Sunday Roundup: Harper Picked Chinese Pandas Over Journey of Nishiyuu Aboriginal Youth

By: Obert Madondo The Canadian Progressive:

Photo credit: universitypost.dk

Photo credit: universitypost.dk

This week six courageous “Journey of Nishiyuu” Aboriginal youth arrived in Ottawa after walking 1 600 kilometres from Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay in northern Quebec. They’d hoped to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In a gesture like to further galvanize the popular view that Harper doesn’t care for the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the prime minister traveled to Toronto where he welcomed two Chinese Pandas.

Harper prioritized the Chinese pandas over Aboriginal issues.

Meanwhile, we learned that the Conservative government quietly withdrew from yet another important international body, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, prompting Elizabeth May to call Canada under Stephen Harper the “North Korea of environmental law”.

Here’s what happened this week:

INSIDE OTTAWA:

Elizabeth May: Harper making Canada the North Korea of environmental law

The Saanich-Gulf Islands MP was reacting to Thursday’s shocking revelation that the Conservative government last week quietly withdrew from yet another important international body, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. MORE

Conservative backbenchers complain of muzzling by Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is facing a mini revolt among Conservative backbenchers who claim their voices have been muzzled in Parliament.  MORE

Conservative revolt reveals fault lines in Stephen Harper’s party: Walkom

On the face of it, Ottawa’s Conservative caucus rebellion fizzled like a damp squib. Backbenchers who werecomplaining about Stephen Harper’s iron grip Tuesday were singing his praises Wednesday. MORE

MPs receive 1.6 per cent pay increase, annual salary now $160,200

House Speaker Andrew Scheer advised all MPs on Thursday they will be getting a minimum pay increase of $2,500 each beginning Monday, April 1, to bring their basic salaries up to $160,200 annually. MORE

Government MPs defeat NDP proposal to ban shark fin imports

Conservative MPs have narrowly defeated a B.C. New Democratic Party MP’s bill calling for a ban on importing shark fins. The bill was defeated Wednesday evening in a 143-138 vote in the House of Commons. MORE

Canadians Should Reject Elections Canada Robocalls Report

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, presented to Parliament the long-awaited Elections Canada report of the robocalls scandals. Canadians should reject this report – titled Preventing Deceptive Communications with Electors – Recommendations from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the 41st General Election – and demand a full and independent inquiry into the scandal. MORE

Harper government appears uninterested in Chief Electoral Officer’s recommendations

The Conservative government has not consulted Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, on possible changes to Canada’s elections act. MORE

FIRST NATIONS:

Nishiyuu Journey By Cree Youth Ends As Harper Greets Pandas (TWEETS, VIDEO)

Two months and 1,600 kilometres later, a group of Cree youth arrived in Ottawa today, completing their trek from Northern Quebec in support of Idle No More and the Quebec Cree Nation. MORE

Forget ‘panda diplomacy’; it’s the Journey of Nishiyuu that deserves our full attention

The Journey of Nishiyuu arrives in Ottawa today — the completion of an epic journey of Indigenous youth that started in the community of Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay in northern Quebec. MORE

Another long journey for justice: Indigenous youth begin walk from Winnipeg to Ottawa

The Journey of Nishiyuu, which arrived in Ottawa earlier this week, was not the only trek for justice led by young Indigenous people in Canada. Twenty Indigenous youth from Manitoba have set out from the steps of the Legislative building in Winnipeg, Manitoba. MORE 

Soaring aboriginal prison population a national disgrace

Watchdogs call for changes in First Nations policies and correctional strategies to deal with ‘a troubling pattern that has to be broken’. Nowhere is Canada’s dysfunctional relationship with aboriginal people more visible than in our courts, our jails and our prisons. MORE

CANADA IN THE WORLD:

Canada quietly pulls out of UN anti-droughts convention

The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement. MORE 

It’s not just the drought treaty: In international law, Canada has withered

This week Canada indicated that it plans to pull out of a United Nations convention aimed at preventing drought. The 1994 Convention to Combat Desertification has been ratified by every member of the United Nations – that’s over 190 countries – and Canada will be the first and only country to reject it. MORE

Canada’s New Democrats condemn violence against Rohingya Muslims

Canada’s Official Opposition has unequivocally condemned the ongoing genocidal violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma. In a brief statement issued Wednesday, the NDP called on the Harper Government to pressure the Burmese government lift restrictions on international humanitarian aid for the affected people. MORE

Why is Canada the only country to quit UN anti-drought convention?: Editorial

Why, suddenly, has the federal government chosen towithdraw from a United Nations convention to combat drought, making Canada an outlier among 194 nations, the only country in the world outside the agreement? MORE

TAR SANDS:

Does selling off our resources make us an energy superpower?

Energy is on everyone’s minds these days. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to make Canada an energy superpower, fuelled mostly by Alberta’s tar sands. MORE

Wastewater leak from oilsands plant enters Athabasca River

Suncor has now confirmed that a wastewater leak from an outfall pond at its oilsands plant north of Fort McMurray, Alta., did enter the Athabasca River. MORE

Keeping the Cork in the Oil Sands Bottle

Are the bitumen deposits in NE Alberta the biggest carbon bomb on the planet or will their exploitation have hardly any effect on the climate? Will the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline accelerate development of the oil sands or will it make little difference? MORE

ACTIVISM:

In Texas, An Activist Climbs Flagpole, Hangs Banner Denouncing Alberta Tar Sands

An activist with Tar Sands Blockade climbed a 50 foot flagpole in front of LyondellBasell’s downtown Houston office this morning and hung a banner denouncing the corporation’s plans to nearly triple its tar sands processing capacity at its Houston Refining facility in the Hispanic neighborhood of Manchester. The banner reads, “LyondellBasell, Stay Out of Tar Sands. No KXL.” MORE

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP RACE

Trudeau would draw more Liberal votes in Quebec: poll

More Quebecers would vote Liberal if Papineau MP and leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau were to take the reins of the federal party, a new poll suggests. MORE

HERE AND THERE:

Star investigation: Ottawa refuses to say whether drug-tainted horse meat entered food chain

The Star traces a former Stronach racehorse’s life from birth to the slaughterhouse and makes an unsettling discovery: serious flaws in Canada’s food inspection system are putting our health at risk when it comes to horses destined for the food chain. MORE

Local Filipino Canadian magazine editor resigns, citing potential Tory influence on magazine

The former editor of English-language magazine Filipino Canadian magazine Living Today, resigned last week over his publisher’smembership in the Conservative Party. MORE

 

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.