This is my SOS to the world

A tiny community called out to world.  And the world answered.  Foreign aid arrived in Canada courtesy environmental organizations which, if you’ll remember, dear Reader, are “radical groups” with “radical agendas” trying to “derail” the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. Our radical agenda, backed by independent science, demands acknowledgement that the continued expansion of the tarsands is killing the environment, people, creatures.  Our audacity to challenge the continued expansion to the tarsands, including the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.  It’s likely the HarperCon governments’ condemnation of the earth-based movement was a way of side-railing or discrediting the documentary, Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands.  The documentary is billed as

a two-hour visual tour de force, taking viewers inside the David and Goliath struggle playing out within one of the most compelling environmental issues of our time.  

In an oil-scarce world, we know there are sacrifices to be made in the pursuit of energy.  What no one expected was that a tiny Native community downriver from Canada’s oil sands would reach out to the world, and be heard.

Tipping Point follows the people of Fort Chipewyan as they take their case to the world.  They live downstream from the tarsands.  And they are dying.  The world heard their plea.  Science spoke.  The world heard the science.  And acted. The HarperCon government silenced its own scientists, defended climate change denial science, gutted environmental programs and greenbaited those who, like the regina mom, stand up to this abuse of power. And now the government proposes to silence citizens.

On Valentine’s Day, 2012, the HarperCon Government introduced An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts aka the Spy Bill in the House of Commons. Their framing of Bill C-30 draws on G. W. Bush-era “with us or against us” politics, saying that Canadians have a choice to either “stand with us or with the child pornographers.

 

NDP Opposition Critic, Charlie Angus, does not like it, says it is “an unprecedented bill that undermines the privacy rights of Canadians” and that it will turn a cell phone into an “electronic prisoners’ bracelet.” Watch this extended coverage of the NDP’s response to Bill C-30.

The citizen group Open Media doesn’t like it, either.

The government has just tabled an online spying plan that will allow authorities to access the private information of any Canadian at any time, without a warrant.If they are successful your personal information could be caught up in a digital dragnet and entered into a giant unsecure registry of private data.

By forcing digital service providers to install costly online surveillance infrastructure, this scheme will create red tape for online innovators and businesses. It takes Canada in the wrong direction—a dangerous move when families are already falling behind during unstable economic times.

This warrantless online spying plan will invade your privacy and cost you money. If we care about privacy, the open Internet, our economy and our basic democratic rights, it’s time to tell Ottawa to stop this irresponsible plan NOW.

Dear Reader, the regina mom fears that Canada is heading down the road to becoming a closed society.  Please watch Tipping Point and stand with us to stop the Canadian government.  Email Charlie Angus and NDP Leader Nycole Turmel.  Email the Prime Minister, and the minister responsible for this legislation, Vic Toews, too, if you like.  Be creative.  Do whatever you can think of to do.  But please do something.  Please help Canadians save their country.

Please consider this my message in a bottle.

Willful Ignorance

As the HarperCon delegation of Ministers and big biz boyz prepared to take off for China, the wise Yinka Dene Nation through whose lands the Northern Gateway pipeline is proposed to go, were busy writing letters.  They sent one to the Government of China loaded with examples describing how

Aboriginal communities in Canada live at the margins of society – in abject poverty with appalling conditions. Recently the community of Attawapiskat was highlighted in the news for the extreme conditions with lack of housing, running water and sewage. Attawapiskat is one of more than 100 First Nations communities in Canada that face this reality. These conditions violate the adequate standard of living guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the rights to adequate housing, education, and other rights guaranteed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

They sent an open letter to the People of China:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is visiting China this week to talk about his plans toforce the Enbridge Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline and Tankers through our lands, territories, and watersheds. Harper plans to violate our indigenous human rights to build this 1200 kilometre oil pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Ocean. We will not allow Harperto force this oil pipeline through our lands. Under United Nations international law, we have the right to say no to this pipeline. We will enforce our legal rights to protect our waters from the risk of an oil spill.

