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June 23, 2010 Canadian News

Free Trade Goes Local

Provincial “barriers to trade” broken under new regional agreements

June 11, 2010 Gender

Women and Children First?

Conservative policy contradicts "maternal and child health" plan

April 21, 2010 Weblog:

Special Rapporteur Agrees to Meet

Special Rapporteur Mr. James Anaya has agreed to meet with Paula LaPierreregarding numerous concerns.

LaPierre contends that all Canadians have been denied access to their own genuine history. She further claims that often, as a result of this poor understanding of history there can continue a lingering sense of injustice. Communities need to have a deep understanding of their own identity and history if they are to position themselves effectively for the transitions ahead.

LaPierre looks forward to the creation of community-based processes that can stimulate deeper community learning and engagement.

February 1, 2010 Month in Review

January In Review, Part II

Haiti comes to Canada, the world loses two literary legends, and Bin Laden becomes a climate change activist

January 26, 2010 Weblog:

The Need for Legal Empowerment

The Need for Increased Legal Empowerment

We must avoid the trap of interpreting disadvantaged or poor strictly from a material paradigm.

Sincerely,

Paula LaPierre

December 1, 2009 Weblog:

Concerns

The Dialogue Denied Us

July 23, 2009 Baby Animals

Moose Calves with their Mother

baby animals: things that make you go "aww..."

May 16, 2009 Weblog:

"We Are Not All Metis"

Canada Domestic Policy can be Problematic.

Manipulation #1- We are not all Metis.
Aboriginal rights are inherent and inalienable. Program and services dollars can be used to lure people away from cultural integrity.

Manipulation #2- Aboriginal rights belong to a certain race of people who can prove they are that race.
Race was never the issue. It is about culture.

March 16, 2009 Weblog:

Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and
Mail (as an op-ed). It is reprinted here in full.

Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of
Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
"Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its
dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable
suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of
Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that
those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott
of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist
terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect
attention from Israel's flagrant violations of international humanitarian
law.

» continue reading "Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel"

January 20, 2009 Weblog:

It's official: Canada is in recession

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After months of denial, the Bank of Canada has finally admitted that Canada has entered into a period of recession.

"Major advanced economies, including Canada's, are now in recession and emerging-market economies are increasingly affected," reads today's release from the BoC. It continues:

Canadian exports are down sharply, and domestic demand is shrinking as a result of declines in real income, household wealth, and consumer and business confidence. Canada's economy is projected to contract through mid-2009, with real GDP dropping by 1.2 per cent this year on an annual average basis. As policy actions begin to take hold in Canada and globally, and with support from the past depreciation of the Canadian dollar, real GDP is expected to rebound, growing by 3.8 per cent in 2010.

A Scotiabank analyst called the projected rebound by 2010 "overly optimistic."

Image by Paul Wicks.

January 19, 2009 Environment

Survival is Non-Negotiable!

Are climate talks the new World Trade Organization?

December 28, 2008 Opinion

Pushing the Debate

Noir Canada’s critical perspective

October 12, 2008 Weblog:

The Anti-Terrorist Battle Inside Canada's Borders

The anti-terrorist battle inside Canada's borders
by David Parker
July 17th, 2008.

HALIFAX - In Canada since 9/11, the domestic climate of rising national security fears, fanned by a sensationalist media trumpeting the “War on Terror”, has led the government to justify practices which undermine long-standing principles of human rights.

In December 2001, Canada passed the Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) to deal with threats to national security. The ATA makes changes to the criminal code that “aim to disable and dismantle the activities of terrorist groups and those who support them”. It destroys civil liberties and gives police vast new powers, eroding due process and privacy. [1]

According to Gary Kinsman, professor at Laurentian University, the concept of ‘national security’ is doubly problematic. Nation refers here to groups who fit the image of the Canadian state - white heterosexual males, construed as ‘safe’, while racialized communities are excluded as ‘outsiders’ and enemies of the state. [2] Despite purported concern with security, state initiatives have only endangered non-citizens and criminalized legitimate social protest.

The arrest of 21 South Asian Muslim men for allegedly plotting to blow up a nuclear reactor in 2003 (known as Project Thread) garnered wide media attention. All were eventually deported on minor immigration charges, not one was charged with a terrorist offence [3]. They were detained up to 5 months, interrogated about their faith and threatened with deportation to Guantanamo Bay, infamous torture camp of the United States, where Omar Khadr, youngest detainee and Canadian citizen, remains after 6 years, subjected to torture methods detailed in leaked FBI files [4].

» continue reading "The Anti-Terrorist Battle Inside Canada's Borders"

October 2, 2008 Weblog:

Reproductive Rights STILL an Election Issue

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"Focus on the Born": Image from a demonstration against Bill C-484, The Unborn Victims of Crime Act

When it became clear that an imminent election was in the stars, Harper distanced himself from the widely opposed Bill C-484, The Unborn Victims of Crime Act.

Now infamous, Bill C-484 was a private member bill introduced by Ken Epp (MP for Edmonton Sherwood Park, Alberta). It assigned legal personhood to unborn fetuses (in contravention of the Criminal Code). It was denounced by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), and other feminist organizations, as "an unconstitutional infringement on women’s rights." Similar laws are used in the United States to criminalize pregnant women who use drugs or alcohol for endangering the fetus, or to prosecute those who help them seek abortions.

While Epp refused to drop the Bill, which had passed its second reading, Harper vowed not to reopen the "debate" on abortion. (A promise, incidentally, that he has made before, during the 2004 election, and again in January 2005.)

But does that mean that reproductive rights are no longer an election issue?

Quite the opposite, according to the ARCC. Harper has said that he would not block private member bills about abortion (like C-484) in future.

In fact, on this issue, he has said he would lift tight party discipline and allow a free vote. Considering that the vast majority (74%) of current Conservative MPs are anti-choice, a majority Conservative Government could easily pass an anti-abortion bill into law.

Consider the following facts, largely culled from yesterday's press release issued by the ARCC:

» continue reading "Reproductive Rights STILL an Election Issue"

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Haïti: Exposition sur les conséquences du coup d'état de 2004

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Le photographe Montréalais Darren Ell présente sa nouvelle exposition intitulée Haïti: Rembobiner. M. Ell a créé l'expo en réponse à la politique canadienne, française et américaine en Haïti. L'expo comporte des photos, des extraits de vidéo et des textes ramassés lors de ses voyages en Haïti entre 2006 et 2008. Elle expose le rôle des puissances étrangères dans la déstabilisation et le renversement du gouvernement populaire de Jean-Bertrand Aristide en février 2004. Elle examine aussi les séquelles du renversement du gouvernement élu, un événement avec lequel les Haïtiens vivent encore aujourd'hui. M. Ell remet en question la supposée bienveillance de la présence militaire et policière des Nations-unies qui est la puissance prédominante en Haïti depuis 2004.

Les photographies et les projections de l'expo situent l'intervention étrangère dans l'histoire coloniale d'Haïti. Des photos ont été prises lors des opérations onusiennes et des manifestations contre la vie chère. Elles évoquent les tableaux des peintres français œuvrant au plus fort de la puissance impériale française, et elles rappellent le travail du peintre activiste américain Léon Golub.

La première projection combine un paysage tranquille et abandonné de Cité Soleil avec la voix du Canado-Haïtien Jean St-Vil, qui récite le témoignage de Frantz Gabriel, seul témoin de l'enlèvement de Jean-Bertrand Aristide le 29 février 2004. Gabriel fut responsable de la sécurité d'Aristide et a été lui-même enlevé. La deuxième projection montre des douzaines de noms, accompagnés de données légales, de prisonniers politiques emprisonnés pendant le coup d'état.

» continue reading "Haïti: Exposition sur les conséquences du coup d'état de 2004"

September 10, 2008 Weblog:

Haiti: Photo Exhibition about the Consequences of the 2004 coup d'état

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A new exhibition by Montreal photographer Darren Ell is set to open on September 18th. Ell's exhibition, Haiti: Rewind, was created as a response to Canadian, French and U.S. policy in Haiti and comprises material drawn from Ell's visits to Haiti between 2006 and 2008. The photo exhibition exposes the role of these three powers in the destabilization and subsequent overthrow of the popular government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004.

The photo exhibition looks at the consequences of the overthrow of the elected government, an event with which the Haitian people are living to this day. It questions the purported benevolence of the United Nations force that has been the predominant power in Haiti since 2004.

The photographs and video installations of the exhibition place current foreign meddling in Haiti squarely within colonial history. Photographs taken in Port-au-Prince during UN police raids and popular demonstrations against rising prices harken back to French painters working at the height of French imperial power in Haiti in the late 1700's and to activist American painter Leon Golub.

