CKUT brings you a story on sustainability from Beijing, China. In the midst of reports of hazardous levels of pollution and unbearable traffic in northeastern Chinese city centers, a community initiative called Bamboo Bicycles Beijing is trying to start a local conversation on sustainable urban mobility. It also seeks to empower community members by offering hands-on workshops on how to build their own means of transportation – bamboo bicycles. Speaking to Tiffany Lam is Antonia Burchard-Levine, a McGill East Asian Studies and International Development Studies graduate from December 2012, one of the team members hoping to spearhead this initiative.
On Earth Day, Off the Hour was joined live by phone by Amanda Lickers indigenous media activist who talked about the implications of celebrating ‘Earth Day’ on April 22nd, and the corporatization of a day that purports to recognize the importance of climate justice.
On April 22nd, the comment period will close at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on a non-compliance complaint against Videotron, a Québecor subsidiary. At stake is the status of Vidéotron’s community license for MaTV and 23 million dollars of public funds earmarked for community television in the greater Montreal area. Filed at the CRTC last Fall, ICTV’s intervention raised questions and evidence of Vidéotron’s violations of regulations governing community TV. Since then information disclosed by Vidéotron to the CRTC confirms concerns raised by ICTV. Laith Marouf, a member of the ICTV Steering Committee, joined Off the Hour on Friday, April 18th.
Bill C-23, the ironically named “Fair Elections Act” is a bill that will dangerously change how, and if, some Canadians can participate in our democracy. This bill suppresses voters through tactics like making voter identification harder and prohibiting Elections Canada from encouraging Canadians to vote. Diane Woloschuk (wallace-chuck) is the President of the Canadian Teacher’s Federation, representing more than 200,000 public school teachers across Canada. She spoke with Off the Hour’s Andre Goulet to discuss the threat Bill C-23 poses to democratic participation in this country, and what we can do to stop it.
On April 17th, CASA, the Comité d’action solidaire contre l’austerité, took to the streets in the first post-election anti-austerity demonstration in Montréal. CKUT’s Anna Marchese was at the event to provide interviews and audio from CASA’s fight for social and economic justice.
Deepan Budlakoti was born in Canada, but Canadian Immigration has launched deportation procedings against him. CKUT’s Carla Greene speaks with Deepan to hear about his Kafka-esque situation and what he’s doing to fight against it.
During the month of April when you are hunched over your tax returns, your stomach in knots, trying to figure out how much you owe your government, consider this: 26 of the most powerful profitable Fortune 500 companies paid zero dollars in income tax between 2008 & 2012. No one is going to jail. This fraud is perfectly legal. Listen to part of a presentation by author Alain Denault on fiscal justice and tax havens.
On Friday, April 11th, indigenous and environmental groups were outside the Marriott hotel in Montreal to protest the presence of Canada’s new Minister of Environmental Resources, Greg Rickford. Rickford was in Montreal to promote the Enbridge Line 9 reversal project to bring Tar Sands oil to Montreal.
Recent government cuts have forced the non-profit health organization, Head and Hands, to explore other donors, mainly in the private sector. Victoria Xie sat down with Juniper Belshaw, who is the fundraising director to discuss the difficulties that the government cuts present and the importance of their program to the community.
In India, federal elections got underway, and continue until May 16th. It is being called the world’s biggest elections. On March 18th, Jean Chapman gave a lecture on “Violence against women in contemporary India” at Simone de Beauvoir Institute. CKUT’s June Jang sat down with Chapman to discuss the origin of violence against Indian women in public and private sphere.
On March 11, 2014, the Labour Code was amended to assure the freedom of association for all agricultural workers, including those who worked on small farms, thereby recognizing their right to unionize. However, Canada’s current temporary foreign worker program, as well as Quebec’s Farm recruitment agency, FERME, may still be holding about 340,000 immigrant workers to different standards from their Quebecois counterparts. Tiffany Lam interviewed Jill Henley from the Immigrant Workers Center and Marie-Jeanne Vandoorne from United Food and Commercial Workers Canada for more information.
