Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Higher Education Cuts Risk Damaging State Economies For Years To Come: CBPP Report

States chose to enact deep cuts to public higher education funding instead of raising taxes, potentially harming both state economies and education quality, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds.

The CBPP, a left-leaning economic think tank that focuses on state and federal budgets, found that states are spending, on average, 28 percent less per student in fiscal year 2013 than they were in 2008. Consequently, tuition at four-year public colleges has grown 27 percent since the 2007-08 year, though the report notes some states have increased tuition by considerably more. In the cases of Arizona and California, tuition at public universities has gone up by more than 70 percent over the same period. The decline in state appropriations has forced public colleges to rely more student tuition to pay for the cost of education, the report concluded.

Unemployment Will Stay Above 6.5 Percent For Two More Years: Fed

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve foresees unemployment remaining high into 2015, suggesting it will keep short-term interest rates near record lows at least until then.

In its latest economic forecasts released Wednesday, the Fed predicts that the unemployment rate will stay above 6.5 percent for about two more years. Fed policymakers also expect the economy to grow modestly this year and next despite economic gains so far in 2013.

CIA's Gus Hunt On Big Data: We 'Try To Collect Everything And Hang Onto It Forever'

NEW YORK -- The CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's endless appetite for data in a far-ranging speech on Wednesday.

Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM's Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira "Gus" Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos -- and that the agency wants all of it.

"The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever."

Obama's Israel Visit: U.S. President Voices Eternal Support For America's Top Mideast Ally

JERUSALEM — Eager to reassure an anxious ally, President Barack Obama on Wednesday affirmed Israel's sovereign right to defend itself from any threat and vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He said containment of a nuclear-armed Iran was not an option and said the United States would do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from getting "the world's worst weapons."

Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his first visit to the Jewish state as president, Obama offered his personal commitment that the U.S. would stand by Israel in any circumstances that required it to act to protect its people. He said the U.S. and Israel would start talks soon on a new, 10-year security cooperation package to replace one that expires in 2017.

Reince Priebus: Republican Party 'Believes Marriage Is Between One Man And One Woman'

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the party's platform on gay marriage has not changed despite the massive effort spearheaded by the RNC to make the party more inclusive.

"I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman," Priebus told MSNBC's Luke Russert on Wednesday morning.

Striking a more conciliatory tone, Priebus added, "I also know that we have a party that's going to be inclusive and is going to listen to people ... That's the type of party that I want to continue to build."

Stop Calling Rape Victims "Someone's Daughter"

I don't have to tell you that Steubenville is all over the news.

I don't have to tell you that the fact that Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, the two teenagers convicted of raping a sixteen year old girl, were only sentenced to a combined three years in juvenile prison, is a fucking joke. Each will serve a year for the rape itself; Mays will serve an additional year for "illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material."

Low-Wage Workers Feel Worse Off Now Than During Recession: Survey

WASHINGTON -- America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession – but few are bragging.

As a workforce sector, those earning $35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects. Many see themselves as worse off now than during the recession, a two-part Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey of workers and employers shows.

Green Job Growth Outpaced All Other Industries 2010-2011

For people looking to put their finances in the black, a new report suggests they may be wise to look green.

That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down employment in green goods and services through 2011. As first pointed out by the LA Times, the report shows "green jobs" growing from 2010 through 2011 at a rate 4 times faster than all other industries combined.

First Nations Leaders Vow To Stop Keystone, Northern Gateway Pipelines

OTTAWA - An alliance of First Nations leaders is preparing to fight proposed new pipelines in the courts and through unspecified direct action.

Native leaders from Canada and the United States were on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to underline opposition to both the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines.

Passing the buck on search-and-rescue

Nobody likes a buck-passer. But that’s what Defence Minister Peter MacKay resembled last week, when asked about the seven-year delay in replacing Canada’s ancient fleet of fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft.

