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You Should Have Stayed Home

G20-Toronto-Police-Kicking-Unarmed-and-Tied-Up-Civilians (42K)

In the four years that we have lived outside of Canada, there have been some events that have surprised, shocked, and angered us. Now we are wondering if we should return.

The worst, without a doubt, was on June 26 & 27 last year in Toronto. That is when Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted the G8/G20 meetings. Harper has barely commented on the most important events that weekend. His majesty stays above it all.

His government has made every effort to thwart a proper public inquiry. Instead they have supported a hodge-podge of toothless panels, committees, and review boards populated by people more concerned keeping their jobs and ducking responsibility.

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2009 - A Year To Remember or To Forget?


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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,

Pro-roguing parliament and re-dacting documents,

Legally avail-able, National Se-cur-ity...

These are a few of my favorite things...

A couple of years back, not long after we arrived in The Netherlands, a good friend paid us a visit. I was marvelling at the bike paths, the canals, the absence of mosquitoes in a landscape filled with calm water. Public transport was great, trains were on time and frequent. Who needs planes? Most things were more expensive but bread, milk, wine, beer and cheese were cheap. Life was good.

Holland was clean. It was safe. It seemed to work remarkably well. My friend quipped that Dutch society was probably 100 years ahead of Canada. I thought this was a bit exaggerated, reckoning maybe 50 years tops. That was before 2009. Now I'm thinking 100 years is a being very kind.

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Is Canada a Racist Nation?

lawrenceCannon (5K)

Please note I'm not asking the question "Is Canada a nation of racists?". If I thought the majority of Canadians had some harsh, prejudicial and ignorant view on a particular race, religion or culture, that might be a fair question. But that isn't the case at all. Canadians are pretty decent, considerate people. They have earned a good reputation in most of the world and it serves them well.

But the politics of a nation, the relationships it fosters with the global community, and the reputation it has earned are more fluid and subject to winds of change. So in asking the question "Is Canada a Racist Nation", it is within a context of of current political events.

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Canada and Human Rights

wienstein4 galloway3

I've been obsessed and distressed with the Canadian politics ever since the George Galloway controversy erupted in the news. I have scoured countless news and web sites for more information. I joined a Facebook group, signed a petition, done blog pages to protest, joined discussions, and posted many comments to newpapers. My opinions about Canada, Israel and Hamas have certainly changed in that time.

It saddens me to see this happening in Canada. George Galloway is a five time elected Member of Parliament in Britain in good standing. He is a brilliant orator and debater. He is a peace activist. He is a humanitarian.

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Canada High Commission's letter to George Galloway

JasonKenny (6K)

Here is a facsimile of the facsimile sent to Galloway's office informing him of his inadmissability to Canada. Note the reasons given here are very different from those published in Rupert Murdoch's trashy Sun tabloid that same morning, which is how Galloway learned of the ruling.

It is made quite clear in the letter, delivered 10 days before Galloway is scheduled to speak to an anti-war group in Toronto, that even if Galloway follows the procedures stated in the letter there is little chance he will be allowed in the country. The allegations are very serious.

I am guessing Mr. Robert J. Orr, of London's High Commission Of Canada, was biting his lip as he prepared this letter. It is rather unusual, after all, to bar a British Member of Parliament from entering Canada alleging he engages in terrorism.

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Manufacturing Consent: Made in Canada


Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was first published in 1968. Written by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, its thesis, in part, was how the media reported the news in a way that best served its masters, the corporate and political elite of the time. The authors compared the press coverage given to Vietnam and East Timor in the New York Times newspaper, tabulating the column-inches in the paper for each subject. Similar political events were happening in each region at the time, but there were American business interests in Vietnam and virtually nothing of the sort in East Timor.

The Vietnam war was first presented by the media and government in 1964 as an ideological conflict. Framed as a nation's effort to defend a noble cause, there was almost no opposition to this war when it began. By 1968, cracks were appearing in this facade as stories began to emerge of secret carpet bombing raids in North Vietnam and atrocities against civilians. The facade crumbled completely in 1971 when newspapers across the country began publishing excerpts from the top secret Pentagon Papers. An excerpt from the wikipedia page:

The most damaging revelation was that the US deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks - which had all gone unreported in the US.
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This Is Not About Freedom Of Speech

galloway3 (5K) wienstein2 (36K)

Last month George Galloway, a British Member Of Parliament for 25 years, was banned from entering Canada to give a talk to a peace activist group sponsored by a Toronto church. The original reason given by the government of Canada was that they did not like his views on the war in Afghanistan.

Realizing that this line of reasoning goes against all principles of Freedom Of Speech, the government quickly changed it reasons. They now have claimed that George Galloway supports terrorism, specifically citing his recent "material and financial aid" to Hamas. Hamas is "recognized" as a terrorist organization by Canada, the US, Britian, some European countries and, of course, Israel.

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Canada's Harper Announces New Coalition Government

HarperCedesControl JasonKenny3 (5K)

In a surprising new development in the Canadian political landscape, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of a minority government that faced an opposition party coalition challenge less than 4 months ago, made a surpise announcement that the Progressive Conservatives have formed a coalition with the Jewish Defense League and the Canadian Jewish Congress.

When asked how that could be, as the JDL and CJC did not run any candidates the last election, Mr. Harper explained that he had it on good authority that the JDL was, in the opinion of government officials, a bonafide legitimate party with important representation across the country.

He then handed over questions to Minister of Deportation, Facism and Xenophobia, Jason Kenney, who went on to explain that officials within CBSA, CSIS, RCMP, FBI, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD, IRS and other undisclosed departments had determined that if the JDL had and CJC been on the ballot in the last Canadian Federal election, they would have won a number of seats, thus making it possible to form a stable coalition government in Canada.

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Oh! Canada! Who Stands on Guard For Thee?

Meir Weinstein George Galloway

Chances are that you not have heard of George Galloway until recently. He has made the news because he has been denied entry to Canada on the grounds that he supports terrorism, specifically Hamas. This was controversial because Mr. Galloway is a long standing British Member of Parliament, has been to Canada before, and was scheduled to speak at a number of engagements, some sold-out, at the invitation of his supporters here. He has many admirers in Canada, but they call him a peace activist, anti-war campaigner and humanitarian.

His speaking tour also includes 8 stops in the US, which has NOT banned Mr. Galloway. The plan now is to fulfill those commitments while fighting the Canadian ban in the courts.

Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, is supporting the decision made by unnamed officials of Canada's Border Services Agency. Mr Kenney has stated unequivocally that the reason behind the decision was that George Galloway recently gave cash to Hamas.

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Canada Refuses To Speak Against Israeli Illegal Occupation


Canada was the only country to vote against a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution deploring the construction of new housing units for Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Forty-six other coucil members, including Italy, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico voted in favor of the resolution.


The following text has been excerpted from this United Nations press release.


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