hello everybody,

from today's Uranium news I draw the following info, please feel free to forward:


On February 15, 2008 Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) Spokesperson Robert Lovelace was sentenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston to 6 months in maximum security, plus crippling fines, for peacefully protesting uranium mining in the Ardoch homeland. Chief Paula Sherman was fined $15,000 and given until today to pay the fine, failing which she will be jailed.

Lovelace, who turned 60 in jail, announced that he will begin a hunger strike tomorrow to press the government to respond to Ardoch’s request for good faith negotiations. “I do not want my children and grandchildren to have to go through what we are going through” he said. “Starting tomorrow I will consume only water in the hopes that our cry for justice will be heard by Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Bryant.”

Chief Paula Sherman said: “I will soon be going to jail because I cannot and will not pay this unjust fine. I am a single mother with three dependents whose only crime is the defense of our land. Like Bob Lovelace and the KI 6, I would rather go to jail than take food out of my children’s mouths or let our land be destroyed.”

Please contact Susan at for busing to this event from Ottawa Valley and Kingston.

May 27th - Ongoing events
May 28th - Appeal of the Bob Lovelace/AAFN and KI council sentences (6 months incarceration and in Bob's case, fines)

(editor's comment: unlike the charges against protesting settlers, the appeal is tried in Toronto at the Ontario Court of Appeal: Osgoode Hall, Queen & University Aves, Toronto. Check with for ride sharing out of Perth and Ottawa)

May 29th - Aboriginal Day of Action

information or propaganda or: what do you mean with "nuclear renaissance"?

welcome to Maren's press club, hope your lattes are fair traded and
hormone-free, ladies and gentlemen, but this is worth reading and
writing about it!

really quite something this issue - thought I'd forward this in
anticipation of your interest.

especially in reference to Sunday's "Dispatches" on CBC radio one
yesterday, I couldn't have asked for a better timing respectively, check
out # 7). I blogged on myspace about the disappointing one-sided nuclear
edition and can send that on request.

Robert Lovelace's letter to his daughter however, deserves ALL your

Hope you can take the time.




April 7, 2008

Queen St. United Church
Corner of Queen and Clergy Streets




Dear Mr. Erlichman,

Thank you for your invitation of March 24, 2008, to attend one or more
of the public hearings regarding the Citizens' Inquiry in to the Impacts
of the Uranium Cycle. Although I am unable to confirm my attendance at
this time, I welcome the opportunity to provide you with information on
this issue.

As you are probably aware, uranium mining has a long history in the
province of Ontario. Over the past 55 years, health, safety and
environmental controls have greatly evolved and modern mining practices
are much different from what they were in the past. Today, uranium
mining is carefully managed and heavily regulated. Modern exploration
for uranium deposits involves the use of geophysical instruments or
drilling, which have very little impact on the environment.

To be clear, there is currently no uranium mining planned in
southeastern Ontario. The Sharbot Lake area project is a mineral
exploration project, and mineral exploration projects have limited
potential for impact and risk to the environment. It may also interest
you to know that the federal government, through the Canadian Nuclear
Safety Commission, has the primary responsibility for regulating and
approving uranium mining development throughout Canada should a uranium
exploration project reach the development stage.

Once again, thank you for the invitation and please accept my best
wishes for the success of your event.

Michael Gravelle, Thunder-Bay-Superior North



April 6, 2008

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
5630 - 99 Wellesley St W, 5th Flr, Whitney Block
Toronto ON M7A 1W3

Dear Minister Gravelle,

Thank you for your letter responding to our invitation to attend the
Citizens' Inquiry into the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle, dated March 31,

Since the inquiry is already underway and will end on April 22, we
would appreciate an indication as to when you might be able to make a
commitment to attend.
We also take this opportunity to supply more information and to
encourage your interest and attendance.

CCAMU recognizes that there may be changes in current mining practices.

We recognize that as citizens and government became aware of the impact
of mines, legislation was adopted in Part VII of the Mining Act
requiring both rehabilitation and financial assurance, to hold companies
accountable and to reduce the impact on the environment.

We recognize that the legacy of abandoned mines in Ontario was created
by the assumption that there was neither need nor responsibility to
protect the environment, human health and safety. We understand that the
taxpayers of Ontario are covering the cost of millions of dollars of
rehabilitation and that funds are inadequate to address the impact on
the environmental pollution, and health and safety.

We recognize that legislation is needed to bring about responsible and
accountable mining practices and there has been some progress in mining
practices. However, our concern is about uranium exploration and mining
in our watershed, here in eastern Ontario.

Many of our coalition live in the area, and we know that there is not
currently a uranium mine near Sharbot Lake. We understand that uranium
mining is federally regulated and as such, it is not within your
jurisdiction to comment on or use extreme qualifiers for the way it is
managed or regulated, nor have we asked you to do so.

CCAMU is concerned about accidents and violations, such as in projects
in Saskatchewan and the United States. Despite being one of the largest
and most technically advanced uranium mining companies, a subsidiary of
Cameco has recently been cited for an "alarming" number of environmental
violations at its "state of the art" uranium mine in Wyoming. An
investigation report by Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
details several "long-standing" environmental concerns at the mine.
Among them are delayed restoration of groundwater, "routine" spills, and
a seriously inadequate bond to cover restoration. A copy of the
investigation report is available upon request.

Because these issues are federal jurisdiction, we realize that they are
outside your authority and responsibility.

Some of our concerns involve other provincial Ministries, such as the
Clean Water Act, which does not protect private wells.

And other issues and concerns do fall within your role as Minister of
Northern Development and Mines, including exploration for uranium, which
is the stage we are at, here in Sharbot Lake. We know that claim
staking, prospecting and exploration and development of uranium is one
of the primary purposes of the mining Act. CCAMU is concerned that
exploration and mining is considered to be the best use of land, without
first considering other land uses, such as residential, farming and
recreational land use. We are concerned that there are no considerations
given to the current use of land and the impact on people and community.
There has been no consideration for the resolutions passed by fourteen
local municipalities, counties and cities from Kingston through to
Ottawa, related to exploration for uranium.

Other concerns include: that the second purpose of the Mining Act - to
minimize the impact on the environment and human health through the
rehabilitation of mining lands - does not consider exploration as an
impact; that you express a predetermined standpoint - that there are
‘limited potential impact and risk’- prior to input from the public,
including First Nations and other stakeholders; and that you state that
exploration for uranium, such as drilling and blasting, has limited
potential impact and risk. Our research of other jurisdictions and
information does not support this statement. We question why your
ministry does not recognize, is not aware of or refuses to consider,
information and regulations followed by other jurisdictions related to
exploration for uranium.

We know, too, that the Ontario Mining Act does not regulate exploration
for uranium at the preliminary stage. It is concerning that there is no
public consultation and no regulations in place prior to exploration for
uranium and only ‘public notice’ is required at the Advanced Exploration
stage; that there is no consideration given to the cumulative impact of
explorations that have gone on north of Sharbot Lake for over thirty
years; that more than a hundred holes have already been drilled and
that blasting, surface stripping and trenching has occurred without
being monitored by MNDM; that there is no requirement to restore land
and that drill holes have not been plugged; that site visits are
informal and that no report is filed; and that there is no permit for
taking of bulk samples after a lease has been issued.

We urge you to attend at least one of the Citizens’ Inquiry forums (see
below for remaining locations), to gain a better understanding of the
concerns that are expressed being expressed. These opportunities are
not for consultation. We simply want you to hear how people in our
community, and beyond, have been impacted by the exploration for uranium
and what those impacts are.

The times for each are 1:00 to 5:00pm and 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Peterborough, April 15th
Sadlier House
751 George St. N.

Ottawa, April 22
Rideau Park United Church
2203 Alta Vista Drive.


Wolfe Erlichman
The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)



By Frank Armstrong
Canadian folk-rock icon Bruce Cockburn will perform at a June benefit
concert for jailed Algonquin activist Bob Lovelace.
Cockburn, who has a home in the area, will be the headline act at the
Artists for Bob concert June 14 at Sydenham Street United Church.
Co-organizer Ellen Hamilton, who runs Kingston's Leopard Frog music-
recording studio, said she and a handful of others in the local music
industry asked Cockburn to perform because they thought it was a cause
he might support.
"He has consistently spoken up for what's right and just and he seems
quite interested in social justice," she said. "We also know he lives in
the area."
Tickets, which will cost $30, will begin selling Monday through the
Grand Theatre, Brian's Record Option, Novel Idea and other retailers.
Also playing Artists for Bob will be three-time Juno Award-winning
Aboriginal recording artist Susan Aglukark, legendary Sharbot Lake-area
guitarist Joey Wright, and Unity and the Algonquin Drummers.
"We're also close to getting two other famous artists in Canada, but
can't release [names] yet because we're still negotiating with them,"
Hamilton said.
The organizers came together after Lovelace was imprisoned Feb. 15 for
six months for refusing to obey a judge's order to stop blocking uranium
exploration north of Sharbot Lake.
Lovelace, a father of two adopted young children and a Queen's
University lecturer, was also fined $25,000.
Like many others, Hamilton said she was watching the story about the
uranium protest from the sidelines until Lovelace was jailed for
protesting peacefully.
"This sentencing of Bob Lovelace, it was a wake-up call for some of us,"
she said.
While the organizers may have different views about some of the issues
surrounding the controversy, they all feel Lovelace needs some help to
offset the impact of his imprisonment and charges, she said.



5 April 2008

Mayor Ron Maguire
Township of North Frontenac
PO Box 97,
Plevna Ontario KOH 2M0

As the mayor of our Township, you have been elected along with fellow
representatives to govern in the interest of the public good. The
extent of public opposition to the threat of uranium mining in our area
is clearly expressed in the multiple ways in which the community has
organized and is expressing its concern.

I was very disappointed when I read your Winter 2008 letter. I find it
totally unacceptable that you are failing to mobilize the council and
the township to further the common interest of preventing prospecting,
modernizing the antiquated 1860 mining act and showing active solidarity
with the community on this issue. It is not satisfactory that you are
monitoring the situation. We are all doing that. It is expected that
you will be proactive.

While mining may be a provincial and federal responsibility, you are
responsible to support the township’s interests and can use your
political role to put appropriate demands on the other levels of

I hope to receive a reply in which the township commits itself to a more
active role on this matter. While I work in Italy and come to Canada
each summer, I will reestablish my permanent residence in Canada in
2008 and be able to more actively engage in the issues in the township,
where I have been a property owner and tax payer since 1986.

Bruce H. Moore
International Land Coalition,
Rome Italy
(An International Coalition of United Nations organizations, the
European Commission, the World Bank, and civil society / citizen



We wanted to thank you for your interest in our Women's Breakfast.
However, regrettably we must inform you that due to circumstances beyond
our control we have to cancel this event. It is our hope to hold a
similar function with Senator Lillian Dyck at a later date.

Kevin Kinsella.
(613) 736-9856



Just Voices, Ottawa’s choir of peace, social justice and the
environment, is presenting an Earth Day concert featuring Jenny
Whiteley, Juno-award winning singer/songwriter.

Date: Tuesday, April 22nd
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: First Unitarian Church, 30 Cleary Avenue.

Net proceeds from this concert will go to groups working for a
moratorium on uranium mining in Ontario.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Please check the website for details on getting advance



Taken for the NIRS website…

A Simple Statement On Nuclear Power and Climate Change

We're getting a little tired hearing nuclear industry lobbyists and
pro-nuclear politicians allege that environmentalists are now supporting
nuclear power as a means of addressing the climate crisis. We know
that's not true, and we're sure you do too. In fact, using nuclear power
would be counterproductive at reducing carbon emissions. As Amory Lovins
of Rocky Mountain Institute points out, "every dollar invested in
nuclear expansion will worsen climate change by buying less solution per

The simple statement below will be sent to the media and politicians
whenever they misstate the facts. We hope you and your organization will
join us and sign on in support here.

"We do not support construction of new nuclear reactors as a means of
addressing the climate crisis. Available renewable energy and energy
efficiency technologies are faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner
strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power."

To sign the petition go to,

Both Canadians and Americans can sign this petition.



This in from Conny Rennebarth,

I received this email from Yvonne Devine, in Moncton:

"Just an update from the Province of N.B. As you may have heard, on
March 17, 2008, the city of Moncton unanimously passed a motion to
request the Province ban uranium mining in N.B. (last year they had
requested a ban on exploration any land in the outskirts of Greater
Moncton, to no avail). MLA John Betts made a motion in the N.B.
Legislature to have a moratorium on any further exploration.

On March 30, the Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of N.B.
held a public information forum at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton.
Close to 700 people form the southeast region attended. There were
excellent presentations, everything from Uranium 101 and dangers from
uranium tailings to the Mining Act, Health Risks and implications for
water. We also showed the video “Uranium Mining: One Community’s
Struggle” that was filmed in Ottawa. People were shocked and concerned
and rightly so. The audience was given green post cards to fill out and
address to their MLA – the Chapter will deliver them. The Chapter will
continue to educate the people and urge them to stand up against this



This update comes to us via Gloria Morrison…

Nova Scotia's uranium "moratorium" is proving to be as leaky and porous
as the average tailings dam.

Capella/Tripple Uranium announced on April 1 that results from its
diamond drilling program west of Windsor Forks (part of its large "Titus
Project"have resulted in finds of over 100ppm of uranium. They have now
reported these results as required by Section 74 of the Nova Scotia
Mineral Resources Regulations.

Finding uranium of this order of concentration in this area could have
been easily predicted. The CAPE group warned Natural Resources Minister
David Morse of this probability in a letter sent in January 2008 and
advised that:
" . . .any real enforcement of the intent of the moratorium must require
the permit holder [Capella/Tripple] . . . to cease all ground
disturbance operations . . ."

After a delay of many weeks Capella reported their assay results with
uranium concentrations well over the 100ppm stipulated in the
Capella/Tripple have NOT been ordered to cease drilling. Instead the
Registrar at the Department of Mineral Resources has struck a 3 person
committee which will engage in "discussions" with Capella.

A careful reading of Capella's news release on the subject:
suggests that Capella will press DNR to allow them to continue drilling
on the pretext that the real purpose of the enterprise was assessing
lead, zinc and copper present in the same ore body.
Even if true, (highly improbable given the company's prior studies which
focus exclusively on uranium) it would be beside the point. Drilling
into a uranium-bearing ore body, whatever the motive, carries the same
environmental risks.

The DNR Monitoring Committee that was hastily pulled together on news of
this "find" is almost certainly NOT going to prohibit further drilling
in the Titus Project UNLESS they are so instructed by their political
masters--i.e. The Minister and the Premier, who are also unlikely to act
unless they hear a significant rumbling from the electorate: and
Fax: 258-2216
Phone: 258-3231

Natural Resources Minister: Honourable David Morse
Fax: 681-1257 Phone: 681-2015

Environment Minister: Honourable Mark Parent (PC)
Fax: 678-2730 Phone: 678-4236

On other uranium-related news, CBC TV will air the Land and Sea
programme "Uranium Ban" on Sunday April 13 at 12:30 p.m.
There is also a good commentary by Harvey Wasserman on the "Big Lie" of
nuclear power as "clean and green" at:




'I think I did the right thing'

Ardoch Algonquin community leader Bob Lovelace is serving a six month
jail sentence for refusing to stop opposing uranium prospecting efforts
near Sharbot Lake by the Oakville-based company Frontenac Ventures.
Recently, Lovelace wrote a letter to his 12-year-old adoptive daughter,
Skye, explaining why he is in jail. We reprint that letter here.

Dearest Skye:

I received your letter the other day and it made me so happy. Your
letter sounded as though you are doing well. I know that Jessica loves
you and River very much and will take good care of you. You also have
Jack and Mirielle and Lyann and Mitch and Alyson. I worry about you a
lot, but I know Grandma and everyone else will be there for you.

Your report card made me happy, too. You are doing very well. You
improved in a number of subjects and did well in new ones. Of course, if
you do more homework and get it done right after school, you would even
do better. I am really pleased that you take school seriously and put
your best effort into your work. Attitude and effort always pay off.

Your poem made me sad. That is because I miss you so much. When I read
the poem, I realized how much you miss me and I felt sorry that I have
to be away. The poem also made me happy because it reminded me how much
I love you and you love me. You are a beautiful, loving daughter and a
father couldn't ask for anything better.

I hope that you understand why I have had to go to prison. I hope that
Jessica and Mirielle have taken time to explain why I made the decisions
to challenge the court and ask for a higher standard of justice. As
Indian people, we have lost so much of our land and our culture that we
simply can't let any more be wasted by greedy people. The mining company
wanted to dig up and destroy a very beautiful and abundant part of our
land. They would also dump the poisoned water into Crotch Lake, which is
the source of clean, fresh water for many people downriver, all the way
to Ottawa.

This past summer, the Ardoch council told the mining company they
couldn't take our land and they had to leave. We put up guards to
protect the land and started teaching people about the hazards of
uranium mining and about our rights as Indian people.

The mining company didn't like this. They said Ontario, the government,
had given them permission to drill holes in the land. We said that
Ontario couldn't do that because the Canadian Constitution and the
highest court in the land has said that Ontario has to talk with Indian
people first before mining companies can do their work. We asked
important people from Ontario to take responsibility, but they just
ignored us. The mining company went to the court house in Kingston and
said we owed them $77 million because we would not let them on our lands
to drill holes. We told the judge that it was Indian land and about the
Constitution and about a promise made by King George III a long time ago
in 1763. The judge just waved his hand and said, "That's not important.
I don't want to know about the past, I want to know about now."

This sounds like a long story, doesn't it? The important part is this:
the mining company got the judge to tell us to get off our land and let
the mining company drill holes. Algonquin law says that we have a duty
to protect the land and the people. This is our homeland and we have no
other place in the world to call home.

The elders who keep our law said that exploring for uranium is
unacceptable. They had seen what had happened to other Indian lands and
people. So we said to the judge "no." I said we wouldn't get out of the
way and we wouldn't let the mining company drill holes in Mother Earth,

The mining company got really mad and told the judge that I should be
put in prison while they did they work drilling holes. The judge was
mad, too, because I had disobeyed his order and he believes that his law
is more important than Algonquin law. All this time, Ontario stayed
quiet about their responsibility, hoping that no one would notice.

I don't like being in prison. It is not nice here and I miss you and
River, Michael and Victoria very much. But I think I did the right
thing. You children need clean, beautiful land on which to live your
lives. The land gives us everything we need and our Indian culture comes
from the land. Harold, your adopted grandfather, and I promised each
other many years ago that we would fight for the land and people; that
we would make sure that the children, you and your children, would have
what Kijimanide, the Creator, gave our ancestors.

So I hope this helps you understand why I am in prison. I pray every day
that I will be home soon, and I know that many other people are praying
as well for my release. We will be together again soon, so don't give up

I love you.

Love Bobby

(your Dad)



The mother’s watching

Get off our land, you are not a band

We are of one kind; you have no mind

You jest with the mother, now men will you quiver

The women will march with stealth of the dark

Your homes will be vacant, your children away

Now I ask you to whom will you pray

Do you think god would ever hold sway?

Could the women hold justice, the mother holds them

For their allegiance, to the women, runs blood like

The band has the land, careful, my white man.

Gwyn McCoy



This sent in by Dr. Edwards…

Attention News Editors:

Comments are invited on Environmental Impact Statement
Guidelines and Joint Panel Agreement

OTTAWA, April 4th

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) and the
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (the CNSC) today released for public
comment two documents - the draft Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) guidelines and the draft Joint Review Panel (JRP)
agreement - related to the Ontario Power Generation proposed Deep
Geologic Repository Project to store low and intermediate-level
radioactive waste in the municipality of Kincardine, Ontario.

The draft EIS guidelines identify the information needed to examine
the potential environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as
its requirements for a licence to prepare a site and for construction.
After considering public comments, the EIS guidelines will be finalized
and provided to Ontario Power Generation.

The JRP agreement deals with the establishment of a panel to
perform an assessment of the project's environmental impact and of the
application for a licence to prepare a site and for subsequent
construction - the first of several licences required by the Nuclear
Safety and Control Act and its regulations. It includes procedures for
appointing the JRP members, the proposed terms of reference (i.e.
responsibilities), and process for conducting the review. After taking
comments into consideration, the draft agreement will be finalized and
the panel will be appointed to review the project.

The two documents are available at (Canadian
Environmental Assessment Registry number 06-05-17520), at or from the contact mentioned below.)

Written comments, in either English or French, on the draft
documents must be received no later than June 18, 2008, and be sent to:

Deep Geologic Repository Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, Place Bell Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-954-0941

To register as an interested party and to be kept informed of
activities relating to the panel-review process, provide a full mailing
address, an e-mail address or a fax number, to the above contact.

A public information session will be held in the area near the
project by the Agency and the CNSC in order to give the public the
opportunity to learn more about the draft EIS guidelines and JRP
agreement for this project. The date and location of this public
information session will be posted at and in the near future.

About the Project:

The project is a proposal by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to
prepare a site, and construct and operate a deep-geologic disposal
facility on the Bruce Nuclear Site, within the municipality of
Kincardine. The Deep Geologic Repository would be designed to manage low
and intermediate-level radioactive wastes, produced from the continued
operation of OPG-owned nuclear generating stations at Bruce, Pickering
and Darlington, Ontario. Low-level waste consists of industrial items
that have become contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, during
routine clean-up and maintenance activities at nuclear generating
stations. Intermediate-level radioactive waste consists primarily of
used nuclear reactor components - such as the ion-exchange resins and
filters used to purify reactor water systems.

As a pre-requisite to licensing a new deep-geological repository,
an environmental assessment (EA) under the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Act must be conducted before any licensing decision can be
made. On June 29, 2007, the Honourable John Baird, federal Minister of
the Environment and Minister responsible for the Agency, announced the
referral of the project to a review panel.

About CEAA:

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the
federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the
environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those
effects, in support of sustainable development.

About CNSC:

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear
energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the
environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the
peaceful use of nuclear energy.



April 1, 2008

Contact: Beyond Nuclear
Linda Gunter, 301.270.2209 (o), 301.455.5655 (cl)

French Nuclear Lemon Must not be Exported to US says Advocacy Group

TACOMA PARK, MD - April 1 - The experimental French nuclear reactor –
seven of which are potentially scheduled to be built in the U.S. – has
already established a record of construction and safety flaws that could
jeopardize public safety, new documents have revealed.

A letter from the French nuclear safety watchdog agency and leaked to
Greenpeace France has revealed numerous technical errors and
inconsistencies at the site of the first European Pressurized Reactor
(EPR) to be built in France. The EPR – known as the “Evolutionary
Pressurized Reactor” in the U.S. – is an untested, experimental design
under construction at Flamanville, France and at Olkiluoto, Finland.

The Finnish reactor has already earned notoriety for technical failures,
long delays and enormous cost-overruns.

The EPR is a product of Areva, the French nuclear giant that is more
than 90 percent government-owned.

“It’s clear that the EPR is turning out to be a nuclear lemon,” said
Linda Gunter of Beyond Nuclear. “These latest revelations confirm that
the rush to expand nuclear energy is a risky enterprise beset by safety
shortcuts and motivated by haste and profit.”

Beyond Nuclear recently released a scathing critique of the French
nuclear industry, particularly the monumental radioactive waste problem
created by its large nuclear energy infrastructure and polluting
reprocessing programs.

“It’s time to call a halt to nuclear expansion plans in the U.S. and
stem what could be a limitless tide of American taxpayer dollars flowing
to the French government,” Gunter concluded.

Ironically, the latest EPR scandal was revealed just as French premier,
Nicolas Sarkozy, was touting French nuclear technology to his British
counterpart, U.K. prime minister, Gordon Brown. Together, the two
leaders have made a pact - the "entente formidable" - to market nuclear
energy around the world.

The problems in France mirror those that have occurred at the only other
EPR construction site - at Olkiluoto in Finland - where delays, cost
over-runs and similar technical mistakes with the concrete pour have set
the project back at least two years. The Finnish cost over-run is
currently estimated at $1.5 billion. Who ultimately pays the bill will
likely be contested in court, but French taxpayers are expected to bear
the brunt of the costs. In addition, Finnish electricity users will lose
billions of Euros because of the delay.

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the
connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to
abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an
energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. Beyond Nuclear
staff can be reached at: 301.270.2209. Or view our Web site at:



April 3, 2008

By Cathy Wills

According to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
(December 2006), “ Canada has not fulfilled its lawful obligations to
First Nations regarding the just settlement of outstanding land

When it comes to assessing Land Claims, the Canadian government, through
its judiciary, is both the defendant and the judge. This is an
unconscionable conflict of interest and an embarrassment to all

The government of Canada has implemented blockade after blockade to the
settlement of First Nations' claims for sovereignty, self-government and
jurisdiction over their lands and resources. But if First Nations
respond with their own blockade, they are met with hefty fines, jail
sentences, and the threat of military intervention. Judge Cunningham
even authorized the Canadian military to intervene should the Algonquin
or their non-native supporters attempt to interfere with corporate
uranium mining interests.

In the case of Oka (1990), 4,500 soldiers were deployed to remove 24
Mohawk protesters from disputed land. That’s more soldiers than have
been deployed to Afghanistan to date.

Forces such as the OPP, the RCMP, and the military believe they are
upholding “the rule of law”. That's a valid perspective. But from
another valid perspective, Canadian law is in contravention of First
Nations' and international laws and norms.

