played on this ecosystem and the moose – and people – that have lived here for millennia.
Vi Bui, "https://canadians.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fb9e08a9113c74c2263f5d4e2&id=76e67250a2&e=4cef51d000"
The Council of Canadians
Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut Regions
The Conservatives’ disinformation perfectly mirrors that of the gun lobby, claiming that the government is essentially seeking to ban “all centre-fire semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that can carry any kind of magazines”. That is not true. The specific wording of the bill makes all the difference. A closer look at the details and the accusations from gun control opponents fall apart.
Government experts explained to Conservative MPs at committee that the amendment only affects centre-fire semi-automatic weapons designed with magazines that can hold more than five rounds. Compatibility with third-party-manufactured magazines that hold more than five rounds would not result in the prohibition of a firearm, contrary to what’s being stated by opponents.
Opponents also argue that the categories of models listed in the appendix will lead to the banning of the entire range of sub-models. This too is false. Only high-calibre models that surpass specific limits would be prohibited. We are talking about high-powered firearms “that exceed safe civilian use: a 20 mm bore or greater (e.g. grenade launcher) and the capacity to discharge a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 joules (e.g. a .50 calibre BMG). These weapons are primarily designed to produce mass human casualties or cause significant property damage at long ranges, and the potential power of these weapons exceeds safe or legitimate civilian use.” Every instance of a “prohibited hunting weapon” showcased by Conservative MPs in committee was refuted by government experts, including the “Ruger No. 1", the “Parker Brothers Shotguns”, the “Mossberg 702 Plinkster”, the “Weatherby Mark V” and the “Westley Richards Model 1897”.
Finally, the gun lobby published an excerpt of the appendix listing several hunting firearms, stating that they were banned -- despite the fact that they are specifically excluded from the ban.
Nathalie Provost, PolySeSouvient
We're there now! After decades of education about the dangers of wood smoke, especially during smoggy weather, it's time to move to a ban and enforcement (fines). It is time for a minority to stop smoking the majority, especially our young children.
Montreal has banned wood burning at all times. Quebec City, Kirkland, Ste-Julie, St-Lambert, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Beaconsfield, Montroyal, Baie d'Urfée, etc. have banned wood burning during smog periods.
Gatineau city councillors, it is t to protect your fellow citizens!
I am sure your social media feeds, like mine, are full of self-serving motivational posts designed to make people, especially those who have not yet settled on a career path (the young, impressionable, haven't yet taken on full adult responsibilities), feel guilty if they want to be a doctor, accountant, engineer, or chef.
At my age, I am deeply ingrained in the corporate world; thus, it is easy for me to see through these attempts to make those who have chosen to be an employee miserable. In my opinion, their sales pitch is equivalent to, "You may be good at working on someone's dream, but you do not feel and look good. So why not blow off your 9-5 to become a millionaire and get plastic surgery?"
So, what if a person is happy trading their time for money? Everyone has different circumstances. Being an employee is far more secure, especially if you adopt the habit of saving 20%, than going on your own.
Many people buy into the self-serving narratives influencers sell. First, they write a blog, but as much as they try, they cannot get traffic to their blog. Then they write a book; only it does not sell because there are 1,000s of books evangelizing what they are evangelizing. Next, they set up a YouTube channel and upload their homemade video, "Ten Ways to Cook Eggs". But, damn, no views!
Much of the craziness, toxicity, and photoshopped pictures that primarily populate social media are desperate attempts to generate the number of followers and viewership believed to be a requirement to becoming an influencer and escaping their 9-5.
Random people on the internet bragging about their supposed four-hour work week gives many the idea that hustling 24/7 is the life they should be leading.
Welcome to the hustle culture. I have seen firsthand the consequences of participating in the hustle culture : Constantly feeling the urge to be busy. (A recipe for inducing anxiety. Wanting to make everyone around them join the "productivity" cult. Being disrespectful to those around them whom they perceive as less ambitious than they are. Feeling guilty when spending leisurely, socializing, or having fun.
The definition of success varies from person to person. How someone defines their success is personal. You are no less human because a 9-5 job works for you, as it does for most people. Do not let "influencers," whose purpose is to make you unhappy for being an employee and then conveniently sell you their solution to the unhappiness they created, steer you otherwise—just do not forget to put aside your 20% for taxes!
According to what I'm reading -- "https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=f4f8bc00fb&e=8bbda66a73
“More than half of young people think ‘humanity is doomed’ due to climate change. We need to reframe the narrative from doom and sacrifice, to one of opportunity.” (The Lancet) -- Dire results from a global survey of 16- to 25-years-olds prompts climate data scientist Hannah Ritchie to call for a solutions-focused narrative around our greatest challenge.
We had better revise out reactions to all the climate news -- it's not all bad! The COPS 15 just held was a great step toward a genuine future. This is an obligation for all adults. After all, we are the generation which has profited most from wreaking our climate's trajectory. We can help them realize there are opportunities to "do it right" this time around, which might not be the case if we continue to sit on our hands and insist on genuine action (acts, not targets!)
Alice Cashel (Dr.)
In a recent letter, Mr Neely questioned the motives behind today's acknowledging local Indigenous claims to residency of a local area. He claimed or implied that this is a scam of some sort whereby Indigenous people are being given ownership of land and buildings, resources and even the creatures thereon.
This is clearly an over-statement by Mr Neely -- for example, here is a claim published by a theatre company in Toronto which we visited last month. You will see it doesn't say anyone is the "owner" or has legal title to any spec ific land or resource: "This sacred land has held story for thousands of years: stories that live in the fabric of who we are as a nation.
Canadian Stage would like to acknowledge and thank the original caretakers and knowledge keepers of this territory: The Anishinaabe Nations (including the Mississaugas of the Credit River), the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Wendat and Métis Nations.
We give thanks to the Nations recorded and unrecorded, acknowledged and unacknowledged, who also share the responsibility for this territory. We honour the Dish With One Spoon Treaty and our responsibility to peaceably share and care for the resources that surround us. We are honoured to be in this meeting place called Tkaronto that many First Nations, Inuit and Metis people from across Turtle Island call home. "
(Canadian Stage. Toronto, December 5, 2022)
A number of social issues are clouding the future of people in West Quebec. Besides the need for a new hospital and better medical care, housing prices and lack of housing accessibility are a dead weight on the aspirations of young people.
Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have reneged on their responsibility to ensure that housing as a human right is kept as part of the social contract with citizens in Canada. Instead, they have enacted policies that passed the torch of housing to market forces.
Market forces have one over-arching goal: making profits. The needs of first time home-buyers, senior citizens and their special needs, and families with children, are not the focus of people who see housing as an investment for profit making.
The Pontiac NDP is hosting a round table January 14, at 2 pm on housing, at UQO, on Tache Blvd in Hull. The session promises to be a much needed and interesting event, open to the public.
