Here is the line up with links to what we covered in the program:
Sept. 3, 2009
Windsor Peace Coalition will be marching in the Windsor and District Labour Council’s annual Labour Day parade again this year. Anyone who would like to join the contingent is welcome. Just look for the coalition’s blue and yellow banner Monday September 7 in front of CAW Local 200/444 Union Hall (1855 Turner Road).
Marshalling starts on Turner Rd. at 9:00 am. The parade will start at 10 o’clock and head toward the Fogolar Furlan club (south on Walker, west on E.C. Row Service Road) where there will be speeches followed by entertainment, activities for children and refreshments all afternoon.
There should be periodic shuttle bus service back to Turner Road.
The Windsor Peace Coalition holds an anti-war information picket every Saturday 11 am. to noon – Ottawa Street across from Market Square.
August 31, 2009
Health care wars
From pro-single payer to anti-government plans, a report from a town hall in Virginia with Howard Dean
Three war criminals set to visit Canada next month
| September 2, 2009
In October George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney — all accused of horrifying war crimes and crimes against humanity — plan to visit Canada. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act each of these people if reported plans go ahead.
– G. W. Bush will be, on October 22, 2009 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal PQ to deliver a lunch-time speech at an invitation-only event organized by tinePUBLIC Inc
– Tony Blair will be the keynote speaker October 6, 2009 at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guilford Hotel, Surrey B.C. Blair was invited by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
– Dick Cheney is booked for a week of fishing at the Silver Hilton Lodge on the Babine River near Smithers, B.C. from October 8 to 15, 2009.
Canada’s legal duties
By ratifying the Convention against Torture and the Rome Statue for an International Court, Canada agreed not only to make the torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes under Canadian law but also to participate in acting effectively to prevent and punish these crimes wherever they occur. To ensure Canada’s ability to fulfill these duties, Parliament has:
– Passed laws enabling Canada to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity wherever the crimes occurred and whatever the nationality of the suspected perpetrators and the victims. (e.g. Criminal Code, torture provisions and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.) Under the Convention against Torture, when a person suspected of any involvement in torture enters Canada, Canada has a duty to either prosecute that person or extradite him to a state that is willing and able to prosecute.
– Passed laws to ensure that Canada will not allow people suspected of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity and/or gross human rights abuses to enter Canada or otherwise provide a safe haven, even temporarily, for people suspected of any involvement in carrying out or acquiescing to war crimes, crimes against humanity or other gross human rights abuses. (e.g. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
The Canadian Ministers responsible are not enforcing these laws. In spite of significant intelligent, peaceful protests, G.W. Bush was allowed entry into Canada in March and May 2009, and Colin Powell was allowed entry in June 2008.
Write to Members of Parliament asking that Canadian Border Services Agency issue a cross-Canada directive to all entry points ordering that G.W. Bush, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney be barred from Canada and, if found in Canada, be arrested and dealt with according to the law.
Generation Debt: Post-secondary students face more tuition increases
| September 2, 2009
In the midst of a deep recession, families today are facing record job losses, soaring personal debt and economic hardship unheard of in generations.
With two-thirds of new jobs requiring at least two years of post-secondary education, investing in higher learning should be a no-brainer for governments. Despite the obvious importance of education and retraining, both federal and provincial governments have failed Canadians by allowing tuition fees and student debt to reach historic levels.
Tuition fees have grown to become the single largest expense for most university and college students, with average fees of almost $5,000 per year. The vast majority of students will face tuition fee increases when they return to school next week.
Canadian families are making extraordinary sacrifices to prepare themselves for an evolving workplace. Past decisions at the federal and provincial level are forcing students and their families to take on more education-related debt than any previous generation, all during a time when median earnings for the majority of families have been stagnant for the past 20 years.
The bottom line is that record high tuition fees and student debt combined with the highest student unemployment levels on record are putting post-secondary education out of reach of many Canadians.
On January 21, 2009 Canada marked a regrettable milestone when student loan monies owing to the federal government surpassed $13 billion. This figure does not include the $5-8 billion in provincial student loan debt nor billions of dollars in other personal debts including credit cards, lines of credit and family loans. This year alone, over 385,000 students will require loans from the federal government and the average student will have between $21,000 and $28,000 at the end of a four-year program.
Saddling a generation with billions of dollars in debt will have far reaching implications for Canada’s economy and socio-economic equality.High levels of student debt have a direct impact on a student’s ability to succeed. Being saddled with debt reduces the likelihood of continuing studies beyond a bachelor’s degree or college diploma and research has shown that, as student debt rises from $1,000 to $10,000 per year, completion rates for students dependent on loans plummet from 59 to 8 per cent.
Not only is debt responsible for lower levels of university and college completion, but also for causing stress related health problems. Students from low-income backgrounds are more likely to suffer from tension, anxiety and other stress related conditions.
As student loan repayment begins shortly after graduation, career decisions for many graduates are dictated by the ability to make monthly loan payments. Student loan obligations reduce the ability of new graduates to start a family, work in public service careers and build career-related volunteer experience.
During these hard economic times, funding high-quality, accessible post-secondary systems is one of the safest investments we can make, and it’s one that generates significant economic spin-offs and reinvestments.
Reducing both tuition fees and student debt is well within the federal government’s capacity. Access to post-secondary education is a proven means of breaking the cycle of poverty and is one of the most reliable determinants of a person’s quality of life.
Post-secondary education is a fundamental right and regardless of socioeconomic background and geographic location, every citizen should be afforded equality of access.
-Katherine Giroux-Bougard is the National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.