Creekside

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Israel's Weapons of Mass Deception


Three days ago, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs replaced their usual map of the Gaza Strip with one featuring a Christo-like pink skirt inside Gaza.

The printing inside the accompanying tiny info box reads :

"The Israeli military has declared an area 3 kms from the fence separating Israel and Gaza as a "no go" zone, sending evacuation warnings to many communities located there.

This area covers 162 km sq. (44% of the Gaza Strip)

Around 250,000 people were residing in this area prior to its declaration."


44% of the Gaza Strip and a quarter million people

The IDF's ostensible purpose for annexing and occupying and bombing an additional 44% of the Gaza Strip is to destroy rocket sites and underground tunnels. 

On the map inside the pink "no go" pink zone near the top is the village of Beit Hanoun, where as you can see here, the IDF searched for rockets and tunnels and human shields by shelling the second floor pediatric ward of Beit Hanoun hospital :

“It’s now chaos, the military is shelling directly at us. There are two patients on the second floor and we think they’re okay, but we can’t move them easily as they’re bed-bound. I’m bleeding from a head wound and there’s another person injured. People are very frightened.”


IDF shells also searched inside an ambulance and a paramedic; neither survived.

This same approach didn't really work out well for the entire border town of Shejaiya either, as people return today during the ceasefire to collect what they can and bodies are pulled from the rubble  :



So what kicked off this collective punishment again, as the number of Palestinian dead reaches 1,000?

On June 12, three Israeli teens were kidnapped from an Israeli settlement.
That same day Israeli authorities received a 911 phone call from one of the boys that ended with gunfire and Palestinian security forces reported to Israel that two suspects had disappeared from Hebron within 24 hours of the abduction.

Mondoweiss  [italics mine]:
The supposition that the boys were dead was advanced when Israeli authorities found the car in which the abduction had taken place, with DNA evidence they’d been shot.
The information about the gunshots on that desperate last phone call was widely known in the media, but as we reported, the Israeli government issued a gag order against these facts being published. And over the last two-and-a-half weeks of June, the Israelis launched extensive raids across the West Bank, locking down Hebron, supposedly to find the boys. But the major focus of the raids was rooting out Hamas affiliates and arresting them. In fact, the purpose of the raids seemed to be to break up the recent unity government between Hamas and Fatah, which Israel has vigorously opposed. 
The boys’ bodies were found on June 30, in a shallow grave in the West Bank; and again the deaths were exploited to punish Hamas. 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said : “Hamas is responsible… Hamas will pay.”
There were a lot of holes in the story. 
Sheera Frenkel was never convinced it was Hamas; neither was Max Blumenthal; and in response to the question a month ago as to whether Hamas leadership or some rogue cell was to blame, an IDF source responded : "I don't think that we know enough to say anything conclusively as of yet." 
And that was because their main suspects were from the Qawasmeh clan, a family with a history of blowing up Hamas' attempts to come to terms with Israel.


"Each time Hamas had reached an understanding with Israel about a cease-fire, at least one member of the family has been responsible for planning or initiating a suicide attack, and any understandings with Israel, achieved after considerable effort, were suddenly laid waste. If there is a single family throughout the PA territories whose actions can be blamed for Israel’s assassination of the political leadership of Hamas, it is the Qawasmeh family of Hebron.
On Aug. 19, 2003, after a tahadiyeh was reached between Israel and all of the Palestinian factions, with the support of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, two suicide bombers blew themselves up on the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem. Some 23 Israelis were killed in the attack, including seven children. All of the passengers on the bus were on their way back from prayers at the Western Wall to mark the end of the Sabbath. Most of them were yeshiva students. The attack put an abrupt end to the tahadiyeh just 52 days after it was announced ... The Qawasmeh family planned and implemented the attack during a cease-fire, which was supposed to have ended the second intifada, a cease-fire that had the support of Yasser Arafat, then-PA chairman, his Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and, of course, Yassin, the leader of Hamas.

Possible that while both Hamas and Netanyahu have been driven to this most recent carnage by their more extreme and unhinged "affiliates", both are now hoping to gain an edge thereby.