Gatineau / Aylmer
Thank you very much for your article on our new program for the 15 to 21 years old of the Big Brothers Big Sisters from the Outaouais. We actually have 20 youths enrolled in this program plus five more awaiting evaluation. With your help, we hope to assist youths in Aylmer who would benefit from a mentoring program.
I wish the Aylmer Bulletin and staff the best for 2023!
You do make a difference for our communities!
Jean-Louis Levasseur, GFGSO
Ottawa / Gatineau
The very worst expectations of Bill 96 are coming true. The Task Force on Linguistic Policy says “We predicted when Bill 96 became law, the Office Québécois de la Langue Française would have carte blanche to act as it liked. And now it’s happening.”
This is not speculation, but information coming to us through impeccable sources. We have seen the OQLF overreaching by using the most egregious elements of Bill 96. For example: · Parents and students are scrambling to get English eligibility certificates from school boards due to new CEGEP requirements. In Gatineau, the OQLF has been making unannounced visits to businesses to assess their compliance with Bill 96. One business operator who hires through four separate Quebec corporations has been issued a ticket for non-compliance; the OQLF counted 26 employees on the premises. The employees were not all employees of the same business. The OQLF has been accessing computers on premises, examining the language of correspondence, default language of computer programs, and the invoicing language. Warnings and tickets being issued to business owners who issue invoices in English.
These acts are unacceptable. Too many people are unaware of this mean-spirited law; the impact to business will be devastating. In the absence of political solutions, we have to fight it in the courts.
The Task Force on Linguistic Policy is preparing legal cases to counter Bill 96 in seven areas, including Canadians ineligible for English services; businesspeople affected by labour shortages; permanent residents who will no longer be eligible to receive communications in English; and English CEGEP students.
To fight this law, we need money. The easiest way to contribute is our Go Fund Me
Andrew Caddell, President, Task Force on Linguistic Policy
Sadly for all of the world, the US Empire does not ever admit that their own criminal designs lead to incalculable suffering, and they fear to admit defeat, like any Russian leader. The US military has launched over 500 ''operations' since the end of WWII, all of them international crimes. While I believe Putin's invasion of Ukraine is horrific, it pales in comparison to US history.
Since the overwhelming majority of our media is State propaganda (Virtually all real journalists with any integrity have been banished to the margins.), the average USian is as ignorant of world affairs as Soviet citizens were always portrayed to be. Neither their government nor ours is likely to choose a humane course of action.
We here may not suffer the bombs, displacement, etc., but we will all be negatively affected. I wish only peace for the Ukraine. Not victory or anything else.
We moved to Aylmer almost one year ago, and a big part of our pleasure with that move was to get to know this community. The Bulletin d'Aylmer was crucial for that, and for that reason we wish to thank you and your team for putting out such an important link every week. And in both languages! All that is missing are political cartoons about life here!
Merci! Thank you all! Best wishes for the coming year!
I know that you and your reindeer will be busy this Christmas delivering presents for all the boys, girls and tranny others, but I have been a good boy all year. I deserve to be on your "Nice List".
So, for Christmas, please could I have a brand new Prime Minister and a shiny new Government? I know that you gave me the best one that money could buy a couple of years ago, but it just doesn't seem to be working any more, at least for ordinary Canadians.
If you put one of these in my sock on Christmas Eve, I promise to be nice to everyone next year, even Liberal politicians (a tough job, but someone has to do it).
Robert L Thompsett
I empathize with people who dislike the idea of working 9-5. Who likes the idea of constantly putting aside their authentic self so they fit in and being under management's control, who can let you go at any time?
Recent layoffs at Meta, Twitter, Redfin, Shopify, Flipboard, Dapper, et al. are reminders that: 1) You do not own your job; 2) All jobs are temporary and disposable; 3) You are a free agent; 4) You should save no less than 20% of every paycheck; and 5) You should constantly be building skills that add value to your employability.
I understand the appeal of 9-5.
The turmoil in the job market over the past four decades due to recessions, jobs sent overseas, erratic consumer demands, the pandemic, and today's supply chain issues coupled with inflation has made downsizing very common. Yet many believe a "steady job" is not an oxymoron and is more stable and less risky than going out on your own.
A self-employed person (an entrepreneur or freelancer) is gambling with their livelihood. Despite the preaching, it takes more than strategy and hard work to succeed in the non-9-5 world; luck is significant. First, you need to resonate with a large audience and then—here's the hard part—offer something of value your audience will pay for.
Internet talking heads, peddling lessons they have barely learned, preach that the entrepreneur/freelancer should be everyone's dream. They don't mention the loneliness, fear, constant instability, and chronic worry -- much of it is just made-up stories by "influencers", trying to manipulate you for their benefit.
Yet if you work a 9 to 5 job, you are working for someone else's dreams. Can't working for someone else help you live your dream? Your dream could be to save enough to retire at 55. Or to golf every weekend. Your dream could be simple, making enough to pay the rent, eat, and enjoy a few pleasures while having two days off a week to chill. Today, when about 734 million people around the globe live on $2 a day, a 9-5 that keeps them out of extreme poverty is an unimaginable dream.
There is no shame in wanting and being happy with a 9-5 job. Most people just want to show up, perform their duties, get paid and have evenings and weekends to enjoy their lives and to accumulate a financial cushion for the inevitable, "Sorry, we no longer need you."
Not everyone wants to work from home, have a side hustle or become a millionaire. Money is not everything. (Gasp!) The happiest people I know are chasing a purpose instead of money.
A trend among influencers is to tell their followers to quit their jobs because they are being exploited, so they, too, can make $5,000 by creating content such as writing a blog or a newsletter, podcasting or making videos. Yes, it is possible not to work a 9-5, as millions do, but you will work, and you will constantly be hustling for your next gig.
Influencers make their money by selling dreams, hopes, and emotions. Their business model is telling their followers what they want to hear. In order to make money, they must tell thousands of people they have a sure-fire 5 Easy Ways to Make Money methodology and then digitally reel you in to buy their book and courses or to attend their virtual boot camp to learn the secrets and skills that will free you from, God forbid, relying on an employer to earn a living.
Twenty-five years ago, there was a profound change in the law regarding land and governance. December, 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered judgment in Delgamuukw / Gisday’wa vs The Queen. The Gitksan and Wet'suwet'en people used Canada’s common law to prove that their Aboriginal title exists. The Court decided that Aboriginal titleholders have decision-making authority over their lands.
This ruling placed new responsibilities on federal and provincial governments, obligating them to respect Aboriginal title and Indigenous laws. In 1997, few knew what the Delgamuukw / Gisday’wa decision meant. Politicians and the media regularly attacked Aboriginal title, the legitimacy of indigenous laws, and the inherent right to self-government. Governments continued giving industry permits to log First Nation’s trees off their lands, mine First Nation’s minerals and exploit First Nation’s lands.
After more Court losses, governments were forced to create policy that recognized Aboriginal title and acknowledged the inherent rights of indigenous people. In 2014, the Supreme Court applied its 1997 Delgamuukw decision and issued a declaration of Aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation.
