February in Review

Mar 3, 2014

February in Review

February, ugh.

But fret not. It is as hard on the average citizen as it is on big law firms.

Those who live on the streets are hit the hardest at this time of year. In Victoria, 30 homeless deaths this winter are forcing calls for an inquest.

At least we can count on events around Black History Month and the annual marches for Missing and Murdered Women to bring us a sense of solidarity and community in the dim hours of adversity.

Yet, the problem of missing and murdered Indigenous women is ongoing. The Halifax Media Co-op published piece last week in honour of Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuk student from Nunatsiavut who went missing on February 13 and was found dead on February 26.

At the time of her disappearance, she had just submitted her thesis proposal. The topic? Understanding the disappearance and/or death of three Indigenous women in Nova Scotia.

In Montreal, the Co-op reflected on the crisis of police killings in the city and covered a vigil held for the most recent victim, Alain Magloire. The local also covered the intersection of racism and austerity and the launch of a new zine about feminism and islamophobia. Have you read this piece about the morbid obsession with Muslim women’s clothing?

We've previously covered the decision of an Ontario court to allow a trial against Hudbay Mineral to move forward, the first Canadian mining company to stand trial for human rights abuse committed abroad. This month in Toronto, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network organized a banner lift in the lobby of Hudbay’s office, marking the beginning of the trial.

Also in Toronto, a “Robin Hood” doctor who ensured that thousands of low-income patients received diet allowances by exaggerating their allergies was found guilty of professional misconduct, fined and had his license suspended for six months.

At the same time, other doctors are refusing to treat tar sand–induced health problems. A group of 26 organizations wrote an open letter calling on the Alberta Medical Association to investigate why doctors in Peace River, Alberta, have refused to care for or would not diagnose patients with health problems suspected of being caused by bitumen emissions.

Collateral damage from the fossil fuel industry is felt all the way to the other side of the country. In the Saint-Henri neighbourhood of Montreal, a train derailment spilled 3,500 litres of diesel fuel.

We’ve known for a while that groups organizing against the fossil fuel industry are infiltrated. A Moncton judge just granted the RCMP access to raw footage and pictures from CBC, Rogers, Brunswick News, CTV and APTN taken during the October 17 police raid of an anti–shale gas protest in Elsipogtog, near Rexton, NB.

The same document notes that the RCMP used four informants, three paid, throughout the course of monitoring the anti–shale gas protests. One informant had worked with them since 2008.

The Halifax Media Co-op kept on with its coverage of the aftermath of the raid of anti-fracking blockades in Elsipogtog, by publishing this letter from a mother speaking on the effects of criminalisation of her kin.

Neil Young, are you coming to our rescue yet?

On the labour front, read this letter from a postal worker who thinks that Canada Post has been creating its own crises. The HMC also covered an action organized by home-support staff asking to earn the same hourly wage as their counterparts who work in hospitals.

“Got Land? Thank an Indian.” The saying might make you smirk. When a 13-year-old Indigenous student in Saskatchewan sported these words on her pink hoodie, she was told that it might be … racist. She ended up winning the right to wear it in class.

Meanwhile, tension on the border is on the rise as Akwesasne residents are forced to pass customs each time they cross from Cornwall Island to the mainland. The community is now suing Canada Border Services Agency on behalf of a paraplegic woman who says she was detained by CBSA officers to serve as bait.

On February 29, we came to the 10th anniversary of the coup d’état in Haiti. If you missed it, take a look back and read our review of the book Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation. Or check out Yves Engler's three-part series on Canada's role in ousting Haiti's democratically elected president Aristide.

Speaking of coup, what is actually happening in the Venezuelan streets?

For March, get your spirits up by either joining the Noam Chomsky chorus against neoliberal violence or smirking at this homey picture of the elderly burglars who duped the FBI.