So today we are all looking at this man : Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld and his 
"Israeli police Mickey Rosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens definitely lone cell, Hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership."
Too late! Everyone has already eaten the yellowcake.

Operation Protective Edge Yellowcake has levelled cities and murdered over a thousand people to date over what they at least suspected as far back as June 12 had little to do with a PR campaign about Hamas kidnapping and killing the Israeli teens. 

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h/t Canadian Cynic for a better photo of Beit Hanoun hospital

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

When will Canadian MPs show this kind of guts?



Over 20 strong statements from members of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties in UK 10 days ago, even before the most recent Israeli shelling of UN schools and hospitals with one child now being killed in Gaza every hour.

Note how these British MPs have vaulted right over the despicable cowardly practice, apparently obligatory among politicians in Canada and the US, of "fair and balanced" mealy-mouthed equating of the occupied and occupier - as if the blockaded and collectively punished people of Gaza (600 dead civilians) are somehow responsible for the security of their occupiers in Israel (2 dead civilians) with its Iron Dome and $3billion a year in US aid.

Yes, and while we're at it, when will the Canadian media show this kind of guts? 
Jon Snow, Channel Four :


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Gaza Protests Around the World - July 2014


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Sixty or so pix of Free Gaza protests from all over the world including Israel. There's a lot more of course but here's rather more than I'm seeing from our nervous media who continue to nervously cling to the fiction that the occupied and the occupier are somehow equal combatants in "cutting the grass".

Meanwhile, Steve is now standing around up to his armpits in fire and water with Netanyahu and the Israeli rightwingnuts in his coalition, who have just today shelled a Gazan hospital for the third time in a week, thus ensuring that even more enraged and dispossessed Gazan youngsters will grow up hating and ultimately targeting Israel.  

And so it goes ...

July 27 Update : Annie Robbins is still updating with dozens of new ones : Sarajevo, Taipei, Limpopo, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Karachi, Auckland, Maldives, Iceland, Frankfurt, Houston ..... 
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Insider tarsands astroturf - Power of Canada

A month ago, former MP and Liberal leadership contender Martha Hall Findlay had a piece in the G&M : Northern Gateway : You don't build a nation by saying 'No" in which she echoed Tarsands Minister Joe Oliver in invoking pipelines as "nation-building" projects similar to building the "national railway and the St. Lawrence Seaway". 

Nation-building is apparently no longer about bringing people together in economic resilience but now consists of petrocorps getting their toxic unrefined bitumen to China as quickly and easily as possible. 

What you may not have known because the G&M failed to mention it is that MHF was writing as a member of an insiders corporate PR group spun off from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce called Partnership for Resource Trade and its website Power of Canada [powerofcanada.ca].  

If you want to hear even more about the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Saint Lawrence Seaway as precursors of nation-building pipelines and how the resource sector is the "front lines of environmentalism" - these are your go-to guys.

Power of Canada Advisory Council Members include Perrin Beatty, David Emerson, John Manley, Kevin Lynch, Ted Menzies, MHF of course, and reps from CAPP, TransCanada, Enbridge, Rio Tinto, Teck, Suncor, TransAlta, CD Howe, BMO, Asia-Pacific Foundation, Mining Association of CanadaPort Metro Vancouver, etc. etc.
  
While you're there you can sign up to pledge your support and add your sig to a petition to MPs : "I believe in the Power of Canada".

As the Canadian Chamber of Commerce put it in a letter to their local branches :
"Through the Partnership for Resource Trade, we want to recruit and empower local champions ... and add your voices and passion to the public debate. In coming days we will provide more tools that can help you and your members become involved in the dialogue.  I encourage you to visit the web site powerofcanada.ca."

Here's two local champions who took the pledge and signed up at Power of Canada :
Cody Battershill, Calgary, AB
Wyatt Webster, Surrey, BC

As I've mentioned before, Wyatt Webster co-wrote a pro-pipeline op ed in the Vancouver Sun with Christopher Wilson in June where they advised readers to check out their own grassroots website, Canada Action - "Support Northern Gateway", which in turn also signs up supporters - including Bruce Lounds of the pro-pipeline astroturf group British Columbians for Prosperity.

