remember when the Harper government was trying to convince the Canadian public that releasing Omar Khadr on bail was setting a terrorist free to murder & pillage & destroy the “civilized world” but it’s been 2 months since he’s been released and all we’ve heard about him is how grateful and excited he is to move on with his life in a positive way?

It’s actually laughable that the Harper Government thinks that outlawing safe injection sites and enforcing harsher penalties on those convicted of marijuana possession is focusing on prevention, harm reduction and treatment.

It’s also absurd that the Harper Government believes that safe injection sites don’t do anything to fight addiction to opiates when in fact offering treatment to addicts is exactly part of the reason why safe injection sites should exist.

chasing--the--universe  asked:

So, what exactly do you think will be achieved by the March for science? I am all for science and anything that counters Trumps anti science measures, but the people that are anti science aren't going to care, there are very few people on the fence as it were, so I don't actually see this as having any impact.

It raises awareness. When people are more aware they will:

1. Contact their elected representatives, and if enough pressure is put on the Republicans, they may change their minds. This actually worked recently. People got pissed off that the Republicans wanted to eliminate the  The Office of Congressional Ethics. They changed their mind:

Power of American voices again displayed in Republican backtrack of OCE changes

2. If people are aware about the importance of Science, they may reject anti-science politicians. This may help give an edge to more progressive candidates for the Senate & House, and it may just oust Donald Trump in the next election. If people value science, they’ll probably want to remove the guy defunding and censoring it.

This worked in Canada. In 2015, after 9 years in power voters had enough (for various reasons), and kicked our Conservatives out of power. The Harper Government was the most anti-science government in Canadian History, and we got rid of them. Admittedly, the Liberals aren’t perfect, but at least they’re not censoring and defunding Science as the Conservatives were.

Honestly Trudeau has a lot of nerve moralizing to the Pope about the residential school system when his government has done nothing to reestablish the reparations programs the Harper government cut

Cheat Sheet on the Canadian Election (for my American Friends)

How the System Works

  • Canadians do not vote directly for our Prime Ministers the way you vote for Presidents; rather, Canadians elect representatives (called ‘Members of Parliament’ or ‘MPs’) for their local district (called a ‘riding’), to control one seat in the House of Commons (roughly analogous to Congress). 
  • Each candidate in a riding represents one political party. When all of the votes are counted in every riding, the party that controls the most seats in the House of Commons forms the government and their leader becomes the Prime Minister.
  • A candidate wins the election in a particular riding if they get more votes than any one of the other candidates; note, that I didn’t say “the majority of the votes.” This system is called ‘First-Past-the-Post’ and it can create serious problems.
  • There are more than two parties here. Depending on where you live in the country, there could be as many as five parties with a serious shot at winning your seat. What this means is that it’s possible (common, in fact) for a candidate to be elected with most of the population voting for other parties.
  • There is one right-wing party and three or four left-wing or centre-left parties. This means that vote-splitting is a much bigger problem for left-wing voters than it is for right-wing voters.

