AW@L Radio: Updates on #Justice4Azraya and the Grassy Narrows Youth Media project.

This episode starts with a quick plea from host dan kellar to stop the march to war in Syria, including calling out Justin Trudeau for his quick support of Trump's recent bombardments, calling on NDP leadership hopefuls to clarify thier position on the attacks and on imperial wars in general, and noting that there is no verified proof of who launched the apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria.

To set a base for the rest of the episode, we then read "Racism, Violence, And Thunder Bay Reporting: An investigation of racism on Lakehead University campus and Thunder Bay’s complicity with anti-Indigeneity and systemic violence against Indigenous women" an article by Brady Coyle and Leah Ching if the Argus newspaper in Thunder Bay (

The rest of the episode is then spent with organiser and social justice activist Alex Hundert, who re-joins AW@L Radio to update us on several campaigns he is working on with folks from Grassy Narrows, specifically the #Justice4Azraya campaign and the Grassy Narrows Youth Media project (, twitter: @GNYouthMedia). We also discuss #JusticeForDelaine and bring in discussion of systemic racism present in Kenora, Thunder Bay, and indeed, all across Canada.

The episode ends with *BONUS* content fom Alex, also discussing war (what is it good for?).


Community radio collaboration culminates as CKMS changes frequencies and CKRZ comes to Waterloo region.

On March 15th Waterloo Region’s CKMS moves to 102.7 on the FM dial, opening space for Ohsweken’s
CKRZ to expand their broadcast range on 100.3FM.

Radio listeners in Waterloo region tuning into 100.3FM will now hear Six Nation’s “The Voice of the Grand” as
they boost their power to 1000 watts. The switch to 102.7FM for CKMS will launch the station’s 40th
anniversary celebrations, and mark a refocusing of their image, dropping the “Sound FM” brand in favour of
the original “Radio Waterloo”.


Precarity in higher learning: Neoliberalism and contract faculty contract negotiations at WLU

JANUARY 9, 2017 | As contract faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University negotiate a new contract, many in the union have recognized their struggle as a moment in the widescale resistance to neoliberal ideologies.


Chief calls for investigation and cleanup of Dryden mill site’s mercury contaminated soil

Domtar denies access Grassy Narrows’ experts access to search for toxic barrels

January 17, 2017

Toronto – The Chief of Grassy Narrows First Nation in Northwestern Ontario is speaking out today after learning that evidence of a poisonous mercury dump has been found behind the Dryden paper mill, upstream from this Indigenous community where many people suffer from mercury poisoning. The Chief is calling for immediate access to the mill site for Grassy Narrows’ experts to investigate, and he is calling for the Wynne and Trudeau governments to clean up any mercury contamination that is found. Mercury is a potent neuro-toxin that damages the brain and nervous system leading to loss of vision, touch, balance, and coordination as well as learning disabilities with lifelong impacts.

We call "Woo Woo" on you: free speech, bigotry, conspiracy theories and community standards

Discussion w/ activist & former co-host Alex Hundert on free speech, racism, conspiracy theories, and upholding community standards as "alt-right" white nationalists rise to power in the US and surge worldwide.


David Keith on climate change mitigation and the chemtrail conspiracy

An interview with David Keith, an award winning professor of Applied physics at Harvard University where he is leading an interdisciplinary research team who is researching global-scale geoengineering strategies to mitigate climate change, primarily stratospheric albedo modification. Keith is also a Professor of Public Policy in the Harvard Kennedy School.

We start with discussing Keith's research, which aims to reduce global temperatures through increasing the albedo of the stratosphere -- reflecting more solar radiation back into space. Along with the risks and benefits his team is investigating, Keith also points out that none of this research has left the lab setting.

In the second part of the show, we talk about the so-called "chemtrails" conspiracy theory which includes Keith's research being a part of a super secretive global scale program of some sort or another, and has led in real life to threats, vitriol, and slander being directed at the scientist.

For more on the absurdity of the chemtrails conspiracy see: How to Debunk Chemtrails and Chemtrails Conspiracy Theory.

This interview was first broadcast November 4 on AW@L radio. Tune in weekly on Fridays at 4:00 pm EST on


Hundreds of students left in limbo as the K2 towers near Wilfrid Laurier University remain incomplete.

