Life Accordion to Trump
by huw parkinson - youtube
January 13, 2017
Sit back to the soothing tunes.
“We were stunned that the federal Crown does not even want us show the Court that there was enough evidence to justify proceeding with a prosecution against both the B.C. government & MPMC for the worst mining spill in Canadian history,” says Ugo Lapointe, Canada Program Coordinator for MiningWatch.
“We initiated this private prosecution out of concern that it has now been over two and a half years since the Mount Polley disaster happened and yet, despite clear evidence of violations of Canadian laws, no charges have been brought forward by any level of government.”
“Soon to be three years after the fact, they still haven't filed their own charges. What confidence can the public have that if they can't even say when, or if, they will file their own charges? They're welcome to take over the case, but to prosecute it, not to stay, dismiss or stall the proceedings.”
With the support of multiple organizations, MiningWatch filed a private prosecution in October 2016 claiming that the massive 2014 spill destroyed or altered large swaths of fish habitat, in clear violations of sections 35(1) and 36(3) of the federal Fisheries Act (see also backgrounder online).
On August 4 2014, Mount Polley Mine’s tailings dam collapsed and sent up to 25 million cubic metres (10,000 Olympic-size pools) of wastewater and mine waste solids into downstream waters, destroying or affecting over 2,612,470 m2 of aquatic and riparian habitats—equivalent to about 500 football fields or 1500 ice hockey rinks.
Impact assessment reports of the spill commissioned by BC’s Ministry of Environment and MPMC indicate strong evidence of an impact to sediments, both physically and chemically, within Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake, and Quesnel Lake.
Chemical impacts are most evident in elevated copper, but also in concentrations of iron, selenium, arsenic, vanadium, manganese, and other contaminants. In some instances, concentrations consistently exceeded provincial Sediment Quality Guidelines (and above background levels).
The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) reports that the Mount Polley Mine represented the largest emitter of copper, arsenic and manganese in Canadian waters in 2014 due to the tailings spill.
Studies also indicated effects to benthic invertebrates, which are also protected under the Fisheries Act. Effects are ranging from an absence of organisms, lower density and taxon richness, and limited differences in community composition.
MiningWatch is taking action now because it is concerned that, almost two and a half years after the disaster, governments have failed to lay charges and enforce the law, despite clear and ample evidence to justify proceeding. MiningWatch fears that this sends the wrong signal to the industry across the country and undermines public confidence in the capacity of our regulatory system to work effectively to protect our environment.
Under specific provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code and the Fisheries Act, any citizen can initiate a private prosecution if he or she believes, on reasonable grounds, that a person has committed an indictable offence. In order words, the legislation specifically provides an incentive for private persons to enforce federal laws like the Fisheries Act in order to ensure the protection of public resources, such fish and fish habitat, even if against the Federal or Provincial Crown. As stated in the Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook, private prosecutions are “a valuable constitutional safeguard against inertia or partiality on the part of authorities.”
While MiningWatch is prepared to carry the case to full trial if necessary, it also recognizes that the cost and expense associated with prosecuting a case against a mining corporation and the Provincial Government can be immense. For this reason, it will be asking for the Federal Crown to carry the prosecution forward. If Canada’s unique environmental values and waters are to be fully protected, it can only occur if the government stands against violations of its own laws and uses all the means and resources it has at its disposal to do so.
DAVID YEARSLEY is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His recording of J. S. Bach’s organ trio sonatas is available from Musica Omnia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Photo April Bencze Heiltsuk Nation|
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
“This country has had a consistent policy for 70 years towards the Soviet Union and Russia, and Trump is trying to undo that.”
“Iraq is committed to achieving producers’ joint goals to control the oil glut in world markets.”
"The shots fired at the Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz didn’t do anything to the market. A few years ago that would have added a couple dollars to the price."
“The President takes his constitutional power to grant clemency very seriously, and recommendations from the Department of Justice are carefully considered before decisions are made. The White House does not comment, however, on individual pardon applications. In accordance with this policy and the We the People Terms of Participation - which explain that the White House may sometimes choose not to respond to petitions addressing certain matters - the White House declines to comment on the specific case addressed in this petition.”
“We’re here in the United States of America, in front of the government that has enslaved us for more than 100 years. The government that in exchange for a passport took our families to its wars. The government that experimented with our people, since they came implanting its language by force. The government that performed medical experiments on our grandparents injecting them with cancerous cells. The government that experimented with anticonceptive pills on our island. We, who understand [López Rivera’s] fight, are here to tell this government - the only government in the history of humanity to fire atomic bombs - that they have in prison a hero much braver than Washington. That this hero has been imprisoned longer than Mandela. That this hero became a hero without hoping for anything in return. We, who understand the fight of Oscar López are in front of the White House to tell this government that every additional second Oscar López spends in prison converts him in a hero much bigger than any of the heroes the United States has had. We are here to tell this government that even though the history books don’t tell us the real history that includes heroes like Oscar López, we will take charge of telling it. We, who understand the fight of Oscar López, are here to tell this government that we will never ask forgiveness for defending our right to be free. So we don’t ask them to forgive Oscar, but that they recognize the true history of the world, that they recognize the history of Puerto Rico, and maybe some day, after they free Oscar, we will forgive them."
“We see that there are still a lot of actions that Russia is undertaking that undermine the principles of democracy in so many countries. What has happened in our recent election is not new. The Russians have engaged in trying to manipulate elections in Europe for a number of years…
the Russians tried to interfere in our electoral process recently, and were actively involved in that. And that is something that we can’t countenance.” (“Interview with CIA Director John Brennan”, PBS Newshour)
“The DNI report amounted to a compendium of reasons to suspect that Russia was the source of the information – built largely on the argument that Russia had a motive for doing so because of its disdain for Democratic nominee Clinton and the potential for friendlier relations with Republican nominee Trump.
But the case, as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof. Further, the continued use of the word “assesses” – as in the U.S. intelligence community “assesses” that Russia is guilty – suggests that the underlying classified information also may be less than conclusive because, in intelligence-world-speak, “assesses” often means “guesses.” (“US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia ‘Hack’”, Robert Parry, Consortium News)
“Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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“We need an overhaul of the system, and not tinkering, and that begins with immediate steps to ensure permanent status for undocumented families and migrant workers in the country.”
“Doing so will ensure that all immigrants in Canada have the same basic mobility rights, and would be a major step in the right direction towards real change.”
“Permanent status for undocumented and temporary status immigrants is the smart and effective move.”
Temporary and undocumented immigrants in Canada
Undocumented immigrants 500,000
Temporary Foreign Workers* 73,069
International Mobility Program Permit Holders in 2015 176,502
International Students in 2015 353,262
Work permits for humanitarian purposes in 2015* 16,672
Work permit holders who are PR applicants in 2015* 41,813
Work permit holders for study related purposes in 2015* 56,391
In-country refugee claimants in 2015* 16,109
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
More articles by:Gary Leupp