March 7, 2009

Mar 13-14, 2009, at the U of T

Join us for a teach-in on nuclear energy in Ontario. What are the concerns surrounding nuclear energy, and what are the alternatives?

Registration is now live! To register go to

On the evening of Friday March 13 at 7:00 p.m. there will a screening of the film Battle of Chernobyl. Earth Sciences Auditorium (ES 1050), U of T. For a description of the movie see

Workshops will be held all day on Saturday Mar. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kofffler Centre, Room 108, U of T. The workshop on “What’s the Connection Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons?” takes place from 11 am to noon.

This conference will provide valuable information on the cost, the health effects, the ethical considerations, and the effectiveness of nuclear energy s compared to alternatives (e.g. renewable energy sources).

$25 – or pay-what-you-can. Free for U of T students.

Speakers include:

– Jack Gibbons, Ontario Clearn Air Alliance
– Dave Martin, Greenpeace
– Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace
– Dr. Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg, OISE
– Cherise Burda, Pembina
– Keith Stewart, World Wildlife Fund
– Greg Allen
– Phyllis Creighton, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms
– Helen Chilas, Canadian Voice Of Women for Peace
– Vinay Jindal, Physicians for Global Survival
– Jim Elve, Nanticoke
– John Morand, Port Hope
– Norm Rubin, Energy Probe
– Jos Higginson
And many more.

Sponsored by:
Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Greenpeace, University of Toronto Students Union, Students Against Climate Change, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Hiroshima Day Coalition, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and Physicians for Global Survival.

Want more background info? Check out

Register now:

For more info:

OPIRG event: Israeli Apartheid Week Toronto

February 24, 2009

Event: Globalization, Labour and Poverty in Palestine “Israeli Apartheid Week Toronto”

What: Lecture

Host: SAIA-UT, SAIA York and SPHR Ryerson

Start Time: Thursday, March 5 at 7:00pm

End Time: Thursday, March 5 at 9:00pm

Where: Koffler Institute Room 108 – University of Toronto

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

IDEA Burlington – local event: human rights day event

November 27, 2008


Guest Speaker



Bob Lovelace is making Canadian history. Being co-chief of the Ardoch Nation and an Algonquin, he together with other members of his Nation blocked the uranium mining company Frontenac Ventures from prospecting and exploiting his Nation’s land (under dispute by a land claim) without permission. For his actions, he was sent to jail. He will speak about his experience and the struggle facing indigenous land rights in Canada today.


Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2008, 7.30pm – FREE!

Location: McMaster University

Health Sciences Centre, 1A4

(at rear of hospital, near Health Science library)


Co-sponsors: CUPE 3906, Indigenous Peace Education, OPIRG, The Centre for Peace Studies and Development & Peace.

For more information, contact

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.

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

Peter Aulich – – 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:

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

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.


Vandalism against Liberals

October 8, 2008

The following letter was sent to me by a friend who is outraged at the dangerous vandalism targeted against people displaying Liberal candidates’ signs on their properties in some GTA ridings and the lack of action by police to catch the perpetrators.  I would like to add that on a less dangerous level, I have noticed numerous Liberal signs broken and trashed in my riding and around the rest of Brampton.  This is turning out to be a very nasty campaign!


The cons are getting desperate. The evidence comes from the targeted vandalism of people’s property for supporting the Liberal Party. Our present government treats this as slightly unfortunate and nothing much to worry about. But think about it my fellow Canadians. If you cut someone’s break line it should be a criminal matter. IN FACT IT IS A CRIMINAL MATTER, OUTSIDE OF THE ELECTION PERIOD, YOU WOULD BE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER. Why is it that there is no media blitz to stop this? How is it possible that we allow the innocent public to be intimidated for exercising their democratic right to vote? This is what freedom is all about, this is why we hold elections to control our government to keep us safe and have it work for our welfare and not against us. With this current government the only reason for calling this election is to gain a majority to allow them to wreck our country and blend us seamlessly into the US. Every day we see Harper controlling the media, the environment groups and all organizations in need of federal funds and muzzling the voices of concern and reason. Like in Nazi Germany the end justifies the means. The whole propaganda blitz here as in the US was the original brainchild of Goebbels in Germany, happily copied by the Bush administration and now by Harper. The Fuehrer principle is alive and well. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that we have a Parliamentary system not a Presidency. All of Harper’s plans point to his dictatorial tendencies and he wants power no matter what else is there. Intimidation and vandalism belong in totalitarian countries and so far Canada is not one of them. But the danger is very grave. We are being taken over by stealth and our last chance is this election to stop this travesty from occurring. Naomi Klein wrote a book a couple of years ago, called the Shock Doctrine. The premise of the book is that the Bush Administration and before the ultra right wing neo-con movement created artificial and premeditated chaos to demoralize a population and destroy its civil society. (Iraq and New Orleans come to mind). In its place they aim to put a marginalized poor and voiceless population to be totally dependent on government largesse. Big business prefers a population working for slave wages so they can make obscene profits without having to share the bounty. In the last depression in the 30s, 85% of the people owned land and were mostly farmers. That scenario has been destroyed and replaced by city folk who are unable to fend for themselves in an atmosphere of great upheaval. The coming depression will be worse than the last because people were self-sufficient then, now they are at the mercy of fate. In this election, which is downplayed by the media as having no real issues, the real threat is the collapse of the global system of finance and the accompanying chaos that will follow. We need a government that will help us weather this storm and not allow us to become destitute. The Con plan is the mantra that we are on our own, they only help their rich friends and the small elite that rules the banking system. Even the corporations are a part of the financial scam that is inundating the world. All the countries in Europe and Asia are bailing out their failing banks courtesy of the gift from the US initiated massive financial fraud of unprecedented proportions. What is coming may not be preventable anymore but a benevolent government, personified in Dion will do its level best to protect us from the coming calamity. Please consider voting for any one but Harper and vote strategically for whichever candidate is ahead in your ridings. Without exaggeration this is our last chance. I come from Europe and seen this movie before. Do not let it happen here because of ignorance and apathy. Vote because your future well-being depends on it.

Janet Smithe

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:

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:, (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)


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

Toronto: Housing Not War Musical Protest at Moss Park, Sept. 20th

September 15, 2008


12:30PM | Saturday, September 20 @ Moss Park (Sherbourne & Shuter)

FEATURING: Faith Nolan, Sara Marlowe, The PARC Drummers, Mohammad Ali
…hip hop, blues/jazz, folk & more (check web updates)…

[NOTE regarding recent permit issue in news media: this event will proceed as planned!]


The Moss Park Armoury sits in one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, surrounded by Toronto’s highest concentration of homeless people. The government trains 800 soldiers every month in the armoury while people outside die without food and shelter! The Moss Park Armoury should be replaced with decent, accessible, affordable housing!

Join us for a free meal, music, demonstration and march on the armoury!

(please let us know ahead of time if possible)

For more info, or for accessibility needs, contact TDRC:

416-599-8372 | |