Corporate Media Fails To Report Truth About Single Payer

Source: NY Times

By Michael Corcoran for FAIR. It is a sad reflection on the state of healthcare reporting in the United States that one can so easily predict how many media outlets will respond to a news event before it even happens. Yet for many familiar with years of media either ignoring or rejecting the merits of a universal public healthcare system—Canada’s in particular—it was hard not to expect dismissiveness and/or mockery from outlets such as the New York Times and Vox, who sent reporters on the tour. The results were unsurprising. Vox (10/31/17) used the occasion to explain why single-payer is likely a pipe dream that doesn’t fit with American values. Much of the Times article (11/2/17) read like satire aimed at mocking Canada and Sanders. A New York Times ad circulating on Facebook proudly declares: “Evidence-driven reporting. No matter what the subject.” It’s a hollow boast to those familiar with the paper’s uniformly negative coverage of single-payer.

Deadly Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Disaster Was Avoidable Corporate Crime

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By Justin Mikulka for Desmog – Damning new testimony from an engineer of the locomotive involved in the deadly 2013 oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Canada, reveals several ways corporate cost-cutting directly led to the accident, which claimed 47 lives. We already knew for certain that a fire on the locomotive, which had been left parked and running for the night, per standard practice, was the direct cause of the disaster. That blaze resulted in the local fire department, directed by a rail company employee, to turn off the power to the locomotive. However, that action also shut off power to the air brakes, which eventually failed and caused the train to roll down the tracks into downtown Lac-Mégantic, where it exploded and leveled the area. However, in newly released testimony reported by CBCNews, we learn about a troubling exchange between train engineer François Daigle, who had driven the oil train two days before its fiery derailment, and his supervisor: Daigle said on that trip he noticed the locomotive kept losing speed and produced black smoke. Daigle told the court he reported the problems to his supervisor, Jean Demaître, and sent a fax to the repair shop in Maine at the end of his shift. Daigle said he asked Demaître to change the lead locomotive because of the repair issues.

Letter to the Editor Campaign: NAFTA IS NOT FOR US

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The Trump administration’s NAFTA negotiation objectives show more clearly than ever that this agreement will not be made for us or by us. The thousands of comments submitted by the trade justice movement have been ignored as the objectives resemble the language and sentiment of the original NAFTA and defeated TPP goals. We cannot let corporations and their political representatives decide our fate. Our communities need to know that this NAFTA IS NOT FOR US. Join our letter to the editor campaign, our resistance to NAFTA must go viral!

Is Canada Planning Extreme Military Escalation?

From cupw.ca

By Staff of CUPW – Justin Trudeau certainly did not run on a military-strength platform. Nowhere on the campaign trail did Liberals talk about increasing military spending or using “hard power” abroad. The recent speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, alongside the announced 70% increase in military spending should ring alarm bells. Stephen Harper wouldn’t have dared such an announcement. Canadians wouldn’t have accepted it. Not with our hospitals, schools and infrastructure in such sorry shape. Not with indigenous communities left abandoned by our entire economic system. Not without real action on climate change. Harper couldn’t have gotten away with shovelling an extra $14-billion a year into military spending. Why should we let Trudeau? The recent revelation that the Liberals planned their “international pivot” before they even took office serves as a stark example of what this government represents. They knew they would make this turn, but kept it secret from the public. The reason for this is obvious. Nobody would have believed the Liberal “sunny ways” if they knew the truth: that the Liberals planned to massively increase military spending and project military power around the globe.

Hunger Games And Hospitals: The Crisis Of Medical Crowdfunding

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By Brittany Shannahan for Health Care is a Human Right Maryland. As of the time of writing, a GoFundMe campaign to raise $300,000 for the medical expenses of Micah Fletcher has nearly reached its goal. Fletcher, 21, is the only survivor of the three men who intervened on a racist attack against two girls on a train in Portland, Oregon. The girls were Destinee Mangum, who is Black, and her friend, a Muslim wearing a hijab. A YouCaring page has also been set up to raise money to help them in their recovery: The girls, 16 and 17-years-old, are suffering immense trauma in the aftermath of this tragedy. Although they survived, their lives will never be the same as they were being the targets of hate… Most importantly, funds will go toward mental health services to ensure their mental and emotional welfare.

Stories Of Resistance And Resilience From The Pacific Islands To Canada

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By Staff of 350.org – The Canadian tar sands are one of the dirtiest sites of fossil fuel extraction in the world. Carbon emissions from the tar sands are one of the biggest drivers of climate change globally, and locally, they poison the lands and water, contributing to health and environmental crises which disproportionately impact Indigenous communities. Pipelines are the arteries of this oil patch — they make it economically viable to continue expanding the tar sands. That’s why an Indigenous-led social movement in North America has emerged opposing pipelines like Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, Keystone XL, and Energy East. The Pacific Climate Warriors will start their journey in Canada by visiting the tar sands to bring their prayers of hope and healing right to the heart of the destruction. While they are there, they will meet and build solidarity with Indigenous peoples opposing the tar sands from the front lines and show them that they are seen and heard in the Pacific.

Corporate Siege and Trade in the 2018 Elections

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Trade policy is amounting to be an increasinly contentious topic as the Trump administration has clearly showed its intentions to keep major TPP provisions in NAFTA. Corporations are working with the Department of Commerce to eliminate the few but significant labor and environmental protections the government enforces while members of Congress begin to campaign around trade. 2018 promises to put trade policy at the forefront as presidential elections in Mexico and mid-terms in the United States could determine the fate of North American trade agreements to come.

Canada Strengthening Net Neutrality As US Moves To Weaken It

Protestors organized a "light brigade" outside the White House on Thursday night to promote net neutrality. (Photo by Nancy Scola/The Washington Post)

By Gerrit De Vynck for Bloomberg – Canada is strengthening regulations to protect the principle of net neutrality just as the U.S. is preparing to gut Obama-era internet rules. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Thursday that Montreal-based wireless carrier Quebecor Inc.’s practice of not charging users for data they used for music-streaming services like Spotify violated fairness rules. In doing so, the regulator adopted a new framework that would forbid giving unfair access to certain content over others. Quebecor has 90 days to comply with the new rules. The decision also affects bigger Canadian carriers like Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc., which supported Quebecor in the hearings but haven’t pitched similar offerings to their customers. Videotron, Quebecor’s telecommunications unit, is determining its next steps, and customers will be able to keep using the unlimited music service for now, the company said in a statement. “We regarded Unlimited Music as a compelling example of innovation and diversification from a new market entrant seeking to differentiate itself from the dominant mobile carriers, to the benefit of Canadian consumers,” said Videotron Chief Executive Officer Manon Brouillette.

The NAFTA Machine is in Motion

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By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance. This month, the Trump adminsitration sent out an eight-page draft letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees outlining the administration’s objectives for NAFTA renegotiations. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expressed wanting to send out the official letter to Congress, which upon approval would initiate the 90-day consultation period required before beginning negotations. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto already began Mexico’s own 90-day consultation period in early February. That means the NAFTA negotiations could start in early July.

Canadian Police Surveilling Journalists

Martin Prud'homme, chief of the Sûreté du Québec, testified Monday before the commission looking into the surveillance of journalists by police. (CBC)

By Staff for CBC News – The head of the Quebec provincial police revealed Monday that its officers had a seventh journalist under surveillance — Nicolas Saillant of the Journal de Québec. Sûreté du Québec Chief Martin Prud’homme revealed the information about Saillant in his testimony Monday at the commission tasked with looking into police surveillance of journalists. The commission is led by Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Jacques Chamberland. The revelation about Saillant came out of a cross-examination by Christian Leblanc, the lawyer representing a number of news organizations in the province, including CBC / Radio-Canada, before the commission.

Canadians Say: Reject TPP, Transform Trade

From foodandwaterwatch.org

By Meghan Sali for Open Media – Report crowdsourced from nearly 28,000 people finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and ensure real transparency and engagement for future trade deals. March 14, 2017 – “Next time, consult us!” – that’s the clear message coming from Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A new report published today finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and for the government to ensure much greater transparency and public engagement for future trade deals. The report is published as trade ministers gather in Chile to discuss the future of trans-Pacific trade, following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP.

Medicine Hat Becomes First City In Canada To Eliminate Homelessness

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters released its annual report Thursday that said despite the economic downturn the province hasn't seen a spike in shelter visits. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

By Staff for CBC Radio – Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, pledged in 2009 to put an end to homelessness. Now they say they’ve fulfilled their promise. No one in the city spends more than 10 days in an emergency shelter or on the streets. If you’ve got no place to go, they’ll simply provide you with housing. “We’re pretty much able to meet that standard today. Even quicker, actually, sometimes,” Mayor Ted Clugston tells As It Happens host Carol Off. Housing is tight in Medicine Hat. Frequent flooding in the past few years didn’t help matters. With money chipped in by the province, the city built many new homes.

It’s Time to Scrap NAFTA, Not ‘Tweak’ It

NAFTA opened the doors for a flood of subsidized agricultural products and large-scale consolidation, eviscerating small farmers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo: Bread for the World / Flickr)

By Victor Suarez and Alejandro Villamar for Foreign Policy in Focus. Some politicians and “experts” still don’t understand — or don’t want to understand — that a great deal of popular discontent in the United States, Mexico, and Canada alike is rooted in undemocratic policies that have produced inequality, unemployment, migration, food dependency, and pollution. NAFTA isn’t the only factor — but it’s one of the most powerful. The reason is that NAFTA was never designed for the development of our peoples through trade, but instead to advance the narrow corporate interests of multi-national firms and the governments that serve them. In the case of Mexico, it was negotiated and signed by an authoritarian government that only served the interests of large Mexican and global corporations, and which turned its back on productive sectors linked to the domestic market.

Keystone XL Fighters Ready To Take On Canada’s Trudeau On First Visit With Trump

About 100 protesters made sure Justin Trudeau saw their objections to the Keystone XL pipeline at the Canadian Embassy./Photo by Anne Meador

By Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embraced warmly today at their first official meeting at the White House, finding common cause in building oil pipelines, among other things. But protesters, who staked out Trudeau at the Canadian embassy later in the afternoon, made sure that the Prime Minister saw their determination to fight fossil fuel infrastructure. Among the flurry of executive orders issued during the first week of President Trump’s term was a memorandum he signed regarding the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. It invites TransCanada to re-submit its application for Keystone XL and instructs the Secretary of State to expedite review and render a decision within 60 days.

The Canadian Government Should Replace NAFTA Or Scrap It

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By Raul Burbano for Common Frontiers – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico that went into effect January 1, 1994. It is the largest agreement of its kind in the world and was implemented in the face of considerable opposition in all three countries. In the twenty-three years since NAFTA was implemented we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in profits and rights of multinational corporations, underscoring a widening economic inequality in North America. The social and economic consequences on working class people, across all three countries, has been devastating in terms of increased poverty, weakened labour rights and environmental protections, fueling a “race to the bottom” in living standards