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Accidental Deliberations: On common ground

The Progress Summit’s panel on First Nations has included plenty of discussion of the need to identify commonalities between First Nation issues and other groups within Canada. And I’d add that there are plenty more opportunities to draw further connections.

The recognition that the federal government tried to eradicate aboriginal culture (and celebration of that fact that it failed) can surely be linked to the latest attempts to intrude on individual beliefs and practices. And the development gap between First Nations and Canada at large is largely paralleled by a similar divide between other rural or isolated communities which are (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Toronto’s Plan to Push Out the Homeless

Photo by Ivaan Kotulsky

The Mayor’s Office in Toronto is today occupied by a much slicker operation than it was during the years of dysfunctional, bigoted buffoonery that unfolded under Rob Ford. Mayor John Tory has resumed the drive toward a fully fledged neoliberal city but has the basic political skills to frame his twin agendas of austerity and upscale redevelopment in the language of inclusiveness. He has been sufficiently proficient at this to rapidly create what Michael Laxer has termed an “austerity consensus” supported by the overwhelming majority of the Council, including its left wing.

The agenda (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Crusader Bill Whatcott Flees Canada

Bill Whatcott, a highly controversial anti-abortion and anti-gay crusader, flees Canada, seeks refuge in the Philippines.

The post Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Crusader Bill Whatcott Flees Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: News flash—Western nation stands up to Saudis

Western nations may proclaim their virtue but when it comes to Saudi Arabia, they behave like whores. They posture their belief in democracy and human rights but genuflect before a kingdom that manifests contempt for both.

The allure of the desert sheiks is twofold: they sell lots of oil and they buy lots of guns. They have the largest reserves of conventional oil in the world and they are the

Accidental Deliberations: On dividing lines

For the most part, Joan Bryden’s report signals that there isn’t much controversy left arising out of Alexandre Boulerice’s comments about niqabs in the civil service. But it’s worth asking whether the trial balloon floated by Boulerice serves any purpose whatsoever: Martin added that he has no problem with Boulerice’s suggestion that a pan-Canadian commission — along the lines of Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor commission in 2007 — should be created to find a consensus on how far the country should go to accommodate minority cultural and religious practices.

However, Dewar, whose riding is home to many civil servants, said there is (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: Connie – Anti-Terror Legislation – 22 Minutes

Politics and its Discontents: Human Rights And The Politics Of Fear

When Alex Neve, longtime Secretary General of the Canadian branch of Amnesty International, speaks, people should listen. He and his organization have now weighed in on Bill C-51, the ‘anti-terror’ bill being promoted with such relish by Stephen Harper and his acolytes. It is a bill, Neve and many others contend, that will seriously erode human rights and freedoms in the name of national security. Its powers will far exceed anything necessary.

Neve’s position is best summed up this way: Human rights do not stand in the way of security that is universal, durable and inclusive. Human rights are (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan

This powerful anti-sexual violence ad, released just in time for the 2015 International Woman’s Day, is part of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s ambitious $41-million plan to combat sexual violence.

The post International Women’s Day 2015: Ontario’s bold anti-sexual violence plan appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity.

Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, accommodation or premises that is restricted to one sex only, such as a correctional facility, crisis counseling facility, shelter for victims of abuse, washroom facility, shower facility or clothing changing room.” The amendment passed with six of the committee members supporting it, four opposed, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Regina demands missing, murdered aboriginal women inquiry

Regina city council has added its voice to the growing call for a national inquiry into the crisis of 1,200 murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada.

The post Regina demands missing, murdered aboriginal women inquiry appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: Stop Bill C-51 #StopHarper

Introduced into Parliament on Jan. 30, 2015, Bill C-51 is an omnibus bill that will undermine constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of Canadians in the guise of combating terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombastic, saber-rattling YouTube video, published 2 days before the bill was tabled, set the tone. Essentially, Canada is under attack and the government will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians.

