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Who stands to benefit from the spread of hate?

Fri, 2018-08-10 20:30
August 10, 2018What the rich need now is hate, sweet hateExtreme intolerance seems to be the 0.0001%'s new tack to ensure the energy of all the growing underclasses are not misdirected at them.
Categories: News for progressives

What the rich need now is hate, sweet hate

Fri, 2018-08-10 19:55
Humberto DaSilva

In 2008 the Westworld economy crashed because for Wall Street moral hazard had become a board game. After blowing the biggest bubble ever enticing the guileless with mortgages they couldn't afford, stockbrokers sliced these loans into derivatives that sold like packaged bologna to guileless pension funds, RRSPs, mutual funds, and 401Ks. European banks bought this toilet paper because, though everyone knew it was a casino bet, if it kept going up, you made money. Then the bubble burst and the bailout began. After one little casino was allowed to symbolically collapse, the American usury houses got a trillion-dollar bailout as the last Bush left the building.

There was the briefest period of defibrillation stimulus to shock the economy out of its death rattle. Then Canada's proto-fascist prime minister turned Toronto into a police state for the 2010 G20 so he and his cronies could cook up some austerity. Yup, the reps for the rich decided poor people would backstop junk traders by surrendering pensions, public health programs, and public infrastructure. People heretofore encouraged to spend like sailors on shore leave got their markers called and downward mobility was the price of the binge at Goldman Sachs. Riot cops in shiny new gear always at the ready!

In the ensuing decade, surprisingly, the rich have gotten way richer, and the poor, strangely, way poorer. Inequality after the Great Recession is at levels unseen since right before the Great Depression. The kids are even flirting with socialism again, much to the chagrin of "opposition" parties like the American "Democrats" and the zombie remnants of "New Labour" in the U.K.

What to do, what to do?

Well, everything old is new again. Like Hollywood, when you are out of ideas, it's time for a remake. Everybody dying to return to Devil's Island in the new version of Papillon? Great. Because you are also going right back to the 1930s when it comes to somebody encouraging you to scapegoat minorities for your economic misfortune.

Extreme intolerance seems to be the 0.0001%'s new tack to ensure the energy of all the growing underclasses are not misdirected at them. This energy might be used for organizing against the root causes of the majority's declining fortunes: the misappropriation of wealth by the super rich through their oligarchy states. Now these states actually encourage outright civil hate. Across Europe, nationalist parties are flogging refugee hate to galvanize xenophobia in the masses. The Brits voted to leave Europe so Poles would stop stealing jobs already offshored to China. Italian nationalists want the arms embargo lifted on Libya so local forces there can kill migrants before they can board boats. Trump hates on Mexicans while paying their army and police forces to keep out Honduran hordes fleeing state violence flowing from the CIA coup d'etat there in 2009. Homophobia makes Russian toxic masculinity state policy.

None of this is an accident. It's a remake. And it's way cheaper than guaranteed basic income!

Sure, 70 years without fascism was nice. The New Deal was great while it lasted. Multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism, even a little socialism tempering the worst tendencies of capitalism made things better for a few for a little while. But for too long we thought the only way to go was up. We were told that a rising tide would lift all boats. It didn't. We were told that with the internet we could all be our own bosses. We just Uberized the costs of our own exploitation. We were told that economic disruption was good. But Amazon is just Walmart on steroids. We were told wealth would trickle down. It didn't. We were told that profit is supreme, the market never makes mistakes, the poor are the authors of their own misfortune.

Left to our own devices, the question might be: if Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, why are his employees relying on food stamps?

But we aren't left to our own devices. We are left with Facebook asking why refugees get free health care and veterans don't, why addicts get free needles but diabetics don't, why "illegal" immigrants get housed when there are homeless veterans everywhere. We are left with a data-gathering machine asking whatever question that Russian attack hackers/Ontario Proud/Proud Boys/Canada First/NRA polarizing memes want you to ask (and share if you agree).