Another building delay has students scrambling for stable housing as mid-term exams begin.

by: dan kellar (@dankellar)

listen to an audio recording:

Waterloo--After a digital tour of the condo in early June 2016, and a conversation over the phone with an Atlas Properties Group leasing agent, Sarah and David* signed a lease for a two-bedroom suite in the 21-storey K2 condo tower on King St near Wilfrid Laurier University, the larger of a two tower development at the site. David said the two international students then paid a three-month deposit "for our final three months in the unit", totalling nearly $5,000.


The occupancy date on the lease was September 3rd, and the two students asked the Atlas leasing agent, allegedly a University of Waterloo student herself, if they could move in early as they were coming from out of town.  The pair say the agent agreed and Sarah and David planned to come to Waterloo on August 20th.

However, in early August, the building's developers UID Development sent renters an email telling them that, due to a "Construction Worker Union strike", units at the larger of the towers at 158 King St N would not be ready for the beginning of September.  No firm date was given in the email. David and Sarah were shocked to learn that the suite they had rented was actually in a building still under construction. "The Atlas leasing agent never told us this was a new building", Sarah explained, continuing "when we signed the lease in June, the agent never mentioned that it may not be ready for September."

Chippewas of the Thames Raising Funds To Assert Their Treaty Rights At Supreme Court of Canada

Chippewas Of The Thames--In less than two months, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation will appear in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) to assert their right to consultation and argue that the Canadian government failed in this regard for the heavily contested Enbridge Line 9 pipeline. This challenge comes amidst a wave of resistance to pipelines and a heightened profile for issues of consultation with Indigenous communities. But the path to court is made difficult beyond the legal argument as COTTFN has to finance the legal defence of their rights against treaty violation, which they anticipate will reach half a million dollars. $50,000 has been raised so far, and for the remainder, COTTFN’s fundraising and awareness campaign is intensifying with a new video and website highlighting issues of the case and foregrounding voices from the community.

COTTFN is challenging the Canadian government’s approach to consultation, arguing that based on treaty and Canadian law, the federal government is directly responsible for consulting Indigenous communities on projects that will affect them, and the National Energy Board (NEB) is not a substitute. Clyde River Inuit is simultaneously challenging the lack of consultation in the NEB process which approved seismic blasting exploration in the waters surrounding their community. The recent successful challenge to the Northern Gateway pipeline addressed similar issues, with the ultimate ruling affirming the Canadian government’s legal duty to consult. COTTFN’s case will argue specifically that the NEB cannot substitute for the government in consultation.

Throughout the Line 9 planning process, COTTFN made it clear that they wanted their voice heard. They took part in the NEB hearings for the pipeline, articulating their concerns to the review panel, while insisting that this process was not a substitute for consultation. As band councillor Myeengun Henry explains in the new video, these issues can be traced back to the pipeline’s origins: “Forty years ago our people were still in residential school. When there was a process that brought this pipeline through our traditional territory, we were never consulted at all. So they just built this pipeline without any acknowledgement of the First Nations in the area.”

COTTFN filed their initial legal appeal on April 8, 2014, well before the line was operational, yet in the delay preceding this hearing in the SCC, Enbridge has been operating the pipeline and profiting immensely from the flow of oil, including tar sands and fracked oil, through it.

These oil products are of grave concern not only to COTTFN, but to communities across the continent in the path of pipelines and oil trains. As we experience the hottest year on record, pipeline projects are being met with increasing opposition, including the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Energy East. Councillor Henry concludes, “We know of the damaging impacts of the tar sands, fracking, and other extractive industries have on our earth yet these developments continue with government protection. This is why COTTFN is developing a protocol to engage with proposed plans that would affect our territory. We believe that​ protecting the water and land, requiring sustainable development, adapting to climate change, and ensuring a safe home for future generations must be central to this protocol.”

COTTFN is inviting donations from individuals and groups and encourages people to visit for more information about the case and to watch and share the video, “Defending Deshkaan Ziibi: Challenging the Line 9 Pipeline.”

For more infomation and interviews contact:


Programs and Barriers: Welcoming Refugees to Waterloo Region

In August 2016, CKMS News intern Lisa Irimescu created this 30 minute podcast on welcoming refugees to Waterloo Region, and the programs and barriers which impact the process.

The podcast includes interviews with a Syrian refugee, a private refugee sponsor, and two support organisations.