Sample Canada Action supporter comment :
"The Northern Gateway pipeline is a nation building project, every bit as important as building the St Lawrence Seaway"
  
Here Canada Action is seen staging, in Cody Battershill aka codyincalgary's words, an "Awesome Pro-Resource, Pro-Pipeline" counter-protest at the "No Enbridge" rally in Vancouver in May - with massive professional-looking banners and a special surprise visit from tarsands advocate Ezra Levant. 

Wilson and Webster state in their Vancouver Sun op ed : "Are we financially supported by a company, an association or a charitable foundation? No."

The first comment under the article is from Cody Battershill aka codyincalgary : 
"Why is Canada the only top oil reserve country targeted with such sophisticated, well financed and coordinated opposition?"
Sigh. We're obviously going to have to massively redefine "grassroots" and "astroturf" before this is over.


h/t Waterbaby for Power of Canada link.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

"This Land is Mine" and Marketing the Tools of Occupation



Nina Paley's brilliant "A brief history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant" and her Who's-killing-who viewer's guide 

Some news headlines from yesterday and today ..
Haaretz : Israel's international credit to pound Gaza is running out
Businessweek : Israel Tells Gazans to Leave Homes Before Intensified Attacks
CP : Canada Accuses UN Official Of Unfairly Criticizing Israeli Operation In Gaza  
G&M Harper confirms Canada’s support for Israel in conversation with Netanyahu
Media Co-op : Canadian hands involved in Gaza bombings

Real News Network interviews Shir Heveran Israeli economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center - a Palestinian-Israeli organization - on how Israeli security companies are using the occupation of Gaza to market the tools of occupation to other countries : 

HEVER: "Israel is now the world capital of homeland security industries. They're selling security cameras, surveillance equipments, drones, riot gear. That is the sort of technology that governments need in order to control their citizens. And it comes not just with the actual technology; it comes also with an ideology. It comes with the ideology that, look what Israel is doing, how Israel is controlling Palestinians and every aspect of their lives, and decides who can pass and who gets a permit and so on, and uses this technology to leave Palestinians no option to resist, and why don't we sell that to other governments around the world.
So, obviously, these security companies' business model is built on the occupation. These are companies that their motto when they go to arms trade shows and show their equipment, they say, this has already been tested by the Israeli army on actual people. You can only have that because of the occupation. So every new weapon is first sold to the Israeli army, shot at Palestinians. Then you can sell it.
After this invasion of Gaza that we were talking about [Operation Cast Lead], there was a trade show that the Israeli army did where they showed how each and every of these new inventions were used in the attack on Gaza, completely shamelessly.
The attacks become demos, and these companies make a profit out of it, and then these companies are hiring senior Israeli officials. I don't think that means that they want to end the peace process or sabotage the peace process; it means they want to continue it forever, because as long as it continues, they can continue these periodic attacks and they can continue the occupation.
JAY: Yeah, 'cause the peace process is a process of never coming to an agreement about peace. 
HEVER: Exactly. Exactly.
The whole interview is well worth your time.

War was always a racket; Hever argues occupation is one too.
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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Girls night with Kathryn Marshall and BC4P



This past February, Kathryn Marshall, former spokesy for Ethical Oil, and Brittany Allison, Interim Executive Director of British Columbians For Prosperity, had a "girls night" at a West Vancouver restaurant. 




You'll recall Ethical Oil's Kathryn Marshall, formerly of the Koch-funded Fraser Institute :
"Successfully recruited major prospects for donations and sponsorships and built and maintained relationships between the Fraser Institute and donors. May 2008 – July 2009 "
... and her hapless tv stints raving against "foreign special interests and their deep pockets" that secretly funded opposition to the tarsands' efforts to get its ethical bitumen to Chinese markets. 

"I'm just a student with a website," insisted Kathryn - wife of Hamish Marshall, former manager of strategic planning in Stephen Harper’s PMO, whose company Go Newclear Productions, created and hosted websites for Ethical Oil and Con MPs Joe Oliver, Pierre Poilievre and Jason Kenney.

