| Oct 04, 2007


Letters - October 4, 2007

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Letters - October 4, 2007

Letters

October 4 Enforce Uranium Moratorium, Helen ForseyMPP Criticisms Unfounded, Hali Foster Enforce Uranium Moratorium

The following is a statement developed by setters at the site of the anti-uranium blockade at the Robertsville mine site in support of the proposal by the Algonquins for a mediation process to resolve the issues. We are urging people to press our governments to support and engage in this mediation process and the accompanying moratorium.

We are citizens of Ontario and Canada, many of us residents of the Ottawa River watershed, which is now being staked by uranium mining interests. We know that the Government of Ontario, along with that of Canada, has been formally negotiating with the Algonquins since the early 1990s to try to reach a just resolution of the Algonquins' historic claim to this territory.

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We have therefore been shocked to see that same provincial government enabling corporations to stake claims for uranium on those same unceded lands. We are deeply grateful to the Algonquins of Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan who have joined together to protect these lands and waters from the multiple threats of uranium exploration and mining. Their current blockade has our full support.

As citizens of Ontario and Canada, we require our governments to change their irresponsible and contradictory position of allowing uranium exploration on lands where title and rights are in dispute and under negotiation, where the environmental consequences of uranium development would be disastrous, and where the public health of millions of people downstream and downwind would be put at risk.

The Algonquins have now proposed a mediation process to resolve this complex and vital set of issues, supported by a moratorium on drilling or further exploration in the territory while all parties seek a permanent solution.

We require our elected representatives and democratic government to direct their negotiating teams and all relevant ministries to fully and immediately support this mediation process, and to enforce the moratorium and other conditions on which the process will rely. This action will defuse a dangerous situation, restore the honour of the government, and build a basis of trust for moving forward.

Helen Forsey, Ompah

MPP Criticisms Unfounded

In recent discussions about the referendum on October 10 and the recommended change to Ontario’s voting system, Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), I have heard several un-foundedcriticisms, which I would like to address by clarifying the process.

The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform worked independently of government and does not represent a political party. Its mandate was to assess Ontario's current electoral system, and to recommend the retention of the current system or theadoption a new one. The system remains basically unchanged, while adding a new component to fix the shortfalls.

The new MMP system encourages more people to vote to make those votes count.

You have to be a member of a political party in order to vote on who thecandidates will be, a process in which very few voters take part. The party will nominate the local candidates just like they do now,plusa top-up list of provincial candidates. Before an election, voters will know who is on the list.

Voters will vote for a local candidate and for a party. The local candidates will be elected like they are now.The party vote determines the share of seats a party will have in the legislature. If a party doesn't have enoughlocal candidates elected to match its share of the party vote, it gets additional seats elected from the top-up list.

Parties would hold seats in proportionto the votes they receive.This does not happen in our current system. For example, a party that receives 5% of the vote would not likely get any seats in the legislature, but in the new MMP system it would get 6 seats out of 129.

All elected officials will serve the local needs of citizens, and may also be involved in regional or provincial issues.

Hali Foster, Northbrook

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