Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Canada exports death around the world

More of the Harper government policies that are making us look really, really good.

From McClatchy:

Lobbyists push use of deadly asbestos in developing nations

A global network of lobby groups has spent nearly $100 million since the mid-1980s to preserve the international market for asbestos, a known carcinogen that's taken millions of lives and is banned or restricted in 52 countries, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found in a nine-month investigation.

Backed by public and private money and aided by scientists and friendly governments, the groups helped facilitate the sale of 2.2 million tons of asbestos last year, mostly in developing nations. Anchored by the Montreal-based Chrysotile Institute, the network stretches from New Delhi to Mexico City to the city of Asbest in Russia's Ural Mountains. Its message is that asbestos can be used safely under "controlled" conditions

Early in Harper's tenure, an international group met to discuss banning the mining and export of asbestos around the world. Most countries had already done so. The group expected that Canada would join them. The Harper government's representatives showed up at the meeting, were rude and dismissive and completely surprised one of the observers there by their boorish behaviour. That didn't surprise me, but the rest of the world hadn't got the message yet about Our Glorious Leader and Our Glorious Leader's new regime.

I sent the then-Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn an email expressing my surprise that asbestos was being mined and exported given that its use just about everywhere in Canada was banned. I received no reply. (Whoa! Who would have expected that?)

But I must admit that I thought our representatives actually represented us in those days instead of channeling Harperite policies to the 63+% of the people who hadn't voted for his party. I have been rudely awakened from that dream since then.

Gary Lunn has since been bumped down to Minister of State for Sport. I doubt whether it had anything to do with this, though. There were reports that he was giving wealthy landowners grants from a green fund to aid sustainable development, which actually didn't aid green development - but it sure aided his friends.

The present Minister of Natural Resources is Christian Paradis, Conservative MP from Quebec, smack in the middle of the mining district. The asbestos lobby is housed in Montreal and you can bet your next meal there's no asbestos in their lobby.

I'm so proud.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Officer Bubbles

Looks like a billion dollars was well spent. This "police officer" was venting his probably steroid-induced rage at a young woman blowing - oh my GAWD - bubbles at him. I felt sorry for the young woman police officer standing by this thug in his armoured, shaved-headed, bug-eye-sunglassed glory who demanded "respect".

The world needs saving from bubble-blowers.

You know, in all my years on earth I have never heard of even one bubble-induced injury. And the jerk tried to make out that it was the woman cop he was "protecting". She was handling this situation just fine until robocop tried to start something. Was he a real cop or a rent-a-thug, I wonder?

Support REAL NEWS.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Climate change effects hit Stevie's backyard

A brief but violent thunderstorm blew through Calgary yesterday accompanied by wind, funnel clouds and golf ball sized hail.

Calgary Southwest is the constituency of Stephen Harper, Our Glorious Leader and climate change denier extraordinare. Never saw a tar sands project he didn't like.

So far this year in various parts of Canada we've had insufferable heat, humidity and polluted air very early in the year, floods on the prairies - you know - where huge amounts of our cereal grains like wheat are grown, tornadoes in Ontario and Quebec, and on and on.

This is a video of what happened to the roof of the greenhouse at the University of Calgary in a few short minutes. Planning to get around climate instability by growing a country's food supply under glass? Maybe the climate deniers should check this out.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Jeremy Dwyer - nineteen-year-old hero

This guy gives me great hope for the future of Canada. Jeremy Dwyer is a human rights activist and artist. He was chosen to represent Newfoundland in an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg.

When he found out minutes beforehand that Harper would be attending an making a photo-op out of it, he told museum staff that he would not shake hands with Stephen Harper. As Harper made his way down the line, the staff asked Mr. Dwyer to step back so he would not even be given the opportunity to politely decline the handshake.

Then they lied about it.

"...[a] spokesperson told the Telegram newspaper that Dwyer stepped back on his own because he was overwhelmed.

“That's just a ridiculous statement,” said Dwyer. “Stephen Harper does not overwhelm me.”

N.L. teen refuses to shake PM's hand

Bravo, Mr. Dwyer! You are one of the bravest of the millions and millions who are completely underwhelmed by this man.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Opposition leaders adopt non-ostrich stance

Canadian opposition leaders - Michael Ignatieff (Lib.), Jack Layton (NDP) and Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois) - have finally pulled their heads out of the sand, or wherever they were keeping them, and have decided to set up a committee of inquiry into the G20 "security" violence against peaceful citizens. If the HarpoCons tell their ever compliant members not to show up - and they would obey because they never think for themselves - the committee would founder, as it requires members of all parties.

This would be right up Harper's behavioural alley.

We live in hope, though - the only thing left in Pandora's Box.

That vicious looking woman with the baton towards the end of the video is a cop, by the way, bashing the hell out of someone with - a CAMERA.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Police State Canada

This is video from the protest marches during the G20 summit in Toronto. One billion dollars was spent for "security" at these summits. In spite of the huge outlay, supposed "Black Bloc" protesters smashed windows and committed other crimes while the police did NOTHING.

After a police car was set alight - one that had been mysteriously left abandoned with an empty tank and the gas cap off - it was left to burn. Once again the police did NOTHING.

When peaceful protesters started to march and journalists tried to record the scene, the police weighed in with batons and attacked, brutalized and arrested nearly one thousand people who had done NOTHING.

The treatment of women held in detention at the hands of male police officers was described by one journalist. It is enough to make you sick.

But don't worry. The cops got lots of new toys to use against the next bunch of upstart citizens who dare question anything their thuggish leaders should decide. There are water cannons, police cannons and high powered assault rifles just in case you might get uppity.

Police State Canada from bill johnson on Vimeo.