Ontario Health Coalition: Important Town Hall Meetings

February 24, 2009
Save Public Medicare! Information

We need your help to STOP THE HOSPITAL CUTS across ONTARIO.
If you live in the area, please come to one of the following Town Hall Meetings and forward this info widely. We are organizing Town Hall meetings across Ontario and we’ll be sending a province wide list shortly:

Hamilton Health Coalition-Monday, February 23rd,7pm @Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, 1555 Upper Ottawa Street

Sarnia-Lambton Helath Coaltion- Tuesday, February 24th, 7pm @Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, 411 Greenfield-Petrolia

Windsor Essex Health Coalition-Wednesday, February 25, 7pm @CAW Local 2458/195 Hall, 3400 Somme Ave, Windsor

Trenton-Thursday,February 26th Batawa Community Centre Gd Stn Main, Belleville K8N 4Z8,

Your presence – and a giant turnout – will help send a message that the government cannot ignore. In bad economic times, we need our community hospitals more than ever.

Recent cuts announced:
Hamilton
Emergency room closing -McMaster; $21 million cut from budget – Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS); 400 nurses and staff cut – HHS & St. Joseph’s Healthcare; Hospitals in Fort Erie and Port Colborne are also being closed, this will strain Hamilton health care even further

Petrolia
Blue Water Health (Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Engleheart Site) – Proposed closure of Petrolia’s emergency room and other services

Windsor
Windsor Regional Hospital- cuts to  neonatal intensive care beds, the pain clinic, respiratory therapy, x-ray services; Windsor Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital-This hospital also faces a deficit and is so over capacity that surgeries had to be canceled this fall due to a lack of beds.

Trenton
Massive cuts to hospital beds in Trenton

The McGuinty government is not giving hospitals the funding they need. In 2008, half of Ontario’s hospitals faced deficits due to chronic underfunding by the McGuinty  government. That  figure is expected to grow to more than 70% of our hospitals in 2009. The government is forcing hospitals to eliminate their deficits – caused by government underfunding, even if  it means cuts to needed patient services.

Ontario’s hospitals are funded less than anywhere else in the country — $100 less per person or $1.2 billion less across the province. They have been cut and restructured for 15 years already. The current cuts will lead to worse access, longer waits and poorer quality of care. Please join us in raising our deep concerns about the impact of these cuts on our access to care.

Your presence matters — we need a show of strength.
Please spread the word as far as you can — ALL ARE WELCOME.

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Feb 14: 4th Annual Rally for Our Missing Sisters

February 5, 2009
FOURTH ANNUAL RALLY FOR OUR MISSING SISTERS

Stop impunity around the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women on Turtle Island!

When: Saturday February 14, 2009 at noon
Where: TO Police Headquarters at 40 College St. (near Bay St)

Rally and march to the Coroner’s office (26 Grenville St), followed by a
gathering with food at U of Tâ’s Centre for Women and Trans People (563 Spadina Ave).

Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing over the last 30 years.  We come together in defense of our lives and to demonstrate the complicity of the state and its institutions (police, RCMP, coroners’ offices and the courts) in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples.

In addition to the Toronto rally and march, similar events will be occurring in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sudbury, and London, ON.

The February 14 rally in Toronto is being organized by No More Silence (NMS).   NMS aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.  To get involved or endorse the event email us at nomoresilence@riseup.net.

The Toronto event is endorsed by CUPE-SCFP; Trans Feminist Action Caucus, CUPE 3903; Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP); Centre for Women and Trans People, University of Toronto; Centre for Women and Trans People, York University; Canadian Chiapanecas Justice for Women; No One Is Illegal Toronto (NOII); For Women’s Autonomy, Rights and Dignity (FORWARD); Toronto Haiti Action Committee.


