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, February 2020
Manitoba First Nations chiefs tour medical facilities in Cuba, pres forward with request for Cuban doctors for their communities, Winnipeg Free Press (mainstream daily), Feb 28, 2020
RCMP acknowledges using facial recognition technology, but won’t say where, CBC News, Feb 27, 2020
* Facial recognition app ‘Clearview AI’ has been used far more widely in Canada than previously known, special report in Toronto Star, Feb 27, 2020
* ICE’s warrantless facial recognition searches against immigrants triggers bill in Maryland legislature to restrict the practice, Venture Beat, Feb 27, 2020
Politicians and columnists still don’t seem to get the Wet’suwet’en [fracked gas pipeline] crisis, so let’s review, by Paul Willcocks, The Tyee, Feb 25, 2020
Globe and Mail daily report on coronavirus epidemic contradicts the newspaper’s own anti-China reporting. [Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in January 2020, the anti-China Globe and Mail daily has published voluninous reports condemning the Chinese government and health system. The newspaper says the quarantining of affected areas has been excessive and repressive; it says the government has covered up the extent of the illness; etc, etc, etc. But in a page-three news report on February 26, the newspaper writes:
A renowned Canadian epidemiologist who led a team of experts to China to study the novel coronavirus on behalf of the World Health Organization says other countries are not ready for a global outbreak.
Bruce Aylward returned from a two-week mission to China, including the city of Wuhan where the spread of the coronavirus began, urging other countries to get ready for a potential outbreak within their own borders as soon as possible. He says countries should be looking to China for expertise in how to manage and treat the disease now known as COVID-19, noting that country has taken an aggressive approach to testing, containing and treating people who contract the coronavirus…
[Postscript: On Feb 27, the Globe and Mail published a report by its ‘senior international correspondent’ Mark MacKinnon titled ‘In Iran and China, the authoritarian instinct to deny and obfuscate has only aided the spread of virus’. One day later, echoing a few similar reports in Western media, Canada’s state broadcaster, the CBC, published this report: They have changed the course of this outbreak:’ Revelations from handling of coronavirus in China, CBC News, Feb 28, 2020.]
The myth of band councils as First Nations, commentary by Doug George-Kanentiio, Toronto Star, Feb 24, 2020 read the commentary here in pdf format: The myth of band councils
* Coastal GasLink dispute casts spotlight on tensions between elected councils and hereditary system, by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, Feb 27, 2020 read the article here in pdf format: Tensions between band council and hereditary governance
* The breathtaking hypocrisy of the howls for ‘rule of law’, by Jennifer Ditchburn, published by Policy Options (Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal), Feb 17, 2020
* Police removal of Tyendinaga Mohawk is a thumbnail in the violent mosaic of Canadian colonization, by Shree Paradkar, race and gender columnist, Toronto Star, Feb. 24, 2020 read the column here in pdf format: Police removal of Tyendinaga Mohawk
Teck’s tar sands strip mine: The case kept getting worse and worse, by Geoff Dembicki, The Tyee, Feb 24, 2020
* Teck CEO says miner is facing ‘perfect storm’ after pulling plug on Frontier project, by Niall McGee, mining reporter, Globe and Mail, Feb 24, 2020 read the report here in pdf format: Teck Resources
* Following Teck Resources cancellation of major tar sands project, Alberta gov’t to enact new law to shield ‘critical infrastructure’ from protest actions. Report by CBC News, Feb 24, 2020
Journalist Christie Blatchford doesn’t deserve her eulogies, by Davide Mastracci (managing editor), published in Passage, Feb 24, 2020
Ontario police break up main rail blocade in Canada, at Mohawk territory of Tyendinaga between Montreal and Toronto. Report by CBC News, Feb 24, 2020
Related: Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government, The Canadian Press, Feb 23, 2020
Teck Resources withdraws its application for a new, multi-billion dollar tar sands strip mine in northern Alberta. Report by CBC News, Feb 23, 2020
Trudeau says rail barricades ‘need to come down now,’ rules out sending in soldiers to restore rail service, CBC News, Feb 21, 2020 …Even if the barricades do come down, the construction of the pipeline faces other obstacles. B.C.s’ Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has instructed Coastal GasLink to undergo further consultation with Indigenous communities along a stretch of its pipeline route. The firm now has 30 days to begin talks, and during that time no construction can happen along the 18-kilometre portion of the pipeline in the Morice River area, which is within Dark House territory…
* Despite pleas from Ottawa government, no sign of blockades coming down, CTV News, Feb 23, 2020
* Rail blockade in support of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs erected in Saskatoon, CBC News, Feb 22, 2020 The effort is led by community members from Saskatoon’s inner city A day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for rail barricades in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in B.C. to be taken down, a group of Indigenous activists in Saskatoon have erected a rail blockade in the heart of the city…
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs arrive in Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, Quebec following meeting with Mohawks in Tyendinaga territory in Ontario, Canadian Press, Feb 22, 2020
Related: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with Mohawks of Tyendinaga [in Ontario], set conditions for nation-to-nation talks, press release issued on Feb 21, 2020. Published on the Facebook page of Unist’ot’en Camp Read the press release here in pdf format: Press release by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Feb 21, 2020 …In order that nation-to-nation discussions with Canada and BC may occur freely, and without duress, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs require the following conditions be met prior to any discussions…
As Nobel prize winners, we demand Justin Trudeau stop the Teck Frontier tar sands strip mine in Alberta, open letter by 42 past recipients in Canada of the Nobel Prize, published in The Guardian, Feb 21, 2020 …Projects that enable fossil-fuel growth at this moment in time are an affront to our state of climate emergency, and the mere fact that they warrant debate in Canada should be seen as a disgrace…
* What the proposed tar sands strip mine by Teck Resources in northern Alberta will destroy, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Feb 19, 2020 Old growth forest, wetlands, wildlife–the formal review panel added this up and wrote it off. Any day now, the Trudeau government is expected to render its verdict on the $20-billion Teck Resources Frontier mine proposed to push Alberta’s industrialized oilsands landscape farther north…
* Former climate change negotiators for Canada call on Ottawa to end its hypocrisy over global warming, op-ed by Paul Fauteux, Howard Mann, Chris McDermott and Guy Saint-Jacques, published in Toronto Star, Feb. 20, 2020 read the commentary here in pdf format: Canada’s climate change hypocrisy
Vigilantes break up CN Rail blockade on the outskirts of Edmonton. Report by Canadian Press, Feb 19, 2020 (and read: report by Edmonton bureau of Toronto Star, Feb 19, 2020) [Distrubing parallels are emerging between the land rights struggle of the First Nation in north-central British Columbia and the clash in 1990 over the land rights of the Mohawk people of Kahnesatake territory, adjacent to the village of Oka, Quebec. As in 1990, mainstream media in Canada, including the state-run CBC, is stepping up reporting that is labelling blockades and other actions in solidarity with the self-determination struggle led by the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation as being ‘lawless’ and uncaring of the overall impacts of the on the Canadian economy. The hereditary chiefs are seeking a negotiated remedy to the ‘Coastal GasLink’ fracked gas construction project that would cross the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en people. They are demanding the withdrawal of the large, RCMP police force that is now occupying their territory in order to allow pipeline construction to proceed. Supporters of the oil, gas and other natural resource-plundering industries in Canada can be expected to step up vigilante actions in the coming days. They are also stepping up calls for the federal government to unleash police against solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en. Already, courts are systemically ruling in favour of industry. In all of this, media and other advocates of resource plundering are conveniently failing to mention the long history in Canada of violation of First Nations land rights (see news reports immediately below). They also disregard the grave threat of global warming which, albeit indirectly, motivates much of the solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en.].
