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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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Law over ideology please, we're talking abortion rights here

Photo: Eyton Z/Flickr

Imagine facing an unplanned pregnancy and having an important choice to make: to have/keep the baby, have/give up baby for adoption, end the pregnancy. Image thinking your options through and choosing to get an abortion --which is your legal right in Canada.

Imagine, then, going to see your family doctor (if you are lucky enough to have a family doctor) and because they do not agree with your right to get an abortion on ideological grounds, you cannot have one. How would you feel? Imagine having to go see two separate doctors to get their "approval."

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Tackling Flaherty's legacy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

The unexpected, shocking death of Jim Flaherty, the Conservative Party's only Finance Minister until his retirement less than a month ago, has resulted in hundreds of warm tributes for his commitment to public life and praise from those in business and conservative circles who approved of his financial and economic policies.

Flaherty, who was only 64, died of a heart attack on April 10. He was devoted to his family and was one of the most popular Members of Parliament. Friends indicated that Flaherty was headed for a high-paying job on Bay Street, so he could make a better income after he had sacrificed by taking a lower paying government job.

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The problem with homeless counts and M-455

Photo: flickr/One Off Man Mental

It's not unreasonable to think that a good starting point for solving a social problem like homelessness, is to get a handle on exactly how many people are affected. Especially when you hear numbers being bandied about like 150,000 to 300,000 people in Canada are homeless. That is, after all, a pretty significant difference. Which is it: 150 or 300? Who wouldn't be tempted to get out there and start counting? That's exactly what Conservative MP Peter Goldring suggested we do -- on a national scale.

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Changes to Agricultural Growth Act Bill C-18 patently absurd

Photo: flickr/flyzipper

The Agricultural Growth Act, Bill C-18, is currently before Parliament. It is an omnibus bill amending nine separate pieces of agricultural legislation. The changes vastly increase corporate control of seed and will result in higher seed costs for farmers in the future.

The Plant Breeders' Rights Act (PBRA), adopted in 1990, confers to a breeder of a new plant variety, a form of intellectual property rights similar to a patent. The Plant Breeders' Rights Office receives between 300 to 400 applications per year with about 100 coming from Canada. This office has no role in enforcement of a breeders' right once granted. It is up to the rights holder to pursue infringements through the court system.

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