April and May 2012 Reports to Supporters

RODC Monthly Report to Supporters May 2012

Sometimes a short letter or article from a citizen speaks out with particular eloquence.  Such is the case with the brief column in the Sunday Toronto Star by Trevor Greene, the soldier who was hit on the head with an axe in Afghanistan.  He says in part. “The Canada I went overseas to fight for was a tolerant and open society, always striving to do the right thing, and to bring to the world a sense that tomorrow can be better than today. Today, though, the government in Ottawa seems to want to throw all that out the window. Stephen Harper’s vision of Canada seems to begin, and end, in the tar sands, and everything else be damned.”  Read more.

Bill C-38 “is not remotely a budget bill, despite its name. It is what is known as an omnibus bill. If you want to know how far Parliament has fallen, how little real oversight it now exercises over government, this should give you a clue”, says Andrew Coyne in a National Post article

Leadnow is running a campaign to “oppose the drastic measures in the budget bill that would strip our environmental protections, silence our environmental watchdogs, and damage our economy.”  You can show your objection to the massive omnibus bill that is currently before the house by going to the Leadnow site and sending a letter to the government.

On Saturday, November 24, RODC will host a nationally known author, four experts and 150 participants in A Day of Dynamic Dialogue focused on the theme of the day

>>Transcending political boundaries  to restore Canadian democracy.<<

The keynote speech by Lawrence Martin, author of Harperland and a recent article titled “Is this still a democracy?”, and the group discussions on key aspects of the theme will lead to a series of positive actions that we can implement to achieve the goal that we have always sought, to reclaim our Canadian democracy. 

So far, we have engaged one expert, Trish Hennessey. As director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' income inequality project, Trish specializes in the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us. Read about it here.

The fee for attendance will be a mere $50 for a full day session including coffee and lunch. Space is limited: the first 150 people who register will be accepted.

Check out our site which has more information about the day and how to get involved.

Clare for the Steering Committee

RODC Monthly Report to Supporters April 2012

It is likely that many Canadians are in despair over the last federal budget with its cuts to CBC, the NFB and other arts and culture groups, the elimination of several democracy groups. Add on the overt threat to the charitable status of non profit groups, which is exemplified by David Suzuki resigning from the board of his own foundation and the despair deepens. Reference here.
But there is good news to mitigate that despair over the attacks on our democracy. Some of these are the networks for democracy that are emerging and the support for existing networks such as Leadnow  and Voices/Voix .

The latest movement is a campaign to build “One Big Campaign” bringing together the social action groups across the country.  For details of this movement, click here.   The leading light of this optimistic approach is Nick Fillmore, who says that “A new campaign urging Canadian social activist groups to work together under one massive umbrella to take on the Harper regime and his right-wing supporters is being born!” Read more.

Voices/Voix has arranged a meeting in Ottawa. “We hope you will be able to join us for a meeting on May 11 to discuss these concerns about the state and health of human rights advocacy, democracy and dissent in Canada, and help craft a strategy for responding to the many ways that democratic principles and human rights institutions and organizations are being undermined and weakened in the country.”

The meeting will be held at: PSAC Building, 1st floor, 233 Gilmour Street, Ottawa on Friday May 11, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be a telephone hook-up for individuals outside Ottawa. The meeting will review the many reactions and responses from civil society to these deeply troubling developments over the past several years.” For the entire letter, go to the RODC Campaigns page.  

Growing awareness of the anti-democratic actions of this government is spreading across the country supported by outspoken editorials and columnists in newspapers as well as letters to the editors from Canadians. Lately, there has been much talk of electoral reform by politicians, and there have been calls for political groups to co-operate as a strategy to bring down our undemocratic government. 

The role of RODC from the outset has been to bring awareness to Canadians, and that is starting to occur. There are plans for more demonstrations being made such as a second demonstration on the robocalls in Toronto on April 29. As well, several RODC members are planning to join the Occupy Parliament day on May 5. For more information on the Occupy Parliament demonstration, click here

Plans for our symposium on the state of democracy in Canada are being carried forward by the group. We have reserved an excellent venue in Mississauga and an excellent keynote speaker in Lawrence Martin, author of Harperland, all set for November 24. Those who can't attend in person can participate by way of Livestream on the Internet across the country.

Twitter: Please follow us on Twitter @reclaimcanada

We hope you will continue to support us throughout the year.  Let us know if you have been involved in any action in the last month or so at reclaimcanada@gmail.com.

Clare Henderson for the Steering Committee
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