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My boys will not be raised with guns.
| June 17, 2014
Photo: flickr/APEC 2013
| June 16, 2014

Canada's coup-supporting corporate cowboy diplomacy

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bloviated last fall about officially ending the Monroe Doctrine (the U.S. belief that God grants only Americans the right to interfere with the internal affairs of other western hemisphere countries), one wonders if Stephen Harper and his foreign affairs pitbull John Baird immediately took the concept on for themselves. Perhaps they also adopted a bit of manifest destiny thrown in for good measure. How else -- other than through the lens of someone who truly feels anointed by the heavens -- can one begin to understand Harper's messianic foreign policy, one in which he and John Baird play tag-team John Waynes making the world safe for Canadian corporate profits?


Taking liberties: Santa Claus rejects NORAD escort, may be placed on no-fly list

Photo: Matt and Cyndi Maxson/flickr

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In a little-noticed news release from the North Pole, a jolly senior citizen has asked that his image not be co-opted this holiday season by the Canadian War Department and NORAD. In addition, the gentleman, who identified himself as Santa Claus, also refused the militarized escort that NORAD said would be tracking his annual flight around the world.


Ian Smillie on sustainability and development

August 30, 2013
| Ian speaks to development issues of all kinds, sustainability, how to lie with statistics and the future of development.
Length: 57:36 minutes (46.15 MB)

Canada a significant contributor to international arms trade

March 25, 2013
| The image of Canada as a peacemaking nation has been tarnished by the war in Afghanistan. But many people would still be shocked to find out the extent to which Canada exports armaments.
Length: 15:08 minutes (13.87 MB)

Hanford most contaminated nuclear site in the United States

February 25, 2013
| The Hanford Site lies on the Columbia River in the state of Washington. It was established in 1943 to manufacture plutonium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
Length: 14:28 minutes (13.25 MB)

Taking action on gun control in the U.S.

Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr

While the final funerals for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre have been held, gun violence continues apace, most notably with the Christmas Eve murder of two volunteer firefighters in rural Webster, N.Y., at the hands of an ex-convict who was armed, as was the Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, with a Bushmaster .223 caliber AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. James Holmes, the alleged perpetrator of the massacre last July in Aurora, Colo., stands accused of using, among other weapons, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 with a 100-round drum in place of standard magazine clip.


Canadian War Department drones on with summer splurge

Rim of the Pacific war exercises, July 2012. Photo: U.S. Pacific Fleet/Flickr

With student activists away for summer vacation, it was the perfect occasion in late July for Carleton University to celebrate a new $40-million war-training contract. In partnership with war manufacturer CAE, Carleton's Visualization and Simulation Centre will enable Canadian Forces to better practice, in the coarse but memorable phrase of former Canadian warlord Rick Hillier, the fine art of killing people.

In a moment that would have done Orwell proud, Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte gushed: "This is about saving lives. This is about saving money." On hand for the announcement was Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who boasted this war-training partnership will advance "Canada's security interests and...Canadian values around the world."


Obama administration blocks UN arms trade treaty

Campaigners for the Control Arms coalition set up a mock graveyard.

Quick: What is more heavily regulated, global trade of bananas or battleships? In late June, activists gathered in New York's Times Square to make the absurd point, that, unbelievably, "there are more rules governing your ability to trade a banana from one country to the next than governing your ability to trade an AK-47 or a military helicopter." So said Amnesty International USA's Suzanne Nossel at the protest, just before the start of the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which ran from July 2 to July 27. Thanks to a last-minute declaration by the United States that it "needed more time" to review the short, 11-page treaty text, the conference ended last week in failure.

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