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Omar Khadr in Court: Eight ways the mainstream media missed the real story

Omar Khadr's first appearance before the Canadian public last week sparked considerable interest. In the Edmonton courtroom his lawyer, Dennis Edney, presented legal arguments why Omar should be released from the maximum-security institution where he is currently detained. Over one hundred supporters were present and at least a dozen reporters witnessed the day's events.

In the resulting press coverage several images were repeated and the reporting largely consistent. What most reporters didn't mention is the real story of Omar Khadr.

1. Omar glanced around the courtroom...


Terrorism and war in Africa: Canada's hands are not clean in this cycle of violence

There are no shades of grey, no nuance or even cause and effect in the simplistic world view proclaimed by the current Canadian government.

The Conservatives response to the horrific attack in Nairobi's Westgate Mall has been to thump their chests and proclaim their anti-terror bona fides.

"The fight against international terrorism is the great struggle of our generation, and we need to continue with the resolve to fight this," bellowed Foreign Minister John Baird. For his part, Stephen Harper boasted that "our government is the government that listed al-Shabab as a terrorist entity."


Canadian government needs to do more to help free Tarek and John from Egyptian prison

Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what's right.

Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days.

After a prosecutor recently extended their detention by 15 days, these two courageous individuals launched a hunger strike demanding their release or to at least be allowed two hours a day in the fenced-in prison yard.


The Harper government's war on science and knowledge

For years now, the federal government has been censuring, muzzling, de-funding, and laying off scientists, librarians, archivists, statisticians, and researchers in its efforts vacate government involvement in core research, and to shift its focus to industry-specific needs.


Canada's rejection of inquiry into violence against Aboriginal women is a national disgrace

In 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva conducted a Universal Period Review of Canada's rights record and concluded its need to address the concerns of indigenous populations -- particularly, Aboriginal women.


Vancouver's Insite celebrates 10 years as threat of Conservatives' Bill C-65 looms

It's ironic, and typical, that as Insite celebrates its 10th anniversary of successful operation in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the Conservative government in Ottawa is still railing against Safe Injection Sites and no doubt has Bill C-65 ready to go when Parliament returns October 16.

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, was the last bill to be introduced before parliament recessed in June. It's a nasty bill, couched in anti-harm reduction rhetoric, full of misconceptions, and designed to shut down any attempt to open a safe injection site in Canada.

The bill is a shining example of Conservative ideology trumping evidence-based health and science.


Harper hypocrisy on Syria: Canada's hands are not clean when it comes to chemical weapons

Somewhere in the Lester B. Pearson Building, Canada's foreign affairs headquarters, must be a meeting room with the inscription "The World Should Do as We Say, Not As We Do," or perhaps "Hypocrites 'R Us."

With the Obama administration beating the war drums, Canadian officials are demanding a response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of the chemical weapon sarin.


Taking it Back: The campaign for housing and services in Toronto's Downtown East

The City of Toronto faces a massive housing crisis. Shelters are bursting at the seams (see OCAP's recent shelter stats statement) and the waitlist for social housing is over 10 years long. Since the Harris government eliminated rent control in the 1990s, the cost of housing has skyrocketed. Welfare rates remain so far below the poverty line that decent housing is out of reach for people on social assistance. The average cost of a bachelor apartment in the City is $837/month while the maximum amount on a single welfare cheque is $626/month.


Manifesto for an inclusive Quebec

The original French text is available here

We are a collective from the fields of law, philosophy and journalism that citizens of all orientations and origins have sought to join. Among us are separatists, federalists and "agnostics" with regards to the constitutional future of Quebec.


An attack on Syria would be an attack on the climate

Syria. It's about oil. Again.

It's more complex than that, but as noted in the Guardian, the plans for an attack on Syria are "fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern". Obama, Harper, and other war proponents are quick to claim that a US-led war on Syria wouldn't be another Iraq. But with an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan in the balance, that's precisely what it would be -- the latest Western war waged against a Middle Eastern country to ensure control of the oil and gas in the region.

Another war for oil 


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