Who decides whose law will be recognized... and just who is blockading

First Nations implement blockades on lands that are in the claims
process in order to stop development until the claim is settled.
Allowing exploration and mining of uranium, or any development, on lands
that are in dispute is against the laws of the First Nations, the laws
of Canada , and against international conventions established by the
United Nations.

The Provincial and Federal governments fail to recognize or consider the
implications when they sell these disputed lands as fee simple property
or issue mining licences to developers who go ahead in good faith with
their development projects. The government creates this untenable

For hundreds of years First Nations have used non-violent methods to
negotiate and supplicate to the Canadian government on their own behalf.
The Canadian government persists in interacting with them as if they
were its subjects when they are in fact members of nations. The 1982
Constitution Act recognized First Nations as just that: Nations. First
Nations have treaties with the Crown, and where there are no treaties,
nation-to-nation relations need to be established.

There is some good news. Studies by the recent Senate Committee confirm
that when a land claim is settled, “in every case it has meant an
immediate improvement in the lives of First Nations people. It has also
strengthened relations between Canada and those First Nations, and
between those First Nations and the communities that surround them”.

First Nations and Canadian governments spend millions upon millions each
year battling each other in a system that does not work. Why? Because
the Government of Canada doesn’t feel pressure from Canadians to reform
and resolve claims. Why? I think that it's mainly because the majority
of people just don't know, or haven't had the opportunity to give it a
lot of thought. The reality of relations between Canada and Aboriginal
Peoples certainly is not taught in our schools. Maybe people in Canada
fear that settling a claim means giving up their own land or property.
This is an unfounded fear and is not the intention of First Nations.

All Canadians need to become interested in the perspectives and rights
of First Nations. All Canadians need to contact their political
representatives and express their support for the First Nations in their
assertion that development be stopped until their claims are processed –
justly and without delay.



April 3, 2008

CBC News

One of the companies competing to build new nuclear reactors in Ontario
has run into trouble with regulators in France.

The French nuclear safety watchdog says there are a number of serious
infractions in the Areva construction of a reactor in northern France -
the same type of reactor it wants to sell to Ontario.

Areva is one of four companies competing to build Ontario's next power
reactors, but in March the French Nuclear Energy Agency cited the
company for shortcomings in the reactor's construction.

The agency says there was inadequate preparatory work before pouring
concrete; the concrete base was smaller than promised; and reinforcing
rods weren't up to standard.

To read the rest of this article go to,

http://www.cbc. ca/canada/ toronto/story/ 2008/04/03/ ont-nuclear. Html



For decades, “uranium” was a dirty word in Nunavut. Then Rob Carpenter
offered a deal

David Dias, Financial Post Business

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Seated within his suite at the luxurious Fairmont Royal York in Toronto,
Rob Carpenter, CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp., is struggling to describe the
significance of the Arctic mineral deposit his junior mining company has
just secured. No matter how hard he tries, he can't do justice to it
with mere words. Finally, he hits on another tack: He has a map.
Carpenter reaches into his briefcase, pulls out a folded-up page and
lays a view of central Nunavut onto the coffee table. Little green
triangles - each representing a mineral discovery - litter the
geography, attesting to Nunavut's vast potential in minerals such as
gold and diamonds. Carpenter, however, draws attention to a cluster of
odd-angled shapes representing 250,000 acres of land on which Kaminak
has staked its claims. In particular, he points out a tiny quadrangle in
the centre of the map. "This little box here," he says.

The little box, in reality, is the 18,000-acre Angilak property,
Kaminak's prized possession. What makes it unique is that, among all the
firm's properties, it is the only one where the land and mineral rights
are owned by the Inuit under the Nunavut land claim. Moreover, it's the
focus of a ground-breaking deal that makes Vancouver-based Kaminak the
first company ever to win rights to drill on Inuit-owned land for a
mineral that remains taboo among aboriginal people: uranium.

For Carpenter, the company's January deal with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
(NTI) - the Inuit land claims agency - is a shining example of
co-operation between private industry and aboriginal government. It also
represents a staggering opportunity for Kaminak. Angilak, after all, is
home to Lac Cinquante, a historical uranium discovery that, in the early
1980s, was estimated to contain 11.6 million pounds of high-grade
uranium oxide. At today's prices, that makes it worth $870 million, over
40 times Kaminak's market value.
Despite its exquisite potential, Lac Cinquante has never moved past the
discovery stage, due to years of industry setbacks. In 1979, a
near-disaster at Three Mile Island marked the start of a decades-long
slump in uranium prices. Nearly 20 years later, the Bre-X scandal
prompted regulators to institute strict guidelines for reporting mining
data, which rendered the aging estimates at Lac Cinquante unreliable for
investment purposes. And even if the data had been credible or prices
strong, uranium exploration on Inuit-owned land had been forbidden since
the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed in 1993. But none of that
is relevant today. Uranium prices are in the neighbourhood of US$75 per
pound. Inuit leaders, in deep need of attracting investment to the
region, have lifted their ban on uranium exploration on Inuit lands. And
Kaminak has permission to try its luck at Lac Cinquante, a prospect that
was unthinkable only a few years ago.

Uranium mining bears a shameful legacy in the North. The first mining
for the Manhattan Project of the 1940s was conducted in the Northwest
Territories, at Great Bear Lake. The radioactive mess left over has been
cited for increased cancer rates and for years has fostered deep-rooted
distrust in the uranium industry across the Arctic.

In recent years, however, concerns over global warming and energy supply
have helped to rehabilitate uranium's tarnished image, lifting prices
five-fold over the past four years and turning around public opinion,
even in Nunavut.

It was around a year ago, in February 2007, that Carpenter got an
inkling that the uranium exploration ban on Inuit-owned land might be
lifted. Prior to co-founding Kaminak in 2005, he'd worked on Baffin
Island as the district geologist for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
where he had developed a good rapport with territorial Inuit groups and
an intimate understanding of the politics of the North. Armed with these
insights, he could sense that change was in the air.

Recognizing the potential for uranium development on Angilak - and
particularly at Lac Cinquante - Carpenter launched Kaminak on an
acquisition spree of mineral rights over 200,000 acres of federal lands
surrounding the Inuit territory, as well as the non-uranium rights on
Angilak itself. Then, in September 2007, as Carpenter suspected, NTI
lifted its ban on uranium exploration. By then, of course, the agency
was well aware of Kaminak's interest in the Angilak property, given the
company's massive prospecting operation. But Carpenter still had to win
NTI's support before Kaminak would be allowed to conduct uranium
exploration at Angilak. Meetings were held in November in Yellowknife,
to which Carpenter brought Kaminak's offer to the table. "We went to NTI
and said we wanted these lands. We stressed our relationships and our
history up there."

Then Carpenter dangled an enticing prospect in front of NTI officials.
Instead of just offering them an interest in the development of uranium
properties on their own land, he offered NTI a stake in a new company
that would comprise uranium deposits on both Angilak and on all the
federal lands Kaminak held around the property. The NTI officials liked
what they were hearing, and on Jan. 31 Kaminak announced that it had
signed a memorandum of understanding with NTI, allowing work at Lac
Cinquante to proceed. Kaminak's shares shot up 50% on the news.
This summer, pending shareholder and court approval, Kaminak plans to
consolidate all of its uranium rights in Nunavut and spin them out into
a new company, Kivalliq Energy Corp. Headed by Kaminak chairman John
Robins - a veteran in Arctic mineral exploration - the new firm will
essentially be a partnership between Kaminak shareholders and NTI, which
will receive a 5% stake. If mining is determined to be feasible on any
of the company's claims, NTI will receive a payout of $1 million, as
well as the option of either a 25% participating interest in the
project, or a 7.5% royalty on profits. "Not only is our deal
precedent-setting in that it's the first uranium partnership deal," says
Robins. "What we did is, we offered something that nobody had ever
offered NTI - exposure to federal lands."

For now, however, the most likely prospect for a uranium mine remains
Lac Cinquante. Kivalliq's first task will be determining whether the
historical estimates at the property are accurate. Carpenter makes no
bones about the risk involved in a play like this. "You've got to be a
big boy with a pretty stiff upper lip to invest in junior exploration
and mining," he says. "I mean, I don't know if those numbers are real or
not, but what we are going to do is re-drill everything ourselves and
find out."

Paul van Eeden, co-editor of the Investment Speculator newsletter,
agrees that winning exploration rights at Lac Cinquante was a coup for
Kaminak. "Having historical drill data is an enormous head start." But
van Eeden also cautions that the site's remoteness will make development
an expensive proposition. At minimum,
Kaminak will need all of the 11.6 million pounds estimated in the
historical data to be viable. "If they come below that, the economics
will be questionable."

And even if the data holds up at Lac Cinquante, Carpenter says a mine is
no slam dunk. NTI continues to consult its membership and reserves the
right to block mine development. "For mining companies up North, the No.
1 external risk is First Nations support," says Carpenter. That being
said, he believes that, by bringing NTI in as a partner, Kaminak has
mitigated the risk. And whether Lac Cinquante proves viable or not,
Carpenter is confident about the mining potential in Nunavut. "We're not
staking moose pasture. There are green triangles on that map."



The Peterborough Examiner

March 28, 2008

Benefit raises money for family of man convicted in uranium mine

Examiner Staff Reporter

Fleming College students joined together yesterday to show support for a
staff member behind bars and raise awareness for his cause.

Bob Lovelace, aboriginal student counsellor at Fleming College, is
serving a six-month sentence for contempt of court for protesting
Frontenac Ventures plans to mine uranium near Sharbot Lake on
traditional Ardoch Algonquin First Nations land.

A Day of Action for Bob Lovelace was held at the Sutherland Campus on
Brealey Drive yesterday with events from noon until 9 p.m. that included
a bake sale, silent auction, petition signing and a barbecue and concert
in the evening.

Rachel Paris from the Circle of First Nations Students said the group
wanted to show support for Lovelace and help raise some money for his

"Bob wants it to still be focused on the cause," Paris said, "which is
to stop uranium mining."

Along with the baked treats in the campus foyer were informational
articles about uranium mining.

"We wanted to get the information out there about the damage of uranium
mining," Paris said.

The event was co-organized with the college's aboriginal student
services, which had been working on an information evening prior to
Lovelace's arrest and decided to merge the two causes, said Brent
Stonefish, aboriginal student success assistant at the college.

"We're trying to help out as much as possible," Stonefish said.

The evening events at the Steele Centre was called A Night of Action
Thru Music and featured a variety of performers.

Paula Sherman, a Trent University professor who was arrested along with
Lovelace but paid a $15,000 fine to avoid jail time because she is a
single mother of three children, also addressed the audience about the
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and the issue of uranium mining.

"It's not just an aboriginal issue," Stonefish said. "It's not just for
us now but for future generations."

Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is a non-status group in the Madawaska
River watershed area not formally recognized by the federal and
provincial governments.

John Paul Hercus



Apr 05, 2008

By Cameron Smith

The McGuinty government has repeatedly slammed the door on First Nations
people trying to establish their rights to negotiate development in
their territories. This has created a confrontational situation that now
threatens to throw mining and logging in the province into limbo.

It didn't have to be this way, says Doreen Davies, chief of the Shabot
Obaadjiwan First Nation in Eastern Ontario. The Shabot and the
neighbouring Ardoch First Nations have always been ready to negotiate,
she says, and with the province refusing to sit down with them, the only
option left lies in legal action.

An appeal is underway against the jailing of Robert Lovelace, a Queen's
University lecturer and an Ardoch nation member sentenced to six months
in jail and fined $25,000 for refusing to halt attempts to block
drilling for uranium on lands claimed by the two Indian nations.

The appeal lawyer, Michael Swindon, says he will argue that the Ontario
Appeal Court should follow a B.C. Supreme Court decision delivered last
summer that, if followed, would make Ontario's Forestry and Mining Acts
inoperable everywhere an Indian land claim exists.

The B.C. decision, if adopted, says it is no longer necessary for
aboriginal people to prove title to land in order to get control of
their territories.

When the Constitution was patriated in 1982, a section was added
declaring that all aboriginal rights – not just title – were to be
recognized and honoured.

This means, the B.C. court said, that hunting and fishing rights are
enough to give First Nations control over their territories. They don't
have to prove title.

And if they establish such rights, provincial legislation no longer
applies in their territories; only the federal government has
jurisdiction to deal with any issues raised within their lands. In
effect, provincial legislation goes out the window anywhere there is a
land claim.

Swindon says he will argue in the Lovelace appeal that the Ontario
Supreme Court had no constitutional jurisdiction to sentence Lovelace,
because it didn't take the B.C. decision into consideration.

The appeal will also bear on the sentencing three weeks ago of six
natives from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninugug (KI) First Nation, also
jailed for six months, for blocking drilling by Platinex Inc., about 600
kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

The jailings follow on obligations and commitments that Queen's Park
failed to honour. During the 2003 election, Premier Dalton McGuinty
promised there would be no industrial development in the northern boreal
until a comprehensive land-use plan was in place. There still is no such
plan . The province is allowing development to push into the northern
boreal without acknowledging that Indians have full rights to negotiate
how development occurs within their territories. Meanwhile, it is
turning a blind eye as Indians are jailed for protesting.

In Eastern Ontario, the Ardoch and Shabot First Nations are protesting
because the province failed to follow a Supreme Court of Canada decision
requiring Ontario to negotiate with First Nations before exploration
proceeded on their territories.

Again, the province is turning a blind eye to the jailing of Lovelace,
who blocked attempts by Frontenac Ventures Corp. to proceed with
drilling in the absence of such negotiations.

In the B.C. case, Justice D. H. Vickers said allowing logging would be
an expropriation of Tsilhqot'in rights, and the province had no
constitutional authority to do this. Accordingly, he said, the
provisions of the B.C. Forest Act did not apply to Tsilhqot'in
territory. Vickers noted his decision could have serious implications
for B.C.'s forestry industry, because so many areas are subject to
Indian land claims.

Nevertheless, he quoted with approval an academic report that said:

"In reality, it appears that the province has been violating aboriginal
title in an unconstitutional and therefore illegal fashion ever since it
joined Canada in 1871. What is truly disturbing is not that the province
can no longer do so, but that it has been able to get away with it for
so many years."

So, Ontario has two choices. It can continue to play hardball, or it can
call a halt to exploration in both territories while it seeks to
reconcile differences. The danger it faces is that if it doesn't opt for
reconciliation, it may lose everything in court.

Cameron Smith can be reached at

Things to do when in opposition to Uranium mining

Hello my friends,

as North Grenville will be directly affected by potential spills of exploratory drillings in Robertsville west of Perth I urge communities to organize info-sessions on the dangers of Uranium-mining so close to home and councils to pass a motion for Uranium-mining moratorium in the province of Ontario.

Speakers like John Kittle (claims go through his property) who is prepared to challenge the Province of Ontario on the constitutionality of the Mining Act in case the political road does not lead to a Moratorium on Uranium-Mining, was happy to assure participation in a potential info session.

This is not an indigenous problem, this is the multi-billion-dollar Nuclear Industry endangering aquifers and risking a radioactive Rideau where tourists won’t travel anymore and communities will glow for hundreds of thousands of years. Did you know that radioactive Radon, an invisible emission when drilling for Uranium is recognized NOW as the second most important reason for people dying of lung cancer in Ontario, right after smoking?

This is not some hippies playing stubborn, this has grown to a citizen movement with over 50 environmental and medical associations (David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Public Health Ottawa, The Sierra Club of Canada to name just few) backing the request for a moratorium, not to speak of millions of people who are represented through 13 councils so far who passed similar motions.

I invite you to participate, cooperate, network, set info sessions up
and forward this blog entry.

for a sustainable not a radiating future
M. Molthan

Here are some interesting events. All of these listings are part of CCAMU’s Uranium News. If you’d like to subscribe, please send the editor your email address to

Location: Perth’s The Myriad Theatre Old Perth Shoe Factory Theatre
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2008
Time: 1pm
There will be a film screening of the National Film Board’s “Uranium”, followed by birthday cake and time for discussion. Fund raiser for the First Nations’ legal funds and CCAMU.

2) BOB LOVELACE LOCATED: where to send letters
4) DONATIONS where to send
6) EVENT: Queen’s Kingston – date change – FREE PROFESSOR LOVELACE
7) EVENT: Peterborough – Mar 7th – WEIGHING THE RISKS OF NUCLEAR
8) EVENT: Ottawa – SONG CIRCLE AND ART SALE, National Arts Centre
9) EVENT: Eastern Ontario – CITIZENS’ INQUIRY info. – Register and submit now!
10) FRENCH TRANSLATER NEEDED for Citzens’ Inquiry written outreach.
11) CAMPUS NEWS: Jailing of professor concerns Queen’s community
12) OTTAWA CITIZEN: Retired chief stoic behind bars, Geoff Nixon
13) LETTER IN SUPPORT OF BOB from Lorraine Rekmans – -read out at rally
14) LINK TO LETTER from S. Reid & R Hillier – read out at Napanee rally
17) CAIA STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY with Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
18) UBCIC PRESS RELEASE: Union of BC Indian Chiefs Support Ardoch Algonquins’ Human Rights
19) LETTER TO EDITOR: H. Clifford, Lanark Highlands
20) LETTER TO EDITOR: Martin Honig & Cathy Wills, Lansdowne ON
21) LETTER TO EDITOR: Sulyn Cedar, Tay Valley Township ON
25) CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVES: Aboriginal unrest and responsibility


It was suggested at the rally in Napanee on Saturday, that there is an action we can do each and every day that will create pressure on the Premier to act.

We can, each of us, telephone daily and ask one or more of the following,
“Have you freed Bob Lovelace yet?”
“Have you revoked Ontario’s Mining Act yet?”
“Have you announced a moratorium on mining uranium in eastern Ontario yet?”
“Have negotiations started yet?”

No? I’ll call back tomorrow to ask you again….”

Phone: 613-736-9573 to reach Premier McGuinty’s voice mail at his Ottawa constituency office.

Phone 416- 325-1941 to reach him at Queen’s Park
or email your questions to: <>

2) BOB HAS BEEN LOCATED: Please mail your letters of support to:

Central East Correctional Centre
541 Hwy 36
Lindsay, Ontario K9V 4S6
Telephone (705) 328-6000


Please visit to find out more about the role of the Shabot Obaajiwan First Nation in the struggle to stop the proposed 30,000 acre uranium mine just north of Sharbot Lake:


FOR Shabot Obaajiwan’s legal and political costs please send an email to for information.

TO the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN)
Chris Reid “in Trust for Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN)” and sent to:
Christopher M. Reid
Barrister & Solicitor
154 Monarch Park Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 4R6


TO The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) either for the public awareness campaign or specifically for the Citizens’ Inquiry into the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle – please indicate your preference.

Uranium Mining Moratorium Fund
83 Cockburn St.,
Perth, ON
K7H 2B7

5) ONLINE PETITION (if the link does not work please just copy and paste it into your browser). Please sign this petition and forward the link widely to all of your contacts in Ontario (unfortunately, signatures from non-residents of Ontario will not count).

6) EVENT at Queen’s: FREE PROFESSOR LOVELACE/Issue of Proposed Uranium Mine Public Forum

Note date change for this event to: Friday, March 7, 2008, 12:30pm – 2:00pm,
To become further informed, show your support and to take further action
Ellis Auditorium, University St., Kingston

PETERBOROUGH: An Evening with Dr. Michael D. Mehta, Fri, Mar 7, 7:00 pm


Peterborough Public Library, 345 Aylmer Street North
Admission: Free (donations accepted)
Brought to you by SAGE. For more information, email:
Or visit

8) EVENT REMINDER: OTTAWA: SONG CIRCLE AND ART SALE, featuring: Jenny Whiteley, Jennifer Noxon, and Christine Graves – 5 Women and Some Art, plus special guest

Sat. March 8th, $25.00, National Arts Centre, 4th Stage – Tickets available in advance at NAC Box Office, and Compact Music 613 233 8922

International Women’s Day Benefit – Proceeds to aid the anti-uranium fight in Eastern Ontario

9) EVENT REMINDER: EASTERN ONTARIO: Citizens’ inquiry into the Impacts of the Uranium CyclE

This is your invitation/request to participate (present, submit, endorse and/or help financially) with the Citizen’s Inquiry. Please see

Public Hearings take place in Sharbot Lake beginning April 1st;
Kingston beginning April 8th;
Peterborough, beginning April 15th; and in
Ottawa (dates and venues to be announced).
Pre-registration is required and must be received two weeks before the event is scheduled (ie. March 15th for Sharbot Lake; April 8th for Ottawa). Written/electronic submissions are being accepted until May 1st at

10) FRENCH TRANSLATER NEEDED for the Citizen’s Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle. Initially we need translation on the written material that is being sent to possible funders, panelists/chairs and individuals. Can you help? The material is ready and could be emailed for translation. More info on the Inquiry at:

11) CAMPUS NEWS: Jailing of professor concerns Queen’s community,
Friday February 22, 2008

On Feb. 15, Bob Lovelace, an adjunct professor who teaches in Queen’s Global Development Studies, was sentenced by Kingston Superior Court to six months in jail and fined $25,000. He was found to have defied an interim injunction issued in connection with his activities, and those of other members of the Shabot Obaadjiwan Nation, in protest of uranium prospecting on lands claimed by Frontenac Ventures Corp. north of Sharbot Lake.

This is a development of great concern to many in the Queen’s community,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental principle cherished and protected by the University. It is my hope that in the weeks to come the academic resources of the university can be brought to bear in an informed discussion of the many ecological and social issues raised by these circumstances. “I fully appreciate the desire of individuals to speak out and to engage in activities expressive of their views. That persons are at all times free to do so remains a fundamental principle cherished and protected by the University.”

Dr. Hitchcock noted, as well, the high regard in which Mr. Lovelace is held by his colleagues and students at the university. “I have heard nothing but high praise for Mr. Lovelace individual whose commitment and professionalism as a teacher is widely acknowledged.”

12) OTTAWA CITIZEN: Retired chief stoic behind bars, Geoff Nixon
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2008

Retired chief stoic behind bars

After serving more than a week of a 6-month sentence, Robert Lovelace stands firm in his opposition to a proposed uranium mine in Sharbot Lake, Geoff Nixon writes.
NAPANEE – Robert Lovelace holds a dignified presence even when he is dressed in an orange, correctional service centre jumpsuit. He stands up straight, offers a smile and a nod from behind the glass of the visitor’s booth, and politely waits for a Citizen reporter to introduce himself before he begins to speak.

The retired Ardoch Algonquin First Nation chief has been in the custody of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services since Feb. 15.

Mr. Lovelace, 59, was found guilty of being in contempt of court and sentenced to six months in jail, because he defied a court order by staging protests at a potential uranium mining site near Clarendon Station during the fall and late summer of last year. “I’m not in jail for a crime,” he said in an interview from Napanee’s Quinte Detention Centre on Thursday.

An Oakville-based company, Frontenac Ventures Corporation, is exploring the 5,000-hectare site to see if mining for uranium will be possible. But the company has faced opposition from the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations, as well as from area residents, every step of the way. Last summer, protesters from both aboriginal groups formed a “tent city” and blockade at the entrance to the site, preventing Frontenac Ventures from accessing the property. They were eventually ordered by Justice Douglas Cunningham to leave the site, and Frontenac Ventures began civil contempt proceedings against them last fall.

On Feb. 15, Mr. Lovelace, along with his Ardoch Algonquin co-chief, Paula Sherman, were each found guilty of being in contempt of court. Ms. Sherman, who is a single mother of three, was fined $15,000, but was not required to serve time in jail, after agreeing to obey the wishes of the court. Mr. Lovelace was fined $25,000 and was required to serve six months in jail.

They undertook a defence based on the premise that the Ontario Mining Act was unconstitutional, but it was thrown out in court. And because they were found in contempt by the judge, Mr. Lovelace has little recourse he can pursue in the courts.
“Because I was found in contempt, our counterclaim and our defence was thrown out of court,” he said. “Judge Cunningham won’t even hear them.”

Since being placed in custody, Mr. Lovelace said he has heard whispers that Frontenac Ventures brought drills to the Clarendon Station site, which sits about 12 kilometres north of Highway 7.

A drive to the Sharbot Lake-area site finds fewer protest signs lining homes along the side of Highway 509 than were there a few months back; but several remain in place. On Thursday afternoon, an OPP cruiser sits across the road from where the former tent city used to be. The two on-duty officers say they are “monitoring” the site, something OPP officers have been doing every day since the initial protest last summer. It is a convenient place: the Sharbot Lake police station, housed in a converted bungalow, is just east of Highway 509 on Highway 7. The on-duty officers can’t confirm if drills have been brought on site, but they said they don’t believe any have arrived yet.

Frontenac Ventures president and chief executive officer George White denies that drills have been brought to the site. “It hasn’t happened,” he said yesterday.

On the west side of the road where the tent city was in full swing last summer, the signs and temporary buildings are gone. The remnants were removed after the jailing of Mr. Lovelace, as part of the conditions the other protesters agreed to last week in order to avoid being jailed. A black and yellow sign on a wire fence at the entrance reminds passersby that the “area (is) under video surveillance.”

