Friday December 6 marked the closure of the annual celebration of Sinterklaas, the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus. Traditionally, the children’s festivity is an occasion for family fun and pleasure that unites a nation, but this year it has become a highly charged political battleground that is exposing a society increasingly more conservative and hostile towards people of color, while unleashing an unprecedented anti-racism movement that is empowering minorities and posing fundamental challenges to the Dutch establishment.
As Canadians, we’re proud of our reputation for tolerance and fairness. Even with a socially and fiscally conservative government, we still maintain that we are the sane alternative to the extreme Tea Party doctrine so prevalent south of the border. Unfortunately, this national sense of self is more illusion than reality.
The RCMP investigation of Senator Mike Duffy generated a lot of documents. Murray Dobbin sifted through them and put together this timeline to show how we got to this point in the story.
Feb. 7 - Duffy says in a phone call with Wright that he is upset he is going to be audited. (p. 14 of RCMP documents)
Feb. 8 - Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy contract Deloitte to review residency and related expenses of Senators Duffy, Brazeau, and Harb. Conservative Senators Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen and Liberal Senator Furey named to sub-committee to review Duffy expenses.
Feb. 20 - Wright tells Duffy he expects Deloitte will conclude his primary residence is not in PEI. (p. 28)
The federal government has been vigorously spying on anti-oil sands activists and organizations in B.C. and across Canada since last December, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show.
Not only is the federal government subsidizing the energy industry in underwriting their costs, but deploying public safety resources as a de-facto "insurance policy" to ensure that federal strategies on proposed pipeline projects are achieved, these documents indicate.
Before the National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel hearings on the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline, the NEB coordinated the gathering of intelligence on opponents to the oil sands.
Gossip and rumour based on secret intelligence sources may be all that is needed to deport a foreign national from Canada on national security grounds, legal experts say.
Secret evidence has been used "in a whole range of immigration procedures," such as applications for permanent residence or citizenship in Canada, "which do not involve actual hearings but are simply administrative procedures," says Sharryn Aiken, a Queen’s University law professor and immigration and refugee expert.
Prisoner rehabilitation: it’s often referred to as a system set up to fail. Only it seems to fail so much more than others.
An ongoing issue that’s only growing, Indigenous women are filling up Canada’s prisons. But once released, many of these women are left to face a harsh reality.
"Basically, they’re dropped off in Toronto and there’s no real transition," says Patti Pettigrew, a caseworker at Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS), an agency serving the city’s Indigenous community. "It’s not addressing their needs, so they find themselves re-offending."
Pettigrew has seen a high number of Indigenous women end up in Toronto after serving their sentences. Most come from the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal prison based in Kitchener, Ontario.
Export Development Canada: How billions are transferred to Enbridge and TransCanada without substantive disclosure
The Enbridge Line 9 hearings are in process this week in Toronto. In Ontario, the reversal of that pipeline, to transport fuel from Western Canada eastward rather than refined fuel from Eastern Canada westward, has sparked public concerns.
These centre upon the risks that arise from moving corrosive diluted bitumen -- as opposed to refined products -- through populated areas, as well as the proposed 25 per cent capacity increase of the pipeline from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day.
In his complaints against the wing of the Republican Party that engineered the present government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derided his opponents as "Tea Party anarchists."
It’s hard to decide who should be more annoyed -- the Tea Party or the anarchists.
In any case, Reid’s remark is revealing of how the long tradition of anarchist philosophy has been thrown under the bus of U.S. political discourse, then rolled over, then dragged along in mangled form so as to be pointed at when doing so seems expedient.