Aboriginal title is legally and constitutionally enforceable.
Canadians require a reconciliation between the sovereignty of First Nations and the assumed sovereignty of the Crown. Today, large tracts of Crown land belong to indigenous nations. Citizens there govern themselves and make decisions about their lands.
New Indigenous leaders are addressing reconciliation by helping their people rebuild governance and reintroduce indigenous land laws according to their people.
Reconciliation is a process where indigenous legal principles and Canada’s common law harmonize to become a new tradition in Canada’s legal framework. Both will form the law of the land. It is also a process where First Nations take their place as the allies they should always have been since Canada's creation.
This is how Delgamuukw / Giday’wa changed everything.
Centre for First Nations Governance
We blame “The Fabulously Wealthy Oil and Gas Industries” when, in fact, you, I and the rest of the country are (also) recipients of this wealth: oil and gas for your vehicles, gas for heating and cooking, our 6,000 plastic products. Most pension funds are heavily invested in these companies. Yet since these are consumable products, one can always choose to use less, but I would wager that most drivers want (only) unlimited gas that is cheap.
While I sympathize with the losses due to the flooding in Pakistan, I would like to put the numbers in perspective, Their 2020 population was 225 million and road deaths were 28,170! Their main cause of death is heart disease, 240,720 deaths in 2020.
Floods in Pakistan are common, as building codes are lax, and people will (choose to) build on flood plains, gambling with their own safety. The flood damage in Ottawa in 2017 and 2019 occurred partly by building on flood plains. And many were rebuilt on original foundations, just to live within sight of the Ottawa River!
Who or what organization deems which changes are “climate-fuelled,” or just normal weather? [Several UN and independent climate-science organisations do so; petro-funded groups and campaigns support contrary and political agendas.]
As usual, we all need more "facts", not "politically-motivated" claims. And fear mongering must stop. Lastly, show me where taking carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has lessened greenhouse-gas climate impacts. I am not a climate-change denier, but I do want proofs that are not politically motivated.
And I assume the IPCC's reports are so motivated.
Robert G. Barber
EDITOR: Due to space limitations, this letter has been heavily edited, hopefully without compromising Mr Barber' views.
mals are more legitimate in claims of land acknowledgement. I agree, but I believe the Indigenous are the spokespeople for trees and animals. They are the speakers for land acknowledgement, they are the voice for the value of trees, animals and our Mother Earth.
The Indigenous people see themselves as guardians of Turtle Island and our Mother Earth and that starts with the trees and animals. The Colonialists saw commerce and exploitation. Indigenous people's land acknowledgement is a direct reference to the land, the trees, the animals, the natural world, and they tie their humanity to the protection of these things.
As to the trees and such being here for 100% of the time, that is incorrect. The Earth existed for 1,000 million years before single-cell life first appeared. Earth existed for 3,000 million years before oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere. 4,000 million years before the first land vertebrates evolved. 4,500 million years before the appearance of Homo sapiens. The most rational cultural societies rose, like the Indigenous, to see the Earth as the instrument sustaining life. Mr. Nelly has given credence to the Indigenous people by asserting that nature has standing for land-acknowledgement because the Indigenous people are the protectors and spokespeople for this very nature making their land-acknowledgement a key connection to the survival of mankind, if we are prepared to listen.
"Indigenous Peoples" are distinct social and cultural groups that share collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources where they live, occupy, or from which they have been displaced.
It was encouraging to see the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) support the development of independent power projects, including the announcement of an update to the Renewable Electricity Participation model for diesel communities and a possible community power producer policy; this would remove some of the barriers that currently stymie Indigenous-led clean energy projects.
It is unclear if meaningful input on these initiatives was sought from Indigenous governments and communities, which make up the majority of the communities in the NWT.
We would like to see more clarity on how the prioritization of initiatives and decisions were made. GNWT plans and strategies must be aligned with priorities that are community driven and determined; building the capacity and funding communities need to pursue an independent clean energy future.
We encourage the GNWT to prioritize partnerships with Indigenous governments, organizations and communities. This is the only way to increase funding for projects that build capacity and reduce barriers for Indigenous-owned and -led clean energy projects that will contribute to getting communities off diesel and reduce emissions across the territories.
Karen Garth, Pembina Institute
Our citizens are facing a major housing crisis. In order to learn more about this crisis and possible solutions, the NDP Pontiac Riding Association has invited several experts for an important discussion.
This roundtable discussion on the right to housing and the reality of the current crisis in Pontiac, Gatineau and the surrounding MRCs. This event will bring housing activists such as Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver and housing critic, Celine Brault, former President of Chelsea Housing Corporation, François Roy, long-time activist and coordinator of the advocacy group Logemen'Occupe as well as Latonya Ludford, manager for the Canada Project at The Shift.
This bilingual event is open to the public, including questions and answers. This will be an opportunity for citizens to better understand the issues related to the housing crisis and propose short, medium and long term solutions : Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 2:00 PM, at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (Pavillon Alexandre-Taché). Note that date!
Catherine Emond-Provencher, NDP
Gatineau / Pontiac
Denmark’s new Parliament will take into account what more people want. Danish politics has been dominated by the spirit of collaboration between parties. Most legislation is passed with super majorities or with other blocs.
With the final results, Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s left-wing bloc has won an https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=232011&qid=23254928 outright majority of seats. Despite securing its best result in decades and winning the right to govern with the support of allies, Frederiksen’s government has resigned in order to form a broader coalition.
She https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=232012&qid=23254928 called on all the parties to “seek cooperation” and https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=232013&qid=23254928 promised to form a government that spans the political spectrum. With first-past-the-post in Canada, the opposite politics usually rules.
Successful parties and their strategists here don’t want to work together. They crow about defeating their rivals. They exaggerate the popularity of their parties and the strength of their win.
On election night In Canada, Gerald Butts (former Principal Secretary to Trudeau) bragged about “vote efficiency”, pointing out how the “geniuses” at the Liberals' data company had excelled at micro-targeting a handful of voters in swing ridings. Trudeau thanked Canadians for having (again) given him “a clear mandate”—ignoring the fact that the Liberals won only 32.6% of the popular vote.
In Ontario, Doug Ford https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=232014&qid=23254928 couldn’t have been more pleased with the first-past-the-post system. He praised the 18% of eligible voters who handed his party a “majority”: "I think this system has worked fo r over 100 years and it is going to continue to work that way." said Ford.
Said one Danish poitical scientist, "We have a culture of negotiations and broad agreements. It's something people like. They think reason should prevail and parties will come together and do what's best for our societies."
Isn’t this what we need in Canada?
Anita Nickerson, FVC
Thank you, Greg Newing, for an excellent article outlining the history of the United Church, Aylmer'Ùs oldest church. It is a very sad moment for so many in our community. With all respect, there is one historical fact in your article which I would correct, if I may.
