Canada: Prime Minister must commit to the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples in all decisions affecting them

January 13, 2013

Amnesty International Canada: Petition
http://ht.ly/gFx5P

Send a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples affirmed in Treaties, and articulated in both domestic and international law.


Urgent Galloway update!

March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009

For Immediate Release

Urgent Galloway update


Minister of Censorship Jason Kenney’s decision to ban British MP George Galloway from speaking in Canada has ignited a firestorm of protest across the country. Kenney’s office ­ and the entire Conservative caucus ­ has been bombarded with thousands of e-mails, phone calls and messages of protest. A legal challenge has been launched by Galloway’s legal counsel in Canada, and the media is reporting new developments every day.

The movement to reverse the ban on Galloway is big, and is growing by the minute.

We can defeat Jason Kenney’s ban, but we need your help over the next few days. Please read below and forward this message everywhere!

Here’s how you can help:

1. Promote the Defend Free Speech website: www.defendfreespeech.ca.

This site is the clearinghouse for all update about the campaign and includes documents from the legal challenge, breaking news, ticket information, and action items. Please upload a link of this site to your website, upload it to all Galloway groups on facebook and on your profile, and forward it to all your friends. If you have any news or updates for the website, email info@nowar.ca.

2. Join our next organizing meeting in Toronto.

If you’re not in Toronto, get active with local groups in the Palestine Solidarity movement or the anti-war movement. The Toronto meeting is as follows: Friday, March 27 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto (TTC: Spadina). The Toronto meeting will provide updates, distribute new materials, and make plans for weekend actions.

3. Picket Conservative MPs’ offices on Saturday and Sunday.


This weekend, we need to make sure we keep the pressure up. Organize pickets at your local Conservative MP’s office to say you want Jason Kenney to reverse the ban on Galloway. Ask passers-by to sign the petition, distribute leaflets to them, and display free speech placards. All materials ­ petition, leaflets, and placards ­ can be downloaded from www.defendfreespeech.ca. When you’ve filled out the petitions, fax them to Kenney’s offices: 613-992-1920 (Ottawa office) and 403-225-3504 (Calgary office). A picket in Mississauga is already organized for Saturday, March 28 at 2:00pm at the office of Conservative MP Bob Dechert (Mississauga ­ Erindale), 1270 Central Parkway West, Suite 101, Mississauga.

4. Come to federal court on Sunday in Toronto to hear the legal challenge to Jason Kenney¹s ban.


Galloway’s legal team was informed that the hearing will be open to the public, so we need to pack out the courtroom to show how much opposition there is to Kenney’s attacks on free speech. The hearing will take place on Sunday, March 29 at 11:00am at the federal courthouse at 180 Queen Street West, Toronto (TTC: Osgoode). This is where we’ll find out if Kenney’s ban on Galloway is overturned. Seating is limited, so show up early! In addition, Toronto organizers will hold a free speech rally outside the courthouse at 10:30am. Bring your flags and banners! And bring lots of people!

5. Keep e-mailing and phoning Jason Kenney’s office.


If you’ve contacted him already, do it again. Tell them you won’t stop until Kenney reverses the ban. Tell them you want a formal response in writing, explaining why Kenney has banned Galloway. If you phone and there’s only voicemail, leave a long message asking that they call you back. Don’t let up the pressure now. Keep phoning, e-mailing, faxing, etc. Kenney’s e-mail addresses are: kennej@parl.gc.ca; kennej7@parl.gc.ca; minister@cic.gc.ca; harpes@parl.gc.ca. His phone numbers are: 613-992-2235 (Ottawa office) and 403-225-3480 (Calgary office). And don’t stop e-mailing the entire Conservative caucus. You can find all their e-mail addresses in one block at www.defendfreespeech.ca.

6. Keep buying tickets.


George Galloway has personally committed to deliver a live, original, interactive speech to each of the four cities where he’s scheduled to speak ­ either live in person or live via broadcast. We want to make sure that he can see how many of us have come to hear his speech and to stand up for our right to hear it. Every empty seat or unsold ticket is a defeat for free speech and a victory for the Minister of Censorship. Buy your tickets now and help us sell out the event. Ticket information for all four events is available at www.defendfreespeech.ca.

7. Broadcast Galloway’s live speech in your town or city.


If you live in a city where Galloway is not scheduled to speak (if you’re not in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal or Ottawa) but would still like to hear his speech, let us know. We are organizing now to broadcast his Toronto speech on Monday, March 30 to locations all over the country where he is not scheduled to speak. Book a room now that can accommodate large numbers of people, start promoting your event, and get a laptop/LCD projector so you can broadcast his speech live. We’ll send you a private URL to log onto the Toronto broadcast. To get the private URL, please e-mail info@nowar.ca.

8. Join the ban-busting caravan to meet Galloway at the Canada-US border.


Organizers in Montreal are organizing a caravan of MPs, lawyers, anti-war activists and supporters to meet Galloway at the Canada-US border on the day he is scheduled to enter Canada. If we reverse the ban, we’ll bring him across. If we don’t reverse the ban, we’ll hold a solidarity rally on the Canadian side while a delegation of MPs and lawyers meet Galloway in the US. Galloway will address the Canadian rally by phone (with sound amplification).

Here’s the call-out from Montreal organizers:

On Monday, March 30, Montreal organizers for the Galloway speaking tour (SPHR) are
calling for a mass presence at the Canadian-US border in Lacolle, Quebec to support Canadian and Quebec MPs and MNAs who plan to escort Galloway into Canada, if the ban is reversed.

A solidarity caravan will leave from Montreal on Monday morning. Please show up by 9:30am at Carre Cabot, on Ste. Catherine and Atwater, corner of rue Lambert Closse (across from the Pepsi Forum). There will be buses. If you have a car, we need you to help caravan people there to arrive by 12:00pm (noon).

If you have a car, please let us know how many people you can take. If you need a ride, please let us know how many seats you need. E-mail us at Galloway.Canada@gmail.com.

9. Don¹t let Kenney silence anti-war voices! Demonstrate on April 4.


The Canadian Peace Alliance and Le Collectif Échec à la guerre have called a pan-Canadian day of action for Saturday, April 4 to protest the 60th anniversary of NATO and to bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan. Now that Kenney has expanded his attacks to the peace movement and our right to free speech, it’s even more important to be in the streets. Tell Kenney that we won’t be silenced! If Kenney doesn’t overturn his ban on Galloway, join us on April 4 to demand that Kenney be fired from his job. For more information, please visit www.acp-cpa.ca.


Creekside: North America Next

March 7, 2009

The terminology keeps changing. Deep integration is now ‘plug and play interoperability’. But changing the words will not change the odious Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Alison over at Creekside has an excellent post about this:

A year ago the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Arizona State University $15 million to establish a Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. The border security research centre is led by Rick Van Schoik, director of ASU’s North American Center for Transborder Studies.
Arizona State U presser, Feb. 2008 :
“The establishment of the center by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security follows more than two years of work assembling a team of U.S. universities, Mexican and Canadian institutions, government agencies, technology companies and national laboratories.

[…]

Read rest of Alison’s post here.

Also linked: CathiefromCanada: “Plug and play interoperability”

For SPP watch  articles, visit the Council of Canadians Integrate This! website:

September 26, 2008
Posted by Andrea Harden

President Bush met with leaders and officials from 11 countries in the Western Hemisphere on Wednesday, September 24th in New York to launch the ‘Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas’ initiative. Canada is joined by the U.S., Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru in this initiative. All have free trade agreements with the U.S., or one pending before Congress. In a Washington Post article, Bush hails the initiative as, “a forum where leaders can work to ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared.” (more…)

Council of Canadians

CIP Americas Program: Armoring NAFTA: The Battleground for Mexico’s Future

Excerpt:

