Daniel Ortega, who holds the office of President of Nicaragua in defiance of Nicaragua’s Constitution, is championing a mega-project; a canal across the eastern part of Nicaragua that would provide an alternative to the Panama Canal. The estimated cost is $40 billion.
My initial reaction, when I heard about this is, Nicaragua’s GDP is only $10.5 billion, and no foreign investor would be foolish enough to put up this kind of money to finance it.
I was wrong. Chinese billionaire Wang Jing is putting up the money, through the HKND Group, based in Hong Kong, and registered in the (Read more…)
On Thursday, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Liberal Party of Canada in Saanich-Gulf Islands‘ Hope and Hard Work goal-setting meeting. Getting together with other Liberals is always a treat, but watching the process that this riding uses was informative.
In the room with me were around 20 extremely dedicated people passionate about improving their community. They made solid plans to make a real difference in their community, and solid plans to reach out to their community.
For the Liberal Party to truly rebuild, we need to ensure that we’re making intelligent goals and (Read more…)
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are focusing on Canadians, while the Conservatives are focusing on attacking Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada. And the Liberals are calling for change: real change and real accountability in Parliament. It should be the place that works for and with Canadians to solve problems, not create them.
Canadians need something to vote for. The Liberal Party is committed to listening to Canadians and working with them to build a better Canada.
Be part of the change.
Advertising can be an annoying, all-intrusive, manipulative way to hock a bunch of crap we don’t need, or it can be an entertaining and necessary cog in the wheel of any business. The most effective ads are the most honest ones (which are also the least greasy). After all, an ad that is lying might get a customer in the door the first time, but when they see a difference between what they were promised and what’s actually being delivered, the brand is tainted and has lost a long-term customer.
The recent commercial for Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed (a product of the (Read more…)
Bob Rae’s incredible life of public service is one that all Parliamentarians, regardless of their political stripe, should try to emulate. Bob’s dedication to the public interest has made Canada a much better place. Canadian federal politics will be diminished without his wit, oratory skill, and thoughtfulness.
FUN FACT: Bob Rae was the only MP to serve with both Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Justin Trudeau.
FUN FACT: Bob Rae voted on the Charter of Rights.
FUN FACT: Bob Rae’s hair hasn’t always been white.
President Obama paid a visit to Mexico at the beginning of May, and met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
They talked about narco-terrorism and immigration reform. Nothing much much will come of this, because the government of the US is dysfunctional. Congress isn’t going to pass any change to immigration laws, or do anything to curb the flow of assault weapons from the US into Mexico. And Mexico doesn’t really want any more help from the US in the war on the narco-terrorists.
They also talked about trade, however. That’s a different matter, because much of trade policy is (Read more…)
This week’s FFP is a new one-hour documentary by Garrett Graham (in collaboration with the Tar Sands Blockade) about the direct action efforts of activists in Texas, who try to stop construction of the planned Alberta tar sands pipeline. There is some seriously heavy-handed narration at the beginning, but if you can get through that, the film eases into more observational and testimonial style of filmmaking that is solid. BLOCKADIA is a film about an important fight against the disgusting oil and gas industry and the Canadian and American politicians who have no regard for the environment. It’s also (Read more…)
At the recent Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, where another (better) world of incredibly inspiring, provocative and boundary-pushing art and media is on display each year, I stumbled upon Eloisa Aquino and her wares – a series of zines on awesome butch dykes, appropriately called The Life and Times of Butch Dykes. The teeny books are what every great zine should be, for me: oozing with the love and devotion the creator, as well as political, punchy, fun, informative, and accessible. It’s a fantastic series—eight and counting—that brings to life the lives of important butch dykes from herstory. Soon after the Bookfair (Read more…)
Place Olympe de Gouges, Paris, artist unknown
At a small 5 cornered cross-roads on the eastern fringe of the Marais in Paris (3e), Place Olympe de Gouges attracts little attention. Five tiny streets converge around a small brick circle with a solitary tree and a small plaque. Olympe de Gouges was a revolutionary feminist put to death by the Republic for accusing revolutionary leadership of injustice. Some historians consider Gouges the first modern feminist. A full year before Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Gouges published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the (Read more…)
Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair by Paul Cowan, National Film Board of Canada
This week’s Friday Film Pick is the NFB doc about Dr. Norman Morgentaler, the Canadian physician who fought for abortion rights for women in Canada. A hero to most in Canada, a country that is largely pro-abortion, his recent death (at 90) has nonetheless been erroneously framed as marking the end to a “very divisive” life and work.
Abortion-rights activist and pioneer Dr. Henry Morgentaler died Wednesday of a heart attack.
Appropriately, our Friday Film Pick is Democracy on Trial, a 1984 NFB documentary by Paul Cowen in which Morgantaler’s historic legal battle over abortion in the 1970s is unraveled and explored using a combination of archival footage, interviews and re-enactments.
The complete film can be streamed right here or at NFB.ca. Rest in peace, Doctor.
Editorial cartoonist Dan Murphy has created a parody of a Canadian bank note featuring maligned senator Mike Duffy — he of the fraudulent $90,000 in expense claims.
The humourless Bank of Canada, however, demanded the cartoon be removed in an email sent from their “anti-counterfeiting compliance program.” The Bank argues that the parody violated their copyright on the Canadian $50 bill.
