Periodocially one of the Grannies will be posting a blog story about their activities.

Cathleen’s letter to the editor on so-called anti-terror bill C-51

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Cathleen’s letter to the editor on so-called anti-terror bill C-51

February 17, 2015
The Globe and Mail
Letters to the Editor

Liberties, taken

In his eloquent article on the “anti-terror” bill, Campbell Clark writes, “CSIS is not allowed to target lawful dissent” (Flawed Anti-Terror Bill Deserves Serious Scrutiny – Feb. 16).

I would not be too sure of that. After all, the Canada Revenue Agency has done a terrific job of targeting public interest advocacy groups and charities that dare express an opinion on climate change or the environment.

There is no cause for complacency in this case: This bill, if passed, would take us well on the way to a police state.

Cathleen Kneen, Ottawa

Cathleen’s “GottaGo!” letter in the Ottawa Citizen

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Cathleen’s “GottaGo!” letter in the Ottawa Citizen

Provide safe, accessible LRT toilets

31 January, 2015

It is hard to believe that a citizen’s group (GottaGo! campaign) has had to form to advocate for toilets in our new LRT line. With an estimated 10,000 people per hour going through the system, the need for public facilities is surely blindingly obvious?

Not only is this a public health issue (as in, what happens when someone’s “gotta go” and there is no facility available?), it is also an equity issue, as pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic disease or even small children, may be effectively confined to their homes lest they be “caught short” in transit.

There is no excuse for this omission. Safe and accessible toilets have been designed and are in use in many other countries. The cost is tiny compared to the benefit to the travelling public of a clean, accessible transit system suitable for a modern city and the country’s capital.

I urge the mayor and council to make the sensible decision and require the LRT to provide this essential public service.

Cathleen Kneen, Ottawa

Alma’s letter in the Citizen

Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Alma’s letter in the Citizen

Where’s the justice?


Re: Harkat promises fight ‘to the end,’ May 16.

Where has my Canada gone now that Mohamed and his wife, Sophie, have lost their struggle for justice? As a result of secret trials where he saw neither the evidence nor his accuser, Harkat is to be deported to Algeria, where he may face possible torture and death.

Do we really feel safer because their battle for justice has been lost? Is democracy more secure in Canada because secret trials have been Ok’d? Or has democracy been sacrificed to the so-called “war” on terrorism? Oh Canada, my shameful chosen land.

Alma Norman


Cathleen’s letter in the Citizen on removing the bear/salmon sculpture.

Posted by on Mar 24, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Cathleen’s letter in the Citizen on removing the bear/salmon sculpture.

Cathleen’s letter in the Citizen on removing the bear/salmon sculpture.

Iconic symbol of the Canadian wild

Letter to the Editor, Ottawa Citizen, March 23, 2013

Re: Widow irate at plan for Stanley Cup monument, March 19 and Widow might OK moving sculpture, March 20.

Let me get this straight. Canada’s National Capital is planning to remove a sculpture – Bruce Garner’s Territorial Prerogative – an iconic symbol of the Canadian wild, and replace it with a monument to a trophy?

For those who don’t know the importance of bear and salmon, I had the good fortune to live for some years very close to the Adams River in the interior of B.C., the location of the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon. Every year, thousands of salmon swim up the Fraser and Thompson rivers from the Pacific Ocean to the stream where they were born, where they mate, lay their eggs and die.

The dead and dying salmon are dragged into the woods and eaten by bears (bald eagles eat them too). The results fertilize the trees, which in turn protect the rivers and keep them cool enough for the salmon to return. This is the basis of a centuries-old sustainable economy.

The salmon-bear-forest system is not just an historical artifact. It is a living system which can continue as long as we don’t mess it up (that’s part of why indigenous people see it as sacred). A sculpture expressing this relationship is a constant, and necessary, reminder of our need for humility and respect in our use of what we call “natural resources.”

The only reason I can think of for replacing this symbol of national importance with a monument to the Stanley Cup is to make sure that the cup actually has a presence in Ottawa, regardless of the success of our hockey team.

This is simply pathetic.

Cathleen Kneen, Ottawa

Cathleen speaks up for bear/salmon statue.

Article by Cathleen on EI Changes

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Article by Cathleen on EI Changes

Article by Cathleen on EI Changes

Democracy is missing

By Cathleen Kneen
The Ottawa Citizen
May 31, 2012

Re: Ideology meets reality on EI reform, May 25.

In her column on the changes to the EI program, Susan Riley misses the main point of this legislation.

The real purpose of this legislation is to remove the power to amend the EI program from Parliament and place it in the hands of the minister, who can amend the regulations governing the administration of the program with only a cursory public comment period and no accountability to Parliament.

There is a clear pattern here, from proroguing Parliament to the omnibus “budget” bill which (among much else) guts the country’s environmental protection, the purpose of the Conservative government is to undermine and where possible to eliminate the capacity of the citizens of Canada to meaningfully affect the workings of the state.

I’m not sure what you call the resulting system, but “democracy” does not spring to mind.

