Articles

  • The World’s Most Dangerous Job?

    The news of the death of 213 miners following a gas blast at a colliery in Liaoning on February 14 barely registered outside China, but it was further evidence of an ongoing tragedy, and symbolic of the enormous human cost that China is paying for its phenomenal economic growth.

  • Searching Through the Scraps: Women and MIning in Bolivia

    Beginning in the fifteenth-century silver exploitation of Potosi, and continuing to today, women have been involved in intricate and often invisible ways in the Bolivian mining sector. Dawn Paley reports from Bolivia.

  • The Two Bolivias Square Off

    With the embers of the “Gas War” of 2003 still glowing, the failure of the government to respond to protestors’ demands has fanned new flames of indignation, reaction and counter-reaction throughout Bolivia in recent weeks. The country has become increasingly polarized as the Right and the Left radicalize their respective agendas.

  • Personal Dimension: Bush/Life

    Culture

    My life follows the well-worn trail “poor boy makes good,” a cliché so saturated in ideology that to try and disentangle it from the comfort it may offer to those who naively believe ours is a meritorious society remains to this day as much a challenge for me as actually indulging in the narcissism of telling the story.

  • Canadian Labour

    The Canadian labour movement is and has for some time been at an impasse that it shares with labour movements around the world. The problem is not an absence of struggles; localized struggles, some quite creative, are an everyday event. Yet without a larger vision and strategic orientation to counter the aggressiveness of corporations and the state, such struggles cannot help but be limited, and the demoralization and fatalism already evident threatens to spread.

  • Northern Pipe Dreams, Northern Nightmares

    For a moment in the seventies, the mystical North burst upon the Canadian consciousness, as “Justice Tom’s Flying Magic Circus” (a.k.a. the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry) wound its way across the country. In 1975, at community hearings throughout the Northwest Territories, fiery Dene activists like Frank T’Seleie from Fort Good Hope condemned Bob Blair, president of Foothills Pipelines Ltd.: “You are like the Pentagon, Mr. Blair, planning the slaughter of innocent Vietnamese. Don’t tell me you are not responsible for the destruction of my nation. You are directly responsible. You are the twentieth century General Custer. You have come to destroy the Dene Nation. You are coming with your troops to slaughter us and steal land that is rightfully ours. You are coming to destroy a people that have a history of thirty thousand years. Why? For twenty years of gas? Are you really that insane? The original General Custer was exactly that insane. You still have a chance to learn.”

  • How I Became a True Radical

    I was 19 years old in September, 1967, when my new husband and I got into his funky old Volvo fastback, the one that looked like a late-forties Ford, hooked it up to a U-Haul trailer, drove from Toronto to Chicago and set up housekeeping. We rented a modest apartment, an English basement as they called it, in Hyde Park, the University of Chicago neighbourhood on the city’s South Side. Though our street and a few others where students lived were down at heel, generally speaking Hyde Park was a place of gracious homes, commodious apartment buildings, green lawns and the graceful, gothic buildings of the campus itself. Bruce was on a graduate scholarship, and he’d chosen the University of Chicago over Harvard and Columbia. He was 24, and well travelled. He knew New York and the American northeast well. He wanted to get a sense of the American heartland before he settled down to life and a career in Toronto. Besides, this was the land of Studs Terkel.

  • Progressives must rally behind the STV-PR referendum in BC

    On election day this May, B.C. voters will decide whether to adopt a form of proportional representation. B.C.’s right-wing Liberal government did the unthinkable and created a Citizens’ Assembly, a randomly chosen body with participants from across the province that would look critically at the voting system and make a recommendation about possibly changing it.

    The CA was a pretty good model of deliberative democracy. Participants had a chance to study different voting systems, discuss and debate their effects amongst themselves, and hear from experts, activists and average citizens in public hearings held across the province. In the end, they did recommend a change to a form of PR called the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Given the recent groundswell of support for PR from the B.C. NDP, the labour movement, the Greens, the women’s movements and many others, the recommendation should have a lot of support.

  • Senate Sleeps While Media Concentrates

    The Senate Committee Studying Media held a public hearing in Winnipeg in February, and it had all the excitement of any party that nobody wants to give and nobody wants to attend.

    In fact, hardly anybody did attend. Among those absent were the committee’s two senators representing Manitoba, anyone from the Manitoba Press Council and anyone from the province’s two schools of journalism and three universities. And, of the several hundred thousand Manitobans who read newspapers, listen to radio and watch television in Manitoba two, count ‘em: two people showed up with opinions about media, and both were given the bum’s rush. I have the honour of being one of them.

Page 235 of 248