STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘first nations’

Feds and Province Fail to Protect

Posted by mhudema on June 22, 2008

Harper and Stelmach Stall on Safe Water for Canada’s First Nations

    Alberta calls on Federal and Provincial governments to make water a
    priority

    EDMONTON, June 20 /CNW Telbec/ - From time immemorial, First Nations have
centered their existence on water. Unfortunately for all Canadians, care and
protection of our water has been left in the hands of governments that value
profits over people. We are currently at a crisis level with this resource,
and the First Nations community is being hit the hardest by this crisis. In
communities across Canada, safe potable water is something people have been
unable to depend upon.
    "It is deplorable," said CUPE Aboriginal Committee Chair Gloria Lepine.
"In the year 2008, there is no excuse for the fact that at least 85 First
Nation water systems are in high risk, and that there are close to 100 boil
water advisories in various communities."
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NDP calls for halt to Tar Sands projects

Posted by mhudema on June 16, 2008

NDP targets new projects in oilsands

By DAVE DORMER

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Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton has again called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to impose a moratorium on new oilsands projects in Alberta until a better environmental strategy is crafted.

There should be a halt “until (the federal government) can prove to Albertans, to First Nations and to all Canadians that it has examined the cumulative social and environmental impacts of the oilsands development and has plans in place to address those consequences,” Layton said at the Alberta NDP’s annual convention in Calgary.

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A Licence to Wreak Environmental Havok

Posted by mhudema on June 15, 2008

This project is a licence to wreak environmental havoc

Monday, 10 December 2007

This week BP announced it is buying a 50 per cent stake in Husky Energy’s tar sands development project in Alberta, Canada, to produce more than 200,000 barrels by 2020. The move in effect signals the company is ready to participate in one of the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet.

Canada’s tar sands are second only in size to the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, with more than 149,000 sq km an area larger than all of England (130,410 sq km). Tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay and bitumen, a heavy tar-like substance that can be converted into oil. Instead of simply drilling a well, the tar sands must be strip-mined in giant open pits or mined underground with in situ technologies that inject super-heated water into the ground.

The process is very water and energy intensive. A barrel of tar sands oil requires up to five times more energy to produce than a conventional barrel and results in five times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The US-based World Resources Institute estimates the tar sands will soon match the entire carbon dioxide emissions of the Czech Republic. By 2020 the tar sands are expected to release more than 141 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, or more than the emissions currently produced by all the road transport in the UK 125.3 million tons in 2002).

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We will Apologize Again….Later

Posted by mhudema on June 13, 2008

Vuepoint – We’ll apologize again later

SCOTT HARRIS / scott@vueweekly.com

Of the multitude of shameful actions in the history of Canada, the federal Indian Residential Schools system, which saw some 150 000 Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children forcibly removed from their communities and put into federally run schools, surely ranks as one of the most egregious.
So the recent steps by the federal government, however tentative, to atone for this century-long attempt at cultural genocide are long overdue and welcome. The elements of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, including a $2 billion compensation package for survivors, the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Jun 11 official apology by the Government of Canada show that the government has at least begun to recognize the scale of a crime which continued until 1996, when the Gordon Residential School in Saskatchewan finally closed.
But while the federal government is busily making apologies and amends for this historic injustice, we as a nation continue to ignore and even compound the numerous contemporary injustices faced by Aboriginal peoples. It’s a reality which suggests that, like a child who offers an apology to a wronged sibling only at the urging of their parents, we haven’t really internalized what it is that we’ve done wrong in any meaningful way.
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First Nations Voices are Raising

Posted by mhudema on June 13, 2008

Canada delivers an official apology to its increasingly assertive indigenous peoples

FEW would dispute that Canada’s shameful treatment of many of its aboriginals has left a stain on its image. Between 1870 and 1996, an estimated 150,000 indigenous children were wrenched from their homes and sent to Christian boarding schools, where many were sexually and physically abused. Yet until Stephen Harper, Canada’s Conservative prime minister, rose in the House of Commons on June 11th to deliver an unqualified official apology to assembled leaders of Canada’s 1m First Nation, Inuit and mixed-race Métis people, no Canadian leader had taken this step.

Parallels will be drawn with a similar act of contrition by Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Labor prime minister in February. But the two differ in important respects. Australia offered an apology, but no compensation, to 55,000 mixed-race children forced into white foster homes. Mr Harper’s apology follows a C$2 billion ($2 billion) settlement in 2005 of a lawsuit by former students of schools set up, in Mr Harper’s words, “to kill the Indian in the child” by assimilating them into the dominant culture.

Mr Harper’s decision to apologise now is probably aimed in part at curtailing future lawsuits by Indian victims of abuse, who chose not to take part in the earlier settlement. But it is also shows that he understands the value of saying sorry when the state has harmed its citizens. He recently apologised to Maher Arar, a Canadian tortured in Syria after wrongly being identified as a terrorist; and to Chinese-Canadians for the government’s punitive Chinese head-tax policy of 1885-1923.

But this week’s ceremony is also testimony to the increasingly sophisticated use made by Canada’s indigenous tribes, who make up a mere 3.8% of the population, of the courts, alliances with environmental groups and targeted protests against mining companies to strengthen their otherwise limited influence.

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Water ‘source of fear’ for native communities, report says

Posted by mhudema on May 22, 2008

Water ‘source of fear’ for native communities, report says

Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, May 22, 2008

David Friday unloads bottled water at the airport on Kashechewan Reserve in northern Ontario.

Tyler Anderson/National PostDavid Friday unloads bottled water at the airport on Kashechewan Reserve in northern Ontario.

OTTAWA — Water quality in aboriginal communities and reserves across the country has reached a “boiling point,” warns a new report released Thursday by the Polaris Institute, the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Labour Congress.

“The deplorable conditions that First Nation people live in would not be accepted in any other part of the country,” the report states. The report was co-authored by Andrea Harden and Holly Levaillant from the Polaris Institute.

“For many, water has become a source of fear, and people have good reason to believe that what comes out of their taps may be making them sick. What is happening should be considered a violation of fundamental human rights in this country.”

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