This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks for the indicated month(s) and year, including occasional news summary and brief analysis. See the current, ‘Canada newsroll’ website page here.
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, June 2021
Ktunaxa First Nation in southeastern BC (Kootenay region) announces finding of 182 unmarked graves near former St. Eugene’s residential school, CBC News, June 30, 2021 …The First Nation says up to 100 of its members were forced to attend St. Eugene’s Mission School, near Cranbrook BC. “It is believed that the remains of these 182 souls are from the member bands of the Ktunaxa Nation, neighbouring First Nations communities and the community of ʔaq̓am,” read a media release from the first nation. It said it will be extremely difficult to establish whether or not the unmarked graves include the remains of children who attended the school…
Churches are burning across Canada as the number of unmarked graves of First Nations children forced to attend church-run residential schools rise, Toronto Star, June 30, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Churches are burning across Canada
Related: Minimal damage as suspicious fire probed at abandoned St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Hazelton, northwestern BC, CBC News, June 28, 2021 St Paul’s in New Hazelton is the fifth church in B.C. to be set aflame in recent weeks
Four-day heat wave in British Columbia has killed more than 100. Report by CBC News, June 29, 2021 [According to the Toronto Star on July 1, the province of British Columbia recorded 486 sudden and unexpected deaths during the five days beginning June 25, a time period corresponding to the multiple-record-breaking heat wave that hit the province. This is 321 more deaths than what is usually expected in BC over a period of five days, according to provincial coroner’s office.].
* Historic heat wave in northwest U.S. may have killed hundreds, Associated Press, June 30, 2021
* BC premier says province’s residents must take ‘personal responsiblity’ to keep themselves safe during heat wave, Victoria News, June 29, 2021
[Canada’s housing stock has for decades been built with little or no protection from heat, excepting the ecologically damaging air conditioning for those who can afford it. The provision of housing has been a conspiracy among governments, urban planners, financial institutions and the automobile construction industry founded on the clearcutting of tree cover–particularly in poorer neighbourhoods— and rampant sprawl served by automobiles. Provision of public transit has been an afterthought and public transit agencies have acted as enablers of the conspiracy. It’s been a recipe for disaster in a warming world that is still receiving little attention by most critical analysts.]
BC is on track for deadliest year in ‘war on drugs’ being waged by the police state of Canada. Report in The Tyee, June 29, 2021 Five people are dying every day in the province on average, five years after the province declared a ‘public health emergency’
Previously reported: Record 488 deaths from drug poisoning in Alberta during first four months of 2021, Calgary Herald, June 19, 2021 [By comparison, British Columbia recorded 688 drug poisonings during the same four month period. Alberta’s population is 4.4 million; it is 5.1 million in BC. In the U.S., pop. 328 million, there were 88,295 drug poisoning deaths (7,360 per month) for the 12 months ending August 2020, the latest year for which figures are available.]
Canada’s home-grown genocide against First Nations people and its brazen accusations against China, by Kim Petersen (former co-editor), Dissident Voice, June 26, 2021
What is ‘new’ about the governing New Democratic Party in BC?, by Michael McGonigle (former chair of Greenpeace Canada), The Tyee, June 28, 2021 The NDP approach to old growth forests is stuck in a past where everything is for sale. Why not embrace the future?
Related: The climate disaster hidden in the forests of British Columbia, by Michelle Gamage, The Tyee, June 24, 2021 The province doesn’t count forest emissions in its global warming plan. That’s a big, dangerous mistake, say advocates.
Majority of Covid-19 infections and deaths in Canada are now among the unvaccinated, Global News, June 25, 2021 …Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada has found that as of June 21, the country’s ‘breakthrough’ infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for just over 2,700 cases of all reported infections— about 0.5 per cent — from the ten provinces and three northern territories since the vaccine rollout started. Of those fully vaccinated infections, only 66 of those cases died due to Covi-19 compared to the estimated 13,000 deaths that occurred across the country since the start of the rollout in December…
Related: Public Health Agency of Canada warns of Covid resurgence in autumn if Delta variant becomes dominant strain, CBC News, June 25, 2021
NDP gov’t in British Columbia spends more on subsidizing fossil fuels than on fighting climate change, The Tyee, June 25, 2021 Over the past year, the NDP government has given away $1.3 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, which is more than the $1.1 billion it pledged to fight climate change, according to a new analysis by Stand.earth…
Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan announces discovery of 751 unmarked graves near former residential school, CBC News, June 24, 2021 …”This is not a mass grave site. These are unmarked graves,” announced Cadmus Delorme, chief of the Cowessess First Nation, at a virtual press conference. He said there may have at one point been markers for the grave sites but the Roman Catholic church, which oversaw the cemetery, removed the graves at some point in the 1960s. He said it was not immediately clear if all of the unmarked graves belonged to children, but that there were oral stories within Cowesses First Nation about both children and adults being there… read also: reports in Al Jazeera, June 23, 2021 and Washington Post, June 23, 2021
[The Marieval Indian Residential School was operated by the Catholic Church from 1899 to 1997. The federal government began funding the school in 1901 and took over its administration in 1969. It turned the school site over to the Cowessess First Nation in 1987.].
‘Many students who went to residential school never returned. They were lost to their families. They died at rates that were far higher than those experienced by the general school-aged population. Their parents were often uninformed of their sickness and death. They were buried away from their families in long-neglected graves.’–Excerpt from the final report in 2015 of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Wikipedia).