* Wet’suwet’en chiefs reiterate call for withdrawal of RCMP and pipeline construction crews before talks can take place over pipeline crisis, by Alex Ballingall, Tonda MacCharles and Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star, Feb. 19, 2020 The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have turned aside new requests by Ottawa to meet, holding firm on demands for the withdrawal of the RCMP and Coastal GasLink personnel from their territory before they will agree to talks with any federal or B.C. government leaders to end the two-week-old rail stoppage…
* RCMP say they will abandon their outpost on Wet’suwet’en territory if road to pipeline construction area is kept clear, CBC News, Feb 20, 2020
* Conservative Party leadership candidate Peter MacKay deletes tweet about rail blockades after critics suggest he supports vigilantism, Globe and Mail, Feb 20, 2020 …In his replacement message, Mr. MacKay said he viewed the counter-protests as “acts of good citizenship”…
Background: The 1990 land rights struggle of the Mohawk people, in Wikipedia
Fracked gas pipeline crisis: Whose rule of law, the Wet’suwet’en or Canada’s criminal code and courts? by Katie Hyslop, The Tyee, Feb 14, 2020 [There is a small error in this very informative article. It is the writer’s claim that “Coastal GasLink has signed Impact and Benefit Agreements with 20 Indian Act band councils along the 670-kilometre proposed pipeline route.” Grand Chief Stewart Philip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs explained in a 20-minute interview on CBC Radio One on February 16 that many of the Indian Act band councils that have signed ‘joint agreements’ do not even lie in the pipeline’s pathway. In other words, those agreements were public relations ploys. This is also the case with many of the agreements to accept the expansion of the ‘Trans Mountain’ tar sands pipeline expansion project which, if built, will triple the transport of Alberta tar sands bitumen transported from Edmonton, Alberta to the Port of Vancouver.].
Related: How the British Columbia government and industry were shaken by the 1997 ‘Delgamuukw’ court ruling recognizing Aboriginal title, by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press, Feb 18, 2020 … Rather than use the court decision as an opportunity to recognize Aboriginal title, researcher Shiri Pasternak said the government sought to protect industry from the ruling’s implications…
Bombardier sells train-making division to French multinational Alstom, CBC News, Feb 18, 2020 …Montreal-based Bombardier has sold several divisions since CEO Alain Bellemare took the helm in 2015, including its business and passenger jet units, once touted as the company’s crown jewels, and its turboprop airline unit… Last week, Bombardier announced the sale of its remaining stake in the Airbus 220 commercial jetliner program. The jet was created by Bombardier under the name ‘C Series’ to take on the commercial aircraft duopoly of Airbus and Boeing…
Related: How once mighty Bombardier became politically toxic in Quebec, CBC News, Feb 6, 2020
[Bombardier’s aircraft division was created in 1986 when the then-Canadian government gifted its ‘Canadair’ entity to a cobbled-together business group in Quebec headed by Bombardier, an established manufacturer of snowmobiles. During its long and convoluted history, Canadair/Bombardier Aerospace benefitted from untold hundreds of millions of dollars of Canadian and Quebec government subsidies. Wikipedia.]
Canada’s Minister of Indigenous services meets with Mohawk First Nation protesters blocking vital Montreal-Toronto-Chicago rail artery in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation in British Columbia, CBC News, Feb 14, 2020 …With new blockades and protests popping up in different places across Canada almost daily, the Liberal government risks losing control of the situation…
Supreme Court of Canada will hear federal gov’t appeal of BC and Ontario court rulings that solitary confinement-torture policy must be modified. Report by CBC News, Feb 13, 2020 …The federal government proposed legislative changes in 2018 to “eliminate” the use of solitary confinement. The changes came into effect in November 2019. Alison Latimer, a lawyer representing the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said the new protocols are “window dressing” and won’t ensure inmates aren’t held in segregation for long periods of time. “The problem with the new law is that it continues to allow prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement. This is in the form of what are now called ‘Structured Intervention Units’, whereas before, confinement was called ‘segregation’. The new terminology is just a euphemism, I would say.” …
Related: Supreme Court to hear appeal on constitutionality of solitary-confinement law, by Patrick White, Globe and Mail, Feb 13, 2020 [This informative article accurately reports, “The Globe and Mail has reported extensively on the prevalence and effects of solitary confinement, beginning with a 2014 investigation into the death of Mr. Snowshoe.” But the article ‘forgets’ to mention that the human rights office of the United Nations considers prolonged solitary confinement in prisons to be a form of torture.]
Ottawa says it won’t interfere in the dispute between Wet’suwet’en chiefs and Coastal GasLink. So, what’s next?, by Tonda MacCharles, Toronto Star, Feb 12, 2020 Read the article here in pdf format: What next in Coastal GasLink pipeline protests
* From crude oil to yogurt, here’s how the railway protests are disrupting Canadian supply chains, by Alex Boyd, Toronto Star, Feb 12, 2020 The delivery of goods across Canada ranging from oil to car parts to yogurt are at risk of serious delays as railway blockades and growing protests against the construction of a pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. approach the one-week mark… (Read the article here in pdf format: Coastal GasLink protests and blockades)
* British Columbia premier says there is a plan in place if protest blockade of legislature against gas pipeline should return, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Feb 13, 2020
* Statements of solidarity with the Wetsuweten people’s fight against the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline. Weblink here
Inside the ‘growth machine’ that conspired to hand over housing in Vancouver to the real estate/construction industry nexus and global capital, by Christopher Cheung, The Tyee, Feb 13, 2020 …Renowned University of British Columbia geographer David Ley, who’s been studying Vancouver ever since he arrived in 1972, lifts the hood of the province’s growth machine in his latest paper. He found the engine powering the machine — a free-market B.C. government coupled with a trans-Pacific property industry. Together they ignited the commodification and globalization of Vancouver housing. Lubricating investment in Vancouver were watchdogs that were either “complicit or complacent” in dealing with property related money laundering, tax evasion and creative opportunism. Ley’s paper is titled ‘A regional growth ecology, a great wall of capital and a metropolitan housing market‘ and was published last month in Urban Studies…
Agreements in 2016 to protect old-growth forests on BC coast from clearcutting being broken. Industry-friendly BC government says implementing the agreement is ‘complicated’. Report by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, Feb 10, 2020. Read the article here in pdf format: Great Bear Rainforest agreements
Background: Corporate vandals in British Columbia assault rivers, oceans, forests, by Roger Annis, published in Socialist Voice, June 28, 2010
Federal Court of Appeal dismisses Indigenous opposition to Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, CBC News, Feb 4, 2020
* Few hurdles remain for Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, The Canadian Press, Feb 4, 2020 A Federal Court of Appeal ruling on February 4 removes the last active court hurdle to completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The court decision means construction which is already underway can continue. The First Nations whose case was dismissed have 60 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.
