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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Canadian Constitution...and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canada's original constitution, the British North America Act, was passed by the British Parliament in 1867. This Act, also known as the Constitution Act, founded Canada as a nation. The Constitution made elected governments in Canada the highest political and legal institutions in the country and distributed power between the federal and provincial governments. However, unlike our American neighbours to the the south, Canada's Constitution did not contain a "Bill of Rights" that elected governments were supposed to follow.

In 1960, the Canadian federal government passed the Canadian Bill of Rights. This statute was not part of the Consitution and therefore had no more power than any other law in Canada. In addition, the Canadian Bill of Rights only applied to federal, not provincial laws. Even though the Canadian Bill of Rights spoke to fundamental freedoms, legal rights and equality for all Canadians before the law, it was generally not considered a very helpful document in legal terms.

As Canada's original Constitution was an Act of the British Parliament, it could ONLY be changed by British Parliament. For many years, a variety of Canadian Prime Ministers sought to find a way to bring the Canadian Constitution home. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (one of our faves!) spear-headed the inclusion of a Charter of Rights into the Canadian Constitution.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was heavily influenced by other international documents such as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. More important to Canadians though, was that, in 1980, the Canadian government put together an all-party committee whose job it was to hear what all Canadians had to say about a possible Canadian Charter of Rights. The committee considered over 1,000 written suggestions as well as listened to over 300 televised presentations from ethnic and cultural minorities, Aboriginal people, women's groups, etc. The committee then made 123 recommendations in regards to a Canadian Charter of Rights...over half of which are included in the final document.

In 1981, the then Canadian Federal Justice Minister and later Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien (another fave! probably my personal fave!), sat down in the kitchen of the Ottawa Chateau Laurier Hotel with two provincial Attorneys General and came up with a plan which most of the provinces of Canada (with the exception of Quebec) agreed to the new changes to the Canadian Constitution - the plan is now popularly referred to as the "Kitchen Accord". The plan gave provinces a way of temporarily avoiding some parts of the Charter known as the section 33 "notwithstanding clause".

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982...all of which is part of the Canada Act, 1982. After receiving the final approval of Britain on April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Canada Act, 1982 which finally gave Canada control over its own Constitution. The guarantee of rights and freedoms found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms now became part of the supreme law of the land in Canada.

Up next....what is The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? And what does it include?

*for more information about any of Canada's laws...see The Department of Justice Canada

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Big Canadian Welcome to our Friend Winston Smith

Hey everybody - we at the CPN are very proud to announce that Winston Smith is now taking over the British Columbia Preppers Network!

Please check out his latest posts - Winston has provided extensive information on all of the threats that we may face!

Head over to the BCPN and welcome our newest addition!

Thank you Winston - we will all benefit from your knowledge and tireless efforts!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Human-Powered Vehicle (Part I) Re-posted at Survive The Worst

The other day we received a request from Nomad who runs the very popular Survive The Worst blog. He requested permission to re-post jambaloney's article, originally posted on the Nova Scotia Preppers Network, entitled "Human-Powered Vechicle - also known as a "bicycle" - also known as the Ultimate Bug-out vehicle - Part I" (see original post here.) We, of course, gave permission and you can now see jambaloney's article re-posted on Survive The Worst here.

We have also included Survive The Worst to our Survival Blogs List (you can find the Blog List on the right-hand side margin under the Archives and Contributors). Survive the Worst also added both the CPN and the APN to his blogroll in this post about the first American Military use of the airplane on March 19, 1916. What an honour!

If you know of any other Survival Blogs that would be of interest to the CPN, please contact Kymber here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

International Visitors and More about Scarecrow and Zénon

Scarecrow and Zénon are the CPN's greatest assets - we would be lost and flounder alone on this network without them (check out Scarecrow's experienced, informative and often humourous posts over at the Ontario Preppers Network. Zénon's thought-provoking and beautifully-written posts can be found at the Réseau de préparation et de prévention du Québec)!

I check the Ontario Preppers Network and the Réseau de prépartion et de prévention du Québec every day to stay on top of both of their informative posts - I may not comment everyday - but I read them (and scribble notes in a notepad that I keep right next to my mouse.)

Today I realized that all of our international visitors who speak English can read and learn from Scarecrow's amazing daily posts (sometimes 3 posts a day!!!). But not everyone can read and learn from Zénon's as his posts are in French (for those of you who do not know - Canada has two official languages - French and English. Not everyone in Canada speaks both languages but a large majority of Canadians do!)

As Québec is a distinct French-speaking province in Canada (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have small populations of French Acadians, as well as the French-speaking Metis of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario) - it is a wonderful thing for Zénon to write his posts en français - we have a large population of French speakers in this beautiful country and I am glad that they can read his informative posts in their language of choice!

However...some of our international readers may not be able to read the French posts! And to that I say - Thank Goodness for Google Translate!!!