The facility where Mr. Lovelace is staying is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Inside the exterior fence, each yellow-sided building is individually surrounded by razor wire. Inmates are allowed visitors two out of three visiting days per week. In Mr. Lovelace’s case, he can see visitors on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays. As of Thursday afternoon, he had two visitors since he began living there: A colleague from Queen’s University, where he teaches aboriginal studies, and a visit from a Citizen reporter. [editors note: Bob has been moved and visiting schedules will likely have changed]

But there have been other forms of support: Amnesty International and members of the Green party have spoken out about his jailing, and a protest is scheduled to be held outside the Quinte Detention Centre today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friends have had to take over his classes at Queen’s University and Sir Sandford Fleming College because he won’t be finishing his teaching duties this semester.

Mr. Lovelace said he is “holding up,” but admits it has caused some hardship for his family and friends. “I guess the thing I miss most is — I miss my kids,” he said. “I miss my wife, I miss my friends, I miss my students.” He and his wife, Stephanie, talk on the phone each night, but the arrangement hasn’t been easy. She says her family is “shocked and really upset.” “I’m just trying to take care of the kids,” she said, when she answered her husband’s cellphone on Thursday. “It’s been really difficult.”

The couple have four children, ranging from six to 14. As Mr. Lovelace noted, the centre where he is staying lacks a visiting facility for families. In that respect, it lags behind the Dairy Queen that sits across the street, which is equipped with an indoor playground.

To pass his time, he is doing a lot of thinking and even a little reading. At present, he is working his way through two selections from the detention-centre library cart: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by 19th-century German scholar Max Weber, and a Western novel by Louis L’Amour. “I’ve always wanted to read some L’Amour, so, it’s OK.”

The way Mr. Lovelace sees it, his conviction is the result of “the court being used as a political tool by the corporation,” and “archaic” legislation — the Ontario Mining Act — which leaves him fighting for the underdog, or the people living in the Sharbot Lake area. “It’s an act that basically gives advantages to a privileged class of people,” Mr. Lovelace said. Specifically, he says the act supports businesses such as Frontenac Ventures, or those with the “money to explore, spend and create an open-pit mine more than 30,000 acres in size.”
But he admits his decision to keep protesting after a court ordered him and his fellow protesters to stop was a conscious one. “I didn’t anticipate getting six months,” he said. “It was a choice that we made.”

But according to Mr. White, Justice Cunningham told Mr. Lovelace, his lawyer Chris Reid and Shabot Obaadjiwan representatives Paula Sherman and Chief Doreen Davis last fall that jail was a distinct possibility if they disobeyed the ruling. They had fair warning … and they agreed to disagree, and he is suffering the penalty,” Mr. White said yesterday.
There is a way out: The judge told him that if he agrees to recant his opposition to the drilling by Frontenac Ventures, and if he counsels his people not to form any protests at the site, he “can walk free.” “I’m not about to do that,” Mr. Lovelace said.

When asked what he thinks people would want to know about his story, Mr. Lovelace said the people in the Ottawa Valley need to think about the future of their land, to oppose any measures they see as being unfit for it and “to love it well.”

Hours after Mr. Lovelace spoke to the Citizen on Thursday, he was moved to the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay — for reasons a Quinte Detention Centre staff member described as “standard procedure.”

Mr. Lovelace’s lawyer, Chris Reid, said yesterday afternoon he had not been informed his client would be moving facilities. A message left for Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Stuart McGetrick was not immediately returned.



February 22, 2008
Dear Bob;
I wanted to write you a letter and at the same time express my thoughts and feelings about this whole matter with all those involved as well. I hope this letter finds you in the care and support of good spirits.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to the principles of natural law and demonstrating leadership in these difficult times. Thank you also for demonstrating grace and strength in your peaceful approach.

When I heard about the rally at Napanee it brought to mind, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. In the 1970’s this book inspired many people to effect change in response to the aggressive policies of manifest destiny which encouraged nationalists to invoke any measure to justify Indian removal from lands for development. I cannot help but note the similarities of what happened in the west and what is happening today. It is not my intent to dramatize but merely to point out that the thinking hasn’t really changed all that much.

Many Canadians probably don’t realize that Aboriginal people were never allowed to vote in elections until after 1960. This exclusion and many others resulted in the fact that Canadian institutions reflect little of our values. Knowledge transfer between cultures isn’t something that our governments have encouraged. I understand why the courts have no concept of natural law. It is to our detriment that as a country we do not willingly seek out traditional ecological knowledge before deciding on questions of land development. I want to thank you for invoking the concepts of natural law in a very public way.

This may be bittersweet to hear while you are in jail, but take heart. I noticed that many of the famous Aboriginal rights cases in Canada are named after the Indians who spearheaded them. It struck me that, decisions, such as the ”Calder decision” was a court case led by Frank Calder, the late Chief of the Nisga’a against the province of BC. In this case the courts finally had to concede that Aboriginal rights and title existed. In days past, we named battles after brave warriors and today, we name court cases after brave leaders. Utilizing the courts and the support of public opinion is the only peaceful recourse we have available to us. This test of the system was much needed because it has shown me how our systems can fail and where they need to be improved. I have always been of the opinion that the concepts and principles in Canadian law are debilitating and limited in scope. The system itself does not accommodate broader principles but is confined only to the principle of protecting individual property. You are right to work towards effecting change in how we live together with our ecosystems and each other. Thank you for shining a light on the deficiencies of our society generally.

Curtis White has written that, “We should insist on recognition of the mystery, the miracle and the dignity of things from frogs to forests, simply because they are.” I am encouraged by his insight and wanted to share it with you.

You are right to fulfill your role as land steward, as that is your gift to humanity. You are right to invoke principles of natural law even to those who cannot fathom them. You have honoured the gifts the Creator has given you and in doing so, you have honoured humanity. I thank you for that. I am grateful and I pray that these blessings you have given to us all and will return to you and yours.

I believe that a spiritual rebirth is necessary because science and our systems are failing us. If we are to rediscover our original roles we must acknowledge there is more to the world than the systems that have been devised. Change is necessary if we are to realize sustainability and co-existence with Creation.

At times we are required to resist work that dehumanizes us and causes the destruction of our own world. This is the message I get from all that you and your supporters have done.

The principles of community-building are evident in the relationship that the Aboriginal peoples and the Settlers of Frontenac County have built. Each have come to realize that our issues are not isolated from each other and that we are brothers and sisters in the same ecosystems. We share space in Creation that is only borrowed from our Grandchildren and that is a powerful link.

The best chance we have of survival and sustainability together is through the spirit of Wisdom, Truth, Humility, Bravery, Honesty, Love, and Respect. These are all aspects of our emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual development as Aboriginal people. These are the Seven Grandfather Teachings that guide us.

We cannot hold fast to, nor obey, archaic views and ideals anymore. This is a new time where sometimes we must resist submission to established authority. Especially when we recognize that it is established authority which in fact has led us in many cases to the very brink of destruction.

I have told you that my father died from sickness from working in the uranium mines at Elliot Lake. There are established institutions and authorities that knew he would get cancer from mining uranium. These institutions devised and planned a schedule of cash payouts for his death. That is exactly the type of established authority that is lacking in spirit. Many miners died from mining uranium. Their humanity was lost in the bureaucracy of calculating schedules for compensable work related deaths.

Regulators licensed and issued permits for the dumping of contaminated effluent into watersheds within uranium mining sites. The concepts were developed around the ALARA principle. (as low as reasonably achievable.) There was no consideration for long term continuous dumping, there was periodic sampling at fixed points in time, which did not allow for the consideration of cumulative impacts on the watershed. This is the reality. It is the scientific reality of those systems that govern uranium mining that are terribly inconsistent with the principles of natural law.

I have experienced the impacts resultant from mining uranium in the Serpent River Watershed. It is an event I pray will never be repeated in any part of the world. The loss of human life and of our watershed is a sacrifice without return. Thank you for your peaceful resistance and your dignified restraint.

Yours in creation,
Lorraine Rekmans, Anishnabe K’we
Green Party Aboriginal Affairs Critic


16) FACEBOOK URL, thanks to the readers who supplied urls. As of yesterday, Bob had over 3,153 friends.

Scroll to the date boxes and select Feb 18, 17:00 hrs. When your media player pops up, move the time along 15 minutes and the documentary will start.

CFRC aired a 45 minute documentary about the court proceedings and CCAMU’s efforts on Monday, Feb. 18th. Hear Bob Lovelace, Christopher Reid, Donna Dillman and other supporters express their opinions about the court case and the circumstances that precipitated it. It is also an opportunity to hear Neal Smitheman’s (Frontenac Ventures’ lawyer) take on things “off the record”.

17) CAIA STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY with Ardoch Algonquin First Nation

February 20, 2008 – As a grassroots Palestine-solidarity organization committed to the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) unreservedly condemns the recent decision by judge Douglas Cunningham to sentence AAFN spokesperson Robert Lovelace and AAFN co-chief Paula Sherman to six-month terms in jail. CAIA further condemns the onerous $25,000 and $15,000 fines respectively imposed on the two community activists and the additional $10,000 fine imposed on the AAFN community. CAIA notes that as an ‘unrecognized’ First Nations community, the AAFN receives no funding from government sources and that the imposition of such fines can only be read as an attempt by the courts to extinguish the financial viability of this community.

The highly politicized nature of these sentences further underscores the unjustified nature of the on-going criminalization of indigenous people’s basic rights to self-determination and the free use of their lands and resources. Just as Israel refuses to fulfill its obligations under international law with respect to the basic rights of the Palestinian people (including the incarceration of over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners), the Canadian government has decisively rejected its obligations under the ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and continues to incarcerate indigenous leaders who defend the basic rights of their peoples to self-determination. Such a right includes the right of indigenous peoples to: “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (Article 3, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

Furthermore, CAIA strongly denounces Frontenac Ventures Corp. (FVC) rapacious attitude in this matter and its expropriation (without negotiations) of 30,000 acres of AAFN and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation (SOFN) lands for the purposes of what it describes as an “aggressive exploration and development program” designed to exploit regional uranium deposits. CAIA notes that FVC’s land-grab is being made on the basis of the Ontario’s outdated Mining Act, which was established in the late-19th century (at the height of settler-colonial expansionism on Turtle Island). As community leaders continue to argue, the provisions of the Mining Act directly violate repeated findings of the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to First Nations treaty-rights and land-claims in similar instances. Furthermore, as the FVC itself admits, the corporation’s operations “enclose a large area of very high radioactivity” meaning that FVC is knowingly engaging in a process that risks exposing local populations to the documented dangers of uranium mining.

It is for these reasons that CAIA calls for the immediate reversal of the politically motivated sentences imposed on community leaders Bob Lovelace and Paula Sherman. CAIA is particularly concerned with the repeated failure of Ontario’s provincial-Liberal and Canada’s federal-Conservative governments to seriously deal with land-claims in this province.

We call on all friends and allies to offer financial support to the on-going struggle of the AAFN to reclaim their lands and resist FVC’s destructive behavior targeting Turtle Island. The AAFN is asking supporters to please send donations, made out to: “Chris Reid, in trust for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation” at the address below:

Christopher M. Reid
Barrister & Solicitor
154 Monarch Park Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 4R6

To The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU), whose mandate is raising public awareness on the uranium issuing and achieving a moratorium. Please make cheques out to: “Uranium Mining Moratorium Fund” and mail to:
83 Cockburn St.
Perth, ON
K7H 2B7

Posted by Peterborough Coalition for Palestinian Solidarity at 3:42 PM

18) UBCIC PRESS RELEASE: Union of BC Indian Chiefs Support Ardoch Algonquins’ Human Rights

February 22, 2008

Union of BC Indian Chiefs’ (UBCIC) President, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip challenges the Ontario Government to honorably negotiate with the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) rather than use the courts to harshly punish and intimidate those protecting their territory.

“It is a brutish and troubling precedent when companies use the courts to jail community members for protecting not only their Aboriginal Title and Rights but their basic human rights,” said Grand Chief Phillip. “Furthermore, when a provincial government chooses litigation rather than good-faith negotiations, it sends a clear message that corporate
greed trumps human rights.”

AAFN negotiator Robert Lovelace was sentenced six months in jail and fined $25,000 for his participation in an ongoing peaceful protest over uranium exploration on Algonquin traditional territory in Eastern Ontario. Co-chief Paula Sherman was fined $15,000.00 and the Ardoch First Nation community was fined $20,000.00.

International human rights treaties recognize that all peoples have the right to maintain their unique cultures and traditions, exercise control over their own lives, and to use and benefit from the lands and resources of their territories. This is not the case in Canada as
evident in the Government of Canada’s stance against the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. While 143 nation-states of the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration in September 2007, Canada was one of four nation-states who actively campaigned and voted in opposition to the Declaration.

“The use of the court to persecute Indigenous Peoples for defending who they are and protecting their territory is deeply disturbing,” said Phillip. “Governments and corporations must be held to account. If the court cannot be relied upon than as Indigenous Peoples we must take our concerns to the International stage.”

19) LETTER TO EDITOR, The Kingston Whig-Standard


I hope this case generates the discussion it deserves. Given the community’s opposition to the plaintiff’s activity; that our most civic minded citizens supported the peaceful demonstrations; that the surrounding Municipalities passed resolutions urging a moratorium on uranium exploration, the severe judgement was unexpected. It was justified by the belief that flaunting the rule of law brings disrespect for courts and requires a strong message to the community.

Is it true that people of conscience using the long and noble tradition of non-violent civil disobedience undermine respect for the law or do they serve to focus the spotlight on bad laws.

Who today respects the racist laws enacted by democratically elected officials forcing people of colour to the back of the bus, denying them access to the restaurants, hotels or public water fountains reserved for white folk? Instead the name of Martin Luther King (often imprisoned) is revered around the world as is the name of Mahatma Gandhi.

Both claimed inspiration from Henry David Thoreau who a century and a half ago wrote a short treatise entitled Civic Disobedience. Thoreau was jailed for refusal to pay a tax in protest against his government’s immoral war against Mexico and for upholding laws of slavery.

Courts appear to be amoral. A complainant may act out of greed and run roughshod over the wishes of the community but as long as they operate within the confines of the law their behavior is irrelevant to the court. It matters not if the law is a good, bad, just, or unjust law.

Thoreau was cognizant of the argument that a good citizen seeks to change a law not disobey it. His counter argument relates to cases where the governed would not have consented to a law or decision if they had been asked. Surely we would say no to the question: “Do you want prospectors coming on private property without permission or able to trump other highly touted government programs such as the Managed Forest Program or Conservation programs designed to protect wildlife and sensitive ecosystems, or to ignore aboriginal land claims?”

The McGinty government has done some good things but it is a fact that so far they have turned a deaf ear to the petitions and pleadings of those who see first hand the injustice of the outdated Mining Act. The damage is being done now not four years hence.

The public is moved by cases like the 72 year great grandmother from B.C choosing a prison term for Contempt of Court rather than giving up efforts to save a “sacred grove” or by a young daughter of a preacher refusing for over two years to come down from an ancient redwood tree to save it from being cut down, and by many others acting in the spirit of Martin Luther King. These acts of civil disobedience has often awakened a complacent public to demand an end to bad laws and practices.

Thoreau strikes to the heart of the debate with the question: “Must the citizen, even for a moment or in the least degree resign his conscience to the legislator?” He answers his own question: “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law so much as for the right!”

Why are those who commit acts of peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience in response to conscience punished to the full extent of the law while a rapist, armed robber, or murderer may reasonably expect to be treated with leniency? Perhaps Thoreau gives the best answer. The State has nothing to fear from those who commit crime motivated by greed, lust, or other vile instincts which only invoke public revulsion not support. However a government intent on maintaining the status quo and protecting interests groups to whom they are beholden may well fear a person(s) of integrity and of conscience whose civil disobedience might rally the community to demand action by the government to take corrective action over the injustices of a given law.

It is said that the renown philosopher, Emerson yelled:: “Henry what in the world are you doing there in jail?” Thoreau replied: “Mr Emerson, what in the world are you doing out there?”

Thoreau believed that just persons could effectively, without bloodshed, bring about a better society. “If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose..” He added that when a just person is in prison over an unjust law then the place of a just person is beside him.

Surely it would have been a simple matter for the government to follow community advice and place a moratorium on this matter until solutions are found. Surely a just but simple change to the Mining Act requiring prospectors to have the consent of the property owners before entering their lands would not have been that offensive to the powerful Mining lobby.

By so acting, law abiding citizens, who in good faith entered into partnership with the government’s Forest Management Program, would not have had their dreams and hopes shattered nor driven into desperation seeing no other option but civil disobedience.

I am sure that Thoreau would have been horrified by the untenable and heart-breaking situation the co-defendant found herself in being forced to choose between having her children taken from her or following her conscience. However one wonders how many people on a blockade or joining the grandmother Donna Dillman on a hunger strike would it take to get the government to change an unjust law.

Who are the true friends of the State? Surely it is principled people of conscience who in the spirit of Thoreau, King, and Gandhi are willing to sacrifice themselves for a higher law!.

H. Clifford, Lanark Highlands

20) LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Algonquin leader is a political prisoner
The Kingston Whig Standard

Re: the recent convictions of Robert Lovelace and Paula Sherman for contempt of court (“Algonquin leader fined, jailed six months,” Feb. 16).

The judge’s decision in this case should upset many people. All landowners – who often don’t own the mineral rights beneath their property – should be upset because this decision allows prospectors to continue waltzing onto private property, staking a claim and potentially opening a mine, without the landowner’s permission.

All native Canadians should be upset about the continuing disregard the Ontario government shows for the land-claims process.

All residents of the Mississippi watershed and beyond should be upset about the prospect of radioactive tailings from uranium mining polluting their environment forever.

All Ontarians should be upset over the inadequacy and outdatedness of the Mining Act.

All Canadians should be upset over the misguided renewal of interest in nuclear power as a solution to our energy needs.
All humans should be upset over the prospect of dealing with waste from nuclear reactors, some of which is dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years.

How does this court decision reflect the broader social good? Why is Robert Lovelace in jail? He hasn’t done anything violent. When people go to jail for their beliefs in other countries, we call them political prisoners. Now we’ve got one in jail in Napanee.

If you are worried about landowners’ rights, native rights, radioactive waste, cancer, the integrity of the justice system or human rights, you should be worried about Robert Lovelace and Paula Sherman.

Martin Honig & Cathy Wills, Lansdowne ON

21) LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Courts have a colonialist bias

Ontario’s citizens care about healthy communities. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance to protect that which we love and act now to stop uranium mining in our region. Our Algonquin neighbours have stepped up to the plate, and one man in particular is suffering the consequences of taking a strong stand against this environmentally destructive industry.

Robert Lovelace is a political prisoner.

I’m angry and sad that the justice system failed last week at the Frontenac County Court House regarding the contempt of court charges against Lovelace for interfering with the business of uranium mining.

If there’s to be hope for dealing fairly with First Nations issues, we must address racism in our legal system. Lovelace spoke about Canadian history and why he has an obligation to stop uranium mining in Algonquin territory on unceded Crown land. He presented a clear case in support of the defendants’ position against Frontenac Ventures Corporation.

Justice Douglas Cunningham failed to understand the Ardoch Algonquins’ constitutional rights and Ontario and Canada’s duty to consult with them regarding the use of Crown land. His decision to incarcerate Lovelace and impose a heavy fine on him reflects the colonialist bias of the courts. I’m ashamed of our legal system.

What do we do now? Join us in protest this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Quinte Detention Centre, where Lovelace is a prisoner. Check www. for actions and events, and help us stand strong against uranium mining.

Sulyn Cedar, Tay Valley Township ON

Mme. Madeleine Meilleur, Ottawa-Vanier MPP
Mr. Mauril Bélanger, Ottawa-Vanier MP
Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Ms. Doreen Davis, Chief of the Shabot-Obaadjiwan Algonquin Nation
Mr. Robert Lovelace, co-Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin Nation
Ms. Paula Sherman, co-Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin Nation

Dear Premier McGuinty,

I am writing to express my deep distress in regards to the recent imposition of a jail sentence to Mr. Robert Lovelace and to Ms. Paula Sherman, co-Chiefs of the Ardoch Algonquin Nation (see “Algonquin chief to serve jail term”, Ottawa Citizen, February 15, 2008).

To my understanding, the Ardoch Algonquin Nation, along with the Shabot-Obaadjiwan Algonquin Nation, have been resisting the development of a uranium mine on lands that they claim are part of their ancestral territories. I also understand that the Algonquin believe that the British crown had recognized their sovereignty over the lands in question more than a century ago. I furthermore understand that the Algonquin want the government of Ontario to formally recognize their sovereignty over these lands.

The Ardoch and Shabot-Obaadjiwan Nations are entirely justified in resisting the development of a uranium mine on lands that they believe are rightfully theirs. Why? Because the development of such a mine will certainly result in a very significant environmental perturbation of the lands in question. The Algonquin have the natural right to claim sovereignty over the lands as they are now, and not as they will be after a uranium mine is developed upon them. Therefore, it is entirely unjust that the co-Chiefs of the Ardoch Nation have been sentenced to jail for resisting the development of such a mine.

The imposition of these jail sentences is all the more backward in light of the fact that Ontario laws regulating mining and mineral exploration have been criticised by a number of parties within the province. Aboriginal and non-aboriginal land owners alike have
protested that these laws favour the interests of mining and mineral exploration companies at the expense of the rights of land owners. In addition, the Environmental Commissioner of the province of Ontario, in his 2006-2007 annual report, has indicated that Ontario’s mining laws are outdated and favour the interests of mining and mineral exploration companies at the expense of environmental protection.

Mr. McGuinty, it seems to me that you find yourself today before two important opportunities. Primo, you have the opportunity to modernize Ontario’s mining laws, ensuring that the rights of land owners and the imperative of environmental protection are no longer subordinated to the narrow interests of mining and mineral exploration companies. Segundo, you have the opportunity to construct a new relationship between the government of Ontario and the province’s Algonquin Nations, one that is based on mutual respect and that recognises their natural right to sovereignty over their ancestral lands. In making good use of these opportunities, you will be constructing a legacy, as Premier of Ontario, that all Ontarians will benefit from. I hope you will choose to do so.

Thank you for your attention.
Jean-Paul Prévost
Ottawa, Ontario

23) LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Misplaced Emotion on Nuclear Controversy,
Feb. 19, 2007

In his Dec. 03, 2007 letter to the Peace River Record Gazette, Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) spokesman Matthew Foster takes issue with “the facts” in my Nov. 21st letter. Various qualities of facts linked to differing interests and worldviews will come out in this heated controversy, but there’s no need for Foster to accuse me of distortion or scaremongering. So let’s look, reasonably, at his critique and then the reader can decide what is erroneous.

Nuclear safety: He claims there aren’t any internal AECL documents that suggest the CANDU is not safer than other designs. I assume the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), precursor to the CNSC (in the news re the Chalk River isotope fiasco), gets to see such internal reports. Its October 16, 1989 submission to the Treasury Board, which was leaked and reported in the May 28, 1990 Globe and Mail, says “Candu plants cannot be said to be either more or less safe than other types”.

Nuclear Subsidies: Foster claims my facts are “fictitious”. He is arguing with the Economic Council of Canada, which by the late 1980s estimated such subsidies to be $19 billion. Toronto’s Energy Probe calculated the real cost, including cost of debt, to be $75 billion by 2006. Subsidies come in many forms, including the government backing nuclear industry liability. Both Ontario Hydro and New Brunswick Power have said that “striking down the Nuclear Liability Act would put at risk the continued use of nuclear energy…”

Costs of Darlington: He claims my figures are “antinuclear propaganda.” My source was the Report on Business (Globe and Mail, July 13, 1991), which said, “…cost escalation, from 1984 estimates of $2.5 billion to the current and still-rising actual cost of $13.4 billion, has created a financial albatross.”

Fuel for AECL’s ACR: Foster claims I am “wrong” that the Advanced Candu Reactor (ARC) proposed for Alberta can use spent fuel from U.S. Light Water Reactors (LWR). Instead he says it will use slightly enriched uranium (SEU). Actually it can use both. AECL’s Technical Summary for the ARC-1000 says it is “ideally suited to burn other fuels such as mixed oxides (MOX) and thorium”. MOX is a code work for a blend of uranium and plutonium. Another AECL paper (Jeremy Whitlock) says the new Candu design will provide “unique synergy with LWR technology.” (It seems the promotional work of the CNA doesn’t require studying the documents of its client the AECL.)

Spent Fuel-Decommissioning Costs: He claims I am “foolish” about these costs burdening future generations, because “all such costs” are already included in the price of today’s nuclear-generated electricity. The Economist among many sources has documented that these costs are the most unaccounted for by the industry (e.g. see Nov. 1991). The decommissioning of the Yankee Power reactor in Massachusetts was to cost $120 million but ended up costing $450 million. (See Caldicott, 2006). When the UK government recently announced it wanted 10 more nuclear plants built it said it would consider further tax advantages to help with decommissioning costs to make nuclear more attractive to investors.

Nuclear Wastes in AB/SK: Foster claims that I am “scaremongering” about an international nuclear waste facility in Canada. Since 1991 both the AECL and Cameco have advocated Northern Saskatchewan taking back spent fuel from uranium-importing countries. This is similar to the plan advocated by the Bush administration last year (Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, or GNEP), endorsed by the now-defeated Howard government in Australia, and by our own Harper minority government. The Harper-supported, spent-fuel using ACR in Northern Alberta would certainly qualify as a Trojan horse for such a plan. Furthermore, studying the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) won’t tell anything about a possible location of a nuclear waste facility, as it is on record as leaving spent fuel at reactor sites until it gets a plan. Its plan is called “adaptive phased management”, which really means “still no plan”.

