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Our friends at Rabble bring us news that the latest NDP convention in Halifax this August will be a pretty white affair.
As can be gleamed from the convention speakers: "7 out of 7 featured speakers at the convention are white; 6 of them are men. 9 out of 9 headshots are of white people. For that matter 18 out of the 18 people pictured on this page are white. Seriously?"
While appealing to people of colour has rarely been at the top of the NDP agenda it's pretty amazing to see them totally absent from a major NDP convention. Especially considering organizers were able to squeak in an NHL defenceman and his Carbon Neutral Challenge.
BC is currently in the midst of a huge election extravaganza. After the Federal Election this month, BC has faced two important provincial by-elections and will soon see municipal elections in Vancouver. A provincial election is set for next year.
In the mean time, housing has been creeping in as an important issue.
The NDP made it a major part of their platform in the provincial by-elections calling it a "huge issue" for voters. Mayoral candidates are facing off against condos to address the lack of rental housing. Special groups are pushing for better tenants rights, similar to those in Ontario.
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.
Dr. Samira Laouni, federal NDP candidate in Bourassa, Montréal (pictured above), was viciously attacked on Benoît Dutrizac's radio show, broadcast on September 10 on 98.5FM (a summary of the interview was published by the Montréal Gazette).
Laouni, termed "Québec's first veiled federal candidate" by mainstream media outlets, weathered Dutrizac's questioning with calm composure. Interrogated about her marriage, her religious beliefs, and her sexuality, with her measured responses Laouni revealed the deeply Islamophobic, misogynist presuppositions of Dutrizac's questions.
Following the interview, calls for Dutrizac's resignation came from the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The CAF is also filing a complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), urging a full investigation of Corus Radio Network (the media outlet that owns 98.5FM), based in Toronto.
Radio Regulations (Broadcasting Act, 1986) forbid the broadcasting of
any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability.
Dear Jack Layton,
I would like to commend you on your decision to participate in the Durban Review Conference in April 2009. Canada's boycott of this Geneva conference goes to demonstrate the government's recent change in foreign relations to Israel. It goes hand in hand with the recently signed Canada-Israel Free Trade agreement, and the Security Agreement between our two countries.
I am a Canadian Israeli and have previously lived in the West Bank in an illegal settlement (on Palestinian land). In spite of the fact that the entire world has again and again agreed the occupation of the West Bank, the building of Settlements, and the construction of the Wall are contradictory to international law, Israel has proceeded to ignore them. In spite of the International Court of Justice decision, and the annual voting by the United Nations on the Palestinian Refugee's right of return, Israel has been implementing racist, apartheid laws and enforcing them year after year.
As a former refugee from the Soviet Union, I remember not belonging anywhere, I remember the complete dire poverty, and the deafening fear of persecution. We have been faced with centuries of anti-Semitism in the former USSR and have lived through immense discriminatory violence within our lifetimes. That is why when we escaped to Israel we were at first blind to the political significance of our presence there and what our new nation was doing to its indigenous population. It took living in the West Bank as economic settlers to see the system of apartheid for what it really is.
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.