June 6, 2018 - Vol. 7 No.10
June 7 Election
Go All Out to Vote Small Party or
Independent in the June 7 Election!
Make Your Vote a Statement for
June 7 Election
• Go All
Out to Vote Small Party or Independent in the June 7 Election! Make
Your Vote a Statement for Democratic Renewal!
• Battle for the Anti-Ford Vote
• Advance Poll Use Increases
• Information for Election Day, June 7
• Subservience to U.S. Interests in the Name of
National Security - Enver Villamizar
Speaking Out In
• Huron-Robinson Treaty Annuity Case Final
Arguments Begin in Sudbury
• Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek Holds
Traditional Gathering on Road to North American Palladium Mine
• Another Example of Incoherence in Northern
June 7 Election
Go All Out to Vote Small Party or
Independent in the June 7 Election!
Make Your Vote a Statement for Democratic Renewal!
In this election working people have been discussing
and concerns. They have held forums, open mics, all-candidates meetings
and are taking other initiatives to lay their claims. This election,
lawn signs defend the right to health care, education and other social
programs that are under attack by governments.
Large numbers of people are
aware of the problem that when it comes to voting they do
not have an alternative in the parties that are presented as the only
options. Electors are put between a rock and a
hard place, knowing that the promises and platforms of the parties are
not serious indicators of what they are going to do if elected. They
only hope that their actions might convince
whoever forms government to follow through. This is the problem
everyone faces as a result of an electoral system that brings party
governments to power. We are told that to vote for
anyone other than someone whose party has a chance to form government,
or at the very least to get elected, is a wasted vote.
Then we are supposed to hope that among those the
have decided have a chance to win, we should try to influence one or
all of them to address "our issues." Yet, large numbers of people also
try to empower themselves and think small party and independent
candidates better represent them. These candidates bring forward their
views in very difficult conditions of media blackouts. They recognize
that the parties that are in government do not represent the people's
concerns and many run in the election to represent those concerns. They
deserve our support.
The cartel parties and their media try to impose an atmosphere where
even discussing anything outside of the agenda they and their marketing
agencies set is deemed a waste of time. What they do not want discussed
are the concerns of the people and how to make sure the rights of all
are upheld by government. In this regard, a central matter of concern
is the lack of representation because of the division imposed on the
polity between those who govern and those who are governed and
have no say. This makes those who govern unaccountable, despite the
choice given to electors to boot them out in the next election. Small
party and independent candidates challenge the privileged status of the
so-called major parties while everyone else, including the electorate,
are marginalized as spectators spectators of those who really make the
A break must be made with this system and the way it
blocks people from
thinking an alternative is possible. The alternative in this election
is to cast your vote for a small party or independent to make the
statement that you want MPPs who represent your concerns. This is a
stand for the democratic renewal of the electoral process. Make your
vote count by voting small party or independent. Empower Yourself Now!
Battle for the Anti-Ford Vote
Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne addressed the media on
June 2 and
made it clear that she concedes that she will not be the next Premier.
She proceeded to call for people to elect as
many Liberal MPPs as possible in order to prevent a majority
government. While she spoke about stopping both a "risky" PC majority
and an NDP majority, she said her emphasis was on
those who have voted Liberal in the past and might consider voting NDP
to defeat the PCs.
"Let's step back and figure out how we do this and
figure out [a] way
to keep the province moving forward without majority government that
take us down the right path.
"There are a lot of people who voted Liberal in past
who want a
change. They are not necessarily comfortable voting NDP and worried
what the NDP might do. That's one of [the] groups
I'm talking to. We know that we're not going to form government, I'm
not going to be Premier, we need Liberal MPPs to ensure there isn't a
Later she said "I'm trying to lay out the situation as
honestly as I can."
Wynne's announcement came a day after NDP leader Andrea
spoke in Toronto in the riding of Don Valley West where Kathleen Wynne
is the incumbent and appealed for
those who want change to vote for the NDP. "One thing is certain:
Ontarians will elect a new premier to replace Kathleen Wynne."
