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Paul S. Graham: Thank you, Neil Young, for telling the truth

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Environment, Nibbling on The Empire Tagged: aboriginal rights, Alberta oil sands, alberta tar sands, Neil Young

Paul S. Graham: Stephen Harper, Duffygate and the Cadman Affair: grounds for criminal charges?

According to the Canadian Press, “The prime minister’s chief of staff went to Stephen Harper for approval of a secret plan that would have seen the Conservative party repay Mike Duffy’s contested expenses and whitewash a Senate report, new RCMP documents suggest.”

According to the article by Jennifer Ditchburn and Steve Rennie, published today:

When the party balked at the ultimate total of Duffy’s $90,000 bill, however, Nigel Wright paid the bill himself — apparently without Harper’s knowledge. Harper has called that a “deception.”

But emails included in Wednesday’s new RCMP court filings quote Wright as getting (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: The five main threats to Lake Winnipeg

October 26, 2013: Diane Orihel, founder and director of the Coalition to Save ELA, speaks to a workshop in Winnipeg on water quality sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Diane Orihel is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and the founder and Director of the Coalition to Save ELA.The Coalition to Save ELA is a nonpartisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA consists of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. Since 1968, (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Fracking in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.

Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.

In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Winnipeg Jingle Dance: “We deserve to live!”

Winnipeg, Oct. 12, 2013: Jingle dancers ready themselves to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Winnipeg, Canada: Thousands gathered at the intersection of Portage and Main Street to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, with a Jingle Dance. Speaking in this clip are Jo Redsky and Michael Champagne, activists in Canada’s Idle No More movement.

Among the many issues outstanding between the First Nations and the Government of Canada is the refusal of the federal government to hold a national inquiry into the (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Speak Up For Democracy

October 8, 2013 – Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking at the Speak Up For Democracy Town Hall Meeting in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Canadian democracy ain’t what it used to be and what it used to be was far from ideal. Still, fewer of us are voting and even fewer are satisfied with the outcome.

In recent years, voter turnout has declined precipitously. Of the 24.2 million citizens eligible to vote in the 2011 federal election, only 14.8 million, or 61.1 per cent did so. Of those who voted, 39.6 per cent, or (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Interview with Elizabeth May: “Save democracy from politics”

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, is on a cross country tour, billed as “Save Democracy from Politics,” to call for major reforms in Canada’s Parliamentary system. According to May, Canadian democracy is being undermined by excessive partisanship, a party system that punishes MPs who do not toe the party line, and a Prime Minister’s Office that wields the powers that should be exercised by Parliament.

May was in Winnipeg to speak at a town hall meeting co-sponsored by the Green Party and Peace Alliance Winnipeg. I will post the video from (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Human Rights – The Chilean Experience

Winnipeg, September 28, 2013 – In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the coup d’etat against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, Winnipeg’s Chilean community held numerous educational and cultural events throughout September. On September 28th, the Chilean Human Rights Council of Canada held a conference at the University of Winnipeg entitled “Human Rights – The Chilean Experience.”

Speakers included: – Dr. Miguel Sanchez, University of Regina, School of Social Work – Fr. Eduardo Enrique Soto Parra, SJ, Mauro Centre, University of Manitoba – Claudia Garcia de la Huerta, Journalist – Dr. Clint Curle, Canadian Museum for Human (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Remembering the first 9/11

Salvador Allende

Forty years ago, on September 11, 1973, the military forces commanded by General Augusto Pinochet, overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile led by Salvador Allende. Thousands of people were killed. Many thousands more were imprisoned.

The coup d’etat was swift, brutal and merciless. It was carried out by the Chilean oligarchs with the active assistance of the United States. Overnight, the progressive social and economic measures introduced by the Allende government were overturned, condemning Chile’s working class to lives of poverty and oppression.

Perhaps 500,000 Chileans were forced into exile, relocating to countries around the world. Several (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Winnipeg Peace in Syria Rally

Sept. 7, 2013: For the second time in a week, Winnipeggers rallied in solidarity with the people of Syria and in opposition to a US led attack. After a brief gathering on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature, the demonstrators took to the streets to hand out literature and talk with their fellow Winnipeggers.

