Video of newborn seized from indigenous mom goes viral & triggers uproar in Canada

“We’re going to actually physically remove the baby” – these words, unthinkable to any mother, were streamed on Facebook Live and have since prompted angry accusations of state discrimination against indigenous people in Canada.
The edict was delivered by a cop as he was taking a newborn girl away from an indigenous woman at a hospital in the Canadian province of Manitoba this week. The mother was accused of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and of being drunk when arriving to give birth – claims that she and her relatives vigorously deny.

In the footage, which instantly went viral, the infant’s mother is seen hugging her baby when social services and police officers arrive. They tell the woman that “Child and Family Services (CFS) have the power to apprehend a child” and that the newborn will be placed into care.

The mother’s plea to spend at least a few more minutes with her baby is rejected with a harsh and simple “No.”

Even more shocking than the video itself is the fact that apprehensions of newborns such as this occur, on average, about once every day in Manitoba, official records show. More than 10,000 children are currently in CFS care in the province and around 90 percent have an indigenous parent or parents. MORE

Charting the path to National Pharmacare in Canada

Broadbent Institute

…Strong federal leadership is needed to make Pharmacare a reality, because it is far from clear that expanding public health insurance is a current priority for all provinces. Fiscal capacity varies a great deal between the provinces but the federal government has the fiscal means to act if it finds the political will to do so.

The federal tax system could be used to recoup some of the cost savings of employers, workers and individuals which would result from a more cost efficient single-payer plan.

A federal program would make it easier to establish a national drug formulary and to achieve the savings of co-ordinated drug purchasing. Finally, a federal Pharmacare plan could be implemented more quickly. Canada has already waited too long.  DOWNLOAD the Report

Canada Chooses Oil Over People (Again)

The confrontations with the Wet’suwet’en Nation show the Federal Government isn’t interested in real reconciliation

Photo Maggie McCutchen

The relationship between the Canadian government and Indigenous peoples continues to be one of reconciliation only when it serves federal interests…

The nearby ecosystem, as well as the 20 First Nations surrounding the pipeline will constantly be at risk of pollution and environmental destruction from normal use and from accidents, but that’s not all.

The aggression shown by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police demonstrates just how hypocritical Canadians are when people brag about Canada’s human rights record. While we uplift this idea that we are everyone’s “friendly and progressive neighbors to the north”, it is finally becoming increasingly clear that it is a very selective kind of progressivism. The kind that inexplicably still does not extend to the peoples that have lived on this land for centuries longer than the oldest of colonizers. MORE


‘No consent, no pipeline’: UBCIC President says Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have been ignored


How to Keep your #ClimateHope Tanks Full

How To Keep Your #ClimateHope Tanks Full, Below2C

The tide of public opinion about the urgency of climate action is turning. And once it crosses that tipping point, it isn’t going back. We are close to that historic moment.

The promise of youth striking from school around the globe under the banner of #FridaysForFuture, combined with the groundswell of ordinary citizens flocking to the Extinction Rebellion movement, is causing consternation to world leaders who are failing to deal adequately with the world climate emergency before us.

My recent piece on #climatehope for 2019 is followed by this blog post resourced from the Climate Reality Project.  MORE


What gives me Climate Hope for 2019

These posters designed by Utah teens demand action on clean air

A simple poster contest for high schoolers is waking teens–and in turn, their parents–up to air quality issues.

Every year since 2015, two professors at Utah State University (USU) have hosted a poster-design competition for high school students to address a critical issue for the state: air quality.

[Image: courtesy Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest]

In the competition, they asked students to design posters calling for an end to vehicle idling, or encouraging people to carpool or “trip chain” (complete all errands in one go to diminish driving). Over the years, the number of students participating has grown to over 550 in four school districts, Stafford says, and he eventually wants the competition to expand its reach even further. MORE


A $350 toilet powered by worms may be the ingenious future of sanitation that Bill Gates has been dreaming about

Bill Gates poo
Bill Gates held up a beaker of human feces at the reinvented toilet expo in Beijing on November 6, 2018 to prove a point: unsanitary conditions are dangerous for our health. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

More than 4,000 such “Tiger Toilets” have been installed to date across India, in homes of people who were previously defecating in the open. The worm toilets smell a lot better than a pit latrine, and don’t breed mosquitoes either.

Here’s how a $350 toilet powered by worms could change the world and save lives. MORE

Canada, First Nations express concern over U.S. Arctic drilling plans

Calving grounds of caribou herd among areas to be opened to drilling, despite protection agreement

Wild caribou are seen near the Meadowbank Gold Mine in Nunavut on Monday, March 23, 2009. The federal government, two territorial governments and several First Nations in Canada are expressing concerns to the U.S. over plans to open a massive cross-border caribou herd’s calving ground to energy drilling, despite international agreements to protect it. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The Canadian government, two territories and several First Nations are expressing concerns to the United States over plans to open the calving grounds of a large cross-border caribou herd to energy drilling, despite international agreements to protect it.

“Canada is concerned about the potential transboundary impacts of oil and gas exploration and development planned for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain,” says a letter from Environment Canada to the Alaska office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Yukon and the Northwest Territories have submitted similar concerns as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump drafts plans to study the environmental impact of selling exploration leases on the ecologically rich plain. MORE