* Tsleil-Waututh Nation considering challenge of Federal Court of Appeal decision favoring Trans Mountain pipeline, Global News, Feb 4, 2020
* Federal Court of Appeal decision favouring Trans Mountain decision could support B.C. decisions on LNG pipeline, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Feb 4, 2020
Ride-hailing: Good for you, not for the planet, by Theresa Beer, Vancouver Sun, Feb 3, 2020 If Metro Vancouver follows other North American cities, we can expect congestion and carbon pollution to get worse, not better. [The NDP government in British Columbia has set conditions and approved ‘ride hailing’ auto service to open in the province. Most municipal governments in the Vancouver region are supportive, especially that are close to the NDP politically. The only opposition to the service has come from taxi companies and owner-operators. Environmentalists have been largely silent because their only answer to the growing congestion and transport-caused pollution in the Vancouver region has been calls to expand bus services and multi-billion dollar rapid transit lines. But more transit drives more urban sprawl and therefore more traffic congestion. Few people in self-declared, ‘green’ Vancouver dare speak of the imperative, driven by global warming, to decommodify human society (also known as ‘degrowth’).
* Uber and Lyft acknowledge making traffic worse in some US cities, VOX.com, Aug 6, 2019
* Ridesharing partly to blame for Toronto traffic congestion, says report, Global News, June 24, 2019 … The report by Ryerson University’s Urban Analytics Institute found the regulations for vehicle-for-hire services such as Uber and Lyft haven’t had the intended effects, such as controlling traffic congestion and emissions. The services have snatched up more than 20 million trips away from public transit each year, according to researcher Yemi Adediji. She said the city’s approach to regulating ridesharing has failed to meet its own objectives…
* Uber and Lyft are the ‘biggest contributors’ to San Francisco’s traffic congestion, The Verge, May 8, 2019 Between 2010 and 2016, traffic congestion in San Francisco increased by about 60 percent — and Uber and Lyft are responsible for more than half of that increase
Trudeau faces tough campaigning in Africa for UN Security Council seat, Canadian Press, Feb 2, 2020 …Africa, with its 54 voting countries, is a kingmaker of sorts in the secret ballot at the UN General Assembly’s 190-plus countries where Canada will need at least 128 votes in the upcoming June election for a two-year term starting in 2021. Canada faces tough competition from Norway and Ireland, which both spend more on foreign aid and peacekeeping. Two seats are up for grabs in what is called the ‘Western European and Others Group’ of the UN…
Related: Canada’s peacekeeping [sic] efforts at historic low after Mali mission ended, The Canadian Press, Nov 27, 2019
Canadian gov’t weighs approval of new, massive tar sands mine project by Teck Resources, looks to sell project to skeptical public through a commitment by Alberta to the ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ scam. Report by CBC News, Feb 2, 2020 The Teck Resources oilsands [sic] mine would be vast, producing up to 260,000 barrels of bitumen per day.
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, January 2020
Huge increases in carbon emissions from forests in British Columbia as past cutting and firefighting practices come back to haunt. Report by Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun, Jan 30, 2020 …The average annual direct emissions from wildfires in B.C. during the 1990s was 6 Mt CO2e. That’s six million tonnes of greenhouse gases stated as CO2 equivalents. In the 2000s, forest fires released 16 Mt CO2e annually. In each of 2017 and 2018, that figure was closer to 197 Mt CO2e, or 33 times more than the average year in the ’90s… Human-caused CO2 emissions in B.C. are currently about 64.5 Mt CO2e annually, with an ‘official’ target of 38 Mt CO2e by 2030… The wildfire and carbon project is a $1-million partnership between Canadian researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture forest service to “de-escalate the devastating forest wildfires that are increasingly occurring due to climate change.”… When it comes to regenerating forests, our approach needs to be more nuanced than clear-cutting and replanting trees that are prized by logging companies. Agricultural-style monocultures may not be the way to healthy forests…
Money laundering runs so deep in Vancouver’s real estate and gambling industries it will be hard to resolve, commentary by Robert Diab, Vancouver Sun, Jan 30, 2020 …British Columbia’s land title system and its lax rules over lawyers’ trust accounts helped foreigners buy some $16 billion worth of property in recent years, often remaining anonymous. Cash from what are considered high-risk buyers — foreign companies and trusts — makes up 20 to 60 per cent of purchases. Some three per cent of B.C. titles (roughly 33,000) list owners with occupations like student, homemaker or unemployed — with roughly a quarter of them holding clear title…
Holocaust remembrance is vital to counter Nazi glorification in Ukraine, by Scott Taylor, published in his ‘On Target’ column in Esprit de Corps magazine (Canada), Jan 27, 2020 [It is disappointing to read that the writer makes no mention of the fervent, ongoing support by the Canadian government and its NATO allies to the right-wing government of Ukraine. For several years, the Ukrainian government has conducted a vast re-write of World War Two history in praise of the Ukrainians who collaborated with Nazi Germany. In addition, neo-Nazi paramilitaries have come to infest every level of the Ukrainian police agencies and armed forces ever since the right-wing coup of February 2014. There is no more fervent adherent to NATO policy supporting the Ukrainian government than Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland. Widespread media reporting has documented her maternal grandfather’s role during WW2 as a Nazi collaborator and propagandist.]
Airbus reaches deal with U.S., UK and French governments, paying $4 billion fine for corruption practices but avoiding criminal charges, Reuters, Jan 27, 2020 [The corrupt Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has been less successful than the corrupt Airbus. In 2018, the company failed to convince the justice ministry of the Canadian government to gift it a ‘deferred prosecution agreement’ similar to what Airbus has won. The government then waged a months-long pressure campaign against its own justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybold, to reverse her ministry’s decision. She refused and was then booted out of the government cabinet and the Liberal Party. In late 2019, the company reached a plea deal for corruption practices years earlier in Libya, paying a $280 million fine; as well, one company official convicted of bribery practices in Libya. Other bribery and corruption charges apart from practices in Libya are ongoing. In January 2020, the company formally withdrew its legal challenge to the 2018 decision refusing it a deferred prosecution agreement.]