And after you ask their question, maybe you should just reach out locally, and hate somebody.

Just whatever you do, don't ask who really made you poorer. Or the riot police will be called.

Photo: looking4poetry/Flickr

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Categories: News for progressives

Nestlé still pumping after Ontario water permit expired two years ago

Fri, 2018-08-10 19:17
Emma Lui

Two years ago Nestlé's Aberfoyle permit expired. Yet the multi-billion-dollar water corporation continues to pump up to 3.6 million litres a day from the Aberfoyle well. Since the permit expired on July 31, 2016, Nestlé has pumped an estimated 1.4 billion litres of water and counting (see our counter for the latest number here).

Nestlé's permit for the Erin well expired nearly a year ago on August 31, 2017 but Nestlé also continues to pump up to 1.1 million litres each day.

The current legislation allows companies like Nestle to continue to pump water on expired permits if they submit their application before the permit expires. But this problematic legislation allows pumping of groundwater to continue without community input, without the free prior and informed consent of First Nations like Six Nations of the Grand River and without consideration of the impacts on climate change and adequate data on water availability and future demands.

Nestlé purchased a third well, the Middlebrook well, in 2016. The former Wynne government's two-year pause on Nestle's plan to extract 1.6 million litres of water a day from Middlebrook is set to end on January 1, 2019.

The Township of Centre Wellington recently urged the new Ford government to extend this moratorium for four more years so that relevant studies could be completed. 

As the Council of Canadians has previously noted, "Ontario PC leader Doug Ford does not appear to have issued a policy statement on the issue of bottled-water takings, but the Toronto Star has previously reported that clients of the Ford family firm, Deco Labels & Tags, includes Nestlé Canada Inc., Coca-Cola, Cara Operations and Porter Airlines."

Tragically, people in Ontario are seeing the Ford government support an economic system that puts unlimited growth above the vital needs of people and the planet. We must promote water security and alternatives to corporate power. 

The Council of Canadians is deeply concerned that the Ford government will approve both the Aberfoyle and Erin permits.

Leading up to the June provincial election, the Council of Canadians conducted a survey with thousands of residents in Ontario to find out what mattered most to people across Ontario. For water, people residents want the government to:

  • Eliminate permits to extract and exploit groundwater for bottled water corporations.
  • Recognize the Human Right to Water: Prioritize community access to water over industrial uses and establish an Ontario Minister of Water Protection.

Local group Wellington Water Watchers has been calling for a phase out of bottled water takings. 

The Council of Canadians calls on the Ford government to listen to people across Ontario and phase out bottled water takings and recognize the human right to water.

Take action by writing a letter to Premier Doug Ford and taking the Nestlé Boycott Pledge

Photo: Nestlé/Flickr

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Categories: News for progressives

Members of MOVE 9 remain in prison 40 years after police attack

Fri, 2018-08-10 00:27
Political ActionUS Politics

Forty years ago this week, on Aug. 8, 1978, Philadelphia police launched a massive attack on the house of MOVE, a radical, back-to-nature, anti-police-brutality and largely African-American organization. As MOVE's women and children huddled in the basement, firefighters blasted the house with at least four high-pressure fire hoses, filling the cellar with water. Police used a bulldozer and fired tear gas into the house. One young MOVE member, Delbert Orr Africa (MOVE members assumed the surname "Africa" in honor of the group's founder, John Africa), emerged shirtless from the house, with arms raised. With TV cameras rolling, police mercilessly beat him, kicking him in the ribs and head.

Amidst a burst of gunfire that morning, Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp was killed. While all MOVE members denied using firearms, nine were convicted of third-degree murder for the officer's death, each given 30- to 100-year sentences. They became known as the "MOVE 9." Veteran Philadelphia journalist Linn Washington Jr. wrote last June, "Evidence furthermore indicates that police gunfire accidentally killed the policeman."

