Showing posts from June 14, 2014

The Harper Government™ Is Just Canada's Ministry of Magic

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[Only comprehensible if you know about Harry Potter, but pretty good in that case! :-) *RON*]

John McKay, MP, Scarborough-Guildwood, Liberal Party of Canada Environment Critic, Huffington Post, 14 June 2014

I was delighted to read Minister Aglukkaq's reply to my latest article, Stephen Harper and the Chamber of Secrets. I am encouraged to know that she is reading something other than her cue cards. Unfortunately, much of the content of her article borrows heavily from her canned talking points.

I would encourage the Minister to nurture her newfound interest in literature, because if she pursues her muse she will know that Lord Voldemort returns with a vengeance halfway through the Harry Potter series. However the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe it. In spite of evidence to the contrary, numerous warnings from Harry and his classmates, the Ministry appoints Dolores Umbridge as the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts who transforms the school into a …

Rank-and-File Environmentalism

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[Labor is often considered hopelessly reactionary on the environment. But democratic unions can fight for both jobs and the planet. *RON]

by Trish Kahle, Jacobin Magazine, 6.11.14
The “jobs versus environment” debate is often seen as a fundamental division between labor and environmentalists, most recently emerging in the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. Despite dire warnings from scientists about its potentially disastrous environmental impact, the pipeline was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, which justified its decision by citing “job creation.” Estimates range from 5,000-9,000 temporary positions — a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 794,000 unemployed construction workers in the US — and a mere 35 permanent jobs.

Is there any kind of environmental degradation, environmental activists might wonder, unions won’t endorse to secure a small handful of construction jobs?

Jeremy Brecher is right to point in a recent piece to the need for the l…

Canadian mining in Latin America: Exploitation, Inconsistency, and Neglect

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[Excellent research. Canadian mining companies are some of the most egregious corporate citizens in the world today. Harper loves them and can't do enough to help them spread and grow. *RON*]

By: Malavika Krishnan, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, June 11, 2014
Public appearances are oftentimes diametrically opposed to private endeavors. Since the 1990s, Canadian mining investments have expanded worldwide. This consistent trend holds true in Latin America, where large-scale Canadian companies control approximately 50 to 70 percent of the region’s mining industries [1]. In 2013, 29 percent of all global mining investment was undertaken in Latin America due to the their relative proximity to the United States and Canada, mineral-rich landmass, low tax burdens, and neoliberal economic policies [2]. Canadian firms such as Barrick Gold, Yamana Gold, Teck, and Goldcorp, to name a few, now operate more than 80 mining projects in the region and have …

Despite Crisis, Europe Continues to Protect Its Banksters

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[Rule by the banking gangsters (banksters). Despite their ongoing "...criminal activities, and the new accumulation of financial risks, European governments have during the past six years repeatedly intervened to stop far-reaching rules to regulate operations in the financial sector." *RON*]
By Julio Godoy, Inter Press Service,, 13 June 2014

Barcelona, Jun 11 2014 - More than six years after the global financial crisis broke out, European Union (EU) countries continue to protect banks and investments funds from tougher rules, despite abundant evidence of recurrent criminal or reckless activities in the sector, and new accumulation of enormous financial risks.

The latest in a string of scandals involving banks was the revelation in May that at least seven European banks or banks operating in Europe had colluded to falsely fix the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor).

The Euribor is a daily reference rate, published by the Euro…

Hillary Clinton Sides with NSA over Snowden Disclosures

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[Hillary, a true member of the 1%, also voted in favour of the Patriot Act. "This isn't surprising from Hillary Clinton, who is more hawkish on foreign policy and national security than President Obama. People should not be deluded about who she is and what kind of president she would really be." *RON*]
Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams, 13 June 2014
Likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has taken a firm stance against the actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, denying his revelations have brought any positive impacts and slamming him for accepting asylum in Russia.
Speaking with NPR's Terry Gross on Thursday, Clinton claimed Snowden could have "expressed his concerns" in other ways "by reaching out to some of the senators or other members of Congress or journalists in order to convey his questions about the implementation of the laws surrounding the collection of information concerning Americans' …

Tar Sands Development Is Killing Birds, New Study Finds

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[Killed by loss of habitat and from landing on deadly poisonous tailing ponds. "More than 292 species of protected birds rely on the boreal forest for breeding habitat, including the endangered whooping crane, and at least 130 of those are threatened by tar sands development." *RON*]
By Katie Valentine, Think Progress, 13 June 2014
Canada’s boreal forest is a key nursery for migratory birds, but tar sands development is destroying habitat and killing the birds that depend on it, according to a new report.

The report, published by the National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Council of Maine, outlines the risks Canadian tar sands development poses to migratory birds. More than 292 species of protected birds rely on the boreal forest for breeding habitat, including the endangered whooping crane, and at least 130 of those are threatened by tar sands development.

In all, according to the report, 22 million to 170 million birds use t…

Harper has detained nearly 80,000 migrants. What's going on?

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By NO ONE IS ILLEGAL,, June 13, 2014

Harper has detained nearly 80,000 migrants. That includes children.

No trials. No charges. At a cost of $45 million.

What's going on?

Read more about ending immigration detention here.

Group exploring "systemic racism" in health care system as inquest wraps up

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[Hopefully they will succeed in bringing some new and useful knowledge into the hospital system. *RON*]

By Chinta Puxley, CP / Huffington Post, 06/13/2014

WINNIPEG - Academics, aboriginal groups and health professionals say they are disappointed an inquest into the death of an aboriginal man during a 34-hour wait in a Winnipeg ER didn't explore "systemic racism" in Canada's health-care system.

The coalition, which includes people from across Canada, says it will pick up where the inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair left off — delving into systemic discrimination in health care and making its own recommendations on how to address it.

Donna Martin, assistant professor in the faculty of nursing at the University of Manitoba, said the group doesn't want the issues around Sinclair's death to end with the inquest, which concluded Thursday.

"It was very disappointing that this issue wasn't explored in the inquest,&quo…

A Strong CBC Would Make For Healthier Private Broadcasters Too

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["Far from crowding out the privates, the healthy PSBs help to generate a strong market ecology in which both the PSBs and the commercial broadcasters are rewarded in audience numbers and appreciation and, for the commercial operators, in strong revenues." *RON*]

Wade Rowland, Huffington Post Canada, 06/13/2014

New research on the impact of national public broadcasters has the potential to inject a fresh theme into the ongoing discussions in this country around what to do about the struggling CBC/Radio-Canada.

The first of two recent studies draws on a wide range of data from 14 countries world-wide, and was pulled together for the BBC by U.K.-based Inflection Point research group. It was designed to test competing theories about public service broadcasting frequently heard in debates over the relevance of these services, here in Canada, and around the world.

One is that public broadcasters, whatever virtues they may have, damage commercia…