Background: Shattering the Silence: The Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan, author Shuana Niessen, published by the Faculty of Education, University of Regina Regina, Saskatchewan, 110 pages, July 2017
MP Judy Wilson-Raybould calls out Crown-Indigenous Minister Carolyn Bennett for sending her ‘racist’ text message accusing the First Nations MP of lusting after Parliamentary pension, CTV News, June 24, 2021
Related: Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs calls on Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett to resign over ‘racist’ text sent to MP Judy Wilson-Raybould, CBC News, June 24, 2021
Forensic report by Canadian gov’t on the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752) over Tehran on Jan 8, 2020 finds no evidence the aircraft’s destruction was ‘premeditated’, CBC News, June 23, 2021 [For the past 18 months, the Canadian government has kept up a stready drumbeat of conspiratorial accusations against the government of Iran, saying it was responsible for shooting down Flight PS752. Not a word, not a peep, is offered by Ottawa or Canada’s compliant media about the years-long military threats by the U.S. and its allies against Iran that has obliged the Iranian military to maintain a hair-trigger state of military preparedness. The unrelenting threats by the U.S. and its NATO allies against the Iranian government and people are the ultimate reason for the aircraft tragedy.]
Mayor John Tory defends his actions in ordering dismantling of homeless encampment at Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto Star, June 23, 2021
* Internationally recognized photojournalist arrested as encampments cleared in tense standoff at Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto Star, June 22, 2021
* Toronto shows its ugly, brutish side in clearing of homeless encampment in Trinity Bellwoods Park, by Shawn Micallef, columnist, Toronto Star, June 23, 2021
Story by story, Canada’s news media built Indigenous oppression, by Katlià (Catherine) Lafferty, The Tyee, June 21 2021 Relentlessly racist framing in Canadian newspapers of the day helped ‘write’ the Indian Act. The racism persists today. (Katlià (Catherine) Lafferty is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. She has authored two books and is pursuing a law degree at the University of Victoria.)
Canadian media defend Green Party leader as she accuses her party critics of racism, by Yves Engler, Canadian Dimension, June 21, 2021 Annamie Paul has severely divided the party, and there have been no public attempts to heal a glaring rift in the membership
Anti-China sentiment is becoming anti-Chinese prejudice in Canada, op-ed commentary by Paul Evans and Yuen Pau, The Globe and Mail, June 20, 2021 (Paul Evans is HSBC Chair in Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. Yuen Pau Woo is a senator for British Columbia in Canada’s unelected Senate.) Read the commentary here in pdf format: Anti-China racism in Canada
[This is an otherwise unheard of commentary to appear in a mainstream media outlet in Canada, linking the widely reported rise in anti-Asian racism in Canada to the McCarthyite, anti-China outlook and policies of the Canadian government and ruling class. Even in this case, the two writers feel obliged to kowtow to the new McCarthyism by including a rote phrase at the outset of “a more assertive and repressive China”. How many Canadians see through the hypocrisy of the anti-China drive by a Canadian government and media whose past genocidal policies against Indigenous peoples have come newly to the fore following the recent discovery of 215 bodies of Indigenous children at one of Canada’s former ‘residential’ (genocidal) schools? No political analyst in Canada is exploring this question.].
Related: Ontario gov’t commits $10 million to commence the search for residential school burial sites, but critics say much, much more funding and attention is needed. By Brendan Kenndy, social justice reporter, Toronto Star, June 20, 2021
‘I came to Parliament seeking help for Indigenous people, but no one cares enough to act’, commentary by MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq for Nunavut, published in Toronto Star, June 18, 2021 Read the commentary here in pdf format: Mumilaaq Qaqqaq …Dealing with financial and physical constraints while serving the largest electoral district in the world [Nunavut in northern Canada] is one thing, but then I have to listen to flowery rhetoric from Liberal MPs, cabinet ministers and, yes, the prime minister, about “reconciliation” or “transformational change”, all the while seeing little to no real change on the ground…
[See news reports immediately below on the decision by MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, a 27 year-old Inuk, announced on June 15, that she will not seek re-election. She told Canadians in her announcement “I don’t belong here” and detailed the racial profiling she faces while serving in the Canadian Parliament.]
Keep workers safe from Covid-19 by focusing on the air they breathe: The scientific understanding being ignored by many employers and ‘public health’ officials in Canada. Special report in Globe and Mail, June 16, 2021 (with charts on Covid transmission in industries in Canada) The growing evidence for airborne transmission of Covid-19 is now widely known by the medical community. Why has that message not, for the most part, trickled down to some provinces, public-health units, and employers’ workplace safety guidelines? Read the article here in pdf format: Covid transmission
Open letter to British Columbia premier John Horgan urges his gov’t to save old-growth forests, News 1130 (Vancouver), June 18, 2021 More than 100 people worldwide, including scientists, academics, musicians, and Olympians, have signed a letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining iconic old-growth forests in British Columbia…
Previously reported: Ending BC Premier Horgan’s war against old growth forests, by Vicky Husband, The Tyee, June 13, 2021 …Let’s call Premier John Horgan’s forest policies what they are — a colonial defence of ‘talk and log’ and a moral failure to protect the province’s remaining old growth forests. In this regard, Horgan and his government share with Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro a disregard for the value, work and beauty of primary ancient forests…
Canadian MP for Nunavut Mumilaaq Qaqqaq: ‘It’s time to face the scale of justice’, text of address by Mumilaaq Qaqqaq to the Canadian House of Commonson June 15, 2021 announcing she will not seek re-election, published in Maclean’s Magazine, June 15, 2021 The NDP MP delivered a powerful and eloquent farewell address to the House of Commons. ‘As long as these halls echo with empty promises, I will not belong here.’
* Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, 27 year-old NDP MP for Nunavut, explains why she is not running for re-election, CBC News, June 16, 2021
* ‘I have never felt safe’: Nunavut MP accuses parliamentary security of racial profiling in farewell speech, CTV News, June 16, 2021 ‘Mr. Speaker, every time I walk on to House of Common grounds, speak in these chambers, I’m reminded every step of the way I don’t belong here…’
The children’s graves at the Kamloops residential school belie the usual boasts about the founding of Canada, by Gillian Steward, columnist, Toronto Star, June 13, 2021 As we draw closer to Canada Day on July 1, the thrilling stories about the founding of this vast nation pale when compared with the devastating loss and suffering that Indigenous peoples endured so the rest of us could call Canada home…
Is Canada really donating 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries? Justin Trudeau’s critics say no, Toronto Star, June 13, 2021
Another resignation of a top military officer in Canada, this time the head of militray police after he went golfing with disgraced former head of armed forces, CBC News, June 14, 2021
Ottawa going to court to block compensation plan for Indigenous children taken from their homes post-2006 by child welfare system, Canadian Press, June 13, 2021
Trudeau-led government tolerates the torture of prisoners in federal prisons in Canada, ignoring federal court orders to cease the practice, commentary by Anthony Doob and Jane Sprott, in Ottawa Citizen, June 14, 2021 (Anthony N. Doob is Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the University of Toronto and chaired the now defunct ‘Structured Intervention Units — Implementation Advisory Committee’ established in 2019 by Public Safety Canada. Jane B. Sprott is Professor of Criminology at Ryerson University (Toronto). Together they have written four publicly available reports using Correctional Service Canada’s own data on the operation of Canada’s new solitary confinement regime.)
Squamish Nation asks B.C. government to defer old-growth logging for two years in its traditional territory just north of Vancouver, Global News, June 10, 2021
[The ‘War In The Woods 2’ that has unfolded in the forests around Port Renfrew, BC some 200 km west of Victoria is sparking a broader movement of opposition across the province to forest industry practices of clearcut logging, including of old growth forests. The government has bowed to public and protest pressure in calling a halt to old growth logging around Port Renfrew, but environmental activists say the announcement is deceptive and does not sufficiently protect the forested areas in dispute. The BC government says old growth makes up 23 per cent of all forests in the province, but an independent report by scientists in the spring of 2020 found only three per cent of the province’s land supports old growth.].
* Forest companies in British Columbia tell researchers they plan to continue logging old growth forests for many years to come, Vancouver Sun, June 14, 2021 The forest industry in BC estimates that old-growth trees make up about a quarter of all harvesting in the province
* Scientists urge B.C. to immediately defer logging in key old-growth forests amid arrests, by Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, May 19, 2021
* It’s time to stop logging old-growth forests, by David Suzuki, published on the website of the David Suzuki Foundation, April 15, 2021
* Back to the blockades: Why I continue to fight for British Columbia’s old-growth forests, op-ed commentary by Tzeporah Berman, published in Globe and Mail print edition, May 24, 2021 read the commentary here in pdf format: Defending old growth forests
* The protests against destruction of old-growth forests centered around Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island are shaping up to be historic. Special report in Globe and Mail, May 27, 2021
Experts say reactions of ‘shock’ to discovery of anonymous graves at Kamloops residential school highlights lack of Indigenous education in Canada, CTV News, June 9, 2021
Related: School board in Vancouver suburb of Burnaby ‘apologizes’ for grade nine social studies test asking students to list the ‘benefits’ for First Nations children of Canada’s genocidal residential school system. Report by CBC News, June 10, 2021
RCMP using ‘Clearview AI’ company’s facial recognition technology, in gross violations of Canada’s laws supposed to protect privacy. Report by CBC News, June 10, 2021
Related reports: Toronto Star, June 10, 2021 and: The Tyee, June 10, 2021
[The report by federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says the RCMP has used the facial recognition hundreds of times with no judicial oversight. After initailly lying and denying using the technology, the national police force now says it does not believe its actions were in violation of privacy laws. It’s still not clear what the force was using the technology for. An investigation by the Toronto Star and BuzzFeed News found that more than a dozen police forces in Canada and several private businesses were using Clearview AI’s tools. Nine of the police forces initially denied using it. Whatever. ‘Could we please move on and talk about the violations of privacy rights in China and Russia?’]
Canada’s rulers planning to vaccinate their way around a potential fourth wave of their pandemic negligence, this one being driven by Delta variant. Report in National Post, June 9, 2021
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project is dead. Albertans are on the hook for $1.3 billion, CBC News, June 9, 2021
Related: Two investor groups with First Nations participation seeking to purchase Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. Report by Globe and Mail, June 8, 2021 Pembina Pipeline Corp. has joined with an Indigenous-owned group to propose an offer for the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, marking the first time a major energy company has signalled its intention to bid for the line now being expanded…
First Nations seek to defuse old-growth logging dispute, but BC gov’t still on the fence about protected areas, by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, June 7, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Defusing old growth logging protest
Related: Old-growth logging protesters vow to stay put at Fairy Creek area on Vancouver Island as arrests continue, Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2021 Eleven protesters were arrested on June 7, bringing the total to 185 individuals, including at least nine who have been arrested more than once.
Canada’s hypocritical love of fossil fuels is behind the fight to keep Enbridge’s dangerous Line 5 pipeline running through Great Lakes, commentary by David MacFarlane, in Toronto Star, June 7, 2021 …Pining for pipelines comes across as the ravings of an addict desperate for one more hit. Indeed, North American society is addicted to a substance — fossil fuels — that is slowly killing us. We now have real energy alternatives. But the few who profit from the fossil fuel regime, and their political lackeys, are desperate to obscure them…
Related: Oil pipeline foes protest Enbridge’s Line 3 in Minnesota, Associated Press, June 7, 2021 and read: #stopline3 protesters appeal to Biden on historic day of action, Common Dreams, June 7, 2021
Public health report by Toronto city officials ask Ottawa to decriminalize drug possession in the city, Toronto Star, June 7, 2021 …Vancouver, Montreal and Kingston have earlier made the same request to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government…
Statue of Egerton Ryerson toppled at downtown Toronto rally commemorating the children forced to attend residential schools, CBC News, June 6, 2021
Related: ‘Convenient ignorance:’ Canadians’ knowledge of residential schools sorely lacking, Canadian Press, June 6, 2021 The Canadian School Boards Association has called for the development of a nationwide curriculum on residential schools and related topics from kindergarten to Grade 12
Related: Toppling of Egerton Ryerson statue doesn’t end colonial atrocities, but it does signal an end to celebrating them, by Shree Paradkar, race and gender columnist, Toronto Star, June 8, 2021
Catholic Church ran most of Canada’s residential schools, yet remains largely silent about their devastating legacy, Globe and Mail, June 4, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Catholic Church and Canada’s residential schools
* Pope voices sorrow over residential schoolchild deaths in Canada but fails to apologize for Catholic Church role or to promise to release church records, Associated Press, June 6, 2021
* Calls to action by Canada’s Truth and Reconcilition Commission found slow response or outright stalling by governments, National Post, June 4, 2021
* Trudeau not ready to force release of residential school records on Catholic Church, Toronto Star, June 4, 2021
* Internal gov’t emails show confusion and dismay at Library and Archives Canada over its glowing online profile of John A. Macdonald, Toronto Star, June 4, 2021 …Nearly eight months after the Toronto Star reported that the online biography of Canada’s first prime minister omitted any information about devastating policies such as the creation of Canada’s residential schools for Indigenous children, the profile remains unchanged on the Canadian government website, as does the Confederation web page…
Lawyers in Canada call for International Criminal Court investigation of Canadian gov’t and Vatican over child graves at Kamloops residential school, Calgary Herald, June 3, 2021 read also: report by Global News, June 3, 2021 More than a dozen lawyers from across Canada have formally requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate the Canadian government and the Vatican for crimes against humanity following preliminary reports that the remains of an estimated 215 children were discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School… The letter says that while the Rome Statute that gives the ICC its power only came into effect on July 1, 2002, and crimes committed before that date can’t be investigated under that agreement, any ongoing coverup can be. “It is (respectfully) submitted that those within the GOC and Vatican that covered up and oppressed the crimes against humanity in this complaint, continued to do so on and after July 1, 2002.”… The open letter is gathering more signatures from lawyers across the country…
* Lead commissioner of Truth and Renconciliation Commission concerned about RCMP intimidation as the force now says it is ‘investigating’ Kamloops residential school; but the unmarked graves of children have long been known. Report in Toronto Star, June 3, 2021
* Calls to action in 2015 report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are a litmus test for governments in Canada and they are failing, by Tom McMahon, The Tyee, June 3, 2021 Little has been done in Canada even to begin the work on truth and reconciliation. (Tom McMahon is former general counsel of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, former executive secretary of the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and former senior counsel at Elections Canada.)
* Canada under the Liberals still refuses to fund First Nations kids equitably. This lifelong advocate still fights for them, interview with Cindy Blackstock of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, published in The Tyee, June 2, 2021
Two years after report of National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Ottawa releases its ‘action plan’ in response, drawing criticism from First Nations leaders. Report in Toronto Star, June 3, 2021
Murray Sinclair, head of Canada’s 2008-15 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, calls for inquiry into residential school burial sites, more support for survivors, interview with Murray Sinclair, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’, June 2, 2021 (33 minute interview, includes transcript) In its 2015 report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified names of 3,200 children who died, but real number likely much higher, says former chair
Related: Identifying children’s remains at residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia stalled by lack of records; churches and governments have refused to release them for decades, Canadian Press, June 3, 2021 Politicians and church officials say the discovery of 212 bodies of First Nations children at the former residential school in Kamloops BC is “shocking”. But this rings hollow, says Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia and former child advocate for the province of British Columbia. She says Indigenous people have tried to raise awareness about the issue for years.
Alberta premier praises Canada’s history and the leaders who created genocidal residential school system. Report in Global News, June 1, 2021
Canada should put its own house in order before casting accusations against China, commentary by Zhang Zhouxiang, in China Daily, May 31, 2021
Related: Biden’s Tulsa massacre speech was a ‘political performance’; white supremacy is carved into the genes of the West, commentary by Liu Xin and Chen Qingqing, in Global Times (China), June 2, 2021 …One of the key reasons for Biden to admit the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 is to help the U.S. regain its moral high ground to accuse others of committing a “massacre” or “genocide.” Given the growing evidence of the U.S. committing genocide to Native Americans in history, admitting historical events like the Tulsa Race Massacre would help the U.S. avoid being accused of more serious crimes in history… The U.S. and its allies in some Western countries have also been proven to be executors and accomplices of race genocide…
176 drug poisoning deaths in British Columbia in April 2021, a new record for that month, Vancouver Sun, June 1, 2021 BC is on pace in 2021 to shatter last year’s grim record of 1,726 drug deaths
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, May 2021
More than 800 students died at residential schools in Alberta; advocates say it’s time to find their graves, CBC News, May 31, 2021 At least 1 in 5 residential school student deaths took place in Alberta
* Here are some Canadian sites believed to hold more unmarked graves of Indigenous children, Toronto Star, June 1, 2021
* City council of Charlottetown votes unanimously for ‘long overdue’ removal statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister and architect of the genocidal residential school system, The Canadian Press, May 31, 2021
[The latest, grim news about Canada’s genocidal residential school system can be expected to spark a deepening of the racist and imperialist campaign by the Canadian government and corporate media outlets against the people and government of China. That campaign is serving to deflect public attention from Canada’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic and its leading role in a stuttering, global capitalist economy that has no solutions to the global warming emergency. The Globe and Mail daily, for example, has a commentary posing as a news article on page three of its June 1 print edition headlined, ‘Report details Beijing’s foreign influence operations in Canada‘. Written by the newspaper’s two, lead anti-China writers, the commentary cites as its source the right-wing ‘Alliance Canada Hong Kong’.]
Remains of 215 children who attended Kamloops Indian Residential School have been discovered on the school grounds, Kamloops This Week, May 27, 2021 The Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation has confirmed that the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School have been found on the reserve using ground-penetrating radar.
Related: ‘Unthinkable’ discovery in Canada as remains of 215 children found buried on grounds of former residential school in British Columbia, CNN, May 28, 2021
[The Kamloops Indian Residential School opened in 1890 and closed in 1978. It was the largest of the approximately 140 residential schools created in Canada during the decades following the country’s founding in 1867. The schools were a key part of Canada’s century-long policies of cultural genocide against First Nations people. They were operated by the country’s leading churches; about 60 per cent by the Catholic Church and the others by the United and Anglican churches. Examining the history of the schools was a central part of the 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Wikipedia) that was commissioned under great social and political pressure by the Canadian government in 2008. The TRC’s report declared that the schools constituted a policy of cultural genocide. The report estimated that some 4,200 children died while attending the schools, of whom some 1,600 remain unaccounted for. Records of such deaths were, in many cases, destroye dor not kept in the first place. A three-year, federal gov’t-funded program was to begin to trace and identify the disappeared children but was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. App. 150,000 children attended the schools. Canada’s 2016 census identified 1,673,785 Indigenous peoples in Canada, 4.9 per cent of the national population, including 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis, and 65,025 Inuit. 7.7% of Canada’s under-14 population are of Indigenous descent. (Wikipedia)]
Mohawk nation in Kahnawake, Quebec honours the 215 residential school victims found in BC with solidarity march, Global News, May 30, 2021 and read: Grief but no shock in Kahnawake after discovery of B.C. residential-school graves, Montreal Gazette, May 31, 2021 [Neither of these news reports explain that the Mohawk protesters and growing numbers of people elsewhere in Canada are demanding that the Catholic Church be held legally and morally responsible for the genocidal residential schools it operated in partnership with successive Canadian governments. The Church has declined to formally apologize for crimes committed in the residential schools it operated; many news organizations have, until now, treated the matter as ‘heritage history’, not crimes. The Church has declined to share the records from the schools stored in The Vatican.].
* Kamloops discovery prompts call for formal framework to investigate mass graves, Global News, May 29, 2021
* Calls grow for probes into the ‘hidden secrets’ of residential school deaths, Globe and Mail, May 30, 2021
* The Catholic Church must atone for its role in residential schools, by Michael Coren, iPolitics Canada, May 28, 2021 (Michael Coren is a columnist, broadcaster, and the author of 17 books. He is an ordained cleric in the Anglican Church of Canada.)
* Canadian gov’t stopped keeping track of children dying in residential schools, ‘probably because rates were so high’, The Canadian Press, May 31, 2015
Two thirds of Canadians want governments to get tougher on business to tackle climate change and inequality, Toronto Star, May 31, 2021 A growing number of Canadians don’t believe in free-market solutions and want government to step in with stronger regulations in the fight against climate change. New survey data released by the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation (CCPC) on May 31 has found that Canadian attitudes toward corporate accountability have shifted in the past year…
Protest blockades against old-growth forest logging centered around Fairy Creek in southern Vancouver Island are a growing challenge to the NDP provincial gov’t, Vancouver Sun, May 28, 2021 More and more protesters are mobilizing to protect old-growth trees in the sequel to 1993’s historic ‘war in the woods’ at Clayoquet Sound on Vancouver Island (Wikipedia), one of the largest acts of civil disoberdience in recent Canadian history.
* Green Party opposition in British Columbia has NDP government up against the wall on environmental issues, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist Vancouver Sun, May 27, 2021 [Liquefied natural gas projects, Site C hydro-electric dam boondoggle, Int’l Energy Agency assertion that fossil fuel investments are an economic dead-end, ongoing clearcutting of old growth forests–the NDP gov’t in British Columbia is a pro-industry, pro-megaproject beast. Growing numbers of residents of BC and Canada are slowly waking up to the reality that official ‘concern’ by corporations and capitalist governments about the global warming emergency is a mirage and a distraction.].
* Photo of massive tree being hauled down Vancouver Island highway sparks global outrage, CBC News, May 27, 2021
* Where the giant tree came from and where it might have gone, by Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee, May 28, 2021 After photos of a massive log went viral, the government says it might now be protected. Environmentalists say that’s not true.
