Articles Canadian Politics

  • The Heart of the Taku

    Today the Taku is best known as a salmon stream, with commercial and sport fisheries in both B.C. and Alaska, and also as an endangered river, popular with eco-tourists and adventurers. But before it was any of these things, the Taku was the traditional hunting grounds of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN).

  • Whistle Blower’s Needed

    “No one felt any obligation to anyone on the outside.”

    American maverick journalist Lowell Bergman, speaking to Canadian counterparts in Toronto, was talking about the time CBS refused to air his now-famous expose of American tobacco companies and their relentless drive to hook smokers with new and improved forms of nicotine. He and whistle-blower/chemist Jeffrey Wigand later saw their unwelcome story offered to the public on the big screen in The Insider, featuring Al Pacino as Bergman and Russell Crowe as Wigand.

  • How I Became A Left Canadian Nationalist

    I spent my childhood on a mixed family farm helping raise chickens, cows, barley, wheat and pigs, but I grew up feeling like the black sheep. Growing up the unconsciously progressive child of staunch conservatives – so staunch, my mother currently works for the Fraser Institute – I always felt as though maybe something was wrong with me. My parents often couldn’t help but agree. “The things we thought would upset you didn’t upset you,” they’ve since told me. “But things that we didn’t think would matter made you get upset.”

  • The Council of Canadians at 20

    In March, 2005, the Council of Canadians will celebrate its twentieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Canadian Dimension has chosen the Council as its Pathbreaker Towards a New Society.

  • Jean Charest’s Latest Deception

    In response to opposition from many sectors of the population to his project of “re-engineering” (i.e. dismantling) the state, Jean Charest’s ultra-conservative government is changing its tune. It is now wrapping its neoliberal policies in talk about sustainable development, imitating an approach mastered by the previous PQ government. It is therefore not surprising that the only real opposition is extra-parliamentary.

  • Where’s the Green Party Going?

    he last election might be viewed as the Greens’ first real kick at the can. It was the first time the party ran candidates in all federal ridings, the first time they were considered for inclusion in the leaders’ debates and the first time they garnered significant media attention. On election night, it won 4.3 per cent of the popular vote, making it eligible for public financing. Most voters look at the “green” moniker and seem to think they have a pretty good idea of what the Green Party stands for. Many Canadians assume that the Green Party of Canada is like the Green parties of Europe and the U.S. However, in their recent convention, the Canadian Greens seem to have opted to continue in a direction that is not entirely in keeping with progressive values.

  • Quebec’s National Question

    Nine years after the 1995 referendum and the numbness that followed it, Québec is returning to the debate on the national question. The sovereignty movement has never been a monolithic block behind the PQ. Support for sovereignty (around 45 per cent, according to the latest polls) cuts across political positions from right to left. In such a context, a wide debate on strategy is necessary, a debate that could have repercussions on the next electoral campaign, expected in 2007.

  • Making Low-Income Women of Colour Count in Toronto

    Poverty is the women’s biggest challenge, and even their tough resourcefulness cannot overcome the impossibilities this condition creates in their lives. Yet the women, many of whom are racialized immigrants, have insistent dreams of better and more independent lives. Managing rising levels of stress and ill health, Toronto’s low-income women try to make the impossible possible.

  • Adrienne’s Tour

    Anti-poverty demonstrators jeered Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in September as she made a well-guarded, carefully scripted promenade through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. According to a spokesperson for the Anti-Poverty Coalition, the group offered Her Excellency a guided tour of Canada’s poorest urban neighbourhood, but she chose instead the “sanitized” version offered by Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell.

  • Health Care on the Mend?

    Following hard negotiations at the government conference centre in Ottawa in September, representatives of the federal and provincial governments hammered out a new deal for health care. This new deal promises $18 billion in its first six years and $41 billion over ten, promising to create more homecare, shorter treatment waiting times and a national drug strategy. An additional feature of the accord is an escalator clause, which is due to take effect in 2006-07. This escalator clause aims to boost transfer payments to the provinces by six per cent annually to keep pace with the increasing costs of health care.

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