While the Prime Minister is in China, the Indigenous Environmental Network has teamed up with the Council of Canadians and the Climate Action Network to lobby various Ottawa-based European Embassies about the realities of the tarsands.  From their news release:

“The Harper Government has failed Canadians and the world by refusing to take the climate crises seriously,” says Hannah McKinnon of Climate Action Network Canada. “Instead of fighting a pollution battle at home, the government has chosen to fight a Public Relations battle abroad –it is pathetic that our government is putting more energy into trying to kill climate change policies in other countries than doing its fair share to fight climate change in Canada.”

The organizations discussed the importance of the policy and directly debunked common industry and government lobby points regarding discrimination, carbon intensity of tar sands, and trade concerns. They made clear the critical importance of pressuring the government to take action on cleaning up the tar sands, both from a climate change and energy perspective as well as the human rights implications on directly impacted First Nation Communities.

“Profound human rights violations are being perpetuated by the Canadian governments ongoing tar sands bonanza. First Nations in the region are living with 30% elevated rates of cancer compared to the rest of Alberta,” says Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands Campaign Director for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “First Nations peoples have been leading an international campaign to stop the Canadian tar sands, this policy will help cut off Prime Minister Harpers ability to peddle this dirty oil to the European market.”

The blog, Trapped in a Whirlpool, raises the question of water quality in First Nations communities, noting that Alberta has the biggest increase of boil-water orders in the country rising to 38 in 2011 from 8 in 2006.  [begin sarcasm] Of course, we don’t know why, do we? [end sarcasm]  But the HarperCons are doing nothing to fix this.  Apparently, they’d rather the First Nations people drink bitumen, I guess.  Of course, we are not surprised, are we?

The tarsands are also taking habitat away from wild animals. In a twisted scheme to save caribou herds, the HarperCon government will reduce the wolf population by poisoning bait with strychnine.  In a report on the impact of tarsands development the US National Wildlife Federation says,

Canada’s Minister of Environment Peter Kent said in September that thousands of Alberta wolves will need to be killed to rescue caribou impacted by tar sands development. “Culling is an accepted if regrettable scientific practice and means of controlling populations and attempting to balance what civilization has developed. I’ve got to admit, it troubles me that that’s what is necessary to protect this species,” Kent commented. Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute estimates that many thousands of wolves could be destroyed over five years under Canada’s proposed plan.

The minister has it backwards. Rather than killing wolves, he should be stopping the habitat destruction and restoring habitat associated with tar sands production. Without healthy habitat, the decline of caribou is inevitable, no matter how wolves are managed. If Canada wants to protect caribou herds, the first priority should be protection and restoration of caribou habitat.

The Minister and his cohorts get a lot of things wrong, particularly when it comes to science, according to Metaman.  He basically suggests we turn on our bullshit detectors.

Check your science carefully folks: Give it the sniff test! Is the next phase of “CPC Agnotology” fake peer reviewed “bullshit”? The GOP republicans and CPC conservatives know that they are failing to succeed with ideology, so, is the next step is to put on the “SunTV lab coats (brought to you by FoxNews)” and do some “dog and pony science” for the masses? Perhaps Ezra will finally exchange his “heavy carbon footprint chainsaw for a more efficient and intelligent pen”? Watch for more the new “science parrot” to replace CPC “bullshit“?

It is 2012; Science, in the past 20 years has cleared out a lot of “Kenty” science, but there is much to be done. By eliminating government based science, seems our government expects us to trust corporate science: Tobacco science? Ethical science? FDA Science?

 

350 or bust shared a 26-second video created by NASA scientists.  It shows, very clearly, that global climate change is real.  Have a look yourself:

 

A child could easily understand that.  But our government refuses to.  Willful ignorance is so unbecoming a government.  But that’s willful too, isn’t it?

 

Protests, Facts & Bedfellows: Northern Gateway Pipeline Actions, Science & Money

They expected 2,000 to attend and, according to police reports, 2,000 people demonstrated their opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and shut down the main street of the small northern city of Prince Rupert, BC.  When 15% of the 13,000 who live in any city are marching on the street, it’s significant.  Also significant is that CBC reported only 600.  The lesson?  Never trust the media to count your crowd.

CBC also reported that First Nations’ leaders are worried about their relationship with Ottawa as a result of their opposition to the pipeline.

Dallas Smith, the president of the Nanwakolas Council, said that even though he is not from the territory that will be directly affected by the pipeline, he’s been working in support of the concerns of his fellow First Nations.