Two of the MOVE 9 died behind bars. Debbie Sims Africa was 22 years old and eight months pregnant on that summer day in 1978. After almost 40 years, she was the first to get parole, 10 years beyond her minimum release date. She left prison on June 16, 2018, into the arms of her son, Michael Jr.

The MOVE organization seeks to honor and protect "all living things … whether they are human beings, dogs, birds, fish, trees, ants, weeds, rivers, wind or rain," according to a MOVE website. They advocate for clean air, clean water and pure food. Debbie Africa appeared on the Democracy Now! news hour, speaking into a television camera brought into her son's suburban Philadelphia home since her parole conditions prohibit her travelling into the city centre.

Debbie Africa described how she gave birth in her jail cell not long after her arrest, without alerting the guards: "Very quietly, she said, "armed with the principle of motherhood and just the teachings of John Africa." She continued: "I was determined to not let them know, because … I didn't want to be forced to the hospital. I didn't want to be force-fed. I didn't want any kind of violation against my body or him. I wanted to do whatever I could to protect him." She managed to keep him for three days unbeknownst to prison officials. When they discovered the baby, Michael Africa Jr. was taken away. Sitting next to his newly freed mother on Democracy Now!, as he approaches his 40th birthday, he said he was raised as "a community kid."

In 1985, MOVE was attacked again by the Philadelphia police as they tried to evict them once more, this time from a different home. Ramona Africa was inside. Appearing on Democracy Now! several years ago, she described what happened:

"After being attacked, first with four deluge hoses by the fire department and then tons of tear gas, and then being shot at -- the police admit to shooting over 10,000 rounds of bullets at us in the first 90 minutes … two members of the Philadelphia Police Department's bomb squad got in a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter and flew over our home and dropped a satchel containing C4, a powerful military explosive … they dropped that bomb on the roof of our home."

They killed six adults and five children in the house. Ramona Africa was the only adult survivor. The fire spread, eventually destroying more than 60 homes on several city blocks. It was the first time in U.S. history that a city police department dropped a bomb on its own citizens.

As Debbie and Michael Jr. recalled the events this week, tears filled their eyes. Debbie was in prison at the time. Several of her sister inmates lost children in the fire. She said a guard arrived at their cell door and announced to a cellmate, "Your baby's dead." Michael was six years old at the time. He recalls seeing black smoke fill the sky from more than a mile away. "Even now, if I'm driving or running and I see black smoke in the air," he said, "I still find myself calling all the MOVE houses to make sure that it's not our house that's on fire."

The six surviving members of the MOVE 9, including Michael's father, Michael Africa Sr., remain behind bars. Each of them, like Debbie Africa, are 10 years beyond their parole eligibility. "Free the MOVE 9," Debbie said on Democracy Now! "We were arrested together, tried together, tried as a family. So, release us as a family."

Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,300 stations. She is the co-author, with Denis Moynihan, of The Silenced Majority, a New York Times bestseller. This column originally appeared on Truthdig.

Photo: Matthias Müller/Flickr

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MOVE 9police brutalityracial injusticesocial justiceAmy GoodmanDenis MoynihanAugust 9, 2018FBI continues to harass activists of colour, internal documents showRacism is unacceptable, anywhere, anytime. We must be especially intolerant of racism when it appears as official government policy, enshrined in secret documents in black and white.Trump defends white supremacists, confederate symbols, as resistance increasesThe growing movement for racial justice is making demands and taking action. With each passing day, white supremacists will find themselves with fewer and fewer Confederate statues to cling to.La Tanya Grant opens up about cousin Jermaine Carby, gunned down by Peel police in 2014Jermaine Carby was shot dead by Peel Regional Police in 2014. La Tanya Grant joins us to talk about her cousin, police brutality and more.
Categories: News for progressives

Families belong together, but they do not belong together in detention

Thu, 2018-08-09 19:20
August 9, 2018Families belong. That’s allWhen we demand that immigrant families stay together, we mean they should be free together. Families should live in safety and should not live under the terror of being separated.
Categories: News for progressives

Report on Calgary civic election polling failures criticizes Postmedia coverage of 'radically mistaken' polls by partner firm

Wed, 2018-08-08 22:40
David J. Climenhaga

A report by three high-profile academics with expertise in public opinion research who were commissioned to look into polling failures that marred the 2017 Calgary municipal election campaign sharply criticizes the role of the city's media in covering and sponsoring the polls.

