Opponents of Quebec’s nuclear plans get fired upGentilly 2 reactor to be refurbished. Scientists, artists and activistssay province made decisions without any public hearingsDozens of prominent Quebec artists, scientists and media personalitiesjoined about 60 environmental and social groups yesterday to launch avast campaign to pressure Quebec’s Liberal government to cancel plansto refurbish the province’s only nuclear reactor.
In August, Hydro-Québec and the minister responsible for the Mauricieregion, Julie Boulet, announced the Gentilly 2 nuclear plant inBécancour would be refurbished at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.That plant produces about three per cent of Quebec’s electricity.
At a news conference yesterday, scientists and nuclear experts,including Université de Montréal professor Eric Notebaert, scientistand broadcaster David Suzuki, radiation specialist Ian Fairlie, andUniversité Laval professor of nuclear physics Michel Duguay, outlinedtheir concerns about the environmental, health, social and economicrisks of rebuilding the Gentilly 2 plant.
“(Premier) Jean Charest should be ashamed that this project is goingahead without public debate,” said Gordon Edwards, a nuclear energyexpert and president of the Regroupement pour la surveillance dunucléaire.
Duguay said Quebec does not need nuclear power to stabilize itsnetwork, a point made clear by the fact that the grid has functionedjust fine whenever Gentilly 2 has been down for maintenance, “which isat least 20 per cent of the time,” he said.
Others said Quebec should learn from Ontario’s mistakes, since nuclearenergy in that province has lead to massive cost overruns and frequentbreakdowns.
“In Canada, nuclear energy has proven itself to be expensive andunreliable,” David Suzuki said in a statement read by his Quebecdirector, Karel Maynard. “It makes no sense to pour more money into anon-renewable and troublesome form of energy.”
The groups noted that the refurbishing was announced without anypublic hearings on the environmental or health impacts it might have.
Notebaert and Fairlie explained that nuclear fission releasesradioactive isotopes, which if inhaled or consumed in food and watercan cause cell and DNA damage. While exposure to very high dosescauses death, lower repeated doses can cause cancer and birth defects.Gentilly 2 also releases a radioactive hydrogen isotope calledtritium. Canada and Quebec tolerate relatively high levels of thissubstance in air and water: 467 times higher than California’sstandards, for example.
Laure Waridel of Nature Québec explained why the campaign solicitedthe help of 24 prominent local musicians and artists, including MichelRivard, Jacques Languirand, Diane Dufresne and Richard Séguin.
“No one can bring people together more effectively than musicians andartists, and we need a massive social movement to oppose thisproject,” she said.
For more information on the campaign or to sign an online petition, go
My Heart is Moved
This project, My Heart is Moved, is deeply local,
circles of women caring for the global and local
possibilities in their lands and communities.
~ Carolyn McDade
In early June 2007, seven Saskatchewan women traveled to Boston to record the vocal tracks for My Heart Is Moved, a new CD of music by Carolyn McDade & Friends. In all, 85 women from 10 different bio-regions of North America — many of whom had never before met — gathered to sing! All who were there brought with them the breath and life of their local communities, the voices of all in their circles, the amazing preparation and intention of the local group, into the focused work of rehearsals and recording. Songs shaped collaboratively in word and sound by beloved artists, given instrumental voice by exquisite musicians were further shaped as they were sung in community.
Please join Carolyn McDade & Friends and the Saskatchewan Singers of the Sacred Web to listen to, sing and celebrate this new release of songs that gives us an emotional entry into the profound and urgent wisdom of the Earth Charter.
7:30 pm Thursday, October 25, 2007
St. Andrews College
1121 College Drive
University of Saskatchewan
7:30 pm, Friday, October 26, 2007
Sunset United Church
177 Sunset Drive
This music, drawn from the heart and words of The Earth Charter, pulls us to where waters run. . . seep. . . pool. . . We need these songs if we are ever to rudder ourselves through the narrows to a deeper understanding of who we are as planetary and cosmic beings, intent on the wellbeing of the community of life of which we are inextricably a part. ~ Carolyn McDade
The Earth Charter is a global People’s document that addresses how we, Earth’s people, need to exist in relationship with one’s self, with others, with Earth, and the larger whole if we are to sustain human life on this planet. Current work on the Charter began in 1994 with Maurice Strong, Chair of the 1992 Rio Summit, and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, Founder of Green Cross International. The aim of the movement is to have the Charter officially recognized by the United Nations.
