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Dead Wild Roses: Christmas, here in Edmonton, and in The West Wing – In Excelsis Deo

Sometimes a TV show captures a feeling so succinctly, so beautifully, so powerfully, that it becomes something a little more special. Sure it is the West Wing a TV drama – but put away the cynicism for just a bit – and follow the emotion of the moment portrayed. You know I’m no fan of the military, but I think the message is bigger than just the surface trappings of the event.

The moment is about empathy and being willing to take the hit for helping bring to others some small bit of decency, even if it is (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy

In Guatemala, indigenous Mayan communities’ participation in community consulta, or consultation, helps to engage the government, and push back against Canadian and multinational mining companies accused of human rights abuses.

The post Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CRA Destroys Metadata Copy of Texts

Fortunately, the NSA likely has a backup copy of this attempt to cover up CRA efforts to target charities.

@saskboy @Belgraves @TorontoStar More to the point, If sent on taxpayer-funded, CRA-issued devices, they are *by definition* govt business.

— CC (@canadiancynic) December 23, 2014

@saskboy interesting question.

— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) December 23, 2014

Here's how CRA responded after logs were successfully deleted #cdnpoli

— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) December 23, 2014

A Puff of Absurdity: Harris on Harper

Michael Harris discusses union busting tactics, forcing members out of office, refusing compensation for veterans, and other scandals of the Harper years – so far.

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: NDP Opposition should try some actual opposing

BC NDP and Official Opposition Leader John Horgan (

I’ve been very critical, especially recently in the, of John Horgan, leader of the NDP, and the Official Opposition itself. This is, I assure you, nothing personal but is entirely a matter of the quality of the opposition presented and the effect it has on forming public opinion.

Socred praise for Barrett NDP

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of talking to an old friend of mine of some 40 years, Grace McCarthy. As a couple of old pols will do, we started to reminisce. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: “The environment IS the economy” says Tory MP Weston…Really?

Tory MP John Weston (from his annual Christmas video message/Youtube)

There is surely nothing quite as ridiculous as a Tory pretending that he cares. Money and rich friends they understand but when it comes to the values that ordinary people revere they’re at sea. In fact they’re bewildered by those who think that the poor ought to be considered by society or that such things as lakes and mountains and animals and parks and neighbourhoods have any serious meaning to people.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t understand that they must make believe and always speak in loving terms about (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20

Canada’s best interests weren’t represented at the recent COP20 climate conference in Peru, argues Leehi Yona, a Canadian youth delegate recently named one of Canada’s top environmentalist under 25.

The post Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dead Wild Roses: Megan Murphy on Prostitution and Bill C-36

Taken from a blog post on the Feminist Current.


Also, it is the full decriminalization and/or legalization that has “produced more victims,” not the Nordic model, which is what Canada’s new laws are modeled after. Also — key point — prostitution produces victims. The demand for ever more (younger, fresher, newer) prostitutes is what supports the entire industry. Johns = the demand. Johns victimize women and girls in prostitution — not laws. And if it is the perpetrators we are after, than a feminist solution would be to go after the perpetrators. A law that criminalizes a man (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Bravo to Baird and Harper on the Cuba file

The United States has finally come to its senses and is normalizing relations with Cuba. It’s taken over half a century but—to borrow the old cliché—better late than never. And to our credit, Canada played a key role. By hosting meetings of officials from the two countries, we obviated the need for meetings in either the U.S. or Cuba. Both U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Castro have

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: I’m Boring, Ignore Me: Supreme Court Ruins Privacy

I think people who say they are too ordinary, law abiding, and boring for police to violate them, are more wishing that were true than stating a fact.

Will the police keep the phone as it keeps generating evidence? For how long? Can you refuse to provide your password or will the police IT department bypass it?

In Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 novelSuper Sad True Love Story of a terrible future, everyone walks around with an “apparati,” a data-collection rating device on their chest. It’s like wearing an open cellphone. This court ruling takes us one step closer to this.

And (Read more…)

Left Over: So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You, Libby…..

Libby Davies, NDP deputy leader, won’t run in 2015

CBC News Posted: Dec 12, 2014 1:26 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014 7:39 PM ET

Having watched Ms. Davies for all of the forty years of her political career, starting with her election to Vancouver Council, I am saddened, but not surprised, at her early retirement.. She has tirelessly devoted herself to the issues that are more difficult and contoversial in her riding than in others, and she fought hard for every vote..the fact that she was “muzzled’ on certain issues was a black mark on Layton and (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper govt backing away from pipeline support?

MP James Moore (right) being interviewed by CBC’s Chris Hall (Photo: James Moore/Twitter)

Read this eye-opening Dec. 11 story from Chris Hall at regarding comments from BC MP and Industry Minister James Moore during a recent interview, which appeared to distance his Conservative government from the embattled pipeline industry.

Industry Minister James Moore says the federal government did its job to advance the cause of two proposed oil pipelines through his home province of British Columbia, and now it’s up to the companies to ensure the projects succeed.