Christopher Adams of the University of Manitoba, Paul Adams of Carleton University, and David Zussman of the University of Victoria singled out Postmedia, whose Calgary Herald and Sun newspapers sponsored a controversial series of polls that wrongly indicated a conservative candidate was dramatically in the lead, for particular criticism.

Professors Adams, Adams and Zussman were also critical of the polls that contributed to the controversy, in particular three demon-dialler surveys done by Mainstreet Research of Toronto for Postmedia that put Conservative candidate Bill Smith far ahead of incumbent Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the October 2017 campaign, in one instance by 17 per cent.

"The panel heard that these polls, which received the greatest media attention during the campaign because of their number, their startling results and their association with the two Calgary dailies, significantly affected he course of the campaign," the report says. "They threw Nenshi's campaign on the defensive, gave impetus to Smith's campaign, and possibly doomed the prospects of another candidate, Andre Chabot, who Mainstreet's poll suggested was not a close contender."

Nevertheless, on election day on Oct. 17, as is well known, Mayor Nenshi won by a margin of 7.65 per cent. In the wake of his election victory, some of the mayor's supporters accused Postmedia of being part of an unsuccessful campaign to roust Nenshi from office through biased reporting that assigned undue credibility to flawed polls.

As the report put it, "the Mainstreet polls … triggered an acrid debate in the media and on social media, in which the Nenshi campaign attacked the firm's motives and independent academics questioned its results and methodology."

Meanwhile, all through the campaign, "Mainstreet executives responded with unshakable confidence in their results and attacked their critics, often in personal terms, at one point suggesting there would be 'payback' after the election results were known," the report says.

The trio of professors released their 70-page report independently early this morning. It had been commissioned by the Market Research and Intelligence Association, a national polling-standards group. It was never published by MRIA, however, which unexpectedly announced last week it was in financial trouble and was almost immediately going out of business. MRIA ceased operation on Tuesday, July 31.

On Postmedia's coverage, the independent panel's members said, a review of media coverage showed "Postmedia in particular was not critical enough in its reporting of polls for which it was partly responsible.

"Moreover, Postmedia did not share with its own readers concerns it had about the polls and the degree to which Mainstreet was altering its methodology to address them," they went on.

They found that while Postmedia and other media operations reported on the dramatic discrepancies between the Mainstreet polls and others published during the campaign, "that coverage was not technically sophisticated and would not have left readers fully equipped to evaluate the polls."

The panel noted that two other polls, one done for a group that supported a light rail transit line and the other for a long-term Canadian academic project, were off base too, but not as dramatically as Mainstreet's, and in the right direction in that they both showed Mayor Nenshi in the lead.

"The Mainstreet polls, powered by the dominance of the two city dailies, and the ricochet effect it had through its reporting in other media outlets and social media, created a dominant narrative for the campaign: that the election, in short order, had become a two-horse race between Nenshi and Smith, with the mayor struggling to stay competitive."

The panel also said it "found that Mainstreet's overconfidence and its contentious style of public debate significantly contributed to the embarrassment of the industry when the results were proven to be radically mistaken." The authors added that the Toronto polling firm's public confidence in its results during the campaign "contrasted with internal concern about its results that led to adjustments in methodology."

Those technical changes, the authors said, made some problems worse -- in particular Mainstreet's difficulties contacting a representative sample of younger voters. 'When the election proved to have an unexpectedly high turnout, especially among young people, these vulnerabilities were yet further exposed."

The three professors made 10 recommendations, many of them tied to actions that should be taken by pollsters, Mainstreet in particular, in conjunction with MRIA -- which is going to be a problem now, seeing as MRIA has ceased operations.