"The choice is between me and Doug Ford, (and) to those
who have voted Liberal in the past, I invite you to join us to stop
Doug Ford and vote for the kind of change that Ontario needs." Horwath
This is not the case. The real choice is between the so-called major
parties and a vote which represents the demand for the electoral
process to be renewed by voting for small parties or independents or,
in the event this is not an option, to decline your ballot. The ruling
class wants stable government to do its bidding. Whoever is elected,
the working people of Ontario will have to intervene to hold them to
account. They will have to continue empowering themselves by laying the
claims which they must and in this way taking measures to empower
Advance Poll Use Increases
An estimated 768,895 out of 10.2 million eligible
voters voted in
advance polls between May 26 and June 1 Elections Ontario reports. This
is an increase of almost 19 per cent from the
2014 Ontario general election when 647,261 voted in advance.
Elections Ontario notes that for the first time
e-Poll books and vote tabulators for advance voting and that as a
result advance voting locations experienced shorter wait
times. They also note that on June 7, election day, 50 per cent of
have electronic vote tabulators and e-Polls books serving 90 per cent
According to Global News, Kingston and The Islands had
advance poll turnout in the province with 11,644, up from the last
election by close to 2,000. This riding was
followed by Simcoe-Grey with 10,270, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke with
9,938, Orleans with 9,675 and Guelph with 9,477. The rest of the top 10
were: Simcoe North,
Northumberland-Peterborough South, Ottawa Centre, Toronto Danforth and
Burlington, without numbers provided.
According to the website tooclosetocall.ca the top 10
the biggest increase in advance turnout are: Kitchener South-Hespeler,
Brampton West, Markham-Unionville, Brampton
South, Aurora-Oak Ridges, Markham-Soutffville, University-Rosedale,
Davenport, Etobicoke-North and Toronto-Danforth. The site informs that
the list continues with "other 416 and 905
Information for Election Day, June 7
Election Day is tomorrow, June 7. Polls are open from
9:00 am to
9:00 pm in the Eastern Time Zone and from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm for the
Central Time Zone. Any Canadian citizen
who is a resident of Ontario and at least 18 years of age is eligible
Under Ontario's Election
Act, electors are entitled to three
consecutive hours of time off to vote during polling hours without a
reduction in pay, if their work schedule does not already
provide three consecutive hours of time off. If time off is to be given
during the work day, the time is to be determined by the employer.
Those who are on the list of electors should have
received a voter
information card from Elections Ontario giving the poll location where
they should vote.
If someone has not received a voter information card,
location can be found using the "Voter Information Service" on the
Elections Ontario home page (www.elections.on.ca), which also provides
the list of candidates in
Identification must be presented to vote. Elections
Ontario explains that:
"What identification you need to bring will depend on
whether you are on the Voters List.
"If your name IS on the Voters List:
"- You must show one piece of identification that has
your name on
it. Your name as shown on the piece of identification must match your
name on the Voters List.
"If your name is NOT on the Voters List:
"- You must show one piece of identification that has
your name and current residential address.
"You can use an original identification document, a
photocopy of an
identification document, or an electronic copy displayed on a mobile
device. This includes utility bills received
The above requirements apply to students who are living
home and wish to vote in the riding where they live to go to school.
If an elector is homeless/lacks a permanent address,
they can still
vote. They can give the address of the service provider they have used
the most frequently in the past five weeks as
their address, e.g., a drop-in centre, food bank or shelter. Elections
Ontario then works with the service providers to provide a Certificate
of Identity and Residence to help the elector meet
the voting requirements.
New Windsor-Detroit Bridge
Subservience to U.S. Interests in
the Name of National Security
The Trudeau government is again raising "national
security" and Canadian "sovereignty" to mask services the Canadian and
Ontario governments are providing to U.S. interests in the
construction of the new Windsor-Detroit bridge. It is similar to how
the Trudeau government agreed to indemnify Kinder Morgan's investment
in the Trans Mountain pipeline in the name of defending the "national
The U.S. considers the
existing bridge, and any new crossing and related infrastructure, to be
part of its "critical infrastructure" and under its control. This means
it alone decides who will build the bridge and
with what materials, despite the crossing, the plaza and feeder roads
on the Detroit side being financed completely by
the Canadian and Ontario governments with public
funds. (The U.S. portion of funding is to be recouped in the future
In addition, legislation passed last year by the
Canadian government permits U.S. pre-clearance
facilities to be built on Canadian lands leading to the Ambassador
Bridge. These facilities will place
U.S. security agents and facilities in Windsor
clearing goods destined for the U.S. Currently, 25 per cent of all
Canada-U.S. trade passes through the existing Ambassador Bridge.