Who the Players Are

  • Conservative Party of Canada (AKA ‘the CPC;’ ‘the Tories’)
     - Leader: Stephen Harper
     - Colour: Blue
    • The farthest right of the parties and the government for the last ten years. Created from a merger between the old Progressive Conservative (moderate right-wing) and Reform (far-right wing) parties. Roughly analogous to your Republican Party the mainstream wing of your Democratic Party. 
  • New Democratic Party (AKA ‘the NDP;’ ‘Dippers’)
     - Leader: Thomas Mulcair
     - Colour: Orange 
    • Formerly a perennially third-place socialist party but, since 2011, it has been the largest of the opposition parties. It now lists its politics as ‘social democratic.’  Roughly analogous to Bernie Sanders.
  • Liberal Party of Canada (AKA ‘the LPC;’ ‘Grits’)
     - Leader: Justin Trudeau
     - Colour: Red 
    • A centre-left party. Once upon a time, the Liberals were so secure in their power that people called them ‘Canada’s Natural Governing Party,’ but they have since been humbled into third party status; now trying to recapture their former glory. Their leader is the eldest son of one Canada’s most popular and longest-serving Prime Ministers. Roughly analogous to the left-wing of your Democratic Party.
  • Green Party of Canada (AKA ‘GPC’)
     - Leader: Elizabeth May
     - Colour: Green (obviously!)
    • An Environmentalist party. Only really a force in a few specific ridings on the West Coast. Battling against the perception of being a one-issue party, they have staked out a policy platform somewhat to the left of the present position of the NDP. Roughly analogous to your Green Party, except somewhat more successful.
  • Bloc Québecois (AKA ‘Bloc’; ‘BQ’; ‘Bloquistes’)
     - Leader: Gilles Duceppe
     - Colour: Light Blue
    • Their ultimate goal is separating the province of Quebec from the rest of the country and as such, they only run candidates in Quebec. Politically, they tend to be socialist on economic issues, but in recent years they have adopted right-wing policies on immigration and accommodation of religious minorities (especially Muslims and, to a lesser extent, Jews). For twenty years, they dominated Quebec politics, but were humiliated in the last election, when they lost all but four of their seats to the NDP. There is no analogue to Bloc in American politics.

What the Issues Are:

  • Harper’s Record
    • Stephen Harper has been Prime Minister for 10 years, and a widespread sentiment has developed that it may be time for a change. Thus, many have charged that this election is a “referendum on the Harper years”
  • The Economy
    • As the price of oil has plummeted, Canada has become the only country in the G7 to lapse into recession. Opposition parties charge that Stephen Harper is to blame for developing Canada’s oil sector at the expense of every other sector in the economy. Moreover, the unemployment rate, particularly the youth unemployment rate, has yet to fully recover from the last recession in 2008, and the value of the Canadian dollar has fallen sharply.
  • Austerity
    • The Harper Government has imposed severe cuts on spending in the wake of the recession in the name of balancing the budget. The opposition parties call for more focus to be placed on reducing income inequality by increasing taxes, either on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians or on corporations. The Liberals in particular have promised deficit spending on infrastructure to stimulate the economy.
  • The Environment
    • In his zeal to develop Canada’s oil sector, Stephen Harper has all-but-eliminated Canada’s regulatory framework for approving resource-extraction projects, and also withdrawn Canada from the Kyoto accord to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions. Relatedly, he has also strictly curbed environmental oversight, forbidden scientists in the civil service from publishing research or talking publicly about environmental issues, and destroyed research data with findings that would be inconvenient to the oil and gas sector.
  • Democratic Governance
    • The Harper Government has introduced a series a new laws, which prominent critics have denounced as being anti-democratic and authoritarian. Most notably is Bill C-51, which essentially converts the Canadian Security Intelligence Service into a secret police force with limited oversight, tasked with disrupting extremely loosely-defined “terrorist activities,” and Bill C-24, which allows the government to strip any citizen eligible for citizenship in any other country of their Canadian citizenship if they are determined to be a “terrorist” (again, very broadly defined).
  • Corruption
    • The election is taking place in the context of a major scandal involving Senators (especially Tory Senators appointed by Harper) illegitimately claiming expenses on the taxpayer dime.
  • Immigration
    • One issue that has blown-up in the middle of the campaign has been that of immigration. The Harper government has made it more difficult for refugees to come to Canada during its time in office and refused to offer such refugees healthcare. In an unrelated incident, the issue of whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear a face-veil (Niqab) while reading the oath of citizenship has become a wedge-issue in the hands of both the Tories and the BQ.

Trudeau approving the kinder morgan pipeline is exactly what i mean when i always say that the only difference between conservatives and liberals is how they talk and market themselves, but underneath the levelheaded friendly image vs the aggressive angry image is the same policy. From the very beginning of this liberal government they have been carrying out Harper policies and practices, including all the ones they had blasted as making the Harper govt corrupt and in the pocket of the elite, and liberals have supported and defended them by saying the Harper government did the same (which is now a defense lol). They’re all shit and im tired.   

