Canada is due for review at the UN human rights council – abuses by its mining companies must not be overlooked
By: Meera Karunananthan | The Guardian (UK), Published on Wed Apr 24, 2013:
Canada is scheduled for its universal periodic review (UPR) at the UN human rights council on 26 April. The UPR is an international mechanism established in 2006 to hold governments accountable for their human rights records. According to Ban Ki-moon, the review has the potential “to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world“.
When Canada stands before the UN to have its “darkest corners” examined, the international community must not turn a blind eye to its complicity with a global mining industry whose corporations are among the worst human rights and environmental offenders in the world.
The abuses by Canadian mining companies are a systemic part of an economic development policy that disregards human rights and disdains the environment. It is no coincidence that Canada is now home to 75% of the world’s mining companies, the majority operating overseas. The Canadian government has accelerated its pursuit of investment treaties in the global south to serve the interests of the extractive industry. These treaties allow companies to challenge environmental, public health or other resource-related policies that affect mining profits.
First Nations people – and the decision of Canadians to stand alongside them – will determine the fate of the planet
By: Martin Lukacs | The Guardian (UK), Published on Fri Apr 26, 2013:
In a boardroom in a soaring high-rise on Wall Street, Indigenous activist Arthur Manuel is sitting across from one of the most powerful financial agents in North America.
It’s 2004, and Manuel is on a typical mission. Part of a line of distinguished Indigenous leaders from western Canada, Manuel is what you might call an economic hit-man for the right cause. A brilliant thinker trained in law, he has devoted himself to fighting Canada’s policies toward Indigenous peoples by assailing the government where it hurts most – in its pocketbook.
RCMP and CSIS treat peaceful protest actions and questioning the Harper Government as ‘forms of attack’, label activists involved “national security threats”, documents reveal.
by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:
RCMP Officers Monitor Peaceful Occupy Activity on Parliament Hill, Sept 2012
The Harper Government is intensifying its attacks on environmental and other activist movements in Canada, according to documents released under freedom of information laws, the Guardian (UK) reports. For the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s national police force and chief spy agency, respectively, monitoring environmental activists and labeling them a “threat to national security”, has become the “new normal”.
“Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies,” the Guardian reports.