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An open letter to Jason Kenney: We are not fooled by unsolicited, self-congratulatory pinkwashing

Photo: AlbertaDiary.ca

Dear Jason Kenney,

We are not your friends, we are your critics.

We are writing to you in response to the mass email we received from your office on September 21st 2012. None of us have ever signed up to receive emails from your office and we wonder how our names ended up on your propaganda spam list. The more important issue, however, is the content of the email.

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Between apathy and activism: In search of the elusive hipster

Spotted near Occupy Wall Street in New York. (Photo: Steve Rhodes / flickr)

There's no cultural milieu that resonates more anxiety than all the policing going on around what exactly is a 'hipster.' Their style, their motifs, their beverage preferences; we talk about them like they're not in the room. But they are.

Generally speaking, a hipster -- which I would loosely define as one who engages in an underground image not only for the purpose of standing out, but also to feel a sense of superiority -- is an urban middle-class phenomenon. Emerging in the 1990s, the hipster is known for an enthusiasm for alternative products and strange aesthetics, often developing distaste when these products enter the mainstream. 

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We stand with the Greek people fighting austerity: For their sake and ours

What is happening today in Greece is only the most extreme example of a global phenomenon: the world's political and economic elites, who are responsible for the current economic crisis, want to make the rest of us pay for that crisis, no matter how much suffering this creates. But Greece also exemplifies the determined resistance of millions of ordinary people who refuse to pay for a crisis they did not cause. Their fight is a model for all of us.

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Could this be the PQ's last hurrah?

Pauline Marois and Léo Bureau-Blouin. (Photo: Marie Berne / flickr)

Pauline Marois has cemented her place in history by becoming Quebec's first-ever female Premier. But there's also a good chance that she'll be remembered as the last Parti Québécois (PQ) leader to govern the province. In fact, it's entirely plausible that both the PQ and Liberals (PLQ) could disappear from Quebec's electoral landscape within a few decades.

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How Canada helped make Honduras the violence and impunity capital of the world

One of the Ahuas massacre victims.

There is no end in sight to violence and repression in Honduras. There is no end in sight to the impunity and corruption with which the powerful economic, military and political sectors act.

There is also no end in sight to American and Canadian governments and businesses maintaining political, economic and military relations with the Honduras, empowering and legitimizing the regime. American and Canadian businesses and investors are, in effect, benefiting from the repression, violence, corruption and impunity.

A human rights and security abyss

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With attack on Ontario teachers, McGuinty and Hudak put all workers' rights at risk

Ontario teachers rallied last week at Queen's Park in Toronto.

The much publicized attacks on teachers and educational support workers by the McGuinty government for the last eight months have proved to be an excellent distraction from the many political issues that have dogged the provincial government since its re-election in October 2011. These attacks have culminated in the creation of a piece of legislation, inaccurately entitled "Putting Students First Act," or Bill 115. 

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Quebec election: Strategic voting and the myth of change

Photo: D'Arcy Norman.

For the second time in sixteen months, Quebecers will head to the polls and cast their ballots. Once again the Quebec voter, like all those who have voted before her/him, is faced with a daunting choice: do I vote for the change I wish to see, or do I vote to keep those who represent the policies I vehemently oppose out of office?

Granted, a voter scarcely finds a party that stands for all she believes in, hence the differing positions within a political party during a leadership race. Yet, there will almost always be a party that best represents a voter's aspirations, with the voter having to compromise on other, less significant, positions.

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Labour Day reminder: Harper's EI changes hit immigrants hardest

Photo: http://aclaontario.ca/

For more than 130 years, workers have celebrated Labour Day in Canada to recognize the hard fought struggles that women and men have undertaken for better working and living conditions.

As we celebrate our past accomplishments, the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) reminds us all that the struggle for dignity and respect in the workplace is an ongoing process. Recent changes to our Employment Insurance will have a tremendous impact on all workers: and we all need to resist these changes.

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Labour Day 2012: Get ready to rumble

The Labour Day picnics and parades might be the calm before the storm for the labour movement this fall. On top of terrible job losses in manufacturing and resource industries, governments in Canada are sharpening their swords, preparing to do battle with the country's trade unions.

It's not just unions that should be worried. The lagging economy is failing all Canadians, whether in unions or not. Historically, the trade union movement has played a pivotal role in turning things around and raising living standards for everyone. But the political and bargaining strengths of unions are at one of the lowest points in decades, and opponents are preparing to take advantage of this weakened state.

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Turning anger into action to stop Harper's foreign policy

If you're reading this you probably know that the Harper-led Conservative government has ramped up the corporate and military orientation of Canadian foreign policy. But, the extent to which they’ve done so will likely be a surprise.

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