On May 5 it was reported that Canadian construction
Group Inc. had withdrawn its participation in a team bid to construct
the new $4.8 billion Gordie Howe
Windsor-Detroit Bridge crossing.
Aecon had announed in October 2017 that it was to be acquired by
Chinese construction firm CCCI.
U.S. government officials said they would not have allowed Aecon to bid
on the Windsor-Detroit bridge project due to its links to China, the Globe
On May 23 the federal government announced that it was
CCCI's takeover of Aecon Group Inc. on "national security grounds."
Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters, "One
can easily look at the example from similar investments in Australia
where the Australians suddenly realized they had a significant portion
of their energy grid owned and controlled by a
government that is not their own." He added that, "There are always
going to be concerns about the ability of a country to continue to
protect and deliver essential services to its citizens in
a way that enhances and maintains their own sovereignty." He cited the
"work that our intelligence and security agencies do and they made a
very clear recommendation that proceeding
with this transaction was not in the national-security interests of
Thus it seems that the U.S., considering the Windsor
crossing solely its domain and its critical infrastructure, has acted
accordingly to remove Aecon from
bidding on the new bridge because its links to China compromised U.S.
national security. Yet the Trudeau government can claim that its
activities to serve U.S. "national security" interests are
in fact upholding Canadian sovereignty!
A decision on who will build the bridge and associated
on both sides of the border is expected to be made within the next two
months by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge
Authority. The authority is chaired by former Ontario Finance Minister
and former Windsor-Tecumseh Liberal MPP Dwight Duncan, who was
appointed to the post by the Trudeau
government after it came to power.
A final contract with
financial terms will then be negotiated and
is slated to be in place this fall with construction to be launched
Canadians and Ontarians should reject the country being
tied to the U.S. war machine. They should refuse to be drawn into the
contention of U.S. private monopolies with China and reject the attempt
to present this contention as a matter of "national security" and
upholding Canada's "national security and sovereignty." All of it is
to cover up the crucial issues of who decides and whose interests are
served. Certainly it is not the
working people of Ontario. Working through what is really going on with
the construction of the Windsor-Detroit bridge is another example of
how working people need to analyze the
issues being put before them, so as not to get embroiled in taking
in fights that others have set which do not serve workers' interests.
The key issue is for working people to sort out how
to empower themselves so that they can be the decision-makers in all
matters that affect them.
1. Aecon is also a partner in the the $2.7-billion
refurbishment of Ontario's Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, and
massive Site C hydroelectric dam in BC.
Huron-Robinson Treaty Annuity Case
Final Arguments Begin in Sudbury
Overflow room during hearing of Robinson Huron Treaty (RHT)
Final arguments for the Robinson Huron Treaty (RHT)
began June 4 in Sudbury. Twenty-one Anishinabek First Nations have
taken the federal and provincial
governments to court to uphold the "augmentation" clause contained in
the 1850 Treaty. The case, being heard before Justice Patricia
Hennessey of the Ontario Superior Court, has been in
court since September 2017. It opened in Thunder Bay, continued in
Garden River near Sault Ste. Marie where the treaties were signed, then
in Little Current and is concluding in Sudbury.
The case is being heard in conjunction with another case involving the
Robinson Superior Treaty. The annuity has not been increased from four
dollars per person per year since 1874.
The first day of the current round of hearings was well
More than forty Elders and concerned individuals packed the courtroom.
