cndpoli

A school poster assignment in which I chose to focus on Canada’s epidemic levels of violence towards Aboriginal women. If you’re interested in learning more, the page for Amnesty Canada’s No More Stolen Sisters provides some basic information. The #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) tag on Twitter will give you more of a personal idea of how this effects Aboriginal communities across the country.

Our government refuses to even acknowledge that this is a legitimate societal issue, and I think it’s something that deserves a lot more international attention than it has received.

"Everyone matters" Says Harper as He Gives Blankets Full of Smallpox to Aboriginal Citizens and Gets on His F-35 for a Vacation in Hawaii



While many Canadians were busy holding passover saders and hunting for Easter eggs, the Harper government announced they are cutting 200 million dollars from its budget, striking a major blow to one of Canada’s most marginalized and under served communities.

Come this June, Native Aboriginal Health Organization will be shut down entirely. For 12 years NAHO has worked towards improving the quality of care for aboriginal communities across Canada, enhancing other native health programs, educating communities for better disease prevention and most importantly collecting statistics and researching native health to find opportunities for improvement.

In the past twelve years NAHO has done something the Canadian government has refused to do, look at the quality of life for Aboriginals living on reserves. When Stats Canada does the census, they do not look at Aboriginals who live on reserves, thus the health statistics provided by the Canadian government are inaccurate and skewed in the governments favor. NAHO collects health statistics from Metis, Inuit and Aboriginal on and off reserves.

NAHO is run entirely by the native community. It provides education and career resources for natives looking to enter the medical field. They produce the fact sheets, guides on traditional medicine, hundreds of health reports and an annual Journal of Aboriginal Health. Or at least they did. As of June all their advancement of native health care will be referred to in past tense.

With the shut down, NAHO is looking to universities and research institutions to take over their many assets. NAHO is currently known as one of the worlds leading information source and by splitting up the assets the services are less likely to continue to be maintained at the standard by which they currently function.

The large database of health records NAHO provides, will be destroyed. This database includes ground breaking studies on how overcrowding housing situations in Inuit communities effects Inuit childrens health; the many programs in place to improve the Inuit overcrowding will go with it. The role that NAHO has taken in midwifery, to help stop the infant mortality rate, which is three times higher then the average Canadian rate, has heard no word on what will replace it. NAHO’s disease prevention programs, such as HPV vaccinations, sex education, resources for better nutrition, access to safer water for the prevention of water borne infections (none of which effect non-aboriginal status citizens) and suicide prevention programs as the Native community has a suicide rate 6 times that of the average Canadian, will not be taken over by the government.

The government has completely distanced any responsibility it has in providing for the Native community. The Harper government has erased 12 years of progress to bettering the lives of Native children, elders, men and woman. Still, the Harper government expects the Native community to function along with the rest of Canada. He expects them to work on pipelines with no health coverage, He treats the native community like they aren’t Canadians or even human for that matter.

With a system that already marginalizes Native communities, the Harper government has shown no interest in wanting to take steps to fix centuries of colonial damage; if anything Harper is looking to squish Canada’s native communities further.

Prior to 2004, the Liberal government had set aside several land claims to be ratified after the 2004 federal election. Between 2000-2004 the Liberal government had ratified a little more then a dozen land claims in the arctic territories and BC; had they been elected they would have worked (granted slowly) at ratifying the several huge land claims in BC they had planned to ratify during their time in power.

When the Liberal government lost the election to the Conservatives in 2004, the land claims were instantly addressed. Harper choose to disregard the land claims, never ratifying them and ensuring they would never be ratified. Had those land claims been ratified most of BC would be self-governing native land claims, but instead Harper wants to illegally build a pipeline on not just the 100+ canceled land claims but several ratified land claims.

Since 2004 Harper has set a new standard in mistreatment of the native people. The unfortunate truth is, the dismantling of NAHO is yet but another chapter in a series, which spans four centuries, of insults, to the Aboriginal people of Canada.

But what do I know? I’ve lost all hope that education funding to native programs will actually make its way to the native community.

David Suzuki: What's So Radical About Caring for the Earth?

Huffington Post

Published: 1/18/12 12:45 PM ET

Caring about the air, water, and land that give us life. Exploring ways to ensure Canada’s natural resources serve the national interest. Knowing that sacrificing our environment to a corporate-controlled economy is suicide. If those qualities make us radicals, as federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently claimed in an open letter, then I and many others will wear the label proudly.

But is it radical to care for our country, our world, our children and grandchildren, our future? It seems more radical for a government to come out swinging in favour of an industrial project in advance of public hearings into that project. It seems especially radical when the government paints everyone who opposes the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project as American-funded traitors with a radical ideological agenda “to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth.”

