Security(?)! and Prosperity for whom?

I almost missed this one! The SPP and North American Union keep forging along, with old sexist language, to boot!

North American Forum 2007 agenda

Under the Joint Chairmanship of:
The Hon. George Shultz, Former U.S Secretary of State
The Hon. Peter Lougheed, Former Premier of Alberta
The Hon. Pedro Aspe, Former Finance Minister of Mexico

but working hard to co-opt progressive language:

North American Cooperation and Community

And it sent its participants home with inspiration:

This year, the North American Forum discussed:

– Strategic dimensions of the North American security and prosperity partnership (with Homeland Security and Canada Border Services Agency participation)
– Investing in competitiveness: new ideas and options for infrastructure, borders and business – Public/private partnerships, municipal bonds and border development
– NAFTA at 15: where do we go from here? – How to “create a North American Community?
– The social agenda of North American integration – Migration and development
– Energy in North America – Security, rationalization and climate change

Guest panellists included some familiar faces:

– David O’Reilly, CEO, Chevron Corporation
– Luis de la Calle, former Undersecretary of Trade
– Anne McLellan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
– Carla Hills, Chairman & CEO, Hills & Co.
– Tom d’Aquino, Canadian Council of Chief Executives
– Ron Covais, President, The Americas, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Gotta wonder what it was the RCMP and Canadian military types brought home, eh? EXTREME VIOLENCE WARNING: Police States R Us

Safe uranium left a town contaminated

FromThe Guardian, something the pro nukes don’t want to see.

Safe uranium that left a town contaminated

They were told depleted uranium was not hazardous. Now, 23 years after a US arms plant closed, workers and residents have cancer – and experts say their suffering shows the use of such weapons may be a war crime

David Rose in Colonie, New York
Sunday November 18, 2007
The Observer

It is 50 years since Tony Ciarfello and his friends used the yard of a depleted uranium weapons factory as their playground in Colonie, a suburb of Albany in upstate New York state. ‘There wasn’t no fence at the back of the plant,’ remembers Ciarfello. ‘Inside was a big open ground and nobody would chase us away. We used to play baseball and hang by the stream running through it. We even used to fish in it – though we noticed the fish had big pink lumps on them.’

Today there are lumps on Ciarfello’s chest – strange, round tumours that protrude about an inch. ‘No one seems to know what they are,’ he says. ‘I’ve also had a brain aneurysm caused by a suspected tumour. I’m constantly fatigued and for years I’ve had terrible pains, deep inside my leg bones. I fall over without warning and I’ve got a heart condition.’ Ciarfello’s illnesses have rendered him unable to work for years. Aged 57 and a father of five, he looks much older.

LEAVE URANIUM IN THE GROUND!

Uranium CEO hit the payroll jackpot!

Interesting bit here, from Larry Hubichs Blog: Saskatchewan CEOs hit the payroll jackpot.  At the top of the heap, the CEO of the uranium giant, CAMECO.

This article in the Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 Regina Leader-Post reveals that a number of Saskatchewan based CEO’s hit the payroll jackpot last year.

According to the article, which quotes the Financial Post Business magazine, the following CEO’s received compensation last year as listed below:

Gerald Grandey, CEO of Cameco Corp.: $7.6 million
William Doyle, CEO of Potash Corp. of Sask.: $3.6 million
Mayo Schmidt, CEO of Sask. Wheat Pool (Viterra): $3.3 million

That 7.6 million, if divided among the people who live in Saskatchewan’s north (where the uranium mining takes place), would mean an extra $200  per year in the pockets of the residents.  And, given the price of groceries, that might mean something.

Uranium, health, and investment

It seems that the residents of Port Hope, ON have taken a page out of the book of workers at the Apollo and Parks nuclear facilities in the USA. From globeandmail.com and following that, a blurb from Howe Street.com, the “source for market opinion,” on uranium investments.

Port Hope activists call on Health Canada to study alleged uranium contamination

 

ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

Health Canada needs to fund a thorough study of residents of Port Hope, Ont., to investigate whether exposure to uranium is causing illnesses, says a local community group that conducted its own testing and detected what it says are elevated levels of the dangerous element in a number of residents.

Faye More, chair of the Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee, told a news conference yesterday that the costs of a study should be covered by the federal department, but the design should be under the control of local residents.

The group released the results of tests yesterday of nine people who had either worked in Port Hope’s nuclear-processing businesses or lived near the plants, and who were checked for the amount of uranium in their bodies. Although it was a relatively small number of people, the testing found that five of them had uranium levels substantially above two test subjects who didn’t have Port Hope exposures. One child had readings three times higher than the average of the two so-called controls, while one of the adults had levels eight times the controls, according to the group.

