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Ethical Waters: Healing Walk in the tar sands grows year by year

The 2012 Tar Sands Healing Walk. (Photo: Jesse Cardinal)

In the face of enormous destruction and intimidation, it is crucial to assert what one values, and why. The third annual Tar Sands Healing Walk met this challenge head on with courage and wisdom, as Indigenous communities asserted that it is a human responsibility to protect clean and healthy water, air and land for future generations.

Walking together on August 4 through the 14-km epicenter of the Alberta tar sands, roughly 250 people witnessed the immense industrial devastation and conducted ceremonies for the healing of the land and waters.

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Toplessness as tactic: Quebec students renew debate over nude protest

(Photo: ricardoara / flickr)

Montreal's student protesters have put down their signs and are taking something of a break until classes resume in August. Meanwhile, there is time to examine the movement against tuition hikes and the methods it used to draw local and international support.

One of the most attention-grabbing tactics of the student movement is its use of nudity, specifically topless women. There were many "nude" student protests over the months, the most notable during the Montreal Grand Prix.

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Ten ridings to watch: Trinity-Spadina -- solid NDP with changing demographics

Election 2011: rabble.ca has chosen 10 key ridings across Canada for progressives to watch in the run-up to the May 2 vote, and asked local writers to assess them. The profiles highlight why the riding profiled is important and issues local campaigns are focused upon.

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Ten ridings to watch: Burnaby-Douglas, an NDP homeland

Election 2011: rabble.ca has chosen 10 key ridings across Canada for progressives to watch in the run-up to the May 2 vote, and asked local writers to assess them. The profiles highlight why the riding profiled is important and issues local campaigns are focused upon.

The riding of Burnaby-Douglas was created in 1996, with the majority of residents coming from a wide number of communities. The various Chinese communities make up more than half of that majority, with South Asians at 15 per cent and Filipinos at seven per cent. English is the language spoken at home in 60 per cent of Burnaby homes, with one in five households Chinese speaking. French is not among the top 10 languages and is spoken at home by less than one per cent.

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Ten ridings to watch: Will Elizabeth May and the Greens take Saanich-Gulf Islands?

Election 2011: rabble.ca has chosen 10 key ridings across Canada for progressives to watch in the run-up to the May 2 vote, and asked local writers to assess them. The profiles highlight why the riding profiled is important and issues local campaigns are focused upon.

Will Elizabeth May pull off one of the most heartening upsets in the 2011 federal election campaign?

The 56-year-old Green Party leader and candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands on Vancouver Island has been running against Conservative Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport (and the 2010 Winter Olympics), an old-school Alliance/Reform Party stalwart with five successful terms of office behind him.

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Ten ridings to watch: No Bloc party in Gatineau as NDP pursue

Election 2011: rabble.ca has chosen 10 key ridings across Canada for progressives to watch in the run-up to the May 2 vote, and asked local writers to assess them. The profiles highlight why the riding is important and issues local campaigns are focused on.

In Gatineau, incumbent Bloc MP Richard Nadeau is fighting hard to retain his seat, which he won from the previous Liberal MP with a handful of votes. That MP was no one else than Françoise Boivin, now running for the NDP!

Boivin's defection from the Liberal Party was controversial, linked with allegations (not proven) of malpractices. It now seems in any case that Françoise has the capacity to regain her seat as she is benefiting from the orange crush "wave".

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Olivia Chow can stop the Ford/Tory agenda. Here's how!

Photo: flickr/Olivia Chow

Now in the last month of Toronto's never-ending mayoral race, Olivia Chow, the former NDP MP and widow to ex-NDP leader Jack Layton, remains in third place after entering the election as the favourite. Ahead of her are Bay Street darling John Tory and right-wing city councillor Doug Ford, the brother of the current disgraced mayor Rob Ford.

Given the anger and disgust around Rob Ford and his policies, why has Chow's campaign been unable to pick up the desire for change from Toronto youth and workers?

These recent developments, according to the polling data available, are a radical reversal of what was previously unfolding in Toronto's mayoral campaign.

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Olivia Chow can win Toronto's mayoral race

Photo: flickr/Olivia Chow

OK, I get it. John Tory is not a Ford -- but he is a Tory.

I have known John Tory for years and he can be a nice guy but he is a Conservative (large C and small c) through and through. Some will say that he is economically conservative but socially liberal. I will leave aside for a moment whether that is even possible anymore when most inequality is due to the conservative restructuring of the economy, favouring the rich over the rest of us.

It's true that he is not a Neanderthal like the Ford Brothers. He will march in the Pride Parade and he won't be in an international embarrassment, but he also won't be a good mayor.

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How do we build a more equitable Toronto?

At the municipal level, inspiring political engagement among voters can be challenging. In Toronto's last election, only 50.5 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballot.

To tackle this problem, Women in Toronto Politics (WiTOpoli) developed the Position Primer website to help Torontonians make an informed decision in city council elections. By simply typing in their postal code, users can access a ward-specific chart outlining candidates' views on a wide range of municipal issues.

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Harper's Iraq war plan: Save people by killing them?

Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

The Harper government's plan to send Canadian air power to help combat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, and possibly Syria, and for Canadian special forces to continue operating there is homicidal, won't achieve its supposed goals and needs to be opposed.

Legislation tabled by the federal government on October 3 says that "unless confronted with strong and direct force, the threat ISIL poses to international peace and security, including to Canadian communities, will continue to grow."

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that exactly the opposite is true.

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