She took over the job from former American Enterprise Institute intern Alykhan Velshi, who left Jason Kenney's employ in 2011 to head up the website based on Ezra Levant's book of the same name and returned to Harper's office afterwards as planning director
After her came Jamie Ellerton, executive assistant - first to Jason Kenney til September 2010 and then to teabaggin' Tim Hudak .

Ethical Oil's specialty was attack ads. 
Recently, climate change skeptic Ezra Levant, who interned with Koch 20 years ago, has pondered in the pages of the Edmonton Sun whether environmentalist groups in Canada are funded by Putin.

For all their concern about foreign funding, neither Velshi nor Marshall ever answered repeated media questions about whether Enbridge or any other Canadian corporate interest was backing Ethical Oil.  Ironically, at the timeEnbridge's chair and 5 out of 12 directors were American.


Kathryn's 'girls night' buddy, Brittany Allison, also maintains a focus on shadowy foreign funding from her perch at BC4P moneytrail.ca : 
FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL AND EXPLORE THE U.S. FOUNDATION FUNDING HYPOCRISY THAT'S IMPACTING CANADA'S SOVEREIGNTY
"Wealthy American Foundations pump millions of dollars into campaigns to halt Canadian oil sands production and pipelines."
According to BC4P, that would be the Foundations Rockefeller, Pew, and Tides, among 70 odd others.

BC4P Interim Policy Director Brittany Allison was previously :
"Policy Researcher in the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa and Research Officer in the B.C. Legislature in Victoria"
prior to being Public Affairs Advisor for Fraser Surrey Docks coal expansion project.

Like Ethical Oil, BC4P director and frequent CBC commentator Alise Mills also declines to reveal their sources of funding.

Foreign funding researcher Vivian Krause, who you would expect to be a natural political soul sister to these two, stated in a Kootenay Co-op radio interview in April that in addition to her objection to BC4P's flawed arguments - [transcript in comment #8 ] :
"I'm not involved with that group at all. They asked me to be involved but they wouldn't disclose their own funding sources so I wasn't willing to work with them."



Like Ethical Oil before them, BC4P has likely come to the end of its robocalling astroturfing usefulness, only to be replaced by yet another *grassroots org* of undisclosed funding - - like this one :


"Full Value for Canadian Resources - Support Northern Gateway"

Just two guys with a grassroots website ...

... and an op ed in the CAPP/Postmedia partnership world of the Vancouver Sun a month ago :
Pipeline fear factor is inappropriate

... and a *surprise* visit from Ezra Levant at the "No Enbridge!" Sunset Beach protest in Vancouver where their Canada Action counter-protest banners were big enough to block the view of the ocean.

... and an endorsement on their Support the Northern Gateway Pipeline pledge from Bruce Lounds of BC4P.



Two days ago, Olivia Ward had a piece in The Star : Billionaire Koch brothers are big oil players in Alberta as the largest foreign landholder. 
"During an ill-fated run for vice-president in 1980, David Koch campaigned on a platform that promoted destruction of the social welfare system, repeal of taxation and an end to public education, children’s services, government medical care, minimum wage laws and environmental regulation.
But through the Kochs’ persistence and lavish funding, their libertarian ideas are now part of the Republican Party’s agenda, and they have helped to change the face of America.

Founding or funding groups like the Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity, the American Enterprise Institute and the State Policy Network — which acts as a seed bank for dozens of others — the Kochs gradually inched across the political landscape.
In Canada, Koch’s presence in the oil sands has set environmentalists’ teeth on edge as the brothers back U.S. climate skeptics, tout fossil fuels and oppose the Obama administration’s environmental agenda."
The Kochtopus with its unfettered free market oil-friendly political tentacles winding 
"into the mainstream through the tea party and "dark money" political coalitions that allow donors to shield their identity while funding attack ads "
In the same article, Ward interviews Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute's Energy and Natural Resources director. Although she doesn't mention it, Green spent 3 years with the Fraser Institute and then seven with the Koch and Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute before cycling back to the Fraser Institute again last year. In 2007 while with AEI, Green offered $10,000 each to any scientists willing to refute the IPCC's climate change report. 

