Canada mirrored…

Sept 19, 2022

 CBC News – Brian Mulroney gives eulogy at ceremony for Queen in Ottawa / Adrienne Clarkson speaks at ceremony for Queen in Ottawa

Mulroney recalls the context of Apartheid in South Africa and Canada’s role in the struggle with Mandela. He speaks of the major spasms of social and political discontent and the success that Canada has enjoyed in spite of these spasms, leaving huge impressive stability and peace at home, largely due to the Queen’s influence.  Clarkson offers a historic review of the development of our current democracy while under the influence of Elizabeth II.  The text is worth reviewing regardless of one’s view on monarchy and simply because Clarkson speaks of how we came thus far as a unique showcase of the stability of government when buttressed by the determined focus on Canadian progress and development as a people.  There is much in the eulogy of both Mulroney and Clarkson to place at the forefront of all political discourse in Canada.

Migrant Rights Network (Canada)
Sep 18: Rights, Regularization, Status for All! | Droits, Régularisation, Statut pour tous et toutes

September 18, 2022  –  All Day / Toute la journée  –  Across Canada / À travers le Canada et le Québec

The organisers have gathered an impressive list of supporters and want “equal rights and permanent resident status for all undocumented people, migrant workers, students, families and refugees. A historic regularization program is on the horizon, but we need to take to the streets to ensure that no one is left behind.”  The issues around undocumented people and migrant workers have festered in Canada, particularly during the Covid crisis, and these workers are often among the most ignored in the enforcement of the labour codes.

Twitter from Justin Piché (University of Ottawa)

Here is the latest on the current costs of prisons and imprisonment in Canada.  “Prepping 4 “Imagining Alternatives to Building Cages and the Canadian Carceral State” 2B shared at @CongAboPeoples  Indigenous Justice Strategy Summit Thursday. Didn’t think I’d find $3.1B worth of new prison builds that if filled would cost another $5.3B to operate over 30 years.”  Piche, who is giving an early preview to his research for an Indigenous Strategy around Prisons, is also one of the leaders in the effort to end the new Ontario provincial prison for Kemptville.   (cf chart of overview of provincial / territorial carceral expansion in Canada in 2022)

Global Project against Hate and Extremism (US)
The “Great Replacement” Conspiracy Theory:  From the Fringe of White Supremacist Circles to the Mainstream

The link offers a rather startling assessment of where we are in transition to a broad stream acceptance of some rather pointedly racist theory and practice.  The authors liberally quote a considerable number of elected government officials pointing to the notion that immigrants will overwhelm the white race in the US.  The Great Replacement Theory says that “a white supremacist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant concept that posits white people are being replaced by immigrants, Muslims, and other people of color in their so-called “home” countries. The conspiracy often blames the “elite” and Jews for orchestrating these changing demographics. The Great Replacement was conceived of by a Frenchman, Renaud Camus, who popularized the idea in his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement.  The concept spread like wildfire in Europe, particularly through the sprawling transnational white supremacist group Generation Identity and its social media accounts.”  A listing of the people – with quotes of their words – recently supporting the theory follows.   Related article: CBC News – Darren Major   So who’s ‘woke,’ what does it mean and how is it being used in Canadian politics?   The word originates with Black activist communities in the mid-20th century   Related article: Toronto Star – Alex Ballingall   Canadian MPs across the spectrum see threats to democracy: ‘There’s no common middle ground’ – In a troubled world, Canadian democracy endures. But some sitting members of Parliament are worried — for various reasons — that it is getting weaker. (US) – Lydia Pelot-Hobbs
Law-and-Order Policies Make Us Less Safe. The Trajectory of the ’90s Shows Why.

Pelot-Hobbs first notes the return to a policing strategy of the 90’s and then suggests it is a return to the very mechanisms that have produced mass incarceration.  She illustrates the problems using the reform of the New Orleans Police Department and the faltering recent steps in the reform with a revised ‘tough-on-crime” approach.  “Counter to the assumptions made by Democratic leaders swept up in the current wave of law-and-order nostalgia, the return of 1990s-era policing practices will not make our cities safer but it will heighten arrests and incarceration. Investing in state violence will not end interpersonal violence. It will sow disorder and instability for countless people.”   Related article: The Marshall Project – Keri Blakinger and Beth Schwartzapfel  The 1990s Law That Keeps People in Prison on Technicalities – How the Supreme Court expanded the most important law you’ve never heard of.   

How to redress a legal wrong or innocent conviction has been a constant problem for the legal system.  In this case, while four federal judges have declared a condemned man likely innocent, the US Supreme Court is claiming to be impotent to redress the problem.  “Earlier this week, the Supreme Court told Arizona prisoner Barry Jones that even though four federal judges agreed he may well be innocent of the 1994 murder that sent him to death row, the high court couldn’t overturn his conviction or stop Arizona from executing him. (Jones had argued he was hindered by poor lawyering at multiple stages of his case.) … In a 6-3 decision on Monday, in a case titled Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, the conservative justices said they couldn’t do anything about it, because of one wonky law passed by Congress in 1996…”


Advice from Steven Pinker (Harvard Professor of Cognitive Psychology) on Basic Income: “As long as we protect the interest of people we shouldn’t worry about protecting the interests of jobs.”  #BasicIncome leaves most of us more well-off, and all of us better off. #cdnpoli #canpoli #cdnecon #UBI #ubiworks   Related article: VOCM Radio News – St. John’s Expected to Pledge Support for Guaranteed Basic Income