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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 […]

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Matthew Yglesias writes that while increased automation may not eliminate jobs altogether, it may go a long way toward making them more menial. And Jerry Dias recognizes that we won’t see better career opportunities emerge unless we make it a shared public priority to develop them: (I)ncreasingly, the people I meet – both in the labour movement and outside (including in some business circles) – talk about the need for greater dialogue on the issues of the day, particularly as they relate to jobs and the economy. People have expressed to me (Read more…)

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 […]