To understand the career of Professor Flanagan is to understand the political agenda of huge commercial interests inside and outside of Canada that seek to terminate Aboriginal and treaty rights as major impediments to the corporate exploitation of northern North America’s so-called natural resources. Right now the Harper government’s top priority for greasing the wheels of this corporate plundering of Canada’s natural resources is through the building of pipelines to export Alberta bitumen to BC ports for export to China. Most of British Columbia has not yet been drawn into the Canadian rule of law requiring the formalization of Crown-Aboriginal treaties as a prelude to non-Aboriginal ownership and exploitation.
To understand the upsurge of Idle No More is to understand the deep consternation of decent men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds who refuse to remain passive and silent as the Stephen Harper government systematically violates the best inheritances of Canadian social democracy.
In Alberta, the province systematically corrupted and brutalised by the oil curse, and whose polluted politics are now corrupting public life throughout Canada, the government plans to carry out a mass killing of wolves by shooting them from helicopters and poisoning them with strychnine. The reason, ostensibly, is to protect the woodland caribou, a subspecies of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus caribou), whose numbers have been diminishing rapidly. This, according to the Alberta Caribou Committee, is because wolves have been killing them. So what is this Alberta Caribou Committee? As you might expect, it represents all the usual environmental organisations, such as, er, PetroCanada, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Koch Petroleum, TransCanada Pipelines, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries and the pulp company Daishowa Marubeni.
While doing surveillance on selected First Nations, the RCMP unit also assessed the “unique opportunities for civil disobedience” in 2010. According to the report, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Paralympics and torch relays, and the G20 summit in Toronto could be “leveraged by Aboriginal communities and groups who support Aboriginal issues to draw attention to outstanding issues and grievances” and to “garner national and international attention.
No shit, Sherlock. They might use a high-profile international event to try and draw attention to their concerns? Colour me gobsmacked.
You just can’t buy insights like that. And here we were thinking they’re not much good for anything beyond tasering immigrants to death at airports.
Today, our Tea Party of Canada government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper is dedicated to signing “trade agreements” that ensure high-paying Canadian jobs are exported as quickly as possible to more efficient foreign jurisdictions, such as China, the role of public education is well on its way to being outsourced to corporate shills, and the final long weekend of our short Canadian summer is devoted to what might be called the Twenty-four Hour Hate, a day-long frenzy of official and media sponsored loathing for the weakened vestiges of the labour movement.
What you have is a war between money and evidence. The money (which is for all intents and purposes unlimited) is being spent to spread disinformation, poison the public conversation, and destabilize democracy. The evidence, the hard data, points to the tar sands being a total dead end—fiscally, spiritually, environmentally.
in societies where the elites do not suffer from the consequences of their decisions, but can insulate themselves, the elite are more likely to pursue their short-term interests, even though that may be bad for the long-term interests of the society, including the children of the elite themselves.
More on charities and politics: the Fraser Institute and the Koch boys | #cdnpoli
While the federal government and pro-oil lobbyists have taken aim at environmental charities for allegedly violating the Canadian Revenue Agency’s legal limits for “political activity”, the Fraser Institute and its charitable status remain unquestioned. And as the Koch Foundation’s tax data shows, they’ve received a significant amount of “foreign funding” to help influence Canadian policy—which is precisely what environmental groups have been accused of doing.
The Fraser Institute claims to be “non-partisan and non-political”, and denies that it undertakes lobbying activities. However, critics cite examples of its blatantly political endeavors—like publicly calling on the government to change election spending laws, or pushing provinces to adopt “right-to-work” legislation.
The Fraser Institute’s continuing prominence in the national conversation is one of life’s enduring mysteries. Its agenda is evident to anyone with basic critical-thinking skills; like other organizations of a similar mindset, it pushes a worldview that seeks to portray government and the public sphere as inherently corrupt, feckless and inefficient. Hence the “enfeeblement” I wrote about earlier this week.
And yet every time it releases one of its position papers, or “studies,” or contrived and transparent PR stunts like Tax Freedom Day, the corporate media are all over it. It says a lot about what’s considered “newsworthy ” these days. Seriously, someone at the FI could fart and it would be on front pages all over the country.
So this piece from the Vancouver Observer is timely for two reasons: one, it puts the Harper regime’s unsubtle threats against charitable organizations in context, and two, it highlights the hypocrisy and double standards evident in the treatment of charities considered “friendly.”
More Koch influence in Canada. Just what we need.
Update: follow the money.
- Politics, the charitable sector, and the public sphere | #cdnpoli
- Unethical oil and its Canadian friends | The Vancouver Observer | #EthicalOilBullshit #tarsands
- The Galloping Beaver: Joe Oliver attempts to lampoon Saturday Night Live
- Let’s stop fetishizing “The Market” | #cdnpoli #TOpoli #classwarfare #austerity
- In defence of the public sphere | #TOpoli #TeamFord