CKUT’s Tyler Lawson sits down with Justin Irwin, president of the AGSEM – the union representing teaching assistants and invigilators – and Ali, a grader at McGill, about AGSEM’s drive to unionize teaching support staff and the challenges of organizing labour in an austerity economy.
CKUT was joined on Wednesday, April 9th by members of Accessibilize Montreal. Accessibilize Montreal aims to challenge mainstream perceptions of disability through direct action. The Avalanche’s Aimee Louw filled us in on her cross-Canada trip to work on her documentary about disabilty justice, along with her collaborator Julien Gascon-Samson.
In recognition of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week April 6-12, the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN Canada) is launching a campaign aimed at informing women with disabilities and Deaf women about their right to report abuse and to have their abusers tried in court. Entitled “We Can Tell and We Will,” the campaign includes a Public Service Announcement which depicts two women with intellectual disabilities and one with a communication difference describing abuse and stating that abuse is unacceptable. The Avalanche spoke with Bonnie Brayton of DAWN Canada to fill us in on this campaign.
On March 31st a Maritimes Energy Association Briefing came to a halt due to the protests of several Mi’kmaq women.The Nova Scotian Energy Minister’s plan to discuss new oil and gas projects in the province was interrupted when Eliza Knockwood, Mi’kmaq mother and activist, took the stage to protest harmful extraction on unseceded land. Knockwood’s efforts were also supported by a large rally of environmental activists who stood in opposition of energy projects including the proposed energy east pipeline. CKUT’s Sula Greene spoke with Eliza Knockwood about her experience that morning and the urgent need to protect our land and water.
On Tuesday, April 8th, Off the Hour was joined live by Benjamin Gingras, co-spokesperson from the Association pour une solidarite syndicale etudiante, or ASSE. ASSE played an important role in organizing against the proposed tuition hikes in 2012, an issue that sparked a widespread social movement that went beyond the issue of tuition hikes and brought hundreds of thousands of protesters into the street.
Benjamin Gingras from talks about the elections. After the Liberals sweeped into a majority government on April 7th, we asked Gingras what’s changed, but most of all, what hasn’t – and what’s coming next for ASSE and grassroots action in the wake of the elections.
CKUT brings you an interview with Claire Abraham from Project Genesis. Claire speeks about another ignored issue in the provincial elections which is the waiting delays at the rental board. Fred Burrill, from the housing rights group POPIR comite logement said: „we have talked about our worries and demands with Luc Harvey, president of the rental board, but the only response we got is that the rental board is doing all they can to shorten the waitiung delays.“ Project Genesis and POPIR comite logement are requesting that all cases be heard within three months.
Over the course of Quebec’s provincial campaign, with its myopic focus on identity politics and a possible referendum on independence, many important issues have fallen through the cracks. CKUT’s Andre Goulet spoke with Alana Boileau, Justice and Public Safety Coordinator for the Quebec Native Women’s Association, about what issues she feels have been neglected in this election cycle.
On Thursday, April 3rd, thousands of people gathered for the ASSE national demonstration against austerity. The crowd marched in downtown Montreal against government austerity programs. ASSE representative Benjamin Gingras said „Austerity is dangerous and unnecessary and will be fought. Whoever is elected on April 7th, we will be there all of us, and we’ll show them that austerity will not be tolerated in Quebec.“ You’re now going to hear the highlights of this demonstration. This includes the ASSE statements to the press by Benjamin Gingras and Justin Arcand, as well as some of the opening speeches by supporing organizations, and also interviews with a couple of protesters.
CKUT’s Sula Greene spoke with Audrey Licop, Events and Communication Coordinator at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre about the Legacy of Hope’s new exhibition opening at the centre called “100 Years of Loss”. The exhibition explores the history of the residential school system in Canada and traces its legacy to the present.