Category: opinion

These opinions are those of the author.


Charlie Hebdo : victime de guerre ?

En guise de commentaire : « La droite chrétienne frappe ses cibles depuis le ciel avec des drones. La droite musulmane frappe ses cibles depuis le sol avec des humains. De tout bords, des gens meurent. La droite en Occident sème l’islamophobie et utilisera certainement cette attaque à des fins politiques. Pour nous faire peur. Pour nous faire avaler les mesures visant à assurer notre “sécurité”. Et la gauche nous dira qu’en solidarité avec ceux et celles qui ont été tués à Charlie Hebdo, nous sommes tous Français, que nous sommes tous Charlie, sans aucune nuance , faisant bloc contre...


Don’t Kid Yourself: We all pay for the defunding of higher education

a guest post by Erika Shaker. I went to McGill in the late 80s and early 90s when tuition fees were less than $1,200 a year, so with summer jobs and some parental help I graduated from my first degree debt-free. For my MA, which I took in Ontario, I worked part-time and graduated after one year with a debt of $10,000. By way of comparison: my partner went to university in Ontario after grants were eliminated, and when the first round of tuition fee hikes were implemented. He completed a BA and then an MA, and graduated with a...


The Institut du Nouveau Monde and Minalliance: A Disingenuous Alliance

Open Letter by Collective of Authors There are times when credulousness becomes guilty and there are times when false pretense looses its ability to convince. The collaboration announced between the Institut de nouveau monde (INM) and Minalliance, to organize public “conversations” about the future of mining in Québec, is clearly one of these times. What are these organizations? The Institut du nouveau monde, primarily funded by the Government of Québec, presents itself as an organization that favours civil society participation in all types of debates of social importance. As for Minalliance, it is nothing more and no less than the...


Fish Story is Japanese Punk Rock and a Champion of Justice

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 23°C] I just finished watching Japanese director, Yoshihiro Nakamura’s 10th film, Fish Story and the title track is now playing over and over in a video loop and I just can’t enough of it. I want to buy the album but the website is entirely in Japanese so I’ve embedded the video to get easy access to the song whenever I need a taste of pre-Sex Pistols Japanese punk rock. The film is good too. A definite keeper and future cult classic, that is, if we survive the 2012 Apocalypse. The film is set in several time...


Southern Sudan: Oil Exploitation vs Wildlife Protection

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -2°C] Before the last civil war started in Sudan in 1983, the country’s protected areas, according to the Wildlife Conservaton Society, “supported some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa, and hosted the second largest wildlife migration in the world.” According to their website, “During an aerial survey, more than 1.3 million white-eared kob, tiang (African antelope), and mongalla gazelle are thriving in Southern Sudan.” And apparently, an estimated 8,000 elephants are located within the Jonglei region and particularly in Boma National Park. This seems like such good news considering that all other information...


Canada before Copenhagen: Truth versus Mythology

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 8°C] An article in Monday’s Guardian newspaper has the following subtitle: “The tar barons have held the nation to ransom. This thuggish petro-state is today the greatest obstacle to a deal in Copenhagen.” The article’s author, George Monbiot, continues in the first paragraph with: When you think of Canada, which qualities come to mind? The world’s peacekeeper, the friendly nation, a liberal counterweight to the harsher pieties of its southern neighbour, decent, civilised, fair, well-governed? Think again. This country’s government is now behaving with all the sophistication of a chimpanzee’s tea party. Not a particularly flattering statement...


Berlin Wall is Gone but Separation Walls are a Growth Industry

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 7°C] The celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was one week ago today. With that behind us, it is now time to acknowledge that the construction of separation walls throughout the world is on the increase. According to l’Observatoire de géopolitique de la Chaire Raoul-Dandurand at Université du Québec À Montréal (UQÀM), and a special ‘Section C’ in Montréal French language daily, Le Devoir, there are now 40 walls around the world that render passage across borders extremely difficult. In the article, The Wall Fantasy (Le fantasme du mur) by Élisabeth...


Berlin, Check Point Charlie, and Giant-Puppet Theatre

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 16°C] Since my first visit to (East and West) Berlin in 1985, the city has never fully escaped my imagination. I remember walking up one of the platforms on the Western side of the wall near Potsdamer Platz to peer over the reinforced concrete barrier to get a glimpse behind the Iron Curtain. I remember at the time, how dangerous it felt to take a glimpse inside  of what looked like a prison, heavily guarded by armed soldiers from nearby watch towers. I remember later urinating on the wall as a symbolic gesture of defiance towards a...


Air Traffic Worldwide.

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 18°C] I case you were wondering how many flights take to the skies in any given 24 hours around the globe, below is a 71-second video from Swiss engineering school, ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte, that has also developed software to follow global air traffic LIVE. So now you can follow a particular flight and watch it on-screen as you hear it fly over your house! That’s a lot of CO2 emmissions! Notice the change is air traffic quantity as the daylight turns into night. Airtraffic Worldwide in 24 hours


Africa, Canadian Mining Interests, Human Cargo and Re-education

[Montréal, Québec, Canada  18°C] Last night, I watched the five last episodes of the 2004 six-part television series, Human Cargo, directed by Brad Turner. I watched it on DVD borrowed from the well-stocked video library at La Grande Bibliothèque. The winner of seven Gemini Awards, including best director and best miniseries, the series follows parallel stories and characters closely related to human migration issues. The series is set mostly in Vancouver, where migrants seeking refugee status in Canada deal with the Immigration and Refugee Board’s (IRB) corruptibility, and in Burundi where a civil war between Tutsis and Hutus, exacerbated by...