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Montreal Simon: The Day Equality and Love Defeated Bigotry and Hate

The timing couldn't have been better, coming as it did two days before the 46th anniversary of the so-called Stonewall Riots in New York City…

The revolt that is principally credited as the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. And is celebrated every year with pride marches all over the world.But millions and millions of LGBT Americans still had to struggle for almost half a century against the most insane and brutish bigotry, to be granted this measure of human equality. Read more »

Alberta Politics: Government by sneak: the preferred Harper Conservative response to thorny issues and hard-fought elections

PHOTOS: Poultry farmers not exactly like these, and dairy farmers as seen below, are facing sneaky attacks by the Harper Government. And speaking of the chickens coming home to roost, below them is a screen shot of former Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro. VICTORIA, B.C. Same sex marriage advocates and poultry and dairy farmers might […]

The post Government by sneak: the preferred Harper Conservative response to thorny issues and hard-fought elections appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Canadian Dimension: The Refugee Crisis in Context

Photo by Rachel Unkovic

A report issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this week provided a jarring statistical glimpse at the unprecedented crisis facing 59.5 million people who are currently displaced. With ongoing wars and sectarian conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and Somalia, and record numbers moving in search of economic betterment, an additional 8.1 million people were uprooted in 2014. If all of the world’s refugees were to form one independent country, it would be the 24th largest, just behind Italy and ahead of South Africa. This country would contain .8% (Read more…)

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Three for the road

Cootie Catcher, written and performed by Lucas Brooks, focuses on Brooks’ close encounters of the transmissible kind. Using a cootie catcher, better known to some as a fortune teller, Brooks regales the audience with tales of all the times he thought he had been exposed to one STD or another, while simultaneously exploring his sexual history.

The cootie catcher gimmick is cute, and means that the show is obviously different with each performance. Normally this would be impressive, but given that the stories in question are well-edited anecdotes from Brooks’ personal past, the effect is somewhat diminished.

So, too, (Read more…)

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Laureen: Queen of the Tundra

As an American expat unfamiliar with the pop-cultural aspect of Canadian politics, a lot of the jokes in Laureen: Queen of the Tundra went over my head. However, it is to the performers’ credit that this did not distract from their commentary about the fluidity of gender and culture, against the rigidity of modern politics.

This show had a great sense of pacing punctuated by confessional monologues in between political skits, shedding some light onto the person behind the persona. By raising questions about identity, whether Canadian, queer, or both, the show is inherently political and subversive, while also heartfelt (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Daria Ukhova summarizes the OECD’s findings on the links between inequality, poverty and the economy: Inequality, economic growth, and poverty. In the new report, the OECD has tried to establish the links between these three phenomena, which so far have been mostly explored in pairs, as the relationship between inequality and growth and the relationship between inequality and poverty. While confirming previous arguments about the negative impact of inequality on growth and on poverty, the OECD has gone a step further, arguing that the mechanism through which inequality actually undermines growth is (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Raif Badawi: Saudi Court Upholds Brutal Sentence of Liberal Blogger

I don't expect much, or anything really, from the barbaric kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The home of the beheaders, and the nexus of terrorism.But even by its brutish standards this is outrageous. Read more »

Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma

Winnipeg, June, 5, 2015: At the Manitoba Legislative Building, Maeengan Linklater answers journalists’ questions about his proposed Manitoba Indian Residential Schools Genocide and Reconciliation Memorial Day Act. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has completed its work, and the major federal political parties have have adopted predictable positions, what can ordinary folk do to make sure Justice Sinclair’s message isn’t lost between now and the election this fall?

I’m rather taken with a draft Act that was made public yesterday on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature that would set aside one day a (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma

Canadian Dimension: EU’s military strategy to deepen Mediterranean tragedies

Photo by Kim Hansen

More than 800 migrants died on April 19 this year when their overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. The tragedy sent soaring this year’s Mediterranean death toll which was by then around 1,500 – 10 times the deaths during the same period last year.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), between 23,000 and 24,000 migrants had tried to cross over to Italy since the beginning of the year, while just under 21,000 migrants made the same journey between January and April 2014. While the number of migrants rose to (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Bill C-51 violates Universal Declaration of Human Rights, OSCE finds

When the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization says Bill C-51 violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you know we’re in trouble. 

