This past April 14 Ontario's Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage held rallies across Ontario including one that I attended in Toronto. For a blustery April Monday the rally had a solid turnout and was very enthusiastic.
Crime and the young. It's complicated, far more so than any tough-on-crime Tory politician could -- or would probably want to -- capture.
Consider last week's police blotter. In Cole Harbour, a 17-year-old boy faces charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. In London, Ontario, a 19-year-old computer science student is charged with electronically breaking into Canada Revenue Agency's secure website. And, in Calgary, a 22-year-old faces five first-degree murder charges.
Let's peel back some layers. A caveat: none of the allegations have been tested in court; what I know comes from news reports.
The 17-year-old Auburn Drive High School student --16 at the time -- is accused of sharing intimate photos of a female 16-year-old with his friends.
In March I travelled to Edmonton for the last National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Both professionally and personally, I am on a journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, which is also a journey of reconciliation with the land.
This was brought home to me at the TRC during the testimony offered by Norman Yakeleya, who spoke about the many separations he endured at residential school. Quoting his aunt, he said, "If you know our land, you know our life," and in that simple statement, he encapsulated for me the breadth of what had been taken from him. Family. Place. Identity.
Today is the big day. Together with our partners at Daily Kos, Fight for the Future, Roots Action, and Demand Progress, OpenMedia has launched Stop The Secrecy -- a huge international campaign calling for an end to the excessive secrecy around the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You can see it for yourself at https://StopTheSecrecy.net
Something terrible happens to Harperland when it leaves Canadian soil: it remains the same. Foreigners react with the same bewilderment to the antics of Messrs. Harper and Baird abroad as so many Canadians do to their lamentable policies at home.
Not even our allies, for example, fathom the Canadian government's blind unconditional infatuation with the Netanyahu government in Israel or its extravagant embrace of the constitutionally dubious government of Ukraine.
No one understands the reckless statements the Prime Minister has grown fond of making. What could he have meant in Kiev last month when he alone among the allies imperiously insisted that Russia must "reverse" its takeover of the Crimea? Or else what? No one knows.
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When it came to going vegan this past week, all I can say is thank God I could cheat a little.
I have friends and colleagues who have little choice in the matter, either because of health reasons, or out of deeply held moral convictions. Cooking hats off to them!
The wife of Canada's prime minister has been caught out on the issue of the hundreds of women who have gone missing or whose murders are unsolved in Canada over the past four decades, many of whom are Aboriginal. Laureen Harper challenged a 21 year old activist who interrupted her speech at a black-tie event in Toronto on April 17 that was raising funds for… stray cats.
"Mrs. Harper, raising awareness of about cat welfare is a good look for your husband's upcoming campaign strategy," activist Hailey King called out, disrupting Harper's speech. "Don't you think supporting an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women would be a better look?"
Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant in Pittsburgh that only serves food from countries the U.S. is in conflict with. Founded by artists Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski in 2010, so far Conflict Kitchen has served up takeout dishes from Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and now Afghanistan. I caught up with Jon Rubin by phone to talk about the restaurant that married food with politics.
Christina Turner: Where did the idea for Conflict Kitchen come from?
I'm hungry. And I don’t blame veganism, I blame rabble’s vegan challenge.
See, I don’t actually mind giving up meat. I very rarely cook it at home because 1) I like tofu and meat substitutes, 2) I don’t like the idea of buying meat from the grocery store -- both because of how the animals who become grocery store meat are treated and because of what is in that meat, and 3) Often I can't afford to buy meat.
Confession: I am not a full-time vegan. The last time I went totally meat and dairy free was the summer after I graduated from high school when I was working as a camp counsellor. I ate a lot of fake tofu chicken fingers and my legs were covered in mosquito bites. Just when I thought I might begin university as a full-blown hippie, the smell of bacon called me back to the omnivorous fold.
Over the years, though, I've grown less and less dependent on meat. A lot of meals that I make these days are unintentionally vegan, and when I do eat meat and dairy I use it as a garnish rather than the main event.
If Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party leaders were smart, they'd quickly find a way to send the same message to Craig B. Chandler he just got from Opposition Leader Danielle Smith.
On April 10, Smith, concerned Chandler was suggesting he was just the guy to bridge the gap between her Wildrose Party and the foundering Tories, Tweeted to him: "Your views & how you express them are wrong for Wildrose and Alberta. I would never let you be a candidate for #wrp."
So, tell us Ms. Smith, what do you really think about Craig Chandler?
There has been a lot of attention of late to what moves on Canada's rails. Train derailments, disasters such as Lac-Mégantic and near-disasters, such as the railcars loaded with toxic diluents that were suspended on a crumbling bridge over the Bow River during the June Calgary floods, have focused on the threat of unsafe rail cars and inadequate infrastructure. It really matters to accelerate the complete phase-out of the unsafe DOT-111 cars moving hazardous goods. Tragedies such as Lac-Mégantic must never happen again.
Moves by the Ukraine government to crack down on protests against its rule in the east of the country appear to have quickly faltered and backfired. Protest actions are widening.
For several weeks, protests in eastern Ukraine have included occupations of government buildings and at least one regional declaration of pro-Russia secession. Late last week, the government in Kyiv called the occupations acts of "terrorism" and said it would take steps to forcibly end them. It gave occupiers until yesterday to end their actions, saying it would unleash police and special military units.
But the deadline has come and gone, and the number of cities where protests and occupations are erupting is growing. These include takeovers of police stations and local policing duties.
As Ontario inches toward a potential spring election showdown, Premier Kathleen Wynne is making clear that she wants public transit to become the ballot box question.
That's heartening, because there is majority public support for greater transit investments after too many years of political and traffic gridlock.
But it looks like she's throwing needed new taxes under the bus in the process.
In her most recent announcement, Wynne committed to $29 billion in transit and transportation improvements over the next 10 years.
Canada's political police?
Apr 23 2014
The RCMP has a bit of a history of being partial to Stephen Harper's government. Is its refusal to charge Harper's Chief of Staff Nigel Wright an indication of more of the same?
Evan Greer and Anne Feeney bring radical tunes to B.C.
Apr 22 2014
Evan Greer and Anne Feeney travel through Cascadia to sing energetic songs of protest. Come out to the Heartwood Community Cafe this Saturday afternoon, April 26, for their matinee show!
Capitalism, veganism and the animal industrial complex
Apr 21 2014
The animal industrial complex offers a tradeoff between more affordable and widely available meat and dairy products and the welfare of animals whose existences necessarily become more invisible.
Trudeau's rise jeopardizes Harper's tenure
Apr 21 2014
Trudeau's popularity has lasted long beyond the honeymoon phase, because he has has established himself as a serious politician and a genuinely likeably person -- unlike Stephen Harper.
April 22 – Smudge for Mother Earth
Apr 21 2014
On Tuesday April 22 at 12:00 pm whenever that occurs where you live is the date and time for the worldwide smudge for Mother Earth.
Harper’s wife; suffer the little kittens
Apr 19 2014
That night, 21 year old activist, Hailey King, heckled her about her concern for cats but little concern, emotion or accountability shown for the over 800 cases of murdered and missing Indigenous wome
Bearing witness in the save movement
Apr 19 2014
The Save Movement emphasizes the teachings of Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy as a foundation and strive to create a peaceful, inclusive community.