Occupy Lethbridge

On October 15th, the 99% of Lethbridge will be holding their own “occupy” demonstration:

OCCUPY LETHBRIDGE

Saturday, October 15th, 2011
Lethbridge, Traditional Blackfoot Territory
Peacefully Assemble with The 99%!

10 am – Special “Not Your Mother’s Poetry” Broadcast on CKXU 88.3 FM.
Stop by the Station, Lower UofL SU Building

11 am – Sign making outside of City Hall

12 pm – Peaceful Assembly outside of City Hall – Beginning of the 99% Open Mic. Please keep it to under 5 minutes.

12:30 pm – March as part of the 99%. City Hall around downtown and back. Open Mic stops outside of financial institutions and Jim Hillyer, MP’s office. What is YOUR message to the 1%?

2:00 pm – Open Mic finishes at City Hall.

* The route is approximately 1km long and will be kept at a slow pace for those with limited mobility.

For those unable to march, there will be people with information mingling outside of City Hall. They would love to discuss how a better world is possible.

Occupy Lethbridge

Convocation at University of Lethbridge

Today, I had the pleasure to attend the University of Lethbridge’s convocation to celebrate my sister’s graduation. She received her bachelor’s degree, with an honour’s thesis, in English. I’m really, really proud 🙂

During convocation, we were shown some memorable clips from past honourary degree recipients, one being Chava Rosenfarb, Yiddish writer and Holocaust survivor. She received an honourary degree in 2006 and was invited to give the convocation address.

Thanks to keepmethoton on YouTube, I was able to find her full speech. You might want to grab a box of Kleenex for this one…

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NYPRBkRTj0

“Make A Difference” – Vote 2010

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” – George Jean Nathan

In 10 days, October 18th to be exact, citizens of Lethbridge will have the opportunity to vote in a new mayor and aldermen in the municipal election. But that’s not to say they will.

In the last election, voter turnout was 22.63%. Out of the 65,835 citizens eligible to vote ONLY 14,896 actually did. Disgraceful. And to make matters worse, no one ran against Bob Tarleck for mayor, giving him that seat by default. This is the guy partially responsible for the $30M+ ABCP investment fiasco, which was only revealed after that election.

My opinion? Stop voting in the same, used-up politicians that have been getting a free ride year after year and start with a fresh city council. We have a good opportunity here to make Lethbridge suck less.

This year, many candidates have been using more than just the shotgun-approach of yard signs and newspaper ads, but have websites and engage in social media. For the first time I have been talking with candidates, openly and have gained their trust, going on more than what’s just printed on a piece of paper. They are engaging me in an open, fluid medium for all to see.

If you’re wondering who are our candidates, what the issues are and how to interact, Elect Lethbridge is a great place to start. To find out their stance on certain issues, Lethbridge Accountability is also fantastic. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, join the conversation.

And for everyone’s sake, get the hell out there and vote! Don’t be lazy!

Municipal Election 2010

UPDATE: Lethbridge College’s student newspaper, The Endeavour, has posted video profiles of our candidates.

Mouseland: a parable from the father of Canada’s healthcare system

With an upcoming civic election, I find this video really insightful. Although more relevant to provincial or federal politics, I am impressed with the message. We should keep this in mind when we cast our ballot:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC1GtIhwpSk

Tommy Douglas was the socialist premier of Saskatchewan, the father of Canada’s healthcare system, and the grandfather of actor Keifer Sutherland. In this short animated video introduced by Sutherland, Douglas delivers his famous “Mouseland” parable, about the day the mice decided to elect their own to government.

Mouseland: a parable from the father of Canada’s healthcare system (via BoingBoing)

Skateistan builds ramps, not bombs

So my friend Erika lives in Afghanistan. She helps run a totally radical youth educational program called Skateistan:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiwSPg4jC3M

Skateistan is Afghanistan’s—and the world’s—first co-educational skateboarding school. The school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment. Our students come from all of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They will not only develop skills in skateboarding and skateboarding instruction, but also healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts, and languages. The students themselves decide what they want to learn—we connect them with teachers who will enable them to develop the skills that they consider important. Since Skateistan has been active in Kabul, we’ve seen that Afghan youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women with the skills to lead their communities toward social change and development.

Skateistan

The bane of democracy?

I'm not very much into politics, but there are a few things that get me fired up: assaults on education and health care, the environment and copyright reform; all things that Conservatives are slowly, but surely destroying. This is without any consultation or regard to Canadians thoughts and opinions, but rather to benefit large corporations and industry.

I'd like to focus on copyright today, something many of us are not familiar with. After reading the Boing Boing article, "Canadian Prime Minister promises to enact a Canadian DMCA in six weeks," It became clear that our Conservative minority government didn't learn any lessons from the mass outcry against bill C-61 two years ago.

The Tories have shown — yet again — their utter contempt for public opinion and Canadian culture and small business…

I find it upsetting that the Conservatives are pushing this bill so quickly to undermine Canadian citizens, yet again. And you wonder why there's a Pirate Party.


Continue reading ‘The bane of democracy?’

City squares want your circles

Plan Your CityA couple of weeks ago I wrote about Plan Your City, where the city began gathering public input to figure the hell out which direction it should take for the next 40 years. Part of that includes city circles, where citizens are encouraged to take part.

Cory Armfelt, city consultant, writes:

Hey everybody the City Cirlces are up and running!

Get a group of friend’s together, record what you like about Lethbridge and/or what you don’t like (please include a way to solve the problem…) and submit it to the City. We are hoping for a variety of mediums- Personally I’m hoping that someone comes up with an interpretive dance about what Lethbridge means to them and is willing to present it at the ideas fair in October…

City Circles

Plan your city: Bring life back to Deathbridge

Plan Your CityToday, Joanne and I had the opportunity to meet with city consultants Cory and Brian, who are involved with the process of bringing Lethbridge into the 20th 21st century. They’re part of the “Plan Your City” initiative, where Lethbridge might actually listen to its citizens, so as to shape our future up to the year 2050 (before beastmen enslave humanity).

Listen, Lethbridge matters to me, or else I wouldn’t have started this blog. If you’re a young person like me (I’m 28) who has ever referred to this city as “Deathbridge,” this should matter to you.

Continue reading ‘Plan your city: Bring life back to Deathbridge’