KI and Ardoch Statement

July 9, 2008

For Immediate Release – July 7, 2008

Court of Appeal Calls on Ontario to Negotiate with KI and Ardoch

On February 15, 2008, Robert Lovelace, retired Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, was sentenced to six months in a maximum security prison.  His crime?  He had declared that he could not obey a court order which banned peaceful protest against uranium exploration on his community’s territory in eastern Ontario, because he must obey Algonquin law which forbids uranium mining and exploration.  The government of Ontario had approved the exploration in 2006 without any consultation with the Ardoch Algonquins and without any regard for the sensitive ecology of the area.

On March 17, Chief Donny Morris and five other leaders of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) received a similar six month sentence in a very similar case. In KI’s case Ontario had also approved the staking and exploration of land which KI says is part of its traditional territory, and which should not be subjected to the environmental impacts of mining.  The six KI leaders: Chief Morris, Dpty. Chief Jack McKay, Spokesperson Sam McKay, Councilors Cecilia Begg and Daryl Sainnawap and Bruce Sakakeep – became known as the “KI Six”.  Like the Ardoch Algonquins, they had refused to obey a court order prohibiting them from interfering with mining in their territory.

In both cases, Ontario’s Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant, instructed Ontario’s lawyers to support the mining companies in seeking the harshest possible punishment for our “disobedience” of Ontario’s laws.  The government made it clear at every step of the legal proceedings that their only priority is to support the 19th century Mining Act which states that mining is always the best use of land, and any peaceful protesters who oppose mining should expect jail and crippling fines.

The incarceration of seven respected community leaders for peacefully obeying their own laws and resisting the destruction of their territories led to an outpouring of support for KI and Ardoch and calls from environmental groups, unions, churches and community activists to reform the outdated Mining Act to allow communities to say ‘no’ to mining.  The support culminated in a rally at Queen’s Park on May 26, followed by a four-day “sovereignty sleep-over” at the legislature.

On May 28, an appeal of our sentences was heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal.  The Court ordered the immediate release of Bob Lovelace and the KI Six, but did not release the reasons for their decision until today.

In today’s ruling the Court of Appeal said that the outdated Mining Act “lies at the heart of this case”.
The Court called the Act “a remarkably sweeping law” which allows prospectors to stake claims on any Crown land, and which allows no role for communities in deciding whether mineral exploration occurs in their territories, even when they have unsettled land claims to those areas.

The Court noted that both KI and Ardoch had consistently asked the government of Ontario to engage in direct negotiations with them to resolve these disputes rather than supporting the mining companies’ efforts to obtain injunctions and then have community leaders jailed for refusing to obey the injunctions.  The Court said:

“Where a requested injunction is intended to create ‘a protest-free zone’ for contentious private activity that affects asserted aboriginal or treaty rights, the court must be very careful to ensure that, in the context of the dispute before it, the Crown has fully and faithfully discharged its duty to consult with the affected First Nations.  The court must further be satisfied that every effort has been exhausted to obtain a negotiated or legislated solution to the dispute before it.  Good faith on both sides is required in this process”

Said Bob Lovelace, “We feel fully vindicated in the position we have taken and remain committed to our position that there will be no mineral exploration within the territories of KI or Ardoch without our consent.  Our laws, which require respect for the land, are entitled to at least as much respect as Ontario’s Mining Act.  We remain open to dialogue, but Ontario has never responded to our proposals for negotiations.  We want negotiations, not conflict, but we will enforce our laws and protect our land.”

KI Spokesperson Sam McKay added:  “The decision of the Court of Appeal proves that we went to jail because of the stubborn refusal of the provincial government to respect our laws and our perspective on development within our territories.  The Premier of Ontario owes an apology to the people of KI and Ardoch, especially to those of us who were jailed for opposing an outdated and immoral law.  A sincere apology would begin a process of healing and reconciliation.”

Background Legal Issues

To encourage mining and exploration, Ontario’s Mining Act is based on a “free entry” system, which means that all Crown lands, including those subject to Aboriginal title claims, are open for staking, exploration and mining without any consultation or permitting required.  Anyone with a prospector’s license may stake claims and prospect for minerals on any Crown land. Once a claim has been staked the Mining Recorder “shall” record the claims.  There is no opportunity or requirement for consultations with affected First Nation communities.  Once a claim is recorded, the prospector can conduct exploratory drilling without any more permits being required.

