Canada

Canada's colonial past is its present, too, however much Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeks to obfuscate the reality of the history of this land.

Recent events have served as a prime example of how denial of past colonialism helps to perpetuate ongoing colonial relationships. The flash point is the small town of Rexton, New Brunswick, on Canada's east coast.

In April, Calgary-based pipeline company TransCanada ― the same company behind the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ― formally proposed and launched an open season for a monumental new project: the Energy East tar sands pipeline, a C$12 billion, 4400 kilometer long pipeline connecting Hardisty, Alberta to dedicated export terminals at ports in Quebec City and Saint John, New Brunswick.

The project could carry up to 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil including a substantial amount of diluted bitumen tar sands crude.

First Nations people have blockaded motorways on October 17 in Rexton, New Brunswick in Canada's west in protest against the violation of their traditional homelands by colonist mining companies seeking to commence fracking for shale gas.

Protsters from the Elsipogtog First Nation were joined by other local residents to stop shale gas exploration over fears it would lead to environmentally damaging fracking processes.

For the second time in three months, a CP Rail train carrying toxic and flammable hydrocarbons has derailed in the city of Calgary, in Alberta province.

On September 11, eight railway wagons carrying close to one million liters of a highly flammable gasoline product (diluent) used in the pipeline transport of tar sands bitumen derailed in the Inglewood neighbourhood.

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.

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