“I will express to you … no small degree of frustration that we have not been able to move this project forward,” MacKay told a press conference. “Not unlike the Sea Kings, we have aging Buffalo aircraft that need to be replaced, that are difficult to get parts for, that require a high proportion of service hours for every hour of flight.”

Provinces bear rising justice costs, budget watchdog finds

Per capita spending on criminal justice — including federal and provincial jails, court costs and policing — has climbed 23 per cent over the last decade even as the crime rate fell 23 per cent, says a new study by the Parliamentary budget office.

The report, a first-of-its kind, comprehensive look at criminal justice costs over time, put the price tag at $20.3 billion in 2011-12.

The authors looked at direct public spending on policing, courts and corrections, including parole. They excluded costs such as victims compensation, private security and non-criminal matters such as family, environmental and competition law.

The C is for co-operation, not corporation: An open letter to MEC members

We are among the three million members of Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest consumer co-operative. At most other stores, we're just consumers, but as members, we're also owners, and we all have an equal share. If you live in Canada, there's a one in ten chance you're also a member-owner. If you've ever shopped at MEC, you are a member-owner.

Large co-ops in Canada have a history of drifting toward acting like for-profit companies run for shareholder profit, seeing their member-owners as customers rather than owners. At MEC, some member-owners have from time to time fought this trend, and the result of these initiatives is precisely what makes MEC compelling today: leading-edge sustainability practices, and the donation of 1 per cent of the co-op's $300 million in annual revenues to environmental organizations.

Manitoba Métis win historic ruling

"Louis Riel must be smiling."

That was the front-page headline of the Winnipeg Free Press on March 9, 2013. It’s taken from the response of the head of the Manitoba Métis Federation to the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada released the day before that the Canadian and Manitoba governments abrogated their responsibilities to respect land rights won by the Métis people when the province was established in 1870.

Louis Riel was one of the leaders of the Métis people during the latter half of the 19th century. They are the people of mixed European/Indigenous ancestry in western Canada.

Undernourishment a risk for 1 in 3 older Canadians

About a third of seniors are at risk of being undernourished, according to Statistics Canada.

The results of the survey suggested 34 per cent of Canadians aged 65 or older were at nutritional risk, the agency said in its report Wednesday.

"Nutrition is a building block for optimal health," report author Pamela Ramage-Morin said in Ottawa. "We know that undernourishment can lead to falls, it can lead to hospitalization."

Westboro Baptist Church neighbours show their gay pride with rainbow house

Aaron Jackson is getting worldwide attention for a house painting job in Topeka, Kansas.

But this is no ordinary house, and these are not your ordinary house colours.

Jackson, one of the founders of a multi-pronged charity called Planting Peace, painted this particular house with gay pride rainbow colours.

Christine Lagarde's flat raided by French police

French police have searched the Paris flat of the International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde, amid an investigation into her awarding compensation to a supporter of former president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, her lawyer has said.

Lagarde, who at the time was Sarkozy's finance minister, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in ending a judicial battle against billionaire Bernard Tapie and instead opting for arbitration.

Federal government spends more than $227,000 to discuss how to save on policing, documents show

OTTAWA — It cost the federal government responsible for the national police force more than $227,000 to host a summit aimed at reducing policing costs, Postmedia News has learned.

Documents obtained through access-to-information legislation show Public Safety initially allocated $120,000 for the two-day event in Ottawa that took place in January and drew about 250 stakeholders from across Canada, the United States and overseas.

Spending on criminal justice rises as crime rates fall, says budget officer

Since 2002, per capita spending on criminal justice in Canada climbed 23 per cent even as the crime rate fell by the same amount, according to a new report Wednesday by the federal spending watchdog.

The office of the parliamentary budget officer examined federal, provincial and territorial spending in the areas of policing, courts and corrections — the first study of its kind.

Keystone XL: State Department Dodges the Big Questions

A lot happened between the State Department's first environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline plan, completed in 2011 – before the proposed route was altered to bypass Nebraska's Sand Hills – and the latest one, which appeared in draft form earlier this month. More than 400,000 comments were sent to the State Department (in addition to the million or so it had already received), hundreds of people were arrested in acts of civil disobedience meant to slow or stop the pipeline and gallons of ink were spilled on the topic by supporters and opponents alike.