* Back to the blockades: Why I continue to fight for British Columbia’s old-growth forests, op-ed commentary by Tzeporah Berman, published in Globe and Mail print edition, May 24, 2021 read the commentary here in pdf format: Defending old growth forests
* The protests against destruction of old-growth forests centered around Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island are shaping up to be historic. Special report in Globe and Mail, May 27, 2021
Filmmaker and environmental activist Avi Lewis seeks federal candidacy for pro-fossil fuel NDP. Report by CTV News, May 17, 2021 [Avi Lewis is embarked on a path already trod by others such as Svend Robinson to channel progressive social and environmental movement into the fold of the pro-fossil fuel, conservative New Democratic Party. In 2015, he and partner Naomi Klein spearheaded the issuance of the ‘Leap Manifesto‘ as a mechanism for transforming the NDP into a party responsive to the young generation of social and environmental activists. This was linked to their support to the various ‘Green New Deals’ around the world, which posit green capitalist measures to combat global warming. But the NDP hierarchy would have nothing of the Leap Manifesto; the initiative was formally dissolved in March 2021. Avi Lewis is seeking the NDP nomination in the electoral district of West Vancouver/Sea-To-Sky, one of the wealthiest electoral districts in Canada. In the 2019 federal election, the Green Party won 22 per cent of the vote in the district while the NDP won 14 per cent. Frictions between the two parties have worsened after the BC NDP government called a pandemic election in October 2020 with the express purpose of eliminating Green Party representation in the provincial legislature. The election call ‘worked’–the NDP government went from minority government status, reliant on Green Party representatives to approve legislation, to a majority government. Green Party representation dropped from three to two elected members of the legislature.]
‘Blind spots’ in ventilation regulations in Ontario leave essential workers in danger from airborne coronavirus infections, by Sara Mojtehedzadeh, work and wealth reporter, Toronto Star, May 16, 2021 …Ontario’s precautions continue to focus primarily on droplet contact measures: masks rather than respirators, six feet of distancing, and sanitizing. But these measures are not strong enough to protect essential workers from airborne risks, says the Occupational Hygiene Association of Ontario, the professional body representing workplace illness prevention experts, in a recent letter to the labour minister. The letter urges more focus on measures like N95 respirators and ventilation… Almost 23,500 Ontario workers have contracted COVID-19 on the job; 46 have died…
Top doctor and health adviser says Canada will need an inquiry with int’l experts into its pandemic response, but Justin Trudeau gov’t won’t commit, Toronto Star, May 16, 2021 A post-pandemic review of how Canada handled the health disaster should be led by international experts and should look at both federal and provincial gaps, says Dr. David Naylor, who is working closely with the federal government on its COVID-19 response. He says an independent examination of how the pandemic unfolded in Canada is necessary and should be “led by international experts so that we actually get a dispassionate review.” …Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has deferred all questions about any inquiry or review of the pandemic response, saying there will be time for a “lessons learned” exercise but it must wait until the pandemic is over…
Latest in a string of military leaders to fall in Canada over misconduct is Dany Fortin, the major-general appointed in 2020 to oversee vaccine deployments. Report by CBC News, May 14, 2021
Update: Major-General Dany Fortin facing historical sexual misconduct allegations, CTV News, May 17, 2021
192 died in Vancouver care homes that delayed declaring coronavirus outbreaks, exclusive investigation by South China Morning Post, May 13, 2021 …Vancouver’s two health authorities, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health, both tried to withhold data [approximately Nov. 2020 to Feb. 2021] about the apparent failures of the strategy known as “enhanced surveillance” or “enhanced monitoring” until they were compelled to provide it by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests…
Greyhound Canada shutting down all inter-city bus service permanently, CBC News, May 13, 2021 [Imagine a vast country during a time of global warming that turns a blind eye when its inter-city bus services connecting small urban centers to each other and to larger cities are shut down by a private owner. The decision leaves air travel and the automobile as the only remaining options for passenger travel–Canada’s inter-city passenger rail services were scrapped decades ago, excepting the Windsor-Quebec City corridor and a few expensive tourism-oriented services. The province of Saskatchewan scapped its state-owned bus service in 2017, the only such service in the country. The three Martime provinces lost their privately owned Acadian bus lines service in fits and starts beginning ten years ago. Greyhound shut down in western Canada in 2018, notwithstanding the fact that the absence of public transit service has been an important contributor to the deaths of missing and murdered women in British Columbia. Just recently, the federal government showered billions of dollars of subsidies (and here) on Canada’s air travel industry. Such is the state of affairs in a Canada that is governed by a fossil fuel death cult.]
Proposed ‘drug decriminalization lite’ plan by Vancouver mayor and city council is a disaster, say advocates, The Tyee, May 12, 2021 The city’s approach was supposed to make drug use safer in a crisis. But those who use drugs say it’s critically flawed.
Health authorities in Ontario and several other Canadian provinces halt use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, CBC News, May 12, 2021
* Ontario pausing use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to safety, supply concerns, Global News, May 12, 2021
* I got a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Now what?, National Post, May 12, 2021
Bet on BC NDP gov’t to make employers pay for permanent sick leave scheme, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, May 12, 2021
* BC gov’t responds to public pressure demanding sick pay for all workers with a subsidy program for business of three paid days. Report in The Tyee, May 11, 2021
* B.C. backstops Covid-19 sick pay, pledges permanent reforms for vulnerable workers, Globe and Mail, May 11, 2021 …Under the proposed law, the provincial government will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each worker who takes pandemic sick leave, if the workplace does not already have an existing program… The pandemic pay requirement will remain in force until the end of the year. Starting on Jan. 1, 2022, the law will transition to a minimum standard for paid personal illness and injury leave, but the details have yet to be worked out…
Canada finance minister Chrystia Freeland defends federal wage subsidy program for business as opposition accuses Liberals of ‘showering their rich Bay Street friends’, Globe and Mail, May 12, 2021 Read the article here in pdf format: Canada’s wage subsidy program
Canada must denounce the glorification of Nazism in Ukraine, by Scott Taylor, publisher, Esprit de Corps military magazine, May 10, 2021
A letter pleading for help to BC’s chief public health officer from a teacher in the province’s hardest-hit municipality, by Lizanne Foster, The Tyee, May 10, 2021 … Leaked documents have revealed that the people who live in the northwest corner of Surrey have the lowest vaccination rates and above 20-per-cent positivity rate for the Covid-19 virus…
The left-wing case against universal basic income, by John Clarke, published in Canadian Dimension, May 3, 2021
[Writer John Clarke overlooks the language of ‘class struggle’ in his otherwise well argued commentary against a universal basic income (aka guaranteed annual income). The most compelling argument against universal basic income (UBI) is that it relegates the class struggle of the working class and its allies to the sidelines. Instead of fighting, via the class struggle, for lasting improvements to the social wage (pensions, unemployment insurance, social welfare income, universal health care, etc, etc), the proponents of UBI would have the working class and its allies engaging in a long, drawn-out political lobbying effort for the proposal. This would sideline the innate, reflexive struggles of the working class for society-wide social improvements. Of course, many proponents of UBI would argue that their proposal does indeed include the idea of the working class fighting for the very best version of same. But if it is true that UBI amounts to a vast wage income subsidy for the employers and would act to pacify the class struggle, why should the working class engage in it? UBI has similarities to the old argument favoring ‘wages for housework’ as a women’s rights objective. This, too, would be a diversion for the working class. It would weaken the struggles for key feminist societal goals such as free, quality daycare; affirmative action for women in employment; jobs for all (via, for example, struggling for a shorter work week and lower retirement ages); and a living wage (via increases to the legislated minimum wage).]