Ward :
"Fraser Institute president Niels Veldhuis says that although Koch contributed $115,000 to the Fraser Institute in the past year, “it is for our Economic Freedom of the World project

You know, the next time you two girls get together to talk 'foreign special interests and their deep pockets', you might want to have a look into that. 
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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Media advertorials

Hey kids, remember PostMedia's pitch for their tarsands promotion partnership with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers :
"Postmedia is proud to present its 2013 media partnership with CAPP.
We are a media company national in scope but community-focused. Canadians know our brands, trust our content, and welcome us as a vital member of their communities.
CAPP's messaging will extend to our massive mobile and tablet network so that vital energy information is never more than a click away. Our print coverage will include weekly energy editorial across our entire newspaper chain*, along with monthly joint ventures and quarterly special reports on subjects CAPP needs to bring to the forefront of Canadian consciousness."
National Post, Financial Post, Vancouver Sun and Province, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, Windsor Star, Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Montreal Gazette, and canada.com

Here's a few of the last two weeks' crop of Postmedia stories that "CAPP needs to bring to the forefront of Canadian consciousness".  If you only scanned the headlines, you might mistake them for actual news : 


"This story was produced by Postmedia’s advertising department on behalf of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers for commercial purposes." 
Here's a bonus one from CIBC :

Skilled trades shortage in Alberta a tremendous opportunity for new and growing businesses
"This story was produced by Postmedia’s advertising department in collaboration with CIBC to promote awareness of this topic for commercial purposes."  

Then it was the Globe and Mail's turn. Currently the G&M staff are threatening strike action over this :

Leaked memo confirms Globe and Mail wants journalists to write advertorials
Globe executives want to monetize the integrity and reputations of The Globe and Mail’s journalists – the same award-winning reporters and editors that management proudly (and rightly) claims are vital to the enterprise’s future as a powerful, independent, fearless and profitable news organization. 
Under the company proposal, editorial staff would be assigned to write or produce advertiser sponsored “branded content” (i.e. native advertising) that is vetted by the advertiser prior to publication and held out to readers as staff-written content.
That content cannot offend a paying advertiser’s specific opinions and corporate interests or it will be changed. 
This proposal was presented to us by editorial management and has been vetted by the Editor-in-Chief. 
That would be Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley, recently busted for portraying his own published endorsement of teabaggin' Tim Hudak for premier of Ontario as the choice of the G&M editorial board :
The Globe's editorial board endorses Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives
when in fact the G&M editorial board had endorsed Kathleen Wynn instead.


So ... where are you getting your news lately?
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Paul Manly - Not your NDP's candidate


Not your NDP Candidate

Dear Mid Islanders, Friends and Supporters

"I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.

The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate."
That would be this Ann McGrath, three months ago : 

NDP’s new national director promises open nominations

"[McGrath] said her party won’t repeat the mistakes of the federal Conservatives and Liberals, whose grassroots members have complained of interference in local nominations by senior party officials."
Yet they turned Manly down. 
Really, NDP? This guy spent his 16th birthday campaigning with Tommy Douglas
He made the 2009 doc You, Me and the SPP : Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule, frequently pillaged here at Creekside in the past, on his own dime after being turned down for funding by CBC and NFB.
He shot that footage you've all seen of the three 3 rock-toting Quebec police provocateurs at the Montebello protest back in Aug. 2007, and the magic disappearing act of the Toronto police at the G20 while a few black bloc rampaged through downtown in 2010.
Since then he's worked in his community for healthcare, First Nations rights, and marched to end violence against women. 
His 2013 doc Troubled Waters exposes the dangers to public watersheds in Canada from private ownership, privatization, P-3s, groundwater contamination, and international trade agreements. Great film - well worth your time - and inspirational as so much of what he documents is farmers and treeplanters leading the way to protection of our water. 
He's a well-known grassroots community guy working for the public good in his community long before his attempt to represent it in the next election.
So what exactly about this guy isn't good enough for the NDP?  Ah, here we go ...
That's his dad, 79 year old former Vancouver Island NDP MP Jim Manly, onboard the Swedish ship Estelle bound for Gaza in 2012 with humanitarian aid, shortly before it was boarded in international waters by an Israeli security team and all 30 crew members were arrested and detained in Israel.
So Paul wrote a letter, an entirely reasonable letter: My father, Jim Manly, must be released immediately. He was also quoted in the news :
“It would be nice to hear some politicians speak out in support of a retired Member of Parliament who has stuck his neck out to help people in a less fortunate part of the world,” Paul said. “It’s kind of shocking that nobody’s said anything.”

