Canada Health Act – Defend Medicare

April 8, 2008
Take a minute to urge your MP to defend the medicare system as Parliament prepares to hear the annual report on the Canada Health Act.
Please visit:
http://yourmedicarerights.ca/action/defendmedicare
Every year these reports come out with huge gaps in information about how provinces are spending federal money on public health care.
And yet we know that the number of private clinics is growing
rapidly. We know that people are being charged for medically
necessary services.
It’s up to Parliament to enforce the law that guarantees Canadians equal access to public health care.
We need people to ask their MPs to ask questions in the house, to lobby the health minister, and to stand up for medicare, Canadians’ most cherished social program.
Please visit http://yourmedicarerights.ca/ today for background on this campaign and other ways to get involved.
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My E-rated blog

April 8, 2008

I was totally surprised, honoured and very pleased to see that I had been named among such company as Facing Autism in New Brunswick
and Another Point of View for an E award. Thanks, Debra! Much appreciated, and sorry it took so long for me to notice. (You know how technically-challenged I am…) 😉

Rated E!Verbena-19
“A must read for human rights and social justice issues”, wrote April Reign about my blog.

Now it’s my turn to pass it on, but with so many excellent blogs from which to choose, it is difficult to narrow it down to just a few, otherwise it would take many days and all my blogroll (and some that I haven’t had time to put on there).

So here are just a few of the blogs that I admire and consider “E-rated”, in no particular order:

David Orchard Campaign for Canada
Although this is not a blog per se, David is a hardworking activist whose deep concern for Canada is truly admirable and deserving of daily visits and support.

Steve Anderson’s blog (on COA News)
Steve is an activist for democratic media and posts a font of news and information about the exploitation of Internet users by new media giants. A regular must-read for all of us in the ‘digital mediascape’.

Stevie Cameron’s blog
Stevie is one of the best Canadian investigative journalists, intrepidly uncovering sordid dealings within our government.

The Scott Ross
Scott writes with a keen insight about all things Canadian, especially politics and news that matters.

ThisCanadian
This is one of the most thought-provoking, compelling blogs about all things concerning human beings. Lots of great videos too!

Ceasefire Insider Blog
This is the blog for Ceasefire.ca, a network of more than 15,000 Canadians who want Canada to become a force for peace, disarmament, and social justice in the world. Steven Staples is one of the writers. He is a great activist, author and a friend, writing lots of news and info from Ottawa.

Harper Valley
Scout’s blog is the most intelligently irreverent satire in the Canadian blogosphere. With her photoshop skills, she does amazing things to our country’s leaders, politicians, and every notable person on this planet. Her regular Famous Stupid People Contest series are in a class by themselves. No wonder this blog has won 4 Canadian Best Blog Awards! It’s a must read with my morning cup of java.

Global Voices Online
An excellent, novel aggregate of bloggers, citizen journalists, and independent voices from around the globe. The site is used to ‘amplify the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore’. A great news and information source.

Gather the Women/Grassroots & Grace
Gather the Women is a gathering place for women and women’s organizations who share a belief that the time is now to activate the incredible power of women’s wisdom on a planetary scale. It is a place where new models of feminine collaboration are being born. Starting in 2006, GTW Congresses have taken place in Canada, Kenya & Australia. “Linked globally by our interactive website, we invite women to demonstrate their courage to risk leaving old conformities by joining with millions of others throughout the world to celebrate women’s true worth, to express shared concern for our human family, and to create and support actions that will enable humanity to live together in a balanced, harmonious and peaceful world.”

The Dominion (Dominion weblogs: news from the grassroots)
It is actually a collective of blogs of the Dominion: a monthly paper published by a network of independent journalists in Canada since May 2003. The blogs reflect the Dominion’s aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada’s official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power. Dominion aims to not merely report that something is the case, but to examine why it is the case. By providing context to stories, and giving voice to perspectives that are marginalized and those most affected by events or decisions, the Dominion hopes to promote understanding through accurate, in-depth reporting. se aims. I subscribe to the online monthly news and visit the blogs featured on the main blog page regularly.


Canada’s water contaminated?

April 8, 2008

Canadians think that our drinking water is the safest in the world and associate unfit, contaminated water mostly with First Nations reserves. However, according to a new CMA report this is not true:

More than 1,700 boil-water advisories are in effect in communities across the country, according to a new investigative report by the Canadian Medical Association.

A boil-water advisory means that water is contaminated and unfit to drink without boiling. Often, the report says, a community’s chlorination or disinfection systems fail to work, leading to advisories.

Although boil-water advisories are often associated with native communities, 93 First Nations had advisories in place as of Feb. 29, 2008, while 1,766 advisories outside of these communities were in place in Canada at the end of the following month, the report said.
[…]

Read more here of this CBC story here: 1,775 boil-water advisories in Canada require action: report


Bill Moyers wins Ridenhour Courage Prize

April 8, 2008

Bill Moyers Accepts
Ridenhour Courage Prize

Bill Moyers is the recipient of the 2008 Ridenhour Courage Prize, given in recognition of his fierce embrace of the public interest, his advocacy of media pluralism, and the unyielding moral voice he has contributed to our national discourse.

“The job of trying to tell the truth about people whose job it is to hide the truth is almost as complicated and difficult as trying to hide it in the first place. We journalists are of course obliged to cover the news, but our deeper mission is to uncover the news that powerful people would prefer to keep hidden.”

Read the rest of Moyers’ speech.



I congratulate and applaud Bill Moyers, a man whom I have always held in highest regard for his decency, integrity and courage to ask questions others are afraid to ask — to seek and uncover truths others in the mainstream media refuse to do. He truly deserves this award. Way to go, Bill!