Childhood Leukemia: He is “outraged” about my claim that childhood leukemia is linked to nuclear facilities. I think he should be outraged about the leukemia. Denial of cancer risks from the nuclear industry is starting to mimic the tobacco industry. (Radon gas, by the way, is the second main cause of lung cancer). Ongoing studies in England, France and Germany have all found greater than expected leukemia rates among children living near nuclear facilities, and a summary study that looks at 17 such studies concludes that such children 9 and under are 24% more likely to die of leukemia. A summary of this is in the August 13, 2007 issue of Macleans.

UN Studies After Chernobyl: Foster stands behind UN reports claiming no discernable cancer resulting from Chernobyl. With the 1959 agreement to create the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN agreed not to allow its health agencies, like the WHO, to undertake research on radiation effects without consultation with the pro-nuclear IAEA. Independent research shows findings opposite to the UN’s, which are said to “grossly underestimate” risk factors. (See Nussbaum in Journal of Occupation and Environmental Health, No 13:2007). Research is this area is no different than other fields where the impact of corporate and bureaucratic funding and other influences must be carefully scrutinized. The nuclear establishment has a long-history of manipulating and suppressing public health research.

Nuclear Weapons: Foster says my linking the commercial and military sectors of the nuclear industry is “contemptible.” Again, his emotion is misplaced, as it is the weapons of mass destruction that are contemptible. I am not saying anything that can’t be found in mainstream bodies. The Oct. 1993 Joint Federal Provincial Panel on uranium mining in SK concluded: “There is no process whereby exported Canadian uranium can be separated from uranium derived from other sources. Therefore no proven method exists for preventing incorporation of Canadian uranium into military applications…” (p. 26-27). The Brundtland Commission, which coined the term “sustainable development”, concluded the same thing.

Greenhouse Gases: Foster claims I am “neglectful” in not mentioning that the “life cycle” emissions of nuclear are “trivial.” He prefers research done by the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), which was founded in 1951 by the Japanese electric utilities. I prefer sources that are independent of the nuclear/electric industry. A 2005 study by the Netherlands-based Ceedata Consultancy concludes that if all energy costs are accounted for it takes a nuclear plant using uranium from high-grade ore (above 1%) 9 years to pay off its fossil-fuel energy debt. As the grade of uranium lowers, as it will within decades, the time-span needed to create net energy greatly lengthens.

To address the challenges of climate change we clearly have to make a full conversion to sustainable, renewable energy and not get side tracked by the dangerous, nuclear non-option. We will also have to deepen our democracy by creating new means of public participation and dialogue. Part of this involves breaking from the pervasive influences of nuclear corporations and the state on what we consider to be factual and real. In charging those of us not accepting nuclear promotions as fostering “errors of fact and outright distortions” the CNA is acting like it’s a Nuclear Inquisition.

Jim Harding, Ph.D.,
author of Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System (Fernwood, 2007).


On February 7, 2008, the Halifax Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning “chemical and radioactive bodily trespass.” The action, prompted by concerns over a proposed uranium mine, prohibits corporations from interfering with the civil rights of the residents — including their right to self-government. The ordinance was drafted by the nonprofit Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. According to CELDF Projects Director Ben Price, Halifax residents “have determined that they do not consent to be irradiated, nor to be trespassed upon, by toxic substances that would be released by Virginia Uranium, Inc., or any other state-chartered corporation.” Halifax is the tenth U.S. municipality to refuse to recognize corporate “rights” that are often used to exploit human and natural communities. These ordinances are directed at “chartered immunities” designed to “deny citizens’ rights, impose harm, and refuse local self-determination.” “This is an historic vote,” said Halifax Town Councilmember Jack Dunavant, “It’s time to invoke the Constitution and acknowledge the power of the people to protect our own destiny and end this era of corporate greed and pollution.”

25) CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVES: Aboriginal unrest and responsibility
(go to web link to make comment on article below)
More and more, Canada’s aboriginal communities are taking an active interest in the country’s mineral industries. They protest exploration on lands they believe are theirs. They condemn the environmental record of mining.

Sometimes it is easy for industry insiders to think that protest stems from misinformation. After all we’ve been successfully mining everything from antimony to zinc in this country for well over 100 years. But the road ahead is going to be bumpy.

Two years ago PLATINEX INC. ran afoul of the KITCHENUHMAYHOOSIB INNINUWYG (KI) when it announced plans to drill for PGE deposits near Big Trout Lake in northern Ontario. The KI claim the land as part of their traditional hunting grounds. Allegations and lawsuits have flown. The matter has been before the courts more than once. Finally, late last year the Ontario Superior Court sided with Platinex, giving the company permission to resume drilling as long as the two sides continue to talk and consult.

We in the mineral industry know that exploration trenching, sampling and drilling disturbs relatively little surface area and the effects can be mitigated. But it matters to the KI band what happens to this remote corner of the province.

An hour west of Ottawa, the Ardoch Algonquin and Sharbot Obaadjiwan First Nations communities are protesting uranium exploration near Sharbot Lake. The area is cottage country, rural and scenic, but FRONTENAC VENTURES wants to test for potential deposits of a much-sought-after fuel metal. Talks between the two sides aimed at ending a blockade of the area collapsed. Two native leaders have been fined for their activities and one of them is to be jailed for six months.

The act of exploration does not automatically mean a uranium mine will be developed. In fact, the chances of finding a minable deposit are very slim, indeed. The protestors need to be reminded of this, and of the permitting process that gives them many opportunities to put the brakes on a new mine project.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE has produced a study that included First Nations peoples living downstream from Alberta’s oil sands developments, charging that the federal government is “missing in action” when it comes to the toxic legacy of those projects. The native community says it fears its drinking water supply has been contaminated resulting in abnormal disease rates in their communities. Added to that are large amounts of airborne pollutants.

Canada’s oil sands producers are aware of their environmental responsibilities. They acknowledge the high water usage in their processes, and they are making strides to reduce it. They are also spending billions to cut hazardous airborne emissions. But their efforts take time.

I believe Canada’s aboriginal peoples have a role to play in the mineral industry. Their role has already begun as the “environmental conscience” of the industry. No one knows the land and water better than people who have been sustained by it for thousands of years.

Somewhere between preserving the wilderness as it was and exploiting it for modern conveniences, there is a compromise. That compromise will include cleaner technologies, better remediation, education and skilled jobs for Canadians regardless of their ethnicity. Compromise is not reached by confrontation.

scroll to bottom for map of where uranium is, or has been mined in Canada


Please note that in the last UNews, I incorrectly attributed the following quote to another Thomas. He of light bulb fame. With apologies to Mr. Jefferson, in light of the fact that my brain was fried, I’m grateful that that was the worst of my gaffes.

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”
Thomas Jefferson

Natural law was described by Cicero (126-43 B.C.) as non scripta sed nata (“not written, but born”). This corresponds to the Amerindian view that “our law is given to us, not made by us.” As medieval canonists saw it, natural law was the forerunner of human rights, pre-dating the formation of states. According to its principles, rights of discovery applied only to unoccupied lands and could not be used to justify seizure of lands already in use. – Olive P. Dickason

City of Ottawa calls for Uranium-Stop


BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Community and Protective Services Committee direct City Council to:

1) Petition the Province of Ontario and Premier Dalton McGuinty to initiate an immediate moratorium on uranium mineral prospecting, exploration and mining in Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa River watershed until such a time that all environmental and health issues related to uranium mining and native land claims are resolved;

2) That City of Ottawa petitions the Province of Ontario to undertake an immediate comprehensive public review of the Mining Act, 1990.

Congratulations to those who worked hard to bring this issue to the attention of the council!

this SAT Rally in Napanee to protest incarceration of Bob Lovelace

1) RALLY IN SUPPORT OF BOB LOVELACE: Napanee, this Sat., 11 a.m.
IAN TAMBLYN – TOMORROW: Feb 20th, National Archives, 7 p.m.
FATHEAD – This Friday, Feb 22nd, McDonald’s Corners, 7:30 p.m.


What: Rally in Napanee

When: Saturday, February 23 from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Speakers at approx. Noon

Where: Quinte Regional Detention Centre
89 Richmond Street, Napanee

Why: To show support and gratitude to Bob and to show our determination to carry on with new vigour.

Directions: Hwy 401, exit at Hwy 41 (#579), turn left at the T, then left at next
stoplight, which is Richmond.

While we will have extra, people are encouraged to bring hand-made signs that show your concern (but are in good taste). People are encouraged to dress in colourful ways.

If you can’t be there in person, show your support by sending a note or a letter to help keep Bob’s spirits up and show him how much you appreciate his stand on our behalf.

Keep in mind the letters are monitored. Make sure you put a return address on the envelope or the letter will most likely go in the garbage. Address your letter to:

Robert Lovelace
C/O Quinte Detention Centre
81 Richmond Boulevard, Napanee, ON K7R 3S3


February 19, 2008

Jailing Aboriginal Leaders to Promote Uranium Mining in Ontario

In a travesty of justice, AAFN Spokesperson Robert Lovelace was sentenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston to 6 months incarceration and crippling fines amounting to $25,000 for upholding Algonquin law within our homeland. An additional sanction of $2,000 per day will be imposed for every day that Bob continues to obey our law rather than the court order. In addition, our community was fined $10,000 and Chief Paula Sherman $15,000, and our statement of defense was struck out, which means that we are forbidden from challenging the constitutional validity of Ontario’s Mining Act. The court made it clear that First Nations’ laws do not exist in Canada legal system and anyone who tries to follow First Nations law will be severely punished.

Shouts of “shame!” erupted in the courtroom as the sentences were read by the judge and Robert was taken into custody. Many were aghast at the harshness of the sentencing imposed for participation in a peaceful protest against uranium exploration which was approved by the province of Ontario without any consultation with our community.

Chief Paula Sherman said: “No consideration was given to the circumstances that led to our actions. The testimony given under oath by Robert Lovelace outlined Algonquin Law and the corresponding responsibilities of Algonquin people with respect to human activity in our territory. It was tossed aside by the judge and deemed to be of no relevance. The message delivered clearly through this court decision is one of domination and oppression; the law will enforce one set of values with respect to human relationships with the land in Ontario and there is no room for Algonquin laws or values.”

Ontario and Canada portray themselves as shining examples of democracy and human rights for the world to emulate, all the while creating laws, policies, and value systems that oppress and deny Aboriginal peoples’ human right to life as distinct people. Robert testified that Algonquin identity is tied to the relationships that we maintain with the land.

Lovelace is now in jail in Quinte Correctional facility in Napanee. Chief Sherman said: “He is a political prisoner of the Government of Ontario and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation places blame for his incarceration on Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant. We have repeatedly asked for consultations on the mineral claims on our lands within the larger Algonquin homeland. We have offered Ontario a variety of options to enable consultation. Every option was rejected out of hand. Ontario’s position has been consistent: Drilling on our land must occur. Our position has equally been consistent: Meaningful consultation must occur before any of our land is damaged or alienated to mining companies.”


February 18, 2008

Canada: Algonquin leader faces jail time while Ontario government ignores the law

Amnesty International expressed its concern today over the sentencing of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation negotiator Bob Lovelace to six months in jail and a fine of $25,000 for his role in a protest over uranium exploration on disputed land in eastern Ontario.

The Ontario government has licensed Frontenac Ventures to carry out exploratory drilling on land that is part of a 25-year-old Algonquin land claim. The Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations have said that they were not even notified about the plans before trees were cut and blasting began.

On June 29, 2007, members of the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations moved to block Frontenac’s access to the site. The occupation ended after the province entered into talks about possible consultation processes, but these talks broke down earlier this month and the blockade was resumed.

On February 15, Lovelace and Ardoch co-chief Paula Sherman were convicted of contempt of court for failing to obey two injunctions against the occupation. While Sherman was able to reach an agreement to avoid jail time if she stays away from the protest, Lovelace has said he cannot make the same commitment.

A number of Algonquin supporters are also expected to be brought to trial in March accused of violating the same injunctions.

“The situation defies justice,” says Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International Canada’s Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Indigenous leaders and their supporters are facing stiff punishments for doing what they feel is necessary to protect rights that may one day be upheld in court or in the land claims process. Meanwhile the provincial government is ignoring its own legal obligations without any accountability.”

Canadian courts have clearly established that whenever the rights of Indigenous peoples may be affected, governments have a legal duty to ensure that there must always be meaningful consultation to identify and accommodate Indigenous concerns. Depending on the potential impacts, courts have found that this legal duty may include other more stringent measures “to avoid irreparable harm”, including in some cases agreeing to proceed only with the consent of the affected peoples.

Shortly before the blockade began last summer, a high level provincial inquiry into Indigenous land rights disputes in Ontario concluded that “the single biggest source of frustration, distrust, and ill- feeling among Aboriginal people in Ontario is our failure to deal in a just and expeditious way with breaches of treaty and other legal obligations to First Nations.” The Ipperwash Inquiry report went on to recommend that provincial laws, policies and practices must be reformed to ensure that they are consistent with the government’s legal obligations toward Indigenous peoples, including the duty of consultation, accommodation and consent.

The fact that provincial mining laws and policies are out of step with the constitutional duty of meaningful consultation is acknowledged in a January 2007 discussion paper issued by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Despite this, the province continues to allow companies to stake claims and initiate exploration with little or no consideration of Indigenous interests.

In addition to the conflict over uranium mining in eastern Ontario, leaders from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib First Nation in northern Ontario are awaiting sentencing for contempt of court after continuing to oppose drilling activities in the face of an injunction. In the initial ruling in that case, the court sharply criticized the Ontario government for not having “heard or comprehended” repeated court affirmation of the duty of meaningful consultation and accommodation.

Amnesty International is calling on the province to work with Indigenous peoples to undertake immediate reform of provincial laws and policies that fail to respect and uphold the duty of meaningful consultation, accommodation and consent.

The province must also take urgent measures to address conflicts arising from its past failures to uphold that duty including by:

· committing to a negotiated resolution of the dispute;
· entering those negotiations in good faith without prejudging or limiting in advance the form and extent of accommodation required to respect and protect the rights of the Algonquin people; and
· taking measures in collaboration with the Algonquin people to ensure that their rights are not harmed while such negotiations are under way.
In the event of an appeal, Amnesty International urges the province to ensure the court is made fully aware of the underlying rights issues at stake, including the province’s constitutional duty of consultation, accommodation and consent.

For more information:
Craig Benjamin
Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Amnesty International Canada
312 Laurier Ave. East,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 1H9
1.613.744.7667 (ext. 235)


Aboriginal Leader’s Sentence Unwarranted: Green Party

Kingston – February 19, 2008 – Recent Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox-Addington GPO candidate, Rolly Montpellier, today expressed extreme disappointment over the sentencing of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation negotiator Bob Lovelace and Chief Paula Sherman at the Frontenac County Court in Kingston on February 15, 2008.

Montpellier stated, “Ontario’s citizens care about healthy communities. Our Algonquin neighbors have stepped up to the plate and one man in particular is suffering the consequences of taking a strong stand to ensure First Nation’s rights are protected.”

Mr. Lovelace was sentenced to six months in jail, and fined $25,000 for protesting exploratory drilling for uranium by Frontenac Ventures on land that is part of a 25-year-old Algonquin land claim. Chief Sherman was also sentenced to six months in jail and fined $15,000. In consideration of her children, Chief Sherman found it necessary to accept the restrictions of the court order to avoid going to jail.

The First Nations were not given prior notification of the exploration plans by either the province or Frontenac Ventures. They became aware of Frontenac Ventures’ intentions after being notified by a private landowner that his property had been staked.

Canadian courts have clearly established that whenever the rights of First Nations may be affected, governments have a legal duty to ensure that there must always be meaningful consultation to identify and accommodate First Nations’ concerns. When Justice Cunningham sentenced and fined Mr. Lovelace and Chief Sherman, he failed to understand the Ardoch Algonquin’s Constitutional rights and Ontario and Canada’s duty to consult with them regarding use of Crown land. His decision to impose incarceration and inflict heavy fines reflect the colonialist bias of the courts, and ignorance of the province’s constitutional duty to consult.

The LFLA Green Party of Ontario CA calls on the province of Ontario to reform provincial laws and policies in order that they respect and uphold the duty of meaningful consultation, accommodation, and consent with respect to First Nation’s people in Ontario. The province should also ensure that the court is made aware of its constitutional duty in this regard, particularly in the event of a court appeal.

“The Ontario judiciary has neglected its fiduciary responsibility to First Nations people.” said Green Party of Ontario leader Frank de Jong. De Jong today called for the McGuinty government to commute Bob Lovelace’s six month sentence. “It is imperative that Ontario courts recognize and consider that First Nations people base their actions on traditional Algonquin wisdom.”

The province must also immediately re-initiate negotiations to resolve the dispute, commit to negotiate in good faith, and ensure that the rights of the Algonquin people are respected during these negotiations.


The Editor, The Frontenac News
The recent sentencing of Native leaders because of their legitimate concern for the consequences (consequences which they would have to live with) which could derive from the adventures of Frontenac Ventures in North Frontenac, is just another example of the wild west mentality alive and well in Ontario’s nineteenth century Mining Act. These people have been on this land for generations, going back long before Europeans arrived in Eastern Ontario. Their dispute is well documented. Frontenac Ventures is a junior mining company with a limited track record and a seemingly undue haste. If the demand for uranium is indeed legitimate, and that is a moot point, it will be there for the long term, and the economic return will remain firm. Why the need to be in such a hurry to punish the Native Community? Why the need to be so heavy handed?

Last July the Ministry of Mines and Northern Development proposed changes to the Mining Act and invited public input and consultation; and the public did respond. MNDM is, supposedly, in the process of reviewing this “public consultation” and bringing forth revisions to Ontario’s Mining Act. One of the proposals proffered by MNDM was that of more consideration for Aboriginal rights. Was this whole “consultation process” just a hollow public relations gesture? Where are the proposed amendments to the Mining Act?

Regrettably, this whole thing smacks, not of long term, legitimate mining, but of mining promotion and speculation opportunity; intended to take hasty advantage of the current strong base metal price and fostered by long out-of-date mining legislation. Is it? MNDM appears unwilling to look after the larger public good, acting as it does as advocate for the mining community. Who looks after the big picture, taking in to consideration all the effects on the land surface and the people who live there, both now and in the future? Where were the Premier and the Cabinet while this sorry escapade was playing out?

Sad to say, but sometimes I am simply ashamed to be a citizen of Ontario.
D. Campbell, Ottawa


To make donations in Trust for Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN)
Make cheques out to:

Chris Reid in Trust for Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) and mail to:

Christopher M. Reid
Barrister & Solicitor
154 Monarch Park Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 4R6

To support the work that The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) is doing in regard to raising public awareness and achieving a moratorium, make cheques out to:

Uranium Mining Moratorium Fund and mail to:
83 Cockburn St.,
Perth, ON
K7H 2B7

Thank you, please know that your financial support, energy and time are very much appreciated by everyone involved.

7) EVENT REMINDERS: TOMORROW Wed., Feb. 20th at 7:30 pm:

IAN TAMBLYN IN CONCERT at The National Archives,
Admission is $25.00.
Tickets available in Ottawa through all CD Warehouse outlets and Legend Records (Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre Carling and Richmond Road) and at the Folklore Centre, 1111 Bank St.

FATHEAD Dance, McDonald’s Corners Agricultural Hall,

this Fri. Feb 22, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
LLBO and refreshments.
Admission: $20.00.
Tickets available at Shadowfax in Perth, or call 1-800-518-2729


Safe And Green Energy (SAGE) in Peterborough is sponsoring a significant event concerning nuclear energy and Ontario’s proposed energy strategy.

An Evening with Dr. Michael D. Mehta,

Friday, March 7th at 7:00 pm
Peterborough Public Library, 345 Aylmer Street North

Admission: Free (donations accepted)

A Question and Answer session will follow Dr. Mehta’s presentation. Coffee and tea will be served

Michael D. Mehta specializes in science, technology and society with a focus on health and environmental risk issues. Dr. Mehta is Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta and Executive Director of the Population Research Laboratory. The Population
Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta is the largest social sciences research centre in Western Canada .

Brought to you by SAGE
For more information, email:
Or visit

9) EVENT: SONG CIRCLE AND ART SALE, featuring: Jenny Whiteley, Jennifer Noxon, and Christine Graves – 5 Women and Some Art, plus special guest

Sat. March 8th, $25.00

National Arts Centre, 4th Stage – Tickets available in advance at NAC Box Office, and Compact Music 613 233 8922

International Women’s Day Benefit – Proceeds to aid the anti-uranium fight in Eastern Ontario


Dear Legislators:

What happened to Bob Lovelace yesterday and the people he represents, an Algonquin First Nation in Eastern Ontario, reflects very badly in my view on both the governments of Ontario and Canada as well as the Frontenac Ventures Uranium exploration company involved. As stated in the release, Ontario, according to the Canadian Supreme Court, should have required Frontenac Ventures to consult with Algonquin First Nations, who have a land claim with the Federal Government, before venturing onto the disputed land. They did not do this and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources did not require consultations and even gave a licence to Frontenac Ventures to stake land, cut down trees, build a road and start drilling for uranium – on land claimed by the Algonquins.

Despite the above unjust and illegal actions – illegal according to the Supreme Court – Frontenac Ventures has been able to bring an injunction against anyone who would walk on the land Frontenac have staked for exploration, including First Nations and ‘Settler neighbour’ allies, with the result that contempt of court charges have been brought against many. Bob Lovelace is the first person sentenced – and harshly. This injunction with its harsh penalties is designed to shut down all democratic dissent from the majority of citizens in the area who do not want uranium exploration or mining to go on in their neighbourhood.

There were several weeks of ‘mediation’ among Algonquin, government of Ontario, and company representatives, during which time the Injunction was not enforced. However, those mediation talks were a fraud. At no time was the Ontario representative prepared to acknowledge that there was a possibility that a decision could be made to not allow uranium exploration.

Another problem is Ontario’s archaic Mining Act, which allows for mineral exploration to happen on any Ontarian’s property without permission if they do not own their mineral rights, and few landowners do. Ontario needs to revisit its Mining Act and change it so that landowners, be they First Nations or non-native, are consulted prior to exploration, with the option of saying no. A majority of people as well as all of the town councils in the area have also called for a moratorium on uranium mining until the Mining Act is revised and all issues are dealt with.

The government of Canada is at fault for not dealing in a timely manner with Aboriginal land claims, including the Algonquins, who have never ceded their land to Canada in any treaty. Canada should already have protected land that the Algonquins claimed from any use that goes against the Royal Proclamation of 1763, entrenched in Canada’s constitution, which guarantees the ‘reservation of hunting grounds’ for the Aboriginal peoples of North America. This is all the Algonquins want and they realize that uranium
mining with its destruction of nature is inconsistent with their hunting rights which have never been extinguished by Canadian law.

In this case that I have been observing for some time, it seems that a business, such as a mining exploration company, which actually represents very few people, but perhaps if they are lucky, a lot of money for a few investors, takes precedence over a large group of people who do not want that which a uranium mining company is liable to bring – the destruction of ‘Creation’ where they live – which Bob Lovelace says he is trying to prevent. It seems that the situation is upside down. It should be the people, native and non-native, who rule and the representatives of the people should be supporting them, not allowing the bringing of injunctions with harsh penalties, against them.

Please defend the rights of the people and end this persecution of the Algonquins of Eastern Ontario.

I would like a reply to what I am asking.

Murray D. Lumley
1854A Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON
M4C 1J4
Tel. 416-423-5406



Sue Yanagisawa, Whig-Standard Court Reporter

The lawyer for a uranium prospecting company, frustrated by an Algonquin-led protest that disrupted the company’s plans for test drilling north of Sharbot Lake last summer, said it gave him “no pleasure to ask for incarceration.”

Yet Neal J. Smitheman asked for exactly that this week, the maximum jail sentence possible in fact, and substantial fines against Algonquin leaders who refused to ‘purge’ contempt charges by formally promising not to interfere in the future with his client, Oakville-based Frontenac Ventures Corp.

Yesterday morning, Superior Court Justice Douglas Cunningham gave Smitheman what he had asked for. After observing that “they have not only engaged in a full-scale occupation of the Clarendon site, they have counselled others to do so as well,” and telling those present in the courtroom that “compliance with the orders of this court are not optional,” Cunningham ordered Ardoch Algonquin First Nation co-chief Paula Sherman and community spokesman Robert Lovelace jailed for six months.

Cunningham said the sentences could be discharged at any point if the two leaders agreed to purge their contempt. Until then, however, he directed the OPP to take them into custody.

About an hour later, Sherman returned to the courtroom with lawyer Christopher Reid, who represents the Ardoch Algonquins, and Smitheman told the judge that he and Reid had reached “an accommodation” on her behalf that was “motivated on compassionate grounds.”

Reid was blunter. “Ms. Sherman is sole support for three children and she will lose them if she goes to jail,” he told judge.

Consequently, she had agreed to enter into an undertaking promising to comply in future with the “letter and spirit” of Cunningham’s Sept. 27 injunction. The injunction requires that Frontenac Ventures have “unfettered and unobstructed access” to its mineral exploration claim – about 30,000 acres of Crown and private land in North Frontenac.

It specifically bars the Algonquin communities living in the area and “persons unknown” from “interfering with, disrupting or hindering” Frontenac Ventures, its employees, agents or contractors. Having agreed on the record to future compliance with the injunction, a process known as purging contempt, Cunningham discharged the custodial portion of his order against Sherman and she was not sent to jail.

