Support the Dominion
Support the Dominion
By: Wadner Pierre
Since 1983, Dr. Paul Farmer has been working in the Cange locality of the Central department of Haiti. His organization Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) has won international recognition for its work. In August, former US President Bill Clinton, currently the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, appointed Farmer as his Deputy Special Envoy.
In early September, Farmer toured Haiti for the first time in his official capacity with the UN. The stated goal of the mission, whose motto is “build back better,” is to explore short and long term solutions to Haiti’s ongoing economic crisis. Haiti’s educational system, environmental problems and agricultural productivity were addressed in discussions with numerous sectors.
“We are not coming to dictate to people who have already been working in Haiti, but we can coordinate their work to make for better results. During my five days I met and listened to everybody, the President, the Prime Minister and other ministers in the government. And I met with the private sector, MINUSTAH, NGOs and the farmers.” Farmer stressed, “When I talk about the private sector, I don’t mean big business people only, but the ‘Madanm Sara’ [street merchants], the peasants who represent an incredible workforce for this country. We need to sustain them. And we also need to make sure that these people find capital to grow their crops and small businesses. And finally, their children should be able to go to school.”
However, Dr. Farmer noted, “This is not a political mission, but a mission to help people build back better Haiti. Haiti has its own potentialities and we can use them to develop Haiti.”
Residents of Guelph, ON, have been occupying the proposed site of the Hanlon Creek Busines Park. The site is also home to Guelph's Old Growth Forest, and endangers local wetlands and the Jefferson Salamander, on Ontario's official threatened species list.
The occupation began on Monday, July 27th. They were notified that they would be evicted as of July 30th at 4pm, but the time came and went and protestors are still there.
More information is available on their blog at http://hcbpoccupation.wordpress.com, or contact them for interviews or more information at +15198206280, +15198206239 or hcbpoccupatio[at]gmail[dot]com. They are also inviting supporters to the site to lend a hand - a map with directions can be found on their website.
Photo by Sal Jefferson
I wrote an opinion piece for the most recent issue of This Magazine about the historical background of Canada's foreign aid, and what that means for current efforts to "reform" and increase foreign aid. It's available online, though for some reason it's missing include apostrophes and quotation marks.
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.