Recommendations that could still be implemented, even without a Canadian polling standards organization, included:

  • For media to fully disclose their commercial and financial relationships with pollsters when obtaining polling data on the basis of exclusivity
  • Application of "normal journalistic context and scepticism" when reporting on polls obtained through exclusive relationships
  • Use of a standardized disclosure checklist that all polling companies would publish with their polls, including an accountability tool for use by the public

With particular regard to Mainstreet, the panel had recommended the company work with MRIA to choose "a neutral academic auditor" who could evaluate their practices and adherence to standards with the goal of welcoming them back into respectable polling circles. That will be harder now without any Canadian polling standards body.

A recent poll by Mainstreet of Alberta voters' intentions said the United Conservative Party led by Jason Kenney is dramatically ahead of Premier Rachel Notley's governing New Democratic Party, leading to much crowing on social media by UCP supporters.

Click here to read the full report by Adams, Adams, and Zussman.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Photo: David J. Climenhaga

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Categories: News for progressives

Recognition of Indigenous rights or termination of rights framework?

Wed, 2018-08-08 21:03
Joyce GreenGina Starblanket

The Trudeau government is committed to table legislation on a Recognition of Rights Framework for Indigenous Rights this fall. While not yet finalized, the initial drafts are not encouraging. Beware of federal politicians bearing beads and trinkets. This framework is not emancipatory, and, despite effusive press releases from the prime minister, has nothing to do with reconciliation.

The feds are proposing a framework that functions like a cage, containing Indigenous nations and governments within a legal apparatus that assumes all sovereignty and jurisdiction belongs to the federal and provincial governments. The cage provides Indigenous nations with little more than space to administer federally approved governance within legislated boundaries. No land commitments accompany the framework, and its principles fall far below the floor set by Canadian constitutional law, Indigenous laws, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The third order of government model was suggested by the Penner Report in 1983 and by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Why, then, has the federal government chosen to pursue this discredited anemic delegated model proposal?

The legislation is intended to be available to Indians, Inuit and Metis governments, and according to the justice minister in her speech to the Business Council of British Columbia in April 2018, is intended to provide "certainty." "Certainty" historically means clarity and predictability for non-Indigenous corporate investment interests. And while the government's language suggests self-determination is a desirable objective to be secured through Recognition of Rights, there is nothing proposed that recognizes or facilitates either self-determination or consent about land usage, both fundamental rights recognized at international law.

The legislated "self" governance approach has been floated through a variety of initiatives by successive Liberal and Conservative governments since 1982. All proposed a delegated subordinate municipal-style framework to replace the Indian Act. All have been largely rejected by First Nations (and have not previously been offered to Inuit and Metis). Yet the "new relationship" reads like an updated version of the Indian Act; it amounts merely to self-administration, and leaves no doubt that the federal and provincial governments do not plan on sharing jurisdictional power or tax and resource wealth.

The feds are holding consultations, but are they listening? The "What We Heard" file is largely cherry-picked and focused on specific issues -- funding, housing, health, jobs, education, and so on. These are not trivial matters, but all relate to larger systemic and structural issues that are never addressed.  One overarching theme missing, despite being raised as a primary concern by critics and supporters of the framework alike, is the all-important but constantly evaded topic of land.

Ah, the land. It is the heart of Indigenous laws, governance, culture and relationships, to which we hold both rights and responsibilities. It is the foundation of the colonial impulse and the source of wealth of Project Canada. It's the key to our pasts and our futures. And land is precisely what the feds and provinces want, but never want to talk about. That discussion would include jurisdiction, relationships between provincial, federal and Indigenous governments, treaties, tax room, and revenue sharing. Continuous evasion of this subject has created the current impasse, with questions of title and jurisdiction at the centre of every major conflict and contradiction in Indigenous-Canadian relations past, present, and evidently, future.