It’s bad enough when our government and its “ethical oil” and media supporters don’t tell the truth, but it’s worse when they don’t even offer rational arguments. Their increasing attacks on charitable organizations and Canadians from all walks of life show that if they can’t win with facts, they’ll do everything they can to silence their critics. And we thought conservative-minded people valued free speech!

The proposed Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipeline projects and the massive, mostly foreign-controlled expansion of the tar sands are not about finding the best way to serve Canada’s national interests. If we truly wanted to create jobs, we would refine the oil in Canada and use it to reduce our reliance on imported oil, much of which comes from countries that government supporters say are “unethical.” If we really cared about using resources for the national interest, we would slow development in the tar sands, improve environmental standards, increase royalties and put some of the money away or use it to switch to cleaner energy, eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and encourage Canadian companies to develop the resource.

Instead, we are called radicals for daring to even question the wisdom of selling entire tar sands operations to China’s state-owned oil companies and building a pipeline so that the repressive government of China, rather than Canadians, can reap most of the benefits from the refining jobs, profits, and the resource itself. We are radical because we are concerned about the real dangers of oil-filled supertankers moving through narrow fjords with unpredictable weather conditions and through some of the last pristine ecosystems on Earth. We are condemned by our own government because we question the safety of two pipelines crossing more than 1,000 streams and rivers through priceless wilderness — a reasonable concern, in light of the more than 800 pipeline spills that Enbridge, the company in charge of the Northern Gateway, has had since 1999.

And so here we are, a country with a government that boasts of our “energy superpower” status but doesn’t even have a national energy plan. A country willing to sacrifice its manufacturing industry, its opportunities in the green-energy economy, its future, and the health of its people for the sake of short-term profits. A country hell-bent on selling its industry and resources wholesale to any country that wants them, without regard for the ethics or activities of those countries.

Our government is supposed to represent the interests of all Canadians, and not just those who voted for it or the corporations that support it. Instead we have a government that hurls insults at its citizens.

Canadians are better than that. While an investment banker like Joe Oliver or a former oil industry economist like Stephen Harper may look at Canada and only see numbers, we see a country rich in natural resources, wildlife, clean water, a diverse population of educated and caring people, and institutions that have been built up over the years to put the interests of Canadians first.

With recent or pending federal reviews into both environmental regulation and charitable giving, we can expect more attacks and more attempts to silence those who believe that we must at least have a discussion about our priorities before selling out our country to anyone who wants a piece. Maybe it’s time to get radical!

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Editorial and Communications Specialist Ian Hanington.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

The Conservative government has stepped up its scrutiny of the political activities of charities, adding fresh money for more audits, and casting its net well beyond the environmental groups that have opposed its energy policies.

Canada Revenue Agency, ordered in 2012 to audit political activities as a special project, now has also targeted charities focused on foreign aid, human rights, and even poverty.

The tax agency has also been given a bigger budget — $5 million more through to 2017 — and is making the special project a permanent part of its work.

With 52 political-activity audits currently underway, some stretching out two years and longer, charities say they’ve been left in limbo, nervous about speaking out on any issue lest they provoke a negative ruling from the taxman.

And their legal bills are rising rapidly — in some cases adding $100,000 to already strained budgets — as they try to navigate often-complex demands from CRA auditors.

"It’s nerve-racking," said Leilani Farha, executive director of Canada Without Poverty, a small charity based in Ottawa that had to turn over internal emails and other documents to auditors looking for political activities.

"We’ve been under audit for more than two years, and it just goes on and on, with no communication… It’s a huge drain on the resources of our organization."

The blitz began with the 2012 federal budget, shortly after several cabinet ministers — Joe Oliver, now finance minister, among them — labelled environmental groups as radicals and money launderers.

 

As CRA got new money for these audits, EthicalOil.org, a staunch supporter of Canada’s energy industry and founded by current Stephen Harper aide Alykhan Velshi, issued a series of formal complaints to the agency about the political activities of environmental groups.

The initial wave of audits targeted just such groups, such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, Equiterre, and Environmental Defence — all of whom are still awaiting outcomes. The CRA readily acknowledges that complaints are taken into account when deciding which groups to audit.

But the circle has widened to include other charities that have also been burrs under the government’s saddle, including Amnesty International and the United Church of Canada’s Kairos charity, run with 10 other religious organizations to promote human rights.

vimeo

*****Welcoming the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Jingle Dress Healing Dance***** Portage & Main, Winnipeg, Saturday Oct 12, 2013, 10am

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE: facebook.com/events/427885287332949/

Calling all jingle dress dancers!
Calling the healing drums!
Calling all men who value and want to protect our women and girls!

On Saturday, October 12th, beginning at 10am, James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, will be meeting with designates from Manitoba’s Indigenous community. Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, along with leaders from the host Treaty One territory and treaty territories from throughout this part of Turtle Island are hoping to welcome Mr. Anaya in a unique and powerful way.