At the precise moment she was being dealt with in the second-floor courtroom, however, Lovelace was being placed in the Quinte Detention Centre transport van at the rear of the Frontenac County Court House. Chanting and ululating from a group of supporters, who had gone outside, could be heard faintly through the windows on the north wall of the court.

The sounds of outrage had been much louder, ringing in fact, an hour earlier when Cunningham’s initial pronouncement of sentence was greeted by loud jeers of “Shame! Shame!” from the packed spectators’ gallery. At its peak, a dark-haired woman from among the non-native supporters of the Algonquin leaned across the bar of the court, behind lawyers representing the attorney general, and berated the judge.

“This court is participating in the biggest public health disaster this country has ever seen. Do you understand that?” she yelled up at the judge.

Cunningham paused briefly, but didn’t have her removed. Instead, he continued with sentencing, ordering that Lovelace pay a fine of $25,000, Sherman a fine of $15,000 and the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation $10,000 for past conduct. He set additional fines of $2,000 a day for every day they’re not in compliance in the future and ended by ordering the Ardoch Algonquin statement of defence struck.

They are precluded from bringing any application or motion before him until their contempt is purged. Reid, putting it in ordinary language after the proceedings ended, said “they are booted out of the court.” What that means in the short term, he said, is that his clients won’t be allowed to mount their core defence in March when they return for a second round in these proceedings. “The statement of defence,” he explained, “challenges the constitutional validity of the Mining Act.”

The perversity of the situation, he added, is that his clients are being punished for resorting to direct action instead of relying on the courts. But “they can’t come to court now. Self-help is all that’s left to them now.” At this point, Reid said he’s talking to his clients about an appeal.

Cunningham, in explaining his reasoning for the sentence, said that the adoption of self-help flaunts the rule of law and can’t be tolerated because “respect for our court system evaporates and our entire society suffers as a result.” His sentence, he added, had to send a message to others who might consider similar action.

Respect for the court system wasn’t exactly inspired in the largely partisan crowd of spectators who watched as the two prisoners were taken into custody, however. After Cunningham rose, those who weren’t attached to Frontenac Ventures or the provincial Ministry of Northern Development and Mines stood en masse and applauded Sherman and Lovelace, some ululating, an expression in sound that can denote sorrow, celebration, honour, defiance or all of them at once.

Gloria Morrison – the wife of Frank Morrison, one of only two non-natives charged in the contempt proceedings – was seething in a quiet and dignified way. Her husband has attended the court case only intermittently when he’s been obliged to but she’s been a fixture since hearings began last summer.

The Morrisons own 100 acres of managed forest and marshland north of Snow Road, property crossed by the Big Antoine and Little Antoine creeks and a man-made stream, which all flow directly into the Mississippi River. They’re opposed to uranium drilling and believe it endangers both the surface and sub-surface waters in the area.

They were devastated when they discovered that Frontenac Ventures had come onto their land without permission sometime in 2006, staked a prospecting claim that covers about 70 per cent of their holding, and that there was nothing they could do about it. According to Frank Morrison, the claim staking alone has destroyed the market value of the property.

It was Gloria Morrison who first alerted the Ardoch Algonquins to the sort of prospecting Frontenac Ventures was doing and asked them to get involved. She’s unhappy that her husband’s case – like that of Christian Peacemaker David Milne – was severed from the main action against the Ardoch Algonquin earlier this week.

His Ottawa lawyers weren’t provided in advance with essential documents by the Frontenac Ventures legal team, however. Consequently, his case had to be put over to March to allow for proper disclosure.

Gloria Morrison said she’s been disillusioned by what she’s seen since her involvement in this whole thing began. At 57, she didn’t have any experience with the courts before this, she explained. She had never even experimented with teenage rebellion or hippie culture: “I walked on green lights and picked up garbage off the street. I never smoked and don’t drink.”

She admits she had certain expectations about how things were supposed to work for law-abiding citizens. But after witnessing this case unfold, “it has not solved anything,” she said. “It’s painful and it has created a situation where many of us will follow.” Unlike Sherman, all of her children are grown and should it come to that, “I am fully able and willing to go to jail,” Morrison said, “and no, I would not apologize either for protecting our air and water.”

Reid was clearly upset by the outcome of the sentencing. “I was expecting there would be a period of incarceration. I don’t think anybody expected six months,” and described it as “pretty draconian,” he said outside the courtroom.

He was also unhappy with Sherman’s predicament and the pressure such a lengthy sentence had imposed on her. “If her kids were now adults, she’d be in jail right now,” he said, “but she can’t deprive them of a mother.”

As for the fines “you might as well make it $10 million, as far as the ability to pay goes for these people.” Bluntly put, Reid said, “Bob Lovelace is a political prisoner. He’s done nothing violent. He hasn’t hurt anybody. He’s in jail because of his beliefs.”


Algonquin jailed six months and fined 25 000

This is from Mike, Donna Dillmann’s partner. I hope every single one of you will make their outrage heard – this is our future and the future of our children Ontario politicians are in the process of fucking up meanwhile the Ontario’s judicial system just gave the indigenous people involed in the protest a big hearty kick in the butt – thanx McGuinty, but you won’t get away with that one.

Make sure to come to Napanee on Feb 23rd and express your solidarity with the heroic Algonquin leaders who won’t back down for OUR WATER, AIR and SOIL.

Thank you for your interest and, more specifically, for being in touch with Mike and/or I in regard to efforts to raise public awareness on the uranium issue. Raise public awareness we did and, in addition, while we did not (yet) convince Premier McGuinty to place a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining, the plan to hold a Citizens’ Inquiry into the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle is moving ahead. See below for the recent press release or visit

Many of you have asked what you could do to further the goal. We are writing now, not only to update you on the Citizens’ Inquiry, but to invite you to participate in one (or more) of several ways. Below you will find several initiatives that would help, the first (unnumbered) is something you can do in the moment, the rest over the next few weeks. We expect you are all busy people as we are and it is easy to be overwhelmed by the task at hand, but together we can make the change our society so desperately needs.

If you have a few minutes today: call or e-mail the CBC noon show, Ontario Today.

On Friday, the show covered the Kingston Court decision where Queen’s U. Professor and Elder of the Ardoch First Nation, Bob Lovelace, was sentenced to six months incarceration and a $25,000.00 fine for his efforts in protecting the people of the region, the eco-system and the unborn. (See # 6 below, as well as the first press release after signatures.)

Ontario Today has requested feedback/reactions to the sentencing. They will be reacting to responses on Monday’s show unless Family Day bumps it ’til Tuesday.

As well:

1) Where ever you live, please send a written or email submission expressing your thoughts and feelings about uranium its uses, etc. to “The Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle” – (see second press release below)

2) If you live in the area or are visiting, you can participate in the Inquiry’s Public Hearings by making a presentation (10 min. max.) at one of the four venues in eastern Ontario in April: (Sharbot Lake, Apr 1st; Kingston, Apr 8th; Peterborough, Apr. 15th, and Ottawa, likely Apr 22nd (venue yet to be nailed down in Ottawa):

3) For those living outside of eastern ON, consider organizing a Citizens’
Inquiry in your area, or a Public Hearing in your town/city. The
presentations/submissions received could be forwarded to us, for inclusion
in the Inquiry Report and on our website:
Were this Inquiry to go Canada-wide, the attention to the issue would be
worth the effort.

4) Forward this email to your lists, and invite them to participate/submit and help with the following:

5) Speakers Needed: Advise us of people who might be willing to speak on the
issue at campuses across Canada – we’ll link them to people organizing the talks – alternately, forward this email to people you know and ask them to be in touch at the above link/addie. This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness among the generation who will be most affected by today’s decisions.

6) Queen’s University Instructor and Elder Robert Lovelace was taken away from Kingston Court in handcuffs on Friday and will spend the next 6 months in jail, as well as being fined $25,000 for his actions to date – and he has not backed down. Similar fines were levied against Trent University Professor and Ardoch Chief, Paula Sherman, who purged her contempt charges in order to remain home with her children after also being sentenced to six months in jail. Individuals from each of the First Nations were forced to accept an agreement that essentially means they will not be continuing to help stop the drills. Already in contempt and faced with daily fines of up to $5,000, the decision was difficult. Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation members will be sentenced in March, along with three ‘settlers’ – non-natives – also charged with contempt.
When writing your Letters to Editors, to McGuinty and others, please let them know what an injustice it is that those trying to protect our land, water, air and unborn have to risk losing their homes in the process.
There will be an action outside of the detention centre where Bob Lovelace is being held in Napanee, ON, on Sat. Feb 23rd. Please contact us for more info on this initiative, if you are able to join us.

7) If you live in Ottawa or could pass this to your contacts who do, you can help with a current initiative in regard to your City Council. The resolution for a moratorium on uranium has passed unanimously at the committee level and will be brought forward on the agenda of the Committee of the Whole on Feb 27th. Please contact your Ward Councilor
and share your thoughts/feelings with him/her.

To date every municipality from Kingston through to Carleton Place has passed this or a similar resolution. So far, they have been ignored by the province. We think it will be interesting to see what the Premier does when constituents in the city that he represents (Ottawa South) support a moratorium.

8) Mike and I plan on taking the “Living on Earth as if we want to stay tour” (with a new addition – moi speaking on the uranium issue) across Canada and down into the western and north central States. If you are interested, please be in touch. The rough timing is: spring – eastern and southern Ontario; mid June to mid July – Ontario and points west to BC, returning through the US; and September – Ontario and points east to NS. We are looking for sponsors to help with the venues, media, etc. It would be great to see some of you again and to put faces to the names of those that I/we have yet to meet.

Thanks for your love, concern, thoughts, prayers, and letters, as well as your time and energy. With the inertia that currently exists in the system, it will take a monumental push to change direction, but I continue to believe that it is doable. I have to.

blessings and apologies for the length of this email 🙂
Please see the two press releases that follow:

Press release: Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada

Where Is The Justice?
Kingston, Ontario
February 15, 2008

Kingston Regional Police took Bob Lovelace away from the courthouse in handcuffs this morning to serve a six month sentence on a contempt of court charge handed down by Justice Douglas Cunningham. Lovelace, age fifty-nine, is an ex-chief and spokesperson for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN). He is also father to seven children and an instructor at Queen’s University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College. Justice Cunningham imposed a fine of $25,000 on Lovelace and $10,000 on his community.

Lovelace said “I am in a dilemma. I want to obey Canadian law but Algonquin law instructs me that I must preserve Creation. I must follow Algonquin law.” Judge Cunningham in his sentencing said, “There can only be one law – the law of Canada as expressed in this court.”

Co-chief Paula Sherman and Honorary Chief Harold Perry agreed to abide by the terms of an injunction which forbids them from blocking Frontenac Ventures Ltd from drilling test holes on the site or encouraging others to do so. In this way they avoided Bob Lovelace’s fate. “I want to be with Bob” said Harold “but my community does not want me to do this”. Perry is age seventy-eight and has heart problems while Paula Sherman is a single parent.

Earlier in the hearing Chief Doreen Davis and Earl Badour of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation agreed to abide by the terms of the injunction of September 27, 2007. They must reappear in court on March 18, 2008.

Chris Reid, lawyer for AAFN, noted that there were other options available to the involved parties which would have prevented this outcome. The Province of Ontario could have removed the claimed land from the lands available to be staked and explored. Further, he observed “The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that all provinces have a duty to consult with First Nations who have even a weak claim on land before they permit any development. Ontario has not consulted with any Algonquin band about this claim”.

Christian Peacemaker Teams laments the unjust actions of Justice Cunningham and the government of Ontario. We fear that the actions of the court and the government are leading this province down the road of confrontation that will inevitably lead to more suffering, injustice and bloodshed for Aboriginal Peoples. We beg Premier McGuinty to intervene and change course, to choose instead to work towards a just relationship with Aboriginal Peoples.

– 30 –

Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada
quipes Chrtiennes d’Action pour la Paix Canada
25 Cecil St Unit 307
Toronto ON M5T 1N1
Tel: 416-423-5525; Fax: 416-423-7140


Eastern Ontario Citizens’ Group Announces Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts
of the Uranium Cycle

The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) is pleased to
announce the Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle. Public
Hearings will take place 1-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m. daily, during April:

Sharbot Lake: Beginning April 1st. at the Anglican Church
Kingston: Beginning April 8th at the Queen St. United Church
Peterborough: Beginning April 15th at Sadlier House
Ottawa: 4th week in April (venue yet to be selected)

“It became clear that the government of Ontario was not going to put a moratorium in place before they recessed for the holidays and wasn’t listening to concerns around the exploration for uranium that is taking place in eastern Ontario. A team is in place and plans for the inquiry are well underway,” stated Donna Dillman, the 53 year-old grandmother who resumed eating on December 13, after 68 days without food, when several organizations, including Greenpeace, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Voice of Women, Mining Watch Canada, Student Against Climate Change and Sierra Club of Canada stepped forward to support a citizens’ inquiry.

Anyone can attend the public hearings to observe or make a presentation. As well, written or electronic submissions can be provided to the Inquiry Panel. CCAMU anticipates a broad range of topics relating to the issues and facts, including public and environmental health and safety, economics, and political responsibility.

The inquiry will be accessible to citizens and experts alike. Presentations at the inquiry venues can be in a variety of forms and will be limited to 10 minutes each. “Because people express their ideas in different ways, we’re inviting people to communicate through narratives, poems, skits, and songs as well as with written submissions,” said Dillman.

Registration to make a presentation is required. Deadline: Two weeks prior to event:
online registration:
Phone: 613-259-9988,
fax: call first 613-259-9988,
mail: 2799 McDonald’s Corners Rd, R.R.#3 Lanark, K0G 1K0
or email:

Registrations will be acknowledged prior to the scheduled date of the location requested and will confirm your participation during the afternoon or evening session.

Written and electronic submissions may be made to the addresses as noted above.
These submissions must be received by May 1, 2008

Algonquin leader fined, jailed six months

Second uranium mining protester also fined but released on ‘compassionate grounds’
Posted By Sue Yanagisawa Whig-Standard Court Reporter, posted 2 days ago

The lawyer for a uranium prospecting company, frustrated by an Algonquin-led protest that disrupted the company’s plans for test drilling north of Sharbot Lake last summer, said it gave him “no pleasure to ask for incarceration.”

Yet Neal J. Smitheman asked for exactly that this week, the maximum jail sentence possible in fact, and substantial fines against Algonquin leaders who refused to ‘purge’ contempt charges by formally promising not to interfere in the future with his client, Oakville-based Frontenac Ventures Corp.

Yesterday morning, Superior Court Justice Douglas Cunningham gave Smitheman what he had asked for.

After observing that “they have not only engaged in a full-scale occupation of the Clarendon site, they have counselled others to do so as well,” and telling those present in the courtroom that “compliance with the orders of this court are not optional,” Cunningham ordered Ardoch Algonquin First Nation co-chief Paula Sherman and community spokesman Robert Lovelace jailed for six months.

Cunningham said the sentences could be discharged at any point if the two leaders agreed to purge their contempt. Until then, however, he directed the OPP to take them into custody.

About an hour later, Sherman returned to the courtroom with lawyer Christopher Reid, who represents the Ardoch Algonquins, and Smitheman told the judge that he and Reid had reached “an accommodation” on her behalf that was “motivated on compassionate grounds.”

Reid was blunter.

“Ms. Sherman is sole support for three children and she will lose them if she goes to jail,” he told judge.

Consequently, she had agreed to enter into an undertaking promising to comply in future with the “letter and spirit” of Cunningham’s Sept. 27 injunction. The injunction requires that Frontenac Ventures have “unfettered and unobstructed access” to its mineral exploration claim – about 30,000 acres of Crown and private land in North Frontenac.

It specifically bars the Algonquin communities living in the area and “persons unknown” from “interfering with, disrupting or hindering” Frontenac Ventures, its employees, agents or contractors. Having agreed on the record to future compliance with the injunction, a process known as purging contempt, Cunningham discharged the custodial portion of his order against Sherman and she was not sent to jail.

At the precise moment she was being dealt with in the second-floor courtroom, however, Lovelace was being placed in the Quinte Detention Centre transport van at the rear of the Frontenac County Court House. Chanting and ululating from a group of supporters, who had gone outside, could be heard faintly through the windows on the north wall of the court.

The sounds of outrage had been much louder, ringing in fact, an hour earlier when Cunningham’s initial pronouncement of sentence was greeted by loud jeers of “Shame! Shame!” from the packed spectators’ gallery. At its peak, a dark-haired woman from among the non-native supporters of the Algonquin leaned across the bar of the court, behind lawyers representing the attorney general, and berated the judge.

“This court is participating in the biggest public health disaster this country has ever seen. Do you understand that?” she yelled up at the judge.

Cunningham paused briefly, but didn’t have her removed. Instead, he continued with sentencing, ordering that Lovelace pay a fine of $25,000, Sherman a fine of $15,000 and the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation $10,000 for past conduct. He set additional fines of $2,000 a day for every day they’re not in compliance in the future and ended by ordering the Ardoch Algonquin statement of defence struck.

They are precluded from bringing any application or motion before him until their contempt is purged.

Reid, putting it in ordinary language after the proceedings ended, said “they are booted out of the court.”

What that means in the short term, he said, is that his clients won’t be allowed to mount their core defence in March when they return for a second round in these proceedings.

“The statement of defence,” he explained, “challenges the constitutional validity of the Mining Act.”

The perversity of the situation, he added, is that his clients are being punished for resorting to direct action instead of relying on the courts. But “they can’t come to court now. Self-help is all that’s left to them now.”

At this point, Reid said he’s talking to his clients about an appeal.

Cunningham, in explaining his reasoning for the sentence, said that the adoption of self-help flaunts the rule of law and can’t be tolerated because “respect for our court system evaporates and our entire society suffers as a result.”

His sentence, he added, had to send a message to others who might consider similar action.

Respect for the court system wasn’t exactly inspired in the largely partisan crowd of spectators who watched as the two prisoners were taken into custody, however.

After Cunningham rose, those who weren’t attached to Frontenac Ventures or the provincial Ministry of Northern Development and Mines stood en masse and applauded Sherman and Lovelace, some ululating, an expression in sound that can denote sorrow, celebration, honour, defiance or all of them at once.

Gloria Morrison – the wife of Frank Morrison, one of only two non-natives charged in the contempt proceedings – was seething in a quiet and dignified way. Her husband has attended the court case only intermittently when he’s been obliged to but she’s been a fixture since hearings began last summer.

The Morrisons own 100 acres of managed forest and marshland north of Snow Road, property crossed by the Big Antoine and Little Antoine creeks and a man-made stream, which all flow directly into the Mississippi River. They’re opposed to uranium drilling and believe it endangers both the surface and sub-surface waters in the area.

They were devastated when they discovered that Frontenac Ventures had come onto their land without permission sometime in 2006, staked a prospecting claim that covers about 70 per cent of their holding, and that there was nothing they could do about it. According to Frank Morrison, the claim staking alone has destroyed the market value of the property.

It was Gloria Morrison who first alerted the Ardoch Algonquins to the sort of prospecting Frontenac Ventures was doing and asked them to get involved.

She’s unhappy that her husband’s case – like that of Christian Peacemaker David Milne – was severed from the main action against the Ardoch Algonquin earlier this week.

His Ottawa lawyers weren’t provided in advance with essential documents by the Frontenac Ventures legal team, however. Consequently, his case had to be put over to March to allow for proper disclosure.

Gloria Morrison said she’s been disillusioned by what she’s seen since her involvement in this whole thing began.

At 57, she didn’t have any experience with the courts before this, she explained. She had never even experimented with teenage rebellion or hippie culture: “I walked on green lights and picked up garbage off the street. I never smoked and don’t drink.”

She admits she had certain expectations about how things were supposed to work for law-abiding citizens. But after witnessing this case unfold, “it has not solved anything,” she said. “It’s painful and it has created a situation where many of us will follow.”

Unlike Sherman, all of her children are grown and should it come to that, “I am fully able and willing to go to jail,” Morrison said, “and no, I would not apologize either for protecting our air and water.”

Reid was clearly upset by the outcome of the sentencing.

“I was expecting there would be a period of incarceration. I don’t think anybody expected six months,” and described it as “pretty draconian,” he said outside the courtroom.

He was also unhappy with Sherman’s predicament and the pressure such a lengthy sentence had imposed on her. “If her kids were now adults, she’d be in jail right now,” he said, “but she can’t deprive them of a mother.”

As for the fines “you might as well make it $10 million, as far as the ability to pay goes for these people.”

Bluntly put, Reid said, “Bob Lovelace is a political prisoner. He’s done nothing violent. He hasn’t hurt anybody. He’s in jail because of his beliefs.”
Article ID# 906107

Jim Harding Book tour

The absurdity consists in how all this is news again. I remember watching young German kids, a bit older than myself, just more daring, I guess, getting their chains torched off the train tracks by police who were trying to give way to a train transport of radioactive waste that a then conservative provincial government headed by a Premier without much insight in what this material was really about, decided to transport it to an inappropriate temporary storage facility in a salt stock – Gorleben, Germany. After left-wing terror had marked the 70ies, the whole opposition movement renewed with the civil disobedience of the anti nuclear demos in the 80ies. Entire families split up over the dispute, there were street fighting scenes repeatedly in the news – did nobody watch this here in Canada? Just one thing comes to mind: from the 80ties to 2000 is twenty years. That’s how long it took in Germany to write that motion into legislature, approximately the same time it took the Green Party to get into power and initiate Germany’s phase out.

Germany was also known for it’s massively bureaucratic and time consuming government and administration, but things have changed a lot. Renewable energies employ as many people as the automotive sector, I’m guessing, more by now. It’s a way to make “good” (in the true sense of the meaning) money for investors, empower communities to improve the general electricity supply and energy suppliers to save enormous amounts of money because they don’t need to build costly, unreliable reactors, with all the savings from efficiency and co generation.

North America is known for it’s great flexibility – where is it now, and, when did it disappear? With manufacturing in a crisis, strict building standards could boost local economy and be a real way to buffer up the US economy implications – besides, I could take my tuque of inside, and my hands would not get so cold while typing, either.

Our lyrics are in your face because we are OUTRAGED and not tolerating the rape of culture and communities driven by short sighted profit operations, of which – to extend the elephant in the room to its mind boggling dimensions – Uranium mining in low grade Sharbot Lake (60 lakes are water connected through the Rideau) is just another example.

It’s time to change tracks…

more info is here:


Leading carbon trading critics, proponents to debate in Ottawa on January 25, 2008

Donna Dillman, Community Coalition Against Uranium Mining

Helena Olivas, Delphi Group

Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada

Larry Lohmann, Author of Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power, Durban Group for Climate Justice

Jutta Kill, Forests and the European Union Resource Network, Durban Group for Climate Justice

A free public panel to debate the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of carbon trading and other free-market based mechanisms for addressing climate change.

19:30, January 25, 2008.

University of Ottawa, Art Building Room 026

As politicians and corporations are increasingly responding to the public’s demand for action on sustainability and climate change, certain voices and solutions are being left out of the debate. This debate will bring together critics of carbon trading with those who advocate carbon trading as a viable tool for addressing climate change in what is sure to be a thought-provoking and challenging panel.

Sponsored by the Sierra Youth Coalition, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, Indigenous Environmental Network and the Environmental Justice Organizing Institute.

Monique Woolnough
Phone: 647-637-7063
**Interviews Available**


Day of Action: Demand a Canadian Energy Strategy on February 2, 2008

Send Stephen Harper a Mitten.

Canadians experience long, cold winter months. As the snow starts to fly, our thoughts turn to staying warm. To do that, we need energy to heat our homes. But right now, Canada does not have a national energy strategy that addresses where our energy comes from, where it is going, or the high price of environmental devastation that can come with producing it.

That is why the Council of Canadians is organizing Take Charge! A National Day of Action to Demand a Canadian Energy Strategy on Saturday, February 2, 2008.

For more information go to

PEACEWORK release – a lot of fun!

PEACEWORK and Bova Sound – good vibrations!

Phillip Shaw Bova
Scott Arena
Philip Victor Bova
Maren Molthan

PEACEWORK – all together now!

Tanya Barkhouse
Peter Woods
Phillip Shaw Bova
Scott Arena
Philip Victor Bova
Maren Molthan
Eric Hasnick (hiding)
Gale Edmunds


Tanya Barkhouse
Gale Edmunds

all photos by Gord Glaze ( – he went home to get the camera and shot tons of fantastic photos, thanx so much, Gord!!!

Canada under fire for flouting federal global warming law

(Ottawa, Canada, November 29, 2007) Just days before Canadian Environment Minister John Baird leaves for the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Canada is facing a second legal challenge for missing a key deadline under global warming legislation passed into law earlier this year. The government was served late yesterday with a second Application for Judicial Review for violating the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (KPIA), the Canadian federal law that requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions according to the Kyoto Protocol commitment.

The application was filed on behalf of Friends of the Earth Canada by Chris Paliare of the firm Paliare Roland Barristers and Ecojustice (formerly Sierra Legal). The application alleges that the federal Minister of the Environment and the Governor in Council, consisting of federal cabinet ministers, are ignoring the rule of law by failing to comply with yet another requirement of the KPIA.