As I wrote in the Bulletin'Ùs first article in its John Egan series, Aylmer'Ùs first names were the "Chaudière Farm Village" and "Turnpike End", before 1832, named for the farm and the landing that the Wrights had built. It was not called Symmes Landing until after Charles Symmes had built his Aylmer Hotel and rebuilt the landing itself.
On sunny days I find myself wandering through the streets of Wychwood. The tall trees are all in splendid, autumnal colours. They are magnificent!
A month ago I would encounter Nicole walking here with her smile, serenity and warmth. Since I had known her, she was always accompanied by a dog, the big and slender Mathilde. For a long time I had unintentionally greeted Nicole with her dog’s name. It took several months before Nicole corrected me!
Her next dog was small and shaggy, named Teo. Nicole was so keen on him, that I joked that a theocracy reigned in her house.
"Do you want a drive?", I teased her once, while pushing a wheelbarrow at the edge of my driveway. She took the suggestion graciously, sweetening her refusal with a good-natured giggle ...
I learned about Nicole’s death from Jocelyne, my neighbour. This was a shock. We realized how much we had lost with the disappearance of this kind, lovely person.
Later we were told that, semiconscious, Nicole was brought to the hospital where her life smouldered for five more days. Sylvie, Bronwyn and Sharon, her neighbourhood friends, had been visiting Nicole, caressing her, uttering words of encouragement, humming soothing songs -- walking with her along the last path of her life.
At one point, Nicole briefly regained consciousness and squeezed the hands of these good women with gratitude. It was her farewell.
What a great example of the importance and strength of community! A community which surrounded one of its members with compassion and love in the hour of ultimate need.
Wychwood holds a treasure not only in its splendid trees, but also in its wonderful, kindhearted and generous people.
Jacek C. (resident of Wychwood)
Individuals and groups united under the banner of Prenons la ville organized a citizen summit to share perspectives and ongoing struggles and to propose alternative visions and demands that respond to the aspirations of city residents. This event, from November 25 to 26, saw the participation of over one hundred people and more than 30 grassroots organizations from the city. Discussions were organized around six themes: democracy; social housing; environment, climate change and mobility of people; green spaces; inclusion and struggles against racism; vacant lands and development projects.
Prenons la ville et les quartiers! is a non-partisan mobilization of activists, community groups and social movements forming a broad common front to defend and promote our various campaigns and demands that concretize our aspiration for a socially fair city, created by and for residents and anchored in the ecological transition. HYPERLINK "https://prenonslavilledemtl.wordpress.com/" n _blankhttps://prenonslaville.com/
Cheolki Yoon, IWC
We must stand up against the global oil and gas industry’s propaganda and disrupt their self-serving industry narratives. The oil and gas companies like to position themselves as “part of the solution” to solving climate change rather than the problem itself.
But the recently updated "Big Oil Reality Check" report found that eight major oil and gas companies are involved in over 200 expansion projects on track for approval from 2022 through 2025 — equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 77 new coal power plants. We must use our media and influence to make sure this type of information gets in front of policymakers.
I hope you can get this in this week's paper .... my husband and I have been glued to the screen watching the commission in Ottawa studying the imposition of the Emergency Powers Act. Here was high drama that really, really matters.
I urge your readers to watch the proceedings. They will actually learn something, contrary to so much political chatter, these days.
And if any of them share the protesters' outrage at the federal government -- for everything, from Covid restrictions to paying carbon taxes -- this should be required watching. They will learn that, first, we should be proud to be Canadians with these people we have put in charge -- our government's leaders and civil servants are clearly intelligent and thoughtful people, when they have to be. And that's contrary to the convoy's lawyers and reps, who, without exception, seemed both unprepared and unconcerned, really, with the real issues at stake. They appeared unconcerned and even unable to understand the real freedoms we do enjoy and, obviously, must protect. They did not know their files and seemed to think just making a claim was enough -- no support or proofs needed!
The protestors' claims to just be having a big friendly street party came across as ridiculous -- the convoy's belief that they could actually overthrow the government and give over the entire government of Canada to unelected protestors, plus the Governor-General, was clearly on display as ridiculous. The existence of several other forces at work besides the "truckers" -- groups and conspirators, including a few armed groups who actually had stockpiles of arms at alternative sites in Ottawa and Coutts, Alberta, was made clear many times -- and these were not denied by their lawyers, just ignored!
The convoy leaders messed up with their "I can't remember" and "I never noticed that..." responses to legitimate questions made their case all the weaker. Ms Leach's claim that she couldn't remember any truck horns or excessive noise just made everyone roll their eyes.
We were surprised that no one on either side pursued the question of why Trudeau did not at least try to negotiate with the convoy leaders -- but really, did anyone expect Trudeau to walk out and be nice with guys shaking signs reading, "F••K Trudeau!"? Would you?
This whole investigation and the hearings sure make Trudeau and Justice Minister Lametti shine. Trudeau comes out of this affair looking intelligent and firm, fair and wise -- and I say this, having never voted for him or the federal Liberals.
All in all, these hearings ought to be incorporated into our classrooms' civics classes - and if we no longer teach "civics" they demonstrate that we should be doing so, because there are serious threats to democratic principles and government right here in our own country.
I am sure my remarks will bring me a lot of on-line hate-mail, but I ask these folks to first watch the hearings and then send me (or this newspaper) their reactions, but only then. And I apologize for this long letter, but the subject is serious -- and also remarkably positive.
Municipality of Pontiac
On Sunday, October 23rd, Aylmer United Church held its final service, and its members now start a new journey.
Our congregation wishes to acknowledge the steadfast support and kindness of the people of Aylmer for over 190 years. We have been blessed with so many wonderful memories from our annual church functions which you made successful and full of happiness. May our paths continue to cross as we live in this wonderful town of Aylmer.
(for Friends from Aylmer United Church)
Americans have gone from shooting native peoples, historically, to shooting their own children. That's something for the history books, which they are already censoring heavily. Don't we think it's time to ask the UN -- or even NATO -- to intervene?
What will it take to convince them that guns are not a holy right -- a mass shooting at the GOP convention itself? I hope not! But so many Americans seem to think that two wrongs do make a right, so we had better be careful, sitting here on their doorstep. How long before the bullets come flying our way?
As a former journalist, now retired and living here in Quebec, I must tell your readers how fortunate they are to have a genuine local media, a newspaper in particular. Ontario has lost hundreds of local papers and broadcasters and I assume Quebec the same, since most of these were closed by their corporate owners, usually headquartered in the USA. It is mainly the localities with their own locally-owned media that have managed to keep their voices during the Great Pandemic.
Many local shops were closed, or about to close, thanks to the inroads of social media's claims to reach audiences of millions, and then the pandemic struck. Fortunately in Canada our federal government stepped up to the plate with a supportive program of grans and loans to help media survive. Our provincial governments (Quebec's, anyway) went a step further and actually used the local media to reach right into homes with cautionary messages on avoiding Covid infections. The situation of the Bulletin was greatly helped by both initiatives, I am sure, although I wonder why it was one support measure only by each level of government? If the feds, for example, think it valuable to protect local media, why don't they actually use that media? No doubt I have missed details, now being on the outside of the industry. But I do know how this (local) industry works -- from Cochrane, Ontario, to Swift Current, Sask.
