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The Common Sense Canadian: Fort Nelson First Nation drums govt, industry out of LNG conference

Video by Chief Bob Chamberlin

Members of the Fort Nelson First Nation, led by the strong words of their chief councillor, Sharleen Gale, literally drummed out government and industry representatives from a conference the band was hosting on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Wednesday afternoon.

The 3-day conference, titled “Striking the Balance”, was designed to discuss both the economic opportunities and potential environmental impacts of increased fracking in the nation’s territory to supply a gas-hungry, proposed BC LNG industry. But things got off on the wrong foot when the BC Liberal government announced on Tuesday that new sweet gas processing plants (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC LNG faces growing First Nations opposition

The Unist’ot’en camp’s Toghestiy (left) and Mel Bazil stand in the path of 3 pipelines (Two Island Films)

One of the biggest myths pervading BC’s energy dialogue goes something like this: While First Nations stand united against the proposed Enbridge pipeline, they overwhelmingly embrace Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Sure, Premier Christy Clark can tick off a list of aboriginal allies in her effort to build at least five among a dozen terminals proposed for Kitimat and Prince Rupert. Just last week, she announced with great fanfare LNG revenue sharing agreements with two coastal nations – Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams.

But a (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Eagle Spirit offers First Nations ‘energy corridor’ as Enbridge alternative

Eagle Spirit’s Calvin Helin speaking the Vancouver Board of Trade

VANCOUVER – A plebiscite defeat for the company proposing a $6-billion oil pipeline across northern British Columbia may have opened the door for another mega-project.

Supporters of a First Nation-backed alternative to the Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway Pipeline are expected to make an announcement today in Vancouver.

Chiefs from two northern B.C. First Nations will join officials from aboriginal-owned and controlled Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings to announce the plans.

Eagle Spirit formed in late 2012 to promote its vision of a First Nations-managed energy corridor across northern B.C. (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Meet two ambassadors from Canada’s indigenous tar sands resistance

by Kristin Moe | First published by YES! Magazine on March 5, 2014

In 1885, a revolutionary leader wrote, “My people will sleep for one hundred years” and then wake up. In the “genocidal” wilderness of Canada’s tar sands, that renaissance has begun.

The debate over the tar sands has heated up once again in the United States, with nearly 400 students arrested in a protest at the White House last weekend. The arrestees were demanding that the Keystone XL pipeline be stopped.

But First Nations groups in the heart of Alberta, the Canadian province where the tar sands are (Read more…)

ezra winton: My second interview with the incredible George Littlechild

AAbove is a screen shot from the Art Threat site, which currently features my newest interview with an artist whose work is alive with history, heart and healing. I’ve been honoured and privileged to interview George Littlechild once before, and seized upon the opportunity for a follow-up on the heels of the release of a new book dedicated to this remarkable First Nations artist. Hop on over to Art Threat to read the full interview, and enjoy!

The Common Sense Canadian: Clark govt signs LNG deals with two more First Nations

photo: Tina Lovgreen / BCIT Commons

By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

VICTORIA – The British Columbia government has moved to bring First Nations on board its much-anticipated multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas boom.

Two north coast First Nations signed revenue-sharing agreements Wednesday with the government related to the development of a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal on their traditional territories near Prince Rupert.

It’s a deal that could be worth up to $15 million for the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams nations. Related Stories

Premier Christy Clark and leaders from the First Nations who participated in formal signing ceremonies at (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Energy East pipeline is all risk and no reward for Thunder Bay residents

by: Council of Canadians | Press Release | April 9, 2014

There will be a public forum held tonight in Thunder Bay as part of the Energy East: Our Risk – Their Reward six community tour. The event, part of a series of forums and meetings along the Energy East pipeline route coordinated by the Council of Canadians alongside local partners, features Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow and Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (AFCN). Tonight’s forum will also feature Adam Scott of Environmental Defence and Jason MacLean from Lakehead University Faculty of Law.