After decades of painstaking and often lethal breeding experiments, the Harper Government has successfully weaponised the Canada Goose. Formerly docile and agreeable, these newly-vicious terrors are capable of skeletonising an adult cow in under three minutes. While some may question the wisdom of unleashing migratory bioweapons upon an unsuspecting planet, everyone can agree that Canada can no longer be ignored on the world stage.


We Asked Arcade Fire What They Think About the Canadian Federal Election

Seminal Canadian indie band Arcade Fire were in Toronto this week promoting their new documentary The Reflektor Tapes, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film offers a glimpse into the making of 2013’s Reflektor, the group’s hugely successful double album, bouncing around from writing and recording sessions in Jamaica to shows in Los Angeles and an impromptu gig in Haiti. The whole thing kinda feels like an acid trip—without the fun of actually being high. There’s little narrative or dialogue, save for a few wisdom bombs like “People have false expectations about what love is” delivered in voice-over. Director Kahlil Joseph previously worked with Kendrick Lamar on m.A.A.d., a 15-minute short that showed at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

VICE spent some time with frontman Win Butler, his wife and bandmate Régine Chassagne, and bassist Tim Kingsbury last weekend, where we asked them about the documentary and, in light of the upcoming federal election, politics.

VICE: What made you want to work with Kahlil Joseph on this project?
Win Butler: I personally think Kahlil is a major director. From a selfish perspective, I think it’s really cool that his first feature length is going to be this film ‘cause I know that he’s gonna do major film work for the next like 30 years. When I was just in LA we saw a piece he did on Kendrick Lamar. I left the film feeling like I knew something about his process and something more intimate than a normal documentary would maybe tell me.

I’m hopeful that the film Kahlil made for us has a similar impact and you kind of get windows into the creative process and the art.

Haiti, obviously, you guys have a really strong connection to it. Can you talk about your philanthropy work there and why that’s been so important to you?
Régine Chassange: My family is from Haiti. I grew up [in Montreal] always being told “You’re so lucky to be here… Go to school, shut the fuck up, don’t complain 'cause you have access to everything.” I really had this in mind my whole life. I never thought I would be in a band ever. When I realized that it was going to be a real job and it was going to be successful, I really started to right away want to give back absolutely to Haiti, which is the poorest country in the hemisphere.

Butler: We started touring Funeral and on the course of that tour we went from playing 80-person rooms to, by the end it, selling out like six nights at venues in LA. It started to get kind of crazy. We were coming home to do a hometown show and, as a band, we decided we wanted to give away the money from the hometown show because we could. Once it became real, you’re like, “Here’s a bag of $10,000, what’s actually going to happen with it?” I think that’s when we read Mountains Beyond Mountains and started learning about Paul Farmer.

In light of the upcoming election, what local or Canadian issues do you think are important?
Tim Kingsbury: I’m excited to change governments. It seems like the Harper government has kind of constantly been keeping people in the dark more and more. You can see when he gives press conferences, he won’t take questions. It’s kind of weird

Butler: I actually learned recently that, as an American citizen, I’m not allowed to endorse, as a public figure, a Canadian. If I were like… “I wish the NDP would win the election,” that would be completely illegal for me to do.

There have been opinion pieces in the media lately about Harper’s legacy and how Canada seems to be skewing more to the right, in terms of its policies, and becoming more American in a sense. What do you make of that?
Butler: Not that American. When I first moved to Montreal, I feel like everyone I knew in a band was on some kind of an arts grant, like every single person in every band that I knew, which was kind of an amazing thing, and that’s all completely gone. Systematically, things have kind of chipped away. But in terms of the big picture stuff… Canada is just way more liberal than the States, it’s like not even comparable.

This interview has been edited for style and clarity.

