Monday, July 5, 2010

Canada's Silly Season Still Missing

Post Canada Day weekend, summer is well under way and the arrival of the silly season is nowhere in sight - unless you think McGuinty calling himself a liberal or the suspension of Canadian civil rights constitutes a laugh riot.



Ben Powless, writing for Rabble.ca talks about his illegal detention along with 899 other protesters and describes scenes that remind me of long ago protests behind the iron curtain. How else would you characterize the following:

The snatch-and-grabs began. Protestors were picked off seemingly at random, preference given to those who spoke on the megaphone. Media were told to leave the area or face arrest, with the exception of Jesse Rosenfeld, a writer for the UK's The Guardian, who was assaulted and arrested because his Alternative Media Centre pass was not recognized. There was a complete sense of confusion, near panic. No explanation was offered, and it was only after about 20 people had been dragged away that the police let us know we were being arrested for "breach of the peace," and could avoid being aggressively detained by lining up in front of them with our hands on our heads. At no point was any indication made of ways to disperse or desist from breaching whatever peace existed.

From the same publication a report on the police brutality that was inflicted upon the protesters and bystanders - the article makes the point that ...broken bones, cracked heads and eyes filled with pepper spray - have yet to feature prominently in any mainstream media.

Over at the Globe and Mail, Adam Radwanski writes about the so-called five-metre rule and why it matters - the choice of governments, through both their actions and inactions, to give police gratuitous leeway in securing these kinds of international summits. All in all a shameful episode in Canadian history that will no doubt go down the memory hole in short order unless an unbiased investigation of police tactics is conducted - and that doesn't seem likely.

Some actual good news, as the National Energy Board is considering forcing oil companies to drill a secondary relief well in any deep water Arctic exploration project, which is a sign of sanity considering the current state of the Gulf of Mexico and the ongoing spill. Sadly they are not considering extending those rules to drilling off of Canada's east coast.

There is a report that Canada is poised to become a leader in forest conservation - read the entire article. It is filled with weasel words and propaganda noting the fact that Canada's boreal forest covers about 5.8 million square kilometres and ...agreements under consideration would allow highly restricted development on about half the land and no resource exploitation at all on the other half. That's roughly 3 million square kilometers that will see exploitation - we are supposed to feel good about this because they are only raping half the available forests.

Lastly, the Federal Court has given the government seven days to come up with a list of remedies to its breach of Omar Khadr's constitutional rights. The court ruled that the Canadian citizen now jailed at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is entitled to “procedural fairness and natural justice.”