On March 29th, the association Sauvons la Falaise organised a peaceful gathering to protest against the decision of the owner of the Meadowbrook Golf course in Cote Saint Luc to cut down old silver maple trees. This event is part of the association’s general fight for the preservation of old trees in Montreal. CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed the founder of the association, Lisa Mintz, and an active member, Louise Chenevert, to get more information about the protest and the general state of tree preservation policies in Montreal.
“Imagine if you went outside in the spring and didn’t hear any birds singing […] you would feel inside that there is something missing” -Lisa Mintz
Lisa Mintz created Sauvons la Falaise to protect the falaise St-Jacques, a four-kilometer forester area between the Turcot Interchange and Montreal West. In this interview, she explains the ecological and cultural value of trees for people living in Montreal. She also denounces the state of the city’s tree policy: few trees are being planted every year, laws are not implemented consistently and trees are being cut down without the consent of local residents.
In 2012, the city of Montreal decided to launch the Plan d’action Canopée, an ambitious project to plant 300 000 news trees over 10 years. While this might be a positive step towards the preservation of green spaces in Montreal, this plan overlooks the difference between new and old trees. As Louise Chenevert explains in this interview, older trees have a greater capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, their roots prevent erosion and they contribute to reduce urban temperatures.
“Sure they can replace trees in a few years with a little sapling that’s got have a dozen leaves on it but that cannot possibly replace a tree that’s got a huge canopy and that does an incredible amount of work for the environment” – Louise Chenevert
It is the Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de l’agglomération de Montréal that sets out the conditions under which Montrealers can cut down trees. According to Jonathan Théorêt, the director of the GRAME, these conditions are quite loose. While some municipalities systematically require a permit to cut down trees, it is not the case in all legislatures. CKUT reporter Chloe discussed with him the GRAME’s proposals to solve this problem.
More, More, I want more!
- Contact Lisa (email@example.com) and Louise (514 464 9094) to get involved with Sauvons la Falaise or for any further questions. They are thrilled to answer any questions about starting your own environmental association. Check out their facebook page
- Tree Planting! Sauvons la Falaise will be planting trees on March the 2nd (9am) with NDG WMAC [meeting place: St-Jacques and Cavendish]. BYP- bring your own poetry about trees.
- Join the GRAME’s campain “Un Arbre pour Mon Quartier” and check out the group’s facebook page
- Join the Jane’s walk organised by Sauvons la Falaise. All the info is available here
On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.
CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto.
To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.
Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in, food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.
More More I want More!
Click here to download.
CKUT correspondent Claudia Edwards spoke with a queer Muslim refugee from Iran about his personal experiences with cyberbullying, and with xenophobia, Islamophobia and homophobia while living in Canada. The difficulties that come with the integration process, along with the services and kinds of support that would help to better serve the refugee community, are also explored.
Click here to download audio.
This past Friday the Collective of Non-Status Women of Montreal held a public “haunting” outside of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s constituency office, right across the street from Jarry metro. Since delivering a letter to his office last November, appealing for amnesty while describing their extreme precarity as women and workers living without permanent or legal status, the women’s collective has been waiting for a response. In January 2016 they renewed this call in a press conference.
As stated in their open letter to the new Prime Minister:
We are women and mothers who live and work in the shadows, invisible and excluded. We live in precarity because of our immigration status. Our precarious status threatens our security, our liberty as women, our rights as workers, our families. We live here; we will remain here. This is our home and our children’s home. We want to live in dignity, peace and stability; we want an end to the fear that constantly tortures us.
Open Video-Letter: “We want to live in Dignity, Security and Peace”
This piece was produced by news correspondent Claudia Edwards.
Bill 86, an Act to modify the organization and governance of school boards, is currently being debated in Quebec’s National Assembly. Migrant justice activists are raising the alarm, saying that the Bill will maintain discrimination in access to public schools, as undocumented migrant youth are still being denied the right to study for free in the province.
CKUT’s Rose Woolhouse talked to Steve Baird, a member of the Education Across Borders Collective. The Collective brings together those who believe that everyone should have access to free public schooling, regardless of immigration status. Steve Baird discusses the significant barriers to education faced by hundreds of children in Quebec and why Bill 86 needs to change.
To find out more about the work done by the Education Across Borders Collective, visit: http://collectifeducation.org/
The International Women’s Day Conference was held March 5, 2016 at Concordia University, and marked the 41st annual celebration of Women’s day and the march held on March 8th. International Women’s Day was only officially recognized by the U.N. in 1975. The conference was put together by Women of Diverse Origins, a grassroots anti-imperialist women’s network that organizes public events to educate, discuss and empower!
Presentation playlist order:
1. Jenny-Laure Sully, who fights against the deportation of Haitians.
2. Lorraine Guay, representative for theBoycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israeli Apartheid movement.
3. Lucina Gordon and Jeannie Calvin, two Inuit students from Nunavik (with throat-singing featured near the end).
4. Marie Boti, from the International Women’s Alliance.
5. Marta Lucia Gomez, member of the Committee for Men’s rights in Latin America / Comité des droits de l’homme de l’Amérique latine.
6. Mélanie Sarazin, president of la Fédération des femmes du Québec.
7. Final statement and reflection of the International Women’s Day conference.
This event was recorded by Claudia Edwards.