I haven't met anyone here in Aylmer who isn't pleased with our local media, so we might all add to this, that we're also pleased with both levels of government. Imagine, we're pleased with a government action! That has to be a record.
Keep up your good work, Bulletin -- and our MPs and MNAs! Thank you all!
Who came up with this title for everything from FaceBook to e-mail? Isn't it really "personal media"? It's the outlet for personal views and opinions, and the only "social" thing here is what we used to have, "Strawberry Socials" in the local church halls every spring. Or is it a "social gathering", where everyone stands around and just talks and talks, holding a cocktail.
"Just talk" sounds more accurate than even "media", since we already have accepted meanings for "the media", or maybe "artists' media", the raw material artists use to express their personal opinions, visions and insights. Maybe that's what "social media" really means -- raw materials --but it's so tiresome to have friends forwarding the most banal (yet "cute") or the weirdest photo or bizarre video clip! Obviously no one suggests we shouldn't have or shouldn't use it -- what we would be wise to do is to understand and remind ourselves over and over about how unreliable its messages or content can be.
And then we have the traditional media actually quoting material from social media as though it was a poll, or facts, or a verifiable report. Is it too late? Have we already lost our great human intelligence to the gimmicks and flash of every new technology that comes along?
It is clear that Canadians are already struggling with record heat waves, droughts, flooding, and other extreme weather conditions resulting from the climate emergency. Indigenous, Northern, and rural communities are being disproportionately impacted, but the current government is leaving these communities to fend for themselves without supporting necessary climate resiliency efforts.
The fight against climate change requires many tools including the use of public ownership and investment in support of communities that are already hurting. We need to provide communities at the forefront of the fight against climate change with the tools they need to face this crisis, such as funding for fully functioning recycling programs and facilities, ensuring all homes have access to water and sewage treatment, building energy-efficient homes and alternative energy source infrastructure, helping communities transition away from diesel power, building all-weather roads, implementing fire protection and flood mitigation, and so on.
Private Members' Bill C-245 (Federal) provides an opportunity to tackle climate change while investing in the health and well-being of our communities across the country. The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is mandated to invest $35 billion in Canadian infrastructure projects, however, in its nearly five years of existence, it has not funded a single completed project. Bill C-245 would ensure that communities receive the funding they need to implement climate mitigation and adaptation measures through critical infrastructure projects.
For more information on Bill C-245, go to https://nikiashton.ndp.ca/news/liberals-must-put-people-first-fight-against-climate-change
I was shocked to read in a recent Bulletin that the City is about to approve the conversion of Aylmer's Castel Blanc into a condo development. Just think about that for a few minutes. Have we thrown aside all our sense of history and our sense of "this place is our home"?
I have never been inside the Castel Blanc but I often admire it as I drive by, and I wonder about its history, history which will become only part of an "image" or decoration for yet one more condo project here, where Aylmer used to be.
Really, everything is not just about making a buck! We do have other values, although I guess our city council does not. Why are the councillors sitting there? Why did they run for election? Was it all vanity? Did they have no ideals or vision of either the past or for the future? I guess my feelings are pretty clear, if anyone, besides the Heritage Association, is paying attention.
Jason C. Romain
Trudeau letting in an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees begs the “what about” question, why isn't he doing the same for Afghans, Syrians, etc., refugees? Draw your own conclusions!
"What about" questions are far from ambivalent. Moral clarity requires disruptive conversations—uncomfortable ones. Here's an example -- the virtues of U.S. force projection. Based on their actions Democrat and Republican presidents seem to have a fondness for bombing poor people in distant lands. Pundits love it. Western foreign policy establishments love it. Western mainstream media love it.
Yet it's utter insanity. If bombing Americans is wrong, then bombing the people of Yemen is wrong. No one disagrees with condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. However, ignoring that the U.S. has been violating other nations' sovereignty—Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Angola, Zaire, Cuba, Libya, Afghanistan, China -- to name a few— is hypocritical.
Ethical standards must be universal. The Ukrainian resistance and its civilian victims are given very sympathetic coverage by Western media. This raises the "what about" question of why there hasn't been a comparable response when the victims aren't white, Christian Europeans -- or when the aggressor is the U.S. or a U.S. ally? The double standards and resulting hypocrisy coming out of Washington, and the West, is obvious!
A recent example: President Biden asserted that "nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity." He is 100% on point! However, the U.S. is also the only government to formally recognize Israel's illegal occupation of Syria's Golan Heights and Morocco's annexation of the entire nation of Western Sahara, both seized by force in defiance of the United Nations. See any hypocrisy?
Another example: Despite Biden's decree on October 7, 2021, Washington didn't condemn Turkey's attacks on Syrian civilians sheltering in Rojava. Blatant hypocrisy, or what? Self-interest, all dressed up?
I have some questions about the big debate about climate change. This may sound ridiculous, but the whole world seems rushing in only one direction. My question about this is less about what are we going to do, or what people can do, or what our political system can do, but just to ask why has all this process of heating up our world been so easy? Hasn't it been much too easy?
I mean too easy for the human race to fit right in, to conquer the natural world and use it in any way we wish? We are the Conquistadores! We have created an entirely new order of things and now call our time here the "Anthropocene". It's all ours! But hasn't been too easy for us to create an entirely new order and too easy for us to tear up, to cut down the forests and tear up the planet in search of metals and oil and other elements which make life so easy? Too easy -- so, what's up?
It seems that it is our pursuit of more and more "stuff", from 4-wheelers to beef and wild-caught salmon, as if we have the right to anything we can grab while we're here -- on this exceptional, beautiful, one-of-a-kind planet! We are the originators of smash-and-grab -- but why are we getting away with it?
Maybe we aren't. Has it been too easy for a reason?
Deschenes / Aylmer
Efforts to raise awareness and support for a stronger Radioactive Waste Policy in Canada continue. The recent draft policy released by Natural Resource Canada does not meet our expectations, nor the needs of the many of you who engaged in the review process.
We continue to push our recommendations and engage in conversations with the government, fellow advocacy groups, rights holders and stakeholders to move this issue forward.
To help build support, we recently partnered with Our Living Waters to release our study of alternatives, and why it will only become more pressing as new technology such as Small Modular Reactors become more prevalent. The story lays out the case for a more robust policy, explains why the current draft fails to meet the need, and why freshwater advocates must pay attention.
On November 19, the Green Party will elect a new leader. https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231851&qid=23112405 Six candidates are competing, with two pairs running on a co-leadership model. While electoral reform has always been in Green election platforms and is of critical importance to many party members, we all know how much the leadership of a party matters! What: Democracy Roundtable with Green Party Leadership Candidates When: Sunday November 6, 1 PM Eastern Register here: https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231824&qid=23112405
What are the biggest threats and challenges facing democracy? How high a priority would proportional representation be if Greens held the balance of power? What strategies do candidates suggest to build pressure? What other democratic reforms or initiatives do the candidates believe are essential for a stronger democracy?
