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September in Review

Issue: 85 Section: Month in Review Geography: Canada

September 30, 2012

September in Review

Safer streets, detention deaths, anti-oil actions, and Harper's hairdo

by The Dominion

People hit the streets from coast to coast to attend rallies, marches and vigils against rape and sexual violence. Here, a young girl displays her sign at Take Back the Night in Calgary. Photo: Tami Starlight

Motion 312, which proposed to study the Criminal Code's definition of when life begins, was defeated 203 to 91 in the House of Commons. The motion could have opened the door for the criminalization of abortion. Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose voted in favour of the motion.

Hundreds of people rallied in Christie Pits, following a string of sexual assaults against women in the Toronto neighbourhood. "I think the sheer numbers of individuals who attended on such a short notice demonstrate that individuals recognize that only collective and community based resistance will stop this kind of violence," Liz Brockfest told the Toronto Media Co-op.

Rallies, marches and vigils against violence against women were held in cities across Canada, including Take Back the Night in Sudbury and a SlutWalk protest in Winnipeg.

An internal RCMP report released through Access to Information laws found an overwhelming perception that perpetrators of harassment and bullying of female officers would face no real consequences. The RCMP is facing lawsuits, including a case seeking class action certification, from more than 200 current and former female RCMP officers and employees.

A dozen First Nations canoes paddled past the Kinder Morgan crude oil pipeline facility in Burrard Inlet. The Nations later signed a declaration to protect the Salish Sea from Kinder Morgan's proposal to double its pipeline capacity to the facility. Photo: Murray Bush - Flux Photo

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) representatives took the province and RCMP to task on policing and detention issues in the Northlands Denesuline First Nation in Lac Brochet. The community hockey arena is being used for indiscriminate detention for safety reasons, assault or drug and alcohol issues.

Inmates were found dead in the Saskatoon Correctional Centre and the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.

Iraq war resister Kimberley Rivera was deported from Canada, separated from her family and placed in custody in the US, despite widespread protests and organized support efforts.

The House of Commons Public Safety Committee recommended electronic ankle bracelets for refugee claimants. The committee's report recommends that the Canada Border Services Agency "review the use and cost effectiveness of electronic monitoring with the aim of reducing the occurrence of inadmissible individuals who are not presenting themselves for removal," according to Postmedia News.

Provincial Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced that Manitoba will provide refugee health services and bill the federal government, despite Canada's decision to cut some health benefits.

Lake St. Martin First Nation evacuees held a roadside camp and protest to demand solutions to their relocation and housing issues. The Manitoba reserve has been considered uninhabitable since flooding in May 2011.

Dozens of Northwest Territories residents attended a hearing to express concerns about clean-up plans for the thousands of tonnes of arsenic dust left behind by the Giant Mine.

After a four-year assessment, the Nunavut Impact Review Board approved Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation's plans to build a $4 billion project at the top of Baffin Island, including a 17,000-hectare open pit iron mine, railway and port.

A Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board report estimates that electricity rates would increase between 10 and 20 per cent if a proposed mine near Mayo is added to the power grid.

The Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group, a new group comprised of mining industry associations and NGOs focused on transparency, announced that it would begin work on disclosure policies regarding company payments to governments. "This is a groundbreaking collaboration between the mining industry and NGOs," said Mining Association of Canada CEO Pierre Graton.

The new Quebec government announced that the province's only nuclear power plant, Gentilly-2, will be shut down instead of undergoing a $2 billion refurbishment. The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick is still not back online despite completing refurbishment, after three years of delays. NB Power refuses to provide an explanation.

Mi'kmaq people set up a partial blockade of the Trans-Canada Highway in Auld's Cove, NS, the access point to Cape Breton, in opposition to exploratory oil and gas drilling by PetroWorth Resources. Many people travelled to support the action, including an anti-fracking brigade from Halifax. A week later, an information picket drew more than 200 people. "We're not going to give up, because we love our ancestors, we love our future generations, and we love our children and grandchildren," Elizabeth Marshall told the Halifax Media Co-op.

Tsleil Waututh, Squamish and other paddlers signed a declaration to protect the Salish Sea from Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion plans, after they paddled past the company's tar sands-linked project in the Burrard Inlet. Activists in Victoria crashed a Kinder Morgan open house and intercepted Union of BC Municipalities delegates on their way into a Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers reception.

After months of Musqueam protest to protect an ancient burial ground site from condo development, the BC government changed the site's heritage value and allowed alteration permits to expire.

Newfoundland and Labrador MHA for Lake Melville Keith Russell criticized some Muskrat Falls hydro-electric mega-project critics on CBC radio, saying, "I don't buy into the mumbo jumbo about the trail leading to the Muskrat Falls site as being sacred ground. You can romanticize and sensationalize that particular piece of land all you want, but it is a resource."

A rock drill, acid and a power washer were used to destroy ancient pictograms and petroglyphs on a rock formation in Glenwood, Alberta, shortly before they were to be closely surveyed.

Christian and Muslim parents came together to take issue with any classroom discussion of homosexuality, birth control, evolution, wizardry or "environmental worship" in Greater Toronto Area schools, requesting advance notification.

In support of their teachers' right to strike, Manitouwadge High School students held a protest march against Bill 115 in Ontario. Hamilton public high school teachers wore black to protest the imposition of a contract involving a wage freeze and a two-year strike ban. Education workers staged a funeral for collective bargaining rights.

The Conservative majority blocked PEI MP Wayne Easter's attempt to table for debate a report about the impact on workers of changes to Employment Insurance.

Posing as Stephen Harper, Quebec radio comedy duo The Masked Avengers managed to speak with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the UN General Assembly. "Harper" apologized for not being able to attend the meeting because he was too busy combing his hair with super glue.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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