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Crude nation: Canada in the grip of Big Oil

Photo: Greenpeace / John Woods

As Canadians become better versed in the rhetoric and posturing of the petroleum industry, so too are they understanding the exigency with which it has spread, leaving widespread degradation in its pipelined path.

From spill to explosion, leak to contamination, tragedy to regret, it is rapidly becoming apparent the capricious nature of an economy increasingly dependent upon oil.

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ALBA: Latin America's groundbreaking alliance of solidarity and mutual aid

"[We agree] to convert our countries, not into zones of free trade, but in zones free of hunger, illiteracy, misery and margialization" - Declaration of the XII Summit of ALBA, Guayaquil, July 30, 2013.

In the United States for half a decade the percentage of people in poverty has increased every year, from 12.3 per cent in 2006 to 15.1 per cent in 2010. [1] In the European Union, poverty remains high with 115 million people (23 per cent) at risk in 2010 -- that is a 20 per cent rise from that of the previous year. [2]

In contrast, the extraordinary achievements of the ALBA countries (Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, San Vincent and The Granadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Venezuela) in less than a decade include:

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Conservatives exploit Afghan deaths, but treat vets like second class citizens

Photo: http://democracyastray.blogspot.ca/

travelling tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan is coming soon to a provincial legislature near you.

Former defence minister Peter Mackay unveiled the temporary display in Ottawa on July 9. It will be open to the public and remain on Parliament Hill through Remembrance Day, before heading off on a two-year journey across the country to visit provincial legislatures and then on to Washington.

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A Tamil path to Palestine

Photo: http://www.blogto.com/

At the close of 2008, I joined thousands in Toronto to protest Israel's attack on Gaza, and even spoke at some of the rallies. Like people all over the world, we called for an immediate end to the war. At York University, where I was a student, we mobilized the campus to stop the bombing and to defend Palestinian rights.

Only a few months after the siege, the bombs dropped again, but this time, they were falling on my own people -- in the Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka. And once again, we hit Toronto's streets in protest.

I realized then that even though our homelands are oceans apart, Palestinians and Tamils have much in common.

Waging war on civilians 

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Harper's barely hidden agenda to undermine public health care in Canada

For some time now, opponents to equitable, universal health care have been smearing proponents of Canada's "signature" social program, Medicare, by using a corporate "communications" strategy known as "FUD," which stands for Fear Uncertainty Doubt.

In the U.S, the dynamic played out fairly recently, in response to Michael Moore's film, SICKO. According to Wendell Potter, an American insurance industry whistleblower, the insurance industry, horrified by the poignancy of the documentary, targeted Michael Moore with a "FUD" attack.

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Don't be fooled by cabinet shuffle spin: 15 reasons why Harper is a fake feminist

When Stephen Harper stands in the House of Commons, he is surrounded by women. Earlier this month, he made a big to-do about promoting four new women to his cabinet. But any suggestion that Harper and the Conservatives genuinely care about women or the many issues women face can easily be refuted. Let's start with the following list.

1. Lost gains  

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What's in a name? The 'Khatsahlano!' festival and colonialism

The practice of appropriating Indigenous names and cultures is experiencing an unfortunate renaissance in today's popular culture.

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Enemy lists? An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you on behalf of Voices-Voix, a coalition of more than 200 national and local civil society organizations across the country. We are seriously concerned about recent reports that your office had instructed government officials to compile "friend and enemy stakeholder" lists as part of the process of preparing briefing materials for new members of Cabinet.

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Boosting cycling and walking key to solving transit woes

Photo: Sweet One / flickr

By process of elimination, simple means of getting around like walking and cycling must be looking increasingly attractive to Ontario's provincial and municipal politicians as they struggle to fund new
transit to unclog roads.

The need for better transit is obvious. How to fund that transit: not so much. That's why it's a good time to invest in relatively quick and cheap measures to increase walking and cycling safety to get more people out of their cars and to provide clean and affordable ways to get to new transit once it's in place.

Cars

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How Canadian 'aid' to the Palestinian Authority is designed to help Israel

A recently uncovered government document confirms that Ottawa has delivered millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority in a bid to advance Israel's interests. The internal memorandum also sheds light on Canada's efforts to build a security apparatus to protect the Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.

Last week Postmedia's Lee Berthiaume reported on a Canadian International Development Agency note outlining Israel's desire for Canada to continue its $300 million five-year "aid" program to the Palestinians, which the Conservatives threatened to severe after the PA pursued UN statehood last fall.

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