When Justin Trudeau spoke to a bored, half-empty United Nations last week, he repeated the nauseatingly saccharine slogan, "We're Canadian, and we're here to help," sounding exactly like the disingenuous insurance salesman whose empty promises come with that sickly smile.
The MS St. Louis was a German passenger ship whose most famous voyage, in the spring of 1939, became known as "The Voyage of the Damned." On that trip, 908 German Jewish refugees were headed to Cuba, fleeing the Nazis, but only 22 of the Jewish passengers were allowed to disembark. Aid organizations pleaded with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the government of Canada to accept the refugees. They were snubbed, and the vessel headed back to Europe. Hundreds of the repatriated refugees would die in the Holocaust. The refusal of the U.S. government to accept them remains a dark stain on our history. Sadly, our government's current track record with refugee resettlement suggests that history may be repeating itself.
On September 14, the Women's Boat to Gaza set sail from Barcelona on the way to Gaza to draw attention to the Palestinian struggle. Two boats, the Zaytouna and Amal, will carry the all-female crews to Ajaccio, and then to Gaza, drawing international attention to the resistance of the women of Gaza in particular.
Pressures for affordable housing continue to rise in Vancouver as the city saw two housing rallies take place over the weekend.
The first drew a crowd of 50 activists on Friday, who gathered outside of Vancouver's City Hall to demand that affordable housing be made a priority in the municipality. The rally was organized by COPE, the Coalition of Progressive Electors, which calls for investments in co-ops and social housing, zoning for rent controls and enforcement of health standards in buildings.