Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alliance Romaine's Fifty Marathons campaign

Running for our Rivers, is coming to Montreal Sunday September 27th 4:00pm-6:00pm, Café Fractal, Room SH-R380. 200 Sherbrooke Street West.

This will open your eyes to the controversial ways the electricity you use is produced! And what the people are doing to change that.

After 3 weeks of consecutive daily marathons, the runners are arriving in Montreal, our halfway point. As the traditional message runners of the past, they carry a message. They have accepted responsibility of relaying a message that has been given to them by the Cree of James Bay, speaking about the harmful social and environmental repercussions caused by aggressive hydroelectric development on their land. The message will be carried to the Innu on the North Shore who live with the Romaine river, the next river that Hydro Quebec wants to dam...
Coming to Montreal will mark an important moment. This message will have been successfully carried by foot for almost a thousand kilometers, to be voiced to the first large metropolis.
Speakers for the event will include Amir Khadir, MNA from Quebec Solidaire, a presentation by Fondation Riviere about their new energy campaign in collaboration with Nature Quebec, Daniel Green from la Societe pour Vaincre la Pollution will speak of local water issues, and members from Alliance Romaine. The event will be an eye opener to these important issues of Quebec energy, environment and ethics.

Sunday September 27th, at Café Fractal. Room SH-R380. 200 Sherbrooke West, corner Jeanne-Mance. 4:00pm-6:00pm.

Monday, September 21, 2009



Honourable Minister,

Seema and Sabir Mohammed Sheikh, originally from Karachi, Pakistan, were accepted as refugees in Canada in 2001. The Sheikh family has worked to rebuild a vibrant life in their Parc-Extension neighborhood of Montreal ever since. In a sudden and unexpected decision in 2007, immigration authorities revoked the Sheikh family’s refugee status. On July 14th, 2009, Seema and Sabir were forcibly separated from their children and deported to the USA. The children: Ashrah (26 years), Tayyaba (23 years), Sami (21 years), and Canadian-born Sabrina (5 years) remain in Canada, awaiting a judicial review that could grant a re-evaluation of their humanitarian claim. In the meantime, their lives are in limbo and their future is extremely uncertain.

I must ask you to do whatever you can, to ensure that Citizenship and Immigration Canada give the Sheikh family status on humanitarian grounds immediately, so they can live with dignity and security.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Algonquins place bodies in front of logging machines: prevent logging until Quebec and Canada respect agreements and leadership

This morning members of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake will peacefully block the machines of Abitibi-Bowater forestry workers, preventing logging in their territory until Quebec implements agreements covering forestry on Barriere Lake's lands, and the Quebec and Canadian government’s recognize the First Nation’s legitimate leadership.

“Our community has decided there will be no forestry activities or any new developments in our Trilateral Agreement Territory until the status of our leadership and the agreements we signed are resolved to our community's satisfaction,” says Jean Maurice Matchewan, Customary Chief of Barriere Lake. “The Quebec government has acted in bad faith, giving companies the go-ahead to log while they ignore their legal obligations, leaving us with no choice but to stop forestry operations until Quebec complies with the agreement. We have waited more than 3 years for Quebec to implement it."

Matchewan received no response to a letter he sent to Manager Paul Grondin of Abitibi-Bowater's Maniwaki mill on August 25, requesting that the company suspend logging operations until the governments follow through on their obligations.

“Our plan is to peacefully put our bodies in front of their machines until we get some results. We expect they may use the police, because we are used to such tactics. This is our territory and they can't push us off our lands," says Matchewan.

Canada and Quebec have refused to acknowledge the results of a June 24, 2009 leadership selection process that reselected Jean Maurice Matchewan as the legitimate Customary Chief of Barriere Lake. National Chief Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations, however, met with Chief Matchewan on August 19, to discuss the Trilateral agreement and other community concerns. The Algonquin Nation Secretariat, a Tribal Council representing three Algonquin communities including Barriere Lake, also recently reiterated their support for Chief Matchewan.

“Instead of acting honourably and cooperating with our Customary Council to implement these signed agreements, the federal and provincial governments have been working in unison to try and install a minority faction whom they can use to sign off on the cutting of our forest,” says Matchewan.

Barriere Lake wants Canada and Quebec to uphold signed agreements dating back to the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, a landmark sustainable development and resource co-management agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada has been in breach of the agreement since 2001. Quebec signed a complementary Bilateral Agreement in 1998, but has stalled despite the 2006 recommendations of two former Quebec Cabinet Ministers, Quebec special representative John Ciaccia and Barriere Lake special representative Clifford Lincoln, that the agreement be implemented. The agreement is intended to allow logging to continue while protecting the Algonquin’s’ traditional way of life and giving them a $1.5 million share of the $100 million in resource revenue that comes out of their territory every year.