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in his own words

The reasons behind my expulsion from Seoul G20

Paul Quintos is the international policy officer of the Filipino think-tank the IBON Foundation. He and at least seven other activists from the Philippines were detained and deported by immigration officials at Seoul Incheon Airport prior to the start of the Seoul G20 conference. This is the address he sent after his expulsion to delegates who were attending an IBON-sponsored conference on Charting Alternatives for the Global Economy

First of all, I would like to express my deep regret that I am unable to join you today in Korea.


Privatizing First Nation land would be disastrous

A debate that has been swirling around in Indian Country has gathered more speed recently.

The issue revolves around Indian land and its ownership status. Should it be privatized or should it stay as a part of a collective? The question about what to do with Indian land has always been on the table.

In the early part of the 20th century, after most of the available land was opened for settlement, land speculators cast greedy eyes upon Indian land. We were considered a vanishing race at the time, with much more land than we needed.


The 'Ottawa Protocol' covers a confused and flawed movement

The party is over -- one we weren't welcome to attend. The money is blown -- that came from our pockets. The photos and declarations fashioned for the media have been broadcast. And the "Ottawa Protocol" has been nailed to the door.

What does it tell us about the conference of the Interparliamentary Coalition for Combatting Antisemitism (ICCA), an event managed by Jason Kenney and Irwin Cotler, which took place just over a week ago?


UN: Caution, not climate tinkering

How will we address the multiple crises of climate, biodiversity, food, and water?


Fight like the Greeks

After months of proclaiming all was good in the Canadian economy, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced at the start of October that "boom times are over."

The Harper government has spent the past two years arguing that Canada was a model for escaping the depth of the recession that has hit Europe and the U.S. so hard.

Now the Tories, after claiming that they had steered Canada through a recession, are speculating that they might have to continue stimulus funding to keep the economy from sinking.

But the talk of a robust recovery conceals the reality of what workers in Canada have already suffered through for the past several years.


Race matters: In anti-gay protests, gay bashings, and suicides

People of colour have been missing from the conversation about attacks on the LGBTQ community. A conversation on CBC's The National was a case in point. It promoted the view that to be LGBTQ meant to be white.

Canadian news media have provided heart-wrenching accounts of the string of suicides and homophobia-fuelled violence that has occurred recently in the United States. The coverage has made clear the deep-seated hatred and violence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ) are subjected to on a daily basis, just for being who they are.


Austerity and disability: Opposing Bill 83

A bill passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature on Oct. 28, a bill that is a clear danger to the labour movement's ability to win fair contracts and defend public services. Bill 83, which essentially outlaws picketing outside of group homes that are housing people with intellectual and other disabilities that require home care.


G20: Lest we forget

One of the hallmarks of a democratic state is its commitment to free, and public, political expression.

Indeed, no society can call itself truly democratic if it does not guarantee to its citizens the inalienable rights to gather, communicate their opinions, and demonstrate their support for or against any political position they wish.

If these assertions are true -- and they can hardly be questioned -- Canada's behaviour during the G20 Summit held this summer in Toronto casts serious doubt on the current state of democracy in this country.

Consider these facts:

• June 26 to 28, 2010 saw the largest mass arrests in Canada's history.


G20 Toronto: A public inquiry is necessary and possible

Rights to freedom of expression and assembly, enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and numerous international human rights treaties binding on Canada, are absolutely essential in ensuring that individuals are able to participate effectively in the democratic life of their nation.

Governmental respect for these rights is often tested in situations involving large-scale protests during high-profile meetings of world leaders. We have seen that around the world in a growing list of notorious venues, including Seattle, Turin and Quebec City. It is playing out again this week, in fact, as G20 leaders regroup for another summit and demonstrators seek to take their message to the streets -- this time in Seoul, South Korea.


The Conflict of Interest Act is toothless and leads to conflict of ethics at the PMO

Nigel Wright's position in the PMO, as Stephen Harper's new chief of staff, is only possible because of huge loophole in ethics rules.

How is it that a senior executive, formerly one of the managing directors of private equity fund Onex, who stills own shares in this huge conglomerate corporation, could serve as chief-of-staff in the Prime Minister's Office and take part in policy decisions on many issues that affect the corporation? 


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