Why are Conservatives refusing a briefing on CETA?

Yesterday (March 18) at a parliamentary trade committee meeting, Liberal trade critic Wayne Easter requested a briefing from Canada’s lead CETA negotiator on how the Canada-EU trade negotiations are going. A no brainer, right?


The Conservative MPs on committee took the meeting in-camera, so there could be no record of the discussion, then (we must assume) voted against Easter’s motion.

Wall Street Deregulation Garners Bipartisan Support Despite Devastating JPMorgan Report

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan cadre of House lawmakers will move on legislation to deregulate Wall Street derivatives Wednesday, less than a week after Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) released a devastating report on the multibillion-dollar derivatives debacle at JPMorgan Chase.

"The road to hell is paved with these bills," said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), an advocate of financial reform.

Irving payroll leans on taxpayers

OTTAWA — Nova Scotia taxpayers are subsidizing up to 8.5 per cent of Irving shipyard worker salaries over the course of the national shipbuilding program.

Amid media and opposition calls for openness, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., released new details about its $260-million loan from the province Tuesday.

Ottawa bars freshwater research

OTTAWA -- The Harper government is refusing to permit fully funded freshwater research to take place this summer at the remote Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario.

A group of researchers from Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., was told this week they are barred from the site, despite starting their work last summer and spending thousands of dollars on an approved trip to one of the ELA lakes as recently as last month.

PSAC head says not interested in ‘trading off’ public servants’ sick leave

OTTAWA — Canada’s largest federal union says it will not bargain away sick leave benefits which are widely speculated to be a target in the Conservative government’s upcoming budget.

Robyn Benson, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, was unequivocal when she said the union will not be part of any negotiations with the government to change existing sick leave as part of the sweeping changes expected to modernize the management of sick leave and disability in the public service.

Job training: Right problem, wrong solution

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has an issue with how the provinces are spending the $2.5 billion he transfers to them for employment training. He wants to see better outcomes and more accountability and all the signs suggest he’s going to use Thursday’s budget to get them.

I’m with him on this, but there are better and worse ways to do it. The main option floated so far — a voucher system — is not one of the better ones. To see why, let’s first get clear on the key issues facing job training, and then ask how vouchers are supposed to solve them.

Dirty politics

With every day that passes, Peter Penashue’s resignation and the elections violations that led up to the resignation smell worse.

Originally, Penashue said he was resigning to allow the people to pass judgment on his work as a member of Parliament, and, in the process, he blamed all of the rule violations in his campaign on a single campaign worker.

'We can never get electoral reform unless we defeat Stephen Harper': Joyce Murray

In the federal Liberal leadership race, most eyes have so far been on Justin “Heir to Pierre's Throne” Trudeau to wear the Grits' crown into the next election.

It's a crown tarnished from a series of stunning electoral defeats that marked a nadir in the party's history.

But with Marc “Spaceman” Garneau dropping out of the race last week (backing Justin), Trudeau's most prominent rival has emerged as Joyce “Tree-planter” Murray -- a former B.C. environment minister and reforestation company owner who has garnered support from some surprising corners, including and David Suzuki.

Wait times grow as we near the end of the 2004 Health Accord

A new report by the Canadian Institution for Health Information is showing that wait times were dropping for knee and hip surgeries in the years following the 2004 Health Accord.

In the 2004 Health Accord, "governments committed to reducing waits in five priority areas and set benchmarks for radiation therapy, cardiac bypass surgery, hip and knee replacements, hip fracture repair and cataract surgery," says CIHI. But as we near the expiry of the 2004 accord, CIHI's data shows that wait times are growing: "In 2012, 80 per cent of patients received hip replacements within the benchmark wait time, compared with 84 per cent of patients in 2010. The proportion of patients receiving knee surgery within the benchmark also declined during this period, from 79 per cent to 75 per cent."

Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq With Mass Displacement & Epidemic of Birth Defects, Cancers

In part two of our interview, Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail discusses how the U.S. invasion of Iraq has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus. Noting the birth defects in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, Jamail says: "They’re are extremely hard to bear witness to, but it’s something that we all need to pay attention to ... What this has generated is from 2004 up to this day, we are seeing a rate of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah that has surpassed even that in the wake of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that nuclear bombs were dropped on at the end of World War II." Jamail has also reported on the refugee crisis of more than one million displaced Iraqis still inside the country, who are struggling to survive without government aid, a majority of them living in Baghdad.

Source: Democracy Now!
Author: -

Budget 2013: Time for a real action plan, not another ad campaign

It's hard to get excited about Thursday's federal budget. All signs point to an "austerity" budget, even though that approach has failed so spectacularly wherever it has been tried. Austerity is one of those zombie ideas that cannot be killed, roaming rampantly across the pages and screens of the mainstream media. The 2012 federal budget already took a big step down the path of austerity with major public sector cuts, largely focused on direct federal program spending with cuts around 7 per cent (transfers to provinces and individuals, a large part of the federal budget, have largely been spared). About 19,000 federal public service jobs were cut in the 2012 budget, bringing the total to over 35,000 going back to previous rounds of cuts.

Why transatlantic free trade is a mistake for Canada

The United States and European Union have taken the free trade plunge.

President Obama announced in February that he will start talks with the EU on a transatlantic trade, investment, and regulatory pact. Last week, the European Commission sent a draft secret mandate to member states on how far they're willing to go to clinch it. And the usual business lobbies have already begun to celebrate what they hope to be an important (for them) leap forward for corporate globalization.

The Mexican government is allegedly seeking a spot in the transatlantic talks with speculation Canada may join. But for all three NAFTA countries the pact would be a mistake, as Canadians are learning too late.

What’s Wrong With Europe? Cyprus Edition

Another day in the long-running European debt crisis: in Nicosia, an ancient city in the eastern Mediterranean, the Cypriot parliament votes overwhelmingly to reject the terms of a proposed European Union bailout of the country that levied a tax of up to ten per cent on all bank deposits. Out on the streets, thousands of protestors chant, jubilantly, “Cyprus belongs to its people.” Meanwhile, according to Faisal Islam, the economics editor at Britain’s Channel 4 News, the cabs from the local airport have been busy ferrying wealthy Russians who are there trying to get their money out of the Cypriot banks.

Climate Change Denying Congressman to Head Subcommittee on Climate Change

As the new chairman of a key House subcommittee on the environment, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will be one of the GOP's leading actors when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency and the growing threats from climate change. So with his first hearing as chairman on tap for Wednesday, what does the freshman Republican—and end times novelist—think about anthropogenic global warming?

He's not sure.

Flies, Maggots, Rats, and Lots of Poop: What Big Ag Doesn't Want You To See

What's it like inside a factory farm? If the livestock and meat industries have their way, what little view we have inside the walls of these animal-reviewing facilities may soon be obscured. For the second year in a row, the industry is backing bills in various statehouses that would criminalize undercover investigations of livestock farms. The Humane Society of the US, one of the animal-welfare groups most adept at conducting such hidden-camera operations, counts active "ag gag" bills in no fewer than nine states. Many of them are based on a model conjured by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),  a corporate-funded group that generates industry-friendly legislation language for state legislatures, Associated Press reports.

Rick Perry's $487 Million Corporate Slush Fund Doesn't Need Your Stinkin' Audit

Watchdog groups have long argued that the Texas Enterprise Fund, a taxpayer-funded program that has awarded more than $487 million to big businesses that set up shop in the Lone Star State since 2004, is a slush fund that allows Gov. Rick Perry to reward allies and political donors. Despite the criticisms, the Texas State Auditor's Office hasn't examined the fund's finances in at least a decade. Now a bipartisan group of state senators is pushing a bill that would subject the Enterprise Fund to an independent state audit. But Perry's office won't explain whether the governor backs the idea. Besides, it says, the state's top three Republicans have everything under control.