The federal government was legally required to publish draft regulations by October 20, 2007 that would enable Canada to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. By failing to do so, it is out of compliance with the KPIA, thus triggering the second legal challenge.

“This new application, while relevant to climate change, is all about holding the Government of Canada accountable under Canadian law,” says lawyer Chris Paliare. “Despite a clear requirement to publish draft regulations, no action whatsoever has been taken. Once again, we are simply asking the court to require the government to comply with its legal obligations.”

“Missing this deadline demonstrates that Canada continues to be missing in action on global warming,” says Ecojustice lawyer Hugh Wilkins. “We cannot sit idly by while the government drags its feet and flouts our laws. The government must be held accountable to the will of the Canadian people and the will of Parliament.”

“The Canadian Government is ignoring its obligation to uphold its own laws, while seeking to undermine global negotiations on the defining issue of our lives,” says Friends of the Earth Canada Chief Executive Officer Beatrice Olivastri. “Canadians must insist on enforcement of the KPIA, our domestic law, so that we lead by action, rather than bullying other nations.”

For more information, please download the application at

PEACEWORK – choices: program details

this is what it looks like when a chocolate bar packaging falls in love with an e-string… nothing like a g-string but nonetheless pretty tempting, isn’t it?! 🙂

By the way, this exact diy cd booklet took me about ten minutes to make (it all starts with an empty Kleenex Box, but I hope to have a movie on myspace soon ?)) – wonder what the exact definition of that word is).

I donated it to CASE, and I know for a fact that one of our fans bid $ 50 on it during their fundraiser last week on Saturday 10th – he confirmed now that the organizers notified him, that he was the winning guy.

Anyway, everybody who followed our invitation, thank you very much for your involvement and donations – what a magic night we had – no greater feeling than people coming together and celebrating within the same spirit – I know you won’t let us down tomorrow! PEACE!

PEACEWORK cd release “choices”

SAT NOV 17th
baldachin inn ballroom (
111 st lawrence @ main
613 269 4223

approximate program:

8 pm doors open

“12strings2bodies” – the acoustic set

“live saver” – co2-neutral diy cd packaging and why we still want the whole f…ing bakery

“choices” – the full band set

complete line-up:
lead and back vocals, rhythm and lead guitar: Maren Molthan & Scott Arena
bass, backvocals: Phillip Victor Bova (bova sound)
drums: Philip Shaw Bova (Hilotrons)
keyboard: Erik Hasnick (Jimi Knox And The Group)
saxophone: Peter Woods (jazz duo with Brian Browne)
back vocals: Gayle Edmunds and Tanya Barkhouse (Uncommon Ground)

PEACEWORK: Independent soul formation releases debut CD in Merrickville

Are you ready? Love and Peace Maren & Scott

Press release:

PEACEWORK: Independent soul formation releases debut CD in Merrickville

SAT 17th November 2007
doors open 8 pm

baldachin inn ballroom (
111 st lawrence @ main
613 269 4223

tickets @ harry mclean’s pub (same address) or from the band $ 20 includes admission and cd at door

There are ten songs on the album “choices” – containing brand new material, Scott points out: “Just To Be With You” is a song that I wrote for Maren, when we were visiting her family in Germany earlier this year. It was awesome to present it only three days later on a huge Berlin outdoor stage where one of her friends put us up to play for the Green Party on a worker’s day celebration (bits and pieces of that experience soon on myspace). There were easily 10 000 people

PEACEWORK Marianenplatz, Berlin, Germany

gathering – it is then when you realize that people can make a difference every day, with your choices where to shop, how to travel or commute, how to work, what to eat – everything is connected. And that is how we got our band motto, every step counts!”

Maren Molthan and Scott Arena founded the band PEACEWORK three years ago. They both play guitar and sing. The CD contains entirely original material, groovy songs with a message. “Have It All”, first on the cd, is a typical example, explains Maren: “I was listening to CBC when George W got reelected, and just felt devastated, he would have another four years to ruin the country some more… so many people left the government that day, and I remember all those applications for Canadian residency or even citizenship coming in from down there – three hours and a heated discussion later, the song was basically written – we have too much at stake to let foolish marionettes in politics carry out the monstrous ways of unsustainable neo-economics. To write that song was our way to speak out against the arrogance!”

In addition to the ten audio files that can be played on cd players, the artists threw in two movies, all songs in mp3 format and the lyrics of the songs in pdf – included on the data part of the cd – a part that windows and mac computers will be able to read. “It was kind of important for both of us, to have something physical like a cd, but we sure are fascinated with the digital market – maybe we’ll do the next album on a USB-drive, like the Barenaked Ladies. We like the idea of reusing things and giving the consumer a “choice” … that word is just everywhere”, smile the musicians.

Very proud are the two song writers to have the Phils from Bova Sound, Ottawa, play drums and bass. They are a father and son team and also produced the PEACEWORK cd (and Scott’s first with his former band Free Souls). Phillip Victor Bova (bass) and Philip Shaw Bova (drums) are also known for their superb analog guitar and mic preamps, regularly sold from their company Sage to the band members of Tom Petty and other successful Rock’n Rollers.

Furthermore will the band receive reinforcement in form of hot and holy back vocals by two local female singers known from gigs in the area with the formation Uncommon Ground.

A message from the band:

we’ve got two songs up from our brand new cd (check CD Baby and itunes etc. after the release) –

Listen for free and come out to the release in Merrickville – nice break from the big city, as there are tons of lovely b&b’s right in town, and with the various arts and artisan stores you might get some x-mas shopping done at the same time.

Think twice: Your dollar is going to make a big difference in a Canadian community instead of going to a big corporation!

PEACE OUT, everybody!


With Joan Kuyek, National CO-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada, and Marilyn Crawford, Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) and Co-Chair, MiningWatch Canada

Joan Newman Kuyek has been the National Co-ordinator of Mining Watch Canada – a pan-Canadian coalition of environmental, labour, social justice and Aboriginal groups – since its inception in April 1999. She has a long history as an adult educator and community development practitioner. She founded and organized two community development corporations in Sudbury, and has worked for The Church and the Economic Crisis Project of the United Church of Canada, the World Council of Churches and for the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic. In 1995, her community work was recognized with an honorary doctorate of Social Work from Laurentian University.

Marilyn Crawford has been working for the past 6 years on issues related to staking of mining claims and exploration. Her main focus has been the Ontario’s Mining Act and the system of ‘free entry’ that affords privileges and rights to enter, occupy and use lands in search of minerals. Marilyn works with Bedford Mining Alert, the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium and is co-chair of MiningWatch Canada.

WEDNESDY, NOVEMBER 21/ 7pm to 9pm
Hintonberg Community Centre,
1064 Wellington St Ottawa, ON


Date: 25/10/2007
Author: News
The nuclear industry continues to show failings in reliability by shutting down nearly half of the UK’s reactor fleet for maintenance this week, even as the Government finalizes its consultation on a new generation of British nuclear power.

British Energy was forced to admit that seven of the UK’s 19 nuclear reactors had been shut down: five for routine maintenance, two on the discovery of internal faults.

Hartlepool and Heysham were closed due to an ‘issue with wire winding’, which could delay their reopening even further.

Former environment secretary Michael Meacher described the situation as ‘extremely worrying’.

He told the BBC that when it comes to energy delivery, ‘One needs certainty, and the nuclear industry doesn’t provide it.’

mdchc checking origin of form

Hello Maren,

As discussed during our telephone conversation last week, I have taken your concern to our Management Team for discussion. I wanted to determine how the form had been developed and confirm the data collection requirements of CHC’s across the province. I hope that you had the opportunity during the week to check out the Association of Ontario Community Health Centres (AOHC) website to find out more about the work of Community Health Centres in Ontario communities. The website is While CHC’s provide medical services there are
also other broader programs and initiatives provided in the community depending upon community needs.

We are reviewing our forms and checking with colleagues in other CHC’s regarding the wording, which had been taken directly from a CHC Program Evaluation User Guide provided to us. While we are required to collect the information, as are all 55 CHC’s in the province, we will review the
way the questions have been worded and look at expanding the statement at the bottom of the form explaining the purpose of collecting this information.

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.



Ruth Dimopoulos BSC.PT
Health Services Co-ordinator
Registered Physiotherapist
Merrickville District Community Health Centre
Phone: 613-269-3400 x228 Fax: 613-269-4958

Open letter to Merrickville’s District Clinic Health Centre

Dear Ruth,

thanx for our conversation on the phone last Wednesday (?), I think it was,..
I finally found some time to read up on things I wanted to check before critiquing your questionnaire CLIENT REGISTRATION FORM, where patients are asked to specify their race/ethnic origin, when a second question right afterwards enquires about their “country of origin” which made me think long and hard. I wanted to at least superficially research this complex which I have been able to just tonight.

Sorry for the delay. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything on the Health Canada pages, which would explain (guidelines? good practise? not really), why such question was required. And besides, Health Canada is already asking that or the like at the border:

As I haven’t been in time yet to try on the phone, I am sending this letter also to the media staff of the health ministry, and some members of the press – I hope a lot of people are going to have a look at or even join in this discussion:

I tried to find out where the discussion was at, whether the term “race” is scientifically defined or, at all, describes a scientifically approved concept. I noticed, that nothing much had changed, as I can confirm due to my own work in science as a biologist. This discussion has been going on for longer and I am only referring to one very recent tip of it here:

It might serve as a starting point for other interesting sources of information (Richard Dawkins, Jared Diamond etc).

However, we now seem to only share 94 percent of our genes with the Chimpanzee, instead of 98 percent some years ago, according to the latest research.

My summary here:
To know a person’s body’s constitution helps to diagnose and treat patients better – no doubt here as illustrates the above noted web page:

“Sickle cell anemia, most closely identified in the United States with black Americans, is often found in African and Mediterranean peoples, …

Conversely, cystic fibrosis is a common genetic disorder in people of northern European descent, but far less so in Africans.

Those are both diseases that are caused by a single mutation, so the genetic link is clear-cut. [sickle cell and cystic fibrosis]

… , African Americans seem to have a higher frequency of one mutation that reduces the liver’s ability to break down certain tricyclic antidepressant drugs, …

Blacks also have a higher frequency of a mutation that increases the speed at which a newer class of antidepressants, such as Prozac, take effect.

About 8 percent of whites carry a mutation that would cause trouble with warfarin, a blood-thinning drug, compared to 2 or 3 percent of blacks.

Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that African Americans with heart failure were less likely than whites to benefit from a type of drug known as an ACE inhibitor.”

(end of quote of the above web page)

Taking the risk of crashing open doors I can’t but list some points which seem important in this context:

The exterior (phenotype) expression of a “race” – solely out of mid age convenience I’ll stick with the criteria in the internet discussion from above, because I am sure that there are plenty of scientist who would dispute these as defining attributes: nose, hair, skin – represent different alleles on the molecular level, varieties of one gene – that all populations – and to 94 percent even the Chimps – share.
The genetic disposition can be much more diversified as the actual “look” of that person. People can carry two different alleles, coming from their parents gene-disposition, even from far gone by ancestry – somebody’s “race” might not be so easy for any of us to reveal.
The experts argue long and hard, if the molecular disposition of a person allows for conclusions about geographic details of that same person.

The Wikipedia entry on the term offers orientation, too:

“Some argue that although “race” is a valid taxonomic (note of the editor: = classifying) concept in other species, it cannot be applied to humans.[3] Many scientists have argued that race definitions are imprecise, arbitrary, derived from custom, have many exceptions, have many gradations, and that the numbers of races delineated vary according to the culture making the racial distinctions; thus they reject the notion that any definition of race pertaining to humans can have taxonomic rigour and validity.[4] Today most scientists study human genotypic and phenotypic variation using concepts such as “population” and “clinal gradation”. Many anthropologists contend that while the features on which racial categorizations are made may be based on genetic factors, the idea of race itself, and actual divisions of persons into groups based on selected hereditary features, are social constructs.”

It takes considerate writers to find the matching word. We have just tangentially touched the scientific discussion, and it’s already clear, that this is one of the hot spots of social life science and why the term “race” is very disputed and may seem offensive – why not avoid it altogether?

I think there are better ways of accessing that information that is so crucial to provide the right services to your community. On the same note I’d like to express my appreciation for the service that I received when I attended the pap-clinic – everybody was very friendly and helpful. I know the mdchc is trying hard to improve people’s health.

Therefore the following suggestions with my best wishes as a worshipper of appropriate wording and expression, and a scientist:

The second and third paragraph of the questionnaire need to be modified. In order to screen on any infectious potential the question

Where have you been travelling within the last two years?

seems much better suited.

Would that point out a certain increased risk, you could try to obtain details in the one-on-one (have you been exposed to farms, chickens, touched a bird, noticed a strange sting or bite on your skin), as usual.

To screen for potential diseases more common amongst people who share a certain phenotype – well, that poses challenge, and I know that the mdchc has an interest in what is politically correct. Should that really be required here, why don’t you ask your patients what they know about themselves instead of something that is so hard to describe, even for scientists (s.a.):

Please check boxes to indicate (cultural or family) ties with the following regions (multiple possible):

Central America, North America, South America, Middle East, India, Africa, South East Asia, China, Australia, Russia, Europe, Caribbeans, Pacific etc.

Upon registration – is the new patient at least seen by a nurse? The details need a private setting, which can be easily established with the nurse or office manager.

A far as I remember you on the phone as well as the staff lady who was at the counter when I started to try to find out more about the intention of question 2 and 3, explained to me upon my enquiry, that the mdchc was trying to provide an appropriate frame of care according to the conviction or any other personal choices of the individual patient. This can easily be addressed with this question:

Do you prefer a male/female family doctor?

Also here, a one-on-one will reveal necessary details (“Is there anything else we need to know in order to treat you appropriately?”).

Come on, guys!

What in the world could be the reason for using such a dirty and leached out looser of a word as



Jim Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies and author of the just released Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System (Fernwood, 2007).

The AECL’s Advanced Candu and Bush’s Global Nuclear Partnership

By Jim Harding

A few weeks before Stephen Harper went to the APEC meeting in Australia, ready to discuss George Bush’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), the Energy Alberta Corporation (EAC) in consort with AECL announced its plan to build two Advanced Candu Reactors (ACRs) near Peace River, Alberta. Harper, EAC’s Wayne Henuset and AECL’s mandarins won’t want the public to connect the dots too quickly. Harper’s minority government might not weather a heated controversy over Canada importing nuclear wastes while having a huge unsolved nuclear waste problem of its own. That controversy erupted in the Australian election campaign after the Howard government indicated it would consider buying into Bush’s plan to have supplier countries take back and reprocess spent fuel.

The Seaborn Panel, the 9-year federal review of Canada’s nuclear wastes, never investigated Canada importing nuclear wastes, and reprocessing these wasn’t even on its radar screen. Rather, it concluded that deep geologic disposal of irradiated nuclear fuel is not acceptable to the Canadian public and recommended that the management of irradiated fuel be addressed by a body at arms length from the both the nuclear industry and government. Instead, the Chretien government mandated the industry-owned agency, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), to deal with the issue. Under the NWMO’s announced plan, irradiated fuel is to be stored at existing reactor sites for at least a generation, i.e. 30 years, before being moved to a centralized location and possibly being reprocessed before the high-level radioactive residues are buried in a deep geologic repository. Such reprocessing would create a highly radioactive corrosive liquid even more dangerous than the solid spent fuel rods, and the extracted plutonium will remain extraordinarily toxic for over 800 generations.

The large nuclear reactors (ACR-1000) that EAC wants to build in Alberta are justified as an environmentally-friendly alternative to the natural gas that is currently used to heat the tar sands. The fact that the tar sands are the dirtiest of all fossil fuels discredits the nuclear industry’s PR about being the clean, magic bullet for averting global warming. That’s bad enough. If it became widely known there was a hidden agenda about an international nuclear waste dump in Canada, then all the hype about clean nuclear energy providing economic development might begin to fall on deaf ears. Besides, the ACR-1000 reactor is only a design on paper and hasn’t been reality tested. Without the $200 million granted to AECL from the Harper government for design work, adding to the $17 billion dollars of subsidies since 1952, there’d be no chance at all of this project ever seeing the light of day. (Such large handouts of federal taxpayer’s money could become a contentious issue, given Alberta’s populist ideology of self-reliance.) Serious design flaws have already been noted by the 2004 Safety Assessment done for the U.S.’s Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR); most notably the risk of a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) and core meltdown after a power surge resulting from a large or multiple pipe breakage.

AECL’s 180 degree About-Turn
The original Candu designers prided themselves on using heavy water (the “d” in Candu) as a moderator and coolant, so that natural uranium (the “u” in Candu) can be used as fuel. No enrichment of uranium is required. But the new ACRs will use light water as a coolant, and for that reason they will require slightly-enriched uranium (SEU) as a fuel. Why the flip-flop?

The basic motivation is to reduce costs, but there is a darker side to what AECL calls the ACR’s “fuel adaptability”. AECL’s Technical Summary for the ARC-1000 says it is “ideally suited to burn other fuels such as mixed oxides (MOX) and thorium.” MOX is a code word for a blend of uranium and plutonium. But “other fuels” can also be used and these include irradiated fuel elements from Light Water Reactors (LWR) such as used in the U.S., France, Japan and elsewhere. According to Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, the ARC-1000 would be able “to make use of the “DUPIC” process, whereby spent LWR nuclear fuel is repackaged and used to fuel a Candu reactor.” The reason for this, he says, is that “the amount of fissile material (U-235 plus plutonium) in spent LWR fuel is more than enough to match” the requirements for SEU.

AECL is trying to put a responsible spin on this. It’s scientistic handlers used to assert that due to international safeguards there was no chance of uranium exported for nuclear power being diverted for weapons. Now they’ve created a new argument to market their “peaceful atom.” An AECL paper by nuclear engineer Jeremy Whitlock argues that the new Candu design will provide “unique synergism with LWR technology”, that it “can be used to disposition ex-weapons plutonium”, and, furthermore, that all this will be a “positive contribution to world peace.” The U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) disagrees, saying in its January 2006 statement on Bush’s GNEP, that “all reprocessing technologies are more proliferation-prone than direct disposal” of nuclear wastes.

AECL’s Unparalleled History of Botched Designs
The only advantage of the new Candu would be to the fledgling AECL. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the ARC-1000 to be up and running, for the list of botched AECL designs is lengthy. There was the Organic Cooled Reactor in Manitoba, which was an expensive dead end. There was the Candu Boiling Light Water Reactor in Quebec, which (without even including design costs) was a $126 million disaster. Then there was the Slowpoke Energy System, for which design work cost $45 million, which didn’t work properly. Next came the Candu-3, for which design work cost $75 million, which no one wanted. And the Candu-9, with design costs still secret, which was a no-go in South Korea. More recently AECL built the Maple Reactor at Chalk River, which threatens to become another technological and financial fiasco since the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is refusing to even license it for operation.

The Candu industry has been a sinkhole for the Canadian taxpayer. Each Candu reactor built so far has required refurbishing costs equal to the original construction costs after only half of its projected operating life. And after 50 years in business, AECL has only sold 12 reactors abroad. In 1996, to try to justify its huge taxpayer subsidies, it set a goal of 10 sales by 2006. But only 3 sales occurred, including the Romanian Cernavada plant from a 1980 deal, which required another $328 million Canadian guarantee; and two plants at Qunshin in China that received $1.5 billion in Canadian Account financing. During this decade AECL lost sales to Turkey, Australia and South Korea. With this dismal record, AECL has done a design flip-flop, turning its back on natural uranium fuel to try to cash in on the worldwide nuclear waste crisis. But we must be on guard. While AECL is opportunistically promoting ACR’s which can use irradiated nuclear fuel from other countries, after 60 years they still haven’t cleaned up their radioactive mess at the Manitoba Whiteshell Lab, and their plan for cleaning up their contaminated Chalk River Lab, costing millions more for the taxpayer, remains obscure.

Enter George Bush and his GNEP
Beholding to huge federal subsidies, AECL is also beholding to U.S. President George Bush with his $405 million brainchild, the GNEP. The only thing “global” about this plan is the U.S. pretence to world hegemony, which seems delusional after the Iraq debacle. And the only partners to this proposed “global” plan would be countries already in the nuclear weapons club, along with their uranium suppliers. The agreement would make it mandatory for uranium suppliers to take back spent fuel from reactors abroad. The bargaining chip would be allowing enrichment facilities and nuclear power plants that use spent fuel in these countries. Some chip. We’d get to throw more public money down the nuclear drain, create and store even more dangerous nuclear waste, and have less capital to create truly sustainable, renewable energy systems to avert even more catastrophic climate change.

Bush’s plan would be unworkable without the major uranium exporting countries – Canada and Australia – involved. Luckily for Bush, both countries are governed by neo-conservative parties that also oppose Kyoto. Bush is presenting the GNEP as a means to control nuclear proliferation, while making nuclear power available globally, by not allowing enrichment facilities, or spent fuel to remain, that could be used to produce weapons. (This finally admits that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is not an effective guarantee against proliferation from nuclear power plants.) The converse of this is that GNEP members would preserve a near monopoly on nuclear technology and weapons. No wonder, in the context of discussing billions living in inhuman conditions, climate change and the potential for nuclear holocaust, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. ElBaradei, in a Sept 03/07 interview with Der Spiegel, said “we are moving rapidly towards an abyss”. With a real sense of urgency, he said that, “in order to seem credible to the nuclear wannabe states we must demand steps towards nuclear disarmament from those who have nuclear weapons – an obligation that is stipulated in the non-proliferation treaty but is not complied with.” He goes on to deplore what he calls “this two-faced approach” since “If practically all nuclear powers are modernizing instead of reducing their arsenals, how can we argue with the non-nuclear states?”

More pragmatically, the GNEP would provide “a way out” for the nuclear powers, none of which has any fundamental solution to their own mounting nuclear waste problem. As the world’s major supplier of uranium, Canada, under the GNEP, could be required to take nuclear wastes back from the largest users of nuclear power – the U.S., France and Japan. The elements therefore exist for a dangerous nuclear expansion strategy in Canada. First, a Candu redesign requiring some uranium enrichment that can be used as a justification for importing nuclear wastes to reprocess as fuel, and then the tar sands as a justification for building this new generation of nuclear plants. And, finally, lest we forget, we have the huge Saskatchewan uranium industry supplying the raw material to the nuclear powers, which, under the GNEP, would require that nuclear wastes be brought back to Canada.

Nuclear and Kyoto: The Big Disconnect
The first I heard of Canada “repatriating” spent fuel was when AECL and Saskatchewan’s uranium multinational, Cameco, advocated this in the early 1990s. At the time they were both working towards an integrated uranium-nuclear industry. Now Cameco operates the Bruce Candu plants and a uranium refinery in Ontario, and, with a sympathetic Prime Minister from Alberta, AECL is trying to base itself in its north. It seems the AECL and Cameco were flying this trial balloon of us taking back nuclear wastes long before George Bush or Stephen Harper were elected. Could the tail be wagging the dog?

It’s no accident that the GNEP is spearheaded in countries refusing to support the Kyoto Accord. Kyoto sets targets for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs), which mostly come from fossil fuels. However, business and government interests in oil-dependent countries (including countries like Canada, i.e. Alberta, dependent on exporting oil) don’t want anything to slow down their profit and royalty-gushing ventures. Meanwhile efficiency, geothermal, wind and solar electricity are proving to be the most cost-effective ways to quickly lower GHGs, which doesn’t sit well with the nuclear industry’s comeback strategy of stressing itself as the clean alternative to fossil fuels. Furthermore, the 2001 Climate Change Conference in Bonn rejected nuclear as a solution to climate change partly because nuclear will steal capital from the cheaper, less risky, more effective renewable alternatives. So the nuclear industry is primarily looking to the countries outside Kyoto for support. It helped when George Bush’s 2005 Energy Bill gave another $13 billion subsidies to the industry, and a privatized electrical market allowed U.S. nuclear plants to displace “stranded costs” on to the consumer. And it certainly helped AECL when the Harper government, continuing the Liberal practice of bailing out the nuclear industry, provided millions to design the ARC.

Harper’s government has tried to low-key its involvement with Bush’s GNEP, but we know from a Canadian Press Access to Information request that his government has been seriously involved in discussions about this since at least March 2006. While his aides, seemingly aware that this issue is politically explosive, tried to downplay the “secret agenda” item at the APEC forum, Natural Resources Minister Lund has been more candid. In reference to reprocessing spent fuel for new Candus, in the September 5, 2007 Globe and Mail, Lund is quoted as saying: “as the technology evolves, it’s something we’ll see”. The next day this was “corrected” and it reported that the Canadian government hadn’t yet decided on supporting such reprocessing. At the end of the APEC meeting, Harper’s Foreign Minister Bernier said that the Canadian government had just about decided about the GNEP. This is more smoke and mirrors, as Harper had already funded the ARC, which AECL promotes as being able to use reprocessed spent fuel, and his government has enthusiastically supported the ARC being built in the tar sands. All this from the man who so righteously attacked the Liberals for being unaccountable for far less consequential and less expensive matters.

Meanwhile the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) is forthright about its support for enriching uranium and importing nuclear wastes. CNA President Murray Elston even uses the high price of raw uranium as a reason to support nuclear waste as the fuel of future choice. He continues the practice of the CNA providing disinformation to the public, saying in the Sept. 5, 2007 Globe and Mail that, “nuclear military powers have been reprocessing and transporting nuclear waste for years, and have proven it can be done safely.” Plutonium contamination at the U.S. Rocky Flats plant, France’s nuclear conglomerate Areva contaminating the North Sea, radioactive contamination of the Irish Sea along with detectable levels of plutonium in children’s teeth emitted from England’s Windscale/Sellafield reprocessing plant, and various weapons countries losing nuclear weapons grade uranium is apparently “safe” to the CNA.

