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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Michal Rozworski responds to idealized views of Canadian equality with the reality that we fall well short of the Scandinavian model: Canada appears on many accounts much closer to the US than Sweden, the stand-in for a more robust social democratic and redistributive state. Indeed, looking at the three top rows of the table, there is a clear link between the higher share of income going to the top (inequality) and the higher share of taxes paid for by those at the top (redistribution a la Vox authors Martin and Hertel-Fernandez). On both (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Red Chris Mine: First Nations win round 1 with Imperial Metals in court

Tahltan and Secwepemc First Nations and supporters celebrate at the BC Supreme Court (contributed)

BC First Nations added a small but potentially significant notch to their legal winning streak yesterday, with a temporary victory over Imperial Metals in BC Supreme Court.

The company was seeking an interlocutory injunction and enforcement order enabling it to have Tahltan Nation protesters immediate, forcibly removed from a blockade of Red Chris Mine, Imperial’s lastest venture, in northwest BC’s Sacred Headwaters.

Red Chris Mine under construction (Unuk River Post)

After hearing from the company’s lawyers and three First Nations women fromt he Tahltan and Secwepemc Nations, Justice Grauer refused (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Imperial Metals asks court to remove Red Chris Mine blockade

First Nations have been protesting several Imperial Metals mines since Mount Polley (Photo: Facebook)

Imperial Metals, the company behind the Mount Polley tailing pond disaster, is seeking an injunction today at the BC Supreme Court to forcibly remove Tahltan First Nations protestors from a blockade of the company’s newest project, Red Chris Mine.

In a media advisory this morning, the leaders of the Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp – established near Mount Polley mine by a group of local Secwepemc First Nations following the largest tailings pond spill in history – announced a protest of the injunction proceedings outside the Vancouver court house where they (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Charlie Smith discusses – and then follows up on – Donald Gutstein’s work in tracing the connections between the Harper Cons and the shadowy, U.S.-based network of right-wing propaganda mills: In Harperism: How Stephen Har­per and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada (James Lorimer & Company Ltd.), Gutstein makes the case that neoliberalism is far more sinister than simply having a desire for smaller government. A central tenet of his new book is that Harper is undermining democracy by marshalling the power of government to create and enforce (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Don Pittis makes the case for a guaranteed annual income on economic and social grounds: The young would be some of the biggest beneficiaries. Students could use the money to pay for their education, thus eliminating student loan programs. Students from poor families could afford to take courses to improve their skills.

The old age security system could disappear. So would the baby bonus itself. The demogrant would supplement government programs such as minimum wage, EI, CPP/QPP, disability allowance – all resulting in bureaucratic savings.

But going back to my original question: if (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nations to Ottawa: Scrap Site C Dam or LNG is a no-go

BC Chiefs Roland Wilson, Liz Logan and Stewart Phillip taking their anti-Site C message to Ottawa (Twitter)

Read this Sept. 24 Globe and Mail story by Dene Moore on the trip taken by several BC First Nations chiefs to Ottawa, calling on the federal Cabinet to reject the proposed Site C Dam.

With a decision imminent on the Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia, area First Nations have delivered a message to the provincial government: You can have the dam or you can have liquefied natural gas, but you will not get both.

The $8-billion dam (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Robert Reich discusses how our economic system is set up to direct risk toward the people who can least afford to bear it (while also directing the spoils to those who need them least): Bankruptcy was designed so people could start over. But these days, the only ones starting over are big corporations, wealthy moguls, and Wall Street.

Corporations are even using bankruptcy to break contracts with their employees. When American Airlines went into bankruptcy three years ago, it voided its labor agreements and froze its employee pension plan.

After it emerged (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Human Rights Museum and the Aboriginal Genocide

I see that the Canadian Human Rights Museum has finally opened its doors in Winnipeg.Which as someone who has fought all his life for human rights, is something I would normally celebrate.Except for the ghastly almost unbelievable fact that it doesn't recognize Canada's aboriginal genocide.Because Stephen Harper and his disgusting Con regime won't acknowledge what was done to our precious native people. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta Activists Join Tar Sands Bloc at People’s Climate March

Activist members of Alberta First Nations to tell world leaders: “We will not stop fighting until we’ve stopped tar sands at the source.”

The post Alberta Activists Join Tar Sands Bloc at People’s Climate March appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: I went to Controllin’ Steve’s Talking Point Dispensarium the other night…

…and a democratic Parliament broke out.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses how a politically-oriented audit of the CCPA fits with the shock-and-awe part of the right’s war against independent (and public-minded) though: In the conservative quest to shape public debate in recent years, no tool has proved more useful than the think tank. Nobody understood this better than the director of the ultra-right wing U.S.-based ATLAS Foundation, who once stated that his mission was “to litter the world with free-market think tanks.”

Mission accomplished. Certainly the Canadian landscape is cluttered with right-wing think tanks — the Fraser Institute, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Christy Clark: Govt ready to embrace Tsilhqot’in case, Aboriginal title – Chiefs cautiously optimistic

Video of the historic meeting between the premier of BC and First Nations leaders – featuring Christy Clark, Chief Roger William and Grand Chiefs Ed John and Stewart Phillip.