Money laundering runs so deep in Vancouver’s real estate and gambling industries it will be hard to resolve, commentary by Robert Diab, Vancouver Sun, Jan 30, 2020 …British Columbia’s land title system and rules around lawyers’ trust accounts helped foreigners buy some $16 billion worth of property in recent years, often remaining anonymous. Cash from what are considered high-risk buyers — foreign companies and trusts — makes up 20 to 60 per cent of purchases. Some three per cent of B.C. titles (roughly 33,000) list owners with occupations like student, homemaker or unemployed — with roughly a quarter of them holding clear title…
Indigenous inmates are over 30 per cent of prison population, reports Canada’s correctional investigator, up from 25 per cent four years ago, report in Canadian Lawyer, Jan 28, 2020 …Although Indigenous people make up only five per cent of the Canadian population, they are increasingly over-represented in prisons. And while the non-Indigenous inmate population has decreased by 13.7 per cent since April 2010, the Indigenous population has risen by 43.4 per cent…
* The ‘child welfare to prison pipeline’ that is feeding rising Indigenous incarceration rates, report by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Jan 23, 2020
* Canada’s growing Indigenous prison population ‘is a national travesty’, by Ian Mulgrew, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Jan 29, 2020 …British Columbia lawyer John Conroy points out that 73 per cent of men and 80 per cent of women locked up in Canadian prisons qualify for a current mental disorder, 29 per cent require follow-up with mental health services, 25 per cent have some kind of cognitive deficit, 10 to 23 per cent have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), some have acquired brain injuries–“It goes on and on and on,” he says. Indigenous people constitute less than five per cent of the Canadian population yet they now account for one-in-three of the men in jail and more than four -in-ten of women incarcerated. The appalling statistics suggest a modern, racially divided Bedlam… Indigenous offenders serve a higher proportion of their sentence behind bars before being granted parole. Worse, a national recidivism study shows it doesn’t help — Indigenous offenders reoffend at much higher levels, as high as 70 per cent on the Prairies. And when you look at the cases coming down the pipe, it isn’t hopeful…
University of BC, City of Vancouver and three First Nations push for $4 billion extension of ‘SkyTrain’ rapid transit to boost real estate gold rush. Report by Vancouver Courier, Jan 29, 2020 [The Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations have strong interest in the rapid transit project due to their joint plans for major real estate development on the 36 hectare ‘Jericho Lands’, a former military base which the three First Nations acquired in recent years. The Musqueam First Nation is currently working with a real estate developer on a large residential development on land it acquired from the University Endowment Lands (UEL), while the Squamish First Nation announced last year a massive real estate project on a small parcel of land it acquired in Kitsilano neighbourhood, adjacent to downtown Vancouver. Currently, some 50,000 people work or study at UBC. About half of those live on campus or nearby. The university has already steered a real estate/construction boom in the past decade; lots more forested, UEL land on the campus is still available for paving over. As Vancouver Sun reporter Dan Fumano writes, “Extending the [Skytrain] line further west to UBC would benefit many Vancouverites, as well as the MST Development Corp. — the joint partnership of local First Nations who are developing a massive property near the proposed SkyTrain extension — and the University of British Columbia. The institution which has evolved into a multi-billion dollar real estate developer in its own right.”]
Disasters foretold: The crashes of two Boeing 737 Max 8 and the 2013 oil train disaster at Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, by Bruce Campbell, published in National Newswatch, Jan 28, 2020
(Bruce Campbell is adjunct professor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, and author of the 2018 book The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied.)
Lemmings to the sea: Fifty five per cent of Canadians support Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, according to latest poll. Report by Angus Reid pollsters, Jan 28, 2020
Environmental writer Andrew Nikiforuk joins anti-China crusade in his column in The Tyee: Column titled ‘Huawei to hell’, by Andrew Nikiforuk, published in The Tyee, Jan 27, 2020 [Nikiforuk writes, “In 2017, President Xi Jinping, a dictator in all but name, passed the National Intelligence Law. It doesn’t hide the state’s intentions. The law requires any company to co-operate with state intelligence work and to keep that work secret. The law makes every Chinese company operating abroad a potential Trojan horse.” No such laws are required in Canada–telecom companies already happily cooperate with Canadian spy agencies. Nikiforuk continues, “What is clear is that Canada must follow Australia and New Zealand and ban Huawei from 5G infrastructure. That’s only a first step–Canada must also establish a national office to assess all emerging technologies regardless of national origin and their threats to democracies.” Meanwhile, in typical form for liberals on the issue of Huawei, Nikiforuk cites the former head of Canada’s political police, Richard Fadden, as the ultimate authority of why Canadians should trust their political police agencies to protect their civil liberties from ‘foreign interference’. It gets even worse: Nikiforuk concludes his column with recommendations by U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding. He is a long-time U.S. Air Force official on matters concerning China. He served as ‘senior director for strategic planning’ on the Trump regime’s National Security Council from May 2017 to January 2018.].
Also by Andrew Nikiforuk: Green myths that Canada’s LNG sales force tells the world, by Andrew Nikiforuk, columnist, The Tyee, Jan 23, 2020 The methane emissions from natural gas fracking rule out LNG as a fix for coal-fired energy. (Andrew Nikiforuk is an anti-China, environmental author and journalist.)
No shame: Canada’s corporate and state-run media editors dismiss China’s firm response to the coronavirus emergency as a cover to further authoritarian rule.
[Two of Canada’s mainstream news outlets are cynically using the coronavirus emergency in China to double down on their anti-China propaganda drive. The Globe and Mail daily has a lead news article on January 25 that begins: “In the midst of a lockdown unlike any the world has ever seen, some 35 million people in China spent the year’s most important holiday in a state of confusion, dread and anger over heavy-handed government actions to curb the spread of a SARS-like virus that has already reached the distant corners of the country. The fear quotient rose further when authorities disclosed the death of a 36-year-old man in Wuhan, the epicentre of the new coronavirus, and two deaths in provinces far from that city of 11 million, Hebei and Heilongjiang, which borders Russia… The sudden restrictions for people inside the lockdown zone haven been unnerving… On social media and in local news reports, people in the Wuhan area said loved ones were refused treatment or diagnosis by overwhelmed hospitals, raising questions about the effectiveness of the response and the accuracy of statistics…” The article is written by the newspaper’s China correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe.
