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:

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!
—–> <—–

“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:

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!
Richard Sanders, Coordinator, COAT
Editor, Press for Conversion!

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

Ottawa Peace Festival 2008 — Sept. 21-Oct. 4th

September 21, 2008

September 21 – October 04, 2008

The Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI), together with the United Nations Association of Canada – NCR Branch and other Ottawa  peace and justice organizations, invites you to take part in a 14-day Festival of Peace.  The Festival with a theme of Peace, Unity and Harmony will mark two important UN International Days of Peace and Nonviolence, September 21 and October 02.

All events are open to the public


* Sept 07- Sept 30: Under the Mushroom Cloud: A Nuclear Disarmament Exhibit at Main Public Library, Metcalfe and Laurier (Murray Thomson, )

* Sept 21- Oct 02: “No War-Paix Conceptual Art” Outdoor Exhibit, 250 Range Road in Sandy Hill (Terry Stavnyck,

*Sunday, Sept. 21: 10.45 am: PACIFEST – Peace groups in Ottawa and Hull-Gatineau mark UN International Day of Peace combined with Peace Walks. In Ottawa, meet at Women’s Monument, Minto Park, at Elgin and Gilmour.   In Gatineau (Hull), meet at Parc Jacques-Cartier Park (Hull) at Alexandra & Laurier near Maurice Richard statue. The two peace walks will converge at the Peace Tower and end at Victoria Island.  (Peter Stockdale (Ottawa),, 613-863-4527 and Daniel Mauro (Gatineau), , 418- 934-2661)

*Monday, Sept 22: 7-9 pm: Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR) and YOUCAN: Empowering Youth to Promote Peace in the Middle East.  Amphitheatre, Saint Paul University.  223 Main Street (Brian Strom,, 613-235-5800)

*Tuesday, Sept 23: 7-9 pm: CDPI Forum : Towards a Nonkilling World: Militarization of Canada and How to Prevent it – Keynote  by Murray Thomson, Member, Order of Canada. Quakers/Friends House, 91 A Fourth Avenue in the Glebe  (Bill Bhaneja,, 613-244-1979);  7–7.45 pm: Meditation for Peace, Ottawa Shambala Centre, 984 Wellington St. West.  The Centre’s regular Tuesday sitting will include introduction to meditation as the basis for peace. (Mark Frutkin,, ,  613-725-9321)

*Wednesday, Sept 24: 7pm : No War- Paix Forum: Human Rights and Foreign Policy, Candidates Debate – Hear Where the Parties Stand.  National Archives and Library, 395 Wellington Street.   (Larry Rousseau, rouslar@gmail.com

*Thursday , Sept 25: 7–9 pm: Soka Gakkai International Association of Canada presents: Afghanistan: A People-centred Approach to Peace, Experiences from the Field – Keynote by Eileen Olexiuk, former Deputy Head of Mission, Canadian Embassy, Kabul. 237 Argyle Street, 2nd Floor (Contact Monica Bachmann, , 613-232-1100)

*Friday, Sept 26: 6.30-9.30 pm: Concert for Peace, Saint Paul University Amphitheatre, 223 Main Street. (Daniel Mauro,, 418- 934-2661)

*Saturday, Sept 27: 1.30-4 pm: Spirit Painting for Peace, A Group Painting while focussed on Peace. Acrylic on canvas. Everyone welcome, no experience necessary. Artist Jen will guide the meditation before the painting. 228 Main Street (Call 613-266-8063 to register with Jen, and;  1-5 pm: Exhibition of Tan-Trika paintings, 1390 Clyde Ave. (by Merivale Rd), Room 206  (Shiban Raina, , 613- 224-9179);  6-9 pm: A seminar on “This Precious Life – Our Conscious Creation”.  The importance of the knowledge of the principles of the creative process and their conscious application, a tool that will support us in creation of the peace within ourselves, with others and on the planet. Public Library, Emerald Plaza, 1547 Merivale Road (Vesna Scott, , 613-224-5480)