Two busloads of Grade 7 and 8 students from
Sagamok First Nation, who came to learn the history of their ancestors
and to participate in the making of history today, filled the Overflow
Room. The hearings are also being livestreamed
so that residents of First Nations from Georgian Bay to west of Lake
Superior could view the proceedings live. Anishinaabe Elders led a
ceremonial procession into the courtroom and
performed a Staff Ceremony to inaugurate the proceedings.
The case is the first time a court case is being heard
on both the
merits of Canadian Law and Anishinaabe Law. RHT Lawyer David
Nahwegahbow says, "The treaty has two parties to
it, the Crown has its own laws and unfortunately, the Crown has
predominated in that relationship and British and Canadian Common Law
has sort of taken over ... We want to make sure
that Anishinaabe Law is well recognized and that the court hears the
important historical context at the time and that the court understands
what Anishinaabe Law is."
"The Crown's version of common interest does not
Anishawbek with any real benefits under the treaty," said Joseph Arvay,
another Anishawbek lawyer. "In fact, the
Crown's version of the common interest undermines the very interest the
Anishnawbek had in drawing up a treaty in the first place ...
Conversely, there is nothing in the Anishnawbek's
version of the common interest that in any way undermines the Crown's
interest and obligations in having the treaty. Our version of common
interest advances the interests of both parties.
Our version of common interest is a win-win. The Crown's version of
common interest only addresses the interests of the Crown in the case
of heads, I win, tails you lose."
"The Anishnawbek saw treaties as a way of building
ensure their ability to grow and thrive in a sometimes changing world,"
Arvay said. "It was really the Crown that
needed treaties more than the Anishnawbek ... In our view, treaties are
sacred and permanent and they are made to last. They must maintain
their meaning ... We say the meaning of the
augmentation clause is fairly simple ... The augmentation clause
provided that the Crown would increase the annuity if the revenues
increased from the territory, if the Crown was able to do
so without incurring loss."
The Canadian and Ontario Governments have refused any
of the annuity paid under the Robinson treaties in spite of the ravages
of inflation and the increase in the wealth
that has been extracted from the Lake Huron and Lake Superior
watersheds. The new Ontario government elected June 7 will have an
opportunity to make amends for past injustices and to
negotiate a principled and honourable solution.
The remaining hearing dates are June 4-8, June 14-15
possibility for June 13) and June 18-22. A ruling will follow the final
arguments in the coming months. If a settlement is
not reached, the process will enter Phase Two in the spring of 2019.
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek Holds Traditional
Gathering on Road to North American Palladium Mine
Members of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek -- Gull Bay
(KZA-GBFN), located 100 kilometers north of Thunder Bay on the western
shores of Lake Nipigon, have been
holding a traditional gathering on the access road to North American
Palladium (NAP)'s Lac Des Iles Mine running through KZA-GBFN's
traditional territory. The traditional gathering,
located on the turnoff to the mine off Highway 527, began May 31.
KZA-GBFN chief Wilfred King said the community will continue to
exercise its inherent rights to its traditional
territory until NAP complies with a list of demands. KZA-GBFN say that
their community has failed to benefit from the palladium mine and that
the company has not shown respect for
their concerns. "This mine operates right in the core of our
territory," KZA-GBFN Chief Wilfred King said. "We're here to show the
mine and also all parties, that this operation impacts
Gull Bay. We're here to assert and claim our rights to the territory."
KZA-GBFN is one of the
First Nations that has taken the Canadian
and Ontario Governments to court to obtain an augmentation in the $4
per person annuity that is paid to the
descendants of the signatories of the Robinson Treaties. KZA-GBFN has
also filed another suit alleging that the KZA-GBFN reserve was
improperly surveyed. KZA-GBFN filed a claim
against Canada and Ontario in Superior Court in 2016. KZA-GBFN wants
redress for a mistake made in calculating the size of the reserve when
the First Nation signed the
Robinson-Superior Treaty in 1850. KZA-GBFN says that their reserve was
surveyed in miles, where they understood the unit of measurement to be
the league of the French colonialists,
which is equal to three miles. KZA-GBFN is only four square miles in
area but should have been four square leagues (nine times as large).
