Human Rights, Environment, Activism and Quality of Life: Events and Projects

Written by Denise Deby.

Image courtesy Creative Commons
Image courtesy Creative Commons

Find out more about some great speakers and events coming up this week:

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Cost of Carbon

On Oct. 22-23, 24 Hours of Reality is looking around the world at the price we pay for carbon pollution and climate change, and spreading the word about what we can do about it. Ecology Ottawa hosted a local event at Algonquin College’s Commons Theatre; check their website for details. 24 Hours of Reality is organized by The Climate Reality Project that former U.S. vice-president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore founded to bring people together to demand action on the climate crisis.

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 7-8:30 p.m.: Book Launch of Joel D. Harden’s Quiet No More

Joel D. Harden, an activist, Carleton University instructor and author, is launching Quiet No More: New Political Activism in Canada and Around the Globe, with Clayton Thomas Mueller, Idle No More national campaigner. They’ll be at 251 Bank St., 2nd floor (in the 250ne Community building that houses Octopus Books’ downtown location). Details at

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 6-7:30 p.m.: The Fruit Hunters Film

The Fruit Hunters is a documentary about fans of exotic fruit, and an exploration of the relationship between people and their food. You can see it at the Ottawa Public Library’s Main branch, as part of the National Film Board Film Club.

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 7-9 p.m.: Open for Justice Campaign Launch

The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA)’s Open for Justice campaign is advocating for measures that would hold Canadian mining and other extractive companies to account for human rights abuses internationally. Speakers from Guatemala, Mexico and the Philippines will share their experiences. It’s in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences building, Room 4007. Registration at

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 3-5 p.m.: Measuring Quality of Life

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is hosting a talk by Dr. Nazneen Kanji, Director of AKDN”s Quality of Life Assessment Program, about the program’s long-term, holistic approach to monitoring quality of life in a range of countries. The talk, followed by a reception, takes place at The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, 199 Sussex Dr. Register at

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 5 p.m.: The Right to Protest

Maina Kiai, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and former Kenyan human rights commissioner, will speak on “The Right to Protest, A World Wide Perspective” at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences, Room 4004. The talk is hosted by the Centre for International Policy Studies, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and Amnesty International Canada.

Added: Thursday, Oct. 24-Saturday, Oct. 26: 1st University of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival

The Canadian Film Institute and the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre offer five documentary and fiction filmsThursday’s screening of Missing (1982), about American filmmaker and journalist Charles Horman’s disappearance during the 1973 coup in Chile, includes a presentation by Joyce Horman, Charles Horman’s wife and founder of the Charles Horman Truth Foundation (6:30 p.m.). Friday’s film (7 p.m.) is Hi-Ho Mistahey!, Alanis Obomsawin’s film about the Shannen’s Dream initiative to ensure access to education for First Nations children. Films from Afghanistan/France, U.S.A. and Italy complete the selection on Friday and Saturday.

Added: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12 p.m.: Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights Advocacy in Practice

Jo Becker, author of Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights Advocacy in Practice, will be speaking at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Her book looks at how human rights advocates have been able to overcome challenges in order to advance human rights. Jo Becker is Children’s Rights Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch and has led campaigns to prevent the use of child soldiers and to protect child domestic workers. She’ll be at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St. (at Elgin).

Added: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 2 p.m.: One on One with Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will speak at the Ottawa International Writers Festival about the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and her life and work. She’ll be at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St. (at Elgin).

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, 7-8:30 p.m.: Tar Sands, Pipelines in Your Backyard and the Clean Energy Revolution

Ecology Ottawa and the Nobel Women’s Initiative host this discussion about the threats posed by tar sands, climate change and pipelines locally and globally, how to address those challenges, and clean energy alternatives. Speakers are Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership on banning landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines; Joanna Kerr, Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada; Julia Sanchez, President-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation; and Tinda Sebe-Sikaneta, local organizer with an international perspective. It’s at the Mayfair Theatre. Information is on Ecology Ottawa’s website.

Added: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, 6 p.m.: Why Elsipogtog Matters: A Conversation About the Land

The Niigaan initiative invites people to a discussion about the confrontation between Mi’kmaq people in Elsipogtog and the RCMP, and the wider implications of that situation for the land and environment, treaty rights and fracking. It’s at Gallery 101 (upstairs), 301 Bank St.

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