Finley’s quota comments rated OK by Speaker

OTTAWA — Human Resources Minister Diane Finley did not mislead the House of Commons when she denied the existence of quotas for uncovering employment insurance fraud, the Speaker of the House ruled Monday.

NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen had raised a point of privilege motion against Finley last month after she said Service Canada investigators do not have individual quotas to find EI fraud.

Russell Tribunal's final session renews call for justice in Palestine

The concluding session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine took place in Brussels, March 16 -17. The Tribunal was launched in Brussels in 2009 in the spirit of British philosopher Bertrand Russell, who established the International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate crimes committed in Vietnam and judge them according to international law.

 The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was set up to examine violations of international law that prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their fundamental human rights, including the right to a sovereign state. The aim is thus to examine the various responsibilities that lead to the continued occupation of Palestine by Israel and the factors which maintain the ongoing violations of international and humanitarian law that permit the oppression to continue.

How Tanking Turnout Makes for Ugly Elections

Chances are the next government of B.C. will be chosen by approximately half of all eligible voters. That means that even in a landslide the winning party will probably have the support of no more than a quarter of all the province's citizens.

Like other Canadians, British Columbians are becoming less and less inclined to vote. In the 2009 provincial election, only 51 per cent of all estimated eligible voters bothered to turn out.

A lot has been written about falling turnout rates and the precise causes of the decline are still largely a mystery. Some blame a dwindling sense of civic duty in young people. Some blame negative, fear-based campaigns.

Federal Budget 2013: Five myths of Conservative budget-making

Five myths of Tory budget-making:

No Tax Increases: While Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has refrained from across-the-board income tax hikes, the Harper government has quietly tapped into Canadians’ wallets in the form of payroll tax increases. As a result of changes that took effect on Jan. 1, anyone earning at least $47,400 will pay $891.12 in Employment Insurance premiums in 2013, up $51.50.

Controlling Government Spending: The importance of keeping spending under control is a Conservative priority. But since they took power, annual federal spending has risen to $280 billion, an increase of more than 30 per cent.

Size of Government: A much-promoted Conservative restraint measure is reducing the federal public service by 19,000 positions. But the size of the government during the Harper years had grown by 32,000 before those cuts.

Deficit-Cutting: Flaherty stresses the need to avoid debt financing. But, after inheriting a $13-billion budget surplus from the Liberals in early 2006, the Conservatives were running deficits within three years. The current $26-billion annual deficit won’t be erased until 2015 at the earliest.

Jobs: The Conservatives effusively praise Canada’s job-creation record under their government, including the creation of 900,000 net jobs since the recession. But the number of people out of work is still nearly 225,000 higher today than in 2006.

Original Article
Author: Les Whittington

The Commons: Keystone XL and Peter Penashue are both great

Thomas Mulcair wanted to talk about tax havens and about how Kevin Page had been blocked from studying the issue and how the Canada Revenue Agency has apparently identified more than 8,000 “offshore tax cheats” (to use Mr. Mulcair’s phrasing). The Prime Minister wanted to talk about what a terrible thing Mr. Mulcair had done.

Could two become one?

IN 1942, as the Holocaust in Europe was entering its most horrific phase, a pacifist American rabbi called Judah Magnes helped found a political party in Palestine called Ihud. Hebrew for unity, Ihud argued for a single binational state in the Holy Land to be shared by Jews and Arabs. Its efforts—and those of like-minded idealists—came to naught. Bitterly opposed to the partition of Palestine, Magnes died in 1948 just as the state of Israel—the naqba, or catastrophe, to Palestinians—was being born. Decades of strife were to follow.

ABCs of ‘behaviour regulation’ for federal librarians and archivists

Staff at Library and Archives Canada are being schooled in “methods of behaviour regulation” as part of the agency’s new code of conduct, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

Training sessions, which officials say are being given to all employees at the agency to ensure the controversial code “is known and understood by all,” start with a primer on values and ethics.