To be clear: the Supreme Court of Canada decided in 2014 in Tsilhqot'in that there are cases where Aboriginal title has never been extinguished, and thus jurisdiction and title to the land remain with the relevant Indigenous nation. The UNDRIP, the gold standard for Indigenous rights at international law, was adopted unenthusiastically and late by Canada. It unequivocally states that Indigenous peoples retain rights to unceded land and resources. Further, it requires states to provide redress for actions which have had the aim or effect of dispossessing Indigenous peoples of lands, territories and resources. Thus, title, jurisdiction, and reparations for dispossession are required by Canadian and international law. Yet the feds appear to be operating in a pre-1982 legal and political universe.

The UNDRIP recognizes the Indigenous right of "free, prior and informed consent" over Indigenous lands -- which, like any other form of consent, includes the right to say no. Yet, in her April speech, the justice minister argued: "The proposed rights recognition framework should not prescribe or define a new way of consulting and accommodating, or of obtaining consent, but rather should focus on establishing legislative space and standards ..." In this way the government expects to find the processes to ensure "certainty." And that arguably is what the Recognition of Rights Framework is really all about.

Indigenous peoples are not going to let our inherent rights and jurisdiction be legislated into oblivion. The Canadian state's own laws, commissions of inquiry, and the international laws it has endorsed impose state obligations to redress land theft. Efforts to address Indigenous-state relations without adhering to the limits that Indigenous rights place upon federal and provincial actions, and without engaging in the restructuring required for a return of land and jurisdiction, are doomed to fail, no matter how many people are "consulted" in the process.

Joyce Green is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Regina, on long term disability leave. Gina Starblanket is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Dr. Starblanket is Cree/Saulteaux and a member of the Star Blanket Cree Nation in Treaty 4 territory.

This piece was submitted to the Assembly of First Nations.

Photo: Province of British Columbia/Flickr

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Categories: News for progressives

In Latin America, Canada's progressive veneer is paper thin

Wed, 2018-08-08 19:05
August 8, 2018Mining for Canadian imperialism A review of Canada's adventures in imperialism and colonialism following the meeting between Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Categories: News for progressives

Singh takes environmental case to voters in Burnaby South byelection

Tue, 2018-08-07 20:45
August 7, 2018Trudeau does retail politics in B.C. as Singh prepares to campaignRunning in a riding that borders on the petroleum tanker route, Singh can take the environmental case to Burnaby voters in a mini-referendum on the Trans Mountain expansion.
Categories: News for progressives

Trudeau does retail politics in B.C. as Singh prepares to campaign

Tue, 2018-08-07 20:31
ElectionsEnvironmentPolitics in Canada

Last Sunday, with three cabinet ministers alongside and ample media coverage, Justin Trudeau walked down Robson St. and then along Denman St. in the Vancouver Pride Parade, waving, smiling, and reaching out to shake hands, or to high five a fan or a curious onlooker, looking like there was no place in the world he would rather be.

A beautiful day, a parade that ends along the ocean shore, a hearty welcome from a boisterous crowd that ringed the streets: you would never have known the Trudeau government faces strong opposition in Vancouver to its plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline -- and increase tanker traffic sevenfold next to the parade site.

According to media reports, protesters were a feature of the Trudeau family vacation in Tofino, B.C. earlier last week. A Liberal Party picnic on August 4 was interrupted by Indigenous drummers. Hecklers tried to shout down a Trudeau speech during his appearance later at the Richmond Night Market.

Protesters or no protesters, the desire to be in contact with the voting public is not something that comes naturally to political figures. Some, like Stephen Harper, never try to meet anyone that is not a member of their party. Others eschew direct voter contact, or what political scientists call retail politics, and stick to wholesale techniques: granting interviews on radio and television, and talking to reporters.

Trudeau likes to reach out and engage with people; he likes being a politician. Indeed, he uses personal appearances to define his image and maintain his presence in the public eye.

The prime minister never shows up at events innocently, especially with only 15 months before the next fixed election date, and when success in B.C. is key for the Liberals in their quest for a second majority government.