“We’ve done everything we can in a responsible way,” Moore said in an (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper: It’s “Crazy” to apply climate laws to oil and gas industry

Read this Dec. 9 story from The Globe and Mail on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s statement that it would be “crazy economic policy” to apply climate regulations to the oil and gas sector.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has retreated further from his pledge to regulate carbon emissions in the oil industry, saying it would be “crazy” to do so at a time of fallen crude prices.

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, the Prime Minister rebuffed calls for new measures to deal with the country’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases just a day after an Environment Canada report (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: International Human Rights Day: 50 civil society groups urge Harper to oppose torture

On International Human Rights Day, 50 civil society organizations urge Harper government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

The post International Human Rights Day: 50 civil society groups urge Harper to oppose torture appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Harper’s “crazy” Comments

So, @PMHarper, if oil/gas regulations don’t work at $65 a barrel, at what price are they “uncrazy”? $80? $100?

— David Akin (@davidakin) December 9, 2014

Here’s an impressive takedown of the Prime Minister’s “crazy” comments in the House the other day. Since 2006 he’s promised to regulate oil and gas. Now he admits that would be “crazy”. Harper is nuts, and a liar, and he’s our Prime Minister for another year.

The Common Sense Canadian: Latest Harper Omnibus bill guts regulations for coal, LNG ports

Neptune coal terminal (Image: Dan Pierce/Wilderness Committee)

By Andrew Gage and Anna Johnston – republished with permission from West Coast Environmental Law

On October 23, 2014, the federal government introduced Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures (also called the “Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2”). Buried in Division 16 of the 475 page omnibus bill are proposed changes to the Canada Marine Act that, if adopted, would pose a serious threat to legal protection from environmental threats and public oversight of activities that occur (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Jim Stanford on Canada’s economy


Today’s episode is the last of 2014 as I’ll be away spending the holidays with family. For a bit of a year-end summary of Canada’s economy, my one guest is Jim Stanford who joins me for an extended conversation. Jim is the chief economist at Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, and author of the popular economics book Economics for Everyone. Our chat touches on everything from the consequences of the falling oil price to the new batch of free trade agreements to Canada ‘s economic standing stands six years out from the global meltdown all the way (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions

In Parliament today, PM Stephen Harper said “it would be crazy economic policy” to regulate the Canadian oil and gas industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The post Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CIA Tortured For Bad Info

Don't worry folks, no one will go to prison for the massive torture program we ran, but we'll still condemn other countries for injustice.

— Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) December 9, 2014

Canada is implicated.

Ahem. RT @Independent: These are the countries that will be worried by the CIA 'torture' report

— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) December 9, 2014

Don't forget, torture is one of the CIA's favorite things. This isn't new.

— Nima Shirazi (@WideAsleepNima) December 9, 2014

Oh good, the “other side” decided to launch a website. That seems like an appropriate response (Read more…)

350 or bust: Climate-Concerned Canadians Travel to Ottawa To Talk Solutions

Keep calm and price carbon. Is it possible to solve the climate crisis without hurting the economy? That is the question that five members of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Red Lake were in Ottawa recently to address. They joined Canadians from Vancouver Island to Quebec who traveled to our nation’s capitol last week to learn […]

drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

After we were told the video made by Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau would be made available to the public, the RCMP has changed its mind, or had it changed for them. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson wasn’t exactly clear on the specifics. He said there may be a release of “some aspects of a transcript of the video”… whatever that means.

Given the terrorist narrative favored by the government and also by the police, how can the public be sure that ‘aspects of the transcript’ aren’t cherry picked to reenforce the preferred narrative. Surely the honest and transparent thing to do (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ottawa puppet masters

Bill Longstaff: A coalition of the willing for Syrian refugees?

The United States has resumed its war in Iraq, once again building a “coalition of the willing.” Our government has, unfortunately, decide to join this one.

Our participation is unwise and unjustified for a number of reasons. To begin with, this war—to “degrade and destroy” ISIS—is the result of a problem the Americans and their last coalition created with their lie-based invasion that largely

The Disaffected Lib: Now The Guardian Chimes In – Time to Nationalize Canada’s Fossil Fuelers

They took their sweet time.  On Tuesday we proposed nationalization of fossil fuel companies as the best way to keep hydrocarbon reserves safely in the ground and clearing the way for a transition to clean, alternative energy.

Now it’s The Guardian calling for putting Canada’s oil companies under public control.

It would be hard to invent a more destructive ritual of national self-punishment. Year after year, we hand oil companies gigantic tracts of pristine land. They skin them of entire ecosystems. They vacuum billions of dollars out of the country. Their oversized power, sunk into lobbying and litigation, upends government (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Legislatively “Balancing” Human Rights

There is a simple, time-honoured rule about attempting to “balance” human rights classes in legislation so that it works out a particular way every time, and it goes like this:

You can’t.

That is a court’s role. When two human rights classes are put into conflict in a way that creates hardships for both, a court becomes the arbiter, weighing the context of a given situation in order to determine which party has experienced the most undue hardship.

Legislating such a way that one party’s rights always supersedes the other creates a hierarchy of rights, and defeats the whole (Read more…)