It is also important to realize that in the 2004 Haida case, the Supreme Court made it clear that First Nations which have asserted rights claims or land claims, but have not yet proven their claims, must be consulted and accommodated, but they cannot “veto” development on disputed land.  Consultations and accommodation can include measures to mitigate the impacts of the project and provide some compensation for the affected communities, but they must lead towards implementation of the project.

The only way to achieve what KI and Ardoch believe is a fair and just solution is through negotiations to withdraw sensitive lands from mineral staking and mining.

Contacts:

Sam McKay, Spokesperson, KI (807) 537-2263
Robert Lovelace, Ardoch FN (613) 532-2166
Chris Reid, Legal Counsel for KI and Ardoch: (416) 629-3117

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Please sign petition against proposed Lake Huron nuke dump!

June 16, 2008

Progress Michigan has launched an online petition against a proposed nuclear dump 1/2 mile from Lake Huron in Canada and a massive oil refinery in Sarnia. Unfortunately, at first, Canadians couldn’t sign the petition. It wouldn’t take the Canadian zip codes. That is all fixed, now and Canadians can sign on!

The nuclear dump will take waste from 20 Canadian reactors and have to store it and isolate it from the environment for hundreds of years. Lake Huron is a drinking water source for millions of people in Michigan.

Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, (along with many other Great Lakes environmental groups,) has been leading the charge against this proposal. The petition will grow the list of supporters standing with them against these risky projects.

You can sign the petition at: www.greatlakesnotadump.com. Please pass the link on to friends and neighbours.


Toxic Nation E-News: the June 2008 issue from Environmental Defence

June 16, 2008

This June 2008 issue of the Toxic Nation E-Newsletter is filled with information that concerns all Canadians who are conscious about their health and environment:

Nasty Vinyl: Toxic Shower Curtians

Bisphenol A: Your Last Chance to Submit Comments

Cleaning Up The House: BPA Founds in Canadian House Dust

Help Ban Pesticides: Ontario-wide Ban Needs Your Support

Signing up/Signing off

Nasty Vinyl: Toxic Shower Curtains

New laboratory tests reveal that the “new shower curtain smell” may be toxic to our health. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic shower curtains purchased at five major retailers in the U.S. all contain avoidable toxic chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, organotins, and metals. Some of these chemicals are volatile, so they are released into the air inside our homes.

Read the full report: Volatile Vinyl: The New Shower Curtain’s Chemical Smell

Download our Guide to Vinyl: shower curtains and other products

The new study reveals PVC, also known as vinyl, shower curtains can release as many as 108 VOCs. Some of these chemicals, such as ethylbenzene and cyclohexanone, are considered a human health concern under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and are associated with developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Some can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

The tests looked at the amount of chemicals released into the air when the vinyl curtains were unwrapped from their packaging. It took the curtains roughly a month to stop off-gassing their toxic chemicals, which can have an effect on your health. Some people experience nausea, headaches or are sick due to the smell of the off-gassing chemicals.

Environmental Defence is calling on the federal government to ban vinyl shower curtains and require manufacturers to switch to safer alternatives, such as cotton curtains. In addition, we demand the use of toxic chemicals released from vinyl (e.g. toluene, ethylbenzene, cyclohexanone, methyl isobutyl ketone, phenol, etc.) be regulated in consumer products.

TAKE ACTION ON TOXIC VINYL TODAY! Send a message directly to the government to ban vinyl shower curtains.

Bisphenol A: Your Last Chance to Submit Comments

Wednesday, June 18 is the last day for you and your friends to make an impact on the federal government’s decision to regulate the toxic chemical, bisphenol A (BPA). On this day the 60-day comment period on BPA closes and the government will begin reviewing the comments submitted by the Canadian public, stakeholders, and industry.

Based on Health Canada’s proposal published on April 18, it seems that the government is only interested in regulating BPA in baby bottles and infant formula. In doing so, they will be disregarding the evidence that the lining inside food cans, such as the can of soup in your kitchen cupboard, leach BPA into the contained food. A recent study by CTV and the Globe and Mail showed that higher levels of BPA were found leaching from foods cans then were detected leaching from baby bottles.