What exactly did the Liberal government do with the sexual misconduct allegation against ex-top soldier Jonathan Vance in 2018?, Toronto Star, May 8, 2021 It’s the story that reaches to the top of the Prime Minister’s Office, that has caused damage to the Liberal government’s feminist brand, led to calls for the defence minister to resign and for the prime minister to fire his chief of staff. At the heart of it is this question: What happened with an allegation against ex-chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance in 2018? Or as some critics would say: Why did nothing happen with an allegation against Canada’s former top soldier, who remained in the position for almost another three years, and is now under military police investigation? And where was the follow up?…
* A sexual misconduct crisis has spiralled during Harjit Sajjan’s watch. Can he survive as Canada’s defence minister?, Toronto Star, May 8, 2021 …“The only reason the defence minister is still serving is because he obviously has the endorsement and the unimpeded support of the prime minister, and the prime minister is obviously aware of what is going on. He must understand what impact this has.” What might save the embattled minister for now is that in a global pandemic, Trudeau’s government is busy fighting a different war, one that his Liberals believe matters more to the Canadian public. Sajjan also remains, in the view of senior Liberals, a strong political draw in terms of votes and donations in the valued electoral turf of Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto. He is a Sikh man who embodies the Trudeau government’s commitment to diversity and inclusion…
* Canada’s military hierarchy, including head of ‘special forces’, supported sex offender in 2017 case, not his victims, by Scott Taylor, ‘On Target’ commentary published in Esprit de Corps, May 3, 2021 In 2017, senior military leaders, including Major-General Peter Dawe, provided glowing character references to the officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting the wife of a fellow officer.
* The General Vance saga: So many not-so-secret-secrets, by Scott Taylor, ‘On Target’ commentary published in Esprit de Corps, April 26, 2021 …The more bombshell revelations that drop in the military sexual misconduct scandal, the more one understands the scale of the complicity of those in government who have remained silent…
These top CEOs pledged to take pandemic pay cuts, but some ended up getting millions more, Toronto Star, May 7, 2021 …The Toronto Star examined recently-published financial reports from several of Canada’s largest companies, all of which had pledged to reduce executive pay during the pandemic. The story among each of them was the same: executives were showered in riches regardless of company performance. In most cases, the losses sustained through salary reductions were more than made up for with other compensation — cash bonuses, stock options and more. Some CEOs made millions more in 2020 than the year before, despite pledging a pay reduction during the pandemic…
Ontario’s official count of COVID ICU patients is missing dozens of cases, hiding the true scale of the crisis in hospitals, Toronto Star, May 6, 2021 Fifty per cent of critically ill Covid-19 patients are being treated outside the ICUs of 21 hospital sites surveyed in the Toronto region and are not captured by provincial data …Almost 100 patients who in pre-pandemic times would qualify for the ICU are instead being treated on medical wards, according to data obtained by the Star from more than a dozen GTA hospitals. This represents a substantial portion of critically ill COVID patients not being counted by the province, masking the full extent of the crisis in hospitals… Physicians across the GTA say the full number of critically ill patients in hospital — including those outside the ICU — must be taken into account when assessing the hospital system’s ability to cope before relaxing any public health measures…
Related: Record numbers of hospital ICU transfers out of Toronto in April 2021, Toronto Star, May 6, 2021 New numbers show that in an attempt to prevent ICUs from overflowing during the latest wave of Covid-19 illnesses, more than 1,000 patients were transferred to hospitals across Ontario over the month of April. Most were transferred out of the Greater Toronto Area. The transfers were up from around 200-250 per month from January to March…
Ontario premier promised ‘accountability’ after last year’s horrors in long-term care. Critics say they are still waiting, Toronto Star, May 5, 2021 Nearly one year ago, a visibly upset Premier Doug Ford said there would be an “investigation” into the horrific conditions military medical teams found in a five Ontario nursing homes that were ravaged by Covid-19. He said the results would be “shared with police.” Three scathing reports and 11 months later, critics are asking what happened to the premier’s promise “there will be accountability, there will be justice for these residents and their families.” Almost 4,000 nursing home residents died and more than 15,000 were infected. At least 26 were found dead from dehydration because there were not enough staff to get them water, according the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission report delivered on April 30 [a Friday afternoon]. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said on May 5 she is not aware of any provincial investigation, and the Ontario Provincial Police said the force is also “not aware” of any probe into what Ford himself called “disgusting” and “gut-wrenching” situations…
Related news of Ontario’s pandemic negligence:
* Ontario’s long-term-care minister sticks to her guns in refusing to say ‘sorry’ for the nearly 4,000 Covid-19 deaths of elders in the province, Toronto Star, May 4, 2021