At Least 200,000 People Want CNN to Apologize for Its Sympathetic Steubenville Coverage

Remember the CNN broadcast a few days ago, when Candy Crowley and friends bemoaned the fates of the Steubenville rapists? That didn't go over well, and nearly a quarter million people want the network to do something about it. In the two days since the verdict was read, a petition asking for CNN to make an on-air apology — okay, several on-air apologies —  has gained over 215,000 signatures and looked to be on track to reach the self-assigned goal of 300,000 in a matter of hours. In other words, a lot of people are not happy with how CNN covered the Steubenville trial, and they're not going to forget about it any time soon.

The Ahistorical Way a Neoconservative Remembers the 1990s

The indefatigable Bill Kristol has written an article in The Weekly Standard that every American ought to read. There is no more clarifying example of how skewed the neoconservative perspective on military intervention is than the claim he makes about U.S. foreign policy in the 1990s. In his telling, politicians like Rand Paul want to harness war-weariness reminiscent of those post-Cold War days, when American voters no longer wanted to act as "the policemen of the world."

"That decade of not policing the world ended with 9/11," Kristol warns.

America's Most Obvious Tax Reform Idea: Kill the Oil and Gas Subsidies

When Saudi Arabia's longtime oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, opens his mouth, the world listens. Yesterday, during a speech in Hong Kong, he delivered a message that U.S. policy makers in particular would do well to take note of. The days of $100-a-barrel crude, he told the crowd, are here "for the foreseeable future."

If he's right, one thing that shouldn't be around for the foreseeable future are the outdated tax credits that protect oil and gas companies, which will be plenty profitable in a world of $100-a-barrel oil. If Democrats and Republicans are looking for safe ground to set up camp for the budget negotiations, let's start with these $7 billion-a-year subsidies.

Envoy to deal with First Nations concerns on pipelines

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named an envoy to defuse the tension between First Nations and the energy and pipeline industry that threatens his plan to quickly develop Canada's natural resources.

Vancouver-based lawyer Doug Eyford will focus on energy infrastructure in Western Canada and submit a preliminary report directly to Harper by the end of June and a final report by the end of November.

Indian Act Bill goes before committee

A controversial bill that would make sweeping changes to the Indian Act, takes one more step forward on Tuesday.

The private member’s Bill C- 428 drafted by northern Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke is entering the committee stage. Five days have been scheduled to hear from witnesses.

"We have well over 60 people or individuals or organizations that want to come forward and provide testimony," Clarke said.

To appear as a witness, individuals were asked to provide written submissions to the MP’s office or the office of the opposition. Clarke said if more time is needed it could be given for witness testimony.

B.C. green-lights mine despite Nisga’a Nation’s objections

The British Columbia government has given the environmental green light to a billion-dollar mine in the province’s northwest over the objections of the Nisga’a Nation, whose traditional territory is home to the mine site.

Provincial environment and mines ministers issued on Tuesday the Environmental Assessment Certificate to Avanti Mining Inc. to revive a mothballed molybdenum mine about 140 kilometres north of Prince Rupert. Government officials agreed the Kitsault Mine could proceed after a review concluded the project isn’t expected to result in any significant adverse effects, based on the company following 34 conditions.

Students rally for more on-reserve education funding

A group of University of Winnipeg students are calling for an increase in education funding for First Nations students.

Students held a round dance on the campus Tuesday and handed out reading materials on the so-called First Nations Education Act.

Peter Penashue Byelection: Harper Wants A Candidate He Can Control, Ex-Tory MP Says

OTTAWA — A former Conservative MP says Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t call an open nomination meeting in Labrador because he feared party members would pick a candidate whom he cannot control.

Retired MP Inky Mark told The Huffington Post Canada that he thinks the party chose to protect former Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue’s nomination because they were “scared of losing the seat to a more prominent and honest person ... (to) someone you can’t control.”