Where there is a question of potential harm to humans and the environment, as is true of BPA, we should be taking a precautionary approach instead of asking what level of risk is acceptable- a can of soup or a reusable sports bottle.

Voice your concern on BPA today! Send a message to the federal government urging them to ban BPA in food and beverage containers!

Cleaning Up The House: BPA Founds in Canadian House Dust

Increasingly, people are realizing that the air in their homes might be more hazardous then the polluted air we breathe outdoors in urban areas.

Indoor air pollutants are not regulated in Canada. This is a huge concern, given the release of toxic chemicals we are seeing from products we all have around our homes (e.g. shower curtains, miscellaneous plastic items).

Health Canada’s Indoor Air Quality website is fairly minimal, but even they list chemical pollutants from household and personal care products as major sources of indoor air pollution.

What you might be interested in is The Canadian House Dust Study. No, Health Canada is not judging our sweeping and vacuuming skills;rather they are measuring the levels of chemicals in house dust in Canadian homes.

Even more interesting, is that preliminary data from the house dust study detected bisphenol A in 99% of Canadian households, with average concentrations at 1,600 ppb (parts per billion). (Levels of BPA leaching out of foods cans and baby bottles have ranged in 5-19 ppb)

Although we are not eating dust, a sure bet is that the BPA particles go somewhere (landfill, groundwater, plants, etc.). This points to yet another indication that Canada needs stronger regulations on chemicals, particularly in consumer products, along with increased funding to support further research into the effects of environmental pollutants.

For more great reading on human health and environmental pollutants check out Environmental Health Perspectives online.

Help Ban Pesticidest: Ontario-wide Ban Needs Your Support

The Ontario-wide pesticide ban has just passed second reading. Doctors and groups across the province are working to make the ban as health-protective as possible before it receives final passage. This is our last chance to make sure this bill does everything we want it to!

Please take a minute today to send an email to the Premier of Ontario with the following message:

“I strongly support a ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides, including on golf courses. We need to see a ban come into effect as soon as possible, for our health and the protection of the environment”

Premier McGuinty’s email: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phone: (416) 325-1941

Many Thanks!

More!

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Help Environmental Defence protect people from harmful chemicals.

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You are reading Toxic Nation E-News, published monthly by Environmental Defence, 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 705 , Toronto , Ontario M5V 1P9 , tel (416) 323-9521, fax (416) 323-9301, email info@environmentaldefence.ca, web site www.environmentaldefence.ca.

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Environmental Defence is a federally registered charity. We’re on a mission. Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We researchn solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contributions to climate change.


Uranium News: Robert Lovelace beings Hunger Strike for good faith negotiations in Uranium dispute

May 18, 2008

May 15, 2008 – For Immediate Release

Jailed Algonquin Leader Begins Hunger Strike
Second Algonquin Chief Going to Jail – McGuinty Government Does Nothing

On February 15, 2008 Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) Spokesperson Robert Lovelace was sentenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston to 6 months in maximum security, plus crippling fines, for peacefully protesting uranium mining in the Ardoch homeland. Chief Paula Sherman was fined $15,000 and given until today to pay the fine, failing which she will be jailed.

On March 17, a Superior Court judge in Thunder Bay sentenced six leaders of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) to six months after they were found in contempt of court in dispute which is virtually identical to that of the Ardoch Algonquins.

The jailing of respected, law-abiding community leaders has had a devastating impact on our communities, particularly on the families of those incarcerated. The indifference shown by the McGuinty government towards the rights of First Nation communities and the imposition of long jail terms and crippling fines in the name of “the rule of law” has further eroded respect for both the legal system and the government of Ontario in the eyes of First Nations people in this province.

The cases of the KI Six and Robert Lovelace are strikingly similar. In both cases Ontario gave approvals to mining companies to conduct aggressive mineral exploration on land claimed by First Nations as their own. In both cases this approval was given without any consultation with affected communities, forcing the First Nations to take action to end the illegal exploration when the government refused to act. In both cases the mining company sought and obtained court injunctions to end the peaceful protests of the First Nations, while lawyers representing Ontario supported the mining industry’s legal manoeuvres at every stage.

For the first month of Bob Lovelace’s incarceration, the government of Ontario said nothing, remaining indifferent to this travesty. Since the jailing of the KI Six, and public outcry which followed, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant, has told the media that he has “bent over backwards” to try to resolve the disputes which led to the incarceration of seven First Nations leaders from our two communities. He also claims that he wishes to see the incarcerated communities leaders freed from jail.

