Join the Leadnow Vote Together campaign here.

RODC members take action to publicize its views and to influence politicians and inform the public. Visit our special Campaigns site.
Add your name to the list demanding a new electoral system here.
Online voting clicks with Ajax residents

Ajax residents had it easy in the latest municipal election. They could simply click and vote.

And yet only 30.4 per cent of them did.

At first glance, one could call the election results a disappointment. But Nicole Wellsbury, manager of legislative services and deputy clerk, said the turnout was significantly up from years past.

Read More
Cooperate for Canada and Election Reform including On Line Voting
Now that the Liberals have elected Justin Trudeau as their leader, they will be very unlikely to be open to the idea of cooperation among the progressive parties. The leader of the NDP has already indicated that the NDP will fight the election hoping to form the next government. 

Thus any form of cooperation will have to happen at the riding level.  There are a number of ridings in Canada that may attempt this approach.

Members of RODC attended the town hall meeting in Toronto organized by CEA and will be following up with that organization and others in April.

1. Cooperate for Canada has published the following survey: 
Canadians support electoral reform, would vote for cooperation candidates – new national poll.

Read the article.

2. Check out the April Monthly Meeting of RODC on Cooperation here.

3. Read this article in the Star regarding online voting here .
Also,  Elections Ontario says it’s time for a pilot project on online voting here.

Leamington uses on line voting.

Try test voting here.
Aboriginal Issues: The Challenges, the Way Forward

Several members of RODC attended a round table with Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D., who is engaged in a variety of initiatives across Canada.  She is a member and resident of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Lake Simcoe. 

RODC involvement in this event is a step in our understanding of aboriginal issues as we join other groups in supporting the Idle No More campaign.

Check the Aboriginal Healing Foundation here.

REPORT on the ROUND TABLE by Susan Berry
On February 20, 2013 the Adult Education Committee at the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga hosted a Round Table on Aboriginal Issues with special guest Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux. It was a tremendous success. There were over 50 participates from Reclaim Our Democratic Canada, the Aboriginal Friendship Group from First Unitarian Congregation in Toronto, UCM and the general public.

What an educational event. Dr. Wesley-Esquimaux is an engaging, energetic speaker who gave an overview of the both the terrible legacy and opportunity of the treaty relationship between Canada and First Nations. We learned about government practices that led to land succession on incredibly unfair terms, but also that Canada is unique in having treaties with First Nations peoples. These living agreements provide the opportunity for the spirit and intent of Peace and Friendship agreements to be honoured in modern day Canada.

Dr. Wesley generously shared her own personal experiences in dealing with the collective grief of First Nations people and was optimistic that the younger generations of First Nation peoples will take advantage of increasing opportunities for education and leadership to mend some of the systemic problems facing reserves. She is active in working with reserves and young people to heal broken hearts and inspire minds.

Some interesting facts that highlight why First National issues are so top of mind: 90% of the Canadian population living above the 60 degrees are aboriginal and this is the #1 area for new mineral and other resource extraction! The goal of our current federal government is to facilitate mining interests in the north and this means having to reduce the influence of First Nation peoples over their land. Thankfully, our courts mandate that the Crown consult and consider First Nations’ interests. Ultimately, the Idle No More movement is not only an aboriginal issue as we all depend on a clean environment for our health and well-being.

There are no easy answers to these incredibly complex issues. Dr. Wesley advised us to educate ourselves about the history of First Nation people pre-contact, the treaty relationships, and the civil and moral beliefs of First Nations peoples. We can help find the way forward by picking a concrete issue, such as equal funding for education, to advocate for to our own political leaders and by participating in the political and social conversations on Aboriginal issues.

Suggested Reading List:

Bussidor, Ila and Ustun Bilgen-Reinhart (1997) Night Spirits: the Story of the Relocation of the Sayisi Dene, University of Manitoba Press: Manitoba.

Cardinal, Harold (1969/1999) The Unjust Society, The Red Paper, Douglas & McIntyre, University of Washington Press: USA. 

Dickason, Oliva P. (2006) A Concise History of Canada’s First Nations, Oxford University Press: Canada.

Fiddler, Thomas and James R. Stevens (2003) Killing of the Shaman, Penumbra Press: Canada.

Helin, Calvin (2006) Dances with Dependency: Indigenous Success through Self-Reliance. Orca Spirit Publishing: Vancouver.