Article by ThinkPol

The Harper government’s controversial anti-terrorism bill violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Canada has ratified, according to legal analysis by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization.

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Canadian Dimension: A Nation of Snitches

Graphic created by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D’Andrade.

A totalitarian state is only as strong as its informants. And the United States has a lot of them. They read our emails. They listen to, download and store our phone calls. They photograph us on street corners, on subway platforms, in stores, on highways and in public and private buildings. They track us through our electronic devices. They infiltrate our organizations. They entice and facilitate “acts of terrorism” by Muslims, radical environmentalists, activists and Black Bloc anarchists, framing these hapless dissidents and sending them off to prison for years. They have (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy

Image from Public Domain

As Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points out to Chris Hedges in this interview for The Real News Network about Scheer’s new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy, the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

What’s more, corporations are able to find out more about citizens from an array of legal methods of data collection—from voluntarily relinquished to disturbingly covert—than the most notorious totalitarian regimes of (Read more…)

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: Addressing the United Nations

Political corruption kills more people than war and famine combined. I addressed the United Nations on how the international community can and must act to bring kleptocrats to justice.

Montreal Simon: Ireland and the Amazing and Historic Struggle for Marriage Equality

A wonderful thing may be about to happen in Ireland in just a few days.Millions of people are preparing to take on the power of the Catholic Church, and some of the nastiest bigots you can imagine.And make that country the first in the world to vote to approve same-sex marriage. Read more »

Canadian Dimension: Welcome Back, Omar Khadr: Demonized No More

Photo by Khadr family

When torture survivor Omar Khadr was granted bail last week, the Harper government actually did something logical: it argued in an emergency hearing that releasing someone who, since the age of 15, has never known life outside of the world’s worst detention facilities, would cause irreparable harm.

Indeed, it already has, but not in the way the government had argued. For Canada’s state security agencies and public safety ministers, the days of easy, unanswered attacks on Khadr’s reputation, along with accusations of the alleged threat he poses to Canadians, are over. Why? Because, for the very (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Omar Khadr and the Grubby Con Hogs

Over the last eight years I have written almost a hundred posts about the case of Omar Khadr, Canada's child soldier.For I consider it one of the greatest cases of injustice in the history of this country, a shameful episode that should haunt us forever.So you can imagine how I felt today when I read that he may finally be free. Read more »

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana.

“Unfortunately, Christians in this country find themselves under attack. This is a violation, and we are calling on the Canadian government to stop this type of violation across this country…” — Charles McVety

Because almost to the day that the collection of Canadian religious leaders held a (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Understanding indigenous struggles against settler colonialism and international law

Photo by Marius Arnesen

On April 17, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day should be seen as a day of global solidarity for all indigenous peoples seeking freedom and self-determination while living under settler colonialism. It reminds us of the predominance of indigenous peoples living in the prison industrial complex and its overarching laws.

Almost one month prior to the 67th remembrance year of the Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Palestinians are remembering the overwhelming incarceration rates they face by the state of Israel today.

Setting aside the complex architecture of violence that Israel has created, indigenous peoples are overwhelmingly represented in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Theland’s 134km walk for children of missing and murdered indigenous women

Theland Kicknosway, an 11 year old Pottawatami Cree boy, walked-and-ran 134 km from Ottawa to Kitigan Zibi, Quebec, to “bring attention to the children of missing and murdered Indigenous women.”

The post Theland’s 134km walk for children of missing and murdered indigenous women appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments

Harper’s Bill C-51 remains “dangerous and undemocratic” and “deeply unconstitutional” despite the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, says MP Elizabeth May.

The post Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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…)