“I think the opposition is based on the risk,” Smith said. “But there’s more at hand, there’s a relationship that needs to be built with the federal government right now and this is going to be really tricky to manoeuvre around, making sure that the whole relationship doesn’t get caught up in this issue.”

“We’re really concerned… about the ripple effect of this project and what it’s going to do to our already non-existent relationship with the federal government,” Smith said, later clarifying that the relationship is not really “non-existent” but is definitely “not as genuine” as the First Nations relationship with the B.C. government. [Video link here.]

How could anyone possibly have a “genuine” relationship with the HarperCon government, especially when said government hides Environment Canada documents about the impact of the tarsands on local communities, economies and environments until it suits them?

The latest document singles out the oilsands sector as the main obstacle in Canada’s efforts to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gases that warm the atmosphere and cause climate change.

“The oilsands are Canada’s fastest growing source of GHGs,” said the document.

It estimated that the industry’s annual greenhouse gas emissions would rise by nearly 900 per cent from 1990 to 2020. By the end of that period, the oilsands — with an estimated annual footprint of 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gases in 2020 — would exceed the carbon footprint of all cars and SUVs on Canadian roads from 2008, according to the Environment Canada document.

There is no doubt in the regina mom‘s mind that this is why 60 scientists at Environment Canada were fired by the HarperCon government last month.  Harperites don’t need pesky facts getting in the way of their agenda!

Sixty scientists with Environment Canada received notice that their jobs are “surplus” as of Jan. 11, confirming Minister Peter Kent’s announcement last August that 776 department positions would meet the chopping block due to the Conservative government’s belt-tightening.
Though the department is under “strict orders” not to reveal what work the surplus scientists are doing, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) – the union representing them – said the 60 employees include “senior engineers, environmental compliance officers, biologists, climatologists and others” responsible for reporting on pollution, monitoring water quality and climate research.

We can be certain that those currently running the government of Canada would rather not believe the facts when it comes to climate change.  They’d much rather believe the pseudo-science of paid deniers over the real science of professional scientists.   And they’ll cherry-pick data on an as-needed basis, thank you very much. Things like this graph, clearly showing the upward curve of global temperature changes over the past 130 years, just don’t work with their plan to expand the tarsands.

graph of 130 years of global climate change

Pressure from those radical environmental groups with their radical agendas – you know the type — those using fact-based research now seem to have forced the hand of evangeliCons and their buddies in the big-ass oil industry.  The HarperCons have announced, for the second time in as many years, that they are going to monitor the effects of the tarsands.  At least, it appears that they will.  As trm mentioned last week, Halifax MP Megan Leslie dismissed it as a PR stunt.

“The announcement was a public relations stunt,” says Leslie. “The Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel said any monitoring that’s done has to be arm’s-length; it has to be separate from government and we heard the environment minister say today it’s still going to be government run.”

But that Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel consisted of independent experts in the field — you know, real scientists.  So, a government-run monitoring system would be better for the HarperCons.  It would easily allow for the aforementioned cherry-picking. And it’s what the industry likes, too!  trm supposes it’s in their best interests to like it, given the $1 billion in tax cuts, subsidies and incentives it receives from government. [Note 1:  This links to a large PDF; See p. 18 for the detailed list.  Note 2: The data is based on 2002 numbers; it's unlikely subsidies et al have decreased during the tenures of oil-friendly governments of the intervening decade.]

And so, as the HarperCon Prime Minister heads to China to visit with his old buddy David Emerson who’s there working our more ways to sell-out our country to the China Investment Corporation and Sinopec and who knows who else, the PM would certainly like to believe he’s quelled the voices of the so-called radicals.  trm has kept quiet for a couple of days, yes, but she’s no where near finished with making noise about Canada’s dirty oil!

On Ending Colonialism OR One Reason Why the Northern Gateway Pipeline Must Never Proceed

In light of the upcoming Crown-First Nations Gathering scheduled for this week — the one from which our Prime Minister will be “ducking out early” — trm thought it prudent to review some basics on Canada’s relationship with her First Peoples.  Harper’s planned early exit, the crisis at Attawapiskat and other First Nations communities, as well as the threat to Coastal First Nations in BC as posed by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline add to the urgency of trm‘s review, despite the fact that those items are not on the ever-changing Agenda for the gathering.

