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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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.
Harsha Walia : author of Undoing Border Imperialism, co-founder of No One Is Illegal Mostafa Henaway : community/labour organizer and long-time Palestine solidarity activist
Toghestiy : grassroots land defender and Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en Likhts’amisyu Clan
Freda Huson : spokesperson and land defender of the Unist’ot’en Camp in British Columbia
On the eve of July 1st, the Moving Day, CKUT Community News Collective got to renew a tradition of holding a Housing Panel on June 30th to inform our listeners about their housing rights as tenants and answer some of the pressing questions. Anouk Millet, Aaron Maiden and Sheila Ferrando along with Emma Noradounkian, who helped with topics research, sat down with Emilie Joly of FRAPRU, Alexandra Pierre of Project Genesis and Fred Burrill of POPIR to discuss the housing questions that are always asked, but the answers to which are hardly known by many.
Did you know about this right?
If it’s your move-in day and there are obvious problems with your apartment, you can “refuse to take a position at a dwelling”. Take pictures to prove it!
~ POPIR & Project Genesis
The panel consisted of roughly three categories such as basic rights, Régie du logement, rights in application and campaigns as well as activism. Kateryna Gordiychuk was live tweeting to get the word out for those who couldn’t listen, and to get radio-lovers and housing rights enthusiasts to participate.
Did you know about this right?
“Your lease renews automatically. Under no circumstances you have to leave your apartment. [… Moreover], the landlord is responsible for the temperature of your apartment”. Montreal’s winter doesn’t seem so scary now, huh?
The housing panel was not only an informative information session for everyone interested, but also a great way for CKUT News Collective to discover a potential for live-panels and in-call questions.
Did you know about this right?
“Rental contract is an agreement between a leaser and a leasee. I say, sign, and complain!”
Read our tweets posted during the live panel HERE. We thank everyone who made the panel possible and special thanks is to our knowledgable guests!
Adding to these numbers, the lead-up to the Mexican legislative elections saw dozens of political assassinations and more than 70 kidnapping and extortion cases. Despite his and his party’s alleged complicity in these human rights violations, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) re-secured a majority in Congress in the Mexican legislative elections on June 7.
Previous volunteers, York University students, programmers, and other members of the Jane and Finch community mourn the loss of CHRY which was once proudly celebrated as the “leading source of diversity” in Toronto. On April 30th 2015, all volunteers of CHRY were unexpectedly dismissed as the station unilaterally chose to rebrand as VIBE 105, a music station dedicated to a new urban alternative format. The #savechry campaign was created consequently to hold the station accountable to the community and still allow the station to be accessible by the community. In a recent interview with Brother Sankofa – a radio programmer at CHRY, and local community activist- the consequences of this change will be discussed as well as the ongoing campaign.
Beginning May 31 and till June 3 the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) is holding its closing events in Ottawa. The Committee has been working hard to raise awareness about more than 120 years of injustice and suffering that Aboriginal Peoples of Canada went through in Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government. The Schools had been created with the purpose of assimilation of the marginalized communities to Canadian population, but instead deprived Aboriginal Children of language, cultural identity and traditions.
The closing events organized by the TRC include the Walk for Reconciliation on Sunday March 31, Education Day on June 1, Induction of Honorary Witnesses followed by other educational activities and a Report by TRC on June 2, and closing presentations on June 3.
CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk had an opportunity to discuss the issue with Terry Audla, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami organization. TRC and Inuit Tapiirit worked side by side to make this diverse educational and cultural conference possible. Terry shared his hopes with CKUT as to the significance of the conference and the Walk for Reconciliation particularly.
Image Credit: CKUT’s snapshot of a video posted by Waubgeshig Rice on TRC’s twitter.