Canada-China FTA talks could have massive implications for water use

4 January 2017 - 2:23pm

The Trudeau government says talks toward a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement could begin as early as February 2017.

CBC reports, "International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is tentatively booked to begin talks with China in February as the two countries explore a free trade agreement."

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The consultation process for electoral reform has been a shambles. Here are three ways to save it

4 January 2017 - 1:53pm

I've dedicated a lot of time and energy to understanding and improving how we elect governments in Canada. Yet despite having had more access to Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef than the average Canadian, I feel more confused than ever about what we are to expect from the electoral reform process.

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Engaging men in the fight against sexual violence

4 January 2017 - 9:25am

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, Scott Neigh speaks with Danielle Aubry and Joe McGuire. Aubry is the CEO of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse and McGuire is a sexual assault educator with that organization. They talk about their work to engage men in the long, multi-faceted struggle to end sexual violence.

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How will the left tackle racism and sexism after a Trump victory?

4 January 2017 - 6:46am
On the heels of Trump's election to the White House, the Broadbent Institute posted an article on its blog titled: "Whiteness trouble: The Left's challenge after Trump." Canada's institutional Left should follow its own advice on how to fight racism and sexism

Native women's multi-generational struggles in Canada

4 January 2017 - 2:07am
WINGS #37-16 Memee (Dr. Dawn Memee Lavelle-Harvard) Native women's multi-generational struggles in Canada

In 1971, Janette Lavelle sued Canada for a part of the 19th-century Indian Act that violated native women's human right to be status Indians. Her daughter Memee shared in activism around that cause and others such as the fight against violence against native women, and she brought her own daughters into the struggle. Dr. Dawn Memee Lavelle-Harvard is past president of the Native Women's Association of Canada and editor of two books on Indigenous mothering. This radio program is excerpted from her 2016 speech to the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.

Like this podcast? rabble is reader-supported journalism.

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Past PC taxes disappear down conservative memory hole amid apocalyptic claims about similar NDP policies

4 January 2017 - 1:57am

It's worth remembering as unite-the-right conservatives of all stripes completely melt down over the supposedly job-destroying, economy-destroying, soul-destroying 4.5-cent-per-litre increase in the price of gasoline introduced as part of the Alberta NDP Government's climate strategy, that if Jim Prentice's Progressive Conservatives had won re-election in May 2015 his government would have raised the gasoline tax roughly the same amount.

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It's time to heed warnings about humanity's collision course

3 January 2017 - 6:22pm

The longer we delay addressing environmental problems, the more difficult it will be to resolve them. Although we've known about climate change and its potential impacts for a long time, and we're seeing those impacts worsen daily, our political representatives are still approving and promoting fossil fuel infrastructure as if we had all the time in the world to slow global warming.

We can't say we weren't warned. In 1992, a majority of living Nobel prize-winners and more than 1,700 leading scientists worldwide signed a remarkable document called "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity".

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Refusing assisted dying on moral grounds not just an indignity, it's an erosion of public health care

3 January 2017 - 3:21pm

Despite the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Carter v. Canada, assisted dying continues to run into obstacles across the country. The highest-profile setback came last spring, when the federal government restricted the service to those for whom death is "reasonably foreseeable."

However, opponents of the right to medically assisted death have also been active at the provincial level. In Ontario, their efforts have been particularly fruitful, taking the form of a new variation on an old theme known as conscientious objection. For patients nearing the ends of their lives, as well as anybody concerned about our governments' capacity to shape health-care provision, the implications are startling.

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AirPods are not just earphones -- they're a metaphor of the future

3 January 2017 - 1:52pm
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Just before Christmas I got a pair of Apple AirPods. They're white, completely wireless earphones. AirPods are almost identical to Apple's wired earphones except that in lieu of thin cables, small white cylinders extend from the AirPods themselves. When you wear them it looks like you laughed and the milk came out your ears.

A few of my friends don't get it. "They're just dorky wireless earphones," they say. 

And, they're wrong -- not because they don't look dorky, I'll give them that. They're simply incorrect because they're using the wrong frame for the things that now extend like candy cigarettes below my earlobes. 

If all you do is consider AirPods earphones, you limit your ability to think expansively about what they could be, and what they presage.

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KAIROS Blanket Exercise deepens RCMP Alberta Division's cultural awareness

3 January 2017 - 1:23pm

Marilyn McSporran couldn't forget the moment years ago when one of her husband's colleagues in the RCMP made an ugly remark about Indigenous peoples. When an Elder in Saddle Lake, Alberta gently encouraged her to introduce the KAIROS Blanket Exercise to the RCMP, McSporran decided to pick up the phone.