[Meanwhile, the state-run CBC Radio One‘s weekday program ‘The Current’ broadcast an episode on January 23 which the program host used as a platform to further the program’s ongoing condemnations of China. The goverment’s rapid response to the crisis in the affected regions of China were dismissed by one of the selected interview guest as “mass quarantines” and “mass roping off” (program transcript here). The host goaded the same guest into stating that the emergency health measures being taken by the government are “a fundamental human rights violation”. He went on, “I don’t know how much patience, the Globe [sic], the WTO or others will have for a week-long type of cordon sanitaire at this level.” CBC News followed up its spectacle on ‘The Current’ with a published commentary on January 27 published by one of its reporters that is headlined ‘China’s coronavirus quarantine like using an ‘atomic bomb’ to deal with outbreak, expert says’. But the ‘expert’ (a university professor in the U.S.) can only offer that he “wouldn’t necessarily have closed off or locked down cities”. The article belies its negative headline message with, “…While China’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak is being praised in comparison to its handling of the SARS epidemic, some [sic] are suggesting officials may have gone too far by ordering a quarantine of the city of Wuhan. Meanwhile, reports that the virus can spread before symptoms are evident [emphasis added]— making it much more difficult to contain — means the international community must beef up its screening process at airports, says one leading expert in infectious diseases…”
[Back in the real world, health officials in Canada are taking special measures to prevent a repeat of the SARS virus infections in 2002-03 from which 44 Canadians died.]
RCMP shoot and kill advocate for drug users and the homeless in British Columbia, Abbotsford News, Jan 24, 2020 and read: report in Vancouver Sun, Jan 23, 2020 and report by News 1130, Jan 23, 2020
Background: Ex-drug dealer Barry Shantz is cleaning up Abbotsford on his terms, Vancouver Magazine, Dec 2, 2012
[Barry Shantz was a co-founder of the BC Association of Drug War Survivors. He was shot dead on January 13 after a six-hour standoff with RCMP in Lytton, 250 km north of Vancouver. According to friends, Shantz experienced serious mental health issues and was nearly blind. On Jan 13, Shantz’ wife called police to her home. A neighbour told the Vancouver Sun that her son spoke to an RCMP officer during the standoff and asked him not to kill their neighbour. She told the newspaper, “I’m still upset about it. Why did they have to shoot to kill him? Everyone in Lytton knows him and wants to know what happened.”
[Government agencies in Canada do not keep records of people shot dead by police unless an officer is criminally charged and that is rare. In 2018, there were at least 57 police-involved deaths in Canada (source).]
Extradition trial of Meng Wanzhou is a ‘test’ of Canadian legal system, says defence lawyer, The Canadian Press, Jan 23, 2020 …A British Columbia Supreme Court hearing wrapped on January 23 that focused on the legal test of double criminality, or whether the conduct Meng is accused of would also be a crime in Canada. The United States has charged her with fraud over allegations she lied to HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with an Iran-based subsidiary, putting the bank at risk of violating American sanctions. The defence has argued the judge must dismiss the case because Canada has rejected similar sanctions, while the Crown said the judge’s job is to determine if there’s evidence of fraud, not to uphold Canadian sovereignty…
Consortium News sends libel notices to Canada’s top-secret spying agency Communications Security Establishment and Global News television network, Consortium News, Jan 21, 2020 [The libel action is prompted by a Global News report in December 2019 that pointed to a Feb. 27, 2017 article in Consortium News by journalist Arina Tsukanova. The article was titled ‘A Nazi skeleton in the family closet‘. It was part of the news revelations at the time that Chrystia Freeland (then foreign affairs minister of Canada, now deputy prime minister) had lied about her grandfather’s past as an editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland during World War Two. A brief introduction to the article by Tsukanova explained, “Canada’s fiercely anti-Russian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says her Ukrainian grandfather struggled ‘to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine’, but she leaves out that he was a Nazi propagandist justifying the slaughter of Jews.”]
Alberta’s auditor general investigating the province’s multi-billion dollar problem with abandoned oil and gas wells, CBC News, Jan 23, 2020 As Alberta struggles to clean up thousands of oil and gas wells left behind by bankrupt companies, the province’s auditor general is set to investigate how the problem became so big and why the industry regulator’s efforts to collect security deposits came up so short, CBC News has learned. Often referred to as orphan wells, there are currently 3,406 such wells scattered around the province, usually on the properties of rural landowners, where they lie untended. There are another 94,000 inactive wells in the province, with the worry that many of these may become orphaned as their owners struggle — and taxpayers could be left with the bill… The province’s own estimate of the eventual cleanup bill for every oil and gas well in Alberta is $30 billion. Its Alberta Energy Regulator only holds $227 million in financial security…
The power of corruption and Liberal Party ties: SNC-Lavalin won contract to extend diesel-rail ‘Trillium’ transit line in Ottawa even though the project oversight committee rejected its bid. Report by CBC News, Jan 24, 2020
The great American shale oil and gas bust: Fracking gushes bankruptcies, defaulted debt and worthless shares, by Wolf Richter, published in Wolf Street, Jan 22, 2020
12 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by Victoria BC police, by Nina Grossman and Devon Bida, Victoria News, Jan 22, 2020 Twelve protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were arrested by members of the Victoria Police Department early morning January 22 during a lengthy occupation of a provincial government building lobby. Indigenous youth activists blocked the entrance to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources on Blanshard Street the day before for about 18 hours, starting at 11 a.m. … VicPD said after 15 hours without arrests, the building owner [the BC government, which has approved the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline] requested to have protesters removed…
* 12 arrested in Victoria during occupation of provincial government offices over Coastal GasLink pipeline , CBC News, Jan 22, 2020
* Calls for dialogue as natural gas pipeline polarizes northern British Columbia, by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press, Jan 18, 2020
* What the Wet’suwet’en court decisions say about how Canadian courts address Indigenous law, by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press, Jan 9, 2020
[These two Canadian Press reports are informative, but they follow the corporate media’s studied silence in failing to report the massive expansion of natural gas fracking in northeast British Columbia that is key to the ‘Coastal GasLink’ pipeline project, which in turn is to feed the ‘LNG Canada’ complex to be built at Kitimat BC.].
* British Columbia subsidizes gas fracking industry more than $830 million in 2018, by Sarah Cox, The Narwhal, Nov 25, 2019 The LNG Canada project, set to become one of the largest greenhouse gas emitting projects in Canada, is a notable beneficiary of the province’s vast array of tax breaks, credits and giveaways that a new report by the International Institute of Sustainable Development says is undermining climate action. [BC’s fossil fuel resources consist of natural gas in the northeast and coal in the southeast. Oil reserves are minimal.].