Full article

Meanwhile, investors are not talking about ethical issues around uranium. Instead, they’re talking tactical investing. That just makes my skin crawl.

We are at the beginning stages of a massive bidding war in Uranium. China is locking in massive deals in Africa and is now working on ever bigger deals in Kazakhstan which holds the worlds second largest reserves of Uranium after Australia. Note to that China signed a multi billion dollar uranium deal with Australia. China is basically locking up Uranium supplies, which means its taking this uranium out of the market place; this effectively means that there will be even less uranium for the rest of the global world players to go after. Now this development alone is bad enough but the situation worsens; Russia which has more than enough uranium has decided to start stock piling on uranium too. They have done this after declaring that Uranium is now a strategic resource and will only be exported in limited quantities. Once again the following news story will best illustrate our point

“This new agreement will allow the supply of Australian uranium for use in Russia’s civil nuclear power industry and provide a framework for broader cooperation on peaceful nuclear-related activities,” he said. Both Howard and Putin dismissed concerns that Russia would sell Australian uranium to third countries such as Iran.

“I simply don’t understand what people are talking about,” Putin said, pointing out that Russia already exports large quantities of enriched uranium for military use, including 30 tonnes a year to the United States. “We are buying uranium from Australia for purely economic reasons,” he said. Full Story

Purely economic reasons and why not; Putin is a smart man he knows that in the future nations will be desperately begging for this valuable commodity and he also knows that he who controls the keys to the energy market controls the world. One other thing to note here is that Russia supplies the US with over 30 tonnes a year of uranium; Russia could cut these supplies on a moments notice especially now that the relationship between these two former cold war enemies has turned rather frosty as of late.

Bottom line is the Uranium bull is one that is going to be driven by the two most powerful forces in the universe and such a development is very rare and provides the astute investor with a window of opportunity that usually presents itself only once in a persons life time. The two forces are fear and greed; usually one of them is enough to produce massive moves but in the near future both of them will be working in unison instead of against each other. This is one of the main reasons why it’s almost impossible to predict how high uranium prices could eventually trade at. Right now the uranium sector has been beaten down and many individuals have given up on this sector as some stocks have truly taken a massive beating. Remember at TI we view disaster as opportunity waiting to be discovered and thus our advice to all our subscribers is to make sure you hold positions in all the various uranium plays that are listed in our portfolios and hold them through thick and thin or until we advise you to unload them. Those that do so will be handsomely rewarded and those that don’t well in the years to come they will most likely shed tears of blood as they wonder what possessed them to let such a wonderful opportunity pass them by. Do not let this opportunity slip by you.

Yes, that’s it, investors.  Make money no matter the cost, human or otherwise!

War Resisters Supreme Court Decision Upcoming

War Resisters Support Campaign

In Regina, there is a vigil for peace ever Thursday at Noon on the Scarth Street Mall at 11th Avenue.

Supreme Court decision on Hinzman & Hughey expected on
THURSDAY NOV. 15th, 2007

The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to post its decision on whether or not it will hear the appeal by US war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey THIS THURSDAY at 9:45 am.

The decision will be posted at: http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/index.html (the case number for Jeremy Hinzman is 32112, and for Brandon Hughey it is 32111).

If the decision is negative, join protests in cities across the country. Check the take action page for listings of protest locations.

If the decision is positive, we will celebrate right across the country – but there will still be much work to do to ensure that US soldiers who refuse to fight in Iraq have refuge in Canada. In TORONTO, join us at 7 p.m. at Grossman’s Tavern, 379 Spadina Avenue (at Cecil Street) for a ‘Leave to Appeal’ party.

Navajo Leads Uranium Roundtable on Capitol Hill

I don’t want to believe that the MSM is corrupt as it is, but, well, give them enough rope…

Anyway, from Native American Times, a report on a meeting, one you’re not likely going to hear about in the MSM:

Navajo Leads Uranium Roundtable on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C.
11/14/2007

Three members of Congress joined the Navajo Nation last week in a discussion on the ban of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation.

“Over a half century ago the United States government faced by the threats of the Cold War began a massive effort to mine and process uranium ore for use in the country’s nuclear weapons programs,” said Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, as he gave his opening statement at the Rayburn House Office building on Capitol Hill. “Much of that uranium was mine on, or near, Navajo lands and much of it extracted and processed with Navajo hands.”

The Uranium Roundtable, held jointly by the Navajo Nation and Congress, was an open discussion for Navajo leadership and community members affected by uranium mining to come together with Congress and federal agencies.

Federal government agencies represented at the Roundtable included the Indian Health Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy.

