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Archive for ‘Dennis Gruending’

Pacifism and Remembrance Day 2013

Pacifist Fr. Daniel Berrigan being arrested, Wikipedia

A friend and I taught a night course at the Ottawa School of Theology and Spirituality in 2012 about Christian pacifism. Had you asked me when I began if I was a …

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Navy Yard shooting and U.S. gun culture

Obama can’t pass gun safety measures

The recent shooting death of 13 Americans at the Navy Yard military centre in Washington D.C. is a tragic but commonplace occurrence. Mother Jones magazine says that there have now been …

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John Baird defends sexual minorities abroad

John Baird defends rights of sexual minorities abroad

There are many things that I don’t like about Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird as a politician, but he’s both right and courageous in opposing the persecution of sexual minorities in Russia, …

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St. Benedict, Sask., Treasured memories

Dennis Gruending in St. Benedict, Saskatchewan, 1996

I grew up in a small rural village in Saskatchewan called St. Benedict, which in the 1950s and early 60s would have had a population of 200 or more. There are now about 80 people living there. Twenty years ago, in August 1993, our village held a homecoming event. People who once lived in the area came from far and near to attend and the Saturday evening barbeque was served to almost 1,200.  St. Benedict and nearby community of Reynaud (where no one lives any more) also published a community history. They called it Treasured Memories and asked me to write a Foreword. This article is adapted from it.

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New Brunswick arrests in fracking standoff

Dallas, Susan McQuarrie, non-violent resistance in New Brunswick

Those of you who read the Comments posted to this blog will be familiar with the name of Dallas McQuarrie, who frequently responds to what I have written or what others have to say in their Comments. Dallas and his wife Susan are at this moment involved in an intense and profound non-violent action in New Brunswick, where they live. Dallas writes about it below.
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Rogersville, New Brunswick is 90 kilometers north of Moncton on Highway 126 and is home to about 1200 people. Nearby are two Trappist monasteries, noted for their silent retreats, and major tourist attractions like Kouchibouguac National Park and the world-famous Miramichi salmon fishery. This year, in what has become a summer of anger and frustration in rural New Brunswick, it’s not tourist traffic on Highway 126 people are seeing on the supper news, but swarms of RCMP officers hauling people protesting shale gas development off to jail.

People are protesting against the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that is occurring in their region. Fracking in the quest to extract shale gas has had catastrophic environmental consequences elsewhere, and many of us want no part of it here. Television images of contaminated tap water bursting into flame and other environmental horrors haven’t helped shale gas promoters.

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Hugo Gruending, a time to plant

Hugo Gruending, a time for planting

I want you to meet Hugo Gruending, my father’s younger brother and always my favourite uncle. Unfortunately, neither he nor my dad is with us any longer. I came across this black and …

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Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and whistleblowers

Cindy Blackstock under surveillance

A group called Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has  issued a report for the year 2012-13 that should challenge our complacency. The CJFE details how the Conservative  government and its bureaucracy are muzzling scientists, putting roadblocks in the way of people trying to use the Access to Information legislation, and harassing whistleblowers and other individuals who dare to challenge their political masters. Two of the names raised by the CJFE in its report, those of Edgar Schmidt and Cindy Blackstock, will be familiar to readers of this blog. The name of Evan Vokes may be new to you.

Edgar Schmidt

Edgar Schmidt is a senior Department of Justice lawyer who has blown the whistle on what he believes is his department’s failure to protect Canadians against Parliament’s passing laws that may be contrary to our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Schmidt says the law requires his department to review proposed legislation for its compatibility with the Charter and to inform the Minister of Justice regarding that analysis. He says, in effect, that the department does not do so. He attempted for years to raise the matter internally but without success. In fact, he had been warned to back off.

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