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The Canadian Progressive: Tina Fontaine: Aboriginal Teen’s Death Reignites Calls For Inquiry

The death of teenage Tina Fontaine has re-ignited calls for national public inquiry into the case of nearly 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

The post Tina Fontaine: Aboriginal Teen’s Death Reignites Calls For Inquiry appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: The 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum Comes To Ottawa This Week

Thousands of activists are expected in Ottawa this week for the 4-day 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF), a “grassroots, historical gathering of progressives from Québec, Canada and First Nations.”

The post The 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum Comes To Ottawa This Week appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Manitoba Grand Chief Nepinak Urges Sun News Media Boycott

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs accuses Sun News Media carrying a decidedly “pro-Conservative anti-First Nations” bias.

The post Manitoba Grand Chief Nepinak Urges Sun News Media Boycott appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nation evicts Imperial Metals from proposed mine site

Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society members lead a rally against Imperial Metals (Youtube/ ochiese)

Read this Aug. 12 story from Global News on the Neskonlith Indian Band’s eviction notice to Mount Polley owner Imperial Metals regarding exploratory work for a proposed zinc-lead mine in their territory, near Revelstoke, BC.

VANCOUVER – The Neskonlith Indian Band has released a statement saying they have issued an eviction notice to Imperial Metals, the company that runs the Mount Polley Mine where the tailings pond breached more than a week ago.

Ruddock Creek Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of Imperial Metals, is hoping to operate an underground (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Mount Polley: Questioning business as usual

There are many frames that can be used to try to understand the disaster that unravelled last week at the Mount Polley mine in central British Columbia when a dam holding in a tailings pond burst and spilled millions of litres of toxic sludge into creeks and lakes. My aim here is to make such an attempt using the metaphor of embedded, concentric circles that draw on broader and broader contexts of the spill.

At the centre is the mine. The very first reports and company statements claimed that the dam holding the tailings pond at Mount Polley mine was functioning correctly (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Racism taints Kwikwetlem reporting

My initial reaction to reports of compensation paid the Kwikwetlem First Nations Chief was plain wrong. Until detail was gained, I assumed Ron Giesbrecht committed an egregious abuse of public funds. That reaction was encouraged by cursory media reports that were shaped by common prejudices, reinforced by what lawyer Joseph Fearon calls an “example of the ‘corrupt chief’ narrative.”

In late July, federal Conservatives began posting audited financial statements of Canada’s First Nations. Within hours, news organizations such as Postmedia were churning out revelations that were short on detail but loaded with indignation. National Post immediately had writers Paula (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Tahltan renew pressure on Imperial Metals’ Red Chris Mine in wake of Mount Polley

Tahltan First Nations and their supporters peacefully occupying a Fortune Minerals drill in the Sacred Headwaters last year

Read this August 8 story from the Terrace Standard on the renewed pressure for members of the Tahltan First Nations on Red Chris Mine, a project being developed in northwest BC by Mount Polley Mine owner Imperial Metals. The mine is close to opening but still lacks critical permits in the sensitive area of tailings pond design – a source of increased concern in the wake of the company’s recent tailings pond breach.

A group of Tahltan elders have set up a (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: To the ends of the Arctic: The new frontier of extreme energy

By David Lavallee

Documentary filmmaker David Lavallee recently journeyed to Canada’s arctic for his forthcoming film, To the Ends of the Earth, which drills deep into the modern age of extreme energy. Plans to open the arctic to seismic testing are a source of growing controversy.

“Nanook”, our guide Bryan Simonee says while scanning the ice floe edge. Nanook, nanook. I’ve heard that word before – my brain struggles with recall of its meaning. I know about five words in Inuktituk and this is the 6th. Nanook…nanook of the north? Doesn’t it mean polar bear?

Indeed it does, and this particular (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: Ontario’s Early Economic Development: A Political Economic Analysis

When writing about her adopted home of Ontario in Roughing it in the Bush, settler Susanna Moodie recalls penning a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur requesting that he continue her husband’s service in the militia in the aftermath of the Upper Canada Rebellion, so that the family could pay off their debts.[1] Debt was […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- John Millar writes that a determined effort to eliminate poverty would be a plus as a matter of mere public accounting (even without taking into account the improved lives of people avoiding the burden of poverty and income insecurity): According to many studies, the Canadian poverty rate remains high. A recent OECD report shows that the very rich are taking an ever greater share of income. And a new study from three leading Canadian academics shows the rich obscure the total extent of their individual wealth through private companies, which means they (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper blasted for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4B oil pipeline

In a strongly worded letter, Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Aaron L. Sam blasts Stephen Harper for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion oil pipeline, ignoring climate change.