“Workers, families, and their neighbors suffer increased incidences of cancers and other medical disorders caused by their exposure to uranium,” said President Shirley. “Fathers and sons who went to work in the mins and the processing facilities brought the remnants of uranium in to their homes at the end of the day infecting their families.”

The Roundtable was hosted by Congressman Tom Udall, D-NM-3, who chaired and lead the discussion of the forum.

“We gather today to engage in a discussion of the very serious issues facing the Navajo Nation as a result of uranium development,” said Congressman Udall. “This is an opportunity for all parties to come together to outline specific steps that Congress, federal agencies, and the Navajo Nation can take toward rectifying past wrongs, and creating safer communities in the Navajo Nation.”

Congressmen Jim Matheson, D-UT-2, and Rick Renzi, R-AZ-1, participated in the three hour forum attended by more than 60 people, including many from the Navajo Nation, and the neighboring town of Grants, New Mexico.

During the Roundtable, Congressman Renzi asked Dr. Charles Miller of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the process of permits for mining uranium on the Navajo Nation.

“Our approach is to carry out the review of the license,” responded Dr. Miller, explaining that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seated with responsibility to conduct a review of granting permits for uranium mining. He further explained that their process does not prohibit the Navajo Nation from enforcing Navajo laws to stop uranium mining.

In 2005, the Navajo Nation Council passed the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act, which places a ban on uranium mining on Navajo lands.

Other Navajo leaders who participated in the Roundtable included Council Delegate Phil Harrison of Red Valley and Cove Chapters. Harrison, a member of the Navajo Nation Council Committee on Natural Resources, spoke on the contamination of uranium mining in Navajo communities.

“We’re talking about a situation that is occurring today in places like Tuba City, and other places throughout Navajo Indian country,” said Harrison. “The experiment on our health and welfare, being conducted with the complicity of the United States government continues.”

Watch for PMS and Brad Wall to continue with their “experiments” based in ecological racism on the First Nations communities in Saskatchewan’s north.

Joya on Women in Afghanistan

From Malalai Joya, on Afghanistan, in Q&A: “When I Leave My House, Im Not Sure Ill Make It Back”:

IPS: What has changed since Canada’s increased role in Afghanistan?

MJ: It is shocking news, a catastrophic situation for women in our country. I moved back to Afghanistan to be a social activist on women’s issues. Many women have been kidnapped, many are raped, according to official statements, there have been 250 cases of rape in the west of Afghanistan in the first six months of 2007. Every 28 minutes, an Afghani woman dies from childbirth. The conditions are worse than ever for women. 

And let us remember to remind Premier-elect, Brad Wall, that Saskatchewan’s uranium made its way there, too.

New port security measures threaten privacy, human rights, say workers

From the Council of Canadians:

New port security measures threaten privacy, human rights, say workers

November 8, 2007
Posted by Stuart Trew

The Canadian section of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has filed a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada insisting that Transport Canada’s Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program (MTSCP) and the Application for Transportation Security Clearance form required under the MTSCP violates the Privacy Act.

According to the complaint: “The Security Clearance Form requires responses to invasive questions about a number of matters, including country of origin and city of birth; whether the employee has a passport, and if so, the passport number (leading to the possibility of cross-referencing for additional information); whether the employee attended a post-secondary institution, and if so, which institution and when; all addresses that the employee may have lived at for the past 5 years; all activities for the past 5 years, such as school or previous employment; all travel with stays in countries for more than 90 days during the last 5 years; whether an employee has a criminal conviction; and information about an employee’s spouse.”

Furthermore, “The Security Clearance Form requires the employee to consent to the release of the information contained on the form to governments of countries that he or she may have lived in or travelled to. If consent to disclose is not given, the Security Clearance will not be granted and the employee would not be able to work in designated areas.”

According to an article from Lloyd’s List posted on the Longshore and Warehouse union’s website, “Effective from December 15, security clearances will be required by workers at the container ports of Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver, as well as at the ports of Fraser River and North Fraser River in British Columbia. The regulations will also be applied at the control centres in Canada of the St Lawrence Seaway.”

On top of the privacy complaint, the union is “raising various issues with the Canada Industrial Relations Board at hearings in Vancouver,” said Tom Dufresne, president of the Canadian Maritime Workers Council, speaking with Lloyd’s List. “Dufresne also said the regulations are ‘discriminatory’ against workers not born in Canada.”

The MTSCP is coming into force in Canada as similar new port security measures, including biometric ID cards and fingerprint scanners, are causing anxiety south of the border. The goal of both sets of measures is to streamline port security across North America as spelled out by initiatives within the Security and Prosperity Partnership’s Security Annex. But the result will be more racial profiling, say critics, of which there are plenty.

As University of Toronto professor Deborah Cohen wrote in the Toronto Star last month: “It is not just union leaders who have come out against it. The B.C. Maritime Employers Association, leaders from the cruise ship industry and port security directors from Canada’s largest ports have all critiqued the proposed regulations. Three city councils in the port-dependent province of British Columbia passed motions calling for the federal government to restructure the program, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association recently condemned the potential abuse of civil and labour rights that the program sanctions.”

Uranium, Indigenous Rights and Corporatism

This story provides some clarity for me around the reasons why the Harperites refused to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. It provides opportunity for indigenous peoples to boot corporate pigs off their lands! And PMS won’t be wanting that!

OWE AKU & BLACK HILLS SIOUX NATION TREATY COUNCIL
DEFEAT URANIUM CORPORATION
(From Owe Aku International Human Rights and Justice Program, New York City) As explained in the following article, Owe Aku, a grass roots Lakota organization, just utilized the principle of free, prior and informed consent as set forth in the recently passed United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

JUDGE ISSUES RULING…N.A.E.G. EXCLUDED FROM PINE RIDGE
Pine Ridge, SD… On October 29, OST Chief Judge Lisa Adams issued an exclusion order to remove the Native American Energy Group (N.A.E.G.) from the Pine Ridge reservation, declaring that the company has been trespassing on tribal lands. The finding gave NAEG 30 days to vacate the reservation.

The Judge also noted that N.A.E.G. ignored a tribal resolution that accepted the OST Environmental Technical Team’s recommendation that the Tribe not enter into any working relationship with N.A.E.G. Further, the order stated that OST Member, Eileen Janis, failed to inform N.A.E.G. about OST ordinances prohibiting exploration and mining for uranium.

Environmental Nightmares provides more info about the current struggles of the Lakota peoples. The Lakota Nation is, for those with short memories or too young to remember, the nation of Leonard Peltier who has been held as a political prisoner in the USA for 30 years for allegedly murdering 2 FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation located in the Black Hills. Another twist in the story is the extradition of John Graham, a citizen of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations of the Yukon, Canada, to the USA on charges of murdering Anna Mae Aquash.

…the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the extradition of former AIM member John Graham to stand trial in South Dakota in the chilling murder more than 30 years ago of Canadian Mi’kmaq Anna Mae Aquash.

…Mr. Graham and his many supporters argue, however, that he is being framed by the FBI, as they believe well-known native activist Leonard Peltier was.

…In a case that continues to arouse emotions today, the main evidence used to extradite Mr. Peltier was a sworn affidavit by native Myrtle Poorbear that later proved to be false. Many, including Amnesty International, have called for Mr. Peltier’s release.

Graham’s daughter says,

John Graham is a political prisoner. I will fight until John Graham, my dad, is free to live his life in peace and to exercise his right to protect Mother Earth.

Interesting how things happen. Searching out this piece I learned that the John Graham Defense Committee will hold a benefit this Friday, November 16, in Vancouver. Even more interesting is that John Graham has a history of advocating for environmental and aboriginal rights, most particularly in SK where he was an organizer of no nukes activities in the First Nations and Metis communities.

How convenient for the pro nukers that, at a time when the uranium industry wants to expand, former indigenous leaders in opposition to it, sit in US prisons.

Gender Equality : Canada slips from 14th to 18th place

Let’s all take a moment to thank Prime Minister Steve for his assistance in moving Canadian women backwards on the road to gender equality. Tell him how much you appreciate him making your life, the lives of our mothers, sisters and daughters, worse. Tell him we knew he could do it. And tell him we can hardly wait to see what he’ll do to us if he ever gets that sacred majority!

May it never come to fruition!

Canada slips from 14th to 18th place in world rankings on gender equality

GENEVA – Canada has slipped a little compared with the rest of the world in providing
gender equality, according to a study by the World Economic Forum released Thursday.

Frank Jordans, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The annual study ranking 128 countries found Canada had slipped four spots to 18th place
compared with last year.

Nordic countries received the best marks for gender parity in education, employment,
health and politics.

Sweden, which has more women then men holding high public office, topping the list. It
was following in order by Norway, Finland and Iceland.

New Zealand, the Philippines, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Spain rounded out the top
10.

The United States finished in 31st spot, down eight places from last year.

Based on a scale in which perfect equality was assigned a score of 1.0, Canada achieved
an overall mark of 0.72.

That included almost perfect marks in the categories of educational attainment (0.999)
and health and survival (0.979).

But it scored lower on economic participation and opportunity (0.74) and much lower
(0.159) on political empowerment, with women making up only 21 per cent of MPs and 23
per cent of cabinet posts in Parliament.

Full article