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For defenders of the realm: What are you anyway?

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    Peter Karwacki

    There is a rift between the critical, loud-mouth idealists and the secretive, collaborationist pragmatists" True or False?

    Currently I’ve been doing some research on the CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK (RCEN – I know, the R is for the French)

    This is an NGO whose primary function is to facilitate cooperation, carry on educational activities, and encourage and enable member Environmental Non government Organization groups.

    As it turns out, this amounts to delegate selection for various "consultations" of which the Canadian Ministry of the Environment is the principal funder, coincidently named as a respondent in the Kipawa Legal Challenge.

    Its been around for 30 years and yet in all the time working on the Kipawa File…. I had never heard of them. Yet the website is informative, calls the kettle black but still there is no money.

    So this Friday I have a meeting with Leela, the national Caucus "coordinator" . If you had to ask her a question, what would it be?

    My offering is this: "you have a water caucus, and an energy caucus, and an EA caucus, … how do the caucii work together to ensure they actually are not working at cross purposes as was the case with the BCEN ie E.G., Parks & Wilderness was busily cutting deals with the BC government, handing large tracts of land to the timber companies, and completely pissing off the Forestry Caucus.)

    or perhaps more appropriately…

    From my reading of the activities of the "water" caucus there is no mention of the need to preserve the recreational values of whitewater – how would this be added to a caucus agenda? How can we incorporate the views of the disparate Whitewater Paddling Community – a non NGO into the deliberations of the CEN?

    Do you see where I’m going with this?


    Leela Ramachandran

    National Caucus Coordinator/Coordonnatrice des caucus nationaux

    Canadian Environmental Network

    Réseau canadien de l’environnement

    300-945 Wellington West

    Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X5

    Tel: 613-728-9810 ext. 223

    Fax: 613-728-2963

    Well. Excuse me.

    Leela is much to busy to deal with questions as she is busy working with member NGO’s and too busy to spend an hour with me asking her questions about the CEN.

    So her overlord’s cancelled the meeting. I’m told I can still send them my questions.

    My first encounter with the CEN has been thus.


    Peter Karwacki

    The only reply so far was by a poll taker who took the opposite choice and left no message: secretive to the end.. I love it.


    Peter Karwacki

    Apparently the RCEN is undergoing somewhat of a shakeup.

    a new executive director has only just been hired (as in within the last two weeks) and there is reason to believe that the left hand doesn’t really know what the right hand is doing down there.

    I’ll try again in about two weeks based on the encouragement of the Executive Director of the BC affiliate, the BCEN.

    May Susan Tanner, the new ED of the CEN shed light on all of this. I think we need a properly functioning Environmental Network and especially now I think I have gathered some allies in adding Recreational Whitewater use to the WATER Caucus agenda but I won’t be satisfied until I know for sure.

    That is my pledge to you all.

    By the way, so it looks so far that there is a 50/50 split between the vocal environmentalists and the secretive collaborators.




    That is what they call that Job for leader in this country?

    But seriously, Peter, you blow me away, you seem so involved and informed on matters that 99% of are clueless about you are a "TRUE DEFENDER OF THE REALM"…although if you Google that its just part of a Mortal Combat Video game/cartoon story line.

    Keep up the work, you deserve to be told that your activism appreciated by most of the Whitewater community.

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