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Our Times 3

Human Rights

  • Space neoliberalization agitates the frontiers of Canadian data privacy

    Internet connectivity that relies on crossing uncharted territories inevitably brings with it new forms of colonialism. Seemingly benign infrastructure and philanthropic offers of universal connectivity are in fact strengthening global supply chains that enrich the world’s most powerful billionaires. The future is cheap and fast, and the jostling of the private sector to claim a stake in satellite internet is just one small part of this absurd space opera.

  • It’s not too late for Canada to support a temporary waiver of COVID vaccine patents

    With an upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property scheduled for next month, it is not too late for wealthy countries including Canada to do the right thing and support the temporary waiving of intellectual property rights to enable poor countries to import cheap generic versions of patented COVID-19 vaccines—and save many lives in the process.

  • Where’s Trudeau’s pipeline for water to First Nations?

    The question that needs to be asked is what sort of mindset allows this crisis to continue? It cannot be explained by political orientation as both Conservative and Liberal governments have failed to remedy the issue for decades. Until we confront the racist underpinnings of government laws and policies—like funding policies for water systems on reserves—we will never end the water crisis in First Nations.

  • Trudeau Liberals block NDP pharmacare plan in the middle of a pandemic

    Liberal members of Parliament will tell you that they truly support pharmacare, but that they just don’t like the way the NDP is going about it. But, as Christo Aivalis explains, the reality is far clearer. Like with the wealth tax, the Liberals see a popular policy that their own base supports, but it is one which clashes with their core neoliberal ideology. In the end, allegiance to the latter is what matters.

  • Ontario’s hidden institutions

    Long-term care facilities in have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost three-quarters of all pandemic-related deaths in Canada occurring within them. But there’s another type of institution in Ontario that is somehow even less regulated and less transparent than long-term care facilities: residential service homes, also known as domiciliary hostels, which are privately run and operate for profit.

  • Unmasked police are a public health hazard

    Unmasked police officers are a public health hazard. If the Winnipeg Police Service is concerned about maintaining its legitimacy, it will mandate all officers to wear a mask while on duty at all times. And, if the provincial government truly cares about public health, it will ensure everyone, without exception, is respecting public health orders.

  • Economic justice and the limits of the Charter

    As COVID pushes more people into poverty, the Charter’s limits must be recognized. But doing so requires greater care in our discussions. Civil liberty groups should continue to litigate, but they should also be more specific in what the Charter can and cannot do. This would provide space for extra-legal solutions, such as protests and mutual aid. Otherwise, those who use the Charter will unknowingly contribute to the problems they are fighting to end.

  • Critical infrastructure protection: Dangerous politics in Manitoba, Alberta and beyond

    Critical infrastructure protection is a class project designed mainly to criminalize opposition to the destructive practices of fossil fuel companies. Despite their claims to being neutral entities enforcing the “rule of law,” the policing and security agencies responsible for critical infrastructure protection act as agents of Canada’s ruling class against Indigenous sovereignty movements defending their land.

  • Canada should not host the Olympics, ever

    Green Party leader Annamie Paul thinks Canada should take over hosting duties for the 2022 Olympics Games, citing China’s human rights record and treatment of its Uighur and Muslim minority populations. This is a terrible idea. It ignores the role of Canada in perpetuating ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples and fundamentally misunderstands the role of the Olympics in furthering the goals of settler states the world over.

  • Disabled people must be prioritized in the vaccine rollout

    Governments need to do a better job of caring for disabled people during the vaccine rollout. But prioritizing their access to the shot will mean making the vaccines public, and putting an end to for-profit models of health care delivery in Canada and beyond. We must mourn those who have been killed by institutionalization, pandemic profiteering and government inaction, and fight to keep each other safe.

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