Speakers Chris Zanewich, No War with Syria (Winnipeg) Tara Mann, No War with Syria (Winnipeg) Cheryl-Anne Carr, Manitoba Peace Council Glenn Michalchuk, Peace Alliance Winnipeg

More information Peace Alliance Winnipeg

 

Filed under: Nibbling on The Empire, Peace, War, Winnipeg Tagged: antiwar, (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: VIDEO: Winnipeg Rally “No War with Syria”

Aug. 31, 2013: Winnipeggers rallied to voice opposition to foreign intervention in Syria’s civil war. Photo: Paul S. Graham

About 50 Winnipeggers rallied at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights Saturday afternoon to express their opposition to foreign military interventions in Syria. The rally, organized by Winnipeg Alternative Media, was one of many held on Saturday across Canada, and was part of an international campaign to prevent the Syrian crisis from escalating into a world war.

In this video report, organizers explain what is at stake.

Filed under: Human Rights, Nibbling on The Empire, Peace, (Read more…)

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Paul S. Graham: Idle No More – it’s really all about love

Jo Seenie Redsky: “We’re your last resort.” Photo: Paul S. Graham

If your only source of information is the mainstream news media you can be forgiven for wondering what the Idle No More movement is all about. Since it burst on the scene late last year, media attention has darted from demonstrations to blockades to the fasts of elders and chiefs — with an occasional sustained flurry of excitement when the PMO tried to smear Chief Theresa Spence.

Discussions of the abrogation of historic treaty rights or the corporate pillaging Stephen Harper has buried, like poisonous turds, in his (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali

Roger Annis at the Feb. 24, 2013 annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Is the military intervention in Mali by France, with the assistance of the United States, Canada and others an example of a humanitarian intervention launched to protect a fragile democracy from the incursion of Muslim terrorists? Or is France meddling in the affairs of its former colony to protect its business interests and further the political and economic interests of its NATO partners?

Roger Annis, coordinator of the Canada-Haiti Action Network and longtime political activist, explored these questions at the Annual General Meeting

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Paul S. Graham: Videos: National Stop Harper Day in Winnipeg

July 1, 2012: National Stop Harper Day in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Traditionally a day of celebration, Canada Day 2012 became National Stop Harper Day for Canadians in 12 cities because of the regressive policies of the Harper government, most notably Bill C-38.

In Winnipeg, citizens held a Funeral for Canada in the Osborne Village neighbourhood, a display of activist art at the St. Norbert Arts Centre and a Vigil for Canada on the outskirts of The Forks National Historic Site.

Naturally, I brought my camcorder.

Filed under: Nibbling on The Empire, Winnipeg Tagged: Bill C-38, Canada

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Paul S. Graham: Video Report: Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping – The Truth May Hurt

Lester B. Pearson has been dead for four decades, but his imagined legacy, that of international peacekeeper, remains one of the defining myths of the Canadian identity. Horrified by our murderous behavior in the occupation of Afghanistan and the bombings of Libya and the former Yugoslavia, the sainted memory of our 14th prime minister is resurrected by people who ought to know better to argue that war-making is not really a Canadian value, that we need to retake our traditional place in the global community as a progressive force for international co-operation, harmony and peace – that we must, again,

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Paul S. Graham: Yves Engler in Winnipeg March 15th

Foreign policy analyst Yves Engler will be speaking in Winnipeg Thursday about his newest book, Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt.

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012 Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Mondragon Bookstore and Coffee House, 91 Albert Street, Winnipeg Admission: Free. Donations will be requested to help defray expenses.

Written in the form of a submission to an imagined “Truth and Reconciliation” commission about Canada’s foreign policy past Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt challenges one of the most important Canadian foreign policy myths – that of Lester B. Pearson as peacekeeper.

Lester Pearson is one of

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Yves Engler in Winnipeg March 15th

Paul S. Graham: Video Report: Tar Sands, Pipelines & Tankers

The National Energy Board is conducting hearings on Enbridge’s proposal for a pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands to the town of Kitimat in the heart of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest. If approved, over 200 oil tankers would be navigating the difficult waters off BC’s Northwest Coast each year, making widespread environmental damage to BC’s coastline only a matter of time. Moreover, it will facilitate the marketing of even more dirty oil from Alberta’s tar sands, fueling that unfolding ecological catastrophe with profound consequences for the rest of Canada and the world.