As I am a trained Korean linguist - I can attest to the fact that Google Translate does a pretty good job of translating English to Korean and vice-versa. I am not fully bilingual in French - I can certainly read Zénon's posts (sometimes slowly - sounding out each of the words), understand them and comment (but I must point out that his French writing is quite beautiful!) but - sometimes I do not know the exact translation for some of the words so in the past I have copied and pasted said word into Google Translate and Voilà - the word is translated and then I completely understand the original spirit and message of the post!

After I had dumped a couple of words into the translator, I thought to myself - hmmm? can it translate an entire post? I am happy to say that I have copied several of Zénon's entire posts into Google Translate and although it doesn't come out perfect in English...you can feel your way around to understanding the meaning!

So I invite all of you to use Google Translate here to translate Zénon's posts and then leave him a comment - he is fluently bilingual so you can comment in English - or if you want to get fancy - type your comment in Google Translate and then translate it into French! Then copy and paste your translation into the comment box - it really is that easy!

And for all of our international visitors (and thank you to each and every one of you!) - feel free to leave comments in whatever language you choose - I will use Google Translate to translate your comment and then try to write back to you in your language!

To sum this rather long post up - as a trained linguist and someone who has always been interested in learning other languages - I am glad that there is a free tool available to help us speak in our language of choice but also have the ability to speak in a language we might not be fluent in...but can be...if we practice using the tool! This tool gives us the ability to communicate with others in all of the languages of the world! How wonderful!

Keep preppin' and get translatin'!

Monday, March 16, 2009

American Preppers Network Forums

I am very glad to announce the creation of two American Preppers Network Forums (see the links over on the right-hand side of the page under the Provincial Preppers Networks).

The Members-only Forum is pretty self-explanatory...only Members of the APN/CPN and affiliate networks are invited to participate. If you would like to become a member - join the Network by contacting Kymber here.

In addition, there is also a Public Forum! We invite all of our readers to join! The forum is still in its infancy stages but includes discussions on topics such as prepping, survival retreats, survival gardening, food storage, raising livestock, meet-up groups, bartering and a bunch of other prepping-related stuff!

So go check out the forum!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to our newest Member - Zénon at the Quèbec Preppers Network!

Yes - its true - the CPN has a brand new bilingual member over at the Quèbec Preppers Network - our new Friend Zénon!

Zénon has already put up his first post entitled "Un nouveau venu sur la section québécoise" - it's a great read for all french readers but even if you can't read french...head over and give him a big welcome!

We here at the CPN are very, very happy to have Zénon onboard with us!

Welcome Zénon!


Monday, March 9, 2009

And without any further ado...Emergency Communications Part 2

as promised...dah-da-dah - here is "Part II - Emergency Communications" from Santa at the WVPN :

HAM RADIO PART 2


I have been overwhelmed at the interest that my first post generated. First of all let me thank all of you who left comments and also the emails that I have received with questions. I am going to try to address all of them but please be patient with me as typing is not one of my skills. Proper English and spelling are also not my best ability. (Spell and grammar check are my friends trust me) I am however very talented at moving mountains or at least parts of them. Just wanted your tired eyes to open with that statement. I am a self employed excavating contractor here in the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. I do not have a background in the field of electronics or radio communications. Now you will understand why I say what I do next.


First let me start with the number one question: HOW HARD IS IT TO GET LICENSED?


My answer to this is here in the US it is almost too easy. With just a little dedication and studying any one of you can and will be able to pass the technician class license. (I did)

While this first step is NOT going to give you the privileges to operate on all the bands there are, it will give you the bands that will be most useful in what I consider local communication (100 miles give or take)


The second step is where you get the privilege to use all the bands or at least a portion of them. This is the General class. While it is a little harder and takes a little more dedication and study time it is still not that hard. Again I did it so I am confident any one of you will be able to do it. At this level your ability to communicate will become world wide. (And I do mean world wide I have the QSL cards to prove it) For those that do not understand this, a QSL card is a card you either have printed for you or print from your computer. These are used to send thru the Postal system to other Hams when you speak to them on the air. I am going to make an offer here to send you one of mine so you can see how it works. (I know that I will probably catch some flak from old school Hams over this but that is OK I have big shoulders I just want those with an interest to see how it works) I may have to limit this offer because of cost but I am not sure how many will request one. So for now I will try to send one to everyone that emails me an address to send it to. (Trust will come into play here but I promise to keep your identity and address private I have no motive to use it for any purpose other than to let you see how this works) I take the trust thing very serious. I will tell you though; I do have a very unique QSL card that you will like.


The third step: Extra class is where you get the privilege to use the entire portion of all the bands. I have not gone that far to date but it is in my plans to do so in the future. Because of the fact I have not done this yet I will leave it at this point.


The second question that came up a lot was: HOW MUCH DOES ALL THIS COST?


The first step is to find a way to study for the test. This can be as little as FREE. You can purchase books for this at a cost of around 20 USD but you can also do it the way I did and study online for free. I will give links at the end of this post for a couple of sites, that you can take practice test for free (At least they were free when I did them) until your scores are high enough to go in and pass the test. Now for the test itself, my first test was 7 USD and when I upgraded to General that test was done by a group of Hams that do not charge anything. They do it for the love of the hobby at there own expense for FREE.