Critics of C-51 argue that it will criminalize speech, make it easier to arrest people who police think might commit an offence, share citizen’s private information between government departments without oversight, and allow the Canadian (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Responsibility for Housing

On Monday I gave a guest presentation to Craig Jones‘ graduate seminar class in Carleton University’s School of Social Work. My presentation sought to answer two questions:

1. Why should government play a role in creating affordable housing?

2. Which level of government is responsible?

With those questions as a backdrop, here are 10 things one needs to know:

1. When it comes to affordable housing, the private sector alone doesn’t cut it—not by a long shot! For it to be profitable for a for-profit developer to create rental housing in one of Canada’s major urban centres, (Read more…)

wmtc: let them stay week 2015: january 25-31: make your voice heard

Allan guest post

Since September 2014, seven US Iraq War resisters have received negative decisions in their cases. Two veterans were given removal dates (i.e., dates by which they must leave the country). One resister received a stay of removal and the government rescinded the second removal order at the last minute. These reprieves are extremely good news, but war resisters and their loved ones continue to feel stress and uncertainty.

The timing of these initial negative decisions was odd. After no movement on any cases for more than a year, seven cases — allegedly independent of one (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Barbarism of Saudi Arabia and the Grotesque Hypocrisy of Stephen Harper

There couldn't be a more hypocritical or nauseating spectacle, the old king of the brutish terrorist kingdom of Saudi Arabia dies.And western leaders fall over themselves praising him. With Britain's David Cameron even ordering that flags be flown at half-mast. While our disgusting Prime Minister Stephen Harper blubbers sympathetically. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma

World-renowned environmentalist David Suzuki wonders whether Canadian mining and fossil fuel profiteers and their government promoters believe in the future.

The post David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Montreal Simon: Raif Badawi, Saudi Arabia, and the Hypocrisy of the Harper Regime

A few days ago I wrote a post pointing out that our ghastly regime had failed to say a word about Saudi Arabia's savage flogging of the blogger Raif Badawi.After signing a deal with that reactionary kingdom to sell it $10 billion worth of armoured cars.Well now Harper's faithful stooge John Baird has finally said something.

Canada is deeply concerned by flogging of @raif_badawi – it is a violation of human dignity and freedom of expression http://t.co/jrjTc3qYMc— John Baird (@Baird) January 15, 2015

But only after it was revealed that he is planning a high-level meeting with one (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Saudi Blogger Floggers

Yesterday he declared that an "international jihadist movement" had declared war on Canada.And claimed that only he could save us.But who will save us from his good friends the Saudis? The beating heart of the jihadist movement.Who would flog a blogger so savagely. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: Retrial of Al Jazeera Journalists Must Pave Way to Their Unconditional Freedom

Egypt’s retrial of Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and two other jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in their original convictions, says Amnesty International.

The post Retrial of Al Jazeera Journalists Must Pave Way to Their Unconditional Freedom appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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.

Canadian Dimension: The work of winning human rights is never over

Photo by Patrick Gruban

December 10 is the date of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations 66 years ago. That important act was the result of many years of struggle against racism and colonialism, combined with the horrors of the Holocaust that were still fresh in the memory of humankind after the Second World War.

Today’s headlines remind us that the work of winning human rights is never over. From the incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City, to the rampant evidence of sexual harassment and violence against women, we are reeling (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Human Rights 365

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Thus reads Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th, 1948. The words remain both wishful thinking and an inspiration to create a

wmtc: athletes in solidarity against unpunished police abuse crimes murder

Derrick Rose

Reggie Bush

Davin Joseph Eric Garner

wmtc: 10 reasons you should participate in write for rights on wednesday, december 10

This Wednesday, December 10, is Human Rights Day. The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, the first document of its kind.

Every year on December 10, Amnesty International holds a global letter-writing event: Write For Rights (in Canada). Thousands of people around the world write letters calling for action for victims of human rights abuses, and offering comfort and support to political prisoners.

Here are 10 reasons you should participate in Write For Rights 2014.

1. It’s easy. Amnesty makes it really easy to participate. Read, (Read more…)