September 2023


The last few days in Ottawa have been…warm.

In fact, Wednesday temperatures—which read 31.9 C at 5 p.m., with the humidex making it feel like 41C—broke a 78-year record set when City thermometers reached 31.5C in 1945. Normal temperatures for early September are closer to highs of 21C and lows of 11C, and Ottawans can expect more comfortable weather for the coming weekend.

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

Typically, other important events are listed in the ‘Other News’ section featured lower in the newsletter. But in this month’s newsletter, I’m pulling one story towards the top to note a coalition of community groups and Ottawa residents that are taking the Ottawa Police Services Board to court for violating their right to freedom of expression guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You can find out more here.

The claim alleges that the actions of the Board limit both the manner and content of expression of the Plaintiffs contrary to Section 2b) of the Charter which grants all Canadians freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. These limits include the Board refusing to allow for virtual public delegations after it resumed in-person meetings in March 2022 as COVID-19 restrictions eased. The Board then passed a motion at its February 27, 2023 meeting that.

a) limited delegations to one hour for all delegations combined when there had been no limit

b) limited delegations to three (3) minutes it more than twelve (12) people register to speak during the hour

c) prioritized delegates who have not spoken in the last three months, and

d) required delegates to submit their comments in writing beforehand.

Criminalization and Punishment Engagement Project, September 5, 2023

Stories from the PEN!

And now on to the Stories from the PEN, where you can read articles by individuals and organizations stepping up to engage in issues affecting our local communities.

From the PEN Archives

Our September 1996 issue featured an article about two London-based Greenpeace activists who used some newfangled tech—the internet—to build awareness about McDonald’s environmental and ethical transgressions.

The McSpotlight is beginning to attract the attention of the mainstream press. It has gathered accolades for both its content and design. In one twelve-week period, the total estimated number of visitors was estimated at 41,000, based on 1.7 million ‘hits.’ McDonalds themselves accessed the site 1,300 times in its first week.”

Peter Johnson, Counterattack in Cyberspace: Internet Activists take on McDonald’s

Peace & Environment News, September 1996: Volume 11 Number 7

Other News

Image Credit: C. Bonasia

—Christopher Bonasia, PEN editor

PERC appreciates all of our readers for giving us this chance to connect with members of our community, and we love being able to provide you with a forum to discuss pressing environmental and social justice issues.

But we also rely on your support to make this happen. If you are interested in helping our organization continue to use storytelling and networking to help individuals, non-profits, and community groups work locally for a greener and more peaceful world, please consider making a donation to the Peace and Environment Resource Centre. You can find out more on our website, or by using this link.

Join the conversation

or to participate.