Now as far as the equipment goes: Well this can be as little as free to as wild as the imagination allows. I can only tell you what I have in my personal inventory. My first radio was 50 USD from a friend used. My first antenna I made from new ½" copper pipe like is used for plumbing in a house. I went to Home Depot and purchased new for this around 20 USD. I built it myself from plans off the internet that were free and I will email anyone that wants them. Now this is a plain 2 meter radio and a home made antenna but that was the beginning of my ham station. With this radio I am able to talk on all the local repeaters and have also talked as much as 75 to 100 miles without use of repeaters. That will not be everyone's results as there are many things to interfere with radio signals. I live in the mountains so I have natural elevation that helps me with distance. My main HF station or general coverage radio I purchased it thru the swap meet forum at www.qrz.com total cost with shipping from Texas to West Virginia 550USD. It is a Kenwood 570D and it covers from 10 meter thru 160 meter. For antennas I got my 160 meter double bazooka, a 20 meter double bazooka, and a 6 foot roof mount antenna mast never used from a fellow ham: the cost was a drive of about 50 miles one way to get them and once I got there about two or three hours talking with a great person. I would have driven the distance for the conversation and the hand shake from a very neat person to talk with. My 80 meter off center feed dipole is home made from cable TV hard-line coax left over from my days of building overhead lines for a cable company and the help of two friends. My 10 meter is left over form my cb days but you can buy something similar for as little as free to 20 USD if you get one used or 60 to 90 USD new. There are more antennas coming in the future and most of the wire antennas are down at the moment because I was clearing trees from my property this winter and did not want to damage them in that process. We have had our first taste of spring weather and the area where my antennas go is now ready for them to go back up. That will be a future post coming soon so you can see how this is done. My original part 2 was going to be a post of my mobile set up in my service truck with pictures, but because of all the wonderful comments and questions by email this became part 2.


Kymber: of the Canadian Preppers Network was promised the next post I did but that was supposed to be what is now going to be Part 3 so I guess you will see Part 3 on the CPN first also.


Good sites for US residents as well as info for our Northern brothers and sisters are:


www.arrl.org A great place to read about Ham radio in the US.


www.qrz.com at this site in the upper left side (little white window) type in your zip code use your mouse to hit the search button and you will see a list of all the hams in your zip code. (You never know but you may already know one) There is also a great Practice test area on this site and that is how I studied for both my Tech class and my General class test.


http://www.eham.net Another great place for info and they have a section REVIEWS I believe it is on the left side of the page and there you can review what other people have said about different radios before you decide to buy.


http://www.hamtestonline.com/study.jsp an online place to study for your test but it is not free.


http://www.hamuniverse.com/bazooka.html info about the double bazooka antennas I mentioned as well as much more if you search the site.


http://www.n7qvc.com/amateur_radio/copper.html the 2 meter antenna plans that I mentione.


All of these links should still be good but if you find one that is not email me, I will try to help.

email wvsantaclaus@aol.com


God Bless all from the Hills of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

Santa

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prepping and DIY

One part of prepping that often gets overlooked is DIY.

We're all stocking our pantries with several months worth of food, we keep adding to our first-aid kits, we are learning how to grow our own food and keep our eyes open for deals on ammo. But in the event of SHTF, natural disaster or an outbreak of a deadly virus - have we prepped enough to become as self-sufficient as possible?

The more DIY projects we start and master now - the better it will be for us all down the road!

Starting up some weekly DIY projects now will help you to prepare for SHTF in the long run but in the short term, DIY can help you save money, learn new and useful skills, re-purpose and re-use items that you may already have (or find in someone else's garbage) AND help you become more self-sufficient. All it takes is a little motivation, eagerness and, well a little help!

The Internet is an excellent source for a variety of DIY sites and projects; however, today I share with you what just might be the absolute best internet site for DIY - Instructables !!!

The site has articles and step-by-step instructions for almost anything you can imagaine! Whether you want to fix your tractor engine, build a new chicken coop or generate your own electricity - this is the place to go! The site is free to join and allows you to tag your favourite DIYs, post instructions for your own DIYs and provides downloadable PDF instructions for all projects - did I remember to mention that it's FREE?

So, to whet your appetites, here are a few of the many DIY projects to be found:


Build a Greenhouse from old windows

Awesome storage containers from Water Bottles

Compost bin from old shipping palettes

A windmill from aluminum flashing and a bicycle wheel

Repairing cordless drill packs

Soldering, soldering and soldering!!!

A lawn mower made from a drill

How to replace an alternator

Pop-bottle herb garden

How to build a rain barrel

How to build a rainwater collector

Build a 60-watt Solar Panel

So need I say more? Well yes - I probably should point out that the site contains a variety of great recipes, arts and crafts projects for your kids, DIY projects for both inside and outside of the home - everything you can imagine!

So check it out - you'll be glad that you did! And then share your favourite DIYs with others on the network!