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Protests respond to Ontario immigration raids

Nearly 200 outraged community and labour activists rattled the fences of Rexdale Immigration Detention Centre on April 5, demanding the release of over 100 undocumented workers arrested during unprecedented immigration raids across southwestern Ontario.

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Disaster relief or civil rights disaster?

On January 22, 2009, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (NECEA) was submitted to Congress for consideration. It was introduced by Congressman Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, a man who, in 1989, became only the sixth federal judge in the history of America to be removed from office by the Senate for corruption and perjury.

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Forgetting the rule of law: A Canadian's ordeal in Sudan

A Canadian citizen travelling abroad is arrested at the behest of a Canadian security agency and accused of being a terrorist. He is imprisoned in a foreign country and probably tortured. Four years later the RCMP admits there is no evidence against him yet; his attempts to return home are blocked by the government. No, this is not a bad dream or a one-time slip up; apparently, it is a reality of today's Canada.

It would be nice to think that our government had learned from the Maher Arar affair, but Abousfian Abdelrazik's ordeal in Sudan is convincing proof of the contrary.

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New chill in an old war: Canada-Russia in context

At the end of February Stephen Harper referred to Russia as "aggressive." In a throwback to the Cold War, last month Defense Minister Peter MacKay added that Ottawa will respond to Russian flights in the Arctic by flying Canadian fighter jets near Russian airspace.

Recent declarations from the Harper government are the latest installment in a 90-year-old struggle with Russia that should be opposed by most Canadians. Since the end of the Cold War Ottawa has actively pushed against Russian influence in Eastern Europe. Federal government documents uncovered by Canwest in July 2007 explained that Ottawa was trying to be "a visible and effective partner of the United States in Russia, Ukraine and zones of instability in Eastern Europe."

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Hypocrisy in action: The JDL and the Galloway ban

A federal Court judge has just upheld the ban on George Galloway entering Canada.

Regardless of which way the ruling goes his ideologically driven misuse of power in order to suppress the airing of a political opinion to which he has opposed has caused the questioning by commentators from across the political spectrum of Kenney's judgment and willingness to apply a torutured interpretation of section 34 of the Immigration Act and abuse post-9/11 security concerns for poltiical purposes.

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Petro-Canada Suncor merger: The end of the national energy policy?

With the swallowing of Petro-Canada by Suncor, "Canada's oil company" and the national energy policy that created it may disappear into history. Or not.

The merger of the two Canadian oil giants, by the CEOs, will create a massive, integrated oil and gas company. It will be the fifth largest oil and gas company in North America with assets of $43 billion and create Canada's largest upstream producer and second largest refiner of gasoline and oil products.

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Slumming in Colombia

Three young 'tweens' were showing off their salsa steps in a makeshift schoolroom high above the noise and traffic of Medellin, Colombia, the city that cocaine built. They wore tight-fitting blue jeans and sleeveless T-shirts. Three young soccer players outside seemed disinterested. They had no time for dance. Soon a grandmother started to scold the tweens. No one was watching the toddlers now crawling up the muddy slope behind the schoolroom. Life was normal in La Onda ... or was it?

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Women's empowerment tops agenda at West African conference

Liberia played the role of unexpected host for "The International Women's Colloquium on Women's Empowerment, Leadership and Development," held this year on International Women's Day (March 8) under the title 'Women Unite: Lift Liberia, Lift Africa, Lift The World!' For a country known best for a notoriously gruesome 14-year civil war (1989 - 2003) and with a subsequently deplorable record of gender issues, many saw this as a major step for the small, West African nation.

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Getting a (neo-)liberal arts education in Canada

Tucked deep within the latest federal budget is a tiny phrase that has aroused profound nation-wide alarm: "Scholarships granted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council [SSHRC] will be focused on business-related degrees."

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War resisters update: First they came for ...

Robin Long was the first Iraq war resister to be deported from Canada in July, 2008. He sought refuge in B.C., refusing to fight in what he still considers an illegal and immoral war.

The twenty-five year old from Idaho was given a dishonourable discharge from the US military and sentenced by court marshal to fifteen months in prison; the longest desertion sentence since the beginning of the Iraq war. He is likely to be released in July 2009. As conditional to his deportation, Long cannot re-enter Canada to visit his girlfriend or son for the next ten years.

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