We want to set the record straight.

In fact, there has been no response from Minister Bryant to any of our proposals for peacefully resolving the dispute. Minister Bryant’s staff also has not responded to several calls and emails seeking a response to our proposals. To put it bluntly, Michael Bryant is a liar.

Bob Lovelace is now entering his fourth month in jail while the KI Six are about to begin their third month of incarceration. They are prisoners of conscience, jailed by the government of Ontario to send a message that the interests of the mining industry will trump Aboriginal rights and the environment of Ontario.

Lovelace, who turned 60 in jail, announced that he will begin a hunger strike tomorrow to press the government to respond to Ardoch’s request for good faith negotiations. “I do not want my children and grandchildren to have to go through what we are going through” he said. “Starting tomorrow I will consume only water in the hopes that our cry for justice will be heard by Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Bryant.”

Chief Paula Sherman said: “I will soon be going to jail because I cannot and will not pay this unjust fine. I am a single mother with three dependents whose only crime is the defense of our land. Like Bob Lovelace and the KI 6, I would rather go to jail than take food out of my children’s mouths or let our land be destroyed .”

Acting Co-Chief Mireille Lapointe added “We are sickened by the hypocrisy of the McGuinty government. While honest, conscientious community leaders languish in their jails for peacefully protecting our land from uranium mining, all these politicians care about is their public image. They are lying when they say they are trying to resolve these disputes. They have done nothing at all and continue to show total indifference. They do not even respond to our letters, calls and emails asking for negotiations, meanwhile claiming they care about us and our land”.

Ardoch and KI remain committed to resolving these disputes peacefully, through negotiations which lead to responsible, cooperative land use planning. We call on all citizens of Ontario to support the unconditional release of our leaders and negotiators by joining us at Queen’s Park on May 26 at the Gathering of Mother Earth’s Protectors.

For more information contact Paula Sherman: (613) 329-3707

Or Chris Reid, lawyer: (416) 629-3117


Ontario Coalition for Social Justice: News and events

May 7, 2008

With the growing gap between rich and poor is in the news again, the upcoming Ontario Coalition for Social Justice (OCSJ) assembly and the meetings of allies in other coalitions are timely! If you live in GTA, southern Ontario or the Ottawa area, please look for an event nearby to attend. Be sure to check out the news, updates and calendar below:


1) OCSJ ASSEMBLY

Please join us, if you are able to do so, to plan how we shall advocate that Ontario embrace economic security, rather than allow poverty to continue!

FROM POVERTY TO ECONOMIC SECURITY
A Forum to Reduce Poverty in Ontario

Saturday, May 10, 10 am – 4 pm — at Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil St, Toronto (south of College St — 2 blocks west of the College stop on University subway)

* Recommend ways to reduce poverty and increase social justice
* Organize to increase our power
* Free university and child care
* Recognize the rights of the First Nations
* Learn about the Provincial Government’s plans for poverty reduction
* Mobilize for public input into the process
* Organize among workers, tenants, women, students, and others
dedicated to ending poverty in Ontario

Special Guests:

* Wayne Samuelson (President) and Terry Downey (Executive VP), Ontario
Federation of Labour
* Jen Hassum (Chair), Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario
* Denise Stonefish (Grand Chief), Association of Iroquois & Allied
Indians
* Cheri DiNovo (MPP), Parkdale-High Park
* Representative of the Provincial Government’s Cabinet Committee for
Poverty Reduction (invited)

Open at no cost to all activists interested in social justice – aboriginals, ethno-racial persons, immigrants and refugees, labour activists, persons with disabilities, students, women, and other
equity-seeking persons.