* Report commissioned by BC gov’t on natural gas fracking is full of apprehension, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Mar 27, 2019
Canada bowing to U.S. sanctions against Iran is the ‘centrepiece’ of the legal case of Meng Wanzhou against extradition to U.S., say her lawyers at opening of trial, Vancouver Sun, Monday, Jan 20, 2020 …“This case is founded on an allegation of breach of U.S. sanctions, sanctions which Canada has expressly repudiated,” Meng’s lawyer Richard Peck told the judge. “The (United States) has cast this matter as a case of fraud against a bank. In our respectful submission this is an artifice. In reality, sanctions violation is the essence of the alleged misconduct.”…Meng’s lawyers are expected to finish their submissions on Tuesday. Then lawyers for the federal Crown, acting on behalf of U.S. authorities, will begin their arguments…
Related: Fraud allegations are a facade, lawyers for Meng Wanzhou argue at extradition hearing, Globe and Mail, Jan 20, 2020
Meng Wanzhou’s defence team opened her extradition hearing before a packed public gallery in Vancouver on January 20 arguing she should not be sent to the United States because the allegations she faces would not be a crime in Canada.
The U.S. wishes to prosecute the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executive for an alleged evasion of economic sanctions against Iran, her lawyers said in British Columbia Supreme Court, while falsely portraying the case as one of alleged fraud. The difference between the two types of charges is critical. Fraud is an offence in both the U.S. and Canada. But Canada has not had economic sanctions against Iran since 2016, when it signed an international agreement to limit its nuclear program.
For an extradition to occur, any criminal acts must be deemed an offence if committed in either country. The concept, known as “double criminality,” is not just a technical matter. Ensuring that an offence would be a crime in the country from which extradition is requested is how that country insists its own values are respected in the reciprocal process of extradition. For that reason, double criminality is at the core of extradition law in much of the world…
‘I try my hardest not to think about it’ says 12-year-old First Nations girl who was treated as criminal by BMO bank and handcuffed by police, CBC News, Jan 20, 2020
* Interview with Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year old grandaugher Tori-Anne on the trauma they endured at a BMO branch for trying to open a bank account, 19-minute video interview, Jan 20, 2020
No, those who defend the Wet’suwet’en territory in north-central BC are not criminals, op-ed commentary by Sheri Pasternak, published in Globe and Mail, print edition of Jan 21, 2020
(Shiri Pasternak is a professor of criminology at Ryerson University and the research director of the Yellowhead Institute.)
…The chance for a fair trial for the hereditary chiefs and land defenders opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline was, statistically speaking, negligible. As is common, Justice Marguerite Church of the B.C. Court of Appeal found that the economic loss to the company far outweighed the losses the First Nation would suffer as a result of restricted access to their lands and the destruction of habitat and waters.
When the court refused to recognize Wet’suwet’en hereditary authority [CBC News, Dec 31, 2019], they become de facto lawless and so are labelled and treated as criminals. So a spectre of danger around these supposed criminals is created by the RCMP and other actors. This is not paranoid thinking but an established part of the historical record of land conflict in this country…
Ottawa to avoid selling Trans Mountain tar sands bitumen pipeline so long as risks remain, The Canadian Press, Jan 17, 2020 …””When the political risks made it too difficult for the private sector to move forward, our government acquired the Trans Mountain expansion project and related assets,” said Pierre-Olivier Herbert, director of communications for Finance Minister Bill Morneau. “We have been clear however that it is not our intention to be long-term owners of the project.”…There are at least three Indigenous organizations vying to buy the pipeline, or at least a majority stake in it, but the government is not officially accepting offers at this point. There are 129 Indigenous communities potentially impacted by the pipeline, and not all of them are part of the three well-organized groups. Some of them are working to stop the pipeline altogether…
Edward Goldenberg is the second prominent Liberal to call for a prisoner exchange with China freeing Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in exchange for Canadian political operatives Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, interview with Edward Goldenberg, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘As It Happens’, Jan 17, 2020 (interview begins at 27-minute mark)
* Want to bring Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig home? Send Meng Wanzhou back to China, op-ed commentary by Edward Goldenberg, published in Globe and Mail, Jan 16, 2020
(Edward Goldenberg is a former chief of staff of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien) …It has been clear from the start that the Trump administration considers the matter to be in the realm of geopolitics. That is why Ms. Meng was personally targeted when the normal U.S. practice in similar matters is to charge the corporation, not the individual. The U.S. government would not have informed the highest levels of the Canadian government of its intentions before Ms. Meng’s arrest if it had been a simple matter of ordinary criminal law. When President Donald Trump suggested that he might use Ms. Meng as a pawn in his trade dispute with China, he merely corroborated the theory that the reason for the extradition request was political…
* Formal extradition hearing for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou begins in a Vancouver courtroom on Jan 20, is expected to last many months. Report by CTV News, Jan 17, 2020
* Germany’s interior minister says he opposes excluding Huawei from building the 5G network, Deutsche Welle, Jan 18, 2020
* Under pressure from U.S., Britian’s decisoin to ban Huawei from 5G rollout is getting tougher every day, ZD Network, Jan 17, 2020
Arrest of Indigenous man and his granddaughter at BMO branch shows racism and racial profiling are alive and well in Vancouver police. Column by Adrien Tanner, Globe and Mail, Jan 18, 2020
* Vancouver police chief defends handcuffing of Indigenous man and granddaughter accused of ‘bank fraud’ while attempting to open a bank account for her, CBC News, Jan 10, 2020 [The city and region of Vancouver are an internationally renowned center of bank and real estate fraud. But not committed by working class Canadians, still less those who are First Nations. No, Vancouver is a playground of the Canadian and global elites. They evade taxes, inflate the real estate market and wash illegal money through the region’s real estate and gambling industries to the tune of billions of dollars per year. And no one is criminally charged.)
* The RCMP is shutting down its financial crimes unit in Ontario, by Marco Chown Oved, investigative reporter, Toronto Star, Jan 15, 2020 …Last month, the Star obtained statistics showing that between 2012 and 2017, 86 per cent of all money laundering charges were withdrawn or stayed.
* BC government disbanded RCMP’s financial crimes unit in 2009 after report warned possible crime figure bought stake in casino, Global News, Jan 15, 2020
* 2016 ‘Panama Papers’ financial crimes dossier, in Toronto Star
* Nearly 900 Canadians found in ‘Panama Papers’ tax evasion schemes, but no charges have yet been laid, The Canadian Press, April 2, 2019
The ugly face of the fossil fuel death cult in Canada: BC Premier Horgan visits LNG plant construction site in Kitimat while snubbing request for meeting with Indigenous chiefs opposing the pipeline that will feed plant, Report by Global News, Jan 17, 2020
Supreme Court of Canada dismisses British Columbia’s effort to save its 2017 law providing environmental oversight of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, CBC News, Jan 17, 2020 …The decision clears yet another legal hurdle for the long-delayed pipeline project. A separate Federal Court of Appeals case on the project, which considers Indigenous issues, is still pending… [This CBC News report falsely claims, “The decision, issued from the bench on the same day legal counsel delivered oral arguments, is a blow to B.C. Premier John Horgan, who has sought to stop construction of the expansion.” Horgan’s NDP government merely sought ‘environmental oversight’ of the project, to assuage concerns over pipeline or oil tanker spills into waterways or Pacific coast waters. Now that this narrow, legal fight over the pipeline expansion is completed, observers will see the Horgan government step away from any further attempt to obtain oversight of the project and thereby better pretend that it is opposed to it. In related news, see extensive reporting immediately below of the BC NDP government’s promotion of the ‘Coastal GasLink’ pipeline project in north-central BC. That pipeline will deliver huge volumes of fracked gas from northeast BC to a multi-billion dollar gas-liquefaction-for-export project to be constructed on the BC coast at Kitimat.]