Highway, Tomson (1998) Kiss of the Fur Queen, Double Day: Canada.

Hollow Water (Video) (2000) The Story of Hollow Water: When an Individual confronts the spectre of abuse, we consider it an act of courage.  When an entire community attempts the same thing, we call it a miracle, National Film Board.

Huges, Lotte (2003) the NO-NONSENSE guide to Indigenous Peoples, New International Publications: Canada.

Jiles, Paulette (1996) North Spirit: Travels Among the Cree and Ojibway Nations and Their Star Maps, Doubleday: Canada.

Lear, J. (2006) Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Cambridge Press: Massachusetts.

Mann, Charles C. (2006) 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, Vintage Books: New York.

Miller, J.R. (2000) Skysrapers Hide the Heavens: A History of Indian-White Relations in Canada, 3rd Edition, University of Toronto Press: Canada. 

Miller, J.R. (2006) Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools, University of Toronto Press: Toronto.

Mohawk, John C. (2000) Utopian Legacies: A History of Conquest and Oppression in the Western World, Clear Light Publishers: New Mexico.

Peacock, Thomas and Marlene Wisuri (2002) Ojibwe Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look in all
Directions, Afton Historical Society Press: Minnesota.
Phare, Merrell-Ann (2009) Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights, RMB: Victoria, B.C.

Porter, Tom (2008) And Grandma Said...Iroquois Teachings, as passed down through the oral tradition, Xlibris Corporation: United States.

Sinclair, Raven, Michael A. Hart and Gord Bruyere (2009) Wicihitowin: Aboriginal Social Work in Canada, Fernwood Publishing: Winnipeg.

Spielmann, Roger (2009) Anishnaabe World: A Survival Guide for Building Bridges between Canada and First Nations, Your Scrivener Press: Sudbury.  
ISBN: 978-1-896350-37-0 

Tatz, Colin (2003) With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide, Verson: New York.

Wadden, Marie (2008) Where the Pavement Ends: Canada’s Aboriginal Recovery Movement and the urgent need for reconciliation, Douglas & McIntyre Limited: British Columbia.

Waldram, James B. (2004) Revenge of the Windigo: The Construction of the Mind and Mental Health of North American Peoples, University of Toronto Press: Canada.

Waldrum, James B. (1997) The Way of the Pipe: Aboriginal Spirituality and Symbolic Healing in Canadian Prisons, Broadview Press: Ontario.

Wesley-Esquimaux, Cynthia and Magdalena Smolewski (2004) Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa. 

Wesley-Esquimaux, Cynthia, Ronan MacParland and David Berkal (2009) “Shielded Minds” a video documentary of an eight day journey across the Canadian Shield with twenty Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth to explore identity, truth and reconciliation, and to discover the Aboriginal truth and reality that Canadian have been shielded from in their education. and 

Wesley-Esquimaux, Cynthia, Ronan MacParland and David Berkal (2010) “Journey to Oz” a video documentary of a nine day visit to the Mishkeegogamang First Nation in Northern Ontario, Nishnaabe-Aski Nation Territory, with 12 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth to explore “what is right about this community” in the face of negative media representation. 

Wheatley, Margaret J. (2006) Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco.

Widdowson, Frances and Albert Howard (2008) Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation, McGill-Queen’s University Press: Kingston.  (Please get this one from the library we are NOT supportive of purchasing this text and endorsing racism).

Wiebe, Rudy and Yvonne Johnson (1998) Stolen Life: Journey of a Cree Woman, Alfred A. Knopf: Canada.

Williamson, Pamela and John Roberts (2004) First Nations Peoples, 2nd Edition, Emond Montgomery Publications Limited: Toronto.

Common Causes: Members of RODC carried out an action on January 28 to support Common Causes and Idle No more.  

Our Action:
On Monday January 28, we joined other groups across Canada to stand up for DEMOCRACY. Groups that share Common Causes have sent a message to our Members of Parliament when they convene in parliament on January 28th.

We met in the parking lot at MP Terence Young's office, Cross St. across from the Go Train, early Monday morning. We decorated our our mini-van Omnibus and proceeded to various locations in Oakville from 8am-2pm. The slide show in the right hand frame shows some of the preparations as well as candid shots from a rainy, damp, pretty cold morning.

