Officials announced Saturday that the federal government and 325 First Nations have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit, seeking reparations for the loss of language and culture brought on by Indian residential schools, for $2.8 billion. The agreement still has to be approved by a Federal Court before it can be disbursed to recipients, who filed the claim for collective compensation in 2012 as part of a broader class action known as the Gottfriedson case. Canada agreed to pay the $2.8 billion of settlement money into a new trust fund that will operate for 20 years, if the court approves the deal. The fund will be run independent of the federal government, according to officials. The fund organization will be governed by a board of nine Indigenous directors, of whom Canada will choose one, the agreement says.
On Friday January 6th 2023 people gathered in front of Minister of the Environment Steven Guilbeault’s office to speak out against the F-35 deal that was announced by the Canadian government. Although it may have been unclear why we were protesting at Guilbeault’s office for a peace protest, there were many reasons for us to be there. As a climate justice activist fighting against fossil fuel infrastructure, such as Enbridge’s Line 5, an aging, deteriorating, illegal, and unnecessary pipeline passing through the Great Lakes and that was ordered to shut down in 2020 by Michigan’s Governor Whitmer, I wanted to highlight some of the connections between anti-war and climate justice activism. Guilbeault is exemplifying the hypocritical approach of the Canadian government. The Canadian government tries so hard to create this image of itself as a peace-keeper and climate leader but fails in both regards.
The United States, Mexico and Canada on Tuesday, January 10 vowed to tighten economic ties, producing more goods regionally and boosting semiconductor output, even as integration is hampered by an ongoing dispute over Mexico's energy policies. U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Mexico City and pledged to beef up supply chains after weathering serious disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're working to a future to strengthen our cooperation on supply chains and critical minerals so we can continue to accelerate in our efforts to build the technologies of tomorrow - right here in North America," Biden said in a joint news conference with his fellow leaders after their meeting.
The 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), joined by Haiti, Canada, and the Dominican Republic, on the afternoon of Dec. 21, 2022. Discussion centered on whether the Council would approve another nation or group of nations to militarily intervene in Haiti, ostensibly to assist the Haitian National Police (PNH) in their fight against armed “gangs.” The need for sanctions and how to apply them was also debated. The meeting was “far from orthodox,” in the words of one diplomat, primarily due to the frank remarks from one of the three briefers, Haïti Liberté journalist Kim Ives (whose full address is published separately) and the immediate follow-up statement by the Russian ambassador, who slammed the hypocritical conduct of Haiti’s three neo-colonial overlords—the US, Canada, and France.
The established mythos of the Bosnian War is that Serb separatists, encouraged and directed by Slobodan Milošević and his acolytes in Belgrade, sought to forcibly seize Croat and Bosniak territory in service of creating an irredentist “Greater Serbia.” Every step of the way, they purged indigenous Muslims in a concerted, deliberate genocide, while refusing to engage in constructive peace talks. This narrative was aggressively perpetuated by the mainstream media at the time, and further legitimized by the UN-created International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) once the conflict ended. It has become axiomatic and unquestionable in Western consciousness ever since, enforcing the sense that negotiation invariably amounts to appeasement, a mentality that has enabled NATO war hawks to justify multiple military interventions over subsequent years.
Ottawa, Canada - Ottawa’s light-rail transit system has made headlines in the last years — but not for any good reasons. Trains don’t work in the cold. There are frequent delays caused by technical problems. And a derailment once led to all the trains being taken out of service for weeks. On top of all of this, Ottawa’s city council voted to increase fares. But as these events unfolded, a grassroots group was beginning to fight for better transit. Free Transit Ottawa (FTO) had its first meeting in February 2020, bringing together transit users and workers, union members, students, and climate activists. Their goal, at the time, was to get people to sign a petition supporting both free transit and adding members of the public to the board of the OC Transpo transit agency. That’s when COVID-19 hit.
The Montreal Gazette reports: “Two Innu communities on Quebec’s North Shore say they are ‘exasperated’ by the province’s ‘inaction’ when it comes to protecting the woodland caribou, a species threatened by logging.” “They say the Quebec government is not taking seriously ‘the irreversible damage the loss of biodiversity’ has on the Innu.” The article adds: “Councils representing the Pessamit and Essipit communities on Tuesday accused the province of dragging its feet on a proposal to create a 2,700-square-kilometre biodiversity reserve, about 150 kilometres north of Saguenay.” Marielle Vachon, head of the Innu Council of Pessamit, says: “[The loss of biodiversity] caused in large part by logging on Innu ancestral lands — without regard to our needs, our values, our rights and interests — generates inestimable cultural losses for our communities.