You may find this composition controversial but I make no apologies for it #GetPolitical

(NOTE: This is something I wrote on Facebook after getting into an argument on FB about this. I want to stress to Americans reading this that I feel no ill will towards you. This just a political observation of your government and law enforcement.)

It was in elementary school when I learned about Americans traveling overseas wearing Canadian flags for security.

It was in high school around 2001 when I decided that I would never fly in to or out of the United States.

It was 2004 and the release of the movie Team America did it really sink in what the whole world thought of America.

It was 2012 when I really began to find out what racism is, and how it is alive and well just south of us in the U.S.

It was 2014 when I decided I’d never go to the States out of fear for my safety.

I found out this year, that in 2016, the Harper Government plans to place armed U.S. border guards at ports, ferry terminals, land crossings and rail stations across Canada. For example, at Union Station in Toronto - some 130KM away from the border by land.

Let’s put this in perspective. Our international airports already have U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stationed there to preclear passengers, however they carry no firearms.

Sure, their job is to protect their country from the non-existent terrorists entering through Canada, but would they need to have the ability to shoot people within Canada, especially so far away from the border?

And as Josh Paterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association points out: “If they’re being told that they are allowed to carry weapons in Canada, the only thing you can surmise from that is that it’s anticipated that they may be using force in Canada.”

Currently at the airport, an American officer in Canada doesn’t have jurisdiction over a traveler. They can’t use force against you - most that they can do while you’re still on Canadian soil is refuse you entry to the United States. If you want to walk away, you can walk away.

With the new legislation, U.S. guards would not be permitted to make arrests, and would instead detain suspects temporarily and call local police, another reason they don’t need to have weapons, or to even be there at all.

In addition, these agents can only be prosecuted in the United States for potential criminal acts in Canada. In other words, the potential for immunity for crimes committed is a very real possibility.

I have some issues with the way some police officers operate here in Canada, but for the most part I have no problems being a black man in Toronto. Call me paranoid if you want, but I don’t want to have to worry about getting shot in the back for simply trying to take the subway. We are a highly multicultural country, containing a high number of races that Americans stereotype and profile.

America doesn’t exactly have a good record of respecting other country’s laws when they send over government personnel. This is something that all Canadian need to strongly oppose. We are Canada, the True North strong and free - we are not America’s puppet.

You know what the real problem is with millennials and voting and education

In all my 12 years of school I have taken a total of two geography classes, three United States history classes, an economy class, a western civilization class, and TWO government classes - one my senior year - and none of them have even touched on explaining how to register for voting. Yes, we were taught what the primaries and caucuses and all that stuff was, but not once were we taught how sign up, where to go, how to fill out the forums, even though over half the class in senior gov classes are 18.

Everything is left for us to figure out and we are given little to no direction when it comes to what the babyboomers call “”“the real world”“”.

No wonder there are so many millens that don’t vote, a lot of us are not given access or information on HOW to be an active member in the US government

On October 19 2015 here are some reason why not to vote for Harper.

I know there has been a lot of focus on the American politics lately but we need to focus on the upcoming Canadian election that is happening very soon.