The RODC Common Causes Bus Tour Itinerary January 28, 2013
Start: 7:50am The parking lot on Cross Avenue to decorate van.
1.  7:50 Terence’s Office
2.  8:00 Oakville GO Station
3.  9:00 Sheridan College Main Entrance (Coffee Break inside)
4.  10:00 Walmart parking lot
5.  11:00 Glen Abbey Recreation Centre
6.  12:00 Sobey’s Plaza in Bronto
7.  1:00 Towne Square (Lakeshore)
8. 2:00 Whole Foods
          End of Tour    
We gave out 700 flyers at these locations. In addition we played music to encourage public interest.


Common Causes: A CALL FOR ACTION!

Our Democracy Is At Risk- We Draw A Line in the Snow Today. Our present government’s preoccupation with economic growth and the GDP as the only measure for success disregards key measures for health and welfare – equality, sustainability, democracy, trust – and the voices of many Canadians.  

Canada’s governments are shamefully falling behind.  Here’s a list of recent anti-democratic actions by our governments…

· Omnibus Bills (hundreds of unrelated regulations rushed through without mindful consultation; Bill-C38 & Bill C-45)
· Prorogation of Parliaments(Federal and Provincial) when facing non-confidence votes
· Blocking Access to Information requests
· Denying Funding to Equality-seeking Organizations
· Punishing, firing, silencing ombudsmen, commissioners and watchdogs
· Stymied, rigged parliamentary committees (robo calls)
· Ignoring scientific studies (Crime Bill) and dismantling tools(long form census)
· Disrespect for Charter of Rights and Freedom
· Lack of transparency and accountability (Fighter jets, G20)
· Dismantling of environmental protections

This affects me.  This affects you.  Anti-democratic Bills strip away legislative tools that have been used to protect the waters, fish, and the environment for all our children and grandchildren (Manitoba Chiefs). Anti-democratic processes also limit advocacy, conversation and consultation with Canadians. 

Canadians are Drawing A Line in the Snow Today. This year we have seen many movements from scientists, students, environmentalists, workers and the First Nations’ Idle No More. Grassroots movements are rejuvenated and re-energized in defending Democracy. We need to ensure political and democratic institutions are equitable, and that all voices – including the voices of marginalized populations in Canada – are heard.

RODC actively documents and resists the dismantling of Democracy in Canada.  
We stand as allies with Idle No More as 
We Draw A Line in the Snow Today.


Susan and Carole Berry January 2013

RODC has shown support for the Idle No More movement: here are pictures of the demonstration at the Ford Plant in Oakville while the Prime Minister spoke inside on January 4, 2013.

Here is a short video of the demonstration plus the Star report.  Watch for Tina.

Inside Halton report: photos and video.  Watch for Bev.

CTV News Report here.

Susan's Letter to MP Terence Young, January 11, 2013

Tina's notes:
For RODC Susan Berry, Judy Rivard and I were there, Bev and Carole Holmes arrived a little later. Susan Berry’s Mum was also there with Susan’s kids.
For Fair Vote, Brian Hopkins, Dan and Sandra Griffin were there.
For University Women/Advancement of Women Marianne Singh Waraich was there.
There were First Nations folks from Sarnia and Hamilton. The young man who sang a rap song and played the drum was Earl Lambert.
The organizers were Trish Mills and Taylor Chelsea.
-Tina Agrell

Photos by Tina Agrell

For more pictures, go to Inside Halton here.

On Wednesday evening, June 20, 2012,  Reclaim Our Democratic Canada, Advancement of Women Halton and Fair Vote Canada sponsored a showing of the film Menocracy by Gretchen Kelbaugh. There were about 25 people in the audience, all with very different views. I collected some of the comments from the discussion afterwards. I sent them to Gretchen this morning in case she was interested. 
                                          -Tina Agrell