Each candidate will have time to introduce themselves and answer questions sent to them by Fair Vote Canada. During the second half of the webinar, we will have a Q+A where we will ask them your questions. We will get to as many questions as we can. Everyone who supports PR is welcome to join this event. You do not need to be a Green Party member or supporter.
Anita Nickerson, Fair Vote Canada
Connexions is looking for a motivated and passionate individual who lives in the Outaouais to join our Board of Directors! As a member, you will have the opportunity to play a significant role as a driver of change towards improving and contributing to the health and well-being of the English-speaking community in the Outaouais.
For more information about this opportunity, send us an email by October 28. To explore our activities and initiatives, visit our https://centreconnexions.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b94ca39f47a06a3eceb3741b9&id=e327a8c0f2&e=ae08fa98ea website.
I heartily agree with the opinion expressed by one of your letter-writers (I think) that if Premier Legault proceeds to enact Law 96, which effectively withdraws certain essential government services from citizens who do not speak the majority language, then those citizens should see their personal taxes reduced significantly since the government is no longer offering them these standard services due all citizens. Shouldn't taxes rise for those who do receive public health care, etc.,
I also believe that nationalism and the protection of certain cultures over other cultures is right out of the playbook of autocrats and semi-fascists like Hungary's Orban or the USA's di Santis and Bannon. Is this the company Mr Legault wishes to keep? Is this how he and his party wish to go into the history books? And, if so, do we have to follow them?
I've been seeing your papers in our building all the time and I really enjoy reading them!
I was just wondering if you know of any volunteer positions around Aylmer that are available!
Or if you know anyone who you can direct me to ask that would be great as well. Thank you so much.
Jade Sowden (Jade.email@example.com)
An important and complex issue such as immigration requires careful and in-depth coverage. Barrett's recent editorial opinion on extremism skirts the issue.
Canada has had immigration as a policy for many decades. Immigration is important for topping up the birth rate, for economic activity as new people build and buy things needed to live, including housing, and for bringing new ideas to our cultural scene. In other words, immigration is positive and needed.
For Quebec, immigration is defined primarily in language terms as Quebec tries to defend -- in face of a massive demographic trend -- the use of French in Quebec. Countries in Europe have had their immigration situation complicated by the massive infusion of refugees who flee wars in Syria and other places. Canada's record on taking in refugees has been poor, as thousands of would-be Canadians are stranded in Afghanistan right now.
Quebec wants its immigrants to speak French and adopt the values of their new society. For the vigour immigrants bring to the country, for their hard work and initiative, for the hope they bring to build a better life, we as hosts should show them respect and recognize and value their unique attributes and contributions. Immigration is not just a one way street.
Gatineau / Aylmer
The real culprit here is the diminution of US productive capacity and supply chain disruption caused by four decades of neoliberal policies – disinvestment, deregulation, outsourcing - which have prevented the usual supply-side measures to bring prices down. Another name for this is "greedflation", the term used by the Ottawa think-tank, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
I am sure it's past time for us regular people to put a stop to being on the yo-yo of so-called "free enterprise". It's free for no one but the banks -- and you know no one gets anything free from banks, especially our banks in Canada. They've also fed us the line that our banks are world-respected. Maybe that goes for humour in banking circles!
As for neoliberalism, Canada again leads the pack, starting with Paul Martin's Liberals and full-speed with Harper's Tories. How I wish we could have a public discussion of issues like these, which affect every one of our lives, instead of hockey prospects or all "the poor so-and-sos" in faraway places. Couldn't the Bulletin initiate something like this, or is it much too big for our wonderful local (and "real") Bulletin! We don't seem to be able to even discuss homelessness here ...
This is a rare opportunity for Canadians to decide the future of their political hierarchy. Do they want to continue be “ruled” from England or do they want their head of state to be a Canadian? I opt for a Canadian.
First, this is about institutions, not personalities. ... not about Charles. It is about figureheads of Canadian democracy.
A British king as head of state no longer reflects Canadian democracy, our independent state or our ethnic diversity. How can new citizens comprehend Canada when they must swear allegiance to someone from England? Using the British monarch as our head of state inhibits the development of Canadian identity. As the Canadian Bar Association reported (1979), “... if we want to promote confidence, pride and a sense of belonging, the head of state should be a Canadian.”
We need Canadian figureheads who will represent the country’s bilingual and multicultural attributes, be models for our youth, and project Canadian values on the international scene.
The British monarch should remain titular head of the Commonwealth — of which Canada would remain a leading member. The royal family could continue to be invited to visit Canada.
The Governor General should become our head of state. This fine, descriptive title has been part of Canada’s tradition. All the Crown’s rights in Canada, both in the written Constitution and by convention, would be transferred to the Governor General, avoiding a debilitating debate over their definition.
It is politically useful to maintain a separate institution of “head of state,” one distinct from the position of prime minister as the “head of government.” The head of state also fulfils other functions such as: naming a new prime minister in times of political ambiguity; relieving the prime minister of many ceremonial duties; acting as both a “humbling presence” and a sounding board for the prime minister; and reminding citizens there is a state that persists even if they do not like the party in power. It would be beneficial to have a relatively long term of office, say five years, renewable once. Experience, recognition and wisdom will be important.
New Governors General should not be elected, to avoid duplication and conflict between the offices of governor general and prime minister.
As one newspaper has suggested, the Officers of the Order of Canada might operate as a nominating committee for a short list of candidates. A nomination coming from the Order would add prestige, legitimacy and merit to the position. The Order of Canada’s list of candidates should be submitted to an “electoral college” — a joint, federal-provincial, electoral group formed of MPs and members of provincial legislatures. The eventual governor general would require ratification by two-thirds of this group for some degree of all-party approval.
This new regime, a “constitutional democracy” rather than a “republic”, would emphasize our tradition of balancing constitutional protection of “peace, order and good government” with popular democracy “by the people.”
This change of regime will require care with the details -- a national learning process. Canadian leaders should discuss these possibilities among themselves. Neither their policies nor their ideologies are endangered. As I am doing here, no “politicking.”
Amending our Constitution would be too long, complex -- and cantankerous. But it need not be so. Our political leaders could request a neutral body – say the Royal Society – to provide names for a commission of experts to address this, then agree to implement its recommendations. I repeat: there is no need to politicize this.
In the end, we would well and truly be a government for and by Canadians.
(abridged on request from the Ottawa Citizen)
John E Trent, ret
Homelessness, unaffordable housing for young families, seniors and all is an urgent concern, a political demand across Canada.