An Unhealthy Relationship Between the Canadian State and Her Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Peoples Solidary Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) provide an excellent case study of Canada’s continued colonial and genocidal policies, the overt and covert racism, and the ongoing dishonouring of the Crown Treaties and Agreements in the case of Attawapiskat.

Since a state of emergency was declared…, instead of receiving immediate supports from both the federal and provincial governments, the community has received:

  • Jurisdictional wrangling between the federal government and Ontario on who should be responsible for the emergency, who should pay for the needs of the people
  • Blaming from the feds on their financial mismanagement, which isn’t true
  • Punishment with third-party management
  • Red tape & bureaucracy in order to have their state of emergency recognized and needed funds allocated

Of course, this isn’t anything new to our First Peoples.

Completely Unnecessary Surveillance of First Peoples

The case by IPSMO and the film, Canada:  Apartheid Nation (which trm will examine in an upcoming post), both reference Dr. Cindy Blackstock, the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.  Dr. Blackstock, a tireless advocate for First Nations children who speaking frequently at meetings and conferences across the nation and beyond is someone who sees the inequities and peacefully responds.  Yet, she has been subject to routine surveillance by the federal Aboriginal Affairs department.

Again, this is nothing new to First Peoples.  Dr. Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer, member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick, professor of Indigenous law, politics and governance and head of the Centre for Indigenous Studies at Ryerson University and another peaceful advocate for equality.  In her Indigenous Nationhood blog at rabble.ca she reveals that the surveillance of Dr. Blackstock led her to file Freedom of Information request on her own activities.  Not surprisingly, there is at least one file on her.  It leads her to wonder, then, given the heartful nature of Cindy Blackstock’s work and her own peaceful activities, “[W]hat First Nation activities are NOT considered a potential threat to Canada?”  It’s a valid question, I would think.  Perhaps it is something you could ask your Member of Parliament.

The Road to Change:  Ending Colonial Practices and State Dependency

In “Colonialism and State Dependency“, as published by the Journal of Aboriginal Health V5, I2, Dr. Gerald Taiaiake Alfred of the University of Victoria’s School of Indigeous Governance explains “the fundamental roots of the psychophysical crises and dependency of First Nations upon the state.”  He examines “the effect of colonially-generated cultural disruptions that compound the effects of dispossession to create near total psychological, physical and financial dependency on the state” and “identifies a direct relationship between government laws and policies applied to Indigenous peoples and the myriad mental and physical health problems and economic deprivations.” He shows that,

Political and social institutions, such as band councils and government-funded service agencies that govern and influence life in First Nations today, have been for the most part shaped and organized to serve the interests of the Canadian state. Their structures, responsibilities, and authorities conform to the interests of Canadian governments, just as their sources of legitimacy are found in Canadian laws, not in First Nations interests or laws. These institutions are inappropriate foci for either planning or leading the cause of indigenous survival and regeneration. Reconfiguring First Nations politics and replacing current strategies, institutions and leadership structures with those rooted in and drawing legitimacy from indigenous cultures is necessary for creating renewed environments capable of supporting indigenous ways of being. Transformations begin inside each person, but decolonization starts becoming a reality when people collectively and consciously reject colonial identities and institutions that are the context of violence, dependency and discord in indigenous communities. (Emphasis mine)

His work provides detailed recommendations for change, references the work of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.  Ultimately, he says,

It is the use and occupation of lands within traditional territories, economic uses, re-establishing residences, seasonal/cyclical ceremonial use, and occupancy by families Colonialism and State Dependency and larger clan groups that will allow First Nations to rebuild their communities and reorient their cultures.

The Role of Settler Society

If we of “settler society” do not make significant changes in our personal and public lives, if we do not stand with our Indigenous Peoples to challenge our racist and colonialist governments and institutions, then we are an enormous part of the problem.  Saying and doing nothing is akin to condoning the actions of our governments, of saying yes to ongoing racism and colonialism, of perpetuating the cycles of abuse towards our First Nations peoples by our governments at all levels.  As such, each of us can challenge our internalized racism, speak out against racism in our families and communities and, on a larger scale, do our utmost to ensure that the HarperCon’s pet project, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, is a #fail.  Doing otherwise is a disservice to not only our First Peoples but also to ourselves for we are all Treaty People.

