huddled masses yearning to breathe free

ALPF and Kyle have given me a lot to mull over this morning, and it's a good thing, because I'm feeling too busy and pressured to find anything good myself. Some days the book deadline feels completely possible, other days it feels completely ridiculous. Book-terror level alert: fuchsia.

So let's see. Forget about the dirty war, Canada doesn't even want the US's dirty air.
The leader of Canada's most populous province said Monday Ontario is considering legal action against the U.S. government and American polluters in an effort to cut U.S. smog from coming into the province.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said they'll consider joining lawsuits already in progress against Washington and against big U.S. polluters. . . .

Ontario released a study Thursday showing that more than half of the air pollution hanging over Ontario comes from the U.S and costs Ontario $5.2 billion a year in health and environmental damage.
Canada will, however, take the people trying to clean things up. Really trying, big time. In this article from Canada.com, "Canada sets universal human rights model - offers training for activists from corrupt, war-torn countries".
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que. -- They have come by the dozen from many of the world's most authoritarian and corrupt countries to be trained in human rights advocacy, Canadian style -- though what they learn in this picturesque Quebec village could put some of them in jeopardy back home.

Described by their hosts as among the "most courageous people in the world," the participants in this training workshop have travelled from Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Zambia, Indonesia and 60 other countries. Many have escaped fresh conflicts to spend three weeks here, where they are discussing normally taboo subjects of religion and politics and absorbing the fundamentals of human rights.

It is risky. Some participants were reluctant to speak to the Citizen for fear of reprisals when they return home.

The program offers a respite from violence and fear, but it is impossible to escape the troubles completely. One Iraqi learned this week that her uncle and cousin had been kidnapped for ransom.

Still others couldn't even get to Canada. About two dozen, primarily from Africa, were refused visas for fear they might not return home, said Ian Hamilton, executive director of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation, which is hosting the program.

Mr. Hamilton said that by teaching human rights, Canada becomes a "powerful moral force in society." When the participants go home, equipped with new skills and knowledge, they bring what could be considered one of Canada's proudest exports.
So far, 2,500 people have attended the program, coming from Zimbabwe, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Thailand, Iraq, Yemen and Nicaragua, among other places. Participants take home an action plan, and nearly 70% of them find a way to implement it. Very cool story here.

No comments: