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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Right to Live in Peace: Forty years on, the coup in Chile still has lessons for us today

Aerial bombings, tanks in the streets, widespread terrorizing of civilians by soldiers and secret police: this was the horror unleashed on September 11, 1973 by the military coup d’état in Chile. Led by Augusto Pinochet and other generals with U.S. backing, the coup overthrew President Salvador Allende's democratically elected Popular Unity government, and brought in a brutal military dictatorship that lasted for 17 years.

Canada's official attitude towards the coup might be politely called 'ambivalent.' Some Canadian banks and mining interests openly supported the military take-over as a good investment opportunity. Our ambassador to Chile's rather sympathetic attitude toward the generals led to a rapid recognition of the military junta.

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How the Harper government has made things worse in Syria

The Obama administration is looking to attack Syria. If they go forward without UN approval, the U.S. would once again be violating international law and would likely inflame a conflict that's already left 100,000 dead and displaced millions more.

For its part, Ottawa seems to want military action. Last week Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "We do support our allies who are contemplating forceful action [in Syria]," and on Friday he added "we are simply not prepared to accept the idea that there is a Russian veto [at the UN Security Council] over all of our actions."

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Direct action on Line 9: Moving beyond Keystone and Northern Gateway

On the morning of June 20, 2013, a group of people walked onto the Canadian energy corporation Enbridge's North Westover pumping station and occupied the facility. They called this blockade "Swamp Line 9". The facility is part of what is called Line 9, a pipeline that moves oil west towards Sarnia and the refining facilities there. However, the industry has been engaged in an effort to slowly gain regulatory approval to reverse the pipeline, allowing it to carry tar sands oil east for refining or to the Atlantic coast for export.

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Making Waves! What civil society must do to build power for social and system change in Canada

Last fall some seventy activists, progressive writers and political analysts gathered at the CAW Family Education Centre in Port Elgin Ontario.

The gathering, sponsored and financed by the CAW, was intended to address a question that has faced the left for many years but has clearly now become urgent: What are we doing wrong?

Deep values studies in Canada reveal with absolute consistency over a period of forty years that two thirds of Canadians support strong government, robust social programs, human rights and economic equality. So why is it that for almost 25 years we have had governments at the federal and provincial level that have deliberately set out to dismantle those things?

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The importance of education and conscientization: Part II on labour self-management

Ajamu Nangwaya participated in the recent Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2013, speaking about the potential for worker self-management in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, following the historic election Chokwe Lumumba as mayor. This article, Part 2 of 2, is based on Ajamu Nangwaya's presentation to the conference, and is part of our ongoing focus on labour and workers' issues this week on rabble.ca. (Read Part I here.) 

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