Canada’s newest political prisoners

April 7, 2008

Canada’s newest political prisoners

Indigenous leaders jailed for protesting mining exploration on their lands

The government’s actions are narrowing options down to

make resistance the only option.

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/17019


Two Important Upcoming Events, April 9 & 12…

April 7, 2008

There are two important upcoming events in Toronto this week:

————————————————————————–
1. Event at Ryerson: Land Rights Not Mining Rights
2. CAIA Fundraiser in Support of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
————————————————————————–
LAND RIGHTS NOT MINING RIGHTS
FREE ROBERT LOVELACE AND THE KI 6
DATE: Wednesday April 9th, 6 pm
PLACE: Ryerson Student’s Union, 55 Gould St (between Victoria and Church)
INFO: www.ryerson.ca/socialjustice
Featuring: Ovide Mercredi, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and members of the KI and Ardoch First Nations.

In a travesty of justice and a grave assault on Aboriginal rights, seven
Aboriginal leaders are in jail today for upholding indigenous and Canadian
law. In March, Robert Lovelace from Ardoch and Chief Donny Morris of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) community, four councillors and one community member were jailed for six months for contempt of court. In two separate cases, they refused mining exploration on their traditional lands without their permission. Additionally, Robert Lovelace and his community have been hit with huge fines.

These Aboriginal leaders were not only protecting indigenous laws, they
were also protecting the Canadian constitution as interpreted by the
Supreme Court of Canada, which says that governments must consult with Aboriginal Nations before licensing mining exploration on their lands.

The KI Six arguments that the Ontario government has a constitutional
responsibility to consult with them before issuing a mining permit in
their traditional territories were rejected by the court. The judge in the Ardoch case threw out Robert Lovelace’s testimony that he was defending Algonquin Law and responsibilities with respect to human activity in their territory.

“I’m prepared to go to jail for my belief in the land,” said KI Chief Donny Morris. “This is a land issue based on our sovereignty and I’m prepared to give myself up if the court decides I’ve disrespected the November ruling to allow Platinex on our land…”

They should not have to go to jail! Premier Dalton McGuinty should withdraw the licenses issued to these mining companies and free Robert Lovelace and the KI 6. The jailing of these leaders is causing terrible suffering and fear in their communities. KI is a remote northern community that has just lost the majority of its leadership and the Ardoch community is facing fines of $50,000. These leaders are also in jail because their communities are poor and cannot afford fines.

“The message delivered through this court decision is one of domination
and oppression,” said Chief Paula Sherman of the Ardoch decision.

Support the right of a community to say NO to mineral exploration and
mining projects that threaten the health of people and ecosystems. Replace the antiquated ‘free entry’ system of mining and exploration with a process that grants exploration permits only after consultation with affected First Nations communities, and consideration of competing land uses and values.

Join us to show support for the Ardoch and KI communities, to protest these harsh court decisions, and to demand action from Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Co-sponsors include:

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University
Ryerson Students’ Union
Mamow Sha-way-gi-kay-win North-South Partnership for Children

Ryerson Aboriginal Students Services
Christian Peacemaker Teams Canda
CPAWS Wildlands League
Indigenous Environmental Network
Mining Watch Canada
OCAP
Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment
*************Please distribute widely**************************

TURTLE ISLAND TO PALESTINE – FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!!
CAIA FUNDRAISER IN SUPPORT OF THE ARDOCH ALGONQUIN FIRST NATION
JOIN US FOR A NIGHT OF LIVE CULTURAL PERFORMANCES, GREAT FOOD,
DANCING AND FUN!

*********************************************************
Date: Saturday April 12
Time: 7 pm – Door opens at 6:30

Place: Cervejaria – 842 College St. (W of Ossington), Toronto

Suggested donation: $10
Featuring: LAL, DJ NO CAPITALISTA and others. Silent auction and 50/50 draw
*************************************************************

To coincide with Palestine Political Prisoners Day, the Coalition Against
Israeli Apartheid ( CAIA), is organising a fundraiser in support of the struggle of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN )against uranium mining on their land. All proceeds will go to the AAFN On February 15 2008, in a travesty of justice, AAFN Spokesperson Robert Lovelace was sentenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston to 6 months incarceration and fines amounting to $25,000 for refusing to comply with an injunction that would prevent him from protesting against uranium mining on land that is part of a 25-year-old Algonquin land claim.. In addition, the community was fined $10,000 and Chief Paula Sherman $15,000. The AAFN and the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation started their blockade of the uranium exploration in the area in June 2007.

The highly politicized nature of these sentences further underscores the
on-going criminalization of indigenous people’s basic rights to self-determination and the free use of their lands and resources. Just as
Israel refuses to fulfill its obligations under international law with respect to the basic rights of the Palestinian people (including the incarceration of over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners), the Canadian government has decisively rejected its obligations under the ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and continues to incarcerate indigenous leaders who defend the basic rights of their peoples to self-determination. Such a right includes the right of indigenous peoples to: “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (Article 3, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) is a grassroots Palestine-solidarity organization which understands Israeli apartheid as one element of a system of global apartheid and therefore stands in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, the indigenous peoples of North America.

For more information on this fundraiser or to find out more about CAIA
please email endapartheid@riseup.net or go to www.caiaweb.org


CBC DOCS::THEY CHOSE CHINA::This Week

April 7, 2008
PASSIONATE EYE Monday
(Monday April 7 at 10pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld)
THEY CHOSE CHINA
Meet the POWs who refused to return home. At the end of the Korean War in 1954, captured UN soldiers held in POW camps were free to return home. Those soldiers who refused repatriation to their homeland were transferred to a neutral zone and given 90 days to reconsider their decision. Surprisingly, among them are 21 American soldiers who defiantly decided to stay in China. They Chose China recounts these soldiers’ stories.