FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The petition against military training in Regina high schools has boosted its signature count after MLA Yogi Huyghebaert condemned the sponsoring peace organizations in the provincial legislature. Huyghebaert called the four Regina and Saskatoon peace groups “one of the CAVE units, and CAVE stands for Citizens Against Virtually Everything” (Hansard, November 6 2014, p 5783—see attached Hansard report).
“Shortly after Mr. Huyghebaert attacked us, our signature numbers began to rise dramatically,” said Florence Stratton, a member of both Making Peace Vigil and PeaceQuest Regina. “The petition now has more than 1,600 signatures, well exceeding our expectations. Our target was 1,000 signatures for the whole campaign. It looks like we’ll have well over 2,000.”
“Mr. Huyghebaert’s statement raises troubling questions,” said Ed Lehman, Vice President of Regina Peace Council. “Is he saying citizens don’t have the right to criticize and ask questions?”
“We are citizens for peace,” added Stratton. “We want our schools to encourage students to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict. In fact, we have decided to embrace the CAVE moniker. To us it means Citizens Against Violence Everywhere.”
The military training program, which is scheduled to start in February 2015, will be offered at both public and Catholic high schools in Regina. It has two components: Canadian Studies 30, a required course for graduation; and Basic Military Qualifications 30L, an elective. Both components will be offered at the Regina Armoury during regular school hours. Students will earn two credits for taking the program. They will also be paid $2,000.
The petition is available for signing until January 7 2015. Sponsored by PeaceQuest Regina, Regina Peace Council, Making Peace Vigil, and Saskatoon Peace Coalition, it calls on the provincial government to reverse its decision to introduce a military training program into Regina high schools and instead to implement a program to educate students about the importance of global peace and non-violent conflict resolution.
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