The Thatcher years brought austerity and less government investment in housing to Canada. Prime Ministers Mulroney and Chretien promoted balanced budgets, not social investment. Martin began the transfer of untargeted grants to provinces. The provinces found other areas to spend their money, using the theory that market forces would regulate housing. Municipalities, supposedly partners in housing, were without tools to make housing a priority.
According to the UN, adequate housing is a full right of citizens. In 2017, the UN rapporteur on housing, Canada's Leilani Farha, denounced the commodification of housing and its capture by "banks, insurance funds, pension funds, hedge funds, venture capitalists and other intermediaries". Farha reported that Canada, a top-ten performing economy, had 235,000 homeless people and 1.34 million households with core housing needs.
If housing is a right, this right seems undermined in the Outaouais, where housing has been a central issue since the 1960s. Gatineau's, cost of housing jumped by 61% (2000 to 2019, before Covid) while inflation (CPI) rose by 41.7%. Here, immigrants, seniors, Aboriginals, women, and racialized people are the first to suffer.
Lack of adequate housing jeopardizes all other rights -- health, education, safety, work, food, privacy, dignity and even life. Last August, Logement'occupe called an emergency summit for concrete and quick action.
November 5, the Pontiac NDP is holding a public round table on the right to housing in the Pontiac, Gatineau and surrounding MRCs. This roundtable at the University of Outaouais with housing activists, plus citizens, to propose short, medium and long-term solutions to the crisis. Everyone is welcome.
The National Observer's Lead columnist, Max Fawcett, has just published https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231683&qid=22939118 a sharp piece calling for action on proportional representation. The opposition to proportional representation by Canada's two largest parties - the Liberals and the Conservatives - has been the main barrier to achieving PR.
Earlier this year, https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231617&qid=22939118 Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner wrote promoting proportional representation in the Western Standard. Her pitch was that PR could help Conservatives win again. By amplifying articles in favour of PR such as this one by Max Fawcett, Michelle Rempel Garner's article, and https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231618&qid=22939118 Chantal Hebert's piece, we can keep building momentum to get electoral reform back on the table.
Conservatives blame the prime minister and his approach to anti-vaccine holdouts for the current political strife, while progressives fault conservatives and the alt-right information ecosystem they’ve built. Either way, it’s clearly a problem standing in the way of level-headed policy and public leadership.
While parties once worked across the partisan aisle, the battle lines are now clearly drawn and heavily fortified. Embracing a more proportional electoral system would fix that. It would foster collaboration and force parties to talk more, fight less and find common ground. Fair Vote Canada will be campaigning in the coming year to push the Procedure and House Affairs Committee for https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=231621&qid=22939118 a National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.
Public momentum can help win that vote again in this Parliament!
Proportional representation benefits all voters, no matter who they vote for. PR treats every voter equally. PR ensures that whether you're a Conservative voter in downtown Toronto or a Liberal voter in rural Alberta, you will have a voice, and your vote will help shape our Parliament.
With proportional representation, no party will have 100% of the power with 39% of the vote ever again. That means better government for all of us. We need a non-partisan National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform!
Anita Nickerson, Fair Vote Canada
The "new" Quebec Conservative Party, in the October 3 provincial election, proposed a two-tier health system for Quebec, private and public. The PCQ candidate in the Pontiac told local media he favours privatising the Shawville hospital and, presumably, other small rural facilities, like Wakefield's. He went from zero to third place in this riding, so privatisation was not an idle speculation. There are many voters who would accept, even welcome, a private alternative -- yes, from Quebec's very efficient public system, even as it suffers from terrible over-bureaucratization.
Is this just frustration reaching out for any alternative, no matter how ill-advised. Plus pro-privatisation propaganda from Ontario and the US.
Yes, our health care remains in crisis and eats a significant portion of our province's budget. Plenty of problems, but we ought not ignore the positive reports and praise from those who've been served within our public system. The privatisation argument is that if some can afford to pay for their own care, why not let them do so?
If only life were so simple! "Letting them do it themselves" actually means dismantling what still remains of our world-admired health care delivery. "Letting the wealthy buy their own" already exists -- anyone can fly to the USA for care at world-class prices. Why not leave it at that, and just keep improving the system that serves all of us more-or-less well? We'd prefer Mexico's healthcare, or Turkey's? Brazil's? Russia's? No, overall, our system is working almost as well as anyone could expect. Huge problems of bureaucracy impede it, while private facilities are already syphoning off our nurses and technicians.
Health care is not the same as providing new cars. Or groceries. Healthcare deals with human beings, complex, full of complaints, fears, grandiose wishes and outrageous expectations. Serving the public in such intimate, life-and-death ways is bound to be filled with problems and shortfalls. Healthcare is not a one-time consumer purchase -- given the frailties of human beings, follow-up care is needed, there are new treatments and insights ....don't we expect that a hernia might be problematic than buying a car? I have heard much more praise than complaint about our doctors, nurses and hospitals. Improvements are always possible, shocking stumbles (like racism) often likely.
There is a darker side to privatisation -- corporate insistence that big companies can deliver health outcomes better and faster than the public system (no cost comparisons). There is profit to be made from health care. Just look south of the border. They insist we're denying capitalism (our unofficial religion) a very lucrative profit centre.
Critics even within privatized systems point out that corporations actually fail in significant areas of care delivery. Research, for example. Research goes well, if Wall Street investors can make big profits from a remedy or treatment. But if they can't, those diseases remain untreated -- Big Pharma refuses to seriously research today's growing drug-resistance in antibiotics, for example. There's no money in it! Privatisation condones this.
Privatized health also creates whole zones of untreated diseases (poor people) and vast pools of infection which inevitably will evolve further and spread to "healthy" areas.
The corporations also want us to fund the public system alongside their private cash-cow -- so we, the public, can research and pay for the problems the private system refuses to treat, leaving them only "profit centres". Obviously, considering the public as stupid goes along with selling privatisation.
Yet Canadians understand that our taxes go to help everyone and not just to provide an escape valve for the wealthy who can fly away for treatments. And corporate profit is actually a form of taxation -- where do profits come from? Our wallets. We'd be paying tax twice with privatisation.
Privatization also fractures a society, enlarges existing economic and geographical divisions, pitting groups, classes and regions against each other. Rural areas, small towns, remote villages? Sorry ... fly to Toronto. Privatization rests entirely on a law-of-the-jungle mentality, re-enforcing corporate sanctification of "individualism" over family and community. "Free enterprise" is not free at all, it rests on a "Buyer Beware" policy, and encourages corruption and bribery, preying on the unwell, the elderly and incapacitated.
I dare add that all -- almost all -- corporate innovations and discoveries rest ultimately upon funding from the community, from tax breaks and incentives, government and foundations' aid.
Many things can look good at a distance, but turn down the steady propaganda ... the so-called advantages of letting corporations make money off our health and well-being is a recipe for division, suffering, and increased poverty. Why would we want any privatisation at all?
