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Cancun chronicles #1: the first day

Anticipation is running high as the Canadian press corps is eagerly waiting for the first press conference Pierre Pettigrew will be giving on this afternoon, the opening day of the fifth WTO Ministerial Meeting.

Just kidding.

Where are the Canadian media? They surely are not at events organized by the Alternative Forum, the International Forum on Globalization or the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) coalition (as if...).

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After the Common Sense Revolution

After eight years in office, the Ontario Tories were finally thrown out onOctober 2, 2003. They were replaced by a Liberal majority government thatwon 72 seats to the Toriesâe(TM) 24. The NDP, after astrong campaign, won seven seats.

As part of the Tories' so-called Common Sense Revolution, health care, utilities and education weredefunded, with new user fees introduced, to set them firmly on track toprivatization. Taxes were cut to create a revenue crisis that willjustify further cuts and privatizations in public services.

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Saskatchewan votes

A month ago, the Saskatchewan election campaign showed all the signs of an opposition sweep. A tired, long-in-the-tooth government with no clear sense of direction since the deficit dragon was slain in the mid-1990s, Lorne Calvert and the New Democrats should have been easy pickings for Elwin Hermanson and the “we-aren't-the-Tories — no, really” Saskatchewan Party.

Yet the opposition failed to capitalize on a government showing signs of desperation and disarray.

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Donations to rabble top $50,000

rabblers and babblers

We cheered at our virtual office when the first donation from the North came in. It was an indication that progressive folk from every corner of our country value rabble's independent voice. We value yours too. A big thank you and hug to rabblers and babblers from as far away as Australia, England and the United States and as nearby as the people next door.

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Luxury condos, trendy cafés: non!

Condominiums, gentrification and socialhousing regained media headlines in Montreal earlier this week aftersuspicious packages were found at various condominium development sites ineast end Montreal on Monday. A previously unknown group called the“Anti-Gentrification Committee” claimed responsibility in a communiquésent to members of the mainstream media by e-mail.

“This action aims to denounce the construction of [condos] in the thirdpoorest neighborhood in Canada,” the communiqué said.

“We need low-cost housing.

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War in Iraq: corporations win, world loses

Nancy Lessin carried a body bag to the U.S. Congress last year. She wanted to ask her representatives, “Do you think now is the time to send my son home in one of these?”

Lessin and Charley Richardson are co-founders of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO). They brought their “special voice” to the Toronto peace movement recently.

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Advice for Paul Martin: In Washington, mumble

With the first anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq behind us and with the start of what is likely to be the most intense U.S. election campaign in a generation, the matter of how we in Canada — and the rest of the world, as far as that goes — should or should not relate to the United States becomes a prickly bag of tricks.

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U.S.: a classic mistake of historic proportions

About this grim business in Iraq that will be dominating the world's headlines in an increasingly unfortunate way for some time to come: there's good news on at least one front.

Freedom and democracy are affirming themselves in one crucial zone — the U.S. political arena, where the Congress and the media are finally taking control of the debate away from the manipulative and authoritarian Bush administration.

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Private for-profit health care: in Canada?

Poll after poll tells us that, for the majority of Canadians, the most pressing issue of this election is health care. Unfortunately, there is so much confusion around this issue that Canadians may not feel that they have the information they need to make the best voting choice. The time to demand clarity is now.

There are basically three concerns.

The first is federal funding.

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Otro mundo es posible: small miracles in Quito

On Sunday, July 25, hundreds of youth marched from Parque Metropolitano in the foothills of Quito, Ecuador, to Plaza San Francisco in the heart of the Old Town. There they met up with thousands more people who had come from across the Americas to attend the first ever Social Forum of the Americas.

The march was both a symbolic opening and closing. The festivities in Plaza San Francisco kicked off a week of workshops, panels, seminars and cultural exchanges meant to unite people from Canada to Argentina in their struggles for human rights.

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