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October 12, 2008 Weblog:

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada
David Parker
September 8th, 2008.

HALIFAX - In September of 2007, the United Nations adopted the non-binding Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Four high profile countries notably voted against the declaration - namely Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.[1] All four countries are states that were established by white settlers on indigenous lands, and all four are currently in disputes with indigenous peoples over land and sovereignty.

The Canadian state, built on the theft and occupation of indigenous lands, continues to benefit from its unjustly acquired assets. Equipped with an ultra-security state apparatus, Canada's repressive and suppressive anti-terrorist and security measures have historically struck hardest against those that have the most to gain, namely aboriginal nations and their legitimate claims for their rights to land and dignity.

Recent cases of indigenous protest in Ontario have been in opposition to government authorized resource extraction on native lands. Despite legitimate demands for sovereignty and decision-making power over their traditional lands, native protesters have been incarcerated: Robert Lovelace and the KI-6 (6 council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation) have received harsh fines and 6 months in jail for peacefully protesting against mineral exploration on the lands of KI and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN).

» continue reading "Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada"

October 11, 2008 Agriculture

Not In Anyone’s Backyard

Farmers in Alberta growing rural resistance to development

October 7, 2008 Weblog:

Tories on the Ropes?

Could Conservative fortunes have run out?

The impending economic problems in the US have caused many Canadians to turn to other parties. While the Conservatives are still leading nationally, they are behind the 8-ball in Ontario for the first time in months. The Liberals are leading by nearly nine percent.

In Quebec, the Conservatives have slipped to third, just two percent ahead of the NDP. The Bloc are leading.

In BC, the Tories are in a dead heat with the NDP.

October 5, 2008 Weblog:

Georgia Straight: The In-SHUCK-ch's road to reconciliation

The In-SHUCK-ch's road to reconciliation is a fine piece of investigative journalism by the Straight's Stephen Hui.

A 2005 report, Transformation: From Myth to Reality, commissioned by Canada, B.C., and the In-SHUCK-ch, calls the First Nation's communities "as isolated as any one can find in Canada", noting that the reserves lack safe road access and land-line telephones and aren't connected to the power grid. Without cellphone coverage, residents who have them communicate by two-way radio.

One hundred and eighty-seven, or 20 percent, of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation's 933 members live on its reserves, while the rest live in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and elsewhere. In a survey conducted for the 2005 report, most members residing off-reserve cited housing and employment as reasons for doing so. Sixty-five percent of off-reserve respondents said they want to live in the valley.

"Despite being relatively close to the Lower Mainland and to the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, the lower Lillooet River Valley has been left to economically stagnate—a direct result of the lack of basic infrastructure," the report states.

October 2, 2008 Weblog:

'Spirit Train' protests continue towards the East

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Activists in Edmonton interrupted the 2010 Olympics Spirit Train stop-off there on September 29th.

Their actions came on the heels of a protest in Vancouver that marked the launch of the train. Vancouver's Olympics Resistance Network has called for mobilization as the train travels east.

A smaller demonstration against the Spirit Train took place in Calgary.

In Sudbury, the local Coalition Against War and Occupation (SAWO) is planning to protest the train as it rolls through on October 11th. The train's last stop will be in Montréal on October 18th.

September 27, 2008 Weblog:

La Presse takes on the Tar Sands

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Yesterday, they pointed out in a front page article that Harper's ministers are getting a lot of face time with oil companies.

Today, La Presse upped the ante again with five-pages of coverage of Alberta's tar sands. Fronting with the headline "Saudi Alberta," the coverage puts the accent on environmental devastation and crimes against Indigenous communities to--I would say--a greater extent than the Dominion's own tar sands issue did.

It's the first in a series on the tar sands.

If you read French, it's worth a look.

September 24, 2008 Weblog:

Vancouver event about independent media on Friday 26th

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Dominion readers in Vancouver are invited to come to State of the Media, a discussion about alternative media, with folks from Coop Radio Vancouver, the Dominion, rabble.ca, Warrior Publications and AliveinMexico.

The event is on Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m., at 706 Clark Drive (at Georgia St).

There will also be food & music (& probably dancing too).

See you there!

Photo by Dawn.

September 24, 2008 Weblog:

Dion: Liberals won't sign a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia

Stéphane Dion spoke this evening to a crowd of over 400 students at the University of British Columbia.

During the question period, I asked him if he would support a Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia.

Dion (in English, he had previously answered in French):

"The question was about, uh, if we will accept a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia. The way it was negotiated by the Conservatives we have no guarantee at all that the basic rights will be respected through this agreement, the workers rights, and so on. It [sic] is why we can not accept it."

September 21, 2008 Canadian News

Protesters Disrupt "Spirit Train" Sendoff

Two arrested, festivities cancelled

September 14, 2008 Weblog:

BC forestry industry "in a tail spin"

BC finance minister, Colin Hansen, has just released a report showing that forestry revenues in BC are down by 36 per cent.

Hansen was quoted in the Tyee's new election blog "The Hook" as saying: "The downturn we are seeing in the forest sector is unprecedented. Since 1993 it has never even come close to being that low."