*Sunday Sept 28: 10 am-2 pm: Spirit Painting for Peace Exhibition – The group spirit painting that was completed the previous day will be offered for silent auction for a donation to Department of Peace Initiative. Participants are invited to exhibit their work.  228 Main Street.  (Call 613-266-8063 to register with Jen, and;  1-5 pm: Exhibition of Tan-Trika paintings; 1390 Clyde Ave. (by Merivale Rd), Room 206 (Shiban Raina , , 613 224-9179) ;  5-6 pm: Peace Meditation, Sivananda Yoga Centre, Centre Professionnel d’Aylmer, Ste 205, 745 Chemin d’Aylmer, Corner of Castelbeau and Aylmer – (Daniel Mauro, , 418- 934-2661)

*Tuesday, Sept 30: 7-9 pm: Spiritual Cinema: Movies with Heart, Movies with Soul.  Saint Paul University, Amphitheatre,  223 Main Street  (Koozma Tarasoff,, 613-737-5778, and Daniel Mauro,, 418- 934-2661) ; 7:30 pm Candle-Light Vigil, Lansdowne Park, main entrance on Bank St, to oppose Arms Bazaar being held in the Salons. Bring candle. Family-friendly event co-sponsored by Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade (COAT), Nowar/Paix and the Ottawa Raging Grannies.  (S.L. Mannion , (613) 594-9128)

*Wednesday, Oct 01: 6-7.30 pm: Rideau Institute Forum:  “Life After Bush” – Keynote by Steven Staples. The forum examines the implications of the American election on Canada . Colonel By room, Ottawa City Hall (Robin MacLachlan, , 613-565-9449);  10:00am- 9:00pm, Lansdown Park, various actions by diverse groups including a Peace Garden by the Raging Grannies and non-violent protests against the Arms Bazaar. (S.L. Mannion , (613) 594-9128)

*Thursday, Oct 02: 6-9 pm:  “Women Building Peace Dinner” – Honouring Canadian Women Peace Champions.  St. Elias Centre, 750 Ridgewood Ave.  A Canadian Voice of Women (VOW) exhibit,  “Building Peace, Making History” will be on site. A Fundraising event, advance tickets required (Theresa Dunn, CDPI, 613-834-5055, )

*Saturday, Oct 04: 10 am-4 pm: 6th Annual Peace Prayer Day, City Hall, Ottawa. Great entertainment, inter-faith action, activist speeches, silent auction, food, and showcase of concerned groups.  ( Ian Prattis: 613 726 0881, .

*October 02-04: The Universal Peace Federation this year is holding a Canada Peace Festival with three main components: Canadian Leadership Conference on “Educating for Peace”, an Award Ceremony, and Faith-In-Action Food Drive for the Food Bank. (Daniel Stringer,

For further information call: Bill Bhaneja (613-244-1979), Theresa Dunn (613-834-5055), and Peter Stockdale (613-863-4527) – and

Deputy Minister Wernick gives Algonquins the slip, disparages efforts to end Indian Affairs’ illegal meddling in their governance

August 12, 2008


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs gives Barriere Lake Algonquins the slip, disparages their efforts to end Indian Affairs’ illegal meddling in their governance

Ottawa, ON / – On Friday, August 8, Algonquins from Barriere Lake and their supporters protested at the home of Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs Michael Wernick. They hoped a delegation could meet with the Deputy Minister, but he slipped out of his house just before the Algonquins arrived and told a journalist he was “disappointed” by the Algonquin’s tactics.

“He’s disappointed we were in front of his house,” says Marylynn Poucachiche, a Barriere Lake spokesperson. “Compare that to our disappointment about Indian Affairs’ illegal meddling in our internal affairs and their violation of our constitutionally-protected rights to customary governance.”

“Deputy Minister Wernick shouldn’t feel disappointed,” added Norman Matchewan, a youth spokesperson for Barriere Lake. “He should feel ashamed that he allows this behaviour of Indian Affairs to continue.”