Hyperbole, Haste and the Nail in the Coffin: The Death of Oil Pipedreams

It’s been more than a week now since Minister Joe (McCarthy) Oilver’s divisive screed appeared in the Globe and Mail. His attempt to create an us’n’them scenario has been thoroughly denounced and discredited in the blogosphere, as the links provided in my previous posts indicate.

Commentators, even some in the mainstream corporate media, continue to provide more information worthy of yet another blogpost by trm.

Tabitha Southey takes a swipe at the HarperCon hyperbolic campaign with her own hyperbolic prose and imagines a love affair between Big Oil and the Environmental Movement.  trm giggled.

Paul Wells, possibly using the research produced by Deep Climate and DeSmog Blog (Who knows? He credits no one.), also wades into the online discussion.  He quotes an unnamed HarperCon supporter who assures him there’s no connection.

“I’m 100 per cent sure that there’s no coordination between Alykhan and Joe Oliver’s office,” one Conservative said. The connection is loose and cultural, not conspiratorial: “This government has narratives, and this”—the virtue of the oil sands, suspicion at the motives of its opponents—“is one of them.”

Max Paris at CBC notes that the no-go on the Keystone XL pipeline in the USA “added new urgency to the Northern Gateway Pipeline process.”  He addresses Tom Flanagan’s suggestion that PMSH could use Section 92(10)(c) of the Constitution  to ensure the pipeline goes ahead.

Here’s what Bruce Ryder — a constitutional law expert and prof at Osgoode Hall — thinks of Flanagan’s clause:

“It’s a valid legal power that Parliament possesses. To use it would raise an outcry and be intensely controversial from the point of view of constitutional convention or practices that have evolved to reflect contemporary understandings of federalism that treat the provinces and the federal government as equal.”

Bloggers and alt media haven’t stopped talking about the pipelines, either.  DeSmog Blog has a detailed expose of the interconnections among Sun Media, the HarperCon government and the folks at Ethical (sic) Oil, including an analysis of the digital fingerprints, the creation of the echo chamber and the relationships of those in that chamber. A bonus in the post is the Rick Mercer spoof of “foreign influence” spin.

And last, but certainly not the least, is Andrew Nikiforuk’s piece in the Tyee.  In What the Keystone Rejection Really Reveals, he educates trm on the jobs! jobs! jobs! blather we regularly hear from the proponents of both KXL and NGP:

(For the record, the oil industry is not a jobs machine. It is the world’s most capital-intensive industry and earns more than 10 per cent of the world’s GDP. But it only employs less than one tenth of one per cent of the world’s workers. In Canada it accounts for but 1.8 per cent of the workforce.)

And, he leaves trm with a smile on her face.

TransCanada says it will apply again in 2013 with a different pipeline route. For oil-sand developers, Keystone XL still remains Plan A to get bitumen to foreign markets. It’s not as cheap as moving bitumen to the Canada’s West Coast but it comes with fewer risks.

Most senior executives in the oil patch quietly admit that Enbridge Gateway project (Plan B) will never be built. The local opposition against this desperate pro-China folly is much stronger and just as committed as that against Keystone XL.

In fact, the path closed long ago due to ineptness and hubris as well as a ruthless disregard for the power of salmon, whales and First Nations.

It’s deader than Keystone.

And trm‘s still smiling about that!

Northern Gateway Pipeline: The Video Version

I’m not much of a video lover, myself, but I know most of our culture is and so I’ve been amassing a few links that may be of interest to those who’d rather learn about the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline via video rather than text. Here are just a few. (Note, this page could take a while to load.)


Risking it All – Oil on our Coast

Risking it All – Oil on our Coast from Twyla Roscovich on Vimeo.



Tar sands to tankers – The fight against Enbridge


Cetaceans of the Great Bear Rainforest

Tipping Barrels: A journey into the Great Bear Rainforest

Tipping Barrels from Sitka on Vimeo.

Racist Screed by Con MP Peter Goldring

This racist screed was sent to Edmonton East constituents by their Conservative MP, Peter Goldring, in his householder in December 2009.  Yes, folks, your tax dollars paid for racist literature!

