Tar Sands: When We're All Downstream

"Downstream" - a 30 min film on the Tar Sands - Canada's O
by Babelgum
At the heart of the multi-billion dollar oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Dr. John O' Connor's career is jeopardized as he fights for the lives of the aboriginal people living and dying of rare forms of cancer downstream from one of the largest oil operations in the world.
Making the short-list for this year's Academy Award® Nominations for best short documentary, Downstream provides an in-depth look at the toll oil sands extraction is potentially taking on the residents of Ft. Chipewyan. A community affected by high rates of unusual cancer, the people of Fort Chip have struggled for years to have their concerns addressed by government and industry.
Downstream has raised unprecedented awareness in Canada and the U.S. regarding the environmental and social impacts of the tar sands. In conjunction with high level members of the NRDC, it is now being viewed by members of the Obama Administration.
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Galloway Prepares Libel Suit Against Canadian Immigration Minister and Staff

Canada Defends Ban on British Anti-War MP
by Keith Jones
Lawyers for British anti-war MP George Galloway are mounting a court challenge to a Canadian government order that prohibits him from entering the country on the grounds he is a "national security" threat and terrorist accomplice. Galloway, who was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 because of his opposition to Britain's participation in the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, has criticized Canada's leading role in the Afghan War and recently led a humanitarian convoy that brought medicine, clothes and other supplies to the beleaguered people of Gaza.

Last Friday, via an article published in Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid the Sun, Galloway learned that Canadian authorities are barring him from the country. Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has vehemently defended the exclusion order, which was formally issued by the Canada Border Services Agency, and has vowed that under no circumstances will he make use of his prerogative as minister to issue Galloway a permit allowing him to enter the country.

Galloway is scheduled to address meetings on "Resisting war from Gaza to Kandahar" in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, and Ottawa respectively, March 30, 31, and April 1, and 2.
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Off Da Hook: Obama and White Collar Crime

NEEDED: A New Commission to Probe Corporate Crime: Why Hasn’t Obama Targeted The Ongoing White Collar Crime Wave?
by Danny Schechter (Author of Plunder)
Another day. Another ponzi scheme.

This time it’s the Millenium Bank in the Eastern Caribbean accused of a mere $65 million dollar rip off. (Ponzi king Bernard Maddoff allegedly took in $65 billion.) Regulators say there is a “ponzimonium” underway with scores of newly opened investigations. We are talking about pervasive institutional crime, not just individual theft.

The role of shady, largely unreported, “off shore” institutions is slowly emerging as a component of a larger criminal scheme.
There is a report that  “a class action lawsuit has been filed against several offshore entities and individuals on behalf of investors in four hedge funds who allegedly lost over $3 billion in the Bernard Madoff fraud.”
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Netanyahu's Second Chance at Peace

Netanyahu and the ‘Future of the Peace Process’
by Ramzy Baroud
It seems that the Palestinian-Israeli ‘peace process’ is in serious jeopardy. At least, this is the immediate impression one gleans from media reports from Israel. Unlike, Israel’s Kadima and Labor party ‘moderates’, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is largely considered to be a possible impairment to the negotiations aimed at facilitating a two-state solution. The media story, however, is riddled with misconceptions and dotted with false assumptions.

While Netanyahu is indeed a rightwing ideologue, he hardly differs, regarding issues pertinent to the peace process, from his predecessors. More, one fails to appreciate the risks facing the peace process, considering that there is no such process. Israel continues with its military onslaughts and illegal settlement expansion unabated, and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas continues with what seems as its top political priorities: isolating Hamas in Gaza and maintaining its reign in the West Bank.

So to just what ‘peace process’ is the media referring? What prospects - for a viable two-state solution - are still passionately discussed? One earnestly fails to understand.
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Cuts for CBC, Bailouts for CanWest?

Cut Back for CBC, Bailouts for CanWest
by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
In the past weeks, the Conservatives have: reduced CBC's budget by $63 million in their spending plan for the coming year – that's $75 million with inflation, decided that CBC will get no help to weather the recession amid reports that the government plans to bail out private broadcasters, and demanded that CBC fulfill its mandate knowing full well it lacks the resources to do so.

"CBC is facing a $200 million shortfall.  Unless we act today by building a grassroots movement of support, this could be the end of CBC as we know it."  - FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting www.Friends.Ca

Bailouts for CanWest: "Harper has had at least one face-to-face meeting with CanWest CEO Leonard Asper..."

"The government is looking specifically at how to assist CanWest Global Communications, which is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy"

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War Resister Kim Rivera Granted Stay of Deportation!

War Resister Kim Rivera Granted Stay of Deportation! Emergency Rally in Toronto Becomes Celebration!
by Resisters.ca
Here is the official word from the War Resisters Support Campaign


Here is a wonderful report from Laura Kaminker, who attended the emergency rally turned celebration in Toronto last night.  It begins with the first speaker of the evening, Mike Ferner, national president of Veterans For Peace.


Here's a video from a Canadian TV network of Kimberly announcing the
good news tonight...

