Study War No More
Labour Against the War Teach-In Exposes Myths of Canada’s Afghan Involvement
Tom Sandborn

We finally have it confirmed from within the Canadian military. Canada’s branch plant war on the Taliban under American supervision cannot be won without using the torture chambers of the Afghan army and police. Don’t trust me on this, or any other grumpy, grizzled anti-war activist. The testimony to this effect is from Brigadier General André Deschamps, a senior figure in Canada’s forces.

Study War No MoreAccording to a Paul Koring story in the Globe and Mail in December, “Listing a long series of possible embarrassments and defeats, Brigadier-General André Deschamps outlined what he says would be the dire consequences, including losing the war, should a Federal Court judge rule in favour of a request by human-rights groups to issue an injunction banning the transfer of detainees to Afghan prisons because of the risk of torture or abuse.”

The general is opposing, on behalf of the Harper government, an action at the Federal Court level to prevent our country’s current practice of transferring prisoners acquired in Afghan combat to uniformed forces of the American backed and war-lord dominated government in Kabul, citing the widespread recognition by human rights groups and even Canada’s embassy in Afghanistan that these forces regularly torture their prisoners. A follow up story in the Globe reveals that approximately a quarter of the transferred prisoners in Afghan jails revealed to Canadian investigators that they had been tortured since they were handed over by Canadians....

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Bertelsman: US image of international supremacy vanishing

Jim Lipkovits

In an international opinion poll  released this past December 12, the US is increasingly losing its superpower image  – no more world power by 2020 - and China will  be seen as being on the same level as the US in the eyes of the international public. In the meantime, according to international perception, Russia too will be seen increasingly as an international power.

At the same time, awareness of the threats facing the environment has grown enormously in the past years. By 2020 the destruction of the environment and climate change will be considered internationally as the biggest threat to mankind.

These are the findings of a current international opinion poll carried out by a German group, the Bertelsmann Stiftung, about the role and the challenges facing world powers. Bertelsmann commissioned Gallup International/TNS-EMNID, an opinion research firm, to conduct a survey recently questioning 9,000 people around the world. The representative survey was conducted in the USA, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Germany, France and the UK. As a benchmark, the findings were compared with a prior Bertelsmann Stiftung poll from 2005 and the results were presented at the second meeting of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Global Policy Council in Berlin. The council brings together high-calibre experts from various fields and regions to analyze the challenges and opportunities inherent in the dynamics of globalization, the rise of new powers and the emergence of new security risks....
ion for collective bargaining rights.

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TILMA a Major Hurdle to BC Climate Action Plans

By Marc Lee and Caelie Frampton

Premier Gordon Campbell has positioned BC as a global leader on climate change. From handshakes with Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger to an ambitious plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2020, his enthusiasm for fighting climate change is laudable.

However, the Premier's interest in harmonizing provincial standards through the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) could prove to be a thorn in the government's side, undermining its ability to take necessary measures on the climate change file.

The basic problem is this: fighting climate change will necessarily involve a lot of regulation, while TILMA is fundamentally a deregulatory initiative.

There will be few benefits that emerge from TILMA. While we often hear that trade and investment barriers are a major problem undercutting our competitiveness, this is nonsense. Few examples of trade impediments are ever offered by supporters of TILMA. There is no evidence that any Alberta company has been stopped from doing business at the BC border, or that they have been discriminated against by provincial or municipal governments in BC....


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