The Crown has settled similar grievances with
the Fort William First Nation and Michipicoten First Nation, the two
other signatories to the Superior-Robinson Treaty, but has refused to
settle with KZA-GBFN. The case is expected to
go to trial in 2019.
Invitation to gathering at Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek -- Gull Bay
KZA-GBFN has a number of complaints against the way NAP
operating the mine. Tailings from the mine were discharged in June 2015
after a tailings pond sinkhole caved in,
raising environmental concerns from KZA-GBFN. There was recently a
controlled release but the community wasn't notified until hours later.
The Lac Des Iles Mine is the only mine in the world that
palladium as its sole product. All other palladium production is a
by-product of other mining activities. It has been
in operation for 25 years. NAP is owned by Brookfield Properties,
investment arm of the Bronfman family, one of the richest families in
Canada. NAP extracted 55,982 ounces of
palladium worth $56 million, during the first quarter of 2018 alone
from the Lac Des Iles Mine. KZA-GBFN has not received any benefit from
this mine and the mine management has not
shown respect for the traditional territories and practices of KZA-GBFN.
"I think it's unfortunate we have to take measures to
We've always tried to negotiate in good faith and tried to work with
the mine in good faith. We feel they've just
completely rejected our concerns at times ... We want a deal that's
going to be enforceable. We want a deal that's based on respect," King
said. "A deal that really recognizes Gull Bay has
to benefit from any future development at this mine. This mine has made
record profits recently and they have to come to the table to negotiate
in good faith. We want a meaningful
Another Example of Incoherence in
Northern Ontario Transportation
Sheahan station was one of those removed in the spring of 2018. Photo
is from 2010.
Keith Creel, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific (CP),
out a full
page ad in the Globe and Mail
on June 1, touting CP Rail as a critical
component of Canada's vitality and a
source of national pride following a tentative agreement with the
Teamsters, that ended a brief work stoppage.
This was one month after CP senselessly destroyed a
number of the
smaller, but vital, stations along its rail line north-west from
Sudbury to White River. In response, Mandy
Thomson, finding this ad particularly galling and insensitive, wrote to
the Globe and Mail :
Re: Your proclamation:
"Delivering for Canada" p. A 19, Globe and Mail, Fri. June 1, 2018
From: Mandy Thomson and the
rest of the passengers on the CP Rail route from Sudbury to White River
(operated by VIA)
CP Rail -- no longer iconic,
nor a source of national pride
Can you please explain sir,
what happened to all the CP
stations/shelters that were so unceremoniously eliminated this spring
along the rail route from Sudbury to White River?
Rumour has it that they were removed "to clean up" in preparation for
your tour of the route. The campers, canoers, "lifers" and residents
who depend on these humble shelters along this
rail line will be thinking of your definition of iconic and national
pride as we shiver, bake, get bitten and rained on this summer.
cc. The top five owners of
CP Rail: Royal Bank of Canada; FMR LLC;
Causeway Capital Management LLC; WCM Investment Management/CA, TD Asset
The destruction of a number of small rail stations and
along the CP Rail line from Sudbury to White River is another example
of the incoherence of transportation in Northern
Ontario where decisions are made by the monopolies without regard to
the interests of the people. CP Rail did not even
inform or consult the users of the
Sudbury-White River Budd Car about decisions that are vital to their
interests. It is as if CP Rail is doing all it can to eliminate the
passenger rail that still exists in Northern Ontario by
making it as inconvenient as possible for the users.
The people of Northern Ontario are taking part in the
provided by this election to air their concerns and to demand that they
be addressed by the next government. The
guarantee that their concerns are addressed is if the people themselves
continue to advance them after the election and not
allow the incoming government to ignore them.
Andy Thompson has produced a very informative web page
All The Stations Gone? Eulogy for our Station (1929-2018)." His
station, Sheahan, 100 kms north-west of
Sudbury, was destroyed this spring by a decision of the CP Rail
monopoly without consultation with the people of the area or the users
of the rail service. Thompson illustrates the history
and the importance of these small rail stations to the people. "Where
Have All The Stations Gone?" can be accessed here.
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