The post Harper blasted for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4B oil pipeline appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nation slams coverup of mercury poisoning report

Grassy Narrows First Nation member protests suspected mercury poisoning in 2013 (Kevin Konnyu / Flickr)

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO – A northern Ontario First Nation says it has obtained an unreleased report that shows the federal and provincial governments failed to properly address widespread mercury poisoning among its members.

Water around the Grassy Narrows First Nation near Kenora, Ont., has been contaminated with mercury since a local paper mill dumped an estimated 10 tonnes of neurotoxins into the system between 1962 and 1970.

Grassy Narrows and the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations negotiated an out-of-court settlement with Ottawa, the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Inuit, Greenpeace team up to battle Arctic seismic testing

Greenpeace’s Les Stroud Les working with Inuit in Pond Inlet (Photo: Laura Bombier / Greenpeace)

By Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Greenpeace and the Inuit have joined forces to protest Arctic seismic testing, warning that plans to gauge oil and gas reserves with high-intensity sound waves in Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait pose grave dangers to marine life.

Inuit activists are staging a protest Wednesday in Nunavut’s Clyde River, a tiny Baffin Island hamlet just above the Arctic Circle, a week after Greenpeace took their cause to the United Nations.

Inuit takes aim at Aglukkaq

An Inuit (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Website for Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women Launched

New website launched on first anniversary of the death of Bella Laboucan-McLean, whose case remains unsolved and is listed as suspicious.

The post Website for Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women Launched appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Government teaching new Canadians to hate Louis Riel

The government is rewriting Canadian history by poisoning the minds of new Canadians with an egregious misrepresentation of Louis Riel, the nineteenth-century leader of the Métis people and the founder of Manitoba province.

The post Government teaching new Canadians to hate Louis Riel appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me!

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Boothe responds to the C.D. Howe Institute’s unwarranted bias against public-sector investment: Is the public sector holding back provincial growth rates by crowding out private sector investment?  That’s the contention of a recent C.D. Howe paper by Philip Cross.  The paper provides a great case study of the danger of confusing correlation with causality.

Let’s begin with the simple arithmetic.  Gross domestic product (GDP) is the sum of spending on consumption, investment, government services and net exports.  Whether the investment spending is initiated by the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Supreme Court’s Grassy Narrows Verdict Dismays First Nations

In a 7-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ontario had the right to issue industrial loggers permits to operate on the Grassy Narrows First Nation’s traditional lands.

The post Supreme Court’s Grassy Narrows Verdict Dismays First Nations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Two legal challenges filed against Northern Gateway

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – Two legal challenges were filed Friday against the federal cabinet’s approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The Gitxaala (git-HAT’-lah) First Nations, who hail from the North Coast of British Columbia, filed an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Appeal.

Ecojustice filed a separate application on behalf of ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The environmental groups are asking for a court order quashing the approval of the pipeline proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB).

Ecojustice lawyer Barry Robinson says the federal approval was a flawed decision based on a (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: First Nations, Constitution are Canadians’ best defence

Chiefs of the Tsimshian First Nation speak out against Enrbidge at a 2012 Prince Rupert rally

Big money now rules the world. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the middle class gets squeezed. No government in the world is doing anything about this – least of all the Conservative government in Canada.

The only people fighting this, and for their own reasons, are First Nations. We all do things for our own selfish reasons so that was not meant to be a criticism, but simply a statement of fact.

It is time we looked at the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Deep Deep Racism, Shhhh!

Shhh, this is uncomfortable. It might make you ashamed.

Hopefully it will anger you to action?

First Nations burial grounds in BC have less protection than settler cemeteries.

Along with desecration at a Musqueam burial site, someone is building their home on top of another burial ground on Grace Islet off Saltspring Island. On stilts [see the horrible details below]. And the person building this home was once fined $150,000 for putting fake safety labels on retail products. Sigh. Morality much? Ever?

The minister responsible said in the legislature that Grace Islet’s “owner” “and the archaeology branch had (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Tar sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods: Report

A new study confirms that pollutants from the Alberta tar sands contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods.

The post Tar sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods: Report appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Stephen Hwang and Kwame McKenzie discuss the connection between affordable housing and public health and wellness: In 2009, researchers followed 1,200 people in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. It was found that they experience a high burden of serious health problems like asthma, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They are also at high risk for conditions like depression and anxiety, and of going hungry.

There’s more. We know that housing in disrepair can lead to accidents, fires and infestations. That overcrowding can lead (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Canada politics news roundup: Harper Conservatives’ lack of good governance

The Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling on the Harper Conservatives’ cancellation of refugee health care tops the list of my favorite Canada politics news headlines this week.

The post Canada politics news roundup: Harper Conservatives’ lack of good governance appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.