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Our March 2015 meeting began with Sister Pauline Gagne, SCO, providing a brief history of PACT, the Persons Against Crimes of Trafficking and its current vision and goals. PACT began in 2004 and incorporated in 2007 as a not for profit organization to stop human trafficking. PACT holds meetings once a month at the Bronson Centre consisting of educational events, public awareness and advocacy around the PACT issues.
Sister Pauline reminded us that every December 2, PACT holds an event to raise awareness about human trafficking. Recently, PACT put out a report entitled Project Impact funded by Status of Women Canada that involves many organizations from the community. If focuses on human trafficking for sexual exploitation. 90% of the persons trafficked were local and most were youth. There were many questions and Sister Pauline encouraged all there to come out to a PACT meeting to learn more.
Susie Smith, Acting Program Chair for March, thanked Sister Pauline for her excellent presentation and for sharing her knowledge with The Zonta Club of Ottawa.
The second item on the meeting agenda was an introduction to the work of E4D – Evidence for Democracy – a national, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization formed out of concern over the recent Canadian government cuts to important science institutions, and policies that restrict the flow of scientific information to the public.
E4D provided a screening of a Fifth Estate episode entitled “Silence of the Lab”. The screening was arranged by Val Knowles. This is the program description taken from the CBC website:
With massive cuts by Ottawa to everything from food inspections to water quality and climate change and the dismissal of more than 2,000 federal scientists and researchers, some scientists have become unlikely radicals — denouncing what they call a politically-driven war on knowledge. In Silence of the Labs, Linden MacIntyre tells their story – and what is at stake for Canadians – from Nova Scotia to the B.C. Pacific Coast and the far Arctic Circle.
This excellent production highlights the reduction in funding for publicly funded science and explains why Canadians should speak out against it.
Members enthusiastically applauded the work of E4D and asked that they be kept informed of future activities. A mailing list was circulated.
A copy of the film is available on YouTube. https://youtu.be/Ms45N_mc50Y Published on Jan 11, 2014, the fifth estate | Season 39, Episode 10
Note: On October 19th, 2015 the Liberals won our Canadian Election, and soon after the new Prime Ministre wrote to all scientists in the Federal Government to say they are free and welcome to interact with the media.