In April 2007, on the eve of the North American Trilateral Summit, Thomas Shannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, described the SPP’s purpose with remarkable candor: The SPP, he declared, “understands North America as a shared economic space,” one that “we need to protect,” not only on the border but “more broadly throughout North America” through improved “security cooperation.” He added: “To a certain extent, we’re armoring NAFTA.”2

Mexicans and other Latin Americans have learned that adopting the U.S.-promoted neoliberal economic model—with its economic displacement and social cutbacks—comes with a necessary degree of force, but this was the first time that a U.S. official had stated outright that regional security was no longer focused on keeping the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico safe from harm, but was now about protecting a regional economic model. Of course, Shannon didn’t list political opposition as one of the threats to be countered; he simply argued that the new “economic space” needed to be protected against “the threat of terrorism and against a threat of natural disasters and environmental and ecological disasters.” But the counter-terrorism/drug-war model elaborated in the SPP and embodied later in Plan Mexico (known officially as the Merida Initiative) encourages a crackdown on grassroots dissent to assure that no force, domestic or foreign, effectively questions the future of the system.

[… Read more]


CAF News Release: Response to Mr. Jason Kenney, M.P.

February 24, 2009

The following News Release by the Canadian Arab Federation is in response to Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney’s threats to cut funding to newcomer service agencies served by the CAF.

By these latest actions, Mr. Kenney shows that his government will use the threat of funding cuts to silence any voices it deems dissenting, especially those that dare to be critical of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, its egregious human rights violations, and its illegal occupation of Arab lands.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 19, 2009

Response to Mr. Jason Kenney, M.P.

The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) finds it deeply regrettable that Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, has threatened to cut funding to newcomer service agencies served by the CAF and has used the remarks made by CAF’s president, Khaled Mouammar while Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza, as an excuse to malign and intimidate Arab and Muslim communities who have suffered and continue to suffer from marginalization, threats and the muzzling of their voices.

We note with disappointment that this most recent attack on the CAF is part of a campaign waged by Mr. Kenney who has targeted and systematically vilified the CAF. In January 2008, Mr. Kenney smeared and stereotyped the Arab community during one of his exchanges with a Liberal MP in the House of Commons, and he described CAF as a racist organization in a speech in Bucharest Romania in June 2007. Mr. Kenney’s most recent attack on CAF came just 3 days ago at an anti-Semitism conference in London, England where he labeled the CAF and Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) as groups that promote anti-Semitism. This characterization is slanderous and untrue on a number of levels. The CAF works with many Jewish anti-Zionist groups on a variety of projects. Furthermore, Arabs are a Semitic people, so Mr. Kenney’s unfounded allegations and intimidating threats against the CAF misrepresent the organization and our community and work to inflame and divide Canadians. .

Since 1992, CAF’s settlement programs have demonstrated a solid record of success that is available for any interested party to examine and review. These programs are thoroughly audited and have been praised for the efficiency and dedication with which they are implemented. Threatening to cut funding for these programs is a form of indiscriminate and collective punishment upon people who require these services. We wonder what motivated the Minister to issue this threat. If it stems from a disagreement with our position on certain political issues, we strongly believe that this constitutes an infringement on our freedoms and rights as guaranteed by the Charter. We have consistently sought to empower our community to speak its mind and participate fully, openly and unabashedly in the Canadian democratic process. Mr. Kenney’s comments serve to set this endeavour back. Is the muting of our voices is now a condition for receiving funding and support from our government? This is a matter of grave concern to all agencies providing language and settlement services to immigrants and newcomers.

Mr. Kenney’s comments, whether intentionally or unintentionally, perpetuate negative sentiments towards Arab and Muslim Canadians. These come directly after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a report stating that “Canada should strengthen its domestic violence laws and stop religious discrimination against Muslims…and do more to improve the welfare of its Aboriginal citizens”.

We call upon the Harper government to adopt a zero tolerance approach to expressions of Islamophobia and Arabophobia (the latter of which is a form of anti-Semitism), in the public arena. The government must recognize Islamophobia and Arabophobia for what they are, pernicious evils that must be exposed, confronted and repudiated whenever and where ever they appear, evils so profound that they are ultimately a threat to us all.

