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Showing posts from September 5, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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9 Times Canada’s Labour Movement Made History and Shaped the Country We Live in Today

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[Happy Labour Day, Canada! *RON*]
Press Progress, 4 September 2017


Many students in Canada will be heading back to school after Labour Day.

But they might not spend much time talking about the history of Canada's labour movement or their basic rights under existing labour laws – in much of Canada, this history has been glossed over or ignored, leading some academics to conclude "the Canadian worker has been a neglected figure in Canadian history."

Except it's not that hard to find examples of how the labour movement helped shape the country we live in today.

Whether they're fighting for shorter work days or better wages, the labour movement has done more than just improve working conditions for ordinary people – by standing up to powerful elites, time and again, Canada's labour movement set in motion series of events that changed the course of history and moved Canada forward.

Here are just nine examples where labour union…

'We don't have anything': landlords demand rent on flooded Houston homes

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[Displaced families say they are struggling to pay rent on damaged dwellings, as an acute housing crisis grips south-east Texas after Hurricane Harvey and landlords begin price-gauging. Meanwhile, on the guillotine watch: Is Now the Time to Buy a Dam for Your House? *RON*]

Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 4 September 2017

Rocio Fuentes weighed up the cost of getting some new sofas for her new apartment in Pasadena, Texas, and decided the family budget could just about stretch to it. Just one month after moving in, Hurricane Harveyswept through and the Fuenteses were left not only with the ruined furniture but also an ongoing rental demand for a dwelling they had to flee.

“At first we didn’t think it would be that bad, but then the water came through the wall and up through the carpet,” Fuentes said. “Once we saw the water wasn’t going to stop, we left.”
Fuentes, her husband Jaime and their five children, ages ranging from seven months to 14 years, w…

Myanmar blocks all UN aid to civilians at heart of Rohingya crisis

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[Military offensive against insurgents leaves thousands stranded without life-saving supplies. "Over the last several years I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same." Malala Yousafzai  *RON*]

Oliver Holmes, The Guardian, 4 September 2017

Myanmar has blocked all United Nations aid agencies from delivering vital supplies of food, water and medicine to thousands of desperate civilians at the centre of a bloody military campaign against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority, the Guardian has learned.

The UN halted distributions in northern Rakhine state after militants attacked government forces on 25 August and the army responded with a counteroffensive that has killed hundreds of people.

The office of the UN resident coordinator in Myanmar said deliveries had been suspended “because the security situation and government field-visit restri…

Chechnya’s Persecuted Gays Find Refuge in Canada

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[The Chechens make Putin look like a sweetheart. "Beginning in February, militia and government forces in Chechnya rounded up more than 100 people perceived to be gay or bisexual and tortured them in unofficial detention centers in the capital, Grozny, and in nearby Argun. At least three died" *RON*]

Catherine Porter, New York Times 3 September 2017

HONEY HARBOUR, Ontario — The Canadian government, working with a Toronto-based nonprofit, has quietly allowed gay men and lesbians from the Russian republic of Chechnya to seek safety in Canada over the past three months.

The program, first made public by the nonprofit, Rainbow Railroad, on Facebook on Friday, was prompted by an anti-gay purge in Chechnya that started earlier this year, when law enforcement and security officials arrested gay and bisexual men and beat and tortured them.

The executive director of Rainbow Railroad, Kimahli Powell, said his organization had joined with the Canadi…

B.C. NDP can't afford to break key election promise on fundraising: experts

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[Fifteen states in the US have had publicly funded elections - Scott Walker defunded the Wisconsin program in 2011, and a number of US municipalities have implemented this system as well. *RON*]
Geordon Omand, Canadian Press / Vancouver Sun, 4 September 2017

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s New Democrats are expected to use this week’s throne speech to broadly outline how they intend to follow through on their key election promise to get big money out of politics.

But so far details have been scarce and a recent string of NDP fundraisers has at least one political observer suspicious the fledgling government may be getting cold feet about turning off the funding taps any time soon.

Hamish Telford, a political scientist at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., said the New Democrats appear to be moving slowly on political fundraising reform.

“They seem to be kicking the can down the road,” Telford said. “It is no longer, apparently,…