Avaaz has come under attack from a major media-mogul PDF Print E-mail
Politics and Democracy
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Huge numbers of Canadian Avaazers recently mobilized against government favours for a new radical-right propaganda network run by the Prime Minister's former spin doctor. The media empire behind the network and its billionaire owner, Pierre Karl Peladeau, has attacked our community with several smear pieces in their own newspapers, and one of their executives admitted insider knowledge of a criminal sabotage of our campaign. Now the mogul has threatened to sue Avaaz if we don't take down our campaign within 24 hours!

This is how big corporate power works to silence people's voices. But Avaaz is a community of almost 6 million people -- together we're far stronger than any corporate bully.

Rejecting the G20 consensus on corporate profits and public austerity PDF Print E-mail
Politics and Democracy
Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Writing from the relative tranquility of northern British Columbia, I feel entirely dislocated from the world I occupied only two weeks ago, making my exit from Toronto only days after the city was locked down by the largest Canadian peacetime security operation in history. Literally, I am now at a great distance from Canada's biggest city, as evidenced by the 4,800 km on my odometer and the grueling nine day drive dragging a weighty trailer behind my car.

Yet, I believe my new home to be deeply implicated within the events in Toronto at the end of June. Despite the media fixation on acts of vandalism on the Toronto streets, the most grievous forms of violence at the G20 meetings were far more institutional, extending their scope well beyond Toronto's downtown core.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 July 2010 )
G8/G20 Deficit Reduction and the Neglect of the Global South PDF Print E-mail
Politics and Democracy
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki's statement that at the recent G 8 and G 20 summits the rich of the world had once again "conveyed the point that Africa had drifted to the periphery of the global development agenda" has underscored the fault lines of the G 8 and G 20.

It is not only the people of Africa being relegated to the sidelines but also millions throughout the world.

For example, the G 8 countries together pledged less than one-fifth of what the United Nations says is necessary to stop the preventable deaths of women and children under the age of five throughout the world.

The agreement to cut deficits by 50 per cent of 2013, if implemented, will fall squarely on the poorest of the world. Public investments in education, health, municipal infrastructure and community development will be sharply reduced. Unemployment will increase even further.

In promoting this agenda of privatization and social spending cutbacks,  Harper is following the wishes of the so-called B 20 -- those select handful of powerful business leaders who were in fact
invited into the G 20. Harper himself admitted we have no more sovereignty and Canadians should face that fact. This is an abdication of governance and of responsibility for building national and
international policy to create a fair and inclusive economy for all.

These were some of the real reasons for the thousands upon thousands of citizens peacefully demonstrating at the G 20 in Toronto.
Don Kossick
Stand Against Project Hero PDF Print E-mail
Politics and Democracy
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Please take a moment to sign this petition expressing your opposition to Project Hero and the glorification of Canada's participation in the occupation of Afghanistan.

For background info, please read:
John Conway, "Regina 16 say common folk won freedoms," Calgary Herald

Stand against Project Hero and the glorification of war

We the undersigned urge Canadian universities and colleges not to participate in "Project Hero," a program in which post-secondary institutions waive tuition and course fees for "children of fallen soldiers."  Children of deceased members of the Canadian military already have access to benefits through the Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance passed in 1953.  These benefits cover course fees and tuition as well as a monthly living allowance.

Project Hero is not about aid to the children of deceased soldiers, as their needs are already being met.  Rather it is a political effort to justify Canadian participation in the war in Afghanistan and glorify militarism on our campuses.  We do not believe our colleges and universities should be participating in this kind of political campaign masked as a student aid program.

We support the effort by University of Regina faculty members to raise the issue of Project Hero on their campus.  We are deeply concerned about the response they have met in the form of hate mail, threats and calls for their dismissal.  They have every right to raise these issues, and it is essential that free discussion and debate about foreign policy and the role of the military be allowed without vilification and threats of retribution.  The University of Regina Administration and the broader community must strongly defend the academic freedom of these faculty members.

The very name of "Project Hero" demonstrates its fundamentally political nature.  We believe participation in this project threatens to align our universities and colleges with a particular political message about militarism and the war in Afghanistan.  We therefore urge university and college administrators to reject participation in this project.
A Open Letter to the Government Regarding Funding Cuts to FNUC PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 March 2010
I am sure that many Saskatchewan people and people across Canada are as shocked as I am of the refusal of Chuck Strahl and the federal government to refund the First Nations University of Canada.
Everything has been done to make  the refunding work. The  FSIN, The University of Regina, the faculty and students of FNUC are prepared, capable and committed to a new operating model for FNUC.
One gets the impression that Chuck Strahl and Rob Norris, our Education Minister have other motives for not responding to the sincere attempts to keep FNUC a viable institution.
We must tell them that the FNUC plays a vital and important role in how Saskatchewan will be shaped. If we are going to have a Saskatchewan that respects diverse cultures, learns from the history of how Saskatchewan was settled, creates bridges between communities and educates young people to make a lasting contribution within Saskatchewan we need an eductional institution like FNUC.
I  hope that they will hear this message from many people and do the right thing and restore full funding.
Don Kossick
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