DEMOCRACY NORTH: Jan 18—CSIS watchdog’s Enbridge job—Battered women on trial—Canada Post cuts

DEMOCRACYNORTH.NET  »  Democracy North is a weekly independent Canadian and global news hour, featuring the week’s top grassroots headlines and interviews produced by our team of journalists this week on Media Mornings daily broadcast.

Then-Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Chuck Strahl speaks to media in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2010. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS
  • 03:10  This week’s top Canadian & global news headlines.
  • 28:10 Interview with Matthew Millar (Vancouver Observer investigative reporter) on how Canada’s spy agency watchdog is also a paid lobbyist for Enbridge, whose opponents have been deemed “foreign-funded radicals” by the Conservative government. Interviewed Jan 10 by Derrick O’Keefe.
  • 37:00 — Interview with Elizabeth Sheehy (professor, University of Ottawa) on her new book, “Defending Battered Women on Trial” when they kill in self-defence. Interviewed on Jan 14 by Meghan Murphy (FeministCurrent.com).
  • 51:00 — Interview with Marion Pollack (former postal worker) on cuts to Canada Post. Interviewed on Jan 15 by Jane Bouey.
  • Music: Neil Young (“Pocahontas” live at Massey Hall), Arcade Fire (“You Already Know”), Danielle Duval (‘Control’)

THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS HEADLINES

  • TOP STORY: NEIL YOUNG TOUR — Undeterred by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s rebuke that Neil Young’s “rock star” lifestyle made him unfit to criticize Canada’s oil sands during his cross-country Honor the Treaties Tour, the legendary Canadian musician substituted Harper’s name into his song ‘Pocahontas,’ which describes massacres against Indigenous Peoples (ICTMN).

  • BC: KINDER MORGAN PROCESS — Critics of Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the TransMountain pipeline from alberta’s oil sands say that the project’s new, “onerous” consultation process will discourage public participation in a federal review of the $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (VANCOUVER SUN). Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Secwepemc Women Warrior Society voiced their opposition to the pipeline at a meeting dubbed a Kinder Morgan engagement session between the government and elected chief and council of Secwepemc nation.

  • TORONTO: CRACK VIDEO TRIAL — In what legal professionals are calling an unprecedented move for a large gang project, six of the accused in Project Traveller have opted to skip preliminary hearings and head directly to trial. Among the alleged Dixon City Blood members who will skip their preliminary hearings is Liban Siyad, one of two men police say was threatened by Mayor Rob Ford’s “close friend” Alexander “Sandro” Lisi after news of the video broke in May (TORONTO STAR).

  • ONTARIO: RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL DOCUMENTS — About 60 residential school survivors have been successful in their bid to have files from the Ontario Provincial Police released in order to support their claims for compensation for abuse (CBC).

  • SASKATCHEWAN: INDIGENOUS POLITICAL SWEATER BAN — The controversy sparked by a First Nation Saskatchewan teen banned from wearing a sweater in school that read “Got Land? Thank an Indian,” has resulted in community members coming together to engage in open discussions about treaty rights. It’s also led a reversal of the ban (TORONTO STAR).

  • INDIGENOUS: WATER SAFETY — Almost 20 per cent of First Nations communities in Canada have to boil the water coming out of their taps. UBC engineering professor Madjid Mohseni says there is a lack of consultation with First Nations people over how to fix the problem (TYEE).

  • CANADA: ROBOCALLS — Former Guelph Conservative campaign worker Andrew Prescott has agreed to give evidence to Elections Canada in the investigation of a robocall that sent hundreds of opposition supporters to the wrong polling station. Under a deal reached this week, Prescott will give “full and complete testimony.” In exchange, prosecutors have promised not to use his testimony against him. In addition to the Guelph investigation, Elections Canada is looking into reports of allegedly unethical calls in ridings across Canada. In May, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosely rejected a legal challenge of the election results in six Conservative ridings, but found “there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person or persons with access to the (Conservatives’) CIMS database.” (POSTMEDIA).

  • CANADA: SCIENCE LIBRARIES — The Canadian Library Association, a voice for the nation’s 3,000 public libraries, will soon voice its concerns about the dismantling of federal libraries, including world class facilities operated by the Department of Fishery and Oceans (TYEE).

  • MEXICO: DRUG VIOLENCE — Mexican federal forces have increased efforts to take control of the violent western state of Michoacan, as masked vigilantes and members of one of the country’s most powerful cartels fight for control of the state’s lawless regions (AL JAZEERA).

  • IRAQ/USA: DESECRATION OF BODIES — The U.S. Marine Corps says it is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004 (TORONTO STAR).

  • ISRAEL: SHARON DEATH — Reaction to the death of war criminal and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died Saturday after being in a coma since 2006. To Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and beyond, Ariel Sharon was “the butcher”. His long record of overseeing violence, destruction and repression led many Palestinians to express joy at the news of the former Israeli leader’s death at the weekend (DAILY STAR).
  • EGYPT: CONSTITUTIONAL VOTE — Egyptians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new constitution drafted by the army-backed interim government. The two-day vote was the first ballot since the army overthrew Morsi on July 3, with the new constitution replacing a 2012 one drafted during his short-lived presidency (AL JAZEERA).

  • SOUTH SUDAN: DROWNINGS — At least 200 South Sudanese civilians have drowned in a ferry accident on the White Nile river, an army spokesman said. Army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP news agency on Tuesday that the boat had been overloaded with people trying to escape the violence (AL JAZEERA).

  • GLOBAL: GAP AGREEMENT REFUSAL: In early January, garment industry giant Gap was nominated in The Public Eye’s online vote of companies with the most “dismal” social and environmental records worldwide. The retailer was nominated for its refusal to sign a globally binding agreement that would improve factory safety for garment workers in Bangladesh. In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory fire in Bangladesh last year, a tragedy that killed over 1,100 garment workers, Gap, like other retailers that source cheap garments in the South Asian country, has been under increasing pressure to endorse the factory safety accord, which is supported by human rights organizations and trade unions (TYEE).
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