Transporting 1.1 million (Read more…)

Art Threat: Painting, Resisting, Giggling: An Interview with George Littlechild

I first stumbled upon George Littlechild’s art at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in my hometown of Courtenay, British Columbia. After reeling from the emotional turmoil and historical reopening, rapprochement and reordering rendered in his bold and colourful brush strokes and integration of collage through archives, I was delighted further to learn that Littlechild resided right there, in my little town. After several years run by a city council dominated by career politicians and land developers, Courtenay has come to resemble the big box subsidiary that many other communities in Canada have become after non-local retailers move in to newly (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Dean Starkman writes about the media’s failure to see and report on the culture of corruption and manipulation that led to the 2008 economic meltdown: Was the brewing crisis really such a secret? Was it all so complex as to be beyond the capacity of conventional journalism and, through it, the public to understand? Was it all so hidden? In fact, the answer to all those questions is “no.” The problem—distorted incentives corrupting the financial industry—was plain, but not to Wall Street executives, traders, rating agencies, analysts, quants, or other financial (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Aboriginal rights threaten Canada’s resource development agenda

(Photo: Zack Embree/Idle No More)

Read this March 4th article in The Gaurdian about the Canadian government’s research into how Aboriginal protest threatens the country’s oil and mining plans:

The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.

Yearly government reports obtained (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Human rights justice blocked for Aboriginal women in Canada

by: Canadian Human Rights Commission | Press Release

OTTAWA, March 4, 2014 – Fear of retaliation is among the top reasons why Aboriginal women in Canada won’t come forward when they experience discrimination, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) says in its Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today.

The report presents key findings from a series of roundtable discussions the CHRC held with Aboriginal women from across Canada in 2013. During the discussions, the women were invited to share their experiences. Many of their stories cited the complexity of the human rights complaint process, language barriers, lack of awareness, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: First Nations Man the Front Trench in Our Fight For Canada

We should all be immensely proud and grateful for the intervention of Canada’s First Nations in the fight to defend our country from environmental degradation, even catastrophe.  They’re leading our fight, make no mistake about that.  The rest of us are the supporting actors in this one but that doesn’t diminish the role we still have to play.

Canada’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs seems to have been transformed into something of an intelligence agency supporting government efforts opposed by First Nations.  This sort of perversion of government agencies is Harper’s stock in trade.  From The Guardian (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Loretta Saunders: Unifor calls for justice for all missing and murdered aboriginal women

by: UNIFOR | Press Release

HALIFAX, Feb. 27, 2014 – Unifor members across the country were devastated to hear the news late yesterday afternoon that police had discovered the remains of Loretta Saunders near the Trans-Canada highway inNew Brunswick.

“This is a terrible loss, and our thoughts are with her family, friends, and community,” said Unifor National PresidentJerry Dias.

Saunders, an Inuk young woman originally from Labrador, was a criminology student working on a thesis about murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular. After learning of her disappearance, her supervisor released a statement about the depth and passion of her work, as (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: The Alberta tar sands’ criminal assault on water, Athabasca River

by: Obert Madondo

A new study by Environment Canada confirms what First Nations and environmentalists have been telling us all along: the Alberta tar sands are increasingly becoming a threat to our water sources.

The Toronto Star reports: “New federal research has confirmed that water from vast oilsands tailings ponds is leaching into groundwater and seeping into the Athabasca River. Previous studies using models have estimated the leakage at 6.5 million litres a day from a single pond.

“But the Environment Canada study used new technology to actually fingerprint the mix of groundwater chemicals in the area. It (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC First Nation takes “Great Land Grab” to international court

An interview with Robert Morales, Chief Negotiator for the Hul’qumi’num First Nations Treaty Group, about the E&N Railway Land Grants of 1887 and the lasting repercussions of this massive “land grab” for the Hul’qumi’num people today.

Robert Morales represents the six Hul’qumi’num First Nations (Cowichan, Chemainus, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt, Lake Cowichan), whose territories span the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island. These lands were almost entirely sold off by the Federal government in 1887 to coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, in order to finance the construction of the E&N Railroad from Nanaimo to Victoria, which enabled BC and Vancouver Island to join (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Flag Waving

The twin-cities, Kitchener and Waterloo, have both decided to put a rainbow flag inside city hall for the duration of the Olympics rather than fly one outside the building.

From The Record:

[Coun. Frank] Etherington [who proposed the motion] was critical of the city’s flag solution.

“My argument was (putting the flag inside) in no way was as good as a very open, very public demonstration of the city’s support for gay athletes and to protest the Russian laws which discriminate,” he said. “There’s no comparison between the two (flag options) … one tucked away inside the rotunda and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s casino sell-off gambit might provoke a needed discussion of Saskatchewan’s relationship with First Nations – even while highlighting that Wall himself isn’t up for the public consultation needed to make that process work.

For further reading…- The original casino story was broken by the NDP caucus here, and subsequently reported on here.   – SOS Crowns weighs in on Wall’s desire to sell off Saskatchewan’s casinos (and anything else that isn’t locked down through the NDP’s Crown preservation legislation). – And lest anybody think the Sask Party considers its standard practices to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Nora Loreto offers an important reminder as to why we contribute taxes to social well-being: (T)axes still pay for things we need. Everyone benefits from a universal system of healthcare. Everyone is touched by the birth of someone and nearly everyone will rely on the system in the moments that precede their death. These moments are expensive.…User fees exchanged for public services limits access; those who can pay are separated from those who cannot. The introduction of every new user fee will result in fewer people able to afford to access (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Because You’re Not As Dumb As They Think You Are!

Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”

It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!

Twitter / occupythemob:

December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)

The Common Sense Canadian: RCMP, CSIS spying on Enbridge opponents prompts civil liberties complaints

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed two complaints today with regards to revelations that the RCMP and CSIS have surveilled citizens, First Nations and environmental groups openly challenging the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

The complaint with respect to CSIS was filed with the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) – the public watchdog overseeing CSIS – while the complaint regarding the RCMP was submitted to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Interestingly, SIRC’s own integrity was recently called into question with revelations that its head, Chuck Strahl, and a number of other directors have lobbying ties to Enbridge and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Jesse Ventura Is On Our Side On Racist Team Names

More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.

Now, hear how Jesse Ventura puts it:


Just as the N word (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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Woman Freezes To Death

I wonder if talk radio will be buzzing about how Manitobans let a young woman freeze to death rather than stop and see why she was trying to flag them down for help.

I bet John Gormley Live will be all over this scandal and worrying shift in Canadian values.

Family members of a woman found frozen in a snowbank over the weekend believe they aren’t getting the full story from RCMP about her death.

Rocelyn Gabriel, 20, was found at the recycling depot in Portage la Prairie, Man., just after 8 a.m. on Sunday.

What’s the spin (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Thomas Berger leads watershed lawsuit v. Yukon development plan

Video by Damien Gillis; story by Dene Moore, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – A coalition of First Nations and conservation groups is suing the Yukon government over its decision to open a vast region of the Canadian North to mining and industrial development.

The group says the decision ignores a land-use plan seven years in the making.

A lawsuit was filed Monday in Yukon Supreme Court by the Nacho Nyak Dun, the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society.

They say the plan released a week ago in Whitehorse violates the land-use planning (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- John Cassidy offers ten options to reduce income inequality. And Andrew Coyne concurs with the first and most important suggestion that income supports sufficient to provide a stable living to everybody would make for the ideal solution.

- Meanwhile, Frances Russell is the latest to write that the Cons’ income-splitting scheme is only designed to exacerbate the gap between the rich and the rest of us. Miles Corak notes that even Republicans can’t avoid recognizing that equality of opportunity is fading in the U.S. – though he recognizes their inclination to avoid (Read more…)