The first video installation features a serene but abandoned landscape from Cité Soleil with a voice-over by Haitian-Canadian Jean St-Vil reading Frantz Gabriel's eye-witness account of the abduction of Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29th, 2004. Gabriel was responsible for Aristide's security and was abducted himself.

The second video installation is a looping projection of legal data concerning the hundreds of political prisoners still detained in Haiti. The information for this piece was obtained from Haiti's Bureau des avocats internationaux (Office of International Lawyers).

» continue reading "Haiti: Photo Exhibition about the Consequences of the 2004 coup d'état"

August 31, 2008 Weblog:

The Conservative message on the North? Militarize it.

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The Conservatives have already identified seven issues for what seems like an imminent election this fall: Health Care, Child care, Tackling Crime, Lower Taxes, Environment, Accountability and Arctic Sovereignty.

Afghanistan, according to the Conservatives, isn't an election priority for Canadians. Filling the North with soldiers, warplanes, and tanks, apparently, is.

Snippets from Conservative messaging on the Arctic, meant to be sent by Canadians as letters to editors, include:

"I’m glad our government is finally seeing the potential of the Canadian Arctic and is making real plans to protect and defend it... A serious military presence is what we need and that’s what Stephen Harper is giving us... we have to show the world we have the military means to assert our sovereignty... Conservatives are talking about respect for our Northern governments, economic development, environmental protection and increased military presence as means to assert sovereignty in our Arctic..."

Photo art by Matt Davis.

August 15, 2008 Weblog:

DN interview with Jeremy Hinzman

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This morning on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez did an excellent interview with Jeremy Hinzman, the first US war resister to seek asylum in Canada. Last Wednesday, Canadian border services ordered Jeremy and his family to leave Canada by September 23rd.

From the interview: "...on June 3rd, the Canadian parliament passed a non-binding motion by a vote of 137-to-110 saying that US war resisters should be able to remain in Canada. However, the conservative government is refusing to enact the legislation."

"Right now, there’s a conservative minority government. Canada has a parliamentary system, and they hold the balance of power. And I wouldn’t say they’re lapdogs to the US, but they share many of the same values of the Bush administration and aren’t really sympathetic to what we’re doing."

Photo by R. Whitlock.

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Direct Action: Barriere Lake Algonquins Struggle for Justice

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On Friday, August 8th Barriere Lake community members and supporters gathered at Deputy Minister Michael Wernick's house. After appeals to their federal representative, Minister Lawrence Cannon, and protests at the offices of Indian Affairs were ignored, the community felt they were left with no choice.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

Canadian Hypocrisy, CSIS, and Omar Khadr

The July 15 release of seven hours of footage of a CSIS agent interrogating Omar Khadr is the first footage released of an interrogation at Guantanamo, and the first time that footage of a CSIS interrogation has been made public.

Toronto-born Khadr has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He was 15 years old when he was accused of throwing a grenade that killed SFC Chris Speer in Afghanistan.

Romeo Dallaire is quoted in today's Guardian saying: "[Canada has] worked for years to assist other nations in eradicating the use of children in conflict. But our own country doesn't even want to recognise that our own citizen (is a child soldier). No matter what his politics are, it's totally irrelevant."

Chiming in on behalf of the small but powerful extreme right, hyper militarized Canuck class, the National Post editorial board had this to say today, in an editorial titled Keep Khadr Where he is: "...the question becomes, do we trust an American military tribunal to dispense justice? Frankly, we do."

This situation is so terrible, and so wrong in so many ways.

Click here for information on writing your MP & the PM demanding that Khadr be transferred from US to Canadian custody.

June 13, 2008 Weblog:

Québec Native Women's Association responds to Harper's apology for residential schools

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The Québec Native Women's Association has called upon the Canadian government to acknowledge that residential schools were an act of genocide.

Statement by Quebec Native Women's Association/Femmes Autochtones du Québec

Re : Government of Canada's Residential School Apology
June 11, 2008, Kahnawake

Quebec Native Women recognizes the Prime Minister's official apology concerning the genocidal experience of Aboriginal people in the history of the Residential School system. While the apology to Aboriginal peoples is long overdue it is contradicted by the oppressive policies of the Indian
Act.

The heinous crimes committed against Aboriginal children who were victims and survivors of the Residential School experience must be dealt with beyond mere apologies and monetary compensation.

» continue reading "Québec Native Women's Association responds to Harper's apology for residential schools"

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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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