Montreal, Québec, Canada - In French, the word for food processing is the same as the word for sweeping social change: transformation. Alex Beaudin dreams of doing both. Beaudin, 25, is the coordinator of Le Grénier Boréal, an agricultural co-op in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, a village of around 450 people in northeastern Quebec, 550 miles northeast of Montreal. Longue-Pointe is one of about 20 villages strung like beads on a necklace, between Route 138 and the vast St. Lawrence River. The highway and the river are the villages’ lifelines, and depending on either one for supply shipments — as the Nord-Côtiers do — can be maddening. Ferry service is unreliable; a damaged ship can cause weeks of disruption.
Though brief, the exchange between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia on November 16 has become a social media sensation. Xi, assertive if not domineering, lectured the visibly apprehensive Trudeau about the etiquette of diplomacy. This exchange can be considered another watershed moment in China’s relationship with the West. “If there was sincerity on your part,” the Chinese President told Trudeau, “then we shall conduct our discussion with an attitude of mutual respect, otherwise there might be unpredictable consequences.” At the end of the awkward conversation, Xi was the first to walk away, leaving Trudeau uncomfortably making his way out of the room. For the significance of this moment to be truly appreciated, it has to be viewed through a historical prism.
The Group of 20, or G20, comprises those nations said to be those with the largest economies in the world. The heads of state who attend the annual summit may have meaningful meetings with one another but the recently convened G20 in Bali, Indonesia was more a source of U.S. inspired drama than anything else. For example, it wasn’t clear if Chinese president Xi Jinping would meet with Joe Biden after the numerous insults involving Taiwan, including sending the Speaker of the House there after China made clear that this was a red line provocation. Of course, being more mature than the Americans, Xi met with Biden, perhaps only to determine if he was up to some new foolish behavior. The summit was fully devoid of any seriousness when the traditional group photo was eliminated because the U.S. and its NATO/EU vassals didn’t want to be seen with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Ontario, Canada - Ontario workers delivered a spectacular blow to Premier Doug Ford’s government this week. Just four days after ramming through unprecedented anti-worker legislation, Bill 28, Ford appeared in a hastily called press conference on Monday morning to announce its full repeal. Ford claimed this was a good-faith gesture to kickstart negotiations with Ontario’s 55,000 education workers, who had entered their second day of an “illegal” strike. But his actions the previous week had painted a very different picture: of a government hell-bent on stripping workers of their rights to strike and bargain. The reality is that Ford and his government were spooked by the rapid (and unexpected) escalation of Ontario’s unions, including a plan to launch an indefinite general strike on November 14.
Ontario, Canada - The Canadian province of Ontario is in the midst of a fierce labor struggle, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades. On Thursday, November 3, Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed Bill 28 (the “Keeping Students in Class Act”), which made it illegal for education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) to go on strike. The next day, 55,000 education workers walked off the job in defiance of the bill, risking a C$4,000 fine. These workers, mainly janitors, early childhood educators, librarians, and other support staff, are demanding a C$3.25 pay raise, overtime pay, an expansion of benefits, and 30 minutes of daily prep time. The mood at the Friday demonstration was combative.
Ontario, Canada - On Friday, November 4, the 55,000 education workers represented by CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) went on strike in defiance of the Ford Government’s Bill 28, an unprecedented piece of legislation which makes it illegal for CUPE members to strike, imposing a contract on them while suspending their fundamental rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a five-year term. Ontario labour organizations are denouncing the legislation for what it is: an egregious and unprecedented violation of the most basic rights of workers and Canadians. Worker dissent is mounting, and so is a spirit of solidarity among workers and unions in Ontario.
American-Born Canadian Professor Attacked By Mainstream Media For Opposing Nato Narrative On Ukraine
A highly regarded Russia specialist in Canada, Professor Michael Carley at the University of Montreal, has refused to support the NATO narrative on the Ukraine conflict and has since been subjected to a vicious smear campaign. Canada’s role in the Ukraine conflict and the power of the right-wing Ukrainian diaspora in Canada may be underestimated, according to the vitriol we have seen directed at Professor Carley. He is among the first in Canada to feel the wrath of the country’s mainstream media, after Russia’s special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. To grasp why the gripes of this diaspora have received such attention and consideration from Canadian media, it is first necessary to understand how the right-wing element of Ukrainian-Canadians gained dominance over the diaspora.
Canada - On Friday, 55,000 Ontario education workers with CUPE walked off the job in an “illegal” strike. They were joined by OPSEU education workers, who also “illegally” walked off the job. Over 2.1 million students were out of school as school boards were forced to shut down schools. Pickets lines were up outside Conservative MPP offices and elsewhere in the province. In Toronto, a massive all-day picket line and rally was held at Queen’s Park, which the media estimated reached 10,000 people. But it wasn’t just striking workers; a huge number of parents, students, trade unionists, and other workers showed up. The mood was electric and defiant, and it was clear the fight was much broader than just education workers’ demands. Their strike has turned into a class-wide fight over fundamental workers’ rights and the right to fight for a better life.