One of Canada’s dirty “secrets” is that our mining industry is responsible for environmental and human rights abuses around the world. Companies like INCO and Barrick are operating mines that are polluting land and taking away people’s livelihoods. In many cases, people who organize against these mines face violence and, sometimes, death.
Usually, the national government of a country receive significant revenue from the mine and allows and often supports mining even though the local people are strongly opposed. However, there’s some good news from the Pakistani province of Balochistan, where Barrick Gold has just been told to leave at the end of an exploration contract. For once, the national government is listening to the local people. You can follow the destruction that Barrick is causing in other parts of the world at protestbarrick.net and find out more about the Canadian mining industry at miningwatch.ca.
Mixed in with all the other bad news lately is that military spending continues to skyrocket, reaching $1.6 trillion Canadian in 2009. That would be a 1.6 million million dollars spent on killing people.
In other news about rising militarism, here’s an article about Project Hero, which encourages universities to pay the tuition of children who have lost parents in active service in the Canadian military. It turns out that not only is Project Hero paying for very little education, but also that the Canadian military already has a program in place to pay tuition and other expenses for students who have lost parents in active service. So why did former top general Rick Hillier start a redundant project? It looks like it’s an effort to promote militarism in canadian universities.
We’ve all heard it:
Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
Now an update for the 21st century:
Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day.
But teach a man how to fish, and he’ll be dead of mercury poisoning inside of three years.
A great photo essay about the kinds of questions that queer people get asked.
My friend Erin is doing a placement through Engineers Without Borders at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana and writing a great blog about it.
Her most recent post takes aim at the pictures of “starving” African children that many charities use in fundraising campaigns. WorldVision provides a typical example. Erin, with encouragement from another EWB volunteer, decided to take pairs of pictures, one a “poor, starving” child shot and the other showing a clean, “Sunday-best” photo.
Hope you enjoy them!