— Cathleen Kneen, Ottawa
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Well-deserved recognition of Granny Cathleen!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Well-deserved recognition of Granny Cathleen!

Well-deserved recognition of Granny Cathleen!

From “The Good News Page” of the April, 2012 CCPA Monitor:

Lifetime achievement

GUELPH, ON. – Cathleen Kneen, outgoing chair of Food Secure Canada, was presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Organic Council of Ontario at its recent Organic Conference held in Guelph.

Her contribution to organics started many decades ago as a farmer in the Maritimes with her husband, Brewster.

Cathleen’s work in the food systems movement has always been cutting edge. Her mentorship of community food activists across the country has created a generation dedicated to including farmers and food producers in the food security discussion. She has championed organic production as an integral part of both emergency food and long-term sustainability.

Food Secure Canada.

National Aboriginal Health Organization Axed

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Blog, Indigenous /Aboriginal issues | Comments Off on National Aboriginal Health Organization Axed

National Aboriginal Health Organization Axed

In a stunning example of action speaking louder than words, the Harper Government cut funding to the National Aboriginal Health Organization — sneakily announced on Thursday afternoon before the Easter weekend.  I wrote the following letter to John Baird, Foreign Minister and my MP:

Dear Minister Baird,

I am sure that, as Foreign Minister, you are aware that the state of Indigenous communities in Canada is well known around the world and greatly diminishes Canada’s stature as a modern democracy. Certainly, the Prime Minister has apologized for the residential schools horror; but your government’s actions belie those fine words. The cancellation of the National Aboriginal Health Organization is a shocking example of the Government’s callous disregard for the intelligence and integrity of Canada’s Indigenous peoples to address the aftermath of  their mistreatment at the hands of European settlers. This is shameful behaviour and I can only hope that you will quickly act to change your policies.

I look forward to a response which details the steps that your Government is taking to respect Canada’s Indigenous peoples and support their work to regain control of their own lives and territories in order to offer their children the same opportunities that are available to other Canadians. Please do not tell me about the number of house trailers have been sent to Attawaspikat, I already know about that. What I want to know is what systemic changes you are making to turn that famous apology into real action.

Cathleen Kneen

Letter to the Editor supporting Hassan Diab

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Letter to the Editor supporting Hassan Diab

Letter to the Editor supporting Hassan Diab

Just before the Easter holiday (timed to minimize attention from the press), Minister Nicholson signed the extradition order for Hassan Diab to be sent to France.  Fortunately, Chris Cobb of the Ottawa Citizen covered this distressing news.  Check it out.

In response, I sent the following letter to the editor, which was published.


Flimsy evidence presented

By Jo Wood
Ottawa Citizen
April 10, 2012

Re: ‘We expected this decision, but not this way,’ April 6.

I’ve followed the Hassan Diab case closely and am shocked that Minister Rob Nicholson signed the extradition order in the light of such flimsy, if not non-existent, evidence.

Of particular concern to me is the fact that Diab has not been allowed to present evidence that clearly shows he is not the man they are after, particularly the fact that his palm and thumb prints do not match those taken from the crime scene. Even worse, it has come to light that Diab is only wanted for questioning. Let the French authorities come here and ask their questions. Canada does not extradite for questioning, only for trial.

Jo Wood, Ottawa


Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on AND THE VERDICT IS…


Who is guilty  for the  killing of 16 Afghan civilians in their homes?  Public opinion says it’s  the one person who indeed fired the shots.  But who is really guilty  of wartime atrocities and civilian deaths?

Is it the politicians who decide on these wars and send young people to do the actual killing?  Is it the military who carefully brainwash  them into thinking it’s OK to kill provided  you limit it to “them”?  Is it the Commanders who  insist on forcing soldiers into no-win situations in which their emotions are heated to the point of explosion?

And what of those brave warriors in the US  who never have to face the consequences of  the bombs their drones deliver- often to innocent civilians? Are they also  killers, or is it OK to kill if you’re  safely thousands of miles from the conflict and are just pushing buttons?

One man killed 16 people, tragically .  Is he guilty?  Yes, of this particular tragedy.  But who is guilty of the  thousands of other Afghan, Iraqi  civilian deaths?

The business of war is to kill.  In peacetime this is called murder. And since we’re rightly shocked at murder, is it time for us to see war for what it is: murder on a large scale.

Letter I submitted to the Ottawa Citizen on March 15, 2012  that was not published.


Join the Ottawa Raging Grannies

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Join the Ottawa Raging Grannies

Join the Ottawa Raging Grannies

Are you an older woman who has a keen interest in doing something about the issues we face, and would like to do it the Grannie Way – in  satirical song and theatre?

What you DON’T NEED is to be a Grandmother or have a wonderful singing voice. There’s no audition or tryout. We’re political activists, not entertainers.

What you DO NEED is a sense of outrage at what’s wrong  in our society and the larger world, a determination to help make it right, by protesting publicly and dramatically, often on the street or in demos or marches.  We’re “in your face” but never violent.

Phone or e-mail ONE if us if you ‘d like to come to one of our meetings, meet members of the MOB, see how we work together. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.