Canada

TransCanada Corp. announced on August 1 that it will proceed with plans to create a pipeline capable of shipping 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and tar sands bitumen from western Canada to refineries and ports in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Called “Energy East”, this west-to-east pipeline would dwarf the oil delivery capacity of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the US. Keystone would ship 830,000 bpd.

In the small hours of July 6, just after midnight, a train hauling 73 cars of petroleum products derailed and exploded in the centre of the town of Lac Megantic, Quebec.

A large number of the rail cars caught fire and exploded in huge fireballs. The centre of the town was razed and the rail cars were still burning 36 hours later.

“The Canadian government is forcing me to divorce my wife.” With these words, Salvadoran refugee and long-time Canadian resident Jose Figueroa sums up the devastatingly cruel situation he and his family find themselves in.

The human rights situation in El Salvador from the 1970s to the '90s was dire. A vicious right-wing military dictatorship, supported financially and morally by the United States government. Widespread murder and torture of innocent people, often through the use of death squads, which were trained in the US.

AS PRESIDENT Obama weighs whether to give the Keystone XL pipeline his approval, climate scientists have warned that the volume of greenhouse gases released by the pipeline could push the planet over a climate tipping point.

The Obama administration appears to be getting closer and closer to approving the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline aims to transport tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to the United States.

The mass, democratic uprising that broke out in Syria in 2011 against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has increasingly turned into a prolonged civil war, with violence worsening and accusations of war crimes levelled against the regime and sections of the armed opposition.

The situation has been worsened by the intervention of Western-allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, selectively arming Islamic fundamentalist sectors of the anti-Assad forces.

When Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) announced that it would be breaking ranks with its more moderate colleagues in the student federations and boycotting the new government's education summit, it was clear that they were taking a huge risk.

When they called a mass demonstration for the last day of the education summit and publicly announced that it would be the largest demonstration since the end of last year's unlimited general strike, and that they expected in the neighborhood of 10,000 students to show up, they were doubling down with reckless abandon.

As Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence entered her fourth week on a hunger strike outside the Canadian parliament in late December, thousands of protesters in Los Angeles, London, Minneapolis and New York City voiced their support.

Spence and the protesters of the Idle No More Movement are drawing attention to deplorable conditions in Native communities and recently passed legislation C-45, which sidesteps most Canadian environmental laws.

A social and political rights movement of indigenous people is rising across Canada and making international headlines. Protests by the “Idle No More” movement began last month and continue to grow.

The movement has rallied daily across the country in shopping malls, at US border crossings and on major railway lines. Three days ago, it compelled Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to climb down from his refusal to meet with indigenous leaders to discuss their very deep concerns.

A popular movement against tar sands oil production and pipeline transport is on the rise and gathering steam in Canada.

Its biggest expression so far came on October 22 when 4000- 5000 people rallied in front of the British Columbia legislature to send a forceful message to the tar sands industry and its political representatives. “No tar sands pipelines across BC! No oil tankers in coastal waters!” read the lead banners.

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