Wednesday, 14 January 2015
CHAPTER ISSUES & CAMPAIGNS
In its dealings with the following issues, the Sudbury Chapter will collaborate with like-minded NGOs, seek to be informed of relevant facts and information, share said information as appropriate and undertake action that will inform the public and encourage appropriate action by the relevant authorities.
The electors have lost their voice and representation with our electoral system because of a declined voter turnout, apathy and disenfranchisement. We need to re-activate Canada’s democracy.
Action can address various fronts:
· Seek popular representation
· Removal of Harper – organize “vote mobs”, door to door canvassing
· Seek mandatory voting
· Protest against CETA, etc.
CHAPTER LEAD: Andre Clement
The federal and provincial governments are moving our public health to the private sector by reducing government funding with a hidden agenda.
Action can focus on public education, supporting protests by health care workers and their unions – and other activism to be determined.
CHAPTER LEAD: Ron Tough
Water sources are globally threatened by pollution, climate change and the commodification of water.
Action can focus on:
Getting the City of Greater Sudbury to declare itself a “Blue Community” to refuse P3s for Sudbury and resist Harper’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Fund
· Protecting Ramsey Lake against the transport of toxic chemicals
· Public Education
CHAPTER LEAD: Elaine Porter
Fracking involves the pumping of immense amounts of chemically treated water into shale deposits deep underground. The natural gas thereby released is brought to the surface via crack-prone tubes that leak toxins into ground water. Thousands of fracking stations are in operation across the United States and are proving to be a geological and environmental disaster; many families have been forced to abandon their homes. In Canada, while fracking mainly is occurring out West, there's a possibility it may be introduced closer to home on Manitoulin Island.
While this campaign is not a local issue, the Chapter should support the national agenda by being ready to participate in demonstrations and educating our membership on the related issues.
CHAPTER LEAD: Wayne Paul
A scientifically proven fact, climate change is not reflected by serious government policy or funding to address the causative factors of emissions, etc. Clearly a global issue
· Public education about the global threats, government idleness, activism options
· Participation in national protests
· Other …
CHAPTER LEAD: ______________________
Transportation of Toxic Materials
Toxic materials currently are being transported through various regions of Canada, and plans are underway to transport more. These plans include but are not limited to:
· The Northern Gateway Pipeline project that involves transporting bitumen from tar sands to ports on the west coast;
· The Energy East Export Pipeline project that involves converting and extending an existing pipeline (currently used to transport natural gas) to carry bitumen all the way to ports on the east coast;
· The transportation and disposal of nuclear waste within Ontario (e.g. Darlington power station's application to transport and bury its nuclear waste underground at the Bruce nuclear power site)
· .Longer term plans to store all of Canada's nuclear waste in a “deep depository” at a location yet to be determined. (Several communities in northern Ontario have expressed interest in hosting this depository.)
· Locally, trains that may be containing toxic materials and that are running right through the heart of downtown.
· Support North Bay’s efforts to stop the pipeline intended for proximity to the city’s water supply.
· Public education
· Supporting the national campaign as requested
CHAPTER LEAD: ___________________
Substandard Care in Long-Term Facilities
Care in Ontario’s long-term facilities is severe understaffed. CUPE released its Long-Term Care in Ontario: Fostering Systemic Neglect report on Nov. 10. It describes the inability of workers to properly care for residents. A personal support worker may have up to 15 people to care for during the day and 42 at night and registered practical nurses 30 to 42 during the day and night. This is a national health care issue.
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions will present the CUPE report to Queen’s Park in January. CUPE has asked the province to mandate a minimum of 4 hours of care for each resident to include social and emotional care in addition to basic physical care. The Chapter could start by contacting CUPE or OCHU to see how we can help.
CHAPTER LEAD: Eve Kremyr
Homelessness is a major problem in Sudbury, especially during the winter months. Council is in the process of converting an empty building into a shelter, but in the meantime there is nowhere warm for homeless people to sleep overnight.