-It was overly long and somewhat repetitive in the first half. A condensed version would be more effective.
-The visual aids, music and animation really helped get the ideas across.
-I enjoyed hearing from the experts in the UK and the USA and was very impressed with Kim Campbell.
-It really should be shown to students in High School Civics class. We need to start a campaign to encourage high school students and students in further education to think about theses issues and also raise money to encourage and fund young women to run for office. We need our own EMILYs list.
-The NDP has already committed to introducing PR. A shortened version of this movie would help them sell the idea. -We need to talk to their party HQ.
-There are no businesswomen in your film. Many women choose to have careers rather than children. Are there issues peculiar to them that should be explored?
-A recent UN survey found Canada top of the league tables in its treatment of women. How does this fit with the themes of the movie?
-The Parti Quebecois was annihilated in the last election. How does this fit with the movie’s point about small local parties having a disproportionate impact?
What about the idea of organizing cooperation between parties to run only one candidate?
-At one point in the movie Kim Campbell suggests that women leave politics early, disillusioned because they are unable to make a difference. These women tend to become movers and shakers in their own community and achieve their goals outside the political arena. Maybe politics isn’t the only way.
-Women often do not run for office because they anticipate being bullied and ridiculed in adversarial politics. One aspect of PR is that it requires cooperation among MPs in order to pass legislation. A more cooperative parliament might be more attractive as a workplace for women.
-What about the down side of PR such as the failure of governments like Italy to reach consensus; or the fact that voters are wary of the idea of being represented by Party lists rather than a person from each riding who is familiar with the issues of importance to the community.
-Thanks VERY much for arranging the screening. I thought it was great and very helpful in explaining "proportional" representation. It certainly makes a mockery of Harper and his cronies’ never ending mantra, "we have a clear majority"!
-I thought the suggestion about getting the film into high schools (Civic classes) and even colleges was a great idea. --Young people seem to complain and grumble about governments but they don't seem to want to rise up and protest - unless you're a student in Quebec. Why couldn't they have used their considerable energies to protesting against Harpers two awful Omnibus bills, instead? We've got to get young people engaged in the political world. I was disappointed when the only young people at the film last night, left immediately after it finished. I would have loved to have heard their ideas and opinions.
-At the end I felt very depressed...It reiterated what I already knew! We debated this in the Electoral Reform committee of RODC (Reclaim Our Democratic Canada) for many hours last winter and the conclusion was: Get rid of Harper and these Conservatives first under the First Past the Post system and then elect a government committed to Proportional Representation. As for women in government, we’ll soon have been debating that one for 40 years!! Quotas seems only way to go...
-Each time I attend one of your meetings/awakenings my thoughts are jolted and energized! What can I do to increase the number of women in politics? What organization can I lend my support to? What research can I do to find out how our young women are mentored if they show an interest in our political system? What can we do to bring the political discourse to young women? How can we make the political process as interesting as the stat's on football, soccer and whatever sport of the day? On and on it goes!

For more information on the film and the topic, go to the Menocracy web site.
Judy Rivard addresses the RODC Rally
Read Judy's address to the rally here.

The Omnibus Budget Bill:
On Wednesday, June 13th at 5:30 pm local time, while our MPs gather in Ottawa for a decisive showdown in Parliament, we rallied at their home ridings and communities across Canada, to call for 13 “hero” Conservative MPs to work together and stop the Bill, split it, and start over.

On the street
RODC in Oakville  met in the parking lot behind our MP Terence Young's office at 165 Cross Avenue shortly after 5:00 on Wednesday to demonstrate from 5:20 to 6:00, catching at least three GO train arrivals.

We brought signs, wore red and white, made some noise. In the meantime.
In front of the MP's office


Rally June 2 in Oakville:

  We were supporting Leadnow in its efforts to stop the budget bill that incorporates several changes to our environmental protection among a lot of other things.

The Group organized a rally in Towne Square in Oakville in double quick time with speakers from political parties and social groups including RODC. Many groups across the country demonstrated against this omnibus bill.

See Slide Show in Side Bar
Story Here.

If you are inspired and want to send a letter, go to the Leadnow site.

One Conservative MP is opposed to the bill, but...

Read about it here.

Oliver Twists in this CBC Video.
Voter Suppression
The current campaign will mobilize action regarding Voter Suppression.  Here is a quote from Bob Hepburn's column
Brian Mulroney: I owe you an apology. "... to many the scandal, which deals with election telephone calls that steered voters to fake voting sites in dozens of ridings, further erodes democracy."


SUNDAY MARCH 11, 2.30 - 5.00

Several RODC members are going.  Watch for our signs and join us.
What Happened to Our Canada?

The elections act has been violated, when the elections act is violated, Canadians are violated.

Read More.
Bill C-10: 
The campaign to Stop the Crime Bill fought to have bill C-10 defeated in the House of Parliament, but when that was unsuccessful we collaborated with other national organizations to ask Senators to use their mandate to take a second sober look at the bill.  

The bill was amended and sent back to the House of Commons where the Conservative majority had no problem in passing it.

Susan Berry speaks against the crime bill here.

For details of our campaign, click here.
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