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The Montreal Metro System will be fully wheelchair accessible in 2058

I know a lot of people skip titles of posts. Please read the title of this one.

I had an argument with someone at school on Thursday and it's still sitting with me. I think this is because we'd had an earlier argument on a similar subject on Tuesday. As you can probably imagine, it was about disability, or more specifically, about how disabled people have existed and advocated for themselves since long before the mainstream folks started paying attention, and well before I ever started paying attention.

The argument on Thursday was about my colleague's disagreement with the abstract for a master's research paper on disability discrimination in the Montreal Metro System. I'm not from Montreal, so the place this system has in Montreal was a bit much for me to grasp. Apparently it's a big thing, a progress thing. A thing about how Montreal has been advancing into the future. When it was opened in 1966, it was opened to everyone.

Everyone, of course, except people who can't walk up and down stairs.

The presentation and follow-up short video talked explicitly about ableist constructions of public spaces. She called it out very bluntly: this is discriminatory. This has always been discriminatory.

The part that others tend not to get, the part my colleague at the university didn't get, is that the people at the time knew this.MORE from trouble


Oct. 3rd, 2011 07:46 pm
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Supreme Court ruling opens doors to drug injection clinics across Canada Sit DOWN conservatives!!

The Supreme Court of Canada has opened the door to supervised drug injection clinics across the country in a landmark decision on Friday that ordered the federal government to stop interfering with Vancouver’s controversial Insite clinic.

The Court was persuaded by evidence that drug addicts are considerably safer administering their own injections under medical surveillance rather than obtaining and injecting hard drugs on the streets of the city’s troubled Downtown Eastside.

In its 9-0 decision, it said the federal government has the jurisdictional right to use criminal law to restrict illicit-drug use – but that the concerns it cited in an attempt to close Insite were “grossly disproportionate” to the benefits for drug users and the community.

“During its eight years of operation, Insite has been proven to save lives with no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada,” the Court said. “The effect of denying the services of Insite to the population it serves and the correlative increase in the risk of death and disease to injection drug users is grossly disproportionate to any benefit that Canada might derive from presenting a uniform stance on the possession of narcotics.”

In ordering the Harper government to exempt the clinic from prosecution for its activities, the Court said that the government cannot simply close down clinics based on its own distaste for legally sanctioned drug injections.

It said that the consequences of interrupting the work of the clinic could have such “grave consequences” that only a direct court order can be assured that the spirit of the judgment would not be circumvented. MORE
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[personal profile] jae
In pretty much any other Canadian jurisdiction, Alison Redford would be a Liberal. Her candidate website talks about “strong and accessible public services,” including subsidized daycare, more affordable higher education and an abrupt end to the last guy's public education cuts, and better funding of the public healthcare system with no forays into private care. So how did she become leader of a thirty-year political governing “conservative” political dynasty and head honcho of what is most certainly the most right-leaning Canadian province last night? Basically, it comes down to the nuttiest voting system I’ve ever heard of determining the result of her party’s leadership race.

Read the rest here.
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[personal profile] jae
A lot of people are saying that one of the most important characteristics that the next NDP leader should have is a certain folksy charm and ability to connect with people. I actually have mixed feelings about this–I mean, sure, we have to replace Jack Layton in a literal sense, but I think we’ll just doom the next leader before he or she even starts if we try to replace Jack characteristic for characteristic. But I also do take the point. Other factors are undoubtedly more important, but it will in fact be much harder for anyone to follow in Jack’s footsteps if he or she comes across as aloof and uncharismatic.

More over at my journal.
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Witness: Witness: To the Last Drop

Residents of one Canadian town are engaged in a David and Goliath-style battle over the dirtiest oil project ever known.

The small town of Fort Chipewyan in northern Alberta is facing the consequences of being the first to witness the impact of the Tar Sands project, which may be the tipping point for oil development in Canada.

The local community has experienced a spike in cancer cases and dire studies have revealed the true consequences of "dirty oil".

Gripped in a Faustian pact with the American energy consumer, the Canadian government is doing everything it can to protect the dirtiest oil project ever known. In the following account, filmmaker Tom Radford describes witnessing a David and Goliath struggle.

I shot my first film, Death of a Delta, in Fort Chipewyan in 1972. I shot it with a hand crank Bolex camera with a maximum 26-second wind. I had to make sure people knew what they were talking about. There was no time for red herrings. In our new film, To the Last Drop, the latest in digital HD and Cineflex cameras capture the landscape of northern Alberta as never before.

But while technology can go through multiple revolutions in 49 years, the issue that drives both our films remains the same: the rights of downstream communities, and the need to recognise those rights, no matter how powerful their upstream neighbours.

Death of a Delta documented the fight of Fort Chipewyan to have a voice in the construction of a massive hydroelectric project on the Peace River, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. At stake was not only the survival of the oldest community in Alberta, but the protection of a World Heritage site, the Peace Athabasca Delta, a convergence of migratory flyways and the greatest concentration of waterfowl on the continent.

In the David and Goliath struggle that ensued, David won. Water was released from the dam and water levels in the Delta returned to normal. The unique ecology of the region was saved. The town survived.

Today, that same David, the collective will of the thousand residents of Fort Chipewyan, is fighting an even more imposing Goliath. The Alberta oil sands is arguably now the world's largest construction project. Its expansion will have an estimated $1.7 trillion impact on the Canadian economy over the coming decades. An area of boreal forest the size of Greece will be affected by industrial activity.MORE
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from [personal profile] jae The Ballad of Ruth Ellen Brosseau

I play politician during elections, but in my heart of hearts, I’m much more of a storyteller. I am such a sucker for a good political story. And man, is the story of Ruth Ellen Brosseau ever a good one.

She was a 27-year-old single mom who’d gotten pregnant at sixteen, dropped out of trade school, and now worked in a pub. When the the political party she supported asked her to be a name on the ballot on one of the ridings (electoral districts) in French-speaking Quebec that they didn’t have a chance in hell of ever winning (I mean, we’re talking the level of U.S. Republican chances in Brooklyn or Democratic chances in rural Utah), she said sure. She’d never been to the riding and didn’t plan to ever go, and her French wasn’t all that great, but sure, she’d go through the motions to make sure there wasn’t a big blank on the ballot where her party’s candidate should be.MORE
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Is American law enforcement colluding with Cisco?

As if we needed any more evidence that the United States is fast becoming a Corporate Police State (i.e., systematically deploying police power to protect narrow corporate interests), make sure to check out this jaw-dropping story that broke in Canada late Friday. It details how the British Columbia Supreme Court uncovered what it says is a massive collusion between computer giant Cisco and U.S. law enforcement -- a collusion that seems designed to use criminal prosecution to stop a whistle-blower's antitrust case against a powerful politically connected corporation.
The machinations in this case are complicated, but the basics go like this: Ex-Cisco exec Peter Alfred-Adekeye filed a whistle-blower suit against his former employer Cisco in civil court -- a suit that could compel the company to pay millions in damages for allegedly "forcing customers to buy maintenance contracts," according to the Vancouver Sun.MORE

Indeed, America. Indeed.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes

UPDATED: Page fired after protest during Speech from the Throne

“I was in shock, I’ve never seen that,” said Senator Mobina Jaffer, who watched as the young page stood behind six Supreme Court Justices, the Governor-General and Prime Minister and staged her protest. “Pages, they’re sort of part of our group, we see them as our own normally.”{ed. note: lady? You are DAMN lucky that this is all that you have to be SHOCKED by! privileged asshole!}

Ms. Jaffer, a Liberal, said she knew Ms. DePape as “a pleasant person. I’ve had nothing but nice chats with her.”

Even as she was in custody, Ms. DePape immediately issued a press release, referring to herself as Brigette Marcelle, in which she said she had realized that working in Parliament wouldn’t help her “stop Harper’s agenda.”

“This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring,” she wrote, “a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces.”

In a brief phone interview with the National Post after she was released from Hill security, Ms. DePape said she planned the protest because “I think that youth need to engage in creative acts of civil disobedience.” She said she objected to the Conservative government’s policies and that Canada needs “green jobs and a transition to a green economy.”

Ms. DePape was one of 15 university students who worked in the Senate page program, a year-long internship that mainly involves delivering bills and order papers and fetching senators a glass of water. The positions are highly competitive and usually reserved for accomplished and bilingual university students as a stepping stone to a career in politics or government.MORE

Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest

A 21-year-old page lost her job Friday after walking onto the Senate floor during the speech from the throne to protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Brigette DePape, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, carried a sign reading "Stop Harper" and walked out in front of Gov. Gen. David Johnston as he read the afternoon speech.

Senate pages are hired for one to two years to work in the upper chamber, providing basic support to the senators during sittings and in committee meetings, which generally means fetching water, photocopying documents and passing messages. They tend to be politically engaged, but this type of protest is unprecedented.

DePape went as far as to prepare a news release, which a friend distributed after she was removed from the Senate chamber by security. The release identified her as Brigette Marcelle, but the Senate website and her email address identify her as Brigette DePape.

"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation," DePape said in the release. "We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations."Gorgeous pic at the link

Via an anon.

here she is at TED X YouthOttawa:
Performing from her self-penned, critically acclaimed play, She Rules with Iron Stix, Brigette DePape asks whether art is an escape from real world problems or part of their solution. A playwright since the age of 15, and a third year international development student who has contributed to sustainable development projects in Senegal and Bosnia, DePape explores the possibility of new worlds: changing our actual world through activism vs. creating new worlds through fiction. She attempts to reconcile responsibility and creativity, suggesting that plays can be a powerful tool for cultural change. Presented at TEDxYouthOttawa on March 4, 2010 at Ashbury College in Ottawa, Canada

Hey there?

May. 4th, 2011 02:11 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Does any one want to talk about the results of the Canadian elections?
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[personal profile] trouble
Post discusses racism directed towards First Nations people.

Slop pails sent to reserves

Chief David McDougall, of the St. Theresa Point First Nation, says what they got was a shipment of water containers and slop pails.

He says each of the four community also got a sewage truck, but they don't have the resources or fuel to run it.

McDougall says Ottawa is expecting 15 people in one house to share a slop pail rather than ensure the communities have running water.

I'm trying to imagine a white Canadian community getting treated the same way in the case of a water-related crisis, and failing.

Maybe they should have offered to dress "ethnic" for the photo op.
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[personal profile] trouble
These links all lead to pages that link to PDFs.

ACPD, in collaboration with the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (CFSH), submitted a questionnaire to the five main political parties in the upcoming Federal election scheduled for Monday, May 2nd. I am pleased to inform you that as of today, April 19th, we have received answers from three of the five political parties; the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberal Party of Canada, and the Green Party of Canada. We are hoping to hear from the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada within days. I will keep you posted if/when this happens.

The questionnaire is part of our election strategy and we’ll be sharing the answers with journalists who in the past have utilized the information at various party leaders’ campaign tours or during various all-party debates.

Liberal Party’s response -
Green Party’s response –
Bloc Québécois’ response -

Kind regards,

Dina Epale
Director, Parliamentary Affairs
Directeur, affaires parlementaires
Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD)/ Action Canada pour la population et le développement
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
See the pretteh here


Holi (होली), is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus. It is primarily observed in India,Nepal, Sri Lanka,[1] and countries with large Indic diaspora populations, such as Suriname,Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. InWest Bengal and Orissa of India it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) (Bengali: দোলযাত্রা), orBasanta-Utsav ("spring festival")(Bengali: বসন্তোৎসব), . The most celebrated Holi is that of theBraj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, andBarsana. These places have become tourist destinations during the festive season of Holi, which lasts here up to sixteen days.[2]
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via an anon. user:

Harper’s former adviser Carson had ties to money launderer

A former adviser to the Prime Minister, now under scrutiny by the RCMP, bought a downtown Ottawa condominium with a former prostitute who was convicted of numerous offences in the United States, including money laundering, public records show.

Bruce Carson began his relationship with Barbara Lynn Khan in 2006, around the time he began advising Stephen Harper in his capacity as Prime Minister, according to a source who knows Ms. Khan.MORE

Not surprisingly, the man has a history.

Harper's Ex-Adviser has chequered past

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[personal profile] trouble
Text here for archiving purpose - the article this is from is no longer available online.

United Way cuts funding to Planned Parenthood Ottawa

By Kelly Patterson, The Ottawa Citizen April 12, 2011 7:18 AM Comments (2)

Despite skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted infections in the area, Planned Parenthood Ottawa has had to shut down its main sex-education program for young people after the United Way unexpectedly cut funding for the workshops.
Read more... )

Further Reading:
Planned Parenthood Ottawa closes sex-ed program

United Way is the spiritual successor to "Community Chest" programs. Basically one donates to United Way, and United Way divides the money amongst member groups that apply for it. Often they receive in-kind donations, or support for specific programs.

Planned Parenthood Ottawa. If you wish to support this program, you can make donations there.
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Harper's self-serving 'apology' exposes the cowardly venality lurking beneath his unbutoned shirt

"... if anybody is kept out of any of our events that's there to hear our message we obviously apologize to them. Our interest is in having as many people out to hear our message as we can. We're having huge meetings, we had another huge one last night and we want people to hear our message." — Stephen Harper 'apologizes' after being asked if he would take responsibility for a teenager's eviction from a rally because her Facebook page included a photo of herself with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

Incriminating evidence: Awish Aslam's Facebook profile phto.
Incrimidating evidence: Awish Aslam's Facebook profile phto.

On April 3rd, two young women, students at the University of Western Ontario, attended a Conservative Party rally and were taught a valuable lesson about Conservative values and ethics.

About a half-hour after being admitted, both Awish Aslam and an un-named friend were hustled out of the meeting, publicly berated and had physically stripped of the stickers pinned to their shirts — all because they had both had the naive temerity to post a photo of themselves taken while meeting Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff on their Facebook profiles.

The London Free Press broke the story on April 5th.

"A week ago, Aslam, readying to vote federally for the first time, attended a Liberal rally in London where she and a friend snagged a photo with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Both made it their Facebook profile pictures.

"A few days later, the pair attended Harper’s rally, for which they signed up in advance online.

"But about 30 minutes after arriving, Aslam says, they were ordered out by a man who accused them of having "ties to the Liberal party through Facebook."

"He ripped Conservative stickers off their shirts, tore them up and ordered them out, Aslam says."

Note that no one accused Aslam or her friend of being disruptive in any way. They weren't demonstrating, or passing out leaflets or even asking questions — they were just, y'know, watching.

Further note that the Conservatives consider it an efficient use of their time to stalk the Facebook pages of attendees at their rallies, that they consider public humiliation of teenagers appropriate behaviour (Ms Aslam was reduced to tears) and that, as we'll see, Stephen Harper himself sees nothing wrong with any of this.

The Globe and Mail ran the story and followed up with the Prime Minister Who Would Be President himself.

Harper ducked the issue. "The staff runs our campaigns," he said, "and I can't comment on individual matters like that," typically passing the buck of blame to those below him.

See An apology means never having to say you're sorry for more.

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[personal profile] trouble
(Wow, that's a lot of colons.)

Silencing Dissent: The Conservative Record

Over the past five years, exercise of the fundamental freedom of speech in Canada has been curbed and discouraged by a federal government increasingly intolerant of even the mildest criticism or dissent. Particularly affected have been organizations dependent on government funding which advocate for human rights and women’s equality. Their voices have been stifled, some completely silenced, by cuts to their budgets. Also financially throttled have been individuals and groups that speak out for reproductive rights, humanitarian immigration policies, and for changes in Canada’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

The Harper government’s now lengthy record of silencing – or attempting to silence – its critics also includes the removal of heads of government agencies, commissions, and tribunals who insist on making independent decisions. Academics who have spoken against government actions or policies have also been targeted.

This blatant suppression of basic human rights by a government constitutionally responsible for guaranteeing their expression is unprecedented in Canada’s history.

This is a very long read.
trouble: "Canada is a myth people made up to entertain children, like the tooth fairy.  There's no such place." (Canada is a myth)
[personal profile] trouble
Content includes racial slurs.

Ignorance and Slurs: Indigenous Election Coverage

The ignorance is quite literal. Entire election campaigns go by where the media mostly ignores First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples. Take clean water for example.  Trouble with the water supply in Walkerton received media prominence for weeks and was seen as a key reason the Mike Harris government was defeated in Ontario, while decades of bad water on dozens of First Nation reserves is mentioned only as context to a lobbying scandal involving a former Harper aide. Despite deep poverty and longstanding democratic, legal and human rights grievances, there is nary a word on the nightly news of what parties would do about it.

What does garner the occasional news story in every election is racist commentary by candidates.


And as the CBC reports today, Liberal candidate André Forbes is under fire for referring to the Innu of Quebec as “featherheads” among other slurs. Mr. Forbes history as leader of L’Association des Droits des Blancs is apparently also “under investigation” by the Liberal leadership.

My French 101 translates that as "The Association for the Rights of Whites", but please note that I am lousy at French.
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[personal profile] trouble
List of Anti-Choice MPs - 2011

The first table shows totals of MPs who are anti-choice (from each party), pro-choice, or unknown - with comparisons just after the 2008 election and now.

The second, long table is a list of known anti-choice Members of Parliament as of April 3, 2011.

The table includes lists of people who opposed the Order of Canada for abortion-rights crusader Dr Henry Morgantaler; those who supported Bill C-484, the so-called "unborn victims of crime" act; and those who supported Bill C-510, "Roxanne's Law", or an act to make it illegal to coerce a pregnant woman to abort.

(Bill C-484 was ludicrous because under Canadian law killing a fetus by killing the mother wouldn't result in additional jail time, it was just an excuse to work a fetal-personhood law in. Bill C-510 is allegedly about preventing abuse of women, which is, I suppose, why the same government that proposed it keeps cutting funding to abuse prevention programs. Also, reproductive coercion usually goes towards forcing people to get pregnant against their will.)
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[personal profile] trouble
What prompted these posts was [personal profile] the_future_modernes linking to an article by Reuters that basically indicated the author had no idea what was going on in Canada, but thought it was important to report on.

I am going to totally crib from Wikipedia because someone over there has a much clearer writing style than I do, but I will put some explanations in.
Contempt! )

Okay, so, what is this whole Coalition Thing?
Coalition! )

I am posting this mere moments before I spent the rest of the day holed up at the library pretending there is no election, so any errors that need to be fixed will, sadly, need to wait until evening or even tomorrow. My apologies. :(

I also know I promised a Rick Mercer video but it's not nearly as relevant as I remember it being.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
WARNING: All the Videos contain disturbing images of hurt and dead people.

Report from Land Occupations in Post-Coup Honduras
Read more... )

Brutal Repression in Honduras Targets Teachers, Popular Resistance

Read more... )

Honduran Students Defend Occupied National University / Estudiantes Defienden La UNAH en Raw Footage

Read more... )

Towards the Reconstruction of the Country:
The Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Black People of Honduras

Read more... )

March 1 Military Coups are good for Canadian Business: The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement

Read more... )

With Increased US Aid, Honduras Militarises Anti-Drug Fight

Read more... )

Zelaya says he fears being killed in Honduras even after arrest warrants dropped

Read more... )
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes

2005 The Housewife theory of History

Read more... )

Reflections from Detroit: Reflections On An Opening: Disability Justice and Creating Collective Access in Detroit

Read more... )

Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility

Read more... )

2010: Domestic Workers Organize for Workers Bill of Rights; MUA 20th Anniversary in San Francisco, May 27th

Read more... )


PDF - Immigrant Women Organizing for Change:Integration and Community Development
by Immigrant Women in the Maritimes

DisAbled Women Network: DAWN ONTARIO Herstory


March 21, 2011 Australia: Lake Tyers Women Holding Blockade Against the Government

For the past two weeks, Indigenous women from the community of Lake Tyers, in East Gippsland, Victoria, have been holding a blockade against the state government's self-imposed rule over their community.

Read more... )


Jan 2011 Bolivia: People with Disabilities Demanding Rights and Payment

Read more... )


We Women Warriors

Read more... )


Maori Women's Welfare League

Read more... )

2007 New Zealand’s Maori Women’s Welfare League: Working Toward Women’s Rights in Saving Maori Culture

Read more... )


Arab Women: The powers that be

Read more... )


Grameen vs Bangladesh

Read more... )

Q&A: Ela Bhatt on SEWA, Harvard Award

Read more... )

Survivors of Mumbai Bombings Trained to Recover

Read more... )

Dalit Women Organize Against Caste, Gender Discrimination

Read more... )

Vandana Shiva: Environmentalist and founder of Diverse Women for Diversity

Read more... )


ANF demands release of jailed striking nurses in West Papua

Read more... )


War declared against domestic worker abuse

Read more... )


Welcome to Mujeres Libres; a celebration of the struggle of the Zapatista Women (Website)

Read more... )

1994 Chiapas and the women? free electronic book

2007 Zapatista Women: 'We Are What Holds the Community Together': A Year After the Passing of Comandanta Ramona, Civilian and Insurgent Women Tell of Their Movement Within a Movement

Read more... )


Read more... )

Zapatismo, a feminine movement

Read more... )

Indigenous Feminism in Southern Mexico

Read more... )

2008 The First Zapatista Women's Encuentro: A Collective Voice of Resistance

Read more... )


2010 Censored Story, Nigerian women act against abuses of Big Oil, Sign on letter to Secretary Clinton

Read more... )

Nigeria: Niger Delta Demands for Justice Undaunted By Decades of Violence

Read more... )

2003Hands up or we strip!

Six hundred Nigerian women held a US oil giant to ransom armed with a simple weapon - the threat of taking all their clothes off. And it worked. Tania Branigan and John Vidal explain

Read more... )


Read more... )


The Guardian: Top 100 Women Campaigners and Activists Ongoing series

Sweatshop Warriors By Miriam Chin Yoon Louie

The Global Women's Movement by Peggy Antrobus Interview with Grenadian Peggy Antrobus 2003
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[personal profile] trouble
Greetings Friends & Strangers! If you are beyond the borders of my rather large country, you may have only heard the faintest rumblings of an election being called in Canada! You may have heard it was called because the government "toppled" (which sounds so dire!), or you may have heard it was called because "Acting Deputy Mayor of Toronto Jack Layton" did something or other. Yes, we in Canada actually have news stories about what news media in other countries write about us, and yes, we have been laughing at you, but mostly in a way that says "Gosh, we really are boring and uninteresting to the rest of the world, aren't we?"

So, in light of the vast amounts of misinformation out there about this most important of elections, the 41st in our history, I thought I would give you a handy-dandy guide to sorting out what the heck is going on here so you can decide whether or not you care.

This is Part 1: What is a Parliamentary Democracy and how does it work? Chances are, if you live in another commonwealth country, this will be terribly boring except for the niggling details, so you may want to skip it, but I promise to try and make it fun as well as informative!

Tell me about democracy in Canada! )

I don't care about all that, tell me about the parties and that sexy sexy Orange! )

Q: Skip the commentary, Anna, just tell me where to get more information myself!

A: I am really liking the Defeatist.

That is all for Part 1! Part 2 will have a video from Rick Mercer and an explanation about the dreaded C words! You'll like the video from Rick Mercer, he's actually funny, not like me.


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