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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…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Legislatively “Balancing” Human Rights

There is a simple, time-honoured rule about attempting to “balance” human rights classes in legislation so that it works out a particular way every time, and it goes like this:

You can’t.

That is a court’s role. When two human rights classes are put into conflict in a way that creates hardships for both, a court becomes the arbiter, weighing the context of a given situation in order to determine which party has experienced the most undue hardship.

Legislating such a way that one party’s rights always supersedes the other creates a hierarchy of rights, and defeats the whole (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Atlanta billboard features Banksy’s mural of West Bank wall: ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference

This is a two-part post dealing with resistance to the Israeli occupation. The first part covers news of a controversial Israel-related Banksy mural in the Atlanta area. The second stays with the Christian theme to discuss the growing numbers of American evangelicals who are openly critical of Israel and expressing increased solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Thanks to ifAmericansknew.org, a billboard in Atlanta is host to the artwork of British mural artist Banksy. In the run-up to Christmas it might at first glance appear to be a seasonal scene. The artwork shows Joseph and Mary enroute to Bethlehem (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Clean drinking water should be a human right in Canada

The lack of access to clean drinking water for hundreds of First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across Canada, is a national shame, says environmentalist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Clean drinking water should be a human right in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: Canada continues to occupy stage right

Canada’s position on the world stage continues to embarrass and disturb.

On Nov. 4, Canada, along with Ukraine and United States, voted against a draft resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

It’s a lengthy document, but worth the time it takes to read. As you read through the resolution, ask yourself why any decent human being would oppose it. Surely, only racists, bigots and nazis could find this resolution offensive.

In this instance, it seems likely that the US and Canada chose (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Speech: Obama executive plan protects 5 million undocumented immigrants

President Barack Obama announced his executive plan to overhaul the the U.S. immigration system and uphold the human rights of undocumented immigrants.

The post Speech: Obama executive plan protects 5 million undocumented immigrants appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Canadian Dimension: Partners in Crime:  The Continental Capitalist Offensive and the Killing Fields of Mexico

Photo by ProtoplasmaKid

The Mexican government, welcomed as a partner of the Canadian and U.S. governments in continental economic development (North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA) and continental security also happens to partner in crime and the slaughter of its own people. The murders and disappearances of the students from the Rural Normal “Raúl Isidro Burgos,” of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, was a crime of the State, as hundreds of thousands of Mexicans have claimed in their protests. The governmental investigation that followed the September 2014 attack on these students has been deliberately (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Kangaroo Court Justice for Hassan Diab

Drawing by W.S. Gilbert (d. 1911)

On November 13, 2008, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) unjustly arrested Diab. In connection with a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing. A crime he had nothing to do with. At the time, France’s Le Figaro newspaper cited unnamed 2007 sources. Saying Diab led “the small commando team responsible for the attack…” Despite no verifiable evidence proving it.

In mid-November 2008, L’Express said French police, magistrates and intelligence officers were in Canada.

“(T)ry(ing) to arrange Mr. Diab’s extradition to France. The French warrant *(unjustly) accuse(d) him of making and planting the bomb.”

His lawyer, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Perhaps They Forgot (In)Alien(able) Rights?

The Edmonton Journal reports the following story about the Wildrose Party: Wildrose members on Saturday voted down a “definitive statement” on equality rights, one day after leader Danielle Smith trumpeted the motion that had been adopted by the party last year.

Perhaps its specificity offended some of the party’s ‘less progressive’ members? Delegates at the Wildrose annual general meeting in Red Deer voted 148 — 109 to reject a proposal to make policy a motion adopted last year defending the rights of all people, “regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, (Read more…)

wmtc: write a letter, save a life: sign up now for write for rights

For the past few years, I have participated in Write For Rights, Amnesty International’s annual write-a-thon for human rights – actually the largest human rights event in the world (Canada; US; elsewhere: Google it.)

Every year, on December 10 – International Human Rights Day, which celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – tens of thousands of people all over the world shine a light into darkness. By writing letters, we tell governments that someone is watching. We tell political prisoners – people in jail for opposing dictatorships, for fighting for clean water for their (Read more…)