To download a copy of this program, and to listen to other work from CKMS News, visit the Grand River Media Collective and CKMS News


Discussing the "Promoting Affordable Housing Act" with MPP Catherine Fife

"We see housing as underpinning the entire health of a community"- Catherine Fife

In mid-August, the CKMS newsroom caught up with Kitchener-Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife to discuss new legislation passed in the Ontario legislature -- the Promoting Affordable Housing Act. The discussion deals with implementing the act in Waterloo Region with funding and zoning options available to municipal governments including promotion of inclusionary zoning, and ending appeals to the OMB, as well as some of weaknesses in the legislations around gentrification and renters rights.

This Interview was originally aired on August 19th on CKMS Community News, a program of the CKMS newsroom at 100.3fm, in Waterloo Region. It was undertaken by Rachel Avery.


CKMS Community News - July 29th

You're listening to CKMS 100.3 Sound FM in Waterloo Region. Robyn is with you this afternoon, and here's the weekly news round-up for Friday, July 29.

1. Pressure for inquest for Beau Baker; SIU under pressure
2. Redesign and Improvements for Waterloo Park
3. Zimbabwean community demonstrates
4. Condo Concerns and City Council’s request for defining bedrooms
5. Waterloo Region District School board agrees to limit students online access
6. Woolwich councillor summoned to court on alleged Elections Act violations
7. Kool-FM lays off staff in advance of format change
8. Events taking place in the K-W area this weekend include Grassroots Powwow Fundraiser
9. Food & Festivities This Weekend


Community Media Workshop: Research Skills

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 13:00 to 15:00

Want to follow that paper trail or find out the inside history of that corporation, but just can't track down the documents? Come to a research workshop with journalist Tim Groves to learn how to find the info you want online! This workshop will cover advanced search tools as well as databases and resources that contain documents that are hard to find in other places. Journalists and aspiring media-makers of all levels of experience are invited to attend!

CKMS Community News - July 22

Listen to Audio: : 

You're listening to CKMS 100.3 Sound FM in Waterloo Region. Lisa and Robyn are with you this afternoon,  and here's the weekly news round-up for Friday, July 22.

The Scoop on Chicken Coops


Community Media Workshop: How to Do an Interview

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 13:00 to 15:00

Want to build your skills in community media creation? Then this is the workshop for you! Come learn about how to conduct an interview--how to approach subjects, ask good questions, work with the material you get, and more! Scott Neigh of Talking Radical Radio will share knowledge from his years of making podcasts featuring interviews about important community issues.

CKMS Community News - July 15th

Listen to Audio: : 

You're listening to CKMS 100.3 Sound FM in Waterloo Region. Lisa and Robyn are with you this afternoon, and here's the weekly news round-up for Friday, July 15.

1. Laurier custodial staff union demonstrate
2. Cycling Deaths Prompts the Call on Bicycle Training and Safety within the Waterloo Region
3. UW Graduate Rejected because of His Authority Resistant Culture
4. Summer Consutruction Continues
5. Waterloo Home to the World’s First Microscopic Microscope
6. Ride Co to Step in and Provide KW to Toronto Commuters with Another Option
7. Time to Get Jazzy
8. Bettering the Region through Education Reform
9. KWAG celebrates its 60th on July 16
10. A Waterloo Company Transforms Underwater Archeology


Weekly News Roundup--July 8

Listen to Audio: : 

Trading the Public Sector for the Private


On Federal Socialist Republicanism in Ireland

Listen to Audio: : 

A discussion with Cait Trainor on alternative models of governance in Ireland that are inclusive to all. Federal Socialist Republicanism according to Cait Trainor is an inclusive alternative to both occupation and sectarianism.


Waterloo Regional Police: To Serve and Protect Abusers

Listen to Audio: : 

In this segment of KW Radio Basics, our host discusses the strange case where WRPS continuously ignores the complaints of a woman who is being stalked by her physically abusive ex, yet has no problems waking said woman up at 1:15 am to harrass said woman on behalf of her abuser. The interesting thing about said abuser is that his sister works for CAS and is an auxillary officer with the WRPS. Coincidence? Our host thinks not!!!!!


Interview with IRPWA member Brian Murphy on recent assault by Canadian Ambassador

Listen to Audio: : 

This week on KW Radio Basics we talk to Brian Murphy of the IRPWA about the recent assault on his person by the Canadian Ambassador as well as a bit about his family background, the state of affairs today in Ireland and the Craigavon Two


Honduras, Canada's free trade, and assassinating the opposition

Raul Burbano of Common Frontiers discusses Canada's support of the post-coup government in Honduras, including the horrific situation faced by Indigenous people and others who opposed the government.



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