Agenda:

10:00 a.m. Opening & welcome

10:15 a.m. Co-operating among sectors to end poverty:

*Aboriginals: Grand Chief Denise Stonefish
*Labour Wayne Samuelson
*Colour of Poverty Representative of its Steering Committee
*Students Jen Hassum,

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. OCSJ recommendations & strategy to end poverty

12:00 p.m. LUNCH & networking

1:00 p.m. OCSJ report & steering committee election

1:15 p.m. Ontario Poverty Reduction:

*Government spokesperson [invited]
*Opposition spokesperson Cheri DiNovo, MPP (Parkdale-High Park)

2:00 p.m. How we deliver OCSJ strategy & co-operate with allies

3:30 p.m. Conclusion

For info, contact John Argue, OCSJ Coordinator (416) 441-3714 info@ocsj.ca


2) ONTARIO GOVERNMENT & POVERTY

The Ontario Government has not announced its entire consultation schedule, but it did say last week that the Cabinet Committee chaired by Deb Matthews will meet people in 3 communities next week to talk about poverty reduction. The Toronto Star’s Kerry Gillespie also reported that the committee will visit Hamilton, Kingston, and Toronto, but there are no dates yet for those roundtable meetings.

a) Peterborough – May 5

Today, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., a government roundtable will take place at Evinrude Arena’s Multi-purpose room. It is not clear who has been invited there.

Outside the arena, however, anti-poverty activists and local CUPE members are leading community and union demands that the Government “Raise the rates!” for persons who receive financial assistance, but not enough to meet their costs.

b) Northumberland – May 6

There’s no obvious public information about where this meeting will be, nor who has been invited. However, community members are frustrated that the Northumberland Coalition Against Poverty asked to participate, but was refused permission.

c) SPNO conference – May 7 & 8

The third meeting relevant to the public discussion of what should be done to end poverty will be the annual conference of Social Planning Councils in Ontario, and Deb Matthews has been invited to discuss her committee’s plans with the conference delegates. At least, with this meeting, the SPNO will inform the public off what had been discussed there, and how prepared the Minister is to make future roundtables open to the public.


3) LABOUR & COMMUNITY CONCERNS ABOUT POVERTY

***25 in 5 Network

The day after the Government announced that Deb Matthews will participate in the above 3 meetings, a number of representatives of groups participating in the 25 in 5 network met and issued a media release to emphasize that:

· The Government focus on all persons who live in poverty.
· Meetings be open and accessible to the public, and especially those who
are live in poverty.
· Consultations be properly funded and resourced.
· Consultations be recorded and these reports be made public in a timely
manner.

This media release and the results of other discussions by groups in the 25 in 5 network are available at http://www.25in5.ca/ .

***Racialization of Poverty

The Colour of Poverty campaign hosted a well-attended forum at Ryerson University to discuss and develop further how to collaborate on ways, tools and strategies for people to work toward equity and inclusion in Ontario. Fact sheets about this campaign are available at
http://www.colourofpoverty.ca/ .

***Aboriginal rights

The Ontario Premier and the Minister of Northern Development & Mines, Michael Gravelle, MPP (Thunder Bay-Superior North), have both said that Ontario’s aboriginals will be consulted about mining companies staking claims on “Crown land”, also claimed by aboriginal bands, because the century-old, provincial Mining Act offers clear protection to mining companies but neglects to affirm the rights of aboriginals. In the meantime, however, aboriginals remain imprisoned, merely for stating that they do have claims on land where mining companies are proceeding with
their “rights”.

***People with Disabilities

The Ontario Government has stressed that it’s concerned with child poverty as a priority in developing its poverty reduction strategy, but it’s not yet clear how the needs of persons who live with disabilities, and are challenged by poverty, will be assisted.

***Unorganized workers

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has worked with part-time college instructors to advocate that they have the right to be represented by a union in bargaining with their employers. The success of this campaign was recognized finally at a lobby day at Queen’s Park for these workers a week ago, when 14 Liberal MPPs talked to the people who turned out for this lobby and promised that the Ontario Government will introduce legislation this spring to allow them to join a union to help represent their workplace concerns. The workers are pleased, but of course, they remain cautious until they see what form the legislation will take.


4) SOME LOCAL EXAMPLES OF ACTION AGAINST POVERTY

***Chatham

The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) have been supporting migrant farm workers in southwest Ontario for a number of years, and yesterday there was a local, annual celebration at the centre which the UFCW has provided in Leamington, about its worthwhile support. The Friends of Farmworkers, associated strongly with the Chatham-Kent Coalition for Social Justice, provide important support from the community.

***Guelph

The Guelph-Wellington Coalition for Social Justice will meet with its MPP, Liz Sandals on May 23, and present a paper to her outlining its participant groups’ views about how to end poverty in Guelph region.