Lawyers in Canada ‘appalled’ as Ottawa gov’t gives more powers to Trump regime’s border officers at Canadian airports. Report by CBC News, Jan 17, 2020 Concerns are mounting over added powers Ottawa has granted U.S. customs officers to strip-search, question and detain U.S.-bound travellers — on Canadian soil. The changes are part of Canada’s new preclearance act, which the federal government says will enhance border security and make travel to the U.S. easier…
BC Premier John Horgan’s pipeline push betrays his reconciliation promise, by Judith Sayers, The Tyee, Jan 15, 2020 First Nations expected a new era from the NDP government elected in May 2017. Instead, the government has embraced colonialism and ignored UNDRIP law. (Judith Sayers )
* BC Premier Horgan won’t meet Wet’suwet’en during his upcoming tour to the province’s north, by Amanda Follett Hosgood , The Tyee, Jan 16, 2020 Premier rejects hereditary chiefs call for talks on pipeline as tensions rise.
* Court injunction being enforced by an RCMP ‘exclusion zone’ isn’t deterring Wet’suwet’en land defenders oppsoing fracked gas pipeline, by Amanda Follett Hosgood, The Tyee, Jan 15, 2020 A handful of people mill around in the land defenders camp about 60 kilometres south of Smithers BC. They are here to support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their opposition to a pipeline slated to cross their traditional territory. The pipeline would carry fracked gas from northeast B.C. to an LNG plant on the coast in Kitimat. Tensions have been high in the area since a Dec. 31 B.C. Supreme Court decision that granted Coastal GasLink an injunction barring land defenders from blocking access to the pipeline work sites…
Coastal GasLink fracked gas/LNG pipeline will be built, proclaims British Columbia Premier John Horgan. Report by Justine Hunter and Brent Jang, Globe and Mail, Jan 13, 2020 Read the article here in pdf format: Coastal GasLink pipeline
[This is the first, forceful declaration by the BC government that the Coastal GasLink pipeline, fed by fracked gas in the BC northeast and to feed a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas export complex being built on the BC coast at Kitimat, will go ahead, ‘global warming be damned’. The government has already approved the construction of the LNG complex, has encouraged gas fracking expansion to feed it, and has bulldozed ahead with the highly contested, multi-billion dollar ‘Site C’ hydro-electric dam on the Peace River to feed all manner of industrial expansion in northern and coastal BC. In all this, it is fully backed by the government in Ottawa.
[Meanwhile, the battle continues over the other proposed pipeline project in BC–expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands bitumen export pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver harbour. That project is spearheaded by the Ottawa gov’t, which bought the pipeline in 2018 in order to speed up the expansion project. At the time of its election in May 2017, the BC NDP gov’t said it opposed expansion of Trans Mountain. But it never offered more than token resistance. Its ‘opposition’ was never founded on global warming concern; rather, its ‘concerns’ were the danger of rivers and streams or ocean waters being fouled by pipeline or oil tanker spills.
[Wet’suwet’en means ‘People of the Wa Dzun Kwuh River or Bulkley River’. They are a branch of the Dakelh or Carrier people, living in north-central BC and numbering 2,500 people. They speak Witsuwit’en, a dialect of the Babine-Witsuwit’en language which, like its sister language Carrier, is a member of the Athabaskan family. (from Wikipedia) ]
* RCMP establish ‘access control checkpoint’ as tensions rise over northern B.C. gas pipeline, Global News, Jan 13, 2020
* B.C. human rights commissioner asks feds to halt Coastal GasLink pipeline project, The Canadian Press, Jan 12, 2020
* Hundreds of protesters rally in cities across Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en people’s anti-pipeline stand, CBC News, Jan 8, 2020
* Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs reject ruling by B.C. Supreme Court judge that extends an injunction favoring continued work on Coastal GasLink pipeline, by Charlie Smith, Georgia Strait, Dec 31, 2019
* UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issues call to suspend construction of Coastal GasLink pipeline, Dec 13, 2019 (two-page pdf)
* British Columbia becomes first Canadian province to pass United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Global News, Nov 26, 2019
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs pose monumental challenge to $40-billion LNG project and BC’s NDP government, by Charlie Smith, editor, The Georgia Strait (news and entertainment weekly, Vancouver), Jan 12, 2020
* Some reasons why the rightward drifting BC NDP needs to watch its back, by Charlie Smith, editor, The Georgia Strait, Jan 4, 2020
* Standoff over gas pipeline project that violates unceded rights of Wet’suwet’en First Nation in northern BC, by Sarah Cox, The Narwhal, Jan 9, 2020
BC coast community braces for logging of natural forest at heart of park proposal, by Judith Lavoie, The Narwhal, Nov 22, 2019
Related: Two government investigations uncovered by freedom-of-information probes show BC Timber Sales gov’t agency is violating old-growth forest protection rules, by Judith Lavoie, The Narwhal, Oct 7, 2019 …The Sechelt First Nation previously objected to logging at Clack Creek, but has since withdrawn the objection. Calls to the Sechelt Nation from The Narwhal were not returned…
Without batting an eye, corporate and state media in the West uses the airline tragedy over Tehran to further war aims against Iran. [Jan 13, 2020 The U.S. assassination of Iran’s leading general Qassem Soleimani on January 3, 2020 was the latest act of war by the U.S. and its allies against the people of Iran. Ongoing and now-tightening sanctions by the West against Iran are another front of that war. The assassination and the immediate threat of more military action by the U.S. and its allies is the reason for the tragic crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 over Tehran on January 8, 2020 when an Iranian air defense crew mistook the plane for an incoming U.S. missile attack. All 176 passengers and crew died in the crash. Regardless of the tragedy, Western media is keeping up the drumbeat of violent overthrow of the Iranian government, including by inciting internal protest against the Iranian government. The headline of Canada’s Globe and Mail daily on Jan 13 captures the drumbeat: ‘Outrage grows in Iran over plane downing’. An accompanying photo shows perhaps one thousand student protesters at the University of Tehran criticizing their government. The New York Times headlined on Jan 13, ‘Protests over downed jet rage in Iran’, accompanied by a photo of a much smaller crowd of student protesters. (The Times‘ article and photo was reprinted the following day by the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily.) A photo gallery on the U.S. government’s Voice of America propaganda outlet similarly shows relatively small protests. Never mind that in the preceding days, many millions of Iranians took to the streets across the country to honour General Soleimani and demand that the U.S. be punished for its heinous act.]