There are those today who want to change the historical record regarding 19th century Metis leader Louis Riel. Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament for Edmonton East says that such historical revisionism is wrong and sets the record straight on Riel and his crimes.

Concerned?

Wait, there’s more!

Revisionist “time travel” ignores the reality of human suffering. History is there to be learned, not to be revised or reinter-preted today by persons who do not like the outcomes of over a century ago. “Time travelling” back to the Riel era and erasing this judgement from our history books as if it were wrong, would in itself be wrong. How can we possibly know what was in the minds of people 100 years ago, to re-judge them today, years af-ter the fact. How can we obtain a true ap-preciation for those issues, without the sweat of fear and the odour of death that those events caused across the West in that era?

His prejudice certainly shows through in that paragraph, eh?  How about considering the suffering of the Metis, Peter?  Or is that to Peter Goldring, the Metis Nation is not part of humanity?

He also says that a pardon for Riel would mean Canada was insulting the soldiers who fought against Riel on behalf of Canada.

So many people today appear to know little of and care less for the sacrifice of those very first Canadian war veterans who fought against Riel and saved our country from disin-tegration, so long ago.

“Saved our country?”  Puh-leeze!  More like helped turn it into the racist country it is!

Apparently, admitting mistakes of the past is not something Peter’s into:

To “unhang” Riel today is illogical for those who remember the true history of Riel’s revo-lutionary role and who also respect the au-thority of historical jury decisions. To posthu-mously “pardon” Riel would amount to a ret-roactive miscarriage of justice.

But hey, folks, Peter wants to know what you think.  So how about you download and print this file, cut off that bottom portion and send it, free of charge, to the MP.  Tell him how you really feel!

Hey, even his boss man, PMS, has left him to fend for himself!  And that’s very interesting because the current PM has had strict control over messaging in recent years.

So, the immediate questions that arise for me are:

  1. Was the Prime Minister’s Office part of sending out this racist screed?
  2. Why hasn’t the Member of Parliament been charged with the publication and distribution of hate propaganda?

I asked the last question of Iggy, Jack and Gilles and await their replies.  I encourage you to do likewise.  And please let me know what questions I’ve missed asking.

Is the PM losing control?

There is so much weirdness going on in federal politics this week, I have to wonder if Mr. Harper is losing control of his rightwing radicals.  Or, perhaps he’s under pressure to give those radicals more voice and has allowed these things to occur to appease that faction of his party, to hold his rightwing coalition together.  It certainly looks strategic.

Wonder what I’m talking about?  Well, just take a look:

My favourite cowboys, those Cowboys for Social Responsibility, took time to fill us in on the latest story about the gun-crazy Yorkton-Melville MP, Garry Breitkreuz.  News was that he would speak at the AGM of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, but that was kiboshed by the PMO.  Now the PM, himself, will speak at the event.

And speaking of speaking, MP Jason Kenney has banned an MP from Britain from entering Canada.  Outspoken anti-war activist and Scotsman, George Galloway, is scheduled to speak at an anti-war rally next week, but the Canadian Border Services Agency has deemed him “a threat to national security”!  Go figure?  Those pacifists, eh?  Never know when they might peace out a place, huh?

Alison@Creekside has the dirty on the mouthpiece who’s been speaking for MP Jason Kenney,  Alykhan Velshi, and his ties to the radical right in the USA.

I’m thinking Galloway’s really under attack here because he is articulate.  See how Galloway eviscerated former Bush speechwriter, David Frum.

Oh, and there’s a petition asking for Galloway to be allowed to speak in Canada here.  Sign it now, please, then come back for more.

Yes, there’s more!  Moron Kenney has been freewheeling this past week.  Get a load of the racism inherent in this idiocy:

Immigrants who can’t speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, a federal cabinet minister says.

Canada needs to improve its efforts to integrate newcomers, Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, said Friday.

“I believe one area that we can ask immigrants in the country to make a greater effort [in] is that of language,” Kenney said in a speech to an immigration conference in Calgary.

In other countries of the world, citizens can speak four or five languages by early adulthood.  So what if English or French isn’t one of them?  Maybe Kenney should be promoting multi-lingualism in Canada instead of racism.

