Two years ago, Marisol Petersen’s family was paying more than $1,200 a month for her son to attend child care in this small, coastal town about 20 miles across the Howe Sound from Vancouver. Despite the cost, which made it hard to put any money in savings, she felt lucky to even have a spot. Then, in September 2022, the family experienced a dramatic shift in fortune. They were notified that there was a spot for them in a nearby child care center that had recently signed on to a government-led initiative to lower parent fees to just $10 a day. “It’s like I won the lottery,” Petersen said. “I got into child care and a ‘$10 a Day’ site.”
It is a well established fact that increasing oil production leads to increased emissions, and that major reductions in oil production and consumption are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. Despite the scientific consensus supporting this fact, a recent news release from a Canadian oil industry lobby group made the remarkable claim that Canadian oil production increased over the past decade while emissions decreased. The analysis note issued by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) was widely circulated in a Canadian Press wire story published on August 31 under the title “Oil and gas sector says new data shows it can both hike output and lower emissions.”
Bargaining with the Detroit 3 auto corporations is happening in Canada and the United States at the same time this year—the first time that bargaining has aligned since the disastrous bankruptcy negotiations and forced concessions of 2009. Unifor just reached a tentative agreement with Ford earlier this week, while the United Auto Workers’ strike against selected Ford, Stellantis and General Motors plants is ongoing. This is indicative of the major differences in the strategies of the two unions. The UAW, under new leadership, is doing things dramatically differently—raising bold demands, mobilizing their membership, and developing innovative strategies and tactics.
In December 2019, the British Columbia Supreme Court issued an injunction allowing construction of a 669-kilometer-long Coastal GasLink pipeline that will cut through 22,000 square kilometers of unceded Wet´suwet´en land. The injunction gave the Coastal GasLink pipeline unlimited access to the ancestral lands of the Wet´suwet´en, and was firmly rejected by the Wet´suwet´en people. On January 7, 2020, the Wet´suwet´en Hereditary Chiefs served Coastal GasLink with an eviction notice, effective immediately. Despite the Hereditary Chiefs’ opposition to the pipeline, the Wet´suwet´en elected band council—a form of Indigenous governance established by the Canadian government...
Indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by wildfire evacuations and thousands of these evacuees have been displaced for the long term, like Michell and his family. Indigenous peoples make up five per cent of Canada’s population but experience 42 per cent of wildfire evacuation events, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This year, 25,000 people from 79 First Nations have had to leave home because of wildfires, Indigenous Services Canada told The Breach by email. In the past decade, 70,824 First Nations people have been evacuated from their communities because of wildfires, the department’s data shows.
New details have emerged about the militarized campaign of state and corporate persecution targeting land defenders of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in so-called Canada. The third annual Peace and Unity Summit was held August 15-16 in Gidimt’en Clan territory, home of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. Wet’suwet’en leaders detailed how private security operatives and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have attacked and terrorized Indigenous activists using tactics taken directly from a U.S. counterinsurgency “playbook” written by David Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and an architect of U.S. invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Not long past the break of dawn, along a remote road deep in the unceded, forested mountains of southern Vancouver Island, the steady blaring of a conch shell sends a warning through the trees. A raid is coming. In the Savage Patch camp, a new front in a years-long struggle over the fate of some of the country’s oldest trees, a small group of forest defenders scurry to pack sleeping bags and douse the fire that kept them warm through the night. Uncle Rico, a Cree land defender, streaks her face with red warpaint. A young, broad-shouldered settler land defender, known as Sandstorm, beats a drum gifted to him by a Native ally.
The Canadian Mining Journal, an industry magazine catered to insiders, has released its annual ranking of Canada’s top 40 miners. Describing 2022 as “a remarkable year” for Canada’s largest mining companies, editor Tamer Elboki praised the Canadian mining sector for “prov[ing] to be as solid and robust as it could be” in the face of the pandemic and geopolitical instability. In 2021, Canada’s top 40 mining companies raked in revenues of $143 billion from mines peppered throughout the world. Last year, these firms made a record $177 billion in revenues—an increase of $34 billion—amid government efforts to increase mining development within Canada and abroad.
When the Alberta government announced in early August a six-month pause on new renewable energy projects, it caused immediate chaos within the sector, plunging into uncertainty 100 developments awaiting approval and investments worth $25 billion. Industry leaders say they weren’t warned or consulted. “It was a done deal before we had a chance to convince the minister that the industry doesn’t need a moratorium,” Vittoria Bellissimo, president and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), said in reaction. “I think it was a mistake,” she told CBC. It was a perplexing move for a United Conservative Party government whose Premier Danielle Smith has made attracting new workers to the province a top priority.
On July 26, the African continent was rocked by news of a military coup in Niger, the fourth in West Africa since 2020. Cooperation between the US and Nigerien militaries has been suspended. The Niger government has withdrawn from its military agreements with France. The over 1,000 US troops in Niger have been restricted to their bases. France has evacuated 600 nationals from the country, while in a veiled threat, President Emmanuel Macron declared he “would not tolerate any attack against France and its interests.” Meanwhile, a rift has emerged in West Africa, with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) led by Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu on one side, and the military governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger on the other.
As Canada’s governments hungrily scour domestic and foreign territory in search of critical minerals—an essential part of Ottawa’s new Cold War on China—Ontario Premier Doug Ford is attempting to spin demand into a provincial mining boom. Ontario’s first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy (CMS), announced alongside a federal initiative of the same name, proclaims that the province is “incredibly fortunate” and “blessed with exquisite deposits of nickel, lithium, platinum, cobalt and dozens of other strategically important raw materials.” Ford’s economic policies are catering to mining companies that yearn for unfettered access to these resource supplies, even as Indigenous communities organize to resist the extractivist bonanza.
More than 50 people danced the dabke and flashed peace signs at a peaceful demonstration against the Jewish National Fund (JNF) at the organization’s annual Manitoba fundraising dinner in mid-May. The JNF Canada website states: “JNF Canada envisions a world where Israel’s communities are supported and healthy, and where generous Canadians can help us build strong foundations for Israel to thrive.” JNF acquires and develops land in Israel and the occupied territories used for settlements, illegal under international law. In 1972 JNF Canada raised $15 million to create Canada Park.
It’s a historic moment for the Coastal Guardians of B.C. The B.C. government announced last year it would designate Coastal Guardians from two Nations with equivalent B.C. Park Ranger status in an unprecedented memorandum. This week, the designation was made official as Kitasoo Xai’Xias and Nuxalk Guardians received their badges in ceremonies on their respective territories along the Central Coast of B.C. The Coastal Guardian Watchmen program is a collaboration between Indigenous Nations on the B.C. coast to manage and monitor their respective territories, overseeing duties such as search-and-rescue missions, fisheries management, and wildlife conservation.
The US and Canada have been arguing for a multilateral military intervention in Haiti led by the army of a third country, possibly even Rwanda, to support the puppet regime that they installed. They are using “gang violence” as the racist excuse, but there are actually more gang killings in Jamaica. In fact, the people of Haiti have been protesting in the streets to get the UN and the Core Group out of Haiti and get the US to stop supporting the illegitimate, unelected prime minister, Ariel Henry. I spoke to Haiti Action Committee activist Seth Donnelly, a public school teacher who has traveled to Haiti over 20 times since the 2004 coup that removed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.