Urgent Deadline – November 19, 2008 – to Demand a credible environmental review of new nuclear reactors at Darlington

November 18, 2008

Urgent Deadline – November 19, 2008

Action Alert – Demand a credible environmental review of new nuclear reactors at Darlington

The federal government is pushing ahead with an environmental review on Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposal to build new nuclear reactors at Darlington that will exclude significant environmental impacts, such as radioactive waste, significant accidents.  Worse, it will not consider environmentally friendly alternatives to nuclear power, such as renewables and conservation.

How can you help?

Please tell the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) it is unacceptable to exclude the significant environmental impacts from the environmental assessment on new nuclear reactors at the Darlington nuclear station.    Tell CEAA that any credible review should assess more environmental friendly alternatives to building nuclear plants, such as renewables and conservation.

How? Below you will find additional background and a draft letter you can use to make your submission.

When? The deadline for making submissions to CEAA is November 19th.

How? Send submissions to Darlington. Review@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

If you have any questions, or want to know how to stay involved please contact:

Peter Aulich – paulich@greenpeace.org – 416-597-8408 x3072.

Background: Why should I be concerned?

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) wants to build four nuclear reactors on the shores of Lake Ontario at its Darlington site. The federal Ministry of the Environment and the federal Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) are conducting environmental assessment of this project as a “joint review panel”. This panel will decide whether the project passes the environmental assessment.

Historically, the federal government has allowed the nuclear industry to exclude significant environmental effects, such as radioactive waste and nuclear accidents, from environmental reviews on nuclear projects.  This has allowed environmental reviews to come to the false conclusion that nuclear reactors pose no threat to the environment.

The draft environmental assessment guidelines for the Darlington New Build Project would allow OPG to again exclude significant environmental impacts from its environmental assessment report.

You can find the draft environmental assessment guidelines on CEAA’s website here: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/DocHTMLContainer_e.cfm?DocumentID=28688

Draft Letter

Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-957-0941
E-mail: Darlington.Review@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Re: Comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment Guidelines for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project

To whom it may concern,

I am deeply concerned that the environmental assessment guidelines regarding Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposed construction of new reactors at the Darlington nuclear station excludes significant environmental hazards of public concern.

The following are my high-level comments on the guidelines.

Purpose, Need, and Alternatives to the Project

The current draft guidelines do not require OPG to provide important key information regarding the purpose, need, and alternatives to the project.

Specifically, the draft guidelines only require OPG to outline the purpose and need for the project from OPG’s own perspective.  OPG should instead be required to explain the purpose and need of the project in terms of the public interest.

The draft guidelines only require OPG to provide information on alternative “methods of producing electricity.” The guidelines should instead require OPG to examine potential alternatives of meeting electricity demand, including demand management and conservation.

The draft guidelines expressly state that “provincial energy policy” cannot be addressed and that alternatives “contrary to Ontario’s formal plans or directives” need not be examined. This part of the guidelines is unacceptable and should be removed.

Radioactive Waste

OPG should be required to describe the long term potential adverse environmental effects of creating this nuclear waste.

Under the present proposal, however, OPG is only required to describe “at a conceptual level” how used nuclear fuel waste will be managed, because another organization is “expected” to manage that waste.

The time horizons of the assessment must be extended beyond the abandonment phase. The potential adverse effects of used nuclear waste should also be assessed in the post-abandonment phase and when considering malfunctions, accidents and malevolent acts.

If OPG fails to assess this, it will have failed to consider some of the most important environmental effects of the project.

Application of Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act

Provincial environmental assessments must be carried out where the project is undertaken “on behalf of” Ontario.

OPG was directed to undertake this project by the Ontario Ministry of Energy in June of 2006 and therefore it appears that Ontario should formally participate in this environmental assessment as a signatory to the Joint Review Panel Agreement or else conduct its own assessment.

The draft guidelines themselves recognize that this project is on behalf of Ontario when they say on page 9 that “The Province of Ontario is considering a range of reactor designs.” Therefore this issue should be more thoroughly reviewed and explained.