  • Bill C-51 known as the Anti-terrorism Act was designed to, “encourage and facilitate information sharing between Government of Canada institutions in order to protect Canada against activities that undermine the security of Canada.”  Bill C-51 allows law enforcement to step in and arrest, without question, a person they suspect is about to carry out a terrorist attack.
  • In Spring of 2011, a federal court found that Harper’s Conservatives willfully violated the $18.3 million election spending limit, during the campaign which originally brought them to power in 2006. 4 Conservatives including 2 Conservative Senators currently face charges and possible jail time. 
  • In 1993, the Conservatives chalked up a $38 Billion deficit. By 2006, under non-conservative leadership, this had been turned around into a $16 Billion surplus. Four years later, and Harper’s Conservatives have returned Canada to a record $56 Billion deficit.
  • One of the Conservative platform promises was more accountability. Since making this promise, Harper has shut down Parliament twice. Once for several months to block an inquiry into Afghan detainees and to stall government bills, and a second time to avoid a vote of non-confidence which he was expected to lose.
  • Since coming into power, Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43 per cent, shut down 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices in Canada and eliminated funding of legal voices for women and minority groups, including the National Association of Women and the Law and the Courts Challenges Program. 
  • One of Harper’s top aides, Bruce Carson, had been convicted of 5 counts of fraud, and is currently under investigation by the RCMP. Most recently he was lobbying the government to buy water filtration systems, from a company where his wife was employed. 
  • At the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto, Harper spent $1.9 million building an artifical lake and nearly $1 Billion on security for the 3 day event. 1,105 arrests were made - the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Of those 1,105 arrests, only 99 criminal charges were laid. 
  • In 2008, Linda Keen, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, reported that the aging Chalk River nuclear facility was at a risk 1000 times greater than the international average. Harper quickly fired her. 
  • Despite consistently pointing out that Canada’s economy is a global leader - Harper used the excuse of poor economic times to freeze aid to some of the world’s most impoverished countries. An example of this is the African nation of Malawi, one of the 10 poorest nations in the world. Before Harper, Canada was the 6th largest aid donor to Malawi, and the largest supplier of school books. After coming into power, he closed the Canadian embassy in Malawi and took the country (alongside 6 other African nations) off of Canada’s aid priority list. Harper cut aid to Africa in half, before finally freezing all foreign aid in 2010
  • In the 2011 budget, the Harper government failed to allocate any new funding for drinking water on First Nations reserves. 100 First Nations communities currently have water advisories, including 49 communities which are high risk. He also refuses to sign the UN declaration designating clean water as a human right. 
  • The long form census is how our government determines the state and needs of the country, and is used extensively in various fields of research. In eliminating the census, many projects would be affected negatively, and it will become much more difficult to understand the needs of the country. We will see the aftermath of this for 100 years or more.
  • In 2007, Harper cut $1.2 Billion from the establishment of national childcare, but failed to keep his promise of cutting the $1.4 billion in tax breaks he gives to oil companies, which continue to see record profits. 
  • Protecting the interests of large oil companies, Harper has fought global efforts to deal with climate change. In 2009, he cut science research funding by $138 Million, and imposed limitations on scientists at Environment Canada, requiring that they obtain permission to do interviews, and often screened their responses. The result is that Canadian media coverage of climate change science has been reduced by 80%. His efforts here have been so destructive, that in 2009 prominent politicians and scientists called for Canada to be removed from the Commonwealth. The last time this mark of shame was used, it was against South Africa while it was still under racist apartheid rule.
  • The Kelowna accord was a $5 billion breakthrough agreement to improve the quality of health and education for Canada’s First Nation’s Peoples. Harper cancelled it in 2006, immediately after taking office. 
  • We detained, and handed over for severe torture, a lot of innocent people.’ in 2009 Canadian Diplomat Richard Colvin shocked the nation with these words. In Afghanistan, Canada captured 6x more prisoners than the British and 20x as many as the Dutch. Colvin explained that ‘Many were just local people: farmers; truck drivers; tailors, peasants…the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured.' 

wizardshark  asked:

Uh isn't Bill c36 the one that criminalizes discrimination against trans people why is repealing that a good thing

No, that’s Bill C-16.

Bill C-36 was a Harper Government bill which made life a lot more difficult for sex workers. Many feel that the legislation puts them in danger:

Bill C-36: No safety or security for sex workers

Sex workers rally against Bill C-36

Letter of Opposition to Bill C-36: Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

Bill C-36 Endangers Sex Workers

daecay-deactivated20170930  asked:

thank you standing up for sex worker rights and providing information on how the nordic model is harmful to us, not enough non sex workers do this, so yeah, thank you

You’re welcome.

When the issue became a big one during the Harper government’s bill, C-36, I spent a lot of time researching the issue (as at the time I didn’t know much about it). I spent a lot of time listening to the testimonies by sex workers of why legislation like this can be harmful even if it’s intentions might seem good.