The Conservatives are gaining support in the polls by exaggerating and misrepresenting the threat to border security from those seeking asylum in Canada from the Trump expulsion -- and separation from their children -- of undocumented U.S. residents.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accuses Trudeau of promoting entry to Canada of people crossing the border irregularly, or as Scheer would have it, "illegally."

Trudeau repeated his own response to Scheer at the Monday B.C. Day picnic in Penticton. The Liberals want to bring Canadians together; others (Conservatives) prefer to divide.

Trudeau has an election theme ready to go. Canada is the first country to have adopted multiculturalism. Canada is a country where we need to do more than tolerate those we do not agree with; there is no religion that calls on people just to tolerate each other. Canada can be accepting, compassionate and respectful to other people because Canadians are accepting, compassionate and respectful of each other.

Over the weekend, news leaked that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh would contest a byelection in the Burnaby South seat left vacant when second-term MP Kennedy Stewart stepped down to run for mayor of Vancouver. It is not a safe NDP seat: Stewart won it by just 547 votes in 2015.

Stewart has been a highly visible and vocal opponent of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, getting himself arrested as part of a direct action on Burnaby Mountain.

The riding of Burnaby South is where protests to stop construction work have been going on for months over a planned tanker farm on Burnaby Mountain and the Westridge Marine Terminal on Burrard Inlet. 

In support of the Trans Mountain expansion, Team Trudeau have been touting an economy-plus-the-environment message.

The Liberal stance ignores real environmental dangers from pipeline expansion that have been highlighted by court cases and campaigns led and supported by seven Indigenous Nations, the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver, and activist organizations like the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the Living Oceans Society, Coast Protectors, Greenpeace, the Suzuki Foundation, and the Council of Canadians.

Running in a riding that borders on the petroleum tanker route, Singh can take the environmental case for protecting ocean life and the B.C. coast to Burnaby voters in a mini-referendum on the Trans Mountain expansion.

The byelection will allow the NDP to showcase its own policy positioning on the environment and the economy, and on border security. When the media shows up, and they should in a byelection featuring a party leader, outlets will have plenty of opportunities to show that Jagmeet Singh does retail politics very well himself.

Duncan Cameron is president emeritus of rabble.ca and writes a weekly column on politics and current affairs.

Photo: OFL Communications Department/Flickr

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Justin TrudeauJagmeet SinghTrans Mountain Pipeline ExpansionbyelectionKennedy StewartBurnaby protests2019 federal electionCADuncan CameronAugust 7, 2018In 2019 Trudeau Liberals plan to campaign like it's 2015In 2019, the Liberals plan a re-run of their campaign of 2015. The focus will be on women voters. The Liberal leader will contrast his "feminism" with the retro approach of the Conservatives.The next NDP leader needs to articulate changeMemo to NDP leadership candidates: please articulate what comes after austerity.Jagmeet Singh evokes hope, but must court blue-collar voters and QuebecThe new NDP leader spoke of 'love and courage' in his victory speech after winning in the first ballot
Categories: News for progressives

A tar sands travelogue blends comic book art with investigative stories

Tue, 2018-08-07 00:11
August 6, 2018Arts & CultureCivil Liberties WatchEnvironmentPolitics in CanadaA tar sands travelogue blends comic book art with investigative stories 'Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale' is an important, accessible look at the tar sands problem and what it means for Indigenous communities, Alberta, and Canada.Alberta tar sandsalberta oil sandsRachel NotleyAlberta NDPIndigenous rights
Categories: News for progressives

Rethinking the possible -- Going home to the U.S.

Thu, 2018-08-02 21:55
August 2, 2018Civil Liberties WatchUS PoliticsRethinking the possible – rabble assistant editor Sophia Reuss talks about why she decided to move back home to the US To stay in Canada or go back home to the US is a question that Americans living in Canada sometimes ask themselves these politically volatile days. Here are one woman's reasons why she went back home.Donald J. TrumpU.S. politics
Categories: News for progressives

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