* Executives of long-term care killer homes paid handsome bonuses amid COVID-19 pandemic. Report in Globe and Mail, May 4, 2021 Two of Canada’s biggest operators of long-term care homes have paid annual bonuses to their top executives for 2020… Extendicare Inc. paid full bonuses to several top executives after surpassing profit goals for 2020, while Sienna Senior Living Inc. increased the bonuses it paid out. It also gave former CEO Lois Cormack a $4.7-million severance package, including a cash payment of $2.4-million, when she left the company in June 2020…
Blow to the pro-Israel fanatics who run the University of Toronto as Michaelle Jean withdraws from planned speech on ‘human rights’. Column by Shree Paradkar, race and gender columnist, Toronto Star, May 6, 2021 …Two open letters this week, one from about 60 Black intellectuals and the other from about 300 international academics, asked Michaelle Jean to put the brakes on a planned lecture in light of a rare and serious censure by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Council against the university… The university has been mired in controversy for eight months after its Faculty of Law reversed a decision to hire human rights lawyer Valentina Azarova as director of its prestigious International Human Rights Program (IHRP), even though she was the unanimous choice of the hiring committee…
West Moberley First Nation court action lifts the BC government’s veil of secrecy surrounding the Site C hydroelectric dam boondoggle, but the documents still aren’t accessible to broader public. By Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, May 6, 2021
Meet David Kilgour, the former Liberal Party MP who has campaigned for decades to escalate tensions with China, by Daniel Xie, The Canada Files, May 5, 2021
Alberta premier Jason Kenney announces new, limited coronavirus restrictions to avert a looming ‘hospital disaster’ in the province, Toronto Star, May 4, 2021 Just one month after Jason Kenney foretold the “best summer in Alberta history” the embattled premier reversed course on May 4 with a suite of new pandemic restrictions designed to curb one of the highest Covid-19 case rates in North America. In a rare solo dinnertime address streamed by local TV stations — after which reporters were not allowed to ask questions — Kenney said the province has set a record for people currently in intensive care, and that the spike in cases threatens even the expanded hospital capacity that’s been implemented in recent weeks…
Growing concern that Alberta’s coronavirus disaster will spill over into BC, Vancouver Sun, May 4, 2021 With signs on the B.C.-Alberta border the only thing to deter our provincial neighbours from vacationing here, there’s growing concern that Alberta’s high Covid-19 rates could spill into B.C., just as cases edge downward here. Alberta has more than 23,000 active Covid-19 infections and has the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America. A record 154 infected people were in intensive care on Monday…
Canada’s national vaccine advisers sow confusion around the AstraZeneca vaccine, Toronto Star, May 4, 2021 Canada’s national vaccine advisers sowed confusion around the AstraZeneca vaccine on May 3 when they recommended those at a lower risk of Covid-19 wait for a mRNA shot [Pfizer or Moderna] that doesn’t seem to carry a rare chance of a blood clot. Public health experts responded by doubling down on their own messaging — that all Canadians need to seek out any vaccine available for immediate protection against COVID-19 — and emphasizing that AstraZeneca continues to be recommended by Health Canada…
Alberta now leads Canada and U.S. in per capita Covid-19 cases, CTV News, May 3, 2021
* Alberta to announce new public-health measures amid highest Covid-19 rates in North America, Globe and Mail, May 3, 2021
* In Alberta, a coronavirus hell of Premier Jason Kenney’s own making, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, May 3, 2021 The Covid-19 devil runs free in Alberta yet again and the premier has no excuse.
Ontario had no plan to address pandemic or protect residents in long-term care, says final report by Long-Term Care Covid-19 Commission, The Canadian Press, Apr 30, 2021 …”Many of the challenges that had festered in the long-term care sector for decades — chronic underfunding, severe staffing shortages, outdated infrastructure and poor oversight — contributed to deadly consequences for Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens during the pandemic,” the commissioners wrote. The report found that the province failed to learn lessons from the SARS epidemic in 2003. Nearly 3,800 residents and 11 staff died of Covid-19 in long-term elder care homes in Ontario by the end of April 2021…
Old-growth forest logging approvals are soaring in BC, The Tyee, May 3, 2021 Companies are rushing to get permits before some protection comes for critical areas, advocates say.
Latest top soldier in Canadian military to resign over sexual misconduct is head of the armed forces ‘special service’. Report by CBC News, May 2, 2021
Related: Military reeling as new defence chief resigns amid allegations of misconduct, The Canadian Press, Feb 25, 2021 The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling after news that recently-appointed defence chief-of-staff Admiral Art McDonald is being investigated for misconduct. This comes only weeks after military police launched an investigation into allegations against his predecessor, General Jonathan Vance… [Vance resigned in July 2020.]
Looming showdown as Michigan governor orders shutdown of Enbridge Inc. ‘Line 5’ pipeline carrying Alberta oil eastward through Lake Michigan, Washington Post, May 2, 2021 …Line 5, built in 1953, is part of Enbridge’s mainland system, which carries fuel from Alberta’s oil sands [sic] to the Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada. Running from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario, it is a key conduit for refineries in those regions, which make gas, propane and home-heating oils, as well as jet fuels for airports in Toronto and Detroit. Line 5 splits into dual pipelines for 4.5 miles under Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac…
Related: First Nations group in Ontario backs Line 5 shutdown, slams Ottawa for fighting back, The Canadian Press, May 6, 2021