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Ottawa MAI Meetings

[Sent to the mai-not newsgroup and opirg-events, as well as over 40 Ottawa

Brian Edgecombe is organizing Ottawa community groups to meet on strategy
against the MAI. His summary of the first meeting is below. Note the next
meeting time of 10th March.

From: Brian_W._Edgecombe@jungle.ottawa.on.ca (Brian W. Edgecombe)
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 23:31:57 -0500

The following is a summary of key points discussed during a meeting of
Ottawa-area groups and individuals working against the MAI held Tuesday,
February 24, 1998.

Participants at the meeting agreed to pursue work in the following three

1. We would like to take action focusing on local government at the Regional
and City level.  Activities could include: informing city and regional
councillors of the impact of the MAI locally; lobbying city and regional
councils to adopt anti-MAI/MAI Free Zone resolutions; assist in informing the
general public about the MAI by holding public hearings and by ensuring MAI
material is available in public places eg., libraries; launching a court
challenge against the MAI.

2. We would like to get information on the MAI out to our neighbours through
e-mail and community leafleting (for example, we could use the MAI-Not survey
information to produce MP profiles for the area and then distribute the

3. We want to learn more about the MAI to be able to talk knowledgably
about it
in our community.  We could establish a speakers' bureau and start approaching
groups to see if they would like to hear more about the MAI.

Participants at the meeting agreed to schedule another meeting for groups and
individuals working against the MAI for Tuesday, March 10th at 7:00 pm at the
Ottawa and District Labour Council (5th Floor, 280 Metcalfe St.) to assess
to date in these three areas and to draw together more anti-MAI activists.

Participants at the meeting also discussed possible actions to join the
national days of action currently being planned by the national working group
on the MAI.  These actions are scheduled for the week of March 16 - 21, 1998. 
This coincides with the Liberal Policy Convention to be held in Ottawa.
[The convention is actually 19th to 22nd -- TC]

Participants agreed that we would not initiate our own activity, but would
into supporting two possible actions.  The MAI-Not group is currently
discussing strategies for releasing the results of their survey during this
week.  We agreed that we could assist MAI-Not with this action.  We will wait
until the National working group has met on March 2nd to hear what plans they
wish to pursue in Ottawa and then support those efforts.  One possibility is
that the National Groups could make use of the MAI-Not material in some way. 
This would put everything into one organizing effort.

Participants also discussed the possibility of organizing a public forum.  It
was decided to use the attention generated during the week of action to
a local public forum to be held shortly after the actions.  Work on this form
will be on the agenda for the meeting of March 10th.

For more information, contact Brian Edgecombe at 237-6278 or Terry Cottam at
The Jungle BBS -- Ottawa Ontario port 3004

A final note on the references to the survey of MPs; this survey is delayed
somewhat, but all MP offices will be faxed the survey by week's end, before
they return from their constituencies during the Parliament recess. The
MAI-not! Project meets this Tuesday March 3rd, 7pm, Rm 401 Fauteaux Hall at
Ottawa U., to discuss finishing and publicizing this survey.

Terry Cottam
MAI-Not! Project
OPIRG-Carleton, OPIRG-Ottawa

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