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The Progressive Economics Forum: Affordable Housing in the Yukon

Earlier today, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site, I blogged about a recent (and controversial) decision made by the Yukon government about affordable housing in the Yukon. Points raised in the blog post include the following:

-Very little affordable housing gets built in Canada without federal assistance.

-Without financial assistance from senior levels of government, for-profit developers in Canada generally don’t find it worthwhile to build rental housing even for middle-income tenants (never mind low-income tenants).

-Going forward, federal funding for existing social housing in the Yukon is declining.

The full blog post can be accessed (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: The Athabaska Oil Sands: Enough to make you sick. Real sick.

I don’t normally reprint news releases. This time I will make an exception. At the end of the news release are two videos I recorded earlier this year that speak to this issue. In the first, Dr. Stéphane McLachlan, of the Environmental Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba, talks about the research that is the subject of this news release. In the second, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May explains why Canada needs an energy policy that is good for Canada’s economy and its environment.

Health Study Reveals Alarming Links Between Oil Sands Contaminants and Incidence of Illness

(Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Impact of Fur Trade in U.S.

The fur trade in Canada is often said to have been less malign than in the US, and it was, but that doesn’t say much given the extraordinary disruption it is said to have createn in colonial America by the American historian Bernard Bailyn in his recent (2012) book, appropriately titled The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675: “[S]omething general and profound…was developing on the eve of English settlement in North America. Emerging slowly at a latent level were the beginnings of fundamental alterations in native culture that, within a single generation after (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site. Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance). Among other things, I suggest in the post that the for-profit landlord in question may be in a monopoly situation. The link to my blog post is here.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fur trade and tar sands

Here is Joseph Boyden talking with the Globe and Mail last fall about his novel Orenda:

“You look at this novel and you think immigration, who you allow in and who you don’t. The Hurons allow in the ones who ulimately destroy them, because the Huron aren’t perfect either. They need the trade, and how much greed was involved in that? Look environmentally – you wipe out all the furs and your economy is gone. It’s like the oil sands.”

The fur trade destroyed the Huron economy and the Huron. Bitumen destroys the Canadian economy, and through carbon emissions (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Warrior Up! The Mi’kmaq Struggle Against Fracking at Elsipogtog

Winnipeg, Feb. 17, 2014: Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society, speaking at Thunderbird House. Photo: Paul S. Graham

It is time to “warrior up” according to Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society. She spoke at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg on Feb. 17, 2014 as part of a national tour to raise awareness about the struggle at Elsipogtog First Nation against shale gas fracking and police repression, as well as their ongoing assertion of nationhood.

Their blockade in opposition to shale gas fracking at Elsipogtog First Nation (located in Kent County, New Brunswick) came to national attention on October (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: The Gift of Treaties

Winnipeg, Jan. 21, 2014: Niigaan James Sinclair, speaking at the “Gift of Treaties” teach-in organized by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

A standard dictionary definition of the word “treaty” will describe it, rather drily, as a formal agreement between two or more states – an instrument of international relations commonly used to make peace, cement alliances, enable commerce, and so on.

For Anishinaabe scholar and activist Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, treaties are gifts which oblige the signatories to accept and value each as equals. Treaties, says Sinclair, are as old as creation and inextricably embedded in the (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Thank you, Neil Young, for telling the truth

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Environment, Nibbling on The Empire Tagged: aboriginal rights, Alberta oil sands, alberta tar sands, Neil Young

Paul S. Graham: Video: Idle No More 2.0

Several hundred members and supporters of Idle No More gathered at the centre court of the Polo Park Mall in Winnipeg Friday evening to sing and to dance. Some are calling it Idle No More 2.0. Idle No More Manitoba spokesperson Michael Kannon explains why in this video report.

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Winnipeg Tagged: aboriginal rights, idle no more, Idle No More Manitoba, Winnipeg

Paul S. Graham: Video: The five main threats to Lake Winnipeg

October 26, 2013: Diane Orihel, founder and director of the Coalition to Save ELA, speaks to a workshop in Winnipeg on water quality sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Diane Orihel is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and the founder and Director of the Coalition to Save ELA.The Coalition to Save ELA is a nonpartisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA consists of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. Since 1968, (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Fracking in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.

Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.

In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: No Prairie Pipeline

TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed “Energy East” pipeline project, which is intended to transport Alberta tar sands crude to eastern Canada, is meeting growing opposition from First Nations, environmentalists and citizens who live along the planned route.

The Winnipeg chapter of the Council of Canadians, along with Idle No More and the Boreal Forest Network held a public forum on the issue on October 22, 2013. Speakers included Maryam Adrangi, the Council of Canadians’ Energy and Climate Campaigner, and Crystal Green, Michael Kannon and Nina Was’te of Idle No More. The forum was moderated by Susan McCrea of the Boreal Forest (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Winnipeg Jingle Dance: “We deserve to live!”

Winnipeg, Oct. 12, 2013: Jingle dancers ready themselves to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Winnipeg, Canada: Thousands gathered at the intersection of Portage and Main Street to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, with a Jingle Dance. Speaking in this clip are Jo Redsky and Michael Champagne, activists in Canada’s Idle No More movement.

