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Old and new debates on B.C.'s Left

Over the past month, there's been a minor flurry of stories in the corporate media about internal disputes in B.C.'s New Democratic Party (NDP) — a sure sign that Liberal fortunes are sagging.

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Liberal Ottawa wants to bust its union

125,000 workers represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada struck the federal government at midnight on Oct.

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Canada's élite is at war with Canadians

Something is happening in this country that is unprecedented not only in ournation's history but is likely unmatched in any other country in thedeveloped world. I am referring to the fact that a large portion of Canada'seconomic and political élite is rushing headlong in the direction ofabandoning the nation altogether in favour of being assimilated by the U.S.and the rest of the country is rushing headlong away from the U.S.

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A military-governmental-industrial conspiracy?

Frank McKenna's appointment as Canadian ambassador tothe U.S. is a boon to the corporate world.During his decade as premier of New Brunswick,McKenna was heralded as a neo-liberal golden boy. Backthen, his magic bullet for the struggling Maritimeeconomy was call centres.

In the years since, McKennahas served on numerous corporate boards and he isstill heralded as a neo-liberal golden boy.

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Taking on Dow, Coke and the Royal Bank

Today, Friday, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) hosts its annual shareholders meeting in Halifax. Local activists, including the Raging Grannies, will be on hand to send the shareholders a message.

They are part of a broad international campaign to pressure the RBC board of directors to disassociate from one of its members and policy advisors, J. Pedro Reinhard.

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Smoke and mirrors? Or snake oil?

We've just come out of the season of bitter winds racing across the frozen countryside kicking up swirling snow devils. Perhaps Canadians can be forgiven for welcoming rather than fearing “global warming.” But for the 10,000 residents of Tuvalu, this phenomenon has dire consequences.

Scientists predict the inhabitants of the nine atolls that make up Tuvalu may become the world's first climate change refugees. Their South Pacific islands, on average only two metres above sea level, are highly vulnerable to a climate change-induced rise in ocean levels.

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Which way ahead for France?

The French have just voted down, by referendum, the latest treaty negotiated among the states that make up the European Union. It is being called a constitution but the document does not read like one. It is too long, convoluted, and detailed to be a genuine constitution.

A constitution should set out principles of justice and rights. It should be as understandable as the Ten Commandments, and as uplifting as Bach played on the organ in church on Sunday.

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Tsunami: A bonanza for business

The tourist industry in Sri Lanka is upbeat these days. The December 26tsunami seems to have provided it the opportunity of introducing long-heldplans of resort zones and marketing the tiny island nation to upscaletourists. In the pipeline are marinas, helipads, seaplane landing strips and $300-a-night chalets.

In the aftermath of the tsunami, citing safety measures, the governmentannounced plans to move coastal area residents farther inland.

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Alberta is rich, and getting richer

The celebration of Alberta's centennial on September 1 is being neglected outside the province. On the radio, we hear about gas prices at the pump, but the official Alberta centennial song is not getting much air time, and did you know that on request Premier Klein was writing people around the world to invite them to Alberta for the centennial fun?

It's no secret petroleum and natural gas prices have gone high, and are headed higher. People do know Alberta is rich, and getting richer. Talk of sharing the wealth with the rest of the country is said to follow shortly.

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Secularism allows for religious differences

Istanbul — From the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the rise of the Ottoman Empire, until its 20th century secular revolution under Mustafa Kemal aka Atatürk separated the Turkish mosque and state, Islamic authority in that country included civil, military and police powers as well as religious observance.

In the establishment of the republic in 1923, Turkey became more than a secular state.

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