Ukrainian plane brought down over Tehran ‘due to human error’ announces Iran gov’t, Press TV, Jan 11, 2020 Iran says a Ukrainian plane which crashed outside Tehran this week had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought down due to human error “at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism.” In a statement Saturday, the general staff of the armed forces touched on the tense situation in the hours after Iran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq, saying Tehran was on the highest level of alert “in response to threats by the criminal American president and military commanders” to hit a large number of Iranian targets…
Will the execution of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani’s drag Canada into a senseless war?, by Scott Taylor, editor and publisher of Esprit de Corps, originally published in NOW Magazine (Toronto entertainment weekly) on Jan 9, 2020
Read also: U.S. and Canada lied about ‘success’ in Afghanistan, by Scott Taylor, editor and publisher, Esprit de Corps, Jan 6, 2020
…Soleimani commanded Iran’s elite Quds force. This would be the same Quds force that entered Iraq at the request of the Baghdad regime in 2014 when ISIS overran Iraq’s Sunni Triangle and the U.S.-trained and -equipped Iraqi army simply dissolved into thin air. Soleimani’s Quds fighters and their Iranian-backed, Iraqi Shiite militia not only stemmed the rising ISIS tide but helped eliminate its proclaimed caliphate in Iraq.
One of the reasons that Soleimani has such a high public profile in Iraq is because he was regarded as the commander of the allied ground forces that eliminated ISIS’s last major stronghold in the city of Mosul. Those who closely follow events in the Middle East will recall that Canadian Special Forces acted as advisors to Iraq’s Kurdish militia who were directly involved in that same siege of Mosul. Does this mean Canadian soldiers were closely allied to a force commanded by the alleged terrorist Soleimani? Crazy stuff…
Western countries accuse Iranian missiles of downing Ukraine International Airlines over Tehran on Jan 8, 2020. It’s a familiar accusation process. [Canada and its NATO allies are well-versed in the art of politically-driven accusations when an airline passenger tragedy intersects with political and military objectives–in this most recent case, the objective being a continuation of decades-long aggression against Iran and its people. On July 3, 1988, a U.S. warship shot down an Iran Air Flight 655 between Dubai and Tehran, killing all 290 people on board (Wikipedia). The U.S. immediately told lie after lie, saying its ship had come under attack by an Iranian military plane. But the lies quickly fell apart and the U.S. issued a statement of ‘regret’ after some days. On July 17, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine (Wikipedia). Western countries seized upon that tragedy and used their ‘official’ investigation to escalate their new cold war against Russia. The investigation has never reached a satisfactory conclusion. On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 was downed over the Atlantic Ocean by bombs planted on board while flying from Montreal to London. The subsequent investigation and prosecution by Canadian police and courts lasted almost 20 years and resulted in acquittals of the two accused. Key surveillance files were destroyed by police before a trial of two accused finally got underway, in 2003! (Wikipedia)].
Related: Ukraine airliner tragedy evokes memories of Iran Air shootdown by U.S. in 1988 and Cubana Flight 455 bombing on Oct 6, 1976, Common Dreams, Jan 10, 2020
Iranians have learned to fear U.S. wrath and Canada’s complicity, by Nazanin Moghadami , The Tyee, Jan 10, 2020 (Nazanin Moghadami is an Iranian-Canadian resident of Vancouver.)
Canadian gov’t can’t properly serve the interests of airline safety nor the families of victims of the Jan 8 airline crash in Tehran due to Conservative gov’t’s decision in 2012 to sever diplomat ties with Iran, left in place by Liberal gov’ts elected in 2015 and 2019. Report by CBC News, Jan 8, 2020 [Fifty seven Canadians, mostly Iranian-Canadians, died in the Jan 8 crash (corrected from the original announcement of 63 killed). A total of 138 passengers were en route to Toronto, out of 176 passengers and crew. The safety of those traveling between Canada and Iran has been compromised for nearly ten years by Canada’s banning of direct flights to and from Iran. Most European countries, too, have followed Washington’s diktats and cut direct flights to and from Iran. Passengers are obliged to fly through third countries on secondary airlines due to the harsh, anti-Iran air travel bans. In this case, passengers were flying to Kyiv on board ‘Ukraine International Airlines’, then on to Toronto.]
Lead columnist in Globe and Mail daily celebrates U.S. assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani. Column by Konrad Yakabuski, in Globe and Mail, Jan 9, 2020 (subscriber only). [The Globe and Mail heartedly endorsed the extreme-right coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014 and it has led the media charge in support of Washington’s and NATO’s new cold war against Russia and China. Now it takes a new step in embracing extreme-right politics and big-power imperialist violence.]
Right-wing socialists in Ontario publish second attack in three days against the people of Iran. [For the second time in three days, the right-wing socialists of the ‘Socialist Project’ have published a statement by Iranian exiles snearing at the righteous indignation of the Iranian people following the heinous assassination on January 2, 2019 of Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani by the Trump regime in Washington. The two statements are published in The Bullet, the online bulletin of the ‘Socialist Project’, an academic think tank based in Toronto and Ottawa. The statements do not appear on the website of the publication, only in email bulletin form. They can be read here (Jan 7, 2020) and here (Jan 5, 2020). The rambling statement published on January 7 is full of violent rhetoric and scaremongering, calling for ‘class war’ internationally. It says not a word about the decades of violence and regime-change sabotage directed by Washington and its allies against the people of Iran, including the harsh economic sanctions in place for decades. The statement reads, in part, …”The US military’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, one of the top military commanders of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s expansionist regional policies and its proxy wars in the Middle East, can lead to retaliation by the Islamic regime. Such retaliation, the threat of further US retaliation and a chain reaction could further destabilize the region and endanger the lives of thousands of Iraqis, Iranians and other ordinary people in the Middle East.” The ‘Socialist Project’ website does not list the names of the editors of The Bullet, only the names of the writers they publish.]
Hearing to begin in Vancouver Jan 20 into Canada’s play as U.S. stooge in extradition of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou. Report by Laura Kane, Canadian Press, Jan 5, 2020 …Justice Minister David Lametti has the legal authority to stop the process at any time, said extradition lawyer Gary Botting. “It’s really silliness for him to say he has to obey the rule of law because it’s before the courts. No. What (the law) says is that he can stop the whole process and the courts must comply with whatever he decides.” … A hearing is set to begin Jan. 20, focusing on the test of ‘dual criminality’, or whether the U.S. allegations against the Huawei CFO would also be a crime in Canada… The turmoil could have been avoided, Botting said, had former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould declined the U.S. request to arrest Meng in the first place [on Dec 9, 2018]…