Saturday, July 09, 2005

Two easy emails

Email #1


To the Honourable Ministers Joe Volpe and Geoff Regan,

Dr Salam Ismael is a young, respected Iraqi doctor who has spoken in many nations about the plight of his people. He has been refused permission to visit Canada to speak.

Please see this link:

Given his established record as a conscientious humanitarian speaker, and knowing that his behaviour has been in accordance with the terms of his travel permits during his other foreign speaking engagements, one can only conclude that he was refused permission to speak in Canada due to his politics: he challenges the role of the US in Iraq. It is disquieting to think that a man who does not have even a whisper of an allegation against him of any improper conduct should be declined the right to speak in Canada. It seems an affront to the freedom of speech and dialogue that are at the heart of the operation of a healthy democratic state. As a sovereign nation and as a citizen-driven democracy, Canada ought to permit this man to visit and to be heard by Canadians. Salam Ismael is a doctor who has served his country in trying times, and likely has something material and concrete to contribute to our understanding of the situation in Iraq. I hope the decision to decline Dr Ismael permission to speak in Canada will be reconsidered.

Thank you,
[your name]

Email #2

To Gordon Campbell and Darcy Alexander

I am writing in support of the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center that has been protecting Secwepemc lands and culture that is being destroyed by Sun Peaks Resort and in support of the four Secpwemc youth who were recently jailed for their courageous defense of their land and their rights. It is clear that despite the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized Aboriginal Title, and that the Canadian Constitution of 1982 protects Aboriginal Title as an Aboriginal Right yet your political decision has been to extinguish Aboriginal Title. The recent Haida decision added a legal duty government and industry to consult and accommodate Aboriginal Title even before it has been proved. It is clear that the recent endorsement by Canada and British Columbia of the $285 million dollar expansion of Sun Peaks is a deliberate and clear effort to extinguish Aboriginal Title. Negotiations under the present extinguishment policy and process is failing (those negotiations have only been a benefit to those negotiators who get a pay check from those funds for the last 10 years); that the injunctions are not necessarily always conducive in balancing the interests between business and Aboriginal Rights; and that full blown court decision takes 10 to 14 years; and all of these remedies put Secwepemc people at a decided disadvantage when dealing with the governments that are committed to an out dated status quo of marginalizing indigenous economic and cultural rights. I reiterate the position of the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center that wants the expansion of Sun Peaks stopped and demand a new federal policy that recognizes Aboriginal Title in line with the legal mandate to consult and accommodate Aboriginal Title.

Yours sincerely,
[your name]

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