OPG should be required to undertake a provincial environmental assessment, and if it doesn’t, it should be required to explain in its EIS why it thinks Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act does not apply.

Cost overruns and financing

In the draft guidelines OPG is only required to look at regional economic impacts, such as impacts on the job market. OPG should instead be required to provide information on the costs of the project and its alternatives, including the likelihood and liability for cost overruns.

This information is necessary to adequately compare the project to its alternatives. It is also necessary to quantify the project’s effects on taxpayers and ratepayers who could end up footing the bill, as they did with the current fleet of nuclear reactors. As it stands, OPG is not properly examining the costs and financing of the project and its alternatives.

Accidents, Malfunctions, & Malevolent Acts

The draft guidelines exclude a range of possible nuclear accidents and malfunctions from the scope of the environmental assessment. This is unacceptable given that OPG is legally protected from paying the costs for such events beyond a certain level.

OPG should be required to identify and assess all potential adverse environmental effects of all realistic malfunctions, accidents and terrorist events.

The Darlington site is also home to four reactors as well as a spent fuel storage facility.  OPG should be required to assess the cumulative impacts of accidents and malfunctions affecting each nuclear power plant and spent-fuel-storage facility as part of the environmental review.

The EIS guidelines do not require OPG to explain who would pay for clean up and compensation in the event of an accident, malfunction, or malevolent act. The EIS Guidelines should require OPG to detail 1) the extent of all potential cleanup and compensation costs arising from each possible nuclear accident, malfunction, and malevolent act, 2) whether persons in Canada and the United States would be fully compensated, 3) who would pay for the cleanup and compensation, and 4) how this compares to the system of nuclear liability in the United States.

Thank you for considering my comments.

Truly,


Ottawa arms show CANCELLED! Campaign continues!

September 26, 2008

A couple months ago I put up a post from COAT about the Arms Show scheduled to take place in Ottawa this month. Well, I am happy to report that this show has been cancelled. Thank you everyone who wrote letters and signed petitions protesting this show.  However, COAT’s campaign against all future Ottawa arms shows continues and there is an even bigger arms bazaar slated for next spring: “CANSEC 2009”.  Read about it here and please continue with your petitions and support:

YES, an upcoming Ottawa Arms Show has been CANCELLED!!
However, COAT’s campaign (including our online petition) CONTINUES against all other Ottawa arms shows!
For details on the cancellation and our continuing struggle, see the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) website:
http://coat.ncf.ca

Please sign COAT’s Online Petition to Stop ALL of these Arms Bazaars!
If you haven’t done so already, it is not too late to sign our online petition to ensure that “CANSEC 2009” and ALL other military trade shows remain banned from City of Ottawa facilities.  Please encourage your friends, colleagues and fellow activists across Canada to sign this important petition!
—–> http://prax.ca/view/coat/No-Arms-Shows <—–

ARMS EXHIBITION Cancelled!
“Secure Canada 2008,” the military trade show that was scheduled for Lansdowne Park, Ottawa (Sept.30 – Oct.1) has been “cancelled until further notice.” So says the official website of “Secure Canada 2008.” Feast your eyes on their cancellation notice here:
http://www.securecan.ca

This indeed calls for celebration! However, we need to make sure that City Staff do not just sign another contract with the organizers of “Secure Canada.”

And, more importantly, there’s an even bigger arms bazaar looming on Ottawa’s horizon calledCANSEC 2009.” This huge weapons exhibition is scheduled for May 27-28, 2009 and the City has been negotiating a contract with its organizers. This too must be stopped!!

Join COAT in celebrating the cancellation of “Secure Canada 2008” by helping us to STOPCANSEC 2009.”

Now that they’re on the run, let’s drive them ALL right out of town!
Can we do it?    Yes we can!
Please join us!

Thanks very much for your help in continuing this important campaign!
Cheers,
Richard Sanders, Coordinator, COAT
Editor, Press for Conversion!
http://coat.ncf.ca

P.S. The Candlelight Vigil outside “Secure Canada 2008” (Sept.30) has been cancelled, due to the demise of “Secure Canada 2008.”


