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Gar Pardy: Held hostage by Afghanistan

“…recent ministerial statements represent an acknowledgement that there is insufficient political or public support in Canada for a continuation of the current military mission. The tenuous political scene and inability or unwillingness of the government to create a national consensus is merely a subplot to the evolving tragedy of Afghanistan. Bumper stickers on municipal service vehicles are a poor substitute.”

Injuries, Arrests As Thousands Protest vs Bush in Sydney

Agence France-Presse: Two policemen were injured and three protesters arrested as thousands marched under tight security through Sydney on Saturday in a protest against visiting US President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.


The sense of being treated fairly is a big part of what determines our faith in society and its institutions. That is one reason to make sure everyone – not just large corporations or people charged with serious crimes – has access to our legal system, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin has said. … Except for a few family law and child protection matters, we have no civil legal aid since the N.B. government abolished it in 1988.  There is no legal aid for victims of unfair treatment by employers, landlords, government, or other powerful entities since N.B. is one of 4 provinces that do not cover “poverty law” issues. …

A growing number of New Brunswickers are forced to represent themselves, slowing down the courts, taking the very expensive time of judges and the courts.  For lack of civil legal aid, some people don’t obtain the compensation or income that is their due from spouses, insurance or other programs. When legal aid programs are not adequately funded and there are long waits before legal aid is provided, if at all – the consequences can be life changing.  Lost opportunities, missed deadlines, a spouse sells or destroys goods, kidnaps a child, assaults the client.  Each dollar for legal aid saves many that would be spent on other programs.  Access to legal aid becomes even more fundamental when government services are cut.  The poor are more often at the mercy of legislation and bureaucracies.  They need access to legal aid when they face difficulties in their dealings with social assistance, employment insurance and other agencies. …

- Ginette Petitpas Taylor, column in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, 10 Sept 2007.

Checkpoint checking

Slumped against the concrete slabs of the graffiti-covered security wall, I drifted off to sleep as I waited for the line of Palestinians to shuffle forward toward the checkpoint. The sun shone weakly through the dark early morning clouds, a cold wind did its damnedest to extinguish the cigarettes that hung from almost every pair of lips, and the only sound was the rustle of paper bags as the workers ate their breakfasts al fresco – as if they had a choice…

Welcome to rush hour at the Bethlehem checkpoint, where the difference between a day’s paid work or a wasted morning’s queuing followed by a mournful trudge home all rests on the whims of the bored teenagers manning the turnstiles inside their bullet-proof sentry boxes.

Government training clergy to “quell dissent”

A KSLA-TV news report from Louisiana has confirmed the story that Clergy Response Teams are being trained by the federal government to “quell dissent” and pacify citizens to obey the government in the event of a declaration of martial law.

White isn’t the issue!

September 7th, 2007

To The Editor: To the lady who added “white” to “red”, you missed the point. “White” is not at issue. “Red” to me means the precious blood of our Canadian soldiers is being spilled needlessly and shamelessly by our own government and by those of us who either support the mission or, by ignoring the facts, blindly support our troops. One question: Would we be there at all if the Americans had not, illegally, invaded Afghanistan and goaded us to follow them? The answer is an unequivocal “No.” Whom do our troops really support over there? The government of Karzai? It exists, but on paper. Those who are really in charge now are the former warlords who were ousted by the Taliban and are now members of parliament and governors of the provinces. Most of them are renowned criminals and are much worse than the Taliban. Who else do our troops support? They free up American troops who are really there to chase Al-Quaeda and build a pipeline to have access to the oil reserves of the Caspian sea. Tell me now, is all that worth a Canadian soldier’s life? Is it even worth standing up tall and proud in red (even with white) on a Friday morning or afternoon? Want to support our troops? Wear whatever it takes to bring them home! How about black? (For references, read the book “Bleeding Afghanistan” by Sonali Kolhatcar; go to Google and find out about Malalai Joya).

Louis Boudreau, St-Louis

UN set to adopt native rights declaration, no thanks to Canada: critics

Canada was cast Thursday as a bad actor that aggressively campaigned alongside countries with tarnished human-rights records in its failed bid to derail the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Where a Minimum Wage of $2 a Day is Too Much for the Lords of Industry

Haiti and the “Responsibility to Protect”

Canada silent as nuclear energy partnership with US, Australia, others takes shape

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper departs for Australia on Tuesday for a summit of pan-Pacific leaders, he’ll be carrying with him a secret agenda that is quite literally radioactive.

Central to the plan is a proposal that all used nuclear fuel be repatriated to the original uranium exporting country for disposal.

That should be big news in Canada, the world’s largest uranium producer.

But to date, the Canadian government’s response is a closely guarded secret. In fact, there’s been virtually no public debate at all.

Women in Black Vigil For Peace

Women in Black will be holding their vigil for peace Friday September 7th in front of Fredericton City Hall from noon until 1pm.  All are welcome.