Recent global attention to the ongoing tragedies unfolding in the streets of our towns and cities and the ongoing indifference of the Harper government creates an onus on all of us to stand up, be heard, and demonstrate our rich history and culture to the global community. Mr. Anaya’s visit presents an avenue for us to come together and demonstrate the great depth of spirit and love, which in turn is the most powerful energy that exists here in our ancestral lands.

Calling all jingle dress dancers! Please adorn your regalia and be prepared to dance in unison with the drum to healing, honor and victory songs at the corner of Portage & Main on the morning of Saturday, October 12th, at 10am. The healing powers of Indigenous women are needed at this time and the circle is yours to bring the energy and power needed to be heard around the world.

Calling the drums! We will need drums and singers to sing healing songs, honor songs and victory songs for approximately 30 minutes. Singing our songs in unison demonstrates the consistency and unity in our culture and the strength and integrity of our teachings in our ancient songs.

Calling all the men who value and want to protect our women and girls! Men please be on hand to form a human arbor of strength around our women and girls and the drums. Your presence symbolizes your commitment to protect our women and to help create the safe forum for our women to demonstrate their power. We will need as many boys and men as possible.

Stephen Harper, national treasure.

I used to be proud of being Canadian. I used to take great joy in our democratic institutions. I used to believe there was no greater calling than a career in the public service. 

But the Harper Government, as they so fondly wish to be called, has stripped this pride from me. It has stamped out my joy, and has caused me to reconsider my career choice. 

I feel nervous listening to the CBC or reading the news. “What scandal is next?” I think. “What new lies will they spin?”

Day in, day out, the Harper Government shows the Canadian public new forms of contempt. Every day the Harper Government takes all of us, all of you brothers and sisters, for idiots. Every lie they tell, every slimy political tactic they employ, every dime they misappropriate from the public purse to spend on personal means, they are holding the finger up to us, and expecting us to take it and thank them. After all, we have sooo many jobs now, Harper constantly reminds us. All praise Job Giving Harper. 

The PMO no longer has credibility. The Senate no longer has credibility. The Conservative Party of Canada is starting to see people jump ship before it sinks. 

Stephen Harper must resign in order to save us from going down with him.

Well, thank you Peter Kent. You have admitted the truth. You are terrible. Today, the Conservative government decided to just stop pretending and abandoned the Kyoto Protocol.

As noted by the CBC:

The Kyoto Protocol, which expires next year, committed major industrial economies to reducing their annual CO2 emissions to below 1990 levels, while providing financial supports to developing nations to encourage them to follow suit eventually. Canada ratified the accord in 1997 but was not on track to meet its legally binding targets.

Another great shame brought upon our fine nation.It’s been long time for progressive voices in our nation to take a stand, so shall you now? 

Sources are here and here.

Stephen Harper makes a political scene about how he is “supporting” Ukraine against Russia, and he holds events talking about “standing with Ukraine”. But he’s doing it all to gain the Ukrainian vote. A political trick used many times in the past that I don’t know why people still so easily fall for it. If he actually cared about Ukrainians, he would do something productive to help the more than 1.7 million Ukrainian children who are facing an “extremely serious” situation according to the U.N. children’s agency. And now their suffering is exacerbated by harsh winter weather, with many families having been forced from their homes with lack of access to safe water, sanitation and schooling. Yet what does Harper do, hold lavish dinners in Canada to make a speech about how he “stands with Ukraine”. If he actually cared he would have brought some of these children who are dying to Canada, if he cared he would have perhaps spent to help them, instead of spending on.. Oh..I don’t know! The fighter jets he sends to go bomb Iraq and make things worse for Iraqi children and Canada’s security! Mr. Harper and his political games which he uses to gain votes are appalling! Stephen Harper should be ashamed of himself!

My government isn't doing a very good job.

It has just been announced that my government is spending roughly 1.2 billion dollars on a new building for our military spy agency, CSEC. The building will feature a grand fireplace, soaring glass walls, and a special filtered water system for the people whose job description is “hack into computers of foreign people and read their emails”. 

1,200,000,000 dollars. This is at a time when the government continues to cut spending to “reign in the budget”. 1.2 billion on a building for 2000 spies, in one of the few wealthy countries that has NO national housing strategy. 

So I did some rough calculations. Assuming the numbers are close, the cost to build a new apartment building is about 86,000 dollars per unit. With a budget of 1.2 billion, that would equal out to around 14,000 apartment units. Now this would be nowhere close to solving the housing problem for the nearly 300,000 homeless people we have in Canada, but it’s 14,000 dwellings we don’t currently have.

It’s time for a government that actually cares.