The pine beetle, sub-prime crisis, high dollar and a series of forestry strikes in BC have all contributed to the downturn which the NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston characterized the industry as being "in a tail spin".

September 8, 2008 Weblog:

$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media

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You would think something like a detailed road map of ‘the modernization of the Canadian forces’, at the big fancy 8th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) would elicit some sort discussion or analysis from the Canadian media/ chattering class. At the conference, Peter Mackay began to spin links between the need to respond to ‘natural disasters’ and ‘security of the Olympics’ with armed security. The highlight of the conference was the release of Canada's 20-year, $490 billion “Canada First Defense Strategy,” a detailed plan to modernize its armed forces and its military industry. McKay also signed a Memoranda of Understanding with his counterparts in Honduras, Guatemala and Bolivia, which falls under the Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP). Yet hardly a boo, has been published about this week long conference, as the Republican convention in St Paul and the buzz around the soon to be announced election provided a nice blackout about things that were going on, that the media and lobbyist just aren't so interested in regular folks to know about.

So what do we know happened this week in the luxury resort of Banff where the delegates from 34 countries met under the theme of ‘Co-operation and Collaboration”?
According to CP Canadian Defense Minister and host of the conference, Peter MacKay addressed the crowd by stirring their shared belief that "Now more than ever, we are all connected and need to cooperate to achieve the security, democratic development, and prosperity we all desire”.

» continue reading "$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media "

September 8, 2008 Business

Canada's Tar Lobby

Tar Sands Lobbyists Focus on US Democrats

March 20, 2008 Weblog:

Tour Coverage

The Own Your Media tour has started to get some modest coverage in other media.

Scott Harris wrote a rather decent article for Vue Magazine, Edmonton's independent weekly.

Chris Cook interviewed me on this week's Gorilla radio.

And I was also interviewed for Canadian Dimension's next episode of Alert Radio.

March 13, 2008 Photo Essay

Downtown Eastside's Poverty Olympics

Vancouver residents deem Olympics a "countdown to international embarrassment"

March 1, 2008 Original Peoples

"It's All About The Land"

Native resistance to the Olympics

February 14, 2008 Canadian News

Down on the Upside

Group gathers to discuss the "Alberta (dis)Advantage"

February 6, 2008 Environment

Road Kill

New highway blocked by protesting "Raccoons"

January 27, 2008 Weblog:

The Globe and Mail does Tar Sands for a week

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Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The first of the Globe and Mail's week-long series on the tar, I mean, oil sands has at least one interesting insight, though it'll be interesting to keep track of all the things that they don't mention.

And money is getting tight in Thunder Bay. Anyone who looks closely may see some irony in the fact that the closing of local paper mills is at least partly because the loonie has been driven to record heights thanks to Alberta's staggering wealth.

But one person's downturn is another's upswing. While places like Thunder Bay suffer, many Canadians enjoy the proceeds of rising oil stocks. The spotlight on Alberta ended the long-lamented discount attached to Canadian oil company shares, which have outperformed their U.S. counterparts of late. (Suncor, for instance, has become the world's best performer among big oil companies that are traded publicly.)

It's something that the Globe can toss out there casually and then forget about, but it's actually a huge economic issue in Canada. The oil boom in Alberta allows investors to continue to pretend that the economy is ok, while sectors like timber and manufacturing approach a full-blown crisis.

» continue reading "The Globe and Mail does Tar Sands for a week"

January 12, 2008 Weblog:

Laibar Singh background

For a bit of background on the Laibar Singh story, check out NOII organizer Harsha Walia's article from December.

January 8, 2008 Labour

Hard Times Sold in Vending Machines

Worker migration from Atlantic Canada to the tar sands

January 7, 2008 Features

Impacting Unimpaired

New agreements like the SPP and TILMA are aimed directly at unimpeded extraction in the tar sands

December 31, 2007 Features

What the Tar Sands Need

Processing requires massive inputs of water, energy, land, labour

December 12, 2007 Weblog:

Thousands Halt Vancouver Deportation on Human Rights Day

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This is probably the most inspiring bit of news I've heard in a long time. The deportation of Singh, who is paralysed, has only been stayed temporarily.

An attempt to deport a paralysed man back to India on International Human Rights Day fell apart after a grass-roots protest at Vancouver International Airport Monday literally halted traffic and prevented border and immigration agents from taking custody of him.

By mid-afternoon the Canada Border Services Agency halted its plan to deport Laibar Singh after it concluded that it would be too risky for its agents to walk out to a waiting taxi in which the elderly man was sitting. Between them and the curb were as many as 2,000 protesters, many of them members of an Abbotsford-area Sikh temple that had rallied in support.

November 25, 2007 Labour

Roughneck, Bruised Head

A tale of women, toughness and safety in Alberta's gas fields

November 24, 2007 Labour

Temporary Labour or Disposable Workers?

Foreign labourers are brought to the tar sands, but are easily sent home

November 23, 2007 Accounts

What in Tar Nation?

Life among the tar sands

November 22, 2007 Labour

Letting the Wildcat Out of the Bag

Alberta's Averted Energy Tradesworker General Strike and the Fall Wildcat Walk-Outs

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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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