Archive for November, 2016

Canada and Cuba

November 29, 2016

Has Canada been a “friend” to Cuba?

While Ottawa’s position towards Fidel Castro’s Cuba was far more progressive than our southern neighbour’s, the story is more complicated than liberals are likely to suggest in their commentary over Castro’s passing.

Canada did not play a central role in U.S. efforts to squash the social reforms and independence of the island nation. Rather than participate in hundreds of CIA assassination attempts on the life of Fidel, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declared “Viva Castro” during an official trip to Cuba in 1976. But, there’s a little-known unsavory side to Canadian relations with Cuba.

Canada and Cuba

Trudeau’s Kinder Morgan approval final, cynical betrayal to Canadians who voted for real change

November 29, 2016

As expected, Justin Trudeau defied the popular will of Canadians, scientists, environmental groups, municipalities, the province of B.C. and the sovereignty of First Nations by approving the embattled Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Fidel Castro Remembered By Jean Chretien

November 29, 2016

The many lives of Fidel Castro

November 28, 2016

Was Fidel Castro a heroic friend and inspiration to oppressed peoples worldwide or an authoritarian who suppressed the democratic rights of his country’s citizens? In fact, he was both. Castro’s life represents many things to many people. The Canadian and U.S. press, however, has proven mostly incapable of presenting more than the usual one-sided demonization. When it comes to assessing the improbably long life of this 20th-century giant, neither ahistorical liberal and conservative condemnation nor leftist deification suffices.

Trudeau’s Trumpishness bulldozes Indigenous rights

November 23, 2016

In a tribute to the relentless spin that long ago replaced any semblance of reasoned political discourse, Trudeau (like most Liberals who replace hated Conservatives) is getting away with policies that continue the Harper legacy (attacking pensions, privatization, an ongoing love affair with the tar sands, a refusal to return door-to-door postal delivery, signing the Saudi weapons deal, keeping intact the repressive C-51, and utter contempt for Indigenous peoples). Such behaviour indicates his relationship with Trump may not be as frosty as many predict.

Which failed pipeline project is about to get a major facelift?

November 18, 2016

Is a week enough to mourn yet? No, of course not. But there’s work to be done. Namely, Canada is about to undergo a pipeline renaissance. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are definitely toying with the idea of reviving at least two, if not all three major bitumen pipeline projects that had been all but crushed by the First Nations, advocacy groups and millions of Canadians who opposed them. There have been occupations, court challenges, petitions and marches. But now, pipelines are back in a big way — and about to get bigger.

New Canadian study explains why working class should be angry

November 16, 2016

A newly released study by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) might explain some of that working class anger.

The study’s innocuous sounding title is: Labour Productivity and Real Earnings in Canada, 1976-2014. But its conclusions are almost explosive.

It shows that in Canada, the productivity of labour — the amount workers produce per unit of effort — went up by over one per cent per year over the 38 years between 1976 and 2014.

The average worker’s earnings, however, barely budged over that same period. The rise in wages was less than one-tenth of one per cent per year. Put differently, the rise in productivity was more than 10 times that of earnings.

Bill C-51 is violating our Charter rights and Canada doesn’t care

November 16, 2016

Canada is currently undergoing a human rights crisis. The Liberal government is currently conducting public consultations over the “problematic elements” of the so-called anti-terror Bill C-51. However, this process is already set up to be rigged.

Canada’s legacy of anti-terror panic has come home to roost with Bill C-51

November 13, 2016

Bill C-51, or the Anti-Terrorism Act (2015), is not the beginning of the atmosphere of fear and anxiety around national security in Canada. This act is connected to a larger history of domestic espionage that came to explicitly target activists as national security threats.

Despite their differences Trudeau and Trump agree on one thing so far

November 13, 2016

While President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may seem like political opposites they do share at least one common goal — approval of the TransCanada 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.