As Paul notes the day before yesterday in his letter to his supporters about being turned down by NDP Ottawa: 
"I have not received a written reason for this refusal and was told I will not receive a written reason. I was told verbally on the phone, that the reason was in relation to “what I said and did when my father was in Israel.” There was also concern that I was running to make Israel and Palestine an election issue. 
Israel and Palestine is an issue my parents are focused on, it has not been a focus for me except for the week when my father was seized illegally in international waters and held incommunicado in an Israel prison. This was not going to be an election issue on my platform."
He ends by quoting approvingly from the NDP policy book on Israel and Gaza.
So WTF?, NDP. You may not owe Paul Manly an explanation, according to your own nomination rules, but you sure as hell owe the rest of us one. 
I see a note on his FB page from CBC's Rosie Barton asking him to get in touch. Hope he does.
Update : The Star and CBC both have stories about this now. Nothing new in them except the CBC quotes from NDP Brad Lavigne's book on "bozo eruptions" and the Star says Manly alleges he was blocked "due to his comments on Israel".  Fuck you both.

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Thursday updates : More on this ...

Excellent piece from Greg Fingus@Accidental Deliberations in the LeaderPost [italics mine]:
"Now, it's questionable whether a single instance of past public disappointment with a party should ever be considered a reasonable basis for rejecting a candidate. In fact, a standard of "no past public criticism of one's party ever" seems sure to turn away anybody who has spoken up on any issue other than as a party cheerleader - limiting the pool of candidates either to people who have refused to serve as public advocates for their principles, or those who don't hold any principles strongly enough to speak up in their defence. 
Manly's rejection in turn followed a similar story in New Brunswick. There, provincial candidate Chris Rendell had his nomination approval revoked for the apparent offence of clicking "like" on a single Facebook post praising the province's Green Party leader."
Yeah, about that, from CBC :
"[Rendell] said NDP officials showed him a Facebook page where Rendell clicked “like” to a post supporting Green Party Leader David Coon. 
"The Facebook comment was made by Hugh Duncan Brown, who said: “Thank you, David Coon. This is how to fight for the people of New Brunswick. You have my vote as long as you don't have any posters of war criminals on your office wall.” 
Rendell and seven other people clicked, “Like,” under the Facebook post. 
The party cites Rendell’s Facebook "Like" as the reason why he is no longer a party candidate.
 “I can tell you that the decision to not disqualify Chris was genuine until days ago when the liking of the offensive post was noticed. The fact is if Chris had not liked that post on June 21, he would still be eligible as a candidate right now despite whatever interest in running arose from any other person,” according to Tony Sekulich, the director of communications for the NDP."
The NDP replaced Rendell with a former Progressive Conservative MLA.

Also : John Baglow at Rabble and on Dawg's Blawg : Paul Manly and "today's NDP"
Boris at The Beav : Party Poly-ticks
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Saturday 5th : Ok, this is really not on. On CBC's The House this morning, at the 43 minute mark, Terry Milewski said :
"The by-elections of course weren't the only unfortunate news, to put it politely, for the NDP this week. You know there was a nomination issue in Nanaimo, wasn't there, with the candidate Paul Manly who was blocked. He's the son of a former NDP MP and he says he was blocked as a candidate by the NDP executive because of his anti-Israel views.  It seems he blames Israel - not Hamas which runs Gaza - for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza so I'm wondering if there's still an anti-Israel streak in the NDP which keeps popping up despite Tom Mulcair's efforts to stamp it out."
An utterly unfair interpretation of Manly's position on ending the illegal blockade of Gaza, which, incidentally, happens to be the official NDP position also.
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July 17 Update : Good post from Richard Hughes :
Thomas Mulcair-Anne McGrath Stop Interfering In Local NDP Nominations which includes the text of a letter from the Nanaimo Ladysmith Riding Association protesting federal NDP interference.