Lessons from AECL’s Saskatchewan Shenanigans
We saw a similar process as what is now happening in Alberta in my home province from 1989-91, when AECL had another private company front the proposed building of a Candu-3 in our North. (AECL also tried but failed to sell its Slowpoke 3 to the University of Saskatchewan at the time.) AECL used every manipulative trick in the book, including inflating energy growth to make us fear we’d freeze in the dark without nuclear power. (They forecast a shortfall of electricity in Saskatchewan by 2000 unless a Candu reactor was built.) They wined and dined local politicians and businessmen on trips to Ontario’s Candus, as they are now doing with Albertans. And they tried to bribe us – during a slump in the economy – with the economic opportunities of a Candu-3 export industry based in our province. And they made no mention of the huge taxpayers subsidies that made it possible for them to float such grandiose schemes.

Under Grant Devine’s Tories, who privatized the uranium crown Cameco, AECL got the public utility Sask Power on side for a while, though their figures never jibed. At one point, as many jobs were promised from constructing one Candu-3 as came in total from the massive Ontario Darlington 8-reactor complex. There was lots of nuclear hype that got favourable coverage by the well-oiled and parochial provincial media. But, as with so many other AECL projects, the Candu-3 was never built, anywhere, as Saskatchewan people and third world countries alike rejected the contrived plan. And we are doing fine in 2007, with no black outs and no nuclear plants; though the Tory-like Sask Party and its Premier-in-waiting Brad Wall seem to think we should have one even if its not needed. We have a few wind farms, and, yes, uranium exports remain the bulk of primary energy production and export. The NDP government which spearheaded uranium expansion in the 1970s publicly opposes nuclear power without wanting to admit that they have been willing and essential pawns in the nuclear expansion strategy, which we now see taking shape with Bush’s GNEP and Harper’s compliance.

Saskatchewan and Alberta people are now interlocked in this geo-political drama. We will have to be vigilant about creating a future based on sustainable, renewable energy while phasing out the uranium-nuclear industry; or see both our provinces become the dangerous playground of a nuclear industry that expands by economic bribery and political bailout.




Three of Canada’s best know singer songwriters have each written songs with the uranium mine as their theme. Each has donated their time and talents and recorded these songs as a fundraiser for the fight against uranium mining.






There will be a public information display and people there to answer your questions about the effects of a uranium mine on your community.

Nuclear River or Bad Science?


This is your chance to come out and ask important questions!!!


Date/Time: Friday, October 12, 2007, 7:30 pm
Location: Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin Street, Almonte

Here’s a link to Google maps.

Cost: No admission charge – Free-will offering gratefully accepted.

This is a moderated information session which will include three perspectives as well as a chance for questions and answers. This uranium mining issue is proving to be a complicated and emotionally-charged debate in which many residents of Mississippi Mills are deeply engaged. The topic has been the subject of several news items of late. This moderated session will allow audience members to clarify their understanding of the issues and pose questions to the speakers.


Mr. John Kittle MSc has 2 years experience in nuclear physics research at Carleton University. As a resident of North Frontenac he will present his understanding about the dangers and consequences of proposed mining operations on the health of the Mississippi Watershed.

Mr. George White, President of Frontenac Ventures Corporation, the company that is seeking to proceed with uranium mining operations, will provide arguments that support FVC’s position that this uranium mining project is a legally- and environmentally-defensible corporate pursuit.

Mr. Paul Lehman, General Manager, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority will provide the Conservation Authority’s understanding of the proposed mining project and discuss the possible environmental issues.

Prof. Don Wiles, of Carleton University’s Department of Chemistry, will moderate the discussion.


Donna Dillman will be proceeding with her hunger strike on Thanksgiving Monday, October 8, 2007.
It was decided yesterday that it would be beneficial to have Donna stay right at the site, outside of the gates, to draw more attention to the centre of the protest. It is important to know that Donna has not passed through the gates of the site and what she is doing is well within her legal rights, as she will be camping on the road allowance.
Some people were wondering if Donna was welcome to stay at Parliament Hill. Know that the OPP and RCMP were willing to discuss accommodating Donna and that her choice to keep the hunger strike at the protest site, in no way suggests a lack of cooperation on the part of the police. Donna is allowing for the possibility of moving her protest to Parliament Hill if needed.


As I set up to begin my hunger strike at noon on Monday, please know that this effort will not be successful in isolation. It is not about me. The hunger strike is a focal point. With our voices, our pens and the internet, each of us can reach out to as many other people as possible, and as each of them to do the same. The media will not win this for us. With our individual efforts we can take this issue around the world overnight and it might take that to bring me back home.

At a meeting at the site last night, Chris Reid, one of the lawyers for the First Nations said that he “could feel it in his bones” that we could win this, With the momentum that has already been built by the Natives and by the non-native community, we CAN win a moratorium.

Thank you for the numerous offer of prayers, and various kinds of support. I know that I am not, in fact, doing it in isolation and appreciate all of you for the efforts you have made and continue to make.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving.
We have much to be thankful for.


At 12 pm on the 8th of October, Donna Dillman started her hunger strike outside of the gates of the uranium protest site. She is calling for a moratorium on uranium mining in Eastern Ontario and is asking people to show their support by contacting local politicians and media outlets. Many people have expressed their concern about Donna’s actions but after speaking with her directly most come away with an understanding and appreciation for the position she has taken. Thank you for all of the letters of support.


We can go a long time without food, but clean water is essential to all life. With that in mind and with the rain holding off, I arrived at the site at noon, today, feeling a bit of trepidation and some anticipation. A short time later my home away from home arrived and the good folks at the site got busy and moved me in. I am indebted to the people who donated the tent camper and those on my support team. Without them, and other supporters, this would not be happening, as they are vital to the success of this campaign.

My debut into the public eye came about when a Global TV reporter and Jeff Green, from Frontenac News, arrived on site for interviews. Harold Perry officially welcomed me and thanked me for what I am doing here and I was able to share with him how much I appreciate the sacrifice that the First Nations have made in keeping our water safe. Some time later, I was also interviewed by a student from Loyalist College.

I’ve been getting lots of response to my action and I want to thank each of you for your comments and prayers. Please know that I am not doing this in isolation and that whatever you can do to help me get the message out is appreciated. Please call, write or email your elected officials. Tell them you want a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in Eastern Ontario. Or start an action of your own – a women in N.S. is organizing a coalition of grandparents to protest with us (wouldn’t it be grand if that went coast to coast, with people protesting in communities across the country) and some raging grannies are visiting the site on the weekend – or donate as you can, so that the people working on the issue can keep on keeping on. If you can come by the site, please do, as visits go a long way to keeping the moral up here.


Legitimacy versus Legality

Bruce H. Moore is the Director of the International Land Coalition, an alliance of intergovernmental and civil-society organizations working together to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land. The ILC Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations in Rome, Italy. For more information go to


Uranium Mining – Legitimacy versus Legality
Global demand for minerals, fuels and forest products is a daily headline around the world. On the surface, the promise of jobs and the projections of bull markets appear full of hope for workers and investors alike. However, the story below the surface may be different. Conflicts over natural resources are rising. Growing numbers of local land owners and traditional users increasingly fear that they will loose their land and resource rights to the powerful corporate forces of international mining, energy and forestry.

Extractive industries, such as Frontenac Ventures, outside of Canada’s capital Ottawa, have filed their prospecting claims, seemingly on the classical arguments of the mining sector – that the law provides them with sub-surface rights; a mine, in this case uranium, will contribute to economic growth; and, today’s mining practices are safe. And, in the case of uranium, the latest boost to the claims of the mining industry, links nuclear power to climate change – it’s carbon-free and unlike gas and oil, uranium is located in friendly places like Australia and Canada.

Competing resource claims are difficult policy issues. From a global vantage point, these are not new issues. There is a wide body of worldwide experience and evidence that can be used to establish public policies to legislate and regulate who has he right to use which resources, for which purposes, and under which conditions. These are the essential components for ensuring sustainable resource use. The emerging confrontation around uranium mining in Canada can benefit from this knowledge and the lessons that have been learned elsewhere.

The Canadian case, seeming to hinge on a law from the 1800s, raises the same question that has come to the surface in resource conflicts in other countries. Is the law legitimate? For the International Land Coalition and similar organizations concerned with peoples’ resource rights, it is commonly recognized that governments have a responsibility to ensure that their laws are both coherent within their jurisdiction and consistent with international agreements to which they are a party. In legitimacy versus legality approach to public policy, governments are frequently found to have not harmonized old laws with the new, both within and across ministries. Is this mining law from the 19th century in harmony with related federal and provincial laws of the 21st century?

Around the world, legislative reform of the natural resource sector is undergoing rapid reform in respect to environmental protection, nuclear safety, and the downstream natural resource and watershed effects, resulting from chemical leaching, including mining residues. Canada has a mixed reputation in the mining sector. On the one hand Canada is recognized as an international leader in promoting environmental impact monitoring. On the other, Canadian mining companies operating abroad are frequently cited as examples of policies not being matched in practice.

The current land rights conflicts in Canada and rampant resource debates around the world, point to the need for a mining law that reflects the full body of resource and environmental laws and safeguards, including Canada’s voluntary or ratified international agreement in these domains. Furthermore, when approaching resource reform, it is noteworthy that the principles of free, prior and informed consent are increasingly considered as the basis for protecting the resource rights of landowners, users and tenants.

From press stories covering this Canadian situation, communities may be at risk of becoming divided over the economic promise that mining may offer. Yet, studies have indicated that mining generally results in only low levels of employment due to its high tech nature. The real increase in jobs is not where the mine is located but where the minerals are used, while the environmental consequences remain. Road building and infrastructure are one time investments and trucking generates few jobs. And, the few on-site jobs can quickly disappear due to the high price volatility of minerals. Additionally, a 2001 study found that Canadian taxpayers subsidized the mining industry by $13,095 per job created, funds that may have been used to stimulate alternative opportunities.

Mining is not neutral; it affects the entire territory – especially where the mineral is uranium. Mining on average takes 20 years to come on stream and may be postponed or cancelled if mineral values change or competition from richer deposits or lower labour costs makes other mining locations more attractive. For these twenty years other opportunities are likely to suffer. In a highly valued recreational area with a burgeoning property market, as in the case of this region of Canada, property values are likely to decline thus lowering the tax base. Whereas, the current growth in full-time residents, seasonal cottage owners and vacationers would seem to be a sustainable stimulant to the local economy. This appears to be the alternative to an uncertain, financial volatile, environmentally risky and socially divisive force among neighbours and local business people alike.

Climate change is among the international issues that are gaining much required attention. It would seem unimaginable that policy makers would be taken in by corporate “spin-doctors” suggesting that they should use risky technology to counter greenhouse gases when safe technologies exist.

This Canadian mining confrontation is of rising global interest. Whose interests will rise to the surface – the citizen or the corporation?


Lawyers attempt to force hand of justice; Want to see protesters brought to trial
Posted By Sue Yanagisawa
The Kingston Whig Standard October 5, 2007

Lawyers are still attempting to forestall contempt charges against protesters occupying a uranium-prospecting claim north of Sharbot Lake.

This morning, lawyers representing the Algonquins occupying the claim and Frontenac Ventures Corp., the company that holds rights to explore the area’s mineral potential, will meet at Frontenac County Court House to try to broker a deal.

Late last week, Justice Douglas Cunningham endorsed the injunction sought by the company upholding Frontenac Ventures’ “immediate, unfettered and unobstructed access to the subject property.”

Within days, Frontenac Ventures filed notice it was seeking an order holding the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, five of their community leaders, Christian Peacekeeper David Milne of Belleville, local landowner Frank Morrison and unidentified Johns and James Doe in contempt of his order “by failing to end the occupation and/or leave the subject property.”

As of yesterday, Cunningham’s injunction was still in draft form.

Although Cunningham’s injunction hadn’t yet been filed with the court, after some preliminary discussion to tweak its terms, Frontenac’s lawyer, Neal Smitheman, asked to proceed directly to trial on the allegations of contempt, which were first raised in relation to an interim injunction granted in late August by another judge.

Cunningham asked if it would be better to wait and proceed, if necessary, on his order: “It has not been issued. It has not been entered [with the court] and there’s no direction to enforce,” he pointed out.

Smitheman told him the parties were aware of his endorsement and said, “your endorsement has not been followed. Your endorsement is being ignored.”

At previous court hearings where the prospect of contempt charges was raised, it was estimated that a trial would take five days. Neither of the lawyers representing the Algonquins came to court anticipating that they’d even be spending the night in Kingston.

Lawyers Christopher Reid, who represents the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Stephen Reynolds on behalf of Shabot Obaadjiwan, told the judge they weren’t prepared to begin a trial immediately.

Reynolds said that Smitheman was “trying to jam through a contempt motion,” on short notice and argued that his clients are entitled to call witnesses in their defense. He also told Cunningham that he hadn’t prepared to cross-examine the police witnesses.

Smitheman proposes to call three members of the OPP’s Aboriginal Response Team (ART), a recent initiative developed out of the Ipperwash Inquiry and aimed at building trust between native communities and the police force. Concerns have already been expressed for the future of the initiative if its members are compelled to testify.

Cunningham rose abruptly around 11:15 a.m. and directed the lawyers to join him in the jury deliberation room adjoining the courtroom.

Spectators in the courtroom were left for the rest of the day to speculate on what was happening behind closed doors.

For more of this article go to…


Time: Thursday, October 4th, 2007 6pm opening ceremony
Location: Stewart Park and the Perth Fair Grounds, Perth ON

Focused on the Future, Honoring the Past!
A Three Day Circle of All Nations Celebration of the Waterways of North America and 175th Anniversary of the Rideau Canal (Newest Unesco World Heritage Site!)
Coordinated by Merriwolf Productions

Guest speakers will cover the topic of Uranium Mining in the Frontenac and Lanark region.

October 7, 2007

3:20 PM – 3:50PM
Joan Kuyek, Mining Watch Canada
Impacts of Mining and Mineral Exploration

5:20 PM – 5:50PM
Doreen Davie, Algonquin Chief
Local Struggles to Protect Lands and Watersheds

6:20 PM – 6:30PM
Paula Sherman, Algonquin Chief
Local Struggles to Protect Lands and Watersheds

RESISTANCE IS FERTILE interviews Bob Lovelace

The following excerpt was taken for the Resistance if Fertile website. There are two recorded interviews with Bob Lovelace, elder of the Ardoch Algonquins.

Follow Up With Bob Lovelace on the Blockade of a Proposed Uranium Mine

The continuing blockade of a proposed uranium mine near Sharbot Lake is an incredibly important struggle that is getting very little media coverage. Unfortunately that’s the way it goes, and that’s one of the reasons I do this show. I spoke with retired Ardoch Algonquin chief Bob Lovelace back on August 29 (our first interview is below this one), and here we speak again to learn how things have been progressing.

As it stands most of the leaders of the blockade have warrants out for their arrest and are facing a $77 million lawsuit. Despite this, they are absolutely firm in their stance that the mine will never go through and they will not leave their land. In conjunction with their continued presence at the site, a group of elders and others from their community have embarked on canoes up the Ottawa river to Ottawa, with the intent of gathering support and raising awareness about their struggle. In
support of them, a growing number of communities and organizations are calling for a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in their territory, and also, a growing number of people in the surrounding municipality are refusing to pay their taxes.

Bob talks about their interesting relationship with the OPP, and how they maintained a good relationship with them from the start, which helped them not get evicted when an injunction came down ordering their removal. Since then, however, the OPP was called to court to provide names of leaders and participants in the blockade, and despite their alleged best of intentions, they had to give names to the court to be named in a civil charges on behalf of Frontenac Ventures. Bob also talks about who Frontenac Ventures is and what their business is about.

As with last time, Bob is an excellent, thoughtful speaker, and I hope you can spread news of this around in your own circles. To hear the interview that was recorded on September 26, 2007 go to

Tourism Minister Jim Bradley not aware of Rideau’s World Heritage Status?

Banner in front of the tents near the proposed Frontenac Ventures uranium mine

In a phone conversation with Maren Molthan, Susan Freeman, Deputy Reeve in Tay Valley Township and Councillor for Lanark County, described her latest efforts to turn the protest in the communities with uranium mining into alterations to the Ontario Mining Act. She has worked on that for years and met with Bill Mauro, parliamentary assistant to Northern Development and Mining Minister Rick Bartolucci on Tuesday, the 21st of August. Susan also talked to Jim Bradley, Minister for Tourism of Ontario. The purpose of these meetings was to attract some Ministerial attention on the treatment and consequences residents of Lanark County and Tay Valley Township face with uranium and graphite mining.

Maren Molthan: When did you start advocating for a change in the Mining Act towards more rights for private land owners, was that in your time as Warden of Lanark County for the 2004-2005 term of office?

Susan Freeman: No earlier, just six months after I was elected to Tay Valley Council when the first stakings happened for graphite exploration in Tay Valley.

MM: You have filed a resolution to make some changes to the Ontario Mining Act. What do they consist in?

SF: Some private property owners do not possess their sub-surface (mineral rights) on their property, only the surface rights. The situation here in Southern Ontario is very residential. The Mining Act was created much in favour of the development of the North, which we acknowledge. The resolution aims to make the mining rights accessible to the property owner so if they wish, to merge their surface and mineral rights.

MM: What was the reaction?

SF: Both were very sympathetic, although they seemed to be very unfamiliar with the situation here in Eastern Ontario. The Tourism Minister disputed my statement that the proclamation of the Rideau Canal as World Heritage Site represents in fact, Ontario’s first and only World Heritage Site. Bill Mauro, also the current MPP of the Riding of Thunder Bay-Rainy River, didn’t seem to be aware of the now UNESCO-protected status of the Rideau Canal at all.

Note of the editor: look up all Canadian World Heritage Sites here.

MM: What would you like to see happening to improve the position of private landowners in Lanark and Tay Valley?

SF: We asked the government for a moratorium on the uranium mining in Ontario. On the same note: I hope that our MPP for Lanark, Norm Sterling, will voice our concern in the house.

MM: With regards to Bill Mauro also being the current MPP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River – how much do you see a conflict of interest in Mauro – at the same time – holding also the position of the Minister’s parliamentary assistant?

SF: No, each Minister works with another MPP who is their parliamentary assistant. Hopefully, even though from the north, they work for all Ontarians.

MM: How do you think/expect the Ministries to react?

SF: It is an election year, so who knows!

MM: Do you know of any session, where the house or the committee in charge will likely discuss the resolution or the Mining Act itself? If so, when is that scheduled?

SF: After the EBR (Environmental Bill of Rights) postings then there should be committee hearings on changes to the Act.

Note of the editor: The Ontario Association of Anglers and Hunters explains well, in what an EBR posting consists and provides a link to the Environmental Bill of Rights web page.

MM: How do you think the Ontario Vote in October is going to impact the

SF: Certainly in this riding it well might have an effect.

MM: What is your next step?

SF: Our next step is to ask both councils to pass a motion on a moratorium on uranium mining and on the protection of the Rideau Corridor in Tay Valley and Lanark County.

Excerpt of the resolution:

“(…) the Mining Act of Ontario recognizes separate mining and surface rights on many private lands, bringing about a state of affairs where there may be two owners to one property; (…)”

Susan Freeman can be reached here:

To not own the surface rights of a property does not prevent any mining operator to process exploratory drillings for Uranium at any given time on that property. Now, even with this 150 years old practise remaining legal, it may conflict with the UNESCO protection, because the Rideau Canal is water-connected with the concerned communities, also known as the land of lakes. J.D. Kittle residing in Snow Road, voiced concerns in an open letter, criticizing the Mining Act in a very similar way (see archives for entire open letter):

“The Ontario Mining Act allows mining companies to conduct this prospecting and exploration activity without the knowledge or permission of property owners. There is also no requirement to notify or consult with the Crown when exploration takes place on unpatented Crown land. The exploration process itself can and has in the past done serious damage to property. The Ontario Mining Act allows excavation of thousands of tons of material in the exploration stage without environmental assessment and without a requirement to restore the land. The drilling process itself has risks … the planned depth of ~400 meters causes drill holes to become “wells”, which have to be filled to prevent upflow of contaminated water into the watershed. Drilling can also affect the stability of underground water aquifers that supply clean drinking water to wells in our area.

If exploration leads to an operational mine, ore is removed by strip-mining and shipped to a processing site, usually located as close as possible to the mine site. Uranium ore is crushed and leached using large quantities of water. The sludge or tailings, which still contains substantial quantities of radioactive material, are dumped into special tailings ponds. Reports in 1980 by the Ontario Environmental Assessment Board on Elliott Lake solved many of the problems, but cited significant residual risks in the area of long-term viability of these tailings ponds. More recently in 2003 and 2006, Cameco in northern Saskatchewan, which is the world’s largest uranium producer, suffered three major flood-related spills, in spite of new technologies in tailings pond management. In North Frontenac and Lanark, mining and processing of uranium ore is of special concern since a pond failure or accidental spill could cause toxins to flow into the Mississippi River watershed, thereby impacting tens of thousands of people in villages, towns and cities downstream, including the City of Ottawa.

There are hundreds of cases where mining companies have walked away from mines or processing facilities leaving a mess for the province to clean up. In December 2005, the Ontario Auditor General identified, out of 5400 abandoned mine sites in Ontario, at least 250 are ‘toxic waste dumps, leaching acidic, metals contaminated drainage into water-courses and aquifers’, and the AG strongly criticized the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines over their failure to protect the environment and Ontario taxpayers from the long-term impacts of mining.

In terms of documented health risks, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act states: ‘primary cancers of the trachea, bronchus and lung among workers previously employed in uranium mining in Ontario are recognized as occupational diseases under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act. They are both characteristic of uranium mining and result from exposure to ionizing radiation relating to the uranium mining industry’.

In relation to the government’s new Clean Air and Clean Water Act, we are concerned about the impact of potential uranium mining pollution on the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people in villages, towns and cities downstream on the Mississippi and Ottawa River systems. We do not want a repeat of Elliott Lake and other uranium mining disasters throughout the world. Airborne radioactive dust is carried by winds and will directly affect not only mine employees, but thousands of Ontario residents in Frontenac County, Lanark County, Tay Valley and the City of Ottawa other area townships.

Farmers and rural businesses are very concerned about the effects of uranium mining on tourism, agriculture and other traditional rural businesses and land uses. Property owners have already suffered a negative impact on property values and in many cases have indefinitely delayed plans for property purchases or improvements at a substantial cost to local economies.

Nova Scotia has already enacted a province-wide moratorium on uranium mining due to serious health and environmental concerns and the poor environmental record of the mining companies. British Columbia is presently considering a similar moratorium. Nova Scotia’s moratorium was prompted by contamination from exploratory drilling.

The root of the problem is that the Ontario Mining Act is over 150 years old, and is long overdue for a major overhaul. Over the last few years, many proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (many at the request of the Ministry), but to date no substantive changes have been made to the Act. The unfairness of the current Mining Act and its extreme bias toward mining company rights over the rights of property owners and First Nations people is encouraging uranium mining exploration and development that is completely incompatible with current land use in our area.

We request that the Ontario government enact an immediate moratorium on uranium exploration, mining and processing in eastern Ontario and initiate a public review of Ontario’s Mining Act.”

J.D. Kittle can be reached here:
PO Box 1050, Snow Road, ON, K0H 2R0

Maren Molthan freelances for various media east and west of the Atlantic and can be reached here:

Impossible disasters and nuclear plants

Want to have a look at how safe nuclear is and how reliable and transparent information is handled (or rather man-handled) in case of a disaster?

Here are some diary entries from two Greenpeace experts trying to measure radioactivity after the earthquake in Japan in July 07 – its intensity was declared impossible to occur by the plant operators.

Fun stuff!

This is a recent article on what is to do today to channel the nuclear renaissance into somewhat secure waters …

Here is a very informative article on how bad the situation in Canada was in 1989 – and now, almost two decades later, it has not changed since radiation remains for thousands of years …

Nuclear Power: Exploding the Myths

And here is an excellent background article for everyone just starting to find out about nuclear:

reprinted from Encompass Magazine, March 2001

by Gordon Edwards

Nuclear power was once portrayed as peaceful, clean, safe, cheap and abundant. It was even described as miraculous. Disney’s animated documentary film “Our Friend the Atom” promised that nuclear power could end world hunger, eliminate poverty, and bring about an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. For decades, the Canadian Nuclear Association distributed a public-relations comic book which concluded with these words:


“The benefits of nuclear radiation that we know today are nothing when compared to what we may reasonably expect in the future.

“Food may be preserved in its original fresh condition for long periods of time. Nuclear-powered ships may ply the oceans; trains may cross continents many times on only a few ounces of nuclear fuel; power reactors may help open up remote areas such as Canada’s North….

“In time it is possible that nuclear power may lead to temperature-controlled, germ-free cities, and a better life for all mankind.”

Today the rhetoric is more muted, but nuclear power is still touted as a saviour of sorts: it will save us from global warming, help us eliminate nuclear weapons, meet the world’s burgeoning energy needs. And Ottawa’s nuclear decisions remain as inscrutable and unaccountable as ever.