US Bailout Protests Today, September 25th!

September 25, 2008

Protest the Bailout Today
There are more than 200 events planned coast to coast for today, September 25, protesting the Bush Administration’s proposed bailout.  Find an event near you and contact your elected reps and implore them to reject a plan that bails out Wall Street but not Main Street.


Online Bailout Outrage Jumps to Streets, and Into Lawmakers’ Inboxes

September 25, 2008

An e-mail that began as a rallying cry from a lone journalist to an influential circle of friends to protest the U.S. government bailout of Wall Street has ignited a national day of street protests. Some demonstrators plan to dump their rubbish in front of the bronze bull sculpture near Wall Street in downtown Manhattan Thursday.

“People are going to bring their own personal junk that they think is worth as much as the junk financial instruments that the government is proposing to buy from the Wall Street banks,” says Andrew Boyd, an activist and freelance online-video artist for nonprofit groups in Manhattan. “We’re hoping that people show up with their 8-track cassette collections, their old Spice Girl CDs, their surf boards that got bit by sharks and old Enron stock certificates.”

Boyd is just one of thousands of Americans from all over the political spectrum who the Bush Administration has angered with its vague proposal to hand $700 billion over to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to restore U.S. financial markets’ health. That anger has manifested itself online through e-mail, web sites and other online chatter, with one site, BuyMyShitPile.com, going rapidly viral this week. The site, a parody of the dire financial situation, is what is inspiring the self-organizing group of activists to show up in downtown Manhattan Thursday evening with all their junk. They hope to make their simmering fury palpable to Wall Streeters getting off work.

… Read more (Wired Blog Network)

Protest the Bailout Today
There are more than 200 events planned coast to coast for today, September 25, protesting the Bush Administration’s proposed bailout.  Find an event near you and contact your elected reps and implore them to reject a plan that bails out Wall Street but not Main Street.


Sign Up for Fall 2008 Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, Southern Ontario, October 17-22, 2008

September 18, 2008

Join the Fall 2008 Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, Southern Ontario, October 17-22, 2008

Join a nonviolent community on wheels for part or all of our journey as we travel through dozens of communities in a large triangular area — Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo to London (via Punkeydoodle’s Corners), then through Tillsonburg, Simcoe and Welland, up through Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton and Mississauga — October 17-22.

There will be lots of street theatre, dialogue, public education, and more as we expose and challenge the many ways in which the Canadian government is increasingly involved, both directly and indirectly, in policies and practices that result in the torture of human beings.

Among the many participants will be three Canadians tortured overseas with Canadian government complicity: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin. They will be continuing to press for full disclosure of the role Canadian officials played in their detention, interrogation, and torture. An inquiry tasked with looking into their cases has barred them, their lawyers, the press, and the public from entry, and has been held in complete secrecy.

Unable to attend the Caravan will be Syrian refugee Hassan Almrei, who during the caravan will be marking seven years of detention without charge (almost all of it in solitary confinement) because of secret “allegations” neither he nor his lawyers are allowed to challenge under the so-called security certificate regime. He, like the others held under the certificates — Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub, Mohamed Harkat, and Adil Charkaoui — is fighting deportation to torture.

They represent but a handful of the many human rights violations the Canadian government continues to engage in.

To find out more background information, view a three-minute youtube piece from the spring caravan, and learn how to get involved, please go to this site:
http://homesnotbombs.blogspot.com/2008/08/move-against-torture.html

If you plan on taking part in part or all of the caravan, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange transportation, billeting, and more: tasc@web.ca, (416) 651-5800

If you cannot take part but would like to contribute to our costs, cheques can be made out to Homes not Bombs and mailed to PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0 (put caravan in memo portion of cheque)

Thanks!

Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
A fully-realized subsidiary of the Homes not Bombs direct action network