The CAF will continue to provide its services to all Canadians and expects that funds will be unchanged for programs that we have implemented with excellence. The CAF will not be intimidated into silence and will defend the rights and freedoms of our communities as protected under the Charter. We will continue to combat racism and uphold the rights of racialized groups and human rights in Canada and abroad, as well as to vigorously expose the serious human rights violations perpetuated by Israel against the Palestinian people and its illegal occupation of Arab lands.

For more information, please contact:

Mohamed Boudjenane
CAF Executive Director
416-493-8635 x 23  ed@caf.ca

__________________________________________________
www.caf.ca

Established in 1967, the Canadian Arab Federation is a national, non-partisan, non profit and membership-based organization.  CAF represents Canadian Arabs on issues relating to public policy.


Let’s have democracy

December 11, 2008

The following letter to the Editor was written by an acquaintance, Fred Schneider. It was published in The Mississauga News on December 9th, where some of it was cut  in their editing.  Fred’s excellent letter is posted here in its entirety, unedited, with  his kind permission:

Let’s have democracy

Re: Crisis/opportunity on Parliament Hill

Unhappy again not to be able to rule Canada on behalf of his friends (who, by the way, were instrumental in the worldwide “economic crisis” in the first place) – instead of governing for the people of Canada – he started the same tactic of blackmailing the opposition into either “causing” another election – which Mr. Harper hopes would give him a majority – or to accept his conservative rule by minority.

However, this time Mr. Harper bet on the wrong stock, so to speak. The opposition had enough of his games with Canadian voters and they united to use their legal avenues to call his bluff.

I hope that Canadians will finally see behind Mr. Harper’s manipulations of parliament. After all, more than 60% of voters do not support Mr. Harper or the Conservatives.

Let’s finally have a government by the people for the people! It’s called Democracy.
This crisis was deliberately caused by Mr. Harper and/or his advisors.

Ever since the 2006 election Mr. Harper was unhappy with his minority government, and time and time again he deliberately(!) provoked the opposition into “causing” another election with confidence issues he knew could or would not be supported by the opposition.

Mr. Harper also knew, as probably most Canadians did, that the Liberals were in no position to take the blame for another election and had to either support conservative policies or abstain from voting on those issues.

When that tactic did not work Mr. Harper called another unnecessary(!) election for October 2008 in which he achieved another similar minority government

Fred Schneider
(Address)
Mississauga, Ontario

Visit Fred Schneider’s homepage: http://home.ica.net/~fresch/index.htm


VIDEO: ‘WHO k i l l e d CANADA?’

December 10, 2008

Canadians who prefer truth over propaganda — and would like to have an idea why we are in this current crisis — should view this short, compelling, very informative video.  This is info that you won’t see anywhere in our mainstream media.   It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to be fully informed and inform your friends, family, neighbours, community. Ignorance is not an excuse!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8632069635967998175


Bringing down the Harper government…

December 6, 2008

This poignant piece written by Political Science professor James Laxer is in Straight Goods, Saturday, Dec. 6th.  Laxer’s sage advice is intended for Liberals and the NDP. But all Canadians, especially those who are brainwashed by the Harper government into believing that the coalition is bad for our country — and that Harper’s is the only ‘legitimate’ government — should also pay attention.


Bringing down the Harper government

Liberals, NDP, embarked on venture that is not for the faint of heart.

Dateline: Monday, December 01, 2008

by James Laxer

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries/
such a full sea are we now afloat
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.

The Liberals ought to heed these words as they move forward to topple the Harper government. If, instead, they hesitate and give in to their fears, they will hand Stephen Harper an enormous political victory.

If the Conservatives manage to salvage their hold on government, the retribution they will inflict on each of the opposition parties will be a terrible one.

