No. 7

July 17, 2022

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Absence of Political Power Has Become Immediate for Everyone

– Pauline Easton –

Privatization of the Political Domain

– Anna Di Carlo –

Public Consultations as Secret Affairs

Budget Implementation Act Endorses Destruction of Private Property

Further Destruction of Canada's Supply Management Systems

– Dougal MacDonald –

For Your Information

Minister of Foreign Affairs Establishes Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee

The Anti-Racism Industry

44th Parliament Adjourns for the Summer

Status of Laws and Committee Hearings

– Barbara Biley –

Ramifications of the Plunder of Critical Minerals and Rare Earth Elements

Canada Joins Dangerous U.S. Critical Minerals Supply Chain

– Fernand Deschamps –

Federal Government's Discussion Paper on Critical Minerals Strategy

Rare Earth Elements as "a Political Weapon"

Lowering Standards for Pollutant Emissions in Quebec

Rouyn-Noranda Community Demands Urgent Action to
Curb Arsenic Emissions

– Pierre Chénier –

Quebec Government Commissions Market Studies to Justify Lowering
Nickel Air Emission Standards

Government Bowing to Demands of Mining Companies to Produce Nickel Without Regard for People's Health

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Absence of Political Power Has Become
Immediate for Everyone

– Pauline Easton –

This issue of TML Monthly illustrates above all else the absence of political power which has become immediate for everyone. The resistance movement of the peoples and their fight for rights, peace and justice is fundamentally directed at providing this problem with solutions. This is crucial if we are to avert the dangers which lie ahead as the United States, Britain, Canada and the big powers of Old Europe spread anarchy and violence at ever faster rates in their frenzy to control the productive powers the world over.

The productive powers have expanded exponentially as a result of the scientific and technical revolution, beyond the control of the productive forces themselves. The government of Canada has integrated the country's economy with that of the United States which is feeding a war machine on an unprecedented scale. 

Along with the U.S. and its NATO allies, the government of Canada has become a government of police powers. This is not synonymous with a police state or military rule. Law can be legitimate when seen to adhere to accepted due process. Police powers, on the other hand, cannot be made legitimate because their source is arbitrariness, and they are based on impunity. The usurpation of the public domain by narrow private interests that issue fiats through governments of police powers means that rules, regulations and arrangements are imposed on society in a manner that ratchets up the level of anarchy and violence in an alarming way.  

All attempts by these narrow private interests to claim that police powers are a legitimate form of government because they are aimed at having an equitable society or greening the economy or creating a world which "shares our values" and thus defends peace merely serve to deepen the people's growing collective consciousness of their absence of political power and that they must solve the problem of sorting out the crisis in a manner that favours them.

A government of police powers is no longer concerned with legitimacy previously conferred by a liberal democratic process whereby the prerogative powers of the executive and courts were kept in check when laws were adopted by duly elected legislatures. Such laws imposed limits on the unfettered use of the prerogative powers by providing an aim which was said to be upholding the public good. 

This due process has been steadily first eroded and now destroyed as a result of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive which gave rise to a system of cartel party rule whose main function is to politicize private interests and depoliticize the people. In other words, narrow private interests directly take over the functions of the state, privatizing what were public functions, imposing outsourcing, mercenaries and numerous pay-the-rich government contracts. The people are marginalized to such an extent they are treated as disposable.

The narrow private interests which have usurped positions of privilege and power in their own interests do not concern themselves with the consequences to the social and natural environment. The vast human productive powers have escaped their grasp. The anti-human factor/anti-social consciousness drives the narrow private interests to destroy what they cannot control. The wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and others are wars of destruction. They are not politics through other means which are subsequently settled through peace agreements. For these narrow private interests, everything is disposable -- not just the workers and people, along with nature and the liberal democratic institutions, but even private property itself. Meanwhile, everything is fraud. Self-serving decrees and practices criminalize protest, dissent and speech in the name of high ideals, all of it presented as legal and thus above reproach.

While law can be legitimate when passed by duly elected legislatures, police powers cannot be made legitimate. They are by nature arbitrary. Once dictate prevails, governments of impunity take over. The fact is that the absence of political power has become immediate for everyone. Not only are the working class and the people left to fend for themselves but even rival political parties, politicians and levels of government within a country are deprived of a say. Relations between countries internationally are profoundly affected as well.

Now more than ever, the liquidation of institutions and ways of life under capitalist civil society has become the order of the day for ruling elites in the U.S., Canada, Britain and western European countries. This entails the destruction of forms which provide people with cohesion and link them to a political process. The target of attack is a coherent world outlook which upholds the independent interests of the working class and people and any collective consciousness capable of effectively upholding the cause of peace, freedom and democracy.

It means the working class and people have to take up their own independent politics by providing themselves with an outlook which goes to their advantage and line of march which affirms the rights of all by virtue of being human.

The neo-liberal anti-social offensive is creating havoc for the people. It has negated the existence of a society which is responsible for the well-being of its members and it is trying to negate the very existence of the working class as a class with its own aim and political program, consciousness and organization. Everything is being done to deprive the people of the ability to deal with the unfolding reality, particularly by depriving them of an outlook which can guide them to find their bearings, and to think and exercise judgment on the basis of standards they themselves establish consistent with the demands of the times.

We are not just dealing with social relations between one class and another but with the ensemble of human relations between humans and humans and humans and nature and what they reveal. It is the productive powers created by humans along with the huge development of science and technology which are the source of relations between humans and humans and humans and nature which indicate that there is no society outside of them. These powers have now exceeded the limits of any hitherto known forms. What is needed is not their destruction, as is occurring under the neo-liberal anti-social offensive, but for the people to bring them under their control, for the benefit of the people.

Marx brought out that we all exist in conditions of slavery, blocked from exercising our will, which is a fundamental contradiction in society. Saying that the whole of society splits into two it is necessary to underscore that the whole of society is integral to itself. It is not an external force at work which splits society in two. The contradiction develops within the whole. In this respect, while the supreme power is based on the antagonistic contradiction within society itself, society is nonetheless whole and integral. When the whole of society splits in two what emerges is that one part becomes superior -- not to the other part but superior to the whole. The split is not the workers on one side and capitalists on the other. The working class and the capitalist class remain in an antagonistic contradiction entangled in the whole. It is not two different worlds or two camps outside of the context of the whole which is there, independent of their will. What splits is the alien human productive powers created by humans that develop to the point where they are out of the control of not just the working class and people but of the capitalists themselves.

Our aim is not to reorder the civil society which came into being on the basis of private property and to maintain the property relations in which the rich become richer and the poor poorer. That society was replaced at the time of the Great October Revolution which created a workers' power and a socialist civil society which put the people and their well-being at the centre of its concerns. 

Today the world is witnessing the absence of political power in an all-round way, nationally and internationally. The liberal democratic institutions which ruling elites think they can preserve  have become anachronistic, inconsistent with the demands of the times. They no longer function and are being deliberately destroyed by governments of police powers, governments of impunity. Today, private property is destroying itself, superseded by the developments of science and technology which are beyond the control of arrangements which come out of the past. This happens independent of anyone's will. Just like the U.S. Civil War destroyed the system of slave labour in favour of the system of wage slavery, today's methods of dispossession used nationally and  internationally in an attempt to control rival factions and force entire countries to submit to the U.S. striving to dominate the world, are even destroying private property itself. The defence of private property was the very premise of the current institutions which are supposed to regulate relations between one and all domestically and internationally.

The transformations of the process of production as a result of the scientific and technical revolution and the mania of private property to assert control over the productive powers which have escaped its grasp, have given rise to a new situation in which the human productive forces can no longer control their own productive powers. What is required today is the work to transform the whole of society into another whole -- a whole of human society fit for the human species.

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Privatization of the Political Domain

– Anna Di Carlo –

In Canada, the destruction of the liberal democratic institutions by the ruling elites themselves is a result of the politicization of private interests. This refers to the direct takeover of functions of government and the state by narrow private interests, and the role of cartel party governments to pay them to carry out functions formerly performed by legislatures, civil servants and state agencies.

Legislatures have literally been emasculated while governments now rule by wielding prerogative powers beyond the reach of the legislatures themselves, to say nothing about depriving the people of any role whatsoever in setting the direction of the economy or matters related to war and peace.

The privatization of the political domain is one of the distinguishing features of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive which initially took up the restructuring of the state to pay the rich as one of its main aims. It was hoped this restructuring would save the rulers and their liberal democracy from crises, but these have only intensified. The political process for electing legislatures and the legislatures themselves no longer play a role in sorting out conflicts among the oligarchs while maintaining the illusion of democracy and constitutional order and forms of government among the people.

Today, concentration of power in the executive, rule by decree and consolidation of governments of police powers with their broad impunity lead to a situation in which people have no confidence in governing institutions. It is common to hear people say that they do not consider them legitimate, while conflicts among the oligarchs have heightened civil war conditions.

Civil war conditions are most obvious within the United States but their spillover into Canada is also evident in the form of things like the Freedom Convoy, police impunity and violence, use of mercenaries at home and abroad as well as conflicts between different levels of authority. The federal government runs roughshod over provincial levels of authority while, within the military and police forces and even at the level of the Privy Council and diplomatic service and other agencies of the state, rogue elements whether deemed good or bad increasingly assert themselves.

The privatization of the political domain, with its attacks on the public, has further contributed to the destruction of governing institutions and increased demands for change that favours the people. The privatization includes how and where decisions are made, the interests served through increasingly opaque and scandal-ridden processes, and the fraud involved as concerns the methods used to claim that these decisions are legitimate because they are allegedly made with the consent of the people.

Public forums that previously provided the people with a limited space where their views could be officially and publicly heard are things of the past. Also in a destructed state is the purported role of elected members to represent the people and legitimate decision-making and the laws of the country.

In an effort to give the appearance of democracy, various national and international organizations have organized mechanisms for "public consultation." Organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have developed frameworks for creating forms of "public" consultation suited to the implementation of the neo-liberal agenda. This necessarily involves the further destruction of existing institutions and additional efforts to disinform public opinion.

In 2020, the OECD issued a report entitled Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave. It attempts to address people's anger and growing consciousness about the dysfunction of governing institutions and demands for a say. It uses "innovative ways to effectively engage with stakeholders to source ideas and co-create solutions and seize the opportunities provided by digital government tools." It focuses on "new research in the area of deliberative, collaborative, and participatory decision-making that are evolving across the globe." It is an attempt to disarm and divert organized efforts by the people to renew the democracy and democratic processes in a manner that serves the peoples' interests.

In Canada, forums such as royal commissions and parliamentary public hearings have ceased to exist because they were not giving the rulers the conclusions they wanted. Some individual members of parliament held "town halls" but the cartel parties had no interest in hearing what the people had to say. This has all now been supplanted by outsourced online surveys and phony "consultations" where people are selected at random or marketing firms pose questions and then rank the people's preferences while all expressed views disappear into the ether.

Public participation has been replaced by privately convoked "citizens assemblies" whose deliberations are barely, if at all, publicly visible. A very select section of mostly accommodated individuals are involved in these affairs, which are guided by a framework set by the executive power and its courtiers with the outcome predetermined and informed by the values, directives and concerns of powerful national and international private economic interests. And even within these contrived settings, including those with "advisory" councils' paid experts, not only is dissent obvious but so too is the demand to end the violation of democratic rights.

The privatization of the political domain has given rise to an international industry replete with trademarks such as "21st Century Town Meeting®," "Fast Forum Opinionnaires®," and "Deliberative Polling®."

There is a formal networking body called the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). Established in 1990, IAP2 claimed its purpose was to "respond to the rising global interest in public participation." It boasts a membership spanning 26 countries and more than 12,500 members (government, "public" sector, non-profits and industry), having grown from 300 at its inception.

For the industry, it offers a "Certificate Training Course in Public Participation" where it promises to provide "the tools and skills needed for effective participation." In 2009, it offered special training on "Emotion, Outrage in Public Participation."

IAP2 has its own publication -- the Journal of Deliberative Democracy. Its most recent issue featured titles such as "Just Advisory," "Maximally Representative: A Conjoint Experiment on Non-Participants' Legitimacy Perceptions of Deliberative Forums," and "Looking in from the Outside: How Do Invited But Not Selected Citizens Perceive the Legitimacy of a Minipublic?" Another article provides a "theoretical model" of "How Digital Platforms for Public Consultation Can Leverage Deliberation to Boost Democratic Legitimacy."

Describing the Public as a "Resource"

A typical Canadian company is Toronto-based MASS LBP, whose website motto is a quote from Thomas Paine: "There is a mass of sense lying in a dormant state that good government should quietly harness." It describes "the public" as a "resource." It states that "we believe in people," and this is "why we are working to see that more people have a hand in shaping the policies that shape their lives." This company is listed as an approved ongoing service provider for the federal government.

Founded in 2007, it says that it has "worked with hundreds of public sector clients to find new and inventive ways to bring more people to the table and bridge the distance between citizens and governments." Based on this admission that governments are not of, by and for the people, it says it was founded on "the radical proposition that the next stage of democracy is not only one where people can have their say, but where everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to exercise public judgement and act as stewards of the greater common good."

It is notable that while speaking of people "having a hand in shaping" policies and "responsibility," it leaves out the solutions people are proposing in all spheres of the economy and life. People across the board are fed-up with being consulted about implementing decisions that have already been taken and that go against their interests. What is needed is not consultation but a decision-making role on all matters of concern.

MASS LBP boasts that it is "internationally recognized for its work to popularize deliberative processes and has led more than 40 Reference Panels and Citizens' Assemblies contributing approximately 55,000 volunteer hours to policy-making in Canada."

Among its "clients," MASS LBP lists the Citizens' Assemblies on Democratic Expression. These Assemblies were created in 2020 as a three-year project by the private think tank Public Policy Forum which hired MASS LBP to organize them. The Assemblies are a sub-group of the Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression, comprised of "seven Commissioners and 42 Assembly members ... tasked with examining an issue, deliberating on concerns and potential solutions, sharing their perspectives with each other, and producing a two-volume report that details their respective findings and recommendations." All of it takes place in a rarefied world about which Canadians know nothing.

The Citizens Assemblies on Democratic Expression (more than 120 people separated into three groups) held its last session from June 15 to 19 in Ottawa. It was to review the work of the Liberal-appointed Expert Panel on Online Harms and "consider the measures government should take to strengthen online safety, reduce disinformation, safeguard user rights." According to an announcement, its report is expected to be issued in July "as part of the Department of Canadian Heritage's ongoing efforts to develop a regulatory framework for digital platforms."

The main funders of the project are listed as the Department of Canadian Heritage and the McConnell Foundation, described as "a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges. They do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and enabling co-creation with grantees, partners, and the public."

All these "assemblies" and "consultations" claim that a general will can be aggregated by assembling a number of individual opinions and preferences, a claim with no credibility whatsoever.

Government Turns the Conduct of Public Affairs Over
to the Private Sector

Privatizing the duties that rightly belong to government bodies in relationships with the people of the country as part of the attack on the public is not a new practice. Outsourcing to private companies is a main form for this. For example, the Harper regime in 2007 outsourced a promised electoral reform consultation. It took place as a private affair, with the predictable verdict being that Canadians were largely satisfied with the first-past-the-post electoral system except for not agreeing with a non-elected Senate.

Upon taking over in 2015, in lock-step with the demands of neo-liberal international institutions, the Trudeau Liberals turned the destruction of all civil society forms into an official policy, framing it as a "re-invention of government." One of its most disastrous exercises was the online consultations on the electoral process following the Liberals' 2015 election promise to end the first-past-the-post method of counting votes, for which it contracted the private firm Vox Populus. It discarded the conclusions of an all-party parliamentary committee to incorporate an element of proportional representation because the government favoured a system of ranked ballots. The public outcry was ignored, the entire matter of reforming the first-past-the-post method of counting votes was dropped, and no discussion allowed. The result was that the collective consciousness of the powerlessness of the people and their institutions went up another notch.

While the people have been left out of the equation altogether, the growth in privatization of the public realm has given rise to a body of literature assessing its "pros" and "cons." A 2008 paper entitled Can the Market Help the Forum? Negotiating the Commercialization of Deliberative Democracy, presents the two sides as those who see the privatization of the public realm as "the dispersion and deepening of deliberative processes in practice," versus those who see "commercializing deliberative processes as detrimental to democracy."[1]

Of significance, observations are already being drawn about the abject failure of these "new" forms to satisfy the demands of the people to have their say and exercise control over the decisions made. The paper notes:

"Peoples' real experiences, their pain, fears, hopes, aspirations, dreams and desires get reduced to a report with bullet point executive summaries. The public view has been commodified -- turned into a negotiated product that can be bought and sold on the market and like any other product, it can even be customized to suit."

In the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century, the old forms of consultation were broadly perceived as limited and elitist, in service to vested private interests. The restructured forms, while ensuring the rich continually get paid, have failed in terms of governance. Concentrating great powers in the executive and using supra-national neo-liberal institutions, like the OECD, have not served to resolve conflicts short of war nor to maintain illusions of democracy. Governments of police powers destroy even token recognition of a body politic. Even the pretense of concern for legitimacy is treated with arrogant disregard. The dysfunction of legislative bodies can be seen in abysmal approval ratings, low voter turn outs and more.

The private and anarchist nature of the oligarchs with their competing interests, their actions to completely marginalize and depoliticize the people and destroy whatever they cannot control, has gone from restructuring to destruction.

Need for New Modern Arrangements

Far from establishing new, modern relations between humans and humans and humans and nature, the trend of the international oligarchs attempting to "reinvent government" has given rise to governments of police powers and impunity. Their aim is to get an upper hand through their frenzied striving to compete internationally in a manner which secures control over the world while also serving to block the people from exercising control over the economy, society, and their lives.

Canadians, as is also the case of the peoples of many countries, are facing a situation where the old forms of governance have exhausted themselves and destructive governments of police powers are being consolidated. A government of police powers is not synonymous with a military government or a military or police junta. The promotion of "public consultation" when none occurs is an indication that the elites are trying to consolidate their governments of police powers while preserving a constitutional form. All of this is meant to hide the reality that governments today exercise police powers with impunity and civil society and the values they claim to uphold have all been discarded and destroyed. This cover-up is failing badly.

At the same time, the absence of the new forms creates a vacuum which makes the peoples vulnerable to all the dangers which lie ahead. This is why the task of the working class to constitute the nation and involve the masses of the people to bring an anti-war government into being is so crucial. The working people must solve the problem of creating the forms they require which enable them to exercise political power in a manner which favours them.

Collectives exist in their relations. A collective consciousness is built in the course of fighting for rights, with the many struggles being waged contributing to that collective consciousness of the people that is rejecting the direction society and the world are headed in and seeking alternatives.

Further development of that collective consciousness takes place in the fight for the rights of all which necessarily gives rise to a modern society based on fidelity, not to an individual cause but to the ensemble of human relations between humans and humans and humans and nature. This is precisely what the Trudeau Liberals' "consultocracy" and the "deliberation industry" serve to destroy.

There is no such thing as a "social consensus" in a society divided into classes that have clashing interests and outlooks. And there is no such thing as a "collective consciousness" or expression of public opinion created by slapping together the results of online questionnaires or declaring that individual opinions can be aggregated to represent the public will.

The conditions of today call for new and modern arrangements which put the people at centre stage, not selective narrow private interests who have even taken up to destroy the private property of their rivals. This is currently expressed in the overwhelming power of the oligopolies on a world scale.

To realize new arrangements which favour humankind is the task history has presented. All material conditions exist for their realization by activating the human factor/social consciousness. It is to deprive the people of their own outlook and keep them mired within the imposed framework as a force to be disposed of as the ruling class wishes that the ruling elite recycle what is old and discredited but present it as new. This is an area in which the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada is involving the working people and their organizations to pay the greatest attention at this time.


1. Hendriks, C.M., Carson, L. Can the market help the forum? Negotiating the commercialization of deliberative democracy. Policy Sci 41, 293 (2008).

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Public Consultations as Secret Affairs

Consultation with the people about government legislation, said to be one of the instruments for giving rise to government with the consent of the people, is in deep crisis. One of its features is the increasing privatization of consultations, with members of parliament no longer carrying any responsibility for their purported role as the conveyors of popular opinion to the state.

Public consultations are typically conducted by private companies and corporations contracted by government and they never enter the public realm where people gather to speak in their own name and hear each other's views.

The Liberal consultations on "online harms" have unfolded as a classic case of the privatized nature of public consultations. In effect, public consultation has become a redundancy, where the aims of the government to serve the private interests which have taken over the state conflict with maintaining even the appearance of the public interest being served.

After conducting just such public consultations in the summer and early fall of 2021 on its plans to regulate "online harms," the Liberals took the unprecedented measure of refusing to make public the briefs and submissions it had received.

In October 2021, Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law started a project to compile the withheld briefs by contacting those who had made submissions. He also filed an access to information request to obtain all the documents pertinent to the consultation.

At that time, he wrote: "Keeping the results of the consultation secret is incredibly damaging, raising further questions about whether the government plans to incorporate the feedback or simply march ahead with an extreme, deeply flawed proposal."

The government's attempt to summarize the consultations as "what we heard," Geist said, "left little doubt that the government's plans were widely criticized and required a policy reset."

In April of this year, Geist's access to information request resulted in the release of a 1,162 page file. Still, some of the briefs may have been excluded, according to Geist.

Geist summarized "several key takeaways" from his study of the submissions that were released.

"First, the government's determination to keep the consultations submissions secret until compelled to disclose them by law eviscerates its claims to support open, transparent government. There is simply no good reason to use secrecy as the default for a government consultation. While officials claimed that submissions 'may contain confidential business information,' the actual results demonstrate the argument had little merit. Indeed, the government could have used openness as a default and redacted any confidential information as needed. A government that supports openness should not be forced to disclose information from a public consultation only under threat of failing to comply with its own access to information laws.

"Second, the participation of the Internet platforms was more extensive than previously disclosed. While Google released its submission, there were also submissions from the Business Software Alliance, Microsoft, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter. Further, in addition to TekSavvy and Tucows, the large Canadian telecom companies (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Cogeco, Quebecor and Shaw) provided a joint submission. These submissions contain important data that should be publicly available, not hidden by the government. For example, TikTok reported that in the first quarter of 2021, content that violated its community guidelines accounted for less than one per cent of all video and that 91.3 per cent of the videos it removed were identified and removed even before a user reported them. Other notable submissions included the CBC, which argued for a special recognition of threats to journalists as content that incites violence and hate speech, and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which called months ago for the removal of Russia Today from Canadian broadcast systems.

"Third, the criticism of the government's plans were even more widespread than previously revealed. Indeed, reviewing the submissions uncovers very few supportive comments of the government's online harms from either organizations or the hundreds of individual submissions. For example, the big Canadian telecom companies warned that the proposal could disincentive investments in 5G networks and opposed disclosing basic subscriber information without judicial authorization. Their submission -- along with others in the sector -- reinforces how inexplicable and damaging it is that Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has seemingly abandoned digital and Internet policy. Vesting responsibility in Canadian Heritage (what does Canadian Heritage have to do with online harms anyway) has been disastrous for the development of balanced, effective digital policies.

"The most notable submission came from Twitter, which warned that the proactive monitoring of content envisioned by the government: 'sacrifices freedom of expression to the creation of a government-run system of surveillance of anyone who uses Twitter. Even the most basic procedural fairness requirements you might expect from a government-run system such as notice or warning are absent from this proposal. The requirement to 'share' information at the request of Crown is also deeply troubling.'"

As the defenders of liberal democracy are wont to do, Twitter used the disinforming stereotypes of authoritarian governance to condemn the Liberal government's plan.

Geist quotes the Twitter submission which stated:

"The proposal by the government of Canada to allow the Digital Safety Commissioner to block websites is drastic. People around the world have been blocked from accessing Twitter and other services in a similar manner as the one proposed by Canada by multiple authoritarian governments (China, north Korea, and Iran for example) under the false guise of 'online safety' impeding peoples' rights to access information online.

"Further, there are no checks or balances on the commissioner's authority, such as the requirement of judicial authorization or warnings to service providers. The government should be extremely mindful of setting such a precedent -- if Canada wants to be seen as a champion of human rights, a leader in innovation and in net neutrality globally, it must also set the highest standards of clarity, transparency and due process in its own legislation."

In summarizing other submissions, Geist reports that "In fact, even groups that might have been expected to support the proposal were critical. For example:

"- the National Association of Friendship Centres warned that changes to the CSIS Act related to obtaining transmission data or basic subscriber information posed 'a legitimate risk of governing bodies weaponizing this legislation to identify protests as anti-government, especially when Indigenous people across Turtle Island articulate their inherent rights and sovereignty.

"- the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, while supportive of some elements, warned against the plan to offload funding regulation to the Internet providers: 'we strongly urge the government to reconsider the optics of directly linking the funding of these offices to the very entities being regulated by it.'

"- the Safe Harbour Outreach Project feared 'the proposed Digital Harms framework has grave potential to hurt sex workers, 2SLGBTQ+ folks, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Colour] communities, and other marginalized populations.'

"- the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs noted 'a one-size-fits-all model is not appropriate. While online hate may be detestable, it may not be comparable to the imminent risk or serious harm caused by a potentially pending terrorist attack. Put simply, with respect to reporting to police, the threat of bombing a building is not the same as espousing hatred.'

"- the National Council of Canadian Muslims stated 'simply put, the legislation as it stands now could inadvertently result in one of the most significant assaults on marginalized and racialized communities in years. NCCM does not participate in hyperbole; but this is gravely, dangerously concerning.'"

Geist concludes, "While Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has agreed to re-assess the online harms policy with a new expert panel and initiated a re-branding as 'online safety,' the entire consultation process is an absolute embarrassment to the government.

"The secrecy associated with the consultation and the associated submissions was a repudiation of the government's professed commitment to openness and transparency with only fear of legal violations of access to information laws compelling disclosure of information that should have been publicly available by default months ago.

"Yet despite these disqualifying actions, there are seemingly no consequences. The same department is pushing ahead with anti-Internet policies in Bill C-11 (regulating user generated content) and C-18 (mandated payments for facilitating access to news online), backing copyright term extension, and gearing up for another run at online harms with an expert panel that presumably hasn't even been given access to these submissions. It is time for the government to take responsibility for the online harms debacle and take a far closer look at the mess it is creating on Internet policy by re-assessing its approach and leadership on the issues."

The submissions made by the following to the consultations on 'online harms' are now available:

Access Now; Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Canada; B'nai Brith Canada; BC Coalition of Experiential Communities; Business Software Alliance; Canadian Association of Research Libraries; Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT); Canadian Bar Association; Canadian Centre for Child Protection; Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children; Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC); Canadian Telecommunications Service Providers (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Cogeco, Quebecor); Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment; CBC/Radio-Canada; Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity; Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs; Centre for Law and Democracy; Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy; Chinese Canadian Council for Social Justice; Citizen Lab (Cynthia Khoo, Lex Gill, Christopher Parsons); Cybersecure Policy Exchange; Defend Dignity; Federation of Black Canadians; Free Speech Coalition; Global Network Initiative; Global Partners Digital; Google Canada; Independent Press Gallery of Canada; International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; Internet Archive Canada; Internet Society Canada Chapter; Joint Submission from Civil Liberties and Anti-Racism Groups; LEAF -- Women's Legal Education and Action Fund; Living in Community Society; Microsoft; National Association of Friendship Centres; National Council of Canadian Muslims; News Media Canada; Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime; OpenMedia; Pivot Legal Society; Public Interest Advocacy Centre; Ranking Digital Rights; Rassemblement  pour la laïcité; Safe Harbour Outreach Project; Sex Workers of Winnipeg Action Coalition; TechNation; TekSavvy; Tucows; Twitter; Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Individual experts who made submissions include: Blayne Haggart and Natasha Tusikov; Darryl Carmichael and Emily Laidlaw; Drew Wilson; Fenwick McKelvey; Michael Geist; and Valerie Webber and Maggie MacDonald.

The submissions included in the access to information package can be obtained at no cost by requesting file A-2021-00174 from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Other submissions previously obtained can be found here

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Budget Implementation Act Endorses
Destruction of Private Property

The Budget Implementation Act includes measures which, for all intents and purposes, endorse the destruction of private property.

The 450-page omnibus Bill C-19 sponsored by the governing Liberal/NDP coalition passed the Senate by a vote of 56 to 16 without any changes and became law, receiving Royal Assent on June 23. The Trudeau/Freeland bill gives the governing executive wide-ranging power to confiscate and sell assets of individuals and businesses even when they have not engaged in any illegal activity.

The Trudeau executive power now has a legal tool to confiscate the assets in Canada of individuals of Russian descent, which have already been frozen under the previous Special Economic Measures Act (SEM). The SEM includes a sanctions list of 1,400 Russian individuals and entities. The government refuses to divulge the assets or amount it has frozen under the powers of the SEM. The government can now legally steal those frozen assets.

The SEM requires everyone in Canada and all Canadians outside the country to inform the RCMP of any property in their possession or control that is believed to be owned or controlled by an individual or entity placed on Canada's sanctions list of Russian names and entities. The SEM is administered and enforced by the cartel party in power's Minister of Foreign Affairs with the RCMP collecting the information on assets owned or controlled by designated individuals.

To date, the only news on the amount of money frozen comes from the RCMP, which says state authorities "have frozen the equivalent of $124 million in assets so far" but does not identify the targeted individuals and entities. In addition, $289 million in transactions involving "sanctioned Russians" have been blocked. Ironically, some would suggest, the RCMP said it could not divulge names and their frozen assets "because of the Privacy Act."

The government has released some of the names and entities on its SEM list but not the amount of money involved. One of the individuals on the sanctions list is Roman Abramovich of Russian nationality who holds property in Canada. He owns around 30 per cent of the shares of Evraz, a global steel manufacturer that employs over 1,800 people at its facilities in Western Canada, mainly at the former IPSCO plant in Regina. No information has been disclosed whether his ownership shares in Evraz North America have been frozen and are liable to be stolen by the government executive holding power.

The largest entity on Canada's sanctions list is Russia's Central Bank. The bank owns around $20-billion in Canadian bonds and other assets, which presumably have been frozen and are now in danger of being stolen. The RCMP did not include the Canadian assets of Russia's Central Bank in its list of assets frozen and available to be stolen. However, the U.S. says it and others, including Canada, within the U.S. imperialist dominated international financial institutions have frozen $330 billion of assets owned by Russia's Central Bank.

Some commentators have pointed out that the new executive powers of C-19 to steal legal assets held internationally are open ended and could be used against anyone once targeted and sanctioned. For example, theft of social value held by individuals and entities from Myanmar has already been bandied about in the Senate as targets by Trudeau-appointed Senator Ratna Omidvar from Ontario.

Voices Raising Concern Over State-Organized Theft of Legal Assets

The CBC quotes commentators as saying stealing assets "is still a risky play. Other hostile governments could seize Canadian-owned assets abroad in retaliation. It also may violate customary international law, such as the UN Articles on states' responsibility."

The new powers of C-19 target assets in Canada owned by an individual or entity on the federal government's sanctions list. Previously, authorities could seize the proceeds of crime. With C-19, they can confiscate the assets of sanctioned individuals whether they are acquired legally or illegally.

C-19 puts the power of judge, jury, executioner and distributor of assets in the hands of ministers from the cartel party in power. Even Senator Omidvar, who pushed for some variation of the bill, questioned the lack of judicial oversight as Canada could be accused of "inappropriate distribution of funds, or worse, appropriation of funds for its own use."

On the issue of legality, federal Liberal cartel party Justice Minister David Lametti said, "You don't have an absolute right to own private property in Canada." He went on to compare this particular state-organized theft to other processes of government expropriation as a matter of government right.

C-19 puts the cartel party Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of how government-seized money and other assets will be distributed. As all the proceedings are secret, this opens the door wide for corruption and an appearance of being sleazy. CBC reports former senior Global Affairs official Peter Boehm as wanting "safeguards in place" to avoid questions of favouritism or corruption. Regarding the issue he said, "What is the mechanism? To whom should these assets go? Do they go to individuals? Do they go to state actors?"

Rachel Ziemba with the Center for a New American Security "who advises companies and countries on sanctions policy" told the CBC that using the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund to "vet recipients and add more reporting to the process could add more certainty." Advisor Ziemba did not elaborate what "certainty" it would add or what makes the much-discredited IMF more reliable. Ziemba suggested that as governments embark on this business of seizing legal assets "they also have to be concerned about the message it sends on what jurisdictions are safe for foreign investment."

The amount seized according to the RCMP pales in comparison with the $20 billion the Russian Central Bank has invested in Canada. "The Russian Central Bank and some of its investment funds over the last decade really focussed on trying to reduce its exposure to U.S. dollars," Ziemba explains. "Canadian reserve assets and government bonds were attractive because they were both stable and got more yield than comparable investments in Japan or the European Union."

Russia's Central Bank is on Canada's sanctions list. Presumably its $20 billion in Canadian assets are frozen and now subject to theft although this is secret. Regarding this matter, Ziemba said: "That (seizure) might send a message to other countries that are investing in [international currency and bond] markets (such as China, she later said). That, I think, is why the [U.S.] treasury department and even the [U.S. Federal Reserve] are wary of these moves."

The CBC reports Yellen as being "reportedly cool to the idea amid suggestions it violates U.S. law and could undermine America as a safe place for other countries to invest." The CBC did not mention if she questioned the legality of the U.S. government seizing assets from Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere including Syrian and Iraqi oil and what kind of message that sends to other countries.

C-19 May Violate International Law

Proposed powers to sell and redistribute Russian assets may violate international law, says legal expert David Kleimann, an international law advisor. Chapter Two of the United Nations Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, was adopted by the International Law Commission in 2001 and submitted to the General Assembly. It lays out rules for countermeasures member states may take to hold another member accountable for illegal acts such as the U.S./NATO invasion of Afghanistan, the bombing and destruction of Yugoslavia and Libya and the U.S. "coalition of the willing" that invaded and destroyed Iraq.

Article 49 of Chapter Two says countermeasures to illegal acts "shall, as far as possible, be taken in such a way as to permit the resumption of performance of the obligations in question." C-19 however goes further, allowing authorities not only to freeze assets held in Canada but steal and sell them off. Obviously this does not "permit the resumption of performance of the obligations in question," putting C-19 in violation of international law.

After reviewing C-19, David Kleimann says he has concerns. He told the CBC: "I believe that the legal question is relatively clear here, that such an action or such procedures would violate international law." In an interview with the CBC, Kleimann said that stealing assets for whatever good or bad reason takes us down a path "to the law of the jungle, and that makes Western assets very much vulnerable to seizure, confiscation and using those proceeds for other purposes. And that is not necessarily something that Western countries would like to see, I imagine."

Concern is expressed that if Canada undermines the international standard as found in UN Article 49, it could set a risky precedent for foreign investors generally. Other governments that find themselves in conflict with Canada could follow suit and seize Canadian assets abroad. What goes around comes around, as people say.

What none of them say however, is that the international system based on private property is being destroyed. Private property can be destroyed. Just as the Civil War in the United States destroyed the system of slave labour in favour of the system of wage slavery, now at a time the U.S. imperialists and their appeasers such as Canada have imposed anarchy and violence as their way of life and they call it an "international rules-based order," private property itself is being destroyed.

There will be no going back. Self-serving arguments will not change the reality one iota.

Conservative cartel party foreign affairs critic Michael Chong suggests international law and rights apply only to those countries Canada determines are acceptable according to Canada's view and criteria. He told CBC, "Authoritarian states like Russia have demonstrated that they are willing to challenge democracies existentially and that they have zero regard for the most basic rules of the international system.

"States like Russia have forfeited some of their rights to participate in that system, particularly economically. Western sanctions and economic policy must change to acknowledge this new reality."

Kleimann tells the CBC that the Trudeau government risks looking hypocritical enacting a domestic law enabling its officials to violate international law. Kleimann says he finds it "relatively odd there hasn't been more debate in Canada" on C-19 and the entire issue of state-organized theft of legal assets. Discussion has been of the ilk of NDP cartel party member for Edmonton Strathcona Heather McPherson complaining about a lack of information, which obviously does not deal with the substance of the issue which is in fact the destruction of private property. According to her, "Global Affairs will not tell us what assets have been frozen because it says that its data may not be complete, so the government does not know what has been sanctioned and Canadians do not know what has been sanctioned." Without this information, Canadians have no way of telling if the government's plan to pressure Russia is actually working, she added.

None of this has bothered NDP leader Jagmeet Singh who supports C-19 and the theft of assets of Russian individuals and entities. The Conservative party said it opposes C-19 but not the particular measures to steal Russian assets.

Theft of what belongs to others to advance private interests is the fundamental modus operandi under capitalism. In this regard, many point out that the cartel parties all recently agreed to apologize to Canadians of Japanese origin for stealing their houses, boats, businesses and other assets during WWII and sending men, women and children to internment camps for the "crime" of being of Japanese descent. Also, the cartel parties are apologizing for the theft of Indigenous land and genocide and other crimes committed against them, which continue to this day notwithstanding.

(With files from news agencies and the CBC article: "Canada can now seize, sell off Russian assets. What's next?")

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Further Destruction of Canada's Supply Management Systems

– Dougal MacDonald –

For many years, reactionary forces in the U.S. and Canada have been trying to dismantle Canada's supply management system for agricultural products, such as milk, in order to open up profitable opportunities for the private monopolies in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere. This attack on Canadian farmers and workers will have dire consequences for their way of making a living and for the communities they provide with their products and services.

Many, many agricultural products fall under the supply management system in Canada. Dairy is just one. In the early 1970s, dairy became the first commodity in Canada to operate a national supply management system, managed by the Canadian Dairy Commission. Dairy has been much under attack in the monopoly media lately with various spokespersons for private industry declaring, without a shred of evidence, that the supply management system is the cause of rising prices for dairy products. The solution? Why privatization of course!

The actual agricultural producers were responsible for creating the supply management system. Provincial governments were pressured by farm organizations to create the marketing boards that represent the producers. The boards are controlled and funded primarily by the producers through mandatory membership assessments, which can only be changed by a majority vote of licensed producers. The boards fund research, new initiatives, and nutrition education and strive to provide producers with accurate and timely information and feedback regarding the industry.

Canada's provincial agricultural commissions and marketing boards were developed to fulfill the needs of Canadian producers, not foreign monopolies. They render account to the actual producers as to the price that is put on the value they have produced. They oppose the dogma of the ruling circles that some mysterious "free market" can set "fair" prices, when every sector of the economy is dominated by monopolies, like Nestlé, that manipulate prices to suit their narrow interests.

Rather than causing rising prices, supply management systems have a long record of maintaining stable and consistent prices for producers, processors and consumers, ensuring a constant and certain supply of quality products and eliminating reliance on subsidies. For example, since February 2001, 100 per cent of Alberta's dairy producer revenues have been derived from the market. In Alberta, the dairy industry is estimated to support over $2.5 billion in economic activity.

The agricultural products marketed through supply management systems play an important role in the lives of the people. Over 10,000 Albertans rely on milk for their livelihoods, including dairy producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, researchers, consultants, government workers, equipment salesmen, milk truck drivers and many processing and retail workers.

In fact, the dairy sector is a dynamic and consistent contributor in every Canadian province. The sector's GDP contribution was $19.9 billion in 2016.

The damage that would be caused by eliminating Canada's agricultural supply management systems for milk and other products is incalculable. It would likely mirror the damage caused by Harper's 2012 dismantling of the single desk Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). The remains of the CWB are now owned by the private U.S. monopoly Bunge and serial human rights violator Saudi Arabia. As was the case before the 1935 creation of the CWB, agri-monopolies such as Richardson's once again control the market for Canadian wheat.

Like the destruction of the CWB, the destruction of any of Canada's supply management systems would clearly be another major blow against thinking, social consciousness, and human progress.

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For Your Information

Minister of Foreign Affairs Establishes Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee

Canadian warships participate in U.S.-led war exercises in the Asia-Pacific, October 2021.

On June 9, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the creation of yet another advisory committee, which are used to bypass Parliamentary committees whose hearings are supposed to be available to the public and accountable to the House of Commons.

The government says this one, called the "Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee," will provide "independent perspectives and recommendations on Canada's Indo-Pacific strategy." The fact is that Canada is already in lockstep with U.S. brinkmanship and actions targeting China and engaging in dangerous military exercises which are provoking China.

Co-chairs of the committee are Janice Gross Stein, founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto; Pierre Pettigrew, Executive Advisor, International, at Deloitte Canada and the Government of Canada Special Envoy for the Canada-European Union Trade Agreement; and Farah Mohamed, founder, and Chief Executive Officer of G(irls)20, senior vice president of the Toronto Board of Trade, and member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Members of the advisory committee have similar credentials, proving services rendered to the Liberal party or as point people of the state.

Frank McKenna: deputy director of the Toronto-Dominion Bank; Canadian ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2006; Liberal premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997.

Hassan Yussuff: senator from Ontario; former president of the Canadian Labour Congress; appointed in 2017 to the government's NAFTA council advising the Trudeau government during negotiations with the U.S. and Mexico.

Rona Ambrose: former Conservative cabinet minister in the Harper government; interim leader of the Conservative Party from 2015 to 2017; visiting fellow at Canada Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC focused on Canadian-American trade.

Dominic Barton: global managing director for McKinsey and Company until 2018; from 2018 to 2019 Chairman of Teck Resources Ltd.; Canadian ambassador to the People's Republic of China from 2019 until December 2021; currently chairman of Rio Tinto; and chairman of the management board of Leapfrog Investments.

Jonathan Hausman: head of the global investment strategy team of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; chair of the Canadian Council for the Americas; senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto; former special assistant to the Premier of Ontario, former director of Goldman Sachs.

Odette McCarthy: executive director of Equitas, a Canadian organization that "advances equality, social justice and respect for human dignity through transformative human rights education programs in Canada and around the world"; member of the board of directors of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.

Darren Touch: Schwarzman fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and the Canada Institute.

Tabatha Bull: Anishinaabe, member of Nipissing First Nation, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; member of several boards including C.D. Howe Institute's Energy Policy program, Catalyst chief executive officer's advisory board; Canadian National Railway's Indigenous advisory council.

Salim Teja: partner with Radical Ventures, a venture capital firm with a focus on artificial intelligence.

Tammy Harris: retired major-general Canadian Armed Forces; member of the Halifax Security Forum board of directors.

Kasi Rao: managing director of Fairfax Consulting Services India Ltd., focussed on investment opportunities in India; former president and chief executive officer of Canada-India Business Council; previously president and chief executive officer in private and public sectors including BMO Financial Group, University of Toronto and the offices of the Premier of Ontario.

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The Anti-Racism Industry

Gone are the days when members of parliament served their role of involving citizens in consultations through such vehicles as public hearings and townhalls. In August 2018, AC Nielsen Company of Canada was hired by the Liberal government to implement a "national anti-racism engagement strategy" and paid $336,474. Public servants have similarly been displaced. TKB Consulting was hired to conduct "anti-racism and anti-oppression training" for the relatively small amount of $14,238.00.

Global Affairs Canada hired DiversiPro for an "inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism initiative," that cost $32,968.88. In September 2021 it also hired QuakeLab Inc. for "diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism consultant services" valued at $35,821. Jack-Davies Cross-Cultural Solutions was hired in September 2020 to provide Global Affairs Canada (GAC) with "advice on institutional changes needed at GAC in the areas of anti-racism and inclusion." It was paid $39,000.

Boys And Girls Clubs of Canada received $39,846.25 in February 2021 by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a "youth-led mentoring project to address systemic racism and support increased equity and inclusion of black, Indigenous and people of colour youth."

Rumina Morris, BSW, RSW, was paid $22,600 by ESDC in October 2021, to serve as an "anti-racism discussion facilitator to support group learning on an anti-racist, equitable, diverse and inclusive" basis. Daniel Consulting Group was paid $39,550 in July 2020 to provide "training to raise awareness" of ESDC staff members "on anti-black racism and the realities of black serving organizations."

Diversity Trainers Plus Inc was hired in February 2021 for $13,739.51 to conduct workshops on "unconscious bias and racism" for Environment and Climate Change Canada. The same agency hired Dr. Farha Shariff in December 2021 for "anti-racism and unconscious bias session facilitation" paying $33,327.81.

Anima Leadership Inc received $22,600 to provide "training on addressing systemic racism" in August 2021 for Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Consultants received $40,680 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in November 2021 to provide a "facilitator for listening sessions on systemic racism in the Health Research funding system."

QMR Staffing Solutions Inc received $222,892 in January 2021 for "Leadership development services to provide anti-racism coaching, training and advisory services" at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The company 12591219 Canada Inc was paid $12,430 in May 2021 to serve as training consultants for Family Law and Youth Justice Policy Section employees on Anti-racism at the Department of Justice Canada.

In March 2021, Graybridge Malkam was paid $22,001.98 to serve as a "senior Leadership Development Consultant to design and facilitate bilingual, virtual educational sessions regarding racism and allyship" at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Diversity Trainers Plus Inc was paid $39,550 in December 2020 to provide "the services to develop an anti-racism/discrimination strategy" at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Mobile Resource Group Inc was paid $67,619.20 for a contract that began in June 2021 to conduct an "anti-racism and discrimination review" for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission hired Charles C. Smith Consulting for "anti-racism organizational change consulting services," paying them $36,725.00.

One of the largest private contracts was given to Humanity Agency Ltd in Toronto. On December 1, 2021 the Department of Canadian Heritage awarded a $2.4 million contract "to develop, implement, manage, create awareness of, facilitate the exchange of information, and report on the marketing, programs and content integration" in support a "Public Education and Awareness Anti-Racism Campaign targeted to non-racialized Canadian middle-aged adults and non-racialized Canadian adults."

The company was selected through competitive bidding based on "the best overall proposal."

The first part of the contract valued at $1.2 million was paid for work conducted from December through to March 2022 and on March 29, the second installment was paid for work to be carried from April 2022 through to March 2023.

The objective is further detailed: "Generate awareness and serve to operationalize the Federal Secretariat's work of implementing the community engagement and public awareness objectives of Building a Foundation: Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022," assigned the acronym of CARS.

The directive for the campaign states it will "weave together an emotionally compelling narrative of contemporary Canadian identity and values as antithetical to racism and racial discrimination." The narrative should be one that "directly supports social cohesion, strength in diversity and inclusivity." It is to "eventually further strengthen Canada's leadership of these values on the global stage."

The objective is also described as providing Canadians with "targeted, timely, relevant, comprehensive and accessible information to educate the public as well as tools and activities that empower them to combat racism in their communities." Tools such as social media and other "outreach tactics" are to be used.

The "primary target" of the campaign is "non-racialized Canadian middle-aged adults (age 30-44)" which is further broken down to those living in urban and rural regions, in which there are "urban and rural racism hotspots." The "secondary target" is 18—29-year-old "non-racialized urban and rural" Canadians, as well as those aged 45 - 64.

The contract notice explains that the awareness campaign should "increase the level of target audience knowledge and understanding of:

"-- how implicit bias, and current racism and discrimination (both systemic and individual) impact people in Canada (including the latest revised definitions of racism and related terms)

"-- Canada's history of systemic racism and Indigenous Peoples as well as Black, Asian and racialized and religious minority communities' long-standing legacy of countering racism and discrimination."

It is also to raise awareness of the target audience about "specific steps they can take to address and counter racism as they experience or observe it in their everyday lives (both systemic and individual). This is expected to "increase the number of target audience members active in combating racism in their communities through such activities as: speaking out on discrimination and its impacts; working to dismantle systemic barriers; and decreasing implicit bias."

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44th Parliament Adjourns for the Summer

Status of Laws and Committee Hearings

– Barbara Biley –

The session of parliament that ended on June 23 saw eleven bills passed. Eight of the bills deal with funding for government programs and functioning. Six of the bills received Royal Assent on June 23, including the omnibus Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1, Bill C-19. Besides legislation dealing with government funding, Bills C-14 (Preserving Provincial Representation in the House of Commons Act), C-28 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication) and S-10 (Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act) were passed.

Government legislation on gun control, cyber security, the Canada Disability Benefit, and data privacy, have all been tabled in the House and will be on the agenda when the House reconvenes in September.

Matters of particular concern to Canadians because they relate to freedom of expression include Bill C-26, An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts which completed first reading on June 14. Bill C-26 provides the government with sweeping new powers including access to confidential information which it claims are needed "to direct" how critical infrastructure operators prepare for and respond to cyber attacks.

Through the new legislation, the government wants to hand additional responsibilities to the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), "which is tasked with protecting government infrastructure and signals intelligence," Global News reported on June 14. Global News says the government wants to prohibit those companies from publicly disclosing anything about the directives issued by the federal government, "including the mere existence of any orders to beef up protections."

Under the new provisions, the government wants the power to compel cyber security action from a new category of what it calls "designated operators" working in four federally-regulated sectors: finance, telecommunications, energy, and transportation."

The Liberals have not yet fulfilled their promise to reintroduce Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech) which died on the order paper when the election was called. Bill C-36 included an addition to the Canadian Human Rights Act that the government says will clarify the definition of hate speech and make online hate speech a form of discrimination. It is expected that some variant of Bill C-36 will be introduced in the fall along with legislation regulating the broader category of "online harms." The government has stated that it will take into consideration the recommendations of its Expert Advisory Group on Online Safety in preparing the legislation.

Other Matters Taken Up in this Session

Police clear Ottawa streets, February 19, 2022, following invoking of Emergencies Act.

Other major developments during this session of Parliament include the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the subsequent establishment of a Special Joint Committee for "Review of the Exercise of Powers and the Performance of Duties and Functions Pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency that was in Effect from Monday, February 14, 2022, to Wednesday, February 23, 2022."

The Review Committee gave its first report to the House on March 22. Hearings of the committee have been the subject of much media attention, particularly over the claim by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino that the Emergencies Act was invoked on the recommendation of law enforcement while law enforcement witnesses have denied any request for the act.

A judicial inquiry headed by Justice Paul S. Rouleau, an Ontario Appeal Court judge, is also being conducted into the use of the Emergencies Act. The Prime Minister's Office says that they need until February 13, 2023 to decide whether to release records about the Freedom Convoy, the same month that the inquiry is to wrap up. This was all announced in response to a Global News request under Access to Information laws.

On March 14, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, without consulting their caucuses or membership, entered into what was called a "historic agreement." They call it a "confidence and supply agreement," and finally made it public on March 21. Many NDP rank and file call it a "merger" and decry the fact that no one was consulted.

The agreement pledges NDP support for whatever the Liberal government does until the end of its current term in 2025. In return, Jagmeet Singh says the government introduced various NDP proposals in its budget, including dental care, a promise to pass a pharmacare bill by the end of 2023, funding for housing, the end of "inefficient" fossil-fuel subsidies by the end of 2023, 10 days of paid sick leave for workers in the federally regulated private sector, support for burial searches at residential school sites, taxes on "excess" profits of banks and insurance groups and a registry of the real names of owners of companies.

Above all else, the deal reveals that Canadians exercise no control over the decisions taken in their name, to the extent that even Liberal and NDP Members of Parliament and party members are left in the dark. In other words, the deal reveals the need for people's empowerment because the cartel party system and cartel party government are not under the people's control.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland appeared at the Toronto Star's Editorial Board on June 17, the day after she delivered a major speech on inflation to the Empire Club in Toronto -- a sorry vestige of colonial times if ever there was one. She revealed there the extent to which the agreement signed between NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau did nothing to fetter Liberal arrogance.

She was adamant that the Liberals already complied with their side of the bargain when they put NDP demands into budget 2022, such as dental care starting this year for children under 12 from low-income families and more housing "affordability" support, including a one-time $500 payment to eligible low-income renters.

"Those were good ideas. I'm glad that they are in the budget, I'm glad we're doing them. I think they're very appropriate for Canadians today," Freeland said. But, she told the Star, when it comes to which economic and political decisions need to be made "going forward, the government is a Liberal government. This is not a coalition."

"And so, you know, we will absolutely stick to our supply and confidence agreement with the NDP. I think that we kind of collectively have a good political working relationship with them and we're going to keep on building on that. But ultimately, it is our government, our party, that has responsibility for the government's key policies, including the finance portfolio."

Another indication of Liberal arrogance was revealed when the Auditor General presented four reports on May 30 which dealt with systemic barriers in correctional services, how to ensure hard-to-reach populations receive government supports to which they are entitled, processing of disability claims for veterans of the RCMP and military and 'gender based analysis plus' in government. She said that on these files she is more frustrated than hopeful at government inaction on previous decisions.

Also on May 30 the Arbour Report, the Independent External Comprehensive Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, was released. The investigation revealed, in the words of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, "an unrelenting and sanctioned culture of misogyny, racism, and homophobia against women, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous, Black and racialized workers within Canada's armed forces creating an overwhelmingly difficult -- if not impossible -- environment to report abuse without fear of blame or retaliation."

Not unrelated is the revelation of large numbers of contracts given by departments and branches of government to private companies and organizations to conduct sensitivity training, spawning a veritable "anti-racism industry."

Notable non-legislative actions in the Parliament during this session include: government sanctions against Russia, military aid to Ukraine, special preferential treatment for Ukrainian refugees while the treatment of other refugees and migrant workers continues to be deplorable, calls for increased military spending, funding for renewal of NORAD and increased integration into the U.S. war economy, and pay-the-rich schemes to secure critical infrastructure and critical minerals, amongst other programs which are nation-wrecking and go against the interests of the people.

Parliament ended in an atmosphere of scandal with accusations against the Trudeau Liberals of interference in the Nova Scotia RCMP's investigation into the killing of 22 people April 18-19, 2020. The allegations of political interference are based on information provided to the Mass Casualty Commission, the public inquiry into the mass killings, in notes made by Nova Scotia RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell. The notes were made during a conference call with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki on April 28 following an April 24, 2020 press conference.

In his notes, Campbell says that RCMP Commissioner Lucki expressed dissatisfaction with how the Nova Scotia RCMP were conducting their investigation. Specifically she wanted him to publicly release information on the guns used in the killings. Campbell had not released that information in the April 24 news conference and explained to Commissioner Lucki that to do so would jeopardize the investigation. She said that this was tied to pending gun control legislation and that she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP would release the information.

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Ramifications of the Plunder of Critical Minerals and Rare Earth Elements

Canada Joins Dangerous U.S. Critical
Minerals Supply Chain

– Fernand Deschamps –

Sudbury picket, September 6, 2018, against planned development of Ring of Fire, without Indigenous consent. Extraction of critical minerals make up a major portion of the mining planned for the area.

The U.S. State Department on June 14 announced the establishment of a "Minerals Security Partnership" (MSP) which includes Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the UK, the U.S. and the European Union (EU). It commits "to building robust critical mineral supply chains to support economic prosperity and climate objectives."

The State Department informs that the announcement was made in Toronto "during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada [PDAC] convention, the largest mining event in the world." The State Department goes on to state that:

"The goal of the MSP is to ensure that critical minerals are produced, processed, and recycled in a manner that supports the ability of countries to realize the full economic development benefit of their geological endowments. Demand for critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies, is projected to expand significantly in the coming decades. The MSP will help catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities – across the full value chain – that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards."

Global Times calls the MSP a dangerous signal of the U.S. push to decouple China from mineral supply chains. The newspaper quotes a Beijing-based expert on international security who asked for anonymity saying: "The acts or calls for pushing decoupling with China just proved that the U.S. is not going to fix ties with China or Russia for the sake of world peace, but will keep its hostile moves to pressure China and Russia to serve its strategic competition that aims to protect its hegemony."

In that same vein, on February 22, two days prior to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the White House issued a statement entitled "Securing a Made in America Supply Chain for Critical Minerals" as part of what it called "breaking dependence on China." The statement goes on to say that "In June (2021), the Biden-Harris Administration released a first-of-its-kind supply chain assessment that found our over-reliance on foreign sources and adversarial nations for critical minerals and materials posed national and economic security threats." At the end of that statement, it is mentioned that "In October (2021), President Biden streamlined the National Defense Stockpile by signing Executive Order 14051 to delegate authority [for] release of strategic and critical materials to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment."

Executive Order 14051 on the Designation to Exercise Authority Over the National Defense Stockpile, "confers authority related to the release of strategic and critical materials from the National Defense Stockpile to improve Federal Government efforts around stockpiling for national defense purposes." Section 3 — Execution and Consultation, states: "In executing the authority conferred by this order, the Under Secretary [of Defense] may release strategic and critical materials from the National Defense Stockpile for use, sale, or other disposition only when required for use, manufacture, or production for purposes of national defense. No release is authorized for economic or budgetary purposes."

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an "independent, nonpartisan membership organization," a think tank that brings together the ruling factions and includes former members of various administrations, such as Elliot Abrams, a National Security Advisor for Trump, Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State under Bush and Richard Hass, a major Clinton backer.  CFR said:  "The Defense Department reportedly stockpiles rare earth minerals, which are used to manufacture advanced weaponry, and lithium, a critical input for advanced batteries, to curb its reliance on Chinese sources. The Pentagon also maintains a National Defense Stockpile of about $1.1 billion worth of various metals."

The Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), "The Nation's Combat Logistics Support Agency," advertises on its website that "DLA Strategic Materials stores 42 commodities with a current market value of over $1.1 billion at six locations in the U.S. Commodities range from base metals such as zinc, cobalt, and chromium to the more precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and iridium. There is no private sector company in the world that sells this wide range of commodities and materials." In other words the U.S. government provides the nation's supply chain with critical minerals needed for production of weapons by the military contractors, as much in times of peace as in times of war. Canada also plays an important part in that supply chain.

The location, timing and nature of the announcement of the MSP are indicative of U.S. dictate and Canada's integration into the U.S. economy and war machine and raises serious questions about what is going on.

A June 15 news release on the Government of Canada website states that Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, took part in the PDAC convention where he advanced the development of the MSP. It paraphrases the U.S. State Department news release. No other information is given, such as a backgrounder, except for a link to the State Department news release.

At the PDAC convention, Minister Wilkinson also released "the Critical Minerals Strategy discussion paper, which seeks input from provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industry and interested stakeholders on Canada's upcoming Critical Minerals Strategy." Consultations on this paper will take place from June 14 to September 15, with submissions to be made by email.

The discussion paper is entitled "Opportunities from Exploration to Recycling: Powering the Green and Digital Economy for Canada and the World."

In the Minister's foreword to the paper, Wilkinson speaks euphemistically about U.S. contention and economic warfare with China vis-à-vis critical minerals in this way: "At the same time as these projections for increased demand, geopolitical uncertainty has magnified the precariousness of existing sources of minerals and metals.

"Governments around the world have begun to assess their vulnerability to supply shocks for commodities they cannot sufficiently source inside their own borders but on which their economies depend."

He also notes that Canada "is home to almost half of the world's publicly listed mining and mineral exploration companies, with a presence in more than 100 countries. With a combined market capitalization of $520 billion."

Canadian mining companies are globally infamous for their abuse of the peoples and natural environment in countries where they operate. In Canada, the Indigenous peoples are already familiar with bogus consultations that in practice are used to deny their hereditary and treaty rights to exercise control over their territories.

The world's biggest mining monopolies, such as Glencore (with headquarters in the UK and Switzerland) and Rio Tinto (UK, Australia), are already well known to workers in Canada and elsewhere for their anti-worker practices.

Besides stoking conflict with China, the U.S.-led MSP and Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy discussion paper indicate the dangers in store for the workers and peoples of the world. These war preparations are done in the name of “environmental protection and climate action,” “reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples and the so-called green economy.

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Federal Government's Discussion Paper on
Critical Minerals Strategy

On June 14, Natural Resources Canada issued a news release entitled "Minister Wilkinson Launches Discussion Paper to Inform Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy." It was followed the next day by another, entitled "Minister Wilkinson Positions Canada as a Global Leader in Sustainable Mineral Development and Green Mining Innovation."

In both news releases, the Trudeau government continues to argue out the "urgent need to develop Canada's critical minerals supply chains" with "a focus on the following six minerals: lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, and rare-earth elements," which it presents in its Discussion Paper.

The Discussion Paper explains, "These minerals have been selected because they offer the greatest economic growth and employment opportunities across the country, including for Indigenous peoples, along the entire value chain (exploration, mining, processing, manufacturing, and recycling). In addition, these six minerals support the manufacture of value-added products, including clean technologies, information/communication technology, and advanced manufacturing."[1]

In reference to the Discussion Paper, Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, announced that the Government of Canada will be seeking "input from provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industry and interested stakeholders on Canada's upcoming Critical Minerals Strategy" between now and September 15, 2022.

The input will be "guided by five key outcomes:

- economic growth and competitiveness;

- environmental protection and climate action;

- enhanced security and partnership with allies;

- advancing reconciliation; and

- advancing diversity and inclusion."

All of this is done in the name of high ideals such as "to help support Canada's just transition toward a net-zero emissions economy," "to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," "require more minerals to enable the clean energy transition," "Partnering with Indigenous Peoples in natural resource projects," "foster diverse and inclusive workforces and communities," and so on. An impression is created that it is the Canadian people and Indigenous peoples who will benefit from what the Trudeau government calls the "net-zero emissions economy," "clean energy transition," "natural resource projects" and "advancing Indigenous reconciliation." Far from it.

In announcing the Discussion Paper, the Government of Canada talks about "international collaboration" so as to "enhance global security and partnerships with allies," whereby "Canada is working with the United States, European Union, and other international partners to sustainably develop critical minerals, advance science, research and development on critical minerals, and strengthen collaboration on environmental standards, transparency and the security of supply chains for the green and digital economy."

This "international collaboration" is to hide the fact that Canada has sided with U.S. imperialist striving for world hegemony, in their rivalry with Russia and China. This can be seen in the Roadmap for Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, signed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden in February 2021.

Critical Minerals Supply Chains to Serve the War Economy

On the same day the Roadmap for Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership was announced, February 24, 2021, the Biden administration issued Executive Order 14017 on America's Supply Chains, which amongst other things states:

"The Secretary of Defense (as the National Defense Stockpile Manager), in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials, including rare earth elements (as determined by the Secretary of Defense), and policy recommendations to address these risks. The report shall also describe and update work done pursuant to Executive Order 13953 of September 30, 2020 (Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries)."

The 250-page follow-up report is entitled, Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-based Growth: 100-Day Reviews under Executive Order 14017. In it the White House writes of the issue of critical minerals:

"Given the importance of lithium batteries to the warfighter, assured sources of critical minerals and materials and both domestic and allied capability for lithium cell and battery manufacturing are critical to U.S. national security. The supply chain security of minerals, materials, cells, and battery components is of concern today."[2]

When presenting Budget 2022 in April, the Trudeau government with the support of the NDP, showed it was in lockstep with the plans of the Biden administration for critical minerals supply chains, as part of the U.S. strategy to dominate Asia, Europe and other parts of the world.

The June 15 news release from Natural Resources Canada states amongst other things, "In Budget 2022, Canada committed $3.8 billion over eight years for a Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy to support the development of and attract investment in Canada's critical minerals."

Budget 2022 Pay-the-Rich Schemes Linked to
Critical Minerals Strategy

The pay-the-rich schemes put forward by the Trudeau government in Budget 2022 are in the form of financial measures of up to $3.8 billion to implement Canada's first Critical Minerals Strategy, starting in 2022-23. These are mostly in support of mining companies extracting critical minerals.

Location map of Canada's Critical Mineral Projects (Budget 2022, Government of Canada) 

Specific measures include:

- Up to $1.5 billion over seven years, starting in 2023-24, for infrastructure investments that would support the development of the critical minerals supply chains, with a focus on priority deposits.

- Providing up to $1.5 billion, starting 2024-25, to support critical mineral projects, with a priority focus on mineral manufacturing, processing, and recycling applications.

- Providing up to $144.4 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council to support research and development of technologies and materials on which critical mineral value chains depend.

- Allocating $103.4 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to develop a National Benefit-Sharing Framework for natural resources, and the expansion of both the Indigenous Partnership Office and the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program.

- The introduction of a new 30 per cent Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for specified mineral exploration expenses incurred in Canada and renounced to flow-through share investors.

This is what Green Car Congress, a daily newsletter dedicated to "Energy, technologies, issues and policies for sustainable mobility" had to say about the Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit:

"The tax credit would apply to certain exploration expenditures targeted at nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium, tellurium, gallium, scandium, titanium, magnesium, zinc, platinum group metals, or uranium, and renounced as part of a flow-through share agreement entered into after Budget Day and on or before March 31, 2027.[3]

"The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) are the world's primary listing venues for mining and mineral exploration companies, with more than 1,170 issuers in 2021. Between 2017 and 2021, almost $45 billion of the world's total equity capital for these mineral exploration and mining companies was raised by companies listed on the TSX or TSXV.

"Canada already supplies many of the minerals deemed critical by the United States. In 2020, bilateral mineral trade was valued at $95.6 billion, with 298 Canadian mining companies and a combined $40 billion in Canadian mining assets south of the border," the Discussion Paper states in Appendix F – "Canada's Global Cooperation on Critical Minerals."

A year later, in March 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched a program to help U.S. mining companies and battery makers expand into Canada. The move is part of a strategy to boost regional production of minerals used to make electric vehicles (EVs) and "counter Chinese market dominance." Not surprisingly, more and more of these critical mineral deposits in Canada are being bought out by foreign private interests, mostly Australian, U.S. and British, with the help in certain cases of foreign governments, as is the case with the United States.


1. Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy: Discussion Paper, Government of Canada, Ottawa, 2022.
2. See "Essence of Roadmap for 'Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership,'" TML Monthly Supplement, November 8, 2021.
3. "Canada's Budget 2022 calls for C$3.8B to launch Critical Minerals Strategy," Green Car Congress, April 8, 2022.

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Rare Earth Elements as "a Political Weapon"

In 2019, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) commissioned the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to prepare a "scientometric study on rare earth elements (REEs) with a view to understanding the potential impact of new research on future security and defence capabilities and operations."

On its website, DRDC describes itself as "Canada's science, technology and innovation leader, trusted advisor, collaborative partner, and knowledge integrator for defence and security" with a stated role of providing "national leadership on defence and security science, technology and innovation to enhance Canada's defence and security posture." In doing so, DRDC "advise[s] the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the public safety and national security communities on science and technology related issues."

The 2019 NRC Report entitled "Scientometric Study on Rare Earth Elements" was only made public by DRDC in September 2021 but not in its entirety, as a recent CBC news item related to the NRC Report revealed that "nearly 100 pages of Department of National Defence's internal files were withheld, underscoring the sensitivity of information surrounding access to these resources."

As the NRC Report emphasizes, REEs are 15 chemical elements that "are valued for their properties of thermal and electrical conductivity, magnetism, luminescence and ability to act as catalysts. They are indispensable to the manufacture of a wide variety of products, from appliances and baseball bats to smartphones and weapons systems."[1]

Report Accuses China of Using Rare Earth Elements as
a "Political Weapon"

In reference to REE applications related to "weapon systems," the NRC Report states the following:

"REEs are also crucial for national security, as they are key ingredients in the production of a variety of defence-related components and applications. For example, the military's night-vision goggles, GPS equipment, batteries, sensors and other defence electronics all utilize rare-earth elements. Praseodymium is used in Neodymium rare earth magnets, and acts as an alloying agent with magnesium to create high-strength metals used in aircraft engines. Terbium is used for laser targeting and weapons in combat vehicles. Other uses of REEs in defence include:

"- fin actuators in missile guidance and control systems, controlling the direction of the missile;

"- disk drive motors installed in aircraft, tanks, missile systems, and command and control centres;

"- lasers for enemy mine detection, interrogators, underwater mines, and countermeasures;

"- satellite communications, radar, sonar on submarines and surface ships, optical equipment and speakers."[2]

The NRC Report goes on to say:

"At the same time as demand for rare earth elements continues to grow, there has been increasing concern among many nations about the instability of the supply chain, owing to the fact that China has a near monopoly on the mining, processing and supply of REEs. Any disruption to the availability of rare earths could have serious economic and national security impacts around the world."

In an attempt to use maritime boundary disputes between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dao Islands and other islands in the East China sea, the author of the NRC Report, an "intelligence analyst" with NRC's Intelligence & Analytics, tries to depict China as an aggressor state that "is willing to use its rare earths as a political weapon." He says:

"In September 2010 during a border dispute, Japan detained the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that had collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels. China responded by announcing that it would halt all shipments of rare earths to Japan, whose high-tech industries heavily rely on the imported metals. Japan immediately released the Chinese fishing captain, and in so doing confirmed to the world China's control of REEs, what some observers called the 21st century version of the 'Oil Weapon' that Arab countries used during the 1973 OPEC embargo."

What this "intelligence analyst" forgets to mention is that Japan, with the support of the United States, has been actively pursuing a policy of stirring up trouble in those disputed waters with the help of American naval military presence in the form of aircraft carriers roaming the South and East China seas.[3]

Worldwide Distribution of Rare Earth Elements --
The Myth About the Chinese Monopoly

The past and present U.S. administration and the Trudeau government have been repeating ad nauseam that China poses a threat to the national security of both countries because of "China's near-monopoly of REE supply." The 2019 NRC Report argues in the same way by stating that "despite their prevalence, REEs are not found in concentrated deposits, making them difficult and costly to extract. As a result, the global supply comes from only a few sources; primarily China, which accounts for close to 90 per cent of the world's annual production. According to the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Commodities Summary 2019, the U.S. was 100 per cent reliant on imports of rare earths during 2018, 80 per cent of which came from China."[4] The same arguments were already presented as part of the U.S. narrative on China a decade ago.

In a document issued in March 2011 by the U.S. Congressional Research Service and entitled Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress, its author states that "From the 1960s to the 1980s, the United States was the leader in global production of rare earths. Since that time, production of the world's supply of rare earths has shifted almost entirely to China, in part due to lower labour costs and lower environmental standards." The author of the same report goes on to say that "Policymakers are concerned with the nearly total U.S. dependence on China for rare earth elements, including oxides, phosphors, metals, alloys, and magnets, and its implications for U.S. national security" and that "the 'crisis' for many policymakers is not that China has cut its rare earth exports and appears to be restricting the world's access to rare earths, but that the United States has lost its domestic capacity to produce strategic and critical materials."[5]

In other words, the problem is not that China has embarked on a long-term plan to extract and refine REEs but that the ruling elite in the United States sees itself losing its world dominance and monopoly on the REE market in favour of China. This is why the 2011 U.S. Congressional Research Service Report emphasizes the need for the U.S. Department of Defense "to assess rare earth supply chain vulnerability issues" while "Congress may want to consider alternatives including development of a domestic rare earths stockpile; government investment in rare earths production, including various aspects of its supply chain; and partnering with foreign allies to diversify rare earth sources and decrease dependence on China."

The 2011 Report was followed by a December 2013 U.S. Congressional Research Service Report entitled Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain in which a case was made for "Rebuilding the U.S. Rare Earth Supply Chain." To show the "potential supply restriction or vulnerability" of rare earth elements and other minerals in the U.S., a world map was produced to "illustrate China's near-monopoly position in world rare earth production" for the period covering 2008-2013.[6]

REE World Production, Reserves and U.S. Imports, 2008-2013

However a more updated map taken from Natural Resources Canada's website, shows how the REE production between China and the rest of the world over the 2011-2020 decade, has significantly changed.[7]

 REE World Production, China and Rest of the world, 2011-2020 (Natural Resources Canada)

What that last graph shows, is that since 2016-2017, the REE production gap between China and what is called the "Rest of the world" has shrunk significantly, going from a difference in production of REEs of about 110,000 tonnes in 2011 to a difference in production of REEs of about 37,000 tonnes in 2020.

At the time the 2019 NRC Report was written, Australia was already the "second largest REE producer, while other countries with significant deposits include the U.S., Canada, Russia, Brazil, and India."

The next table shows the five main countries producing REEs in 2020, with China representing 58 per cent of world production, with the United States, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar together representing now 38 per cent of world production.

 World REE production 2020 (Natural Resources Canada) 

Since the publication of the 2019 NRC Report, the first heavy rare earth element mine in Canada started its operations 100 km southeast of Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories (Nechalacho mine), owned by Australia-based Vital Metals.

Already in 2013, the U.S. administration had its eyes on Canada's REE potential deposits such as the one at Nechalacho because they "contain the heavy rare earth elements [HREEs] dysprosium, terbium, and europium, which are needed for magnets to operate at high temperatures."[8] The same HREEs dominate in the Quebec-Labrador area of Strange Lake where "The Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) signed an agreement with Midland Exploration Inc. for the development of the Ytterby project in Quebec, Canada. JOGMEC is under the authority of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry with a mandate to invest in projects worldwide to receive access to stable supplies of natural resources for Japan."[9]

Here is a summary of potential REE deposits in Canada as described by Natural Resources Canada:

The following map published by the government of Canada shows the location of existing and potential mining projects within Canada for extracting REEs as well as critical minerals such as lithium, copper, nickel, cobalt, chromium, graphite, etc.

Map of Canada showing current and potential mining projects for REEs and other critical minerals (Natural Resources Canada)

All of these projects show that Canada is in lockstep with serving the U.S. war machine and with it, U.S. striving for world domination, including efforts to crush Russia and contain China. This is what the push for Canada’s REEs and critical minerals is all about.


1. National Research Council of Canada, "Scientometric Study on Rare Earth Elements," Ottawa, December 2019, page 8.
2. National Research Council of Canada, "Scientometric Study on Rare Earth Elements," Ottawa, December 2019, page 27.
3. See "Japan Takes a Shot at China – via Taiwan," Jens Kastner and Wang Jyh-Perng, Asia Times Online, July 7, 2010, in TML Daily, July 12, 2010.
4. National Research Council of Canada, "Scientometric Study on Rare Earth Elements", Ottawa, December 2019, page 8.
5. Congressional Research Service, "Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress," March 31, 2011, 26 pages.
6. Congressional Research Service, "Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain," December 16, 2013, Washington, DC., 29 pages.
7. Natural Resources Canada, Rare Earth Elements Facts, 2021.
8. Congressional Research Service, "Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain." December 16, 2013, Washington, DC, page 15.
9. National Research Council of Canada, "Scientometric Study on Rare Earth Elements," Ottawa, December 2019, page 46.

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Lowering Standards for Pollutant Emissions in Quebec

Rouyn-Noranda Community Demands Urgent
Action to Curb Arsenic Emissions

– Pierre Chénier –

Townhall in Rouyn-Noranda on problem of arsenic emissions, July 6, 2022.

Community organizations in Rouyn-Noranda, in the Abitibi region of Quebec, such as Mothers at the Front and the Stop Toxic Emissions and Discharges (ARET) Committee, are speaking out to demand urgent action so that emissions of arsenic and other elements such as cadmium in the air are drastically and immediately lowered. The culprit is the Horne smelter, owned by the Anglo-Swiss mining/metallurgical giant Glencore. The fumes are so bad at times that people are directly affected, especially in the Notre-Dame neighbourhood, which is very close to the smelter, and parents are particularly concerned about the health of their young children.

Residents held a public meeting on July 6. According to the media, several people spoke and denounced the fact that the government persists in saying that it is impossible for Glencore to respect the limit allowed in Quebec for arsenic emissions, which is three nanograms per cubic metre. That is also the World Health Organization's standard. Many also criticized the Quebec government's intentions to provide public funds to Glencore to reduce its pollution.

Troubling Facts

Overexposure to arsenic has led to concerns about the development of cancer in the population. Already, a study conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Social Services on the 2013-2017 level of lung cancer in Quebec revealed that the incidence of lung cancer was 140 per 100,000 people in Rouyn-Noranda, while the average in Quebec was 107.7. The incidence of lung cancer was also higher in Rouyn-Noranda than in the region's other municipalities, although to a lesser degree than in Quebec as a whole.

Other studies have identified a higher than normal proportion of low birth weights in newborns, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lower life expectancy than in the rest of Quebec. According to a study released by Quebec's Public Health Expertise and Reference Centre (INSPQ) on July 6, maintaining the status quo with respect to arsenic and cadmium emissions in the city's atmosphere would result in 13 to 550 additional cases of lung cancer per million people in Quebec, while the risk considered negligible in Quebec is one case per million.The risk considered negligible for Quebec is one case per million. If the status quo is kept, lung cancer rates for the city of Rouyn-Noranda could climb to 61 cases per 100,000 and for the Notre-Dame neighbourhood 87 cases per 100,000 people.

However, the most disturbing aspect is the very high level of arsenic emissions in the ambient air. The smelter is officially allowed to exceed the Quebec standard under the hoax that the standard came into effect in 2011, long after the smelter began operations in 1927.

The Quebec government currently allows a limit of 100 nanograms per cubic metre, over 30 times higher than the standard. According to Quebec government data, the level of arsenic released in the air actually reached an average of 100 nanograms per cubic metre in 2021.

The government has a ministerial committee and agreements with Glencore on lowering the rates, but essentially, it is allowing the company to regulate itself, as is being done federally with the rail industry, with disastrous consequences. It suggests, it advises, it is concerned -- but the decision rests with Glencore.

In March 2021, Quebec's Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Benoit Charette, spoke of the direction the government is providing to the company.

"Yes, close monitoring of emissions by the company itself," he said. "We want to establish an agreement with this company, which has always been very collaborative, so that we can better support it. There are different ministries that can intervene in the process. Naturally, Public Health and the Environment, but our colleagues in the Economy and in Municipal Affairs are also involved.

"This is where my colleague Pierre Fitzgibbon [Minister of the Economy] will intervene to see where the company's needs are," he added. "The company already has some projects to improve its industrial processes. This can take the form of financial as well as technical support, and this is where the committee's versatility comes into play."

The Quebec government is currently in talks with Glencore to establish the limit for upcoming years. However, given the spirit it is displaying and its elimination of even the possibility of abiding by the Quebec standard, nobody trusts that the government will actually force Glencore to drastically reduce its arsenic emissions.

An Argument that Doesn't Hold Water

The government's unfounded argument is that a balance must be struck between economic development and health and safety and the environment. This argument does not hold water. 

Modern high-tech production such as that used in the ore-smelting sector can have serious consequences for the natural and