She never anticipated that one call to Inspector Honey Dwyer would swiftly lead to the Blanket Exercise becoming part of the RCMP's Alberta Division's mandatory Indigenous cultural training for all officers and employees in the province.

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a participatory telling of Canada's history from the point of view of Indigenous peoples. 2017 marks 20 years since its creation.

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Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to challenge Enbridge Line 3 pipeline approval in Federal Court

3 January 2017 - 8:43am

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is challenging the Trudeau government's approval of the Line 3 pipeline.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak has posted on Facebook:

"Today our legal team has filed an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge the approval of the Enbridge Line 3 replacement expansion project. Many thanks to the good people at the public interest law centre for working with us over Christmas to get this in on time..!!"

On November 29, the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, he also announced his government's approval of the lesser-known 760,000 barrel per day Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.

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2017 will be a pivotal year for digital rights

3 January 2017 - 8:19am
Around the world, our digital rights are under threat as never before. Let's take a look at some of the big challenges ahead. Why 2017 will be a make-or-break year for Internet freedom

It's been 150 years of Canadian politics. What comes next?

3 January 2017 - 7:56am
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Canada acquired its identity as a federal state 150 years ago. A series of constitutional talks in the 1860s brought agreement to create a Canadian Confederation from politicians representing the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; though not immediately from those of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Though 2017 is unlikely to rival the centenary year of 1967 for celebration, this new year will include local initiatives and public events designed to promote Canada to Canadians; and, yes, allow the Liberal government to shine.

Whatever the public relations designs for marking this 150th year, it should also allow for extended critical reflection on what history has to suggest for Canadian politics today.

Whatever the public relations designs for marking this 150th year for Canada, it should also allow for extended critical reflection on what history has to suggest for Canadian politics today.

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Alberta's carbon tax: Science is political when it doesn't suit Wildrose agenda; politics is scientific when it does

3 January 2017 - 12:57am

Alberta has had a carbon tax for two days now and as Environment Minister Shannon Phillips observed at a news conference yesterday, notwithstanding the predictions of the two principal right-wing parties, the province remains standing.

In this regard, I suppose you could say, Alberta is like British Columbia, which is similarly still standing after having had a carbon tax for 3,108 days.

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Desmoging journalism

2 January 2017 - 7:56pm
Desmoging Journalism

The incoming Trump administration *shudder* has put a sooty fog over the climate movement, but we should also not let ourselves be distracted by him such that we stop paying attention to the areas where we can do some good. As we look back at the year, there's some bad news and some good news but most importantly we still have hope (with good reasons). In the first section we discuss some Canadian climate news and continue our ongoing analysis of Trudeau's alleged climate plan and the battle over pipelines as both a climate movement and a popular resistance to plutocracy and fear. Oh, and the arctic is melting.

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Canada's institutional Left should follow its own advice on how to fight racism and sexism

2 January 2017 - 3:06pm

On the heels of Trump's election to the White House, the Broadbent Institute posted an article on its blog titled: "Whiteness trouble: The Left's challenge after Trump."

While the article made a positive effort in recognizing the racism and sexism that underpinned Trump's campaign and detailing how progressives in Canada need to tackle racism and sexism if we hope to win, it fell short of one key question: what steps will the Broadbent Institute, as one of Canada's leading progressive think tank and advocacy organization, take to address the issues laid out in the article?

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Jason Kenney -- just visiting Alberta? -- piously congratulates Michael Ignatieff for Order of Canada

2 January 2017 - 1:37am

Jason Kenney's Tweet of congratulations to former Liberal Party of Canada leader Michael Ignatieff on Friday was a rare moment of graciousness amid the usual stream of splenetic social media outbursts Albertans have come to associate with the candidate to lead Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party.

"Congratulations to @M_Ignatieff and all others receiving the Order of Canada today," former prime minister Stephen Harper's top lieutenant piously proclaimed in the Tweet. "A much-deserved recognition of a brilliant Canadian." (Emphasis added.)

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Millionaire patrons of Jewish studies in Canada more interested in pro-Israel lobby than anti-racism

1 January 2017 - 2:52pm

Is a school lesson plan, widely used across Canada, designed to fight racism like its promoters say? Or is it also a clever cover for defending Jewish and white supremacy in the Middle East?

A recent 12-page Canadian Jewish News insert about Elizabeth and Tony Comper raises the issue. According to the supplement, in 2005 the Bank of Montreal head and his wife Elizabeth started Fighting Anti-Semitism Together (FAST), a coalition of non-Jewish business leaders and prominent individuals. FAST sponsored a lesson plan for grades six to eight called "Choose Your Voice: Antisemitism in Canada."

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