Among the many issues outstanding between the First Nations and the Government of Canada is the refusal of the federal government to hold a national inquiry into the (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Speak Up For Democracy

October 8, 2013 – Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking at the Speak Up For Democracy Town Hall Meeting in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Canadian democracy ain’t what it used to be and what it used to be was far from ideal. Still, fewer of us are voting and even fewer are satisfied with the outcome.

In recent years, voter turnout has declined precipitously. Of the 24.2 million citizens eligible to vote in the 2011 federal election, only 14.8 million, or 61.1 per cent did so. Of those who voted, 39.6 per cent, or (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Winnipeggers demand justice for missing and murdered aboriginal women

Oct. 4, 2013: Winnipeggers gathered at the Manitoba Legislature to remember the lives of 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, 75 of whom came from Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Winnipeggers gathered at the Manitoba Legislature on Friday afternoon to demand an national inquiry into the causes for the disappearance or death of over 600 indigenous women in Canada in recent years. The demonstrators repeated a longstanding demand for a for national inquiry, something that has gained the support of all provincial premiers and territorial leaders, but which continues to be rejected by the federal government.

Appearing in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Prominent Canadians want Victoria Day renamed to honour Aboriginals

From Victoria Day to ‘Victoria and First People’s Day’. How does that sound? Prolific author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, actor Gordon Pinsent and other prominent Canadians are demanding that “Victoria Day” be renamed “Victoria and First Peoples Day”. To honour Aboriginal peoples’ contributions to Canada. The group, which also includes politicians, is supporting [...]

The post Prominent Canadians want Victoria Day renamed to honour Aboriginals appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: Walking for Mother Earth

Winnipeg, April 21, 2013: Some of the participants in the 10th annual Seventh Generation Walk for Mother Earth, at the Oodena Circle at The Forks. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Despite the inclement weather, this year’s Seventh Generation Walk for Mother Earth was a lively celebration that began at Central Park and ended at Thunderbird House, with stops along the way at the Manitoba Hydro headquarters and the Oodena Circle at The Forks.

Held on Sunday, April 21, this year’s walk was in support of the Voices of Indigenous Women and in solidarity with the growing Idle No More Movement.

Speakers (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Idle No More, Aboriginal Peoples

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: 5-05-13 Resolution on Idle No More, submitted by the Aboriginal Peoples Commission. WHEREAS years of inaction and broken promises from successive liberal and conservative government has led to severe social injustice and shocking poverty in too many communities WHEREAS as a consequence we are witnessing an historic and [...]

The post NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Idle No More, Aboriginal Peoples appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: First Nations, Environmentalists oppose HudBay Minerals’ Reed Lake Mine

April 4, 2013, Winnipeg: Opponents of the Reed Lake Mine in northern Manitoba confront HudBay Mineral’s officials. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Opponents of Hudbay Mineral’s planned copper mine at Reed Lake, Manitoba held a peaceful demonstration at an information meeting held by the company at a Holiday Inn in Winnipeg. The demonstrators, many of whom are active in the Idle No More movement, confronted HudBay officials for about 15 minutes to voice their opposition and to demand a halt to the project.

Reed Lake is in the Grass River Provincial Park, about 110 kilometres east of Flin Flon. The mining

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: First Nations, Environmentalists oppose HudBay Minerals’ Reed Lake Mine

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Paul S. Graham: Idle No More – it’s really all about love

Jo Seenie Redsky: “We’re your last resort.” Photo: Paul S. Graham

If your only source of information is the mainstream news media you can be forgiven for wondering what the Idle No More movement is all about. Since it burst on the scene late last year, media attention has darted from demonstrations to blockades to the fasts of elders and chiefs — with an occasional sustained flurry of excitement when the PMO tried to smear Chief Theresa Spence.

Discussions of the abrogation of historic treaty rights or the corporate pillaging Stephen Harper has buried, like poisonous turds, in his (Read more…)

350 or bust: Chief Spence Ends Her Hunger Strike, But The Struggle Continues

* Chief Theresa Spence has ended her hunger strike today. Here is the press release issued by her and her supporters: * Daniel Wilson reflects on the legacy of Chief Spence’s hunger strike today on Rabble.ca: We can help give success a chance, as Chief Spence and Elder Robinson are now doing by allowing the [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Paul Martin says Ottawa has ‘no understanding’ of native issues

Former prime minister was the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord By Jennifer Clibbon | CBC News, Jan 17, 2013 4:58 AM ET Few Canadian leaders know the issues raised by Idle No More better than former prime minister Paul Martin. As Canada’s 21st prime minister, Martin will be remembered as the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord, which READ MORE

350 or bust: Idle No More Challenges Enbridge’s Pipedreams

“Everything that we do to water, we do to life because water is life. It’s not just us – we are all connected, we have to protect everything that lives, that shares the earth that we do…Idle No More is about us standing up and speaking up. We have never been asleep, and now more [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Is Chief Theresa Spence your 2012 newsmaker of the year? POLL

Is hunger striker Chief Theresa Spence, who entered Day 20 of her peaceful protest today, your 2012 newsmaker of the year? Is it the Idle No More movement? The Quebec student movement? Beleaguered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Is it Kevin Page, Canada’s fearless gallant Parliamentary Budget Officer, who showed uncommon courage recently when he took the Harper government to court seeking accountability and READ MORE