Having committed a grave political blunder last week with its Economic Statement, the Harper government is desperately regrouping to try to regain control of the situation. Apparently they are in full retreat, but no one should be fooled.

The concessions being offered — backing away from slashing campaign funding for political parties, dropping the assault on the right of civil servants to strike, and moving forward the date of the budget — are all designed to convince faint hearted Liberals that they should abandon the idea of defeating the government and installing a new ministry in which they will hold the key positions.

If the Conservatives manage to salvage their hold on government, the retribution they will inflict on each of the opposition parties will be a terrible one. Stephen Harper does not deal well with what he interprets as public humiliation. Here’s a guy who can’t even attend the annual Press Gallery dinner in Ottawa because he’d have to lampoon himself and people might laugh at him. Lacking a sense of humour, which means a sense of proportion, he is not well-suited to political life in a democracy where give and take is of the essence.

The only thing this man understands is conquest, which is why even the members of his own party don’t really like him. If the Liberals decide to let Harper wriggle out of this one, they will have exchanged the substance of victory for a Pyrrhic victory.

Making a coalition work will not be easy for either the Liberals or the NDP. What will unite them though is that they are on the same side of the fence when it comes to the need for a serious stimulus package to cope with the economic crisis.

Oddly enough, keeping the Bloc onboard may prove to be not so challenging. The Bloc will claim credit for the portion of the stimulus package that goes to Quebec, and they will be rid of Harper’s noxious agenda on culture, crime and gun control, an agenda that Quebeckers hate with a passion.

The Liberals, NDP and the Bloc can either hang together or they will hang separately.

They cannot play this game again. If they were to unite to topple the Conservatives further into the mandate of this parliament, Harper would have a much better chance of talking the Governor General into granting him a dissolution and a new election.

This is it guys.

If the opposition fails to defeat the government and install a new one, Harper will exercise complete control for the next couple of years. The opposition parties will be stuck with Flaherty’s budget at the end of January, which is virtually certain to fall short of what the country needs in terms of economic stimulus. Do they really want to place the fate of Canadians in the hands of a man whose first plan for coping with the economic crisis included selling the CN Tower?

This may not have been the way the Liberals wanted to return to government. But it’s a good way. If they perform effectively in office for the next two years, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc will be well positioned for the next election. And, it will be the Conservatives who will fall prey to infighting. If the Conservative government falls, the campaigns to replace Harper as leader will be well underway by Christmas.

The united power of the opposition parties has been demonstrated to great effect over the past few days. They occupy the high ground and the only thing that stands in their way is their own self-doubt.

PS I know the speech at the top of this post was delivered by Brutus, who came to a bad end. Shakespeare had a way of having even his doomed characters give voice to enduring truths.

James Laxer is a Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto. His published books include Decline of the Superpowers; False God: How the Globalization Myth Has Impoverished Canada; The Undeclared War: Class Conflict in the Age of Cyber Capitalism; the national bestseller, Stalking the Elephant: My Discovery of America; and the award-winning Red Diaper Baby: A Boyhood in the Age of McCarthyism.

Harper is a neo-conservative ideologue, obsessed with power and his own sense of self importance. He is contemptuous of Canada and a stalwart member of neo-con right-wing groups, closely linked to their U.S. counterparts. This group’s insidious agenda is not what most Canadians envision for our country. Conservative Canadians who believe that Harper’s party represents them and the country have been duped by his relentless divisive propaganda aided and abetted by the cowed media and pundits. If these Canadians remove their blinders, they will see the ‘real’ Stephen Harper and get a glimpse of what he has in store for us in the coming year. They will see that Harper’s plans for the direction of our country are far different from that of mainstream Canadians, regardless of where we stand on the political spectrum.. It is imperative that Canadians of all political persuasion unite for the good of our country.

Pertinent Links:

Council of Canadians

http://canadianlabour.ca/en/coalition-government-rallies-across-canada

http://www.harperindex.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=00174

http://dawn.thot.net/harperstiestousa/american_right_report.pdf

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism – Naomi Klein’s website and book