Amid ongoing protests of old-growth logging on Vancouver Island, Ricochet contributors Yassie Pirani and Ora Cogan used their cameras to chronicle the “siege of Waterfall camp” last weekend.
Despite the company operating in the Fairy Creek area indicating it would abide by the two-year moratorium proposed by three area First Nations, the protests are expected to continue until the B.C. government agrees to a blanket ban that would cover the entire Fairy Creek Rainforest.
“As protesters chained themselves to barricades, and, in one case, to a steel beam suspended over the waterfall, a group of several hundred protesters marched from River HQ, the home base for the Rainforest Flying Squad (a loose group that has assembled to protect the forest), towards Waterfall camp,” notes the introduction to the photo essay.
“Called by Elder Bill Jones and led by Hereditary Chief Victor Peter of the Pacheedaht Nation, the march was led by a large Indigenous contingent.”
Captions for the images include: “Two teenagers, 13 and 15, locked to a gate at Braden 2000, (who) said they come from well-off settler families and felt an obligation to use their privilege,” and a two photos of ” ‘Young Buck’, (who) hangs suspended from a tree trunk suspended over the waterfall,” which leads to the following exchange: “ ‘Are you okay? Do you need the RCMP to rescue you?’ an RCMP officer shouts out to ‘Young Buck,’ who responded with a thumbs-up.”
Ricochet contributor Christopher Curtis explores the “heartbreaking legacy of Quebec’s missing Innu children,” some of whom “never returned from residential school in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.”
Those schools are “just one piece of the puzzle,” he notes. “Children from the Innu villages were also taken by the clergy and sent to sanatoriums for tuberculosis treatment in the 1950s, only to die far away from home.”
As a result, “lots of families still don’t know where those children are buried,” according to Jean-Claude Therrien Pinette, who “grew up in the Innu territory of Uashat,” Curtis writes.
“Our collective memory of the residential school experience is still fresh, and we have Elders who were there when it happened,” Pinette told Curtis.
“We’re pretty sure all of the children who died in residential school were eventually returned to their mothers. But the kids who died in sanatoriums, that’s another story. Some parents were never told their children died, some never knew what became of their kids when they did die. There’s a lot of digging we have to do.”
Elsewhere on the site, Tracy Giesz-Ramsay examines whether “opioid vending machines,” including the MySafe technology currently in use, which “has received nearly $3.5 million in funding from the federal government,” might be “the next big thing in safe supply.”
According to her author note, Giesz-Ramsay “is a journalist currently focusing on the neuroscience of addiction, and the host of the weekly conversation series Capture Queue.”
According to the project’s “primary prescribing doctor,” Mark Tyndall, “a low-barrier machine aids individuals who have dropped out of … prohibitively strict methadone programs.”
That, Giesz-Ramsay suggests, would mean “they don’t have to constantly engage with a pharmacist who may not understand the complexities of addiction and trauma, and may even stigmatize opioid maintenance therapy.” It would “allow patients to access drugs without interacting with another person, creating a space that is free of stigma and judgment.”
Taking a different — but not conflicting — perspective, The Tyee’s health reporter, Moira Watson, looks at the challenges involved in providing “safe alternatives to toxic street drugs,” including via “opioid agonist therapy,” or OAT, which “remains financially and geographically inaccessible to the vast majority of B.C.’s more than 88,000 opioid-dependent people.”
In the wake of the hit-and-run attack in London, Ont., that killed four members of a Muslim family, Rabble contributor Hawa Y. Mire has updated an essay she wrote after the 2014 shooting on Parliament Hill, “reflecting on the dangerous political and media construction of Muslims,” as well as the “intricate connections between Canada’s push to create a terrorism agenda, one used to criminalize and surveil Muslims across this country.”
In addition to being a “critical writer, commentator, and columnist,” Mire is also the federal New Democrat candidate of record for the Toronto riding of York South—Weston.
Five years later, she has the same questions: “How much longer are Muslims required to re-explain that their beliefs shouldn’t be used against them as part of a national agenda? How many more families will be killed before we create a national action plan on systemic racism, and seriously combat Islamophobic violence and the rise of white-supremacy movements in Canada? What role do we have as individuals to play in organizing against hate?”
Meanwhile, Rabble’s politics writer Karl Nerenberg wonders why it took the “Kamloops discovery” of the remains of as many as 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school in B.C. “to accept what we’ve known for decades, (as) credible stories have been circulating for many years about children who disappeared without a trace (at these) so-called schools.”
“Many have spoken about the thousands of Indigenous children who died from disease, abuse, and mistreatment at the hands of the government and churches,” he reminds readers. “Despite apologies and a commission of inquiry, their testimony somehow never got the full respect it deserved.”
For its part, Press Progress offers a detailed rundown of exactly why “no one knows how many children died inside Canada’s residential schools, (and how) locating victims (has) been hampered by destroyed and missing records, but also inaction by the federal government and the Catholic church.”
Finally, Canadian Dimension writer Mitchell Thompson analyzes the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), and concludes that it may well be “a ‘workfare’ program in disguise.”
In his view, the looming cuts to the program “come even” as the “Trudeau government … acknowledges that many who rely on the CRB are unlikely to return to pre-COVID work conditions and pay for years,” and “that isn’t entirely an oversight.”
In fact, he argues, “leaving those in financial difficulty behind for a lower-wage future isn’t a bug in the CRB system; it’s a feature of a program designed and redesigned to crack down on recipients and maximize ‘incentive to work.’ ”
Trending on the other side of the Canadian activist political media divide:
- Rebel News Alberta bureau chief Sheila Gunn Reid delivers an “exclusive” report on an internal communications plan prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) last May that, she contends, means to “discredit” the theory that the original COVID virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which “is now being taken very seriously.”
- The Rebel News team also highlights a recent exchange between PHAC president Iain Stewart and Conservative Health critic Michelle Rempel Garner at the Health committee, during which “Justin Trudeau’s appointee in charge of the country’s select COVID quarantine hotels was unable to answer a question on allegations of sexual assaults occurring at these facilities, in light of the news that the prime minister will soon check into an Ottawa hotel of his own government’s choosing.”
- The Post Millennial is also keeping tabs on the prime minister’s post-summit quarantine protocols, especially calls from “some Canadians” that Trudeau “follow the laws he created, and stay in a hotel upon his return,” specifically, a designated quarantine hotel, not the “special hotel being prepared in Ottawa” for his return.
- Finally, True North contributor Andrew Lawton is tracking Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s “mask misdirection” while making the rounds with her G7 counterparts in London, where, he reports, she “was caught twice in one week putting on a mask just for the cameras.”