The project is meeting fierce opposition, especially in northern

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Paul S. Graham: Two years after the quake, Haiti festers

Decem­ber 9, 2011: Angered by the UN-caused cholera epidemic that has claimed thousands, Haitians rallied at the UN Sta­bi­liza­tion Mis­sion in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Base at St. Marc. Photo: from a video produced by Nick Strat­ton, Bureau des Avo­cats Inter­na­tionaux. Watch it at http://ijdh.org/archives/24340.

Two years after an earthquake killed 158,000, the majority of Haitians continue to battle against hunger, disease, homelessness and political repression. Half a million people remain in refugee camps and many thousands who have found other accommodations are living in buildings that have been designated as unsafe and requiring demolition or major repairs.

Clean water

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Paul S. Graham: The Problem

Filed under: Nibbling on The Empire Tagged: Stephen Harper

Paul S. Graham: Gerry Caplan: Solidarity, not charity

Gerry Caplan is a former CUSO field officer, author of The Betrayal of Africa, a weekly, online columnist for The Globe and Mail, a featured television political commentator and a veteran CCF-NDP war horse. He was also my boss at CUSO for a brief period in the late 70s, something he doesn’t remember – which may be all for the best .

Gerry was the keynote speaker at a dinner held in Winnipeg December 10, 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of CUSO and the 63rd anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United

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Paul S. Graham: Stop the CBC Smackdown – Stop Harper!

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting continues to raise the alarm over threats to our nation’s public broadcaster and well they should. While Heritage Minister James Moore promised in May to maintain and expand support for the CBC, Tory antipathy to the CBC is well known. Recent initiatives, such as the petition by Tory MP Rob Enders to end CBC funding cast doubt on the Tory pledge to support the CBC. (His surname says it all, eh?)

Because Harper is a notorious control freak, no Tory backbencher who wanted to keep getting nominated would post a petition of this sort without

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Paul S. Graham: Coalition to Harper: Let farmers decide fate of Canadian Wheat Board

An open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, and Senators, from a broad and diverse coalition of 46 organizations representing millions of Canadians – Support Canadian Food, Canadian Farmers, and the Canadian Wheat Board

Bill C-18, if passed, will destroy the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has repeatedly stated that he will not recognize the plebiscite recently conducted by the CWB, in which results were clearly in favour of keeping the CWB as the sole marketing agent for prairie wheat and barley intended for human consumption.

The CWB was created by an Act of

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Paul S. Graham: 10 Reasons to Oppose Bill C-10

Occupy Winnipeg took its opposition to Bill C-10, the so-called Safe Streets and Communities Act, to Winnipeg’s West End Library and then proceeded to occupy the constituency office of Manitoba’s Justice Minister, Andrew Swan for 24 hours.

Before doing so, an Occupy Winnipeg spokesperson read the November 17, 2011 statement of the Canadian Bar Association entitled “Ten Reasons to Oppose Bill C-10.” My alter ego, Red River Pete, captured some of the moments.

The Canadian Bar Association statement is available at its web site. Or you can read it below.

November 17, 2011

10 Reasons to Oppose Bill C-10

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Paul S. Graham: Lock up Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives like to present themselves as tough on crime, committed to accountable government and respectful of the rule of law. Given their record, we have to ask ourselves, when will we march them off to the nearest penitentiary to begin serving the mandatory minimum sentences they so richly deserve?

Like a Rocky Mountain avalanche in the making, a growing mountain of evidence of Harper’s cynical disregard for the rule of law threatens to bury even the pretense of Canadian democracy. Here are some examples . . .

Canadian Wheat Board Act Violated

On Oct. 18, 2011, Harper’s Conservative government introduced

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Paul S. Graham: 7 reasons city slickers should support the Canadian Wheat Board

I received this letter from the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board. I think it speaks for itself. The Attack on the Canadian Wheat Board: Seven Reasons Non-Farmers Should Care … and Act On October 18th, Prime Minister Harper introduced legislation, Bill C-18, to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board. The majority of farmers oppose the [...] . . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: 7 reasons city slickers should support the Canadian Wheat Board