And he’s attempting to embrace Black Canadians, too, according to BCL:

Now he’s hosting “National Black Engagement Days”

Blogging Tory Canadian Blue Lemons … describes the event as “the most patronizing thing I have seen in my many, many years of observing politics”.

As if that’s not bad enough!  No, we’re not yet through with Kenney.  Sorry to say, but his homophobia hit the waves this week, too, even though it’s old news.  (Strategic or what?)  The appointment of a radical homophobe to the Immigration Refuge Board should not be surprising coming from this government:

Doug Cryer, a former director of public policy for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, has also publicly defended the right of churches to denounce homosexuality.

“Doug Cryer of the EFC said the church has a right to say that homosexual behaviour is sinful, just as it can say that adultery is sinful,” according to a November 2006 edition of CanadianChristianity.com.

“It is part of God’s teaching,” Cryer told the publication.

Cryer is among a dozen people appointed by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney last month to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board — an independent administrative tribunal that hears applications for refugee status.

And Doug Cryer used to work for Ed Komarnicki, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain.  Oh, isn’t this just what we need, eh?  Religious zealots deciding the makeup of our country?  I think not!

But wait, there’s more Kenney!  (I know, it’s over the top!!!)  But this has to do with the Zionist trend among Canada’s political right (and on that right I include Iggy, btw).

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made no apologies yesterday for ending the flow of funds to the Canadian Arab Federation, which he says has expressed support for terror groups.

CAF president Khaled Mouammar believes Canada should regard Hamas and Hezbollah as “legitimate organizations,” Kenney said.

Both Hamas and Hezbollah are on the Canadian government’s list of groups “associated with terrorism,” according to the public safety department’s website.

“Here we have in Canada, someone who, until the end of this month at least, was receiving public subsidies from my department, who says … these organizations that are essentially anti-Semitic and seek the destruction of Israel … should be able to operate in Canada,” Kenney said.

People in Canada “need to exercise freedom of expression responsibly” and should be wary of the rise of a new form of anti-Semitism cloaked in debates about Israel’s actions in the Middle East, Kenney said in a speech to University of Toronto students.

There is no room for non-violent extremism in Canada that is “beyond the pale,” he said. “When I say beyond the pale I don’t mean illegal. But these are the kinds of organizations that should receive no formal support from the organs of the Canadian state.”

I would expect my country to extend support to all voices and not just those of the state.  To do otherwise smacks of censorship which, we all know, is a tenet of fascism.

Now, just in case you thought this long post would end here, there’s one more tidbit to add.  Minister of Heritage, James Moore, is pitting the government against the CBC, our public broadcaster:

…Moore has taken a hard line against the CBC in recent public statements.

“The question of financing for this fiscal year is closed. They’re receiving $1.1 billion, the largest amount in straight dollars from the federal government that they’ve ever received.”

That’s we, bubba.  That’s the people of Canada, that’s our broadcaster, paid for by our tax dollars!  And we deserve better than you, Jackass!

The sooner we rid ourselves of this rightwing idiocy, the better for our country!  I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Liberals to take them on, however.  They’re a non-entity when it comes to preserving all that is Canadiana.

Classism and Racism at Regina Board of Education (RBE)

Others won’t name it outright. I will.

The Regina Public School Board of Education’s 10-year Renewal Plan is at best, stupid. At its worst, it is racist and classist. It goes against the RBE’s own shared values:

Our Shared Values transcend our differences and provide an equal opportunity to recognize and encourage the unique characteristics and contributions of students, parents/caregivers and staff.

Well, maybe they somewhat did until now. The RBE has chosen to ignore significant data revealed to them by citizens’ groups.

Independent studies have shown that the majority of the schools slated for closure are in areas of the city where the First Nations population is higher than average and where the socio-economic status of the citizens is lower than average. It has furthermore shown, given 2006 numbers and the RBE’s own data on closures, that as many as 45% of the RBE’s student population in K to Grade 8 will be bussed when the new plan takes effect.

So the 10-year plan is not only classist and racist, but it is also devised to create more greenhouse gases in our city!

And I will refrain from commenting on the Campbell Collegiate Community Council’s presentation to the Board except to say that it demonstrated exactly why the south end is deemed to be a place of white power and privilege in Regina. And it sickens me that my kids are enrolled there.

Then again, maybe they can make a difference…

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