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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Party platforms on peace issues

"With the notable and limited exception of the proposed F-35 purchase, the issues of war and peace have been almost entirely absent from the current federal election campaign, even though the country is now involved in two on-going wars.

The major parties have all published election platform documents, however, and these policy statements do occasionally touch on various peace-related issues.

Here is a brief guide to the party platforms on peace-related issues."



Environmental Defence, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Equiterre and the Pembina Institute asked the five main political parties to respond to 10 questions on key environmental issues. (The Conservative Party did not respond...)

Click here for the results.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Election 2011 – Voters’ Toolkit

Re-posted from national office newsletter:

Donate for democracy – Support the Council of Canadians

We need your support to step up our election campaign and reach voters with the message that we need a Canadian government that will support democracy, the right to water, public health care, fair trade and climate justice. With your help, we will highlight to Canadians across the country our shared values, concerns and priorities for social, environmental and economic justice. Your generous contribution will let us step up our campaign and help people make informed choices about the kind of country they want to have after Election Day.

Please donate today

On May 2, 2011, Canadians will go to the polls and elect a government and a leader that will represent the values and vision of Canadians. Voting is one of the truest acts of democracy. By putting pencil to paper you will join people across Canada to vote for the candidate – and by extension – the political party you think will best lead this country.

We are once again at a political crossroads. The country has been plunged into the third federal election in five years. As the Harper government pushes for a Conservative majority – something it has been unable to achieve – this push is being met by the resistance of people across Canada who believe that what Canada really needs is a federal government that is committed to fair trade deals, strengthened public health care, access to safe, clean water for everyone, and strong environmental stewardship to protect our land, air and water from pollution and privatization.

The Council of Canadians believes that democracy – broad, deep- rooted and effective democracy exemplified by democratic government – is a fundamental pillar of our society. Through true, citizen-led democracy we can build a better Canada and a better world.

But since 2006 when the Harper Conservative government seized power with a minority government that until the recent election call, only represented 38 per cent of Canadians who voted, the most basic principles of democracy have been increasingly undermined.

The Council of Canadians is a non-partisan organization. We will not tell you which candidate to support, or what party to vote for in the upcoming federal election. We do encourage you to learn more about candidates in your riding; to ask tough questions of them when they come to your door and at public meetings; and to keep tabs on the campaign through the media and by speaking with your friends, family members and neighbours about election issues.

In this special federal election e-newsletter, you will find links to our Voter’s Toolkit, election blogs, and ideas about how to take action in your community.

Be a part of democracy. In the coming weeks find out about the candidates in your riding, go to all candidates meetings and make an informed choice about which candidate will best represent your values in the House of Commons.

Add your voice. On May 2, 2011 be a part of democracy and vote.

Here’s more about what’s new at the Council of Canadians in the lead-up to the 2011 federal election:

Watch Maude’s election v-log (video blog)

Every week, Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow will share her thoughts and comments about the week’s happenings on the campaign trail. In her first video blog she talks about how health care is being ignored by party leaders – Stephen Harper in particular – even though the majority of Canadians want it to be a central election issue. While Stephen Harper is ignoring health care, he is talking about trade deals, putting enormous emphasis on Canada signing deals that put our water, public services and environmental policies at risk. In this video, Maude shares information about how Council of Canadians members and chapters will be active this election, pushing hard for the Canada we all want.

Click on the image to hear what Maude has to say.

Council launches Voter’s Toolkit filled with resources you can use in your community

Want to help make a difference in your community by taking action during the federal election campaign period? Check out the Council’s new Voter’s Toolkit. The kit includes downloadable resources such as a 2011 Election leaflet, “Vote for the Canada you Want,” questions for candidates, tips on how to organize an all-candidates meetings, window signs and much more.

Download and print your copies today!

Take action! Blow bubbles for democracy

The Conservative Party is tightly controlling any public access to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper during the election. Harper is not holding any public events, “main-streeting” with the public, or going anywhere that ordinary Canadians would be able to speak to him or hear his views. Even reporters are being kept away, having to shout questions (Harper has limited the number of questions to five) from several feet away. Those attending Harper’s speeches must pre-register and then produce identification at the door. On the campaign trail Stephen Harper is effectively “in a bubble.”

Two teenage women were turned away from a Conservative Party event in London, Ontario simply for having gone first to hear what Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had to say and posing with him for a picture. Two apolitical veterans advocates were turned away from a Harper rally in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for unknown reasons. In Guelph, Ontario, two university students were turned away for having sung “O Canada” outside the hotel where Harper was speaking. A Sierra Youth Coalition activist was also turned away from this event for having gone to the recent climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

Harper’s “bubble” is an affront to democracy. Politicians are public figures. They are accountable to the people who cast the ballots that put their party in power.

Ironically, people have asked why (and how) Harper is doing background checks on people for his events and restricting their access because of a facebook photo or an event they attended, while failing to know that one of his party’s top advisers, Bruce Carson, had five convictions for fraud.


Council of Canadians chapters will be setting up a bubble stations along the campaign trail. You can join in too by posing for a photo “blowing a bubble for democracy.” We will post these photos on our website, and raise media awareness.

Help burst Harper’s “bubble!” Blow your own bubble for democracy today.

Go here to send in your photo or upload them to a Flickr group called “bubbles4democracy”.

Read all the latest updates in our 2011 Election blog

Want to keep up on all the latest election news? Read about what party leader’s have to say on the campaign trail, get analysis on current issues and party positions, and read about how election happenings relate to Council of Canadians’ campaigns.

Go here to read the Council’s 2011 Election blog.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

All Candidates Meetings

For details see our calendar on our website.

All Ridings Friday April 15, 2011

All Ridings Monday April 18, 2011

London-Fanshawe Monday April 18, 2011

London North-Centre Tuesday April 19, 2011

Agricultural Issues (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) Tuesday April 19, 2011

Health Care (London West) Wednesday April 20, 2011

London-West Tuesday April 26, 2011

Elgin-Middlesex-London Thursday April 28, 2011

Post-secondary Education (London West) Thursday April 28, 2011

(These are all the meetings we know about. None of them are being run by the Council of Canadians. If you find out about any other all candidates meetings, let us know, and we will be happy to add them to the list and our calendar.)