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Harper Hopes for Canada-Colombia Free Trade

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill
by Peter Julian
Dear concerned Canadians; the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill was put on Notice Paper March 24,2009.
Colombian strongman, Uribe assumes the position
The Harper Government believes that the killing of trade unionists, peasants and activists by para-militaries in Colombia is just business as usual.
The Uribe Colombian Government may have one of the worst human records in the world; the Harper government is pushing on with the support of Michael Ignatieff and has tabled Bill C-23, the enabling legislation of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement signed in December 2008.

This agreement should be rejected by Parliament.
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Understanding: Money vs. Currency

Economic Illiteracy
by Scott Horton
Yesterday, I watched the tape of a Congressional hearing in which Representative Michele Bachmann told the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, that “China, Russia and Kazakhistan [sic]” were seeking the establishment of a “global currency.” She asked Bernanke whether he believed there was a need for a global currency, to which he answered, curtly, “no.”
As the Center for American Progress highlighted yesterday this meme has been percolating through the right-wing echo chamber for the last 72 hours. It started with the Drudge Report, quickly worked its way onto Fox News, and then to the floor of Congress.

Where did this come from? It seems that those who originated and adopted this idea do not understand what a “reserve currency” is.
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10,000 Voices for BC Rivers

10,000 Voices for BC Rivers – Thursday, March 26th
On Thursday, March 26 join thousands of British Columbians in standing up for BC’s rivers. On that day, thousands of people from around the province will be contacting their MLA and the Premier calling for a moratorium on river privatization for private power projects.

The Wilderness Committee launched the 10,000 Voices for BC Rivers day of action to call for a moratorium on private river power projects until they are:
•    regionally planned
•    environmentally appropriate
•    acceptable to First Nations
•    publicly owned

The BC government’s 2002 energy plan prevents BC Hydro from developing new sources of power, stating that all new power must come from private companies. This has lead to a gold rush mentality, with private operators applying for licenses to almost 600 creeks and rivers throughout BC. Each power project that is developed would involve the construction of dams, river diversions, powerhouses and many kilometers of roads and transmission lines.
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Mountain Equipment Co-op and Israel: Divestment Movement Moving to MEC AGM

MEC's AGM: Your Chance to Disinvest our Co-op from Israel
by dave olsen
It is rare that a Co-operative's AGM and Board election could be controversial or even interesting, but this year's Mountain Equipment Co-op AGM may well be both. MEC's Board election closes on April 9 (@ noon PDT) and if you're a member, you could heavily influence a self-proclaimed ethical consumer Co-op in terms of its practices in Israel.

An in depth analysis can be found on the PAGE (Peace and Global Educators) website here. But this is a simple issue: Israel is waging genocide against the Palestinian people (if you're not aware of this, you've been either visiting another planet or reading/watching/believing mainstream media). Meanwhile, MEC is doing our Co-operative business with factories in Israel. Partnering is the specific term that MEC's Harvey Chan, Director of Ethical Sourcing uses.
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by Katherine Hughes
Abousfian Abdelrazik - like Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, Muayyed Nureddin and Maher Arar, other victims of what seems to be a Canadian programme of outsourcing torture - was, according to documents released by DFAIT, jailed on the recommendation of CSIS while on a visit to Sudan. In prison, he was beaten and tortured. In this context, he was interrogated by CSIS officials.

Eventually released and cleared of all suspicion by Sudan, as well as the RCMP and CSIS, his many attempts to return home to Montreal have been blocked rather than aided by Canadian officials. In December 2008, for example, the government stated in a letter to Mr. Abdelrazik’s lawyer that he must present a fully-paid-for plane ticket before Passport Canada would agree to issue an emergency passport. (Mr. Abdelrazik’s passport expired while he was in prison in Sudan.) At the same time, the government took the position that anyone who paid for his ticket could be charged under section 3 of the Al Qaida and Taliban Regulations (which says no Canadian shall “provide or collect by any means, directly or indirectly, funds with the intention that the funds be used” by a person on the UN list).

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Clinton's Long War in Serbia Rages On

A Progressive Legacy: Bill Clinton's Long War in Serbia Rages On
by Chris Floyd
Progresso-Americans are of course united in their rightful condemnation of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. Those on the milder, "centrist" side will boldly aver that the invasion was a "mistake," was "done badly," or was "the wrong war at the wrong time." A much smaller number -- those not seeking jobs with the Obama administration or sinecures in "serious" media outlets and think tanks -- will denounce it forthrightly as an act of evil, a war crime of monstrous, murderous proportions.
But all the groovy great and good agree that the Iraq War has been a major harsher of America's buzz.

But when it comes to an earlier instance of a young president from a Southern state waging a unilateral, undeclared, unsanctioned war against a nation that had not attacked the United States and posed no threat to it, progressive unity falls by the wayside -- although the "serious" vs. "shrill" dynamic still holds. There are still a small number of Progresso-Americans who will condemn Bill Clinton's war on Serbia as a war crime; but most P-As are perfectly happy to laud this precusor to Bush's Iraq atrocity as one of America's many "good wars."
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