Now, section 29 of Canada Copyright Act provides “fair dealing” exceptions for the purpose of parody, and the itself Bank referred to the cartoon as a parody in their own email.
Either the Bank of Canada (Read more…)
Across Canada, and around the world, people are moving from rural areas and small towns into cities. Large cities, bedroom communities, and metropolitan areas have become the norm. Often people choose larger cities for the added economic opportunity, services available, and increased pace of life. There are numerous advantages to living in a city over a small town, or rural area. However, these advantages are becoming less and less exclusive as the Internet becomes a strong economic gateway. With new developments in infrastructure, not only can much of these advantages be equalized, but even more value, in the form of international and domestic (Read more…)
Today in over 250 countries worldwide, thousands of people marched against agricorpo giant Monsanto. The St Louis based chemical company is known for genetically modifying crops and trapping farmers into cycles of chemical use that profit Monsanto and harm everyone and everything else. They’re also known for many other terrible things, the complete list of which is available on line. So here’s a video rally call for today, and if you can stand awful voice-over dubbing check out the documentary The World According to Monsanto (below) or Bitter Seeds, Food, Inc, Seeds of Change, or Bullshit.
Without a doubt, Coca-Cola is one of the worst companies on the planet. From its murderous human rights violations stamping out unions in Latin America (especially at Colombian bottling plants) to its marketing to youngsters to its environmental record (especially concerning water), it is hands down a terrible corporation getting away with incredible harm on this planet. So it’s refreshing indeed to see Killer Coke get its comeuppance in this amazing Australian Greenpeace TV advert about Coke and plastic pollution. While it’s not surprising that Coke is blocking a new recycling scheme in Australia it is surprising that the advert (Read more…)
This week’s Friday Film Pick is the Vimeo staff pick and festival favourite short film Among Giants. Image-rich and information-light, it’s a lovely meditation on activists putting the environment before their own personal safety and one imagines sanity (given some tree-sitters stayed three years).
I’m sure you’re probably aware, but I’ll give you a run down on the latest Conservative scandal.
Stephen Harper has a habit of appointing extremely disappointing Senators including Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Pamela Wallin. Long story short: Mike Duffy cheated taxpayers out of $90 000 and, instead of paying it back like a normal person, he got Stephen Harper’s Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, to personally loan him the money, which Mr. Wright claims was a gift.
Now let’s take a look at how the political parties are handling this:
Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of (Read more…)
Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei will create a new edition of his Forever Bicycles sculpture at this year’s Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto.
The eighth annual event will take place between sunset and sunrise on October 5, 2013 and feature more than 110 contemporary art projects scattered across the city.
The installation by Weiwei, which debuted last year at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, features 1200 interconnected bicycles formed into a spellbinding, three-dimensional pattern.
This new version of the sculpture will be erected in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, just a few short blocks from the Art Gallery of Ontario, (Read more…)
Whenever I shop for groceries, I’m reminded of our collective obsession with processed and packaged foods.
As someone who makes an reasonable effort to make decisions that are good for both my health and that of the planet, my shopping cart is largely filled with whole foods.
I’m certainly no saint — tubs of yoghurt, cans of legumes, bottles of beer and boxes of frozen pizza all involve unnecessary energy inputs and waste.
But each time I pull up to the checkout and dump dozens of fruits and veggies onto the conveyor belt, I find my selections are in stark (Read more…)
How large of a solar farm is needed to completely power the United States?
The simple answer is that a solar farm 100 miles long and 100 miles wide would be “more than enough to meet the country’s entire energy demand.”
The far more interesting answer, however, is that this hypothetical solar farm could be contained by a 460-mile line of chalk currently being drawn across Arizona by artist and activist Joseph DeLappe.
Project 929: Mapping the Solar, is both a long-distance bike ride and work of performance art. DeLappe hit the road on May 19 with a (Read more…)
If this isn’t the strangest and most awesome video you’ll watch today, then you are watching some pretty strange and awesome stuff. Tawainese animators have taken on the story of Toronto mayor’s crack-smoking with the speed of, well you guessed it.
Openly gay South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo announced he will symbolically marry his partner in a ceremony designed to both celebrate their love and make a statement on LGBTQ rights in the conservative country.
“We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,” Kim told a news conference in Seoul.
Very few Korean celebrities are openly gay. Actor Hong Seok-cheon was the first to come out in 2000, and found that his work quickly dried up.
Another actor, Kim Ji-hoo, announced he was gay in 2008 on (Read more…)
The latest work by American artist Michael D’Antuono has once again drawn ire from US conservatives for pointing out the hypocrisy amongst their ranks.
His latest work, The Conservative Christ, depicts Jesus with an AK-47 hoisted into their air, clutching tightly to a pot of gold, and sneering derisively at a poor, old man. By illustrating precisely what Jesus would not do, D’Antuono draws attention to the awkward dissonance between Conservative’s sociopolitical beliefs and their supposed adherence to Christian values.
It was in an attempt to understand this conflict that inspired him to create the work.
It seems like (Read more…)
A, sadly, earthbound Commander Chris Hadfield in what is definitely the most awesome and extraordinary version of David Bowie’s classic song: