Message from the Region of Canada

Montreal, May 7th 2009

Dear Sisters

While we are actually in an economic crisis, there are rumours of injustice, fraud, lack of transparency at all levels of our governments. On the municipal level, it seems that doubtful real estate transactions were made by the Montreal Housing and Development Society, which entails a considerable financial loss for the City and thus for the citizens. Documents were destroyed, the cost of decontamination of lands was over evaluated, valuable work was entrusted without contract and without call for estimates, the reasons for which only one contractor was chosen are not clear, no member of the direction can say who controlled the costs, etc… Finally the investigation which was entrusted to the Company Samson Bélair/Deloite & Touche is in the hands of the police. All this is a scandal for Montreal.

On the provincial level, the examiners affirm that the Deposit and Investment Savings of Quebec took big risks by making bad investments, and this has destroyed the economies of many people of Quebec et has brought about poverty and misery for elderly people in our Province. The debt has increased and the devaluation of retirement funds question legitimate projects of many, and even the livelihood of thousands. The money from the regions, instead of having been used for the betterment of these regions, was invested in Montreal for a luxurious hotel for dogs and cats, with showers, etc… It is scandalous! Our Prime Minister refuses to publish the amount of salary that he receives as head of the liberal party. This is a big lack of transparency!

At the federal level, the European market has placed an embargo on seal products, this penalises our Canadian hunting and fishing industry. Also, the opposing political parties seems to want to campaign for new elections, yet we have just had some within the last two years. All this creates a climate of insecurity, unrest and doubt within the population!

In their message of May 1st 2009, Workers’ Day, the Bishops of Quebec said:
“The crisis reveals a number of negative consequences when financial logic, pushed to the extreme, is disconnected from the economy and its only goal is the pursuit of immediate profit. Our societies have been traumatized and as always in such instances, the poorest are the first and most innocent victims. For several months, thousands of people have seen businesses that employed them close their doors. Many must now be content with precarious, part-time employment. Fluctuations in food prices and energy costs weigh increasingly heavily on family budgets. The current financial crisis strikingly demonstrates that government laisser-faire policies are ineffective and out of date. It’s only through a change in our values and a spirit of universal fraternity will we discover that the redistribution of wealth is an indispensable condition for a better society.

Concerning this same subject, the organisation Development and Peace openly continues its struggle with the Canadian mines which destroy territories, underground water, flora and faun in needy countries, devastated by wars and often where human and democratic rights are scoffed. This of course has permanent consequences for the health of the workers and the local people. On March 20th, our federal deputy organised a meeting with Mr. Ryan Worms of Development and Peace, who presented us with a portrait of the actual situation concerning the behaviour of the Canadian mining societies which, unfortunately, are not under the legal control of the government of Canada. I participated in this coffee-conference and invited people to sign more than one hundred petitions addressed directly to the Prime Minister of Canada. Let us hope that this will bear fruit… Let us be in solidarity by our prayer and by non-violence!

S. Claire Brabant smr – Region of Canada