Listen to entire program here:
Between Dec 2-4th , the Assembly of First Nations held a Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau,Quebec intended to develop a “consensus on fundamental issues and common interests in relation to First Nation- Crown relations, international relations and partnerships”. The issues included “health and wellness, claims and land rights, education, residential schools, First Nation governments, environment and economic partnerships, community development and safety and social development and child welfare.”
During the assembly the Chiefs went to Parliament in an effort to let the Harper government know that First Nations are not going to remain silent as Harper and his ministers ignore First Nation’s concerns. There was even a brief altercation between the Chiefs and security guards who pushed the Chiefs away as they attempted to move further into the House of Commons.
They did speak with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver regarding Bill C 45, another massive omnibus type bill that strips the Navigable Waters Act of much of its power leaving thousands of lakes and rivers vulnerable.
Ellen Gabriel is a well known and respected advocate for First Nations as well as a candidate this year during the election of Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She’s spoke to me from Montreal on several aspects of the relationship between First Nations and Canada including the dramatic hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence:
His message is here:
“… I’m protecting you…”:
Housing is a Human Right
According to their website, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) “is the only organization in Canada dedicated to promoting human rights in housing and ending housing discrimination.
CERA carries out this work through public education, research, law reform, human rights casework, test case litigation and using international human rights law and mechanisms.
We also have special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.”
As well, “CERA has been working closely with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), the Social Rights Advocacy Centre, private bar lawyers Peter Rosenthal and Fay Faraday on a historic Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge that seeks to address homelessness and inadequate housing in Canada and Ontario.
Formerly and currently homeless Ontarians launched the landmark legal challenge against the federal and provincial governments at the end of May 2010. The case seeks a Court declaration that Canada and Ontario have violated their rights under section 7 and section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by creating and maintaining conditions that lead to and sustain homelessness and inadequate housing.”
I spoke with John Fraser, Executive Director of CERA and he described in more detail the work of the organization:
Sample track: “Dangerous Madness”: