September 29, 2018 - No. 33

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Quebec Election Comes to a Close

Diversion as a Tactic in BC Referendum
on Proportional Representation

- Peter Ewart -
Sham New Rules for Federal Environmental Impact Assessments
No More Missing! No More Murdered!
Sisters in Spirit Vigils October 4

Canada's Bid for a Seat on the Security Council
of the United Nations

- George Allen -

The People Don't Need a First Let Alone a
Second Conservative Party

- Anna Di Carlo, National Leader,
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada -

Militant Resistance to Anti-Social Offensive
Ontario Students Do Not Consent to Ford's
Anti-Social Agenda -- 40,000 Walk Out of Classes

Women in Ontario Take Back the Night

Historic Inter-Korean Summit Held in Pyongyang
Summit Advances Cause of Korean Reunification and Peace
- Philip Fernandez -
Report of Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang
Text of September Pyongyang Joint Declaration
Important Conference to Be Held in New York City
Delegation from Korean Federation in Canada Inspired
by DPRK's 70th Anniversary Celebrations

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Quebec Election Comes to a Close

TML Weekly asked Pierre Chénier, leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), his thoughts on the Quebec election in the final days of the campaign. That interview is published below.


TML Weekly: Thank you Pierre for this opportunity to discuss your views on the Quebec election which will end in a few days, on Monday, October 1. What do you think about the election and what are the prospects?

Pierre Chénier: The election has been a boorish public display of infighting among the main traditional parties which form the cartel party system. They are desperate to either form the next government -- but have no vision to present -- or to not get wiped out because people are so fed up with their lack of a program for Quebec, their lack of vision.

The election has revealed in a very stark way that the citizens play no role in elections except to vote. This exercise is said to be the guarantee of a democratic system. However, to be reduced to the status of voters in a system in which all the other decisions are made by a ruling class which does not represent the citizens' interests is not perceived to be democratic at all. Who chooses the candidates? What are the issues? What are the desirable results? Everything is decided by political parties which represent the narrow private interests of a minority, pushed also by the monopoly-owned media.

Despite this, it is said that those who represent these minority interests will form a majority government and a small party like ours is called fringe. It is a bad joke imposed on the people by virtue of who controls the political power, who makes the laws, and who implements these laws. The working people are on the receiving end of everything.

Only the working people are fit to elaborate solutions to the problems faced by the people and the society itself. How to guarantee health care and education and deliver them, or carry out production in agriculture and industry is not rocket science. But the working people are literally not permitted to decide these matters. It is the monopolies and supranational interests and the financial institutions and so-called investors who decide, and governments are at their disposal. It is not a new problem but the dangers being posed to our societies and our world are graver than ever. This problem requires a solution.

This is why the renewal of the political process is the main issue taken up by the PMLQ. The process needs to be democratized by eliminating the role of privilege and the inequality between those who rule and those who are ruled. Sovereignty must be vested in the citizenry, not an elite which represents minority private interests.

People express serious concerns that all their efforts to empower themselves come to naught precisely because everything is done to make sure they do not participate directly in the political life. When they do, measures are in place to criminalize them and their participation. The electoral law is also for that purpose. It divides the polity between those who rule and those who are ruled. In other words, the citizen is not an equal member with all others in a political body, with equal rights. It is not this body politic which is vested with decision-making power, but those who have usurped power and say they act in the name of the people.

TMLW: There are 22 registered parties in the Quebec election and 940 candidates running for seats in 125 constituencies. You said your party is considered fringe. Can you elaborate what you mean?

PC: Not surprisingly, we do not consider ourselves fringe. In fact we provide the working people, who represent the majority, with an opportunity to speak in their own name. They use their own voice to explain the real conditions of life and work they experience, and their concerns. They can be heard through our online paper during this electoral process, which criminalizes ordinary citizens and their organizations -- whether the defence organizations of the workers or social justice organizations -- if they spend money to be heard in an election. To spend money they have to register as "third parties." It's offensive to have citizens reduced to "third parties" in an election!

Furthermore, this business of calling small parties "fringe" shows the disdain of the ruling elite and the monopoly-owned media for democracy. Privilege, power and contempt for the people oozes from their every pore.

Who chose them to decide who is worthy of being elected and who is not? Nobody. Using the power conferred on them by a system which defends the private interests who rule the roost, they created a party system of government and electoral laws which dictate that only the parties which serve the rich can form governments.

But now that supranational interests are dictating the direction of the economy, and social and cultural policy on an anti-social and anti-national basis, they have lost control of even their own legislatures. They are hard pressed to claim their governments have the consent of the governed when everything is dictated by the biggest oligopolies in the world.

TMLW: Tell us about the participation of the PMLQ in this election.

PC: In this election, the PMLQ would like to see a minority government. We think this is an outcome which better favours the people within a situation in which no party government will stop paying the rich and increase investments in social programs. It would hit at the fraud which claims that elections give whomever forms a majority government a mandate to implement an anti-social, anti-national agenda with the consent of the governed. These governments do not have the consent of the governed. It is a fraud. But also, in this day and age, the anti-national reference is to the stranglehold over Quebec by supranational private interests as well as its integration into U.S. Homeland Security and wars of occupation and aggression. We cannot solve problems of the economy or of a social, cultural and political nature so long as these narrow, private minority interests are running the show.

Of course, I am speaking to you on the eve of the election which has been declared either too close to call at this point, or difficult to predict, because the first-past-the-post method of counting votes means there is no correlation between who gets the majority of votes and who gets the majority of seats. These predictions also do not take into account whether the conditions are there for the working class to express its own wisdom and have an impact on the results by voting in a manner which rejects all these parties and their neo-liberal agenda.

Certainly, the ruling class wants a majority government so that it can continue to destroy any arrangements which defend the public interest and accelerate the privatization of social programs, the destruction of unions, and the marginalization of any organizations which fight for social justice or the health of the environment. They claim that these views and actions are harmful to the economy or are extremist or they use other pretexts to keep the workers away from taking up politics themselves. The ruling class has a great deal at stake and has all the means and money at its disposal to manipulate the results to get what it wants.

But, as we said, the working people represent the majority interests. They too have their wisdom, no matter how badly the cards are stacked against them.

The PMLQ has 25 candidates in this election on the basis of its platform to humanize the natural and social environment. By going all out for democratic renewal, the workers will build a modern Quebec that defends the rights of all. This is how rights are defended, by taking concerted action as one polity which has an aim to defend the rights of all. It is not by splitting our ranks among self-serving parties or on the basis of "identity politics" which cause confusion, acrimony and divisions. We work against permitting these alien forces to declare the issues and agenda for discussion.

Our daily newspaper, Chantier politique, poses the issue of working together so that the sovereign decision-making power over all the affairs of society is vested in the people and not in the supranational private interests and their nation-wrecking. Of course it is a small initiative but the quality is there and when there is quality, quantity can follow.

Chantier politique does this in a practical way, by making sure the voice and concerns of the working people are heard, which is the very first step in addressing the need for political mechanisms that empower the people to play a role that favours them. You can read it at Most of the articles are also published in English. And our program is available in several languages on our website as well.

When the workers speak for themselves, in their own name, it ends the status imposed by the electoral law that they are mere spectators to a horse race between those parties the ruling class has decided it can live with forming a government.

TMLW: It is a fact that Quebec is always made the first target of attack by the ruling class of the Canadian state. Is this a factor in this election?

PC: Yes of course. In Quebec we represent a social and national cohesion that the Canadian ruling class and its Quebec counterparts want to smash at any cost. Everything is done in this election to raise Quebeckers' fear of "the other" -- a fictitious danger, against immigration, as if eliminating immigrants will restore the rights of the people! These attempts have never succeeded, not because the separatism card is no longer on the table but because the workers are fighting for what belongs to them and to the society by right. We will see what they are able to achieve in this election.

TMLW: Thank you. We wish you well.

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Diversion as a Tactic in BC Referendum on Proportional Representation

Banner hung from overpass in Victoria, BC.

The term "red herring" got its name from the practice of throwing hunting dogs off the scent of a fox by distracting them with smoked herrings. It is used today to describe a notorious logical fallacy used by unethical debaters to divert from the topic at hand.

In the upcoming referendum in British Columbia on Proportional Representation (PR), there is plenty of evidence of "red herrings" being tossed around by the No side, which is arguing for keeping the existing first-past-the-post voting system.

One example is the No side claims that PR will facilitate neo-Nazis, racists and other "extremists" gaining influence and seats, and even coming to power. To prove their point, they cherry-pick history, mystify the sources of racism and fascism, and ignore historical facts.

Another example is their claim that PR will result in "closed lists" whereby " provincial party bosses" will appoint MLAs from the Lower Mainland to take over seats in the Interior or North. In addition, anonymous ads are being circulated online claiming that PR will mean "farewell to your local MLAs." No one in the Vote PR camp, either inside or outside the Legislature, is advocating "closed lists." Under PR, voters will vote directly for local and regional candidates. Yet, despite this fact, the No side keeps repeating the falsehood in interviews that voters will "lose" their local MLA.

The No side, without any credible evidence, is also claiming that PR "will completely derail the provincial economy." In so doing, they neglect to explain why the economies of Germany, Scandinavia and other European countries which use PR, have not been "derailed" by it. Nor do they explain why no country that has switched from first-past-the-post to PR has ever decided to go back to first-past-the-post.

According to the No side, PR systems are "too complicated" for British Columbians to understand. Yet, in their occupations, British Columbians operate a modern, technologically sophisticated economy every day of the year. They also have no trouble filling out their tax forms. It shows that implicit within this claim is that somehow the people of the province are inferior in intelligence to people in other countries who routinely use PR in their elections.

In a similar vein, complaints are being made about the consultation process that led up to the formulation of the referendum question, as well as about the nature of the question itself. Some on the No side are even demanding the referendum be called off and a new process be launched, similar to the 2004 Citizens' Assembly. With the voting period less than a month away, they know that a cancellation will not happen. They also know that a provincial government is not even legislatively bound to hold a referendum to change the voting system, but are pushing the cancellation argument anyway in order to create confusion and an atmosphere of hysteria.

The purpose of these diversions is to stop people from organizing themselves in a manner which serves their interests. It is to stop them having serious discussion and developing an informed analysis about the issue before them in this referendum -- which is whether or not to adopt PR as a voting system. It is also aimed at stopping any further discussion about the need to renew the entire electoral process.

Close to 200 people attended a discussion on electoral reform in Kelowna, July 5, 2018.

The corporate and political elite are wary of the people of British Columbia and Canada getting involved in changing or challenging the status quo of the existing electoral process, even in small ways. And that is why their modus operandi is diversion with the aim of depriving the people of their own outlook and reasoning.

On the other hand, British Columbians are empowering themselves across the province by keeping their eye on the ball and coming forward to educate themselves and participate in serious discussion about the PR issue. That is the way forward in this referendum and beyond.

Pride Day in Nelson, BC.

(Photos: Fair Vote Kelowna, Fair Vote Vancouver)

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Sham New Rules for Federal Environmental
Impact Assessments

Proposed revisions to rules around federal environmental impact assessments and the revamp of the National Energy Board (NEB) contained in Bill C-69 are now before the Senate. The bill is by all accounts a sham to make it appear that projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline will be subject to adequate and trustworthy environmental impact assessments because it allows greater provincial coordination and consolidates all reviews under uniform processes of a single agency called the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

However, those representing investors, the mining industry and those who build pipelines are not satisfied with Bill C-69. The issues they raise reveal that the bill gives the Minister of the Environment the power to make arbitrary decisions which are above the rule of law and it continues to by-pass the government's constitutional duty to consult.

An article written by Grant Bishop, Associate Director, Research at the C.D. Howe Institute argues that the federal government "needs to address significant concerns with Bill C-69 to assuage industry and investor uncertainty." The Mining Association of Canada has noted that "the legislation laudably aims to improve impact assessment in a number of ways and instil greater public confidence in approvals. Indeed, Bill C-69 may improve impact assessments by allowing greater provincial coordination and by consolidating all reviews under uniform processes of a single agency."

However, Bishop writes, "the legislation creates additional confusion about the standard for project approvals and many are concerned about predictability. There are significant risks with its 'one size fits all' assessment framework across mines and linear pipelines. Certain in industry fear the National Energy Board's expertise and well-developed practices could be compromised in the shuffle."

"A major anxiety is that Bill C-69 is silent on standing and removes the long-established 'interested party' test to control participation in hearings. The new agency will have to develop some standard for who participates, and many from industry fear 'death by inundation' from political opponents without a direct relationship to a project."

Bishop then refers to a submission from the Canadian Bar Association which details "further problems:"

He writes:

"'Economic impact' of a project is not expressly included as a factor to be weighed in determining the public interest. While the bill prescribes timelines, the legislation does not constrain cabinet's discretion for indefinite extensions. The bill prescribes a set of 20 mandatory factors for the impact assessment while the minister or cabinet is only to consider a subset of five factors for determining whether a project is in the public interest. It's ambiguous how factors should be weighed and whether aspects of the impact assessment can simply be ignored when determining the public interest. The bill mandates consideration of how a project will impact Canada's climate change obligations; however, it does not specify whether this intends to include upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions, nor indicate how carbon pricing should be considered. [TML emphasis.]

"Moreover, legal confusion remains about the scope of a 'designated project.' This is highlighted in the NEB's error in TransMountain on whether the project included the potential effects of marine traffic.

"Additionally, the big holdup on projects has been the federal government's own difficulties fulfilling the duty to consult, and Bill C-69 will not solve the missteps witnessed on TransMountain. Importantly, the duty to consult belongs to the Crown, not project proponents. And this is a constitutional duty that legislation cannot alter.

"Notably, of roughly 25 decisions of Federal Courts concerning the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, 14 involved challenges on the federal government's duty to consult. Those only concerning environmental assessments or procedural challenges were almost all dismissed. The quashing of the approval for Northern Gateway resulted from the Harper government's failure to adequately consult indigenous groups. Similarly, in the recent TransMountain decision found the Trudeau government failed to fulfill its consultative duty."

This bill is in fact a farce and a sham. The government has no intention of carrying out its constitutional duty to consult or establish precise guidelines which are in the public interest because the aim is to serve the interests of private investors, and the mining, oil, construction and high tech industries involved in these projects. It is the struggle of the working people and the Indigenous peoples united as one which not only exposes this pretence on the part of the Trudeau government, but also does not let the government get away with it.

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No More Missing! No More Murdered!
Sisters in Spirit Vigils October 4

This is the 13th year that Sisters in Spirit vigils are being held across Canada and Quebec, remembering and honouring Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing and demanding an end to the continuing violence. Despite all the fine words from the Trudeau government on a new relationship with the Indigenous peoples, the murders and disappearances continue unabated.

In their announcement for this year's vigil on Parliament Hill, the Families of Sisters in Spirit state "We are angry that after 12 years of October 4th vigils, and millions of dollars spent by this government, nothing has changed. Poverty, dispossession, child apprehension, violence, death, mass incarceration and criminalization are still everyday realities."

They say further, "For the past two years, federal leadership, including the Prime Minister of Canada, have showed up to our annual event and taken up space. Space that isn't theirs to take, where they have made shallow gestures of support and made more empty promises than we can count. Not this year.

"This year we will read the names of all the women, girls, and Two-Spirit people who have been killed and/or disappeared since the Trudeau government came into power and since the National Inquiry began. These numbers are staggering and the violence done to Indigenous women's, girls' and Two-Spirit peoples' bodies has been ongoing and unyielding." Further, they state: "If any members of Parliament or other privileged leadership are interested, they should show up as a spectator/witness/listener and stand in the crowd. They will not be given space to speak this year."

The Trudeau government came to power with an electoral platform of promises to take immediate action to enact all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and to "have a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership." After almost three years in government, the people are facing business as usual on all of these fronts and in some cases even more nefarious attacks on their rights under the guise of a "renewed relationship" with the federal government. Decisions concerning resource developments on Indigenous lands continue to be taken by the federal Cabinet without the people's consent or say. The Trudeau Liberals present Indigenous peoples with a "renewed" relationship of subordination on a "take it or leave it" basis.

TML Weekly salutes all the families of the Sisters in Spirit who will not be silenced and do not accept business as usual and calls on Canadians to stand with them in demanding concrete measures be taken to end the violence against Indigenous women and girls and to support the Indigenous peoples' demands for recognition of their rights and sovereignty.

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Canada's Bid for a Seat on the Security Council
of the United Nations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in New York during the third week of September to address the United Nations General Assembly and also lobby other nations to get their support for Canada's bid for a non-permanent Security Council seat for a two-year term from 2021-23. The members of the General Assembly will vote on the candidates in the fall of 2020 during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Canada is competing with Norway and Ireland for two of the ten non-permanent seats on the Security Council. To be a non-permanent member, Canada must be chosen by members of its regional group and confirmed by the other 192 members of the General Assembly.

One problem facing Canada is that the U.S. already has a veto on the Security Council and, as part of NATO and NORAD and now also U.S. Homeland Security, Canada has become an integral part of the U.S. war machine. It will not be an independent voice on the Council because the so-called national interest the government upholds is that of the U.S. This often clashes with the interests of the  European powers for whom European Security includes opposition to U.S. control of Europe. Canada belongs to the regional bloc which includes Europe and is lobbying for the support of the European countries. Its rivals for the seat are Norway, which also  belongs to NATO, and  Ireland, which has not officially applied to join as a full member of NATO due to its longstanding policy of military neutrality.

The last time Canada campaigned for a seat on the Security Council was in 2010. The Harper government withdrew following the second voting round after being pummelled 113 to 78 by eventual winner Portugal. Pundits are currently predicting that, unless things change drastically, Ireland will also beat Canada when voting time comes.

The Trudeau government likes to think it is seen as a peacemaker but in fact it is emulating former Prime Minister Harper by increasingly embroiling Canada in Iraq, in a war that Canada ostensibly is not part of. This includes training Iraqi troops in the north, working with Kurdish militia, and running a NATO mission in Baghdad. All in all, Canada continues to wholeheartedly support the U.S. military agenda in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, which, once again, is making the world a less, not more, secure place. Its conception of security is definitely not one shared by the majority of Canadians or the peoples of the world at a time the Security Council is subject to the bullying of the U.S.

Alongside the U.S., Canada is spearheading groups, such as the "Vancouver Group" against Korea and the Lima Group against Venezuela, which connive to achieve regime change and oppose what the Charter of the United Nations stands for. These activities include support for terrorism in countries such as Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, amongst other places. They block negotiated settlements to wars of aggression and civil wars and interfere in the sovereign affairs of member states of the UN. They support sanctions, which are themselves an act of war, against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Furthermore, they are not seen to be pro-active in ensuring the blockade is lifted against Cuba, whose people are suffering greatly because of it. They protect Israel from prosecution for war crimes, and so on.

Canada also has a poor record in the other major area of the UN's concern, which is to eradicate poverty, disease, illiteracy and dangers posed by drought and climate change and wars in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Canada's development aid is currently 0.28 per cent of the Gross National Income (GNI), a mere 40 per cent of the long-existing goal of 0.7 per cent. For the last six years that he was in power, Canada's previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper actually froze foreign aid and now the Trudeau government presents excuses to avert meeting UN goals.

Typically, Canada's foreign aid has strings attached. At this time these include not only using foreign aid to hand money over to those monopolies of various kinds whose goods and services are contracted, but also to finance the companies engaged in military ventures. Most of the aid Canada has given to Afghanistan has been targeted to military objectives rather than human development. It is another filthy way to pay the rich in the war industry.

Canada has also reduced aid to many of the world's neediest countries and increased aid to countries such as Colombia where they are vying to gain economic and political advantages.

The activities Canada is engaged in on the world stage illustrate what is wrong with the UN Security Council, which does not have to be guided by the majority decisions taken by the General Assembly. The wishes of the majority count for nothing in the geo-political calculations of the big powers. The Security Council is anachronistic, beginning with the fact that five of its 15 members can veto any of its decisions even if they have received the required nine affirmative Security Council votes. The five members with permanent status and veto power had this conferred after World War II to deal with a situation which no longer exists.

The UN was founded in San Francisco on October 24, 1945 with the aim of preventing another such conflict as World War II. At its founding it had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN requires major reforms so that its mandate can be upheld. Instead, the Security Council is subject to the bullying and blackmail of the big powers and it does not uphold the rights of the countries and peoples of the world.

Whenever the U.S. does not get its way, it simply forms coalitions said to be of the willing to commit aggression and wreak destruction of anything which refuses to come under its control. Adding Canada to the Security Council is merely for purposes of giving more legitimacy to the U.S. imperialist striving for world domination, not for guaranteeing peace.

Canadians need to step up demands for the reform of the United Nations so that it upholds its Charter. This is the crux of the matter. The Trudeau government's bid for a seat on the Security Council based on the phony claim that Canada is a peacemaker seeks to divert from this need.

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The People Don't Need a First Let Alone a
Second Conservative Party

The unfolding saga surrounding MP Maxime Bernier's defection from the Conservative Party and his recent announcement that he would form a new "real conservative" party called "The People's Party of Canada," raises obvious questions. Why would Canada require a second conservative party and what is people's about this "People's Party"?

The media and pundits of the ruling class including, significantly, the Washington Post, have been busy building a case to suggest Bernier's new party is just what is needed. To divert attention from precisely what need it is filling and whose need that is, efforts are made to present it as an entity which is somehow popular and therefore viable.

On August 23, as the Conservative Party Convention was about to begin, Bernier announced his resignation.[1] He told reporters assembled at a press conference: "I am now convinced that what we will get if Andrew Scheer becomes prime minister is just a more moderate version of the disastrous Trudeau government." He said he wanted to "do politics differently," and find "another way to give a voice to millions of Canadians," and said "I will best serve Canadians if we start a new party." Scheer responded that Bernier had chosen to "help Justin Trudeau" in the 2019 election, rather than the Conservatives.

A week after his defection, the National Post on August 31 gave Bernier space for an op-ed. He countered his accusers, stating that he was neither a "sore loser" nor interested in "splitting the conservative vote -- guaranteeing Justin Trudeau's re-election." He wrote that his "real motives" could be understood by reading up on "public choice theory," as developed by 1986 Nobel economics prize winner James Buchanan. Bernier wrote that public choice theory "explains how interest groups hijack political debates and capture politicians, winning huge benefits in the form of subsidies, trade protection, fiscal or legal privileges and other favourable regulations. They are willing to devote enormous lobbying effort and large amounts of money to get them."[2]

Bernier said that as Industry Minister in the Harper Conservative regime, he found the Conservative Party was totally reconciled to corporate subsidies, and that he had disassociated himself from such subsidies. He said that whenever Harper made a "big corporate welfare announcement," he would ask one of his colleagues to make the official proclamation. He wrote: "Some may remember that, in 2010, I publicly broke ranks with my colleagues from the Quebec City area who were pushing our government to subsidize a new sports amphitheatre in the city. They had seized on this popular project to ... What else? Buy votes. They were furious at me. I could mention the Bombardier bailout and many other similar cases."

Bernier concluded that for the past 12 years, his main concern has been "How to reconcile my desire to serve the public with a political dynamic entirely dominated by pandering and vote-buying strategies. Conservatives play that game as much as the Liberals, even though it directly contradicts the small-government, free-market principles the party purports to defend."

Bernier added that his hopes to create a new party were given confidence by social media technology. "[W]ith the Internet, it is now much easier and less costly to find relevant information and mobilize around an issue. A small group of motivated citizens can potentially have as much influence as a lobby group spending millions of dollars. I know many Canadians are fed up with the traditional way of doing politics. We'll see if enough of them are ready to follow me."

A more accurate source of the "confidence" to create a new party may well have been the August 15 Washington Post "Global Opinions" item by J.J. McCullough on the issue.[3] This is the same U.S. newspaper that rails against foreign interference in American elections. It carried a headline warning that "Cautious Conservatism in Canada Won't Outshine Trudeau."

"Andrew Scheer, the head of Canada's Conservative Party, is a nice man, a bright man, and by any objective standard, a man capable of running the country," the American newspaper stated. Scheer has 14 months to prove his case, the newspaper said and added: "Polls reveal around 30 per cent of Canadians have no real opinion of Scheer -- and it's not a stretch to believe much of the other 70 per cent is lying." It reported an Ipsos poll which found that on a host of metrics, from the environment to "the affordability of your day to day life," large majorities feel (Prime Minister) Trudeau has either effected no improvement or made things worse." "It will not reflect well on Canadians if they vote to re-elect a man they claim to find so deeply unsatisfactory. And it will reflect no better on a Conservative Party that could not close the deal," McCullough wrote for the Washington Post.

Noting that Scheer has tried to present himself as a moderate as compared to Harper, the U.S. newspaper article argued that "Conservatives have much to risk in presenting themselves as anything edgier than a reasonable alternative waiting in the wings." The Washington Post article then posited that "An alternative approach for Conservatives would be positioning a candidate like Donald Trump or Doug Ford" and suggested that Bernier might just be the man for the job, "the dissident member of parliament waging a social-media blitz to portray himself as the anti-Scheer by taking aim at progressive bromides like 'diversity is our strength' or 'check your privilege.'"

In this way, under the guise of discussing personalities the demand of the financial oligarchy is to form the next government by having a Trump or a Ford who are seen to be "anti-establishment" champions capable of disinforming public opinion so as to squelch resistance to the nation-wrecking anti-social measures they take. In the name of "the people's choice," the aim is to continue destroying barriers and conventions which impede the control of the oligopolies over the economy and all material and human resources while claiming the consent of the governed. This bogus "public choice theory" claims that individual preferences can be aggregated on the basis of mathematical algorithms to extrapolate the collective opinion of "the people." It glosses over the crucial fact that political power is a matter of where decision-making is vested, whether in the owners of private property or in the polity comprised of citizens with rights conferred on an equal basis.

In this vein, presenting the formation of the party as a people's choice is important. On September 4, almost two weeks before Bernier officially announced the formation of his new party, the Globe and Mail commissioned a poll to see how many people would support a new Conservative Party. "Seventeen per cent of Canadians say they are open to voting for a new conservative party led by Maxime Bernier, according to a Nanos Research survey conducted for the Globe and Mail," the newspaper reported.

On September 14, Bernier officially announced that his new party will be called "The People's Party of Canada." Commentator Andrew Coyne immediately wrote an opinion piece on the matter of the new party.

"In principle, there is room for a new party in Canadian politics; arguably, there is a need for one," Coyne said. A party "that proposed to end the money-go-round -- to wean the country's business class, in particular, off the public teat, to shut down the 'regional development' spigots and bust up the cartels that, behind our protectionist walls, are permitted to genteelly pick our pockets -- would therefore be a signal addition to our politics," Coyne said.

Adding to the case of the kind of anti-people regime the international financial oligarchy is putting in place around the world, Coyne explained: "A more robustly conservative party, in particular, less burdened by the Conservatives' crippling self-doubt, would be a welcome addition, even if I don't like all of its ideas: millions of Canadians do, and it is wrong that they should go unrepresented."

Referring to Bernier's failed bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Coyne said, "Bernier very nearly won that campaign: there's obviously a market for what he's selling, at least within the conservative movement. Presumably his leadership team will make up the nucleus of the new party's organization. In time it can begin to tap donors, attract members, recruit candidates. Who knows?"

Memorial University political science professor Alex Marland added to the disinformation by corroborating the view that a political party does not need to be political; all it needs is to make good use of technology. "The ability to connect with people is incredibly easier than it was," he told the Hill Times. Twenty years ago the Green Party faced "a serious impediment" in the high cost of long-distance telephone calls, he said.

In interviews, Bernier himself compared his situation to that faced by Preston Manning who took many years to get his party off the ground. Bernier did not mention either that the critical propeller provided to Manning was by the oil industry's backing of the Reform Party or who is backing him. Instead he said, "those [social] network(s) did not exist. And we're using these networks to try and draw attention."

According to the Hill Times' interviews with a handful of Bernier supporters, his party, "could go further than nascent political parties of the past, with social media as a means of stoking the grassroots fires." Far from making sure that decision-making power is in the hands of the members of the polity -- "the people" -- the Hill Times reported that Bernier is following through on his "power-to-the-people promise" by putting the reins into the hands of regional Facebook groups, thus giving prospect to Canada's first virtual political party. The Hill Times reported that support was evident in Ontario (1,511 Facebook members), Alberta (1,052) and British Columbia (639). It reported "people are finding each other through social media, leading to meet-ups, like the one held in Saskatoon on September 16 at a local hotel." It also reported on research conducted by Abacus Data, according to which Bernier could draw support from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Meanwhile, in case there is any confusion about what kind of "people's party" this is, Bernier responded to a comment that the name is "a bit too left wing" by Libertarian Party of Canada leader and potential ally Tim Moen. "Everyone who knows me, they know that I am not a socialist. I am not a communist," Bernier said in a September 19 interview with Global News. "It's a name, the People's Party. I am working for the people and we want to put the power back in people."

Of significance is that, because his party is as yet unregistered with Elections Canada, Bernier is not obliged to follow the Canada Elections Act which limits individual contributions to the annual maximum of $1,575 a year and outlaws corporate, union and foreign funding. Bernier said he would not avail himself of this fundraising and financing freedom, but already the media are providing him with millions of dollars worth of free advertising and promotion. The polling companies have also been busy promoting this party.

All of it shows that even though the federal election is still one year away, the representatives of the financial oligarchs in the U.S. and Canada are preparing for the succession to make sure nothing interferes with their schemes to ensure an outcome in their favour. It is certain that fraudulent means to exercise control over the body politic such as peddling Bernier's virtual political party and its vacuous promise to "put the power back in people" will fall as flat as the glib confidence of the Trudeau Liberals that they could get the consent of the people on the basis of their "sunny ways."

As the striving of the people for empowerment finds new ways to express itself so as to turn things around in the people's favour, so too the ruling class shows its desperation by pursuing its nefarious agenda in the name of the people. Far from renovating the democratic process to vest decision-making in the people, spurious arguments are given to say that individual likes and dislikes expressed on social media can be aggregated to give the measure of the opinion of a polity and that this is the new way to fashion a political process and govern.

"Public Choice" theories have become marketing strategies based on attempts which go back to the time of the First World War and earlier to deny the elitist character of the representative democracy. This system of representative democracy has been seen as elitist for a long time and this underscores the bankruptcy of the rulers who cannot come up with anything new to prolong their rule. This party and the theories it is based on are out of tune with the people's demand for forms of democracy which put them at the centre of solving problems. The theories avert facing the need for renewal of the democracy. They will not convince anyone today, at a time the people are many times more educated and experienced in fighting for the rights which belong to them by virtue of being human.

Canada does not need a second Conservative Party. It does not even need the first, which also has no role to play in nation-building at this time and, for the people, nation-wrecking is not an option.


1. Bernier's party endeavour officially got underway ten days before the start of the Conservatives' August 23-25 Policy Convention when Bernier tweet-attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stating: "Trudeau's extreme multiculturalism and cult of diversity will divide us into little tribes that have less and less in common, apart from their dependence on government in Ottawa. These tribes become political clienteles to be bought with taxpayers [money] and special privileges." Another tweet stated: "Having people live among us who reject basic Western values such as freedom, equality, tolerance and openness doesn't make us strong. People who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto don't make our society strong."

The Scheer Conservatives distanced themselves from Bernier's tweets. Conservative MP Tony Clement, who supported Bernier's leadership bid, which he lost to Scheer 49.05 per cent to 50.95 per cent on the 12th round of voting, told reporters that "the Max Bernier that I supported during the leadership race wouldn't have taken the position he's taking now." When pressed, Scheer issued a statement declaring, "Maxime Bernier holds no official role in caucus and does not speak for the Conservative Party of Canada on any issue." Bernier was removed from his position as Industry Critic and removed from the House of Commons Committee after he published a chapter from a book he is writing in which he accused Scheer of using "fake Conservatives" to beat him in the Conservative leadership race.

2. Public Choice theory owes a lot to a 1948 article, "On the Rationale of Group Decision-Making," by Duncan Black, who used mathematics to argue that on a "left-right" spectrum of choices, people will tend towards the centre and vote-seeking politicians will devise policies that reflect the wishes of the "median voter." From there, public choice theory developed under several "schools," with James M. Buchanan part of the "Virginia School." Their common feature is obscurantism to divert attention from the source of political power. They try to apply micro-economics to the study of political behavior, within which voters, politicians, political parties, bureaucrats, and organizations are viewed as self-interested agents, aiming for "utility maximization."

Buchanan is said to have had an important impact on the Reagan administration. In 1986, he received the Nobel Prize "for his development of the contractual and constitutional bases for the theory of economic and political decision-making." His writings echo Margaret Thatcher's proclamation that "there is no such thing as society, only individuals and families." In The Soul of Classical Liberalism, Buchanan wrote: "There is, and can be, no social or collective purpose to be expected from the process of interaction; only private purposes are realized, even under the idealized structure and even if collectivized institutions may be instruments towards such achievements." In The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy, Buchanan and co-author Gordon Tullock reject "idealist democracy" and its "grail-like search for some 'public interest' apart from, and independent of, the separate interests of the individual participants in social choice." They add: "... [W]e shall also reject any theory or conception of the collectivity which embodies the exploitation of a ruled by a ruling class. This includes the Marxist vision, which incorporates the polity as one means through which the economically dominant group imposes its will on the downtrodden."

3. J.J. McCullough is a political cartoonist and pundit based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Militant Resistance to Anti-Social Offensive

Ontario Students Do Not Consent to Ford's
Anti-Social Agenda -- 40,000 Walk Out of Classes 

Students rally at Queen's Park, September 23, 2018.

On September 21, more than 40,000 students in some 100 Ontario schools participated in walkouts under the banner "We the Students Do Not Consent." The walkouts said No! to the Ford government's withdrawal of the 2015 sex education curriculum, its halt to planned changes to the curriculum on Indigenous studies, and $100 million cut to spending for school maintenance. Students from the Toronto area also followed up the walkouts with a rally and sit-in at Queen's Park on September 23 to take their demands to the legislature, in which some 100 students participated.

Students took part in the student-organized initiative at schools in Toronto, Ottawa, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Brantford, Guelph, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Brockville, Fergus, Woodstock, Tilsonburg, London, Windsor, Peterborough, Kingston, Muskoka, Huronia, Penetanguishene, Parry Sound, Port Perry and Thunder Bay.

In other places students took action in other ways. Some wore purple to symbolize their opposition to the Conservative attacks, while others held film screenings, fundraisers, and discussions. A lot of the organizing took place on social media and students posted photos of their actions under the hashtag #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent.

In the call-out to the action, the students stated:

Reverting the newly updated sex-ed curriculum (2015) to the one taught in 1998, some topics that will be eliminated from discussion include: same-sex marriage, gender identity, cyberbullying and sexting.

Deprioritization of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission halts the efforts to decolonize the education system in Ontario, including the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and teachings.

We the students need to show our government that we do not consent to this action. The impacts of these changes have been repeated by hundreds of experts: they will not keep our students, our women, our LGBTQ+ community, or our Indigenous population safe. It's time for us all to stand up and fight for our right to education. Which is why on September 21, 2018, students across Ontario are invited to participate in a walkout.

Photo Review of Student Walkouts Across Ontario




Toronto, Western Tech

Toronto, Parkdale

Toronto, Bloor Collegiate

Toronto, Wexford Collegiate

Toronto, Riverdale Collegiate

North Toronto Collegiate

Toronto, Harbord Collegiate

Toronto, Earl Haig Secondary

Toronto, Malvern Collegiate

Thornhill, Westmount Collegiate

Mississauga, Port Credit Secondary


Guelph, walkout and rally at City Hall

Waterloo; Bracebridge

Parry Sound

Port Perry

Students Rally at Queen's Park

(Photos: TML, Isabel, I. Jansen, R. Operi, B. Karpoche, M. Stiles, Jordanna, P. Tabuns, O. Wright, D. Ladd, S. Tabasin, D. Matheson, N. Citron, S. Donegan, C. Smoolenaars, Benita Van M, K. Fife, Emma, J. Thomson, G. Nore, Rayne)

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Women in Ontario Take Back the Night

September saw spirited Take Back the Night marches and other activities across Ontario, affirming women's right to fully participate in the life of society and to walk the streets, day or night, without fear. In particular they affirmed the right of women to say No! to interference with their human person, whether by individuals or by the state through the implementation of laws which dictate what they can or cannot do or say.














Elliot Lake

(Photos: B. Reid, S. Sheldrick, S. Charron, Sackingston, YWCA, L. Goodman, Samira, PWAWA, S. Denney, A. Tennier, Alsamyname, J. Buckmaster, J. Watt, B. Miller, P. Mills, I. Cote, NFF, eyes on windsor, Counselling Centre for East Algoma)

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Historic Inter-Korean Summit Held in Pyongyang

Summit Advances Cause of Korean
Reunification and Peace

Two leaders at press conference after the signing of the Pyongyang Declaration,
September 19, 2018.

The third summit between Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) took place in Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK, from September 18 to 20.

Leaders holding signed copies of the Pyongyang Declaration, September 19, 2018.

The Pyongyang Summit, and the Pyongyang Declaration that was proclaimed by the two leaders after their meetings, built on the two previous Summits held April 27 and May 26 at Panmunjom on the 38th parallel that divides Korea.

The success of the Pyongyang Summit, expressed in the Pyongyang Declaration, is being enthusiastically and warmly received by the Korean people and all people of peace and goodwill around the world. It clearly demonstrates the determination of the two leaders to boldly work together to achieve peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula so as to the lay the foundation for an independent peaceful and united Korea that will guarantee security, prosperity and a bright future for the Korean people.

As Chairman Kim pointed out at the joint press conference following the Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders have pledged to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace and, through their own efforts, end the division and hardships endured by the Korean people.

This is the fifth inter-Korean Summit between the leaders of the DPRK and ROK. The first took place in June 2000 and the second seven years later on October 7, 2007. That three additional inter-Korean summits have taken place in the short space of five months is a clear indicator of the momentum being created on the Korean Peninsula to address the more than seventy-three years of forced division of Korea and the hardships created for the Korean people by the U.S.

The Pyongyang Declaration is an expression of the Korean people to the whole world that their aim is to keep the initiative in their hands and move forward without outside interference. This is being achieved, despite provocations and doubts sown by the U.S. about the motives of the DPRK. Taking the high road, under the leadership of Chairman Kim, and holding out the hand of peace, friendship and reconciliation towards the U.S., has only enhanced the moral position and standing of the DPRK and its leadership in world public opinion.

With each passing inter-Korean Summit, it is the U.S. that is becoming isolated and shown to be the troublemaker on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. must abandon its failed strategy on the Korean Peninsula and respond to the demand of the Korean people by establishing a new relationship with the DPRK as demanded by the DPRK-U.S. Summit of June 12, remove all sanctions against the DPRK to allow the latter to breathe, and sign a peace treaty with the DPRK, which is the demand of the Korean people and all peace- and justice-loving people in the world.

Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, greets President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on his arrival in the DPRK, September 18, 2018.

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Report of Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang

From September 18 to 20, Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, met with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) for the historic third Inter-Korean Summit held between the two leaders in a space of less than five months. The Summit took place in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK. The ROK entourage numbered 200 people and included high level officials, security staff and also businessmen from leading ROK companies.

First Day -- September 18

Upon arrival by plane in Pyongyang on the morning of September 18, President Moon and his wife Kim Jong Sook were met at Pyongyang Sunan Airport by Chairman Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju. The receiving party also included Kim Yong Nam, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK and President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, and other senior officials.

After exchanging warm greetings, President Moon and Chairman Kim reviewed the honour guard of the Korean People's Army. President Moon received a 21-gun salute, the first such honour accorded a leader of the ROK.

From the airport to the city, more than 100,000 Pyongyangites lined the road, giving a rousing welcome to President Moon and his wife on their historic first visit to Pyongyang. President Moon and his wife were taken to the Paekhwawon State Guest House where they stayed for the duration of the Summit.

After lunch, the first Summit meeting took place at the headquarters of the WPK. Joining President Moon and Chairman Kim in the Summit talks were, for the ROK side, Jong Ui Yong, head of State Security, and So Hun, director of ROK's Korean Intelligence Service, and for the DPRK side, Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the WPK, and Kim Yo Jong, First Vice-Department Director of the Central Committee of the WPK.

Chairman Kim and President Moon held an in-depth exchange of opinions on various issues of mutual concern, including the positive developments in inter-Korean relations since the Panmunjom Declaration of April 27. They discussed plans on how to strengthen and broaden those developments in practical ways.

Later in the evening, a state banquet was given by Chairman Kim Jong Un in honour of President Moon. Hankyoreh reported that, in his welcoming remarks, Chairman Kim stated: "I am gratified not only that the historical first step that we began at Panmunjom has boldly ushered the Korean people out of the mire of distrust and confrontation toward reconciliation, peace and prosperity, but that we are now proudly entering a new era of national reconciliation, peace, and prosperity that no one can stop."

In his response, President Moon said that he and Chairman Kim would "seriously discuss ways of achieving substantive development in all areas -- military, economic, social and cultural -- and completely resolve military tensions and eliminate the fear of war between south and north." He added, "The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of peace are also important topics. We will be sketching a broader picture for permanent peace and for peace and prosperity." He also emphasized that, "This is an utterly new resolution, and we may face various challenges and difficulties. But there is trust and friendship between Chairman Kim Jong Un and me."

Following the state banquet, at which officials from both sides were present, the guests attended a concert at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre, where artists performed a selection of famous Korean songs and melodies. Both leaders took the stage to congratulate the performers.

Second Day -- September 19

On the second day of the Summit, talks were held at the Paekhwawon State Guest House. Chairman Kim and President Moon re-affirmed the resolve of the north and south to work closely together in a spirit of cooperation and reconciliation in order to achieve a positive impact on inter-Korean relations. The two leaders pledged to continue to build trust and fraternal relations in a respectful way and to leave behind the past era of mistrust and confrontation.

Following the second Summit meeting, Chairman Kim and President Moon signed the historic September Pyongyang Declaration. At the joint press conference after the signing, Chairman Kim said that the Pyongyang Declaration was the fruition of the work carried out since the Panmunjom Declaration, which has opened up a new era of reconciliation and peace for the Korean people. He stated that the Pyongyang Declaration would enhance cooperation between the two sides, particularly in military affairs, and promote progress in removing all threats of nuclear war and aggression on the Korean Peninsula. Chairman Kim stated that the Declaration will spark practical measures to strengthen inter-Korean relations through more contacts between the people of the north and south. He noted as well that the new era being created on the Korean Peninsula would be a firm foundation for the Korean people's desire for national reconciliation and reunification.

Chairman Kim noted that he has promised President Moon to visit Seoul, the capital of the ROK, in the near future.

For his part, President Moon observed that the creation of a "south-north joint military committee" would play a pivotal role in north-south relations and that both sides will take measures to work with the international community to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. He pointed out that the DPRK has begun to dismantle its missile engine test facility at Donchang-ri and will take additional measures depending on corresponding measures being taken by the U.S.

Moon also said that, within this year, the ROK and DPRK will undertake various joint economic projects including linking railways and roads along the East and West seas, reviving the Kaesong Industrial Zone and resuming tours to Mount Kumgang in the DPRK.

Additionally President Moon stated that the DPRK and ROK will make a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games and will also organize a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Movement, honouring the date when patriotic Koreans began their organized resistance against the Japanese annexation and occupation of their country.

President Moon said that the seeds of peace that were planted in the spring in Panmunjom have born fruit this fall in Pyongyang and expressed his confidence that north-south relations will continue to grow and develop.

In the evening, at the request of President Moon, who wished to dine at a local restaurant, a dinner was held at the Taedonggang Seafood Restaurant in Pyongyang, to the surprise and delight of the other patrons. Following dinner, the leaders attended a mass gymnastics and artistic performance at the May Day Stadium. A capacity crowd of 150,000 people, including officials of the various ministries and national institutions, working people, youth and students from Pyongyang and Korean compatriots from overseas took in the performance. At the back of the stands in large letters were spelled out the words, "Let the entire nation join forces to build a powerful unified country."

Mass gymnastics performance at the May Day Stadium, September 19, 2018.

The spectacular performance included a special act to welcome President Moon.

Following the performance, which was loudly cheered by the appreciative audience, Chairman Kim gave a speech in which he noted that, with the Pyongyang Declaration, a new turning point was achieved in inter-Korean relations. He thanked President Moon for his tireless and passionate efforts to turn the page on the fractured inter-Korean relations of the past and for being a willing partner to create a new era of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

In turn, President Moon thanked Chairman Kim for the warm hospitality he and his entourage had received in Pyongyang. His was the first public speech ever given by a head of state from the ROK to the people of Pyongyang. It was a speech that received a singular response from the people present, who cheered and applauded throughout.

President Moon paid tribute to the leadership and initiative of Chairman Kim Jong Un and noted that the Korean people are one people with a 5,000-year history and only 70 years of division. He said that despite the many difficulties they faced, the people of Pyongyang have built a magnificent city which shows the strength and resolve of the Korean people to face hardships with courage and determination. He promised that he and Chairman Kim would "firmly hold the hands of 80 million Koreans and create a new homeland."

Day Three -- September 20

On the morning of September 20, Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in and their wives visited Mount Paektu, the spiritual home of the Korean people and the base from which the founder of the DPRK and modern Korea, Kim Il Sung, organized the resistance to the Japanese occupiers of Korea. It is also the birthplace of Kim Jong Il, who was born in the crucible of the anti-Japanese resistance, and who led the DPRK through great trials from 1994 to 2011, building it up as a powerful socialist state. At the top of Mount Paektu, the two leaders held each other's hand high, a fitting end to a very successful Summit.

Later in the day, President Moon and his entourage left Pyongyang for Seoul. He was accompanied to the airport by President Kim Yong Nam and other state officials.

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Text of September Pyongyang Joint Declaration

Below is the text of the Pyongyang Joint Declaration signed by leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, on September 19 in Pyongyang.


Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) held north-south summit talks in Pyongyang, September 18 to 20, 2018.

The leaders expressed their appreciation that, after the historic Panmunjom Declaration, wonderful achievements have been witnessed, such as close dialogue and negotiations between the authorities of the north and the south, multilateral NGO exchanges and cooperation and important measures for the detente of military tension.

They reconfirmed the principles of national independence and self-determination and agreed to develop inter-Korean ties in a consistent and sustained way for national reconciliation, cooperation, and peace and common prosperity, and agreed to strive to provide policy to guarantee the realization of the aspirations of all their fellow countrymen to lead the present improved north-south ties to reunification.

They had a frank and in-depth discussion on all issues and practical measures for advancing north-south ties to a new higher stage by thoroughly implementing the Panmunjom Declaration, and shared the understanding that the Pyongyang Summit would mark an important historic turning point, before declaring as follows:

1. The north and the south have decided to lead the termination of military hostility in the areas of confrontation, including the Demilitarized Zone, for the substantial removal of the danger of war and fundamental eradication of hostility in the whole of the Korean Peninsula.

First, the north and the south agreed to adopt the "military agreement to implement the Panmunjom Declaration," concluded in the period of the Pyongyang Summit talks, as an annex to the Pyongyang Joint Declaration, strictly adhere to and sincerely implement it and take practical measures pro-actively to make the Korean Peninsula a lasting peace zone.

Second, the north and the south agreed to bring the north-south joint military committee into operation as early as possible, examine the implementation of the military agreement, and have constant contact and discussion for the prevention of accidental armed clashes.

2. The north and the south decided to take practical measures to further boost exchanges and cooperation and to develop the nation's economy in a balanced way on the principle of mutual benefit and common interests and prosperity.

First, the north and the south agreed to hold groundbreaking ceremonies to reconnect severed railways and roads on the east and west coasts and modernize them this year.

Second, the north and the south agreed to put the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Park and Mount Kumgang tourism on a normal track, as conditions ripen and hold consultations on establishing the West Sea joint special economic zone and the East Sea joint special tourism zone.

Third, the north and the south agreed to actively promote north-south environmental cooperation for the protection and restoration of the natural ecosystem and to work primarily to achieve practical success in the cooperation project in forestry now underway.

Fourth, the north and the south agreed to bolster cooperation in the anti-epidemic and public health fields, including emergency measures for the prevention of the influx and spread of infectious diseases.

3. The north and the south decided to further promote humanitarian cooperation for the fundamental settlement of the issue of separated families and their relatives.

First, the north and the south agreed to open the reunion building for separated families and their relatives in the Mount Kumgang area, restoring the facilities to this end, as soon as possible.

Second, the north and the south agreed to discuss and settle the issue of online meetings and exchange of video messages between separated families and their relatives on a priority basis through Red Cross talks.

4. The north and the south decided to actively promote cooperation and exchanges in various fields so as to encourage the atmosphere of reconciliation and unity and demonstrate at home and abroad the resilience of the Korean nation.

First, the north and the south agreed to further boost exchanges in the fields of culture and arts and to ensure, above all, the Pyongyang art troupe's performance in Seoul in October.

Second, the north and the south agreed to make active joint advance in international games, including the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and to cooperate to win a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Third, the north and the south agreed to hold significant events to meaningfully commemorate the 11th anniversary of the October 4th Declaration, jointly commemorate the centenary of the March 1st Popular Uprising, and discuss technical plans for these.

5. The north and the south share the view that the Korean Peninsula should be turned into a peace zone free of nuclear weapons and nuclear threat, and necessary practical progress should be made as early as possible to this end.

First, the north side has decided to permanently shut down the Tongchang-ri engine test ground and rocket launch pad, with the participation of experts from related countries. Second, the north side expressed its willingness to take additional steps, such as the permanent shutdown of the Nyongbyon nuclear facility, if the United States takes corresponding steps in line with the spirit of the June 12 DPRK-U.S. joint statement.

Third, the north and the south agreed to closely cooperate in the course of pushing ahead with the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

6. Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un agreed to visit Seoul in the near future at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.

Kim Jong Un
Chairman, State Affairs Commission, Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Moon Jae-in
President, Republic of Korea

September 19, 2018

( Edited slightly for clarity and style by TML.)

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Important Conference to Be Held in New York City

The 2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea will take place at Columbia University, New York City,  September 29-30. The overall theme of this conference is "Peace and Prosperity for Korea and the World." A broad group of participants will exchange ideas and perspectives on the topic. According to the organizing committee the aim of the Forum is "to advance the path to real and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through genuine dialogue."

This historic Forum, the first of its kind, is taking place within the context of the momentous events unfolding on the Korean Peninsula as the Korean people, in both north and south, are taking steps towards reconciliation, peace and reunification, inspired by the Panmunjom Declaration of April 27 and the recent Pyongyang Declaration of September 19.

The opening session of the Forum will be addressed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with panel discussions and presentations by scholars and experts from north and south Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S. to follow, on various aspects of the unfolding events on the Korean Peninsula. A particular focus will be relations between the U.S. and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The Saturday program will include three sessions:

1) Peace and Security;
2) Inter- and Intra-regional Relations; and
3) Second and Third Track Diplomacy.

A banquet is planned the evening of September 29, which will be attended by UN ambassadors from various countries, other dignitaries and guests. A cultural program, "Concert for Peace and Prosperity," has also been organized.

The conference will conclude Sunday morning with a session, "People to People Dialogue and Exchange," between the conference participants and presenters.

For detailed conference program, click here.

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Delegation from Korean Federation in Canada
Inspired by DPRK's 70th Anniversary Celebrations

Parade in Pyongyang September 9, 2018, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding
of the DPRK.

From September 4 to 13, a 12-member delegation of the Korean Federation in Canada, part of an international network of progressive and patriotic Koreans living outside of the Korean Peninsula, participated in events in Pyongyang commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Mrs. S.Y. Chun, past Chair of the Korean Federation in Canada, who was part of the Canadian delegation, informed TML Weekly that the visit was very inspiring to the members of the delegation because it took place in the context of the changed political atmosphere on the Korean Peninsula. She pointed out that as a result of the Panmunjom Declaration and the efforts of the north and south to work together, the Korean people are feeling optimistic and hopeful that peace and stability will be achieved on the peninsula and, in the not too distant future, the reunification of Korea itself.

While in the DPRK, the Canadian delegation participated in many rallies and events organized for the 70th anniversary of the DPRK's founding, and also had opportunities to meet sister Korean Federation chapters from Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China and Russia and share experiences. Plans were also made to convene overseas Koreans later in the year to discuss and adopt practical measures in their various countries to contribute to implementing the Panmunjom Declaration.

According to Mrs. Chun, the Canadian delegation observed that under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong Un, various sectors of the DPRK economy are being rapidly developed despite the challenges posed by the unjust political and economic sanctions. This has been achieved by appealing to the workers, and especially the youth, to step up production and build the economy.

Before leaving the country, members of the Canadian delegation, with delegates from other countries, took a commemorative photograph with Kim Yong Nam, President of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK. The delegation has returned home to Canada determined to play its role in furthering the cause of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Parade in Pyongyang Marking 70th Anniversary of the
Founding of the DPRK

(Photos: Xinhua)

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