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Monthly Action - Canada's Environment

The Environment has always been important to those who have lived in this Northern land. We have always relied on our water, our air, our soil as a means to survive. This summer our Federal government began our own Canadian austerity measures by cutting Federal jobs. One of the first departments to be held under the axe is Environment Canada, 300 posts are to be eliminated and the Environment Minister Peter Kent, confirmed that as many 776 positions would be affected. Canadian scientific research is being impacted - more than 1/2 of the scientists in the department's Ozone Science Branch have been informed their positions will be affected by downsizing. The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences is to be closed, that organization funds the majority of climate and atmospheric science in the country. The magazine Nature described the reaction to the changes at Environment Canada's Ozone Network. A protest against the Tar sands and the Keystone pipeline drew hundreds of protestors, with many arrested on Parliament Hill on Monday September 26th. We encourage you to pick at least one action and take part.

1. Write a letter to your member of parliament to share your thoughts regarding Canada's Environment or contact our Minister of the Environment - Hon. Peter Kent ( to pass on your thoughts on this matter.

2. Write a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper - ( to express your concerns over Keystone Pipeline.

3. Send a global e-mail to all members of parliament that describes why Canada's environment is important to you and your concerns with respect to it's protection.

Related Articles
- Federal Labour cuts - As many as 776 positions cut from Environment Canada
- Canadian Ozone Network faces the axe
- Canadians and Americans unified in protest of the Keystone pipeline project
- Protest of the Keystone Pipeline - Dalai Lama against the pipeline

Questions for Discussion
- The Oil sands - How do we as Canadians come to grips with the contradiction between the Oil Sands and our concern as Canadians for the environment
- Can we develop an energy policy in Canada that is aligned with the protection of our environment
- How do we address the issues of overpackaging?
- Achieving improvements in fuel economy of vehicles

September's Action - Canada's Justice System

Description - This month our Federal government will be considering passage of legislation through an Omnibus bill that will direct a considerable amount of tax dollars to create more prisons and increase the volume of people making their way through our courts. Statistics Canada reported, "The police-reported crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime, continued to decline in 2010 (down 5%), reaching its lowest level since 1973". Is this the best use of our tax dollars, will it make Canadians safer or should we be addressing the causes of crime, putting money in to rehabilitation. Does putting people in jail for longer make us safer? Let us take some time to discuss and share our thoughts on this important change to our Canadian justice system.

1. Write a letter to your member of parliament to share your thoughts regarding the Crime Bill to be debated or contact our Minister of Justice - Hon. Rob Nicholson - to pass on your thoughts on this matter.

2. Write a letter to the editor to suggest a more balanced approach be taken to the government’s agenda on crime. Emphasize the importance of rehabilitation in reducing recidivism.

3. Send an e-mail to all members of parliament that helps educate them on the alternative approaches to addressing crime, like Restorative justice, Drug courts and Mental Health courts.

Related Articles

- A crime debate without facts or arguments
- A Tory crime bill much like failed U.S. model
- Mandatory minimum terms push restorative justice aside
- Crime Bill won't help victims
- A Meaner Canada - Junk Politics and the Omnibus crime bill
- Police reported crime statistics
- Crime and Punishment:Inside the Tories plan to overhaul the Justice System
- Address roots of crime - NWT Supreme Court Justice John Vertes
- Lilley - Tory crime bill
- Tough on crime approach won't work
- Drug Treatment Courts - Justice Paul Bentley

Questions for Discussion

- How safe are we as Canadians, how can we be safer?
- What is the Omnibus bill made up of?
- Will more jails make us safer?
- How much money is going in to prevention?
- How about drug courts, mental health courts, restorative justice, alternative dispute resolution?
- What will be the impact of Mandatory minimums
- Deportation orders - Asking Canadians to look for these people, is this appropriate?

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