September 21, 2014

My name is Tracey Mitchell. I'm a community organizer and facilitator from Saskatchewan and I am in New York City for the People's Climate March. I first got involved in climate change organizing 13 years ago, when a group called The Climate Change Caravan biked across Canada and launched a bet with the Canadian government that regular Canadians could reduce their own emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocol before the government would mandate such changes. I helped organize food, accommodation and logistics for the group while they were in town. I remember being scared and shocked by their presentations. I had heard about climate change before but its severity and the degree of complicity I felt in making it worse were things I was unprepared for. In particular, I remember the stats they presented on flying.

September 19, 2014

24 Hours Vancouver reports, "Some advocacy groups demanding a public hearing into the suicide death of a woman [Lucia Vega Jimenez] in Canada Border Services Agency’s custody have been rejected from participatory status at the BC Coroners Service inquest."

Lucia was a 42-year-old undocumented hotel worker who hung herself in December 2013 in a Canadian Border Services Agency holding cell at the Vancouver International Airport just prior to her scheduled deportation to Mexico.

September 19, 2014

One more sleep till an early morning departure tomorrow to New York, and I have to admit, I’m getting pretty excited.

The last couple of days have been filled with last minute details – over 400 other ‘bus captains’ are probably facing the same influx of emails and inquiries.

I’ll be leaving Ottawa tomorrow at 7am with 54 others ranging in age from 11 to 70 and reasons for attending, but united in finding the time and energy to participate in what is being billed as the largest climate march in history

The march is planned before heads of states meet to discuss climate change at a UN Climate Summit called by Ban Ki Moon.

September 19, 2014

The Canadian Press reports, "Federal New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair says he supports his New Brunswick NDP counterpart's position on shale gas development. Mulcair joined provincial NDP Leader Dominic Cardy on the campaign trail in Fredericton in the final days before the election Monday."

The news report says, "Cardy has promised to wait two years before considering development of a shale gas sector, at which point companies wanting to exploit the resource would have to undergo tests to assure health and environmental concerns are satisfied. Cardy has also committed to setting up a royalty rate and putting shale gas development to a free vote."

September 19, 2014

Two sacred fires are now burning on the grounds of the $351 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights as it opens today in Winnipeg.

The fire on the north side of the museum is to recognize the overall situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Winnipeg Free Press reports, "On the south side, a second fire is the site of a peaceful demonstration over the value of water and the contradictions critics see in federal support for the new monument to civil rights. Sponsored by a coalition of environmental and aboriginal groups, including the Council of Canadians, the Wilderness Committee and Amnesty International, the fire is symbolic of federal neglect to ensure safe drinking water for First Nations and of additional federal measures to relax laws that once protected waterways under federal jurisdiction, organizers said."