The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (SCAP) plans to submit to the mayor elect, urging him to take immediate action. The Steering Committee unanimously agreed to endorse this letter. Benita will write an additional 'letter to the editor' reiterating the need for affordable housing in Sudbury, and she will be giving a talk on CBC radio on this issue.
CHAPTER LEAD: Penny Early
A Living Wage
Minimum wage legislation does not cover the basic living costs for someone who is having difficulty with steady employment. Ensuring a living wage is based on a standard / cost of living that is calculated per community and usually extends beyond the provisions of a minimum wage.
To advocate for a living wage whether by provincial legislation or municipal by-law with public education and collaborating with other like-minded NGOs.
CHAPTER LEAD: Maureen Clement
Privatization of Pioneer Manor
This was an issue during the last municipal election and the new council’s intentions are not clear. Privatizing the Manor is a continuation of the privatization of our health services and it will lead locally to a decrease in quality care.
To monitor city council’s agendas and actions to bring public pressure to bear when needed.
Collaboration with other like-minded NGOs
CHAPTER LEAD: Ron Tough
Casino in Downtown of Sudbury (Peterborough chapter)
The Chapter is to determine if it will address this issue as It has become in Peterborough.
CHAPTER LEAD: Christy Knockleby to research the issue (@ Nov. 27)
Revenues from taxes on local mining revenues
Is this issue pertinent on a national scale?
Benita to check with Joan Kuyek (@ Nov. 27)
A portion of the taxes we pay to the municipality goes to finance the building of roads used mainly by mining companies. However, taxes levied on those mining companies do not stay in our community.
To contact Joan Kuyek of Mining Watch to find out about related campaigns.
CHAPTER LEAD: Benita Hart
Degradation of Food
The nutritive quality of food has been declining for decades. With the works of Monsanto and the GM industry that are corrupting the world’s food supplies, the threats to our nutrition are escalating. This is a global and local issue.
Food “security” means people have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food. Food “sovereignty”, on the other hand, means people have control over the production and distribution of food within their own food systems. During the past two decades, corporate monopolization of the world's food systems increasingly has undermined both food security and food sovereignty. In particular, the imposition and rapid spread of GMOs pose a colossal risk to the environment and to human health.
Advocate in collaboration with the organic food suppliers, eat local and the health unit / dieticians in Sudbury to create a public awareness campaign that might be supported by city council and encourage public support for local farmers, especially organic growers.
Raise awareness with the national Council to make it a national campaign.
CHAPTER LEAD: ________________
The Ring of Fire
The area north of Sudbury and bordering on Thunder Bay’s geography will eventually be opened up for mining and smelting. In addition to employment, roads and electricity / infrastructure, there will be an environmental impact on lands that include First Nation properties. Vigilance for due process in the decision-making is called for.
To monitor developments with the coalitions that are moving this agenda forward to ensure that environmental and proprietary concerns are being addressed – in collaboration with other interested parties such as Northwatch.
CHAPTER LEAD: Wayne Paul (Elaine porter after February, ’15)
The Internet, Privacy and Control
The issue is not yet appearing on the public’s radar. When Eric Schmidt of Google indicates a shut down of the Internet by the powers that be, is a real threat in the near future, there is a need for vigilance. This need is exacerbated by the knowledge that privacy with the Internet does not exist, particularly with the ability of governments to pry into all past and current transactions. Effective control of the Internet by government will cripple the free thought, communication and the ability to organize activism.
To monitor government controls of the Internet, the protection of privacy and to make this a national campaign for the Council of Canadians
CHAPTER LEAD: Andre Clement
Human Rights and Aboriginal Issues
Chapter members are encouraged to identify human rights and Aboriginal issues as a priority.
See if the Council has any national campaigns underway and if any regional or local initiatives could appreciate the Chapter’s support.
Possibly adopt the Declaration of Human Rights as a framework for organizing and prioritizing the issues we most wish to tackle.
CHAPTER LEAD: Maureen Clement