IJV Letter to Tom Mulcair

Ricochet : Jim Manly responds
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chris Alexander, Minister of IMPs and ICTs


When Jason Kenney grandly announced his new temporary foreign worker program reforms last week - Putting Canadians First! - he slyly handed off the greater part of his troubles to Chris Alexander - Minister of Gollumization, Citizenship, and Immigration - and now also Minister of IMPs and ICTs.  

We don't hear much about IMPs (outside of childrens' books) - the International Mobility Program under which the majority of workers enter Canada. They do not have to pass a labour market test (LMIA) to determine whether they will be putting Canadians out of work because, as our new MinIMP explained, the program is intended to benefit not individual businesses by filling specific jobs, but rather "Canada as a whole".

Of the 221,273 foreign nationals who entered Canada in 2013, 38% came in under the TFWP, but 62% came in under the IMP - 83,740 vs 137,533

Then there's the ICTs - Intra-Company Transfers - also not reliant on LMIAs to safeguard Canadian jobs because they were created to allow multinational corps to move their skilled workers easily from country to country.

You may recall this whole TFW fiasco first blew up in the public eye because the Royal Bank farmed out part of its IT work to iGATE, a company that straddles US, Canada and India, who then cycled its workers in and out of Canada for training by RBC staffers they would later replace under an intra-company transfer
As RBC CEO Gord Nixon explained at the time, only one of them came into Canada as a TFW, and besides, RBC "does not get involved in the hiring practices of the companies it hires."

In BC, eight US construction workers were granted entry to BC by the CBSA under an ICT after a US company got the contract to build a wood-waste storage building near Prince George. These "specialized workers" included a former rancher and an apprentice roofer and produce clerk. Yea NAFTA! and all that, but don't we have enough ranchers, apprentice roofers, and produce clerks looking for any kind of work in Canada already?

Asked about the union-backed court case protesting import of the eight US workers, Kenney referred reporters to Chris Alexander, but a year ago he stated : "The obligations we have have for intra-company transfers are often hard-wired into trade agreements."

G&M, May 17, 2014 :
"The final text of the much-vaunted Canada-European Union free trade agreement (CETA) is expected to include a list of occupations that can be fast-tracked into Canada and would allow European firms to bring European workers into Canada through inter-company transfers ...  
The Conservative government has described the deal’s provisions for temporary entry of labour as “the most ambitious ever in a free trade agreement.”
Still you can't please everyone.
B.C.’s deputy premier and natural gas development minister Rich Coleman is worried Canada is going to "fail" if companies cannot hire temporary foreign workers for the 100,000 jobs needed to develop LNG export projects on the coast.

The Kitimat LNG project is co-owned by Canadian branches of U.S. energy giants Chevron Corp. and Apache Corp. Will they be bringing in their own workers?
TransCanada, once billed in the US as "an American company with operations in Canada", is slated to build a $1.9-billion pipeline link for Kitimat LNG project. 

In February Mr. Coleman announced there was "no question the industry will be looking to foreign workers to get up and running", and in March he touted the importance of being on 
"a continent with a lot more people south to us ... so we have access to other skilled labour on the continent and there are people who are very good at doing certain jobs - specialized welders." 
One presumes he isn't referring to the TransCanada welders on the southern leg of the Keystone XL Canada to Texas project
"Over 72 per cent of welds required repairs during one week. In another week, TransCanada stopped welding work after 205 of 425 welds required repair.
Inspections by the safety agency found TransCanada wasn’t using approved welding procedures to connect pipes, the letter said. The company had hired welders who weren’t qualified to work on the project because TransCanada used improper procedures to test them."

So. PM-hopeful Jason Kenney's TFW Program "will now refer to only those streams under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers following approval through a new Labour Market Impact Assessment." 
For everything else - the difficult politically damaging bits - there's the guy wearing the IMP ears.
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