The Barriere Lake Algonquins are demanding that the Government of Canada revoke its illegal decision of March 10, 2008, to recognize as Chief and Council members of a minority faction not selected according to Barriere Lake’s customs nor supported by a majority of the community, and to respect the outcome of a new leadership selection process in accordance with Barriere Lake’s Customary Governance Code.

Instead of meeting Barriere Lake’s demands, Pierre Nepton, the Associate Director of the Quebec Regional Office of Indian Affairs, has suggested further violating their leadership customs by imposing an Indian Act electoral governance system on the community, which would be a direct violation of Barriere Lake’s constitutionally-protected Aboriginal Rights.

The Algonquins also want the Government to uphold signed agreements with the community, dating back to the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, a landmark sustainable development, conservation, and resource co-management process praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada walked away from the agreement in 2001.

Last month, members of Barriere Lake gathered for multi-day protests outside the office of Minister Lawrence Cannon and the Department of Indian Affairs in Gatineau.

“We’ll leave politicians and bureaucrats alone when the Department of Indian Affairs treats our community fairly, honours its agreements, and stays out of our business,” concluded Matchewan. “Until then, we’re not going to stop protesting.”

– 30 –

Photos of the action (for tif files, please get in touch):

Media Contacts:

Marylynn Poucachiche, Barriere Lake spokesperson: (819) 435 – 2142

Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake youth spokesperson: (819) 435 – 2142

For background see
a submission to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues:

Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière


Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations in Ottawa

August 11, 2008

I have been a longtime member of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI). Earlier this year, I started up the Brampton Chapter. In the meantime, I had been campaigning my City of Brampton to join the 2020 Vision Campaign and become a Peace City. My efforts were successful: in August of last year, Mayor Susan Fennell filled out the paperwork to join the global Mayors for Peace, making Brampton officially a Peace City. Canada has 70 Peace Cities so far. If your city is not on this list, I strongly urge you to read about this campaign and get your mayor on board. Working together toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, we can ensure that the horrible devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never repeated again. If humans have any hope of survival on this planet, we must work together to abolish nuclear weapons.

The message below from CDPI Co-Chair, Bill Bhaneja, is an update about the Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemorations that were held last week in Ottawa, which is also a Peace City.


Ottawa CDPI chapter together with members of other Ottawa peace groups under the umbrella of Ottawa Peace Assembly marked Aug 6 and 9 days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations. On Aug 6, a petition signing campaign in downtown Byeward Market on nuclear weapons abolition got signatures from over 350 people (plus 50 more on Aug 9). On Aug 9 event at Friends/Quaker House in Glebe the commemoration was attended by over 100 people. The event included preparing of lanterns and the reading of statement from Mayor Akiba, the current Chair, Mayors of Peace. The following excerpt from the statement may be of interest:

“….We who seek the abolition of nuclear weapons are the majority. United Cities and Local Governments, which represents the majority of the Earth’s population, has endorsed the Mayors for Peace campaign. One hundred ninety states have ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. One hundred thirteen countries and regions have signed nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. Last year, 170 countries voted in favor of Japan’s UN resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Only three countries, the US among them, opposed this resolution. We can only hope that the President of the United States elected this November will listen conscientiously to the majority, for whom the top priority is human survival. To achieve the will of the majority by 2020, Mayors for Peace, now with 2368 city members worldwide, proposed in April of this year a Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol to supplement the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty….”

Mayor Akiba visited Ottawa four years ago and got support of then Ottawa Mayor for declaration of Ottawa as City of Peace.

Two powerful inspiring presentations were made by the First Nations anti-Uranium mining activist Professor Robert Lovelace and by Murray Thomson on the imminent need of unity among those campaigning to save the planet from environmental degrardation and nuclear destruction. Murray Thomson PowerPoint presentation prepared together with former PGS Director Debbie Grisdale is available for presentations elsewhere. Later in the evening, the group carrying lanterns singing peace songs walked to the nearby pond inlet to float lanterns to commemorate innocent civilian victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by dropping of atom bombs 63 years ago.

In Nonkilling Peace

Bill Bhaneja
Co-Chair, Ottawa Chapter
Canadian Department of Peace Initiative(CDPI)