So far, Ottawa has spent over 13 billion (in 1997 $) of taxpayers’ money building dozens of nuclear facilities, paying thousands of salaries, creating entire towns to house workers, and spreading Canadian nuclear technology to India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Korea, Argentina, and Romania. Through all this, Ottawa never resorted to public consultation, parliamentary debate or any form of open democratic process. Public approval was taken for granted. It still is.

Jean Chrétien likes nuclear power. He doesn’t mention it during election campaigns. It can’t be found in the Liberal Party’s red book of promises. But M. Chrétien uses his office to back the Canadian nuclear industry to the hilt:

* At a 1996 G-7 Meeting in Moscow, Chrétien stunned everyone by saying that Canada favours the idea of accepting tonnes of left-over plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads, to be used as fuel in CANDU reactors. The official rationale? “Canada has to play a role in nuclear disarmament.” Samples of weapons plutonium fuel from Russia and the US are now being tested in a reactor at Chalk River, Ontario. If the ambitious scheme goes ahead, Canadians will be responsible for all the high-level radioactive waste and residual plutonium in perpetuity; yet Ottawa has no plans for any form of public consultation on the fundamental policy questions — just pro-forma environmental hearings on the little details.

* M. Chrétien is an indomitable nuclear salesman. Since the banks won’t finance CANDU reactor sales, he ensures that the Treasury of Canada does. China was given one-and-a-half billion dollars of taxpayers’ money for buying a CANDU reactor. It was the largest loan in Canadian history, yet there was no procedure to secure taxpayers’ permission or parliamentary approval. Turkey was promised an equal amount if it would plant a CANDU in its earthquake-prone soil.

* M. Chrétien was reportedly furious to learn that Canadian law requires a complete environmental assessment for a publicly financed project like the Chinese CANDU. He and his cabinet ignored the law. The Sierra Club of Canada sued. Government lawyers refused to provide documents on technical and financial aspects of the project, saying they were not relevant, because no cabinet member had ever seen any of them. Apparently, the largest loan in Canadian history was based on nothing more than the say-so of Canada’s nuclear industry. Ottawa is now trying to stop the court from obtaining copies of other assessments that China may have done on the CANDU project.

* This fall, Chrétien’s cabinet launched a concerted effort to have Canada’s overseas sales of nuclear reactors accepted by other G-7 countries as a respectable strategy for combating global warming. In fact, the Chrétien government had done nothing to fulfill its 1997 pledge at Kyoto to reduce carbon emissions in Canada by six percent. Instead of apologizing, Ottawa is now saying that Canada deserves greenhouse gas credits for reducing carbon emissions by selling reactors abroad.

Despite all this, the nuclear industry is moribund. Not a single power reactor has been ordered in North America for the last quarter-century, and there are no prospects at all. In western Europe nuclear expansion has also ground to a halt; Germany, Sweden and Switzerland are phasing out nuclear power, and France’s aggressive nuclear program is at a standstill. Only in Eastern Europe and in parts of Asia are there any markets for nuclear reactors, and most of them require heroic financial incentives from the sellers.

I think the clearest indication that this industry will not survive is its dread of open debate, independent scrutiny, or public accountability. For over two decades, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited has had a policy of refusing to debate in public with knowledgeable critics. AECL frequently boycotts public meetings, as well as radio and TV shows where both sides of the issues might be adequately represented, in hopes that the events will be cancelled (which they frequently are). I like to think that such an industry cannot long endure.

Let us now turn to the main myths of nuclear power:

Myth 1. ”Atoms for Peace” and ”Atoms for War” have nothing in common.

Untrue. The Canadian nuclear program began as part of the World War II Atomic Bomb project. The first reactors at Chalk River were built, in part, to produce plutonium for bombs. Plutonium from Chalk River was used by the Americans, the British, and the Russians in their respective bomb programs. India’s first atomic bomb, in 1974, used plutonium produced in a clone of the Canadian NRX reactor. Israel’s Dimona reactor, which produces plutonium for that country’s nuclear weapons, is also a close copy of the NRX reactor.

Every régime that has purchased a CANDU reactor has had military ambitions of a nuclear nature. India and Pakistan are obvious examples. Korea and Taiwan had clandestine atomic bomb development programs when they first purchased Canadian reactors. The generals in Argentina wanted to make Argentina the first nuclear weapons state in South America, and Ceaucescu in Romania had similar inclinations.

Plutonium is mass-produced inside nuclear reactors. It doesn’t occur in nature — but, once created, it lasts for thousands of years. Operating a nuclear reactor creates a permanent plutonium repository. At any time in the future — thousands of years from now, or next year — plutonium can be separated from the spent nuclear fuel and used to make atomic bombs.

Recent reports from US weapons authorities have confirmed that any kind of reactor-produced plutonium is good for making atomic bombs. Indeed, the US Academy of Sciences pointed out in a study in November that CANDU spent fuel can be more easily used by criminals or terrorists to get plutonium for bombs than can spent fuel from other types of nuclear power reactors.

The threat of nuclear warfare, increased by the spread of nuclear explosive materials worldwide, is at least as unsettling as the prospect of climate change.

Myth 2. Plutonium extracted from dismantled warheads can be destroyed by burning it as fuel in civilian reactors.

Untrue. Nuclear warheads are rendered useless when their plutonium cores are removed, but there is no method for destroying the plutonium. This constitutes a serious danger. What’s to prevent the plutonium from being put back into the warheads, or stolen by criminals, terrorists, or agents of an aggressive régime, and re-fashioned into new nuclear bombs?

At present, all that can be done is to make the plutonium more difficult to access, and therefore less likely to be used in weapons. The method that is favoured by the peace movement is “immobilization”. Plutonium is blended with highly radioactive liquid wastes — there are millions of gallons left over from the weapons program. The mixture is then solidified into ceramic logs weighing two tonnes each. These radioactive logs are stored securely and guarded under international control.

Nuclear power proponents prefer a different method: the “MOX” option. Small amounts of plutonium are mixed with large amounts of uranium to produce a “mixed oxide” reactor fuel, abbreviated as “MOX”. MOX fuel is used in a commercial power reactor to generate electricity, and the irradiated fuel is stored onsite.

But the plutonium is not eliminated. From half to two-thirds of the original amount remains in the spent MOX fuel, still weapons-usable, posing a perpetual security risk. MOX is up to seven times more expensive than regular uranium fuel — even if the plutonium is free — so there’s no good economic justification either.

The MOX option is particularly dangerous because it packages plutonium as a commercial product instead of banning it as a dangerous material. Countries that have invested heavily in nuclear power — Russia, France, India, Japan — hope to use plutonium as the principal nuclear fuel of the future, ushering in a “plutonium economy”. In this scenario, tonnes of plutonium will be circulating annually in the world’s economy, and it will be easy for a criminal organization to acquire the few kilos needed for an atomic bomb.

Unlike the immobilization option, the MOX option runs the risk of stimulating a global traffic in plutonium that cannot be policed effectively. Plutonium gives off almost no penetrating radiation, even though it is extremely toxic when inhaled or ingested. Fresh MOX fuel is therefore easy to steal and smuggle across borders. A recent report from the US says that three men, working for two weeks with only modest resources, could extract enough plutonium from MOX fuel to make an atomic bomb.

Myth 3. Nuclear Power can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Untrue. Nuclear power is too expensive to build and too slow to deploy, and does not address the bulk of energy needs which are non-electrical. Studies show that each dollar invested in energy efficiency saves from five to seven times as much carbon dioxide as a dollar spent on nuclear.

The Royal Society of Canada’s 1993 COGGER Report (“Committee on Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions”) didn’t even mention nuclear, which was near the bottom of the list of priorities. Energy efficiency was at the top.

It is true that nuclear reactors do not give off carbon dioxide. Neither does solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave power, micro-hydro, or most other renewable energy technologies. Bio-gas (biologically derived methane), though carbon-based, doesn’t add to global warming because burning it recycles carbon that was recently extracted from the atmosphere, whereas burning fossil fuels releases carbon that was locked away millions of years ago.

Studies conducted in the aftermath of the first oil crisis showed that nuclear power has little or no role to play in a rational off-oil energy strategy. “Energy Future”, the celebrated 1979 Report of the Harvard Business School Task Force on Energy, concludes that efficiency, coupled with judicious use of solar, is by far the most cost-effective strategy for achieving, swiftly and permanently, major reductions in primary energy use (and in greenhouse gas emissions, though the report didn’t have global warming in mind.)

President Carter created the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in 1979 and asked if the sun could satisfy 20 percent of US energy needs by the year 2000. The SERI report, “A New Prosperity”, showed the goal was in fact easily achievable, but the key was implementing a thorough cost-effective energy efficiency strategy. With lower consumption levels, solar becomes affordable and effective.

In Canada, Friends of the Earth coordinated an ambitious energy analysis, published in 12 volumes by Environment Canada and EMR, entitled “2025: Soft Energy Futures for Canada”. It concluded that Canada could, by 2025, support twice the population while using only half as much primary energy as was used in 1978, yet with three times the GNP. This would require no economic penalty, nor would it require curtailing energy use (much as that might be desirable). Due to efficiency gains, no increase in electrical facilities would be needed despite increased electrical use, and all nuclear plants could be retired.

Building an energy-efficient society goes a long way toward building an environmentally friendly and sustainable future. It is more work than just throwing money at energy megaprojects, but the benefits are enormous. It creates jobs throughout the economy, rather than focussing them in one industry. It sharply reduces our negative impact on the global environment. It makes communities more viable by keeping money in the local economy. It brings back hope in the future and sets a worthy benchmark for future generations and developing countries. The obstacles aren’t technical or economic in nature, but political and social. It should be our first priority.

Myth 4. Nuclear Power is Clean and Safe.

Untrue. Canada has 200 million tons of radioactive wastes in the NWT, northern Saskatchewan and Ontario, from uranium mining activities. The Wall Street Journal described such waste as an “ecological and financial time bomb”, and a Canadian environmental panel described one Saskatchewan site as potentially the most toxic waste dump in Canada.

Irradiated nuclear fuel remains toxic for millions of years. The nuclear industry estimates that a geologic repository will cost about 17 billion dollars. Money is now being put aside for the repository project, although a ten-year-long environmental review found unresolved safety and environmental concerns. For example, the radioactivity of the waste will heat up the bedrock, which won’t return to original temperatures for more than 50 000 years. Could this “thermal pulse” jeopardize the integrity of the repository?

The Atomic Energy Control Board reported to the Treasury Board in 1989 that catastrophic accidents are possible in CANDU reactors, and that it is impossible to say with any assurance that CANDUs are safer or less safe than other types of reactors. A 1976 British Royal Commission on Nuclear Power and the Environment pointed out that bombing a nuclear reactor with conventional bombs would be as catastrophic as a severe nuclear accident. Large parts of Europe might be uninhabitable today, the report said, if nuclear power had been deployed in Europe before World War II.

It is important for people from across the country to insist that nuclear power be phased out in Canada and that no public money be used to finance any expansion of this industry. The Ottawa-based Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout coordinates such resistance to nuclear development:, (613) 789 3634,

And for more information on topics related to the nuclear industry, visit the web site of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility at

Note of the editor:
The Ontario Association of Power Producers is likewise a very good source of information and lobbies the federal government to commit to competition in the supply of energy.

Silk and Steel releasing up in the Ballroom

June 23rd

7 – 9 pm

CD Release Party CREDO

The following text is from the artist’s website:

CameronStrings first CD, Credo, is now available. You can order it through Mirick’s Landing in Merrickville at (613) 269-3559. To order online please go to our EBay listiing. If you use this link, you’ll have to create your own Ebay account [if you don’t already have one] which is very easy to do, but if you don’t want to create your own EBay account then email Glen Pilon directly at . If you live near Merrickville, join us for the CD Release party in the ballroom at the Baldachin Inn on Saturday June 23. See poster below for more details. Scott and Tara will be performing and signing CD’s at the party.

Lynne Hanson plays her first Harry

Lynne Hanson is on her way to Merrickville to play for the first time (!) at Harry McLean’s

Saturday, 21st of APRIL, 9 pm.

Her songwriting and singing and the courage to put up with the Saturday-night-crowd of a small town deserves a full house, so come ye all plentiful, no matter shape and size. The following passage is from her homepage:

“A stunning collection of roots-based songs coupled with exceptional vocals and an impressive array of musicians. Every year at KVMR-FM, we’re asked to choose our Top 5 new releases for air play. Things I Miss will surely be on my list!”
– Dennis Brunnenmeyer, Nevada City Limits, KVMR-FM Radio
River By My Side from Things I Miss won the Blues Award for the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) 2006 “Songs from the Heart” contest.

Things I Miss was featured on CBC Radio One Fresh Air on Sunday August 6th as one of their favorite new CDs of the month.

now available at CD Baby and in Ottawa at the Ottawa Folklore Centre located at 1111 Bank Street (at Sunnyside).

Low-Stompin-Roots in Merrickville

Truthful songwriters and restless picking researchers John Carroll and Mike O’Brien are back at Harry McLean’s Pub this

Saturday, April 7th, 9 pm at no cover charge.

The vibe was great when they played there in March:

Possible that the flames get higher this time even, now that the happy season is just one more snowfall away …

MODERN LIVING Black hole for male hotties

by GEORGIE BINKS (posted on the cbc homepage), freelancer in Toronto

Ever since journalists revealed they were checking out “babes” in a Chicago courtroom to fight the boredom of Conrad Black’s trial last week, a @#$%^&storm has ensued.

Writer Ian Brown devoted a number of paragraphs in a recent Globe and Mail story discussing the hotness of various female legal counsel at the former media mogul’s trial. The only lament was that Judge Amy St. Eve’s body was covered in those darned cumbersome legal robes. It’s too bad the same people designing outfits for female volleyball players can’t come up with something more enticing for female judges’ bodies, but give ’em time. (Don’t forget the whip and boots accessories.)

On the editorial pages and in conversation this week, women have lamented that despite the fact we’ve made great gains professionally, we’re still just good body parts to the world.

As I pondered this, I started wondering what male legal counsel at the trial looked like? Why hadn’t anyone rated them for “hotness”? I know the prosecutorial team had its picture taken and distributed like it was posing for CSI: Chicago a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to find a list of the hot guys anywhere. I wrote to the Globe and Mail and asked for help, but the newspaper ignored me. Could its team of crack reporters be preoccupied with finding out the name of Barbara Amiel’s stylist?

Then a horrifying thought hit me. Perhaps there are no hot male lawyers there. In fact, the problem might run even deeper. While we women have managed not only to scales the walls of justice, broadcasting, medicine and business, and still manage to be perceived as sex objects to the masses, what has happened with the guys? Shouldn’t they be trying to upgrade in this area, just to make everything equal?

There was always a worry at the onset of the women’s movement years ago that we would be Birkenstock-wearing, hairy-legged uglies if we left the house for the professional world. But thanks to Botox, new bosoms and Blahniks (Manolo) we look even hotter than ever.

Coming up Kates

Why in turn have men not been striving to equal women in the hotness arena? In fact, it’s a huge problem. Look at the hot movie stars we’re served up these days. George Clooney is the still world’s sexiest man. The guy is practically my age. Despite the fact young females are churned out yearly, Scarlett, Kate, another Kate, Cate, Katie, etc., we rarely see a new hot young man hit the media. Yes, that guy who played Harry Potter is now showing his chest hair in magazines (watch out, they’ll make you wax it), but I feel like a pedophile even looking at his picture.

Recently when I spoke to a gay male friend of mine, we lamented the dearth of new sexy guys making their way onto the scene. He and I like to spend our time watching Tim McGraw videos. We both thank God for Daniel Craig, the new James Bond.

The sad thing is that life seems to be imitating art. While older women energetically fight the ravages of time, what are the guys doing? How many men colour their hair? How many take a look at themselves and the potbellies growing over their belts, and head for the gym? Where’s the Curves for guys? I think something along the line of a “Bulges” for the older male set would do a booming business.

Russell Smith, the editor of the online men’s magazine,, says, “I still think women and men are very nervous about the idea of male grooming. It’s frequently mocked as something we really don’t want our men to do.”

Now I can’t lump gay men in with this because, in fact, most of them take great care of themselves. However, that, says Smith, may be what’s keeping straight men from gussying up. “All straight men know if you look too good, it looks like you’re trying too hard and caring too much for yourself. It’s something people think is inherently effeminate.”

Guys seem to think that we don’t care what they look like – we love ’em for who they are. We’re not superficial. Maybe we are though. Imagine this. Take two of the players in the Black trial, like for starters Black himself and his lawyer Eddie Greenspan. Imagine putting those guys in a female wig and maybe a dress. Guys, would you want to date that? Now put them back in their suits and just imagine they are guys. Do we women want to date that? Smith says, “Someone of Eddie Greenspan’s generation would really balk at dying his hair because it seems frivolous and unmanly.”

Talking up tarts

When you look at Conrad Black and his wife Amiel, they actually look more like a father-daughter team. In fact, it’s difficult to tell his daughter Alana from Amiel in the pictures. However, Black and Amiel aren’t actually that far apart in age. I have no personal knowledge of how Amiel looks that good, but I’m guessing she colours her hair, like most women these days. I bet she does a host of other things as well. I bet he steps out of the shower every morning and gets dressed.

Check out any internet dating site. Look at the men over 40 and then take a peek at the women. Do men go bad faster? Or are they simply not trying? I think it’s the latter.

So guys – why not tart up a bit? Then we can read about you in the media. We won’t have to worry our pretty little well-coiffed heads wondering what your opening legal statements were or what your past legal accomplishments are. We can look at your bodies and dream.

Make your move! Wild horses in Canada

by Maren Molthan with excerpts of the National Post

The rare breed Suffield Mustang regenerates in a small herd in the Marlboro Forest of Ontario. Meanwhile Albertans shoot the last examples of the Sundre horses with rifles. Is there a thing like “Canadian Mustangs”?!

Thump! This bunch of grass is ripped off the ground and disappears between Widowmaker’s lips. The dark brown stallion, the waves of his long mane run over his shoulder as he moves, one step, one mouthful, one step, another thump, another step, moving, always moving. The visitor’s eyes light up when Gale O’Grady explains, that this Mustang (from “mesteno”, Spanish, for “ownerless” or “stray”) has never felt anybody riding him. He must at least touch the beast now, but try to approach it. Though its muscled body never moves suddenly, the stallion seems always one step ahead of the horse lover’s careful efforts to come close enough – the horse manages to stay out of arm’s reach, but never runs away. “They are a very unexcited breed. They never run far, only far enough to be out of danger.” Gale O’Grady lays out some other characteristics of an untamed upbringing: “You can see, they move in bands, one stallion can gather up to ten mares, the foals are kept in the middle of the group as they graze, young stallions form bachelor bands, until old enough to challenge the leader or form their own band.”

The O’Gradys are the only breeders of Mustangs in Ontario and maintain what is today probably the biggest Canadian herd of Suffield Mustangs of 30 horses. Five years ago, they brought four pregnant mares, a colt and one mature stallion from out West, having foals every year and refreshing the bloodlines constantly with traded horses from other breeders. The sturdy, highly intelligent and exceptionally healthy horses came from an isolated playground for the genes to improve only under natural selection: The Suffield military base in south-western Alberta. Ever since the last roundup in 1994, most of the remaining few were sold to slaughter­houses. Only the very core found a home on the pastures of concerned horsemen. Now, 23 years and several horse generations later, there are about 300 Suffields traceable with the help of the registry of rare breeds, explains Gale O’Grady.

The Sundre area in Alberta hosts a last herd of a different breed with more curved nose back, to facilitate grazing. About 200 are left, the official government count of 2006 showing 25 less than the year before. Their life could be simple. Four strong legs, which basically solve any possible problem out on the plains. Moving, never grazing one place twice, never finishing the stock completely, leaving it much easier for the ground to recover than under cattle graze. Reforested seedlings are eaten only if the Mustangs are almost starving, and their constant pawing exposes grass for deer.

The galopping symbol of unbreakable freedom. Until a shot rings out to wipe them off their feet or a round up ends their roaming – that has been the end of many Mustangs, as the species does not qualify for federal protection and slaughterhouses pay well. The Canadian government prefers to look at them as being “feral”, meaning derived from domestic stock and not wildlife. But are they so different from wild animals?

The Suffield Mustangs have been left to themselves for about forty years. When the British expropriated local farmers in order to set up the Weapons Testing Range in the third year of the second world war, lots of them left their livestock behind. A roundup in 1945, after the war, counted about 425 horses. Only three years later, the military abandoned the base, leaving behind only a weather station. Twenty years of no military activity went by, with the neighboring farmers using the range as pasture for cattle and horse. In 1965, the military started reusing the range, fencing the land with the horse herds being a lot bigger. By 1994, the natural selection of an unmanaged group of horses had created the Suffield Mustang: an easy keeper, with height from 12 to 17 hands, all colors except grey.

Guss Cothran at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Texas’ reputed A&M University – his colleagues presented a cloned foal there, in 2005 – confirms: “Being isolated and running free for generations, the horses redevelop wildlife skills, e.g. being economic with their energy, thus not running very far from the intruder, and running away another little piece, should he, she, it come too close again. Strong herd instincts are another criteria.” The scientist is involved in research in order to manage genetic health of herds in the US, where the situation seems a little bit better, and the Bureau of Land Management propagates the Mustang as “making excellent riding stock” and organizes auctions of “Excess” – the number of wild horses, that the government researchers consider being too much pressure for the land, trying to find them private owners. But it’s been only been some weeks since the Senate passed a law to prevent them from being sold to slaughterhouses. Cothran explains that genetic tests leave no doubt about the intertwined development, the hoofed spirit has taken through the millenniums: “The vast majority of the North American Mustangs are mongrel, meaning that they are of mixed breed origins. The Przewalski is the only true wild horse remaining and it is different from the domestic in that is has an extra pair of chromosomes. Only a small number of herds, about five percent, show strong evidence of Spanish horses.” Cothran’s genetic testing proved a direct genetic link between wild horses of the BC Brittany Triangle and their Spanish ancestors, where friends of the Nemaiah Valley still fight to have the government recognize their claim on the grounds of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, who proclaimed a wild horse reserve there in 2002. The Sundre variety with its long tail, smaller and sturdier statue simply physically resembles the Caballos of the Spaniards quite obviously. The explanation, that the remaining Canadian wild horses are the great-grand-children of far bigger logging horses, can’t appeal to anyone who takes the time for a closer look.

To confuse things further: the ancestor to all of this, first appeared in North America about 50 000 years ago, gradually shaping the modern horse, equus callabus, only to fade again from this continent 10 000 years ago. However, not all of them fell victim to hunters and ice age, it is believed. Some herds migrated to Eurasia, where they diversified further, under both free and captivated conditions. The Spaniards brought them back to North America in the 1500s, and the escaping horses started to form the legendary Mustang herds that North America once was so known for. Blackfoot raiders introduced the mustangs to Alberta in the 1700s. Explorer David Thompson recorded horses in the Sundre area in 1808. Three million wild horses filled the new continent with life around the 1800s. Now researchers estimate, that there’s not even 8.000 left.

Albertan authorities also organize roundups – a permit costs $280 – but with a lot rougher consequences: a limited number of the horses are sent to slaughter or, the more fortunate ones, sold for breeding. The Wild Horses Of Alberta Association WHOAS would like to stop this drain for a while to allow the horses to expand and renew their gene pool. “WHOAS has never said that the horses should be left totally alone, but we think their numbers should be allowed to recover,” Bob Henderson says. “They are not overrunning the ecosystem.” The WHOAS president describes the unique role of the horses in the harsh conditions of the Canadian West: In winter, rival stallions will allow their herds to mingle for survival, and deer will sometimes take refuge among horse herds to escape wolves. With no new-borns to protect, the Sundre Mustangs let people approach up to 50 m at this time of year – an easy distance to practice your aim. The latest shooting hit two adults and two seven-month-old foals found on January 23rd. Having spent decades in police service in Calgary, Henderson was outraged: “There was still skin on the faces. My reaction was real hurt. Anger. Being a cop all those years, I’m able to turn it off. But my wife, she just cried for the longest time.” On a hunting trip he saw Sundre’s wild horses first in 1972. “They just awed the hell out of me. I knew then what it meant to be free.” The Sundre killings can be prosecuted under Section 444 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to five years for anyone who willfully kills or maims an animal. But Henderson would like to see the horses protected under their own legislation. “They are perfectly adapted to fit their environment,” he says. “What we are fighting is attitudes. It’s how you perceive things. They represent part of our history and they are beautiful.”

In Ontario, Gale and Barry O’Grady agree, that the Mustang deserves to enjoy the status of an endangered species: “If some private owners, horse lovers and dedicated individuals didn’t breed it, the Suffield Mustang would be gone by now. The position of the federal government seems bureaucratic and very casual. These animals are a center piece of Canadian heritage. The people around us are fascinated with their beauty. Officials are getting very late to acknowledge, what Mustangs have done for the societies of the North American continent.”

The O’Grady’s have an open doors day in June. They sell their Suffields as friendly and reliable riding horses all year long. Please call for more information or email: 613 283 3650, and make sure to visit their web pages:

All pictures show horses of the O’Gradys stock in Ontario. They were taken by the O’Gradys, Sue Peck and Maren Molthan. We welcome publication in your medium. Please get in touch with the editor BEFORE you publish. Thank you for your consideration!