Log Cabin Chronicles
I note that President Biden has just announced an amnesty of sorts for all those convicted of simple possession of marijuana anywhere in the USA, where the herb has not been legalized as it is in Canada. We have congratulated ourselves for legalizing medicinal and recreational uses of the herb -- yet thousands of Canadians, I understand, still have possession listed as a criminal conviction on their records.
Prime Minister Trudeau, staking his claim to be progressive, innovative (and youthful) with he legalization legislation, still refuses to wipe clean the records of so many "innocent" Canadians. And he gives no explanation -- as if he, himself, needs no explanations for his decisions! That is a sham, an dit puts Trudeau's progressivism into question. Obviously he's bowing to the will of conservatives, among police and religious people. Not acceptable! This old-school way of doing politics, one step forward, one step backwards, is finished.
"Waiting to Launch" is a new book examining the gap between Canadian oilsands companies’ climate pledges and their actions. It has been over a year since the Pathways Alliance, an industry grouping representing some 95% of production in Canada’s oilsands, announced its commitment to get oilsands operations to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Yet despite the pledges and the industry-wide record high profit levels, no significant decarbonization investment decisions have been made by the Alliance’s members. To ensure that Albertans and Canadians do not pay the price for this in the long term, the members of the Pathways Alliance must avoid any further delay in making investment decisions and transforming their climate promises into reality.
Jan Gorski & Eyab Al-Aini, Pembina Institute
In Canada, your vote is your voice and your voice is your power. Unfortunately, that power may be taken from some rural-area Pontiac voters very soon. The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec recently made enormous redistribution proposals to the federal riding of Pontiac.
Under the changes, the municipalities of Low, Denholm, Kazabazua, Lac- Sainte-Marie, and half of the municipality of La Pêche would be transferred to the riding of Laurentides–Labelle from Pontiac.
These proposals would skew the power of Pontiac's rural vote unfavourably, leaving our region with disproportionate results in favor of the big-city populations. Today 32.2% of Québec's population resides in small-town or rural areas. These are no small numbers.
The changes leave rural-Pontiac with less voting power and less influence over who represent them in Ottawa. What’s more, these boundary changes would especially impact Pontiac’s rural-Anglophone population. According to 2016's census, nearly 30,000 constituents residing within the current boundaries of the riding of Pontiac speak English as a first language, over 26% of the riding's population. As a linguistic minority in Québec, Anglophones need to be heard in our elections, not have their voices suppressed. We must equally protect the power of their vote.
These proposals come as a surprise. The incumbent MP for the federal riding of Pontiac, Sophie Chatel, says her office only learned of the proposed changes 29 days before the submission deadline. This means that many constituents were not consulted, nor were they given time to respond. Residents are out of the loop because the Commission has decided to leave them behind. Does this seem fair?
Simply, the Commission’s proposed changes would be counterproductive to the fairness that we Canadians want in our electoral processes. Instead of tarnishing Pontiac’s electoral integrity, let’s represent the population better—the changes to the boundaries of Pontiac just don't cut it.
Pontiac wants district-wide representation that doesn’t exclude one demographic. The Federal Boundaries Commission must rethink its proposals. We cannot take Pontiac backwards. True democracy means fair representation. Let's keep it that way.
Mark Buzan, Government Accountability Committee of
While various provincial parties are proposing more ambitious targets to reduce GHG emissions, the government elected on October 3 will have to modernize the funding structure for public transit in order to effectively fight climate change in Quebec. IRIS estimates that the implementation of new eco-tax measures would add $12 billion to the Quebec government's coffers over ten years, all other things being equal.
GHG emissions from light-duty transportation have increased by 26% over the past three decades in Quebec, offsetting half of the emission reductions achieved by Quebec industries. These data clearly show that Quebecers continue to use individual vehicles to get around, which limits the possible gains in greenhouse gas reduction.
Moreover, automobile transportation represented approximately 16% of the current consumption expenditures of Quebec households in the summer of 2022, while the external costs of using a gasoline-powered car are twenty-eight times greater than the costs of bus transportation. Improving the public transit network would not only help households reduce their dependence on the automobile, but it would also help protect their purchasing power in the face of inflation. (2)
Quebec's public transit systems are currently struggling with significant underfunding due in part to a significant drop in ridership following the pandemic. For the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), for example, this decline will result in an annual shortfall of $150 to $200 million if the network does not manage to recover its ridership by 2020. In inter-regional transport, the revenues of Canadian transport companies have been cut by almost half between 2019 and 2020.
Currently, the funding model for public transport networks is partly based on the user-pay principle. However, the current contributions from users are not sufficient to finance all the costs of these networks, which is detrimental to the quality of services and encourages significant fare increases. Tax revenues from public transit use are increasing five times faster than those from road use, such as vehicle registration fees and gasoline taxes. The imbalance between the contributions of car users and those who use public transport must be corrected if we are to reduce the bill they pay.
-------- Three eco-tax measures to encourage sustainable mobility
Several measures can be put in place to make up for the current shortfall in the operating budgets of public transport networks. It would be possible, for example, to dedicate part of the QST revenue on fuel to public transport, to increase the contribution to public transport of light trucks, such as SUVs, or to increase the tax on so-called luxury vehicles. By dedicating the revenues from the eco-tax to a fund dedicated to public transit, the government will encourage Quebecers to make environmentally friendly mobility choices.
Implementing eco-tax measures for mobility would allow the government to increase annual funding for public transit in Quebec by $1.2 billion: this amount represents an increase of nearly 50% over ten years of the budget that would have been allocated to public transit if the new Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI) promised by the CAQ were to be implemented. (Translated)
Camille L. Thuot, l’IRIS
We could have a long, perhaps civilized, debate about renaming streets and other monuments in Aylmer. The names of public spaces should reflect the nature and diversity of any community, and every citizen has the right to respectfully express his or her opinion on the matter. This is just common sense.
Unfortunately, Mr. Stephane Hepworth's letter has thrown words like "cultural genocide" and "nationalist wars" from Eastern Europe into the debate.
To protect himself, I presume, he used the words "cultural genocide" in an interrogative sentence. In this way, he can argue that he did not say that the renaming of streets was the equivalent of "cultural genocide", he can say that he simply raised the question. That would be a very easy way out. As we often say in French: Poser la question, c'est y répondre. Words such as those used by Mr. Hepworth have no place in this debate.
Just wanted to bring this to your reader's attention...there is a thief among us. He/she walks onto your property with an empty pocket/purse... checks out garage sale merchandise and leaves a little heavier than they entered.
On Saturday, October 1, we held our garage sale on Glenwood Street. Despite items being priced to sell and sometimes given away, some folks still wanted something for nothing and that's when Satan's spawn managed to infiltrate and stole my sister's cash float of $50 in change. She had it in a Rubbermaid container with a red lid and realizes now it wasn't in a "so safe of a spot" ... The thief generously left $1.05 in the container!
If the thief is reading this, we hope you took the money to feed a hungry child or buy medication for an ailing family member. Otherwise, we cannot fathom what kind of #*@!* would do this. How do you spell Karma?