My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those,
who age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.
We invite you to let your heart be moved by this beautiful music, to cast your lot with ours as we move from the aquifer of our hearts and souls to reconstitute the world. If you are not in Saskatchewan, you may be able to take in other launch celebrations in Canada and the USA. CDs will be available for sale at the launches and can be purchased in Regina at Bach & Beyond or online.
The Sask Arts Alliance has provided the following regarding monies to the arts in today’s budget. It’s almost as though the NDP want to lose the next election…
March 22, 2007
2007 – 2008 Provincial Budget
Hon. Andrew Thomson tabled the 2007 – 2008 Provincial Budget: Making Life Better in the legislature today. In a pre-budget briefing, Culture, Youth and Recreation Minister Glenn Hagel spoke about his Department within the context of the Government key priorities: Keeping the Strong Economy Growing, Making Saskatchewan an Even Better Place for Young People, Increasing Access to Health Care for Saskatchewan Families and Seniors, and Building Highways and Infrastructure to Secure Growth.
On the positive side, government is introducing supplementary eye care benefits and enhanced drug coverage for lower income workers (which we presume includes independent contractors). A Saskatchewan First procurement policy was adopted and Sask. Property Management Corporation will allocate 0.5% of capital costs to public art in public buildings. Minister Hagel again committed to bring the Status of the Artist Amendment Act to the spring legislature. The Building Communities Program for new construction, sustainable development and rehabilitation of community-created recreational and cultural infrastructure should also offer opportunities for arts organizations.
Overall though, the budget fell far short of expectations, particularly considering that Saskatchewan is experiencing great prosperity. Given recent government initiatives such as the Music Industry Review and Status of the Artist legislation, it appeared that Government recognized the value of the sector, and understood the demands it faced in terms of both increased costs and increased expectations to meet Government priorities. However, although there are increases in some areas, none are substantial enough to address the long-term pressures facing the arts sector let alone to provide for sustainable development. The Saskatchewan Arts Board allocation is far short of its needs (about 10% of their new money will be earmarked to address this year’s collective agreement and pay equity for their own staff). The Cultural Industries Development Council is still suffering from cuts to its funding that occurred in 2004, and Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation funding is so limited it is losing ground in its efforts to save our heritage.
Although disheartened with today’s budget results, its is a step, albeit a very small one, forward and Saskatchewan Arts Alliance remains committed to work on your behalf for sustainability of the sector.
Following are excerpts from the Culture, Youth and Recreation Estimates.
Links to all budget documents can be found at http://www.gov.sk.ca/budget0708.
Vote for progress that considers people before profits. Vote CCFR!
In many ways, the Coalition for a Citizen-Friendly Regina has already succeeded – we’ve sparked a genuine debate about the choices we face, and about what sort of city we’d like to build. But the outcome of the municipal and school board elections on Wednesday, October 25 is incredibly important. Regina citizens can make a positive difference. Vote
Ten extremely qualified CCFR candidates are seeking your support, and a
number of the races are sure to be extremely close – 200, 100, even 20 votes
could tip the balance one way or the other. Your vote matters.
Even just two or three CCFR victories will ensure that voices of reason will
be able to make themselves heard in the next city council and public school board.
Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. For information on where to vote visit the City of Regina election web page.
Encourage others to vote
Call three close friends and ask them if they’re planning on voting. Tell
them how you’ll be voting, and why. Encourage them to vote. If they don’t
have transportation, offer to drive them to the poll.
Celebrate with us
After the polls close on Wednesday evening, come out to the Exchange (2431 8th Ave.) to join with other CCFR members to relax and celebrate our many victories.
The Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition would like to invite all individuals concerned with the recent federal cuts that affect women to an organizing meeting to discuss a fight back strategy. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the recent cuts announced by the Federal Government as well as strategize on ways to have our voices heard here at home and in Ottawa .
The cuts include:
- Cancellation of the Court Challenges Program (http://www.savecourtchallenges.ca/)
- $5 million cuts to Status of Women Canada over 2 years (http://www.womennet.ca/news.php?show&4882)
- Private Companies can apply for funding with Status of Women Canada for the first time (http://www.rabble.ca/politics.shtml?x=53346)
- The word equality removed from the goal of Status of Women Canada (http://www.statusreport.ca/)
…and many more
Thursday, October 26,
Mamawopiwin Room, #206
Community Service Village
510 25th Street East, Saskatoon
I understand that there are a number of events taking place that evening and would like to emphasize that this is an initial meeting so if you are not able to make it and would like to be involved or receive the minutes please contact Deanna Ogle at 242-4097 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
October 6, 2006
WRITERS DECRY CULTURE CUTS
“The fresh round of cuts to Canada’s cultural programs by Harper Conservatives will be a serious impediment to all Canadians who enjoy visiting museums and reading books,” says The Writers’ Union of Canada chair Ron Brown.
At a recent meeting of its National Council, the Writers’ Union of Canada unanimously agreed to demand a meeting with Minister of Canadian Heritage Bev Oda to discuss the cutting of funds to a variety of cultural programs including regional museums, adult literacy and programs that promote Canadian culture abroad.
“It has become clear that this government is no great admirer of Canada’s culture,” said Brown. “Canada’s regional museums, like our writers, help tell the story of Canada to other Canadians. These institutions are strapped for funds at the best of times. This is a slap in the face of local heritage,” he said.
Adult literacy programs have also been slashed. “At the same time as the Ontario government recently launched its Spirit 2006 program to promote literacy, the federal Conservatives are placing a serious hurdle in the way of adults who want to enjoy the rewards of reading books, many of which Canadian writers create,” Brown added.
Regarding the cuts to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ “public diplomacy” program Brown added, ” It is odd that at a time when the U. S. government, which Mr. Harper so admires, has tripled its cultural diplomacy budget, our government is working to reduce ours. What better way to tell Canada’s many cultural stories abroad than through programs like these?” said Brown. ” When all these cuts are factored together, it’s as if the Harper Conservatives were ashamed of their own culture.”
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well being of all writers. For more information, please visit http://www.writersunion.ca.
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For additional information
Ron Brown, Chair -The Writers’ Union of Canada
Deborah Windsor, Executive Director -The Writers’ Union of Canada
More from my inbox, this one from the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance (not available online):
For immediate release
September 26, 2006
FUNDING CUTS SEVERE BLOW TO ARTS SECTOR
The federal Government’s recent announcement of funding cuts to the arts sector is a severe blow to the arts community. “The cuts are unwarranted,” explains SAA President Skip Kutz. “They came without advance warning at a time when Canada has a $13.2 billion surplus.”
Government suggestions that programs such as the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) are wasteful and ineffective is perplexing, and incorrect. In Saskatchewan, MAP has supported programs of many of our exemplary museums such as the Western Development Museum, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Moose Jaw Art Gallery and Museum, and Wanuskewin Heritage Park to list a few. The loss of this program is especially disconcerting given the Conservative Party’s promise during the last election to bring in new investment to the museums community.
The arts and culture sector is at the heart of our communities, bringing a richness and diversity to all our lives. The sector offers significant opportunities for social and economic development – a priority shared by all Canadians. Investment in the sector is money well spent.
Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, a non-partisan coalition of arts organizations provides a collective voice for the arts in Saskatchewan. SAA promotes the lively existence and continued growth of the arts and cultural industries in Saskatchewan. Established in 1984, the SAA advocates on issues such as public funding of the arts, freedom of expression, and artists’ working conditions.
For additional information: