Illustration by Scott Shields
Canada is addicted to oil. Like all addictions, ours is debilitating. It has erased the line between state and private industry (thin as that line is in most countries), stifles our politics, and is holding back local, provincial and national preparations for a world without fossil fuels. Curing our addiction to oil and gas will take time and money, and historic levels of Indigenous–federal–provincial co-operation. But it absolutely has to happen—starting now.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press June 5, 2019 For the last 100 days Camp Morningstar has nurtured a sacred fire on Hollow Water First Nation traditional territory in order to provide balanced information to counter the one-sided proposals and outdated scientific research presented by Canadian Premium Sand (CPS). We have been silenced, lost our jobs, and ignored, but we are still here.
Surveillance capitalism is a large undertaking. A technical one. Sensors in our homes and on our bodies connect to towers and cables running to massive computer centres doing the data processing. A built world meant to collect, command and control our habits, and vested in a few companies.
Six years ago, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act revealed that federal spy agencies had covertly monitored several groups that had expressed opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project, including Leadnow, Dogwood, the Council of Canadians, ForestEthics (now Stand.earth), the Sierra Club Canada, and Idle No More. The documents show CSIS—Canada’s national spy agency—and the RCMP working to protect the private interests of oil and gas companies while casting the aforementioned advocacy groups as appropriate targets of surveillance.
For six weeks in May and June 1919, approximately 35,000 workers in the Prairie city of Winnipeg walked off the job to voice their frustration with a range of issues, from a lack of collective bargaining rights and union recognition to increasing inequality. Indeed, the strike was part of a broader wave of worker revolts that swept across Canada and the world in 1919, as working people in numerous Canadian cities and countries used the strike—the withdrawal of labour power—to push for change.
First published by the Winnipeg Free Press January 16, 2019
The right to the city comes out of critical theory, a branch of intellectual thought originating in the early 20th century at the University of Frankfurt. The Frankfurt School consisted of a group of radical scholars who theorized about the rise of mass popular culture and its effect on society.
This study finds milk is significantly costlier in First Nations communities than in Winnipeg and Northern Manitoba. The cost was higher in First Nations with and without access to an all-weather road. The study is based on a milk price survey in August and September 2016 in 26 stores located in 22 communities in northern Manitoba (15 First Nation and 8 non-First Nation communities) and 11 stores in Winnipeg for comparative purposes.
In the span of a decade, we have moved from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples being largely absent from political and public discourse in BC, to being fully endorsed by both the federal and provincial governments. In May 2017, implementation of the UN Declaration was called “foundational” to the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC NDP and BC Green Party. Two months later, each new BC cabinet minister was tasked with implementing the UN Declaration in their mandate letters from the Premier. This is indeed good news.