***Waterloo

Opportunities Waterloo Region (OWR) is motivating people there to urge Government action by writing local MPPs. OWR has posted links at its website http://www.owr.ca/ to assist residents of the region to send messages to the MPPs that it’s vital for the Government to take serious and immediate action to end poverty.


5) EVENTS

May 7 – 8: The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO)’s regular Spring Conference will be held in Ottawa this year on May 7 and 8 and will focus on a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. Minister Deb Matthews has accepted an invitation to attend a roundtable discussion there. This year’s SPNO Conference is combined with the 80th anniversary of the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, which will hold a dinner the evening of May 7.

Contact: Dianne Urquhart, Social Planning Council of Ottawa, dianneu@spcottawa.on.ca and (613) 236-9300, or Peter Clutterbuck, at SPNO, pclutterbuck@spno.ca (416) 653-7947 for information.

May 10
: The OCSJ spring assembly and AGM will take place from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. in Toronto at the Steelworkers’ Hall at 25 Cecil St., near the Queen’s Park subway stop. For information, contact John Argue at info@ocsj.ca or (416) 441-3714.

May 10
: The London and District Labour Council is hosting a joint activist forum from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., in the common room of the Tolpuddle Housing Co-op at 380 Adelaide St. N. The forum title is “Turning globalization around with grass-roots activists”, with a Latin American focus because of concerns in London about what’s happening in Colombia, in particular, and incidentally, the city’s increasing Spanish-speaking population. Information about the forum is available from (519) 645-3108.

May 12
: The Centre for Public Justice is initiating its Envisioning Canada Without Poverty campaign with a workshop in Ottawa at the Bronson Centre’s Rideau Room, 211 Bronson Ave. from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Information is available at cpj@cpj.ca and (613) 232-0275.

May 15
: The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) will be organizing a community forum to brief various community leaders and local ethnic media within the diverse communities in the GTA about the details of C-50 (proposed changes to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) and its implications and potential impact on all of us. The forum will be held from 6:30 – 9 p.m. at Armadale Community Centre located in Markham (2401 Denison St – close to the intersection on McCowan and Dension – North of Steeles). Please RSVP to rsvp@cassa.on.ca . If organizations would like to become supporters of this event, e-mail neethan.shan@cassa.on.ca .

May 21 – 24:
CUPE Ont. 45th annual convention in Niagara Falls.

May 24
: The Centre for Public Justice’s Envisioning Canada Without Poverty campaign will host a workshop in London at the London District Christian Secondary School, 24 Braesyde Ave. from 10:00 a.m. to 12;30 p.m.

Information is available at cpj@cpj.ca and 1 (800) 667-8046.

May 26 – 30
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) convention at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

May 28
The Annual General Meeting of the Lakehead Social Planning Council in Thunder Bay will feature Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO Coordinator, as the guest speaker on the policy framework for a poverty reduction strategy in Ontario.

For information, contact: Marie Klassen, Lakehead SPC, lspc@tbaytel.net or (807) 624-2330

May 29
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine has called upon all Canadians to support and join First Nations in challenging the Government of Canada to implement lasting solutions based on equality and respect. A peaceful rally will happen in Ottawa, and more information
will follow.

May 31
: The 7th AGM of Fair Vote Canada will take place at Ryerson University in Toronto, 80 Gould St. (at the corner of Church St.), Room RCC204, from 9:15 a.m. till 5:15 p.m. One panel will feature Olivia Chow, NDP M.P., Martha Hall Findlay, Liberal M.P., and Carolyn Law, Green Party of Ontario executive member. Information is available at info@fairvote.ca or (416) 410-4034.

June 10
: The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) Annual Conference is taking place from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Oakham House, Ryerson University, in Toronto. This is a gathering for anti-poverty, affordable housing and environmental advocates to share experiences and engage in an action agenda on low-income energy issues. One of the main themes will be how Ontario’s poverty reduction plan and its long-term affordable housing strategy must both address energy poverty. More information, including registration and agenda, will be available soon, from Zee Bhanji, Coordinator, at bhanjiz@lao.on.ca or Tel: (416) 597-5855 ext. 5167 or 1 (866) 245-4182 x 5167.

John Argue, Co-ordinator
Ontario Coalition for Social Justice
15 Gervais Dr., #305
Toronto, Ont., M3C 1Y8
(416) 441-3714
info@ocsj.ca