Watch the premier’s dramatic about-face on the landmark Tsilhqot’in legal case, as she vows to embrace the Supreme Court ruling and commit to fundamentally changing the government’s relationship with First Nations.

The leaders of the First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs, along with Tsilhqot’in lead plaintiff Roger William, each sounded a note of cautious optimism at this new “opportunity”.

In addition to this Vancouver meeting, the premier and (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Premier’s Tsilhqot’in meeting a sign of real change for BC?

Tsilhqot’in Chief Roger William and Premier Christy Clark meeting in Vancouver today (Damien Gillis

This is the story of change.

Premier Christy Clark is to be congratulated for going to the Nemiah Valley and meeting with the Tsilhqot’in First Nation leaders about their position on land claims now that they have won a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision.

It is easy to say “about time”, except that same criticism could be applied to several premiers, going back years. I believe this is the first time a BC premier could have made such a visit and that we all had to (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Harper / PMO: “The Inuit knew about the Franklin ships? Who knew?”

APTN demonstrates how low a priority First Nations relations are with the Harper government at the moment:

The Franklin expedition ship found by researchers on the Arctic seabed has a detailed and colourful history within Inuit oral tradition, yet the Inuit garnered only one 17-word sentence among the press releases and backgrounders released by the Prime Minister’s Office at the time after Tuesday’s announced discovery…the general public wouldn’t know about the key role Inuit oral history played in the selection of the search area by reading the information posted on the PMO’s website. There, the role of the Inuit in (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Industrious immigrant vs idle Indigenous meets reality

Here’s a familiar trope: immigrants are industrious and hard-working. Here’s another, opposite trope: First Nations are idle and lazy. And here’s a graph that beautifully calls into question this neat pair of stereotypes.

Source: Angella McEwen, Progressive Economics Forum.

It turns out that off-reserve First Nations workers and recent immigrants face the same unemployment rate – one that is much higher than that faced by workers born in Canada. As Angella MacEwen, who posted this graph, points out it highlights that “there are systemic barriers that need to be addressed” in the labour market.

On the one hand, there is (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: BC teachers and First Nations on the frontlines

My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/podcast-140905-bc-frontlines1.mp3

My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Missing and murdered aboriginal women a black eye on Canada

If Canada wants to be taken seriously, the national crisis of 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women must be addressed, argues Winnipeg columnist Don Marks.

The post Missing and murdered aboriginal women a black eye on Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Institutional Racism In Conservative Ideology

This post has been evolving for quite a long time.  However, in the last few days, a series of pieces have been published which bring together several threads of thought that I have been exploring for the last several years.  

There has long been a degree of bigotry and racism underlying modern day conservative ideologies.  At a glance, it appears to have its roots in the politics of religious literalism and the desire for simple, black-and-white explanations of the world in which we live.  My thinking on this matter has clarified enormously in the last few days.

The first (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Gitxsan clan closes territory to LNG, blockades Petronas pipeline

In an August 26 video, several hereditary chiefs and members of the Luutkudziiwus clan from the Gitxsan First Nation territory in northwest BC declared that they are constructing a camp “to stop LNG from developing their pipe through our land.”

The camp lies in the path on the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline, which would feed a planned LNG plant north of Prince Rupert, being developed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas and its Canadian subsidiary Progress Energy. TransCanada Pipelines was selected last year to build the approximately 900-km pipeline, which would carry gas from northeast BC to a plant on Lelu Island, in the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Public Inquiry: Harper, Police Chiefs Don’t Care About Aboriginal Women

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police stand in the way of a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The post Public Inquiry: Harper, Police Chiefs Don’t Care About Aboriginal Women appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Reevely writes about the stench of corporate corruption hanging over a privately-sponsored premiers’ conference. And Paul Willcocks nicely contrasts the professed belief by politicians that campaign contributions don’t unduly policy against the expectations of everybody else affected by the political system – including big donors themselves: Most people figure that money matters. That when someone who gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to a party calls a politician, they get access and a chance to ask for favours. That they are buying special treatment.

The people taking in all that cash, unsurprisingly, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: To Inquire, or Not To Inquire, Don’t Ask The Question

The latest Coyne article seems to be self defeating in its thesis.

“It’s not evident what contribution another public inquiry would make,” opines Coyne.

For one thing, we could have an inquiry to demonstrate that for Coyne. Or we could for once listen to what First Nations people want out of the Canadian government, rather than what a mainstream newspaper columnist in Toronto wants for First Nations people. The act of the federal government doing what First Nations want over what white people in Ontario want, would be a step in the right direction to healing some of the rifts (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Robert Jay Lifton discusses the “stranded ethics” of a fossil fuel industry which is willing to severely damage our planet in order to protect market share: Can we continue to value, and thereby make use of, the very materials most deeply implicated in what could be the demise of the human habitat? It is a bit like the old Jack Benny joke, in which an armed robber offers a choice, “Your money or your life!” And Benny responds, “I’m thinking it over.” We are beginning to “think over” such choices on (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: The Militarization of Police: But Why?

Since the beginning of the year, several stories in high-profile mainstream media publications have examined what some find to be the increasing militarization of police forces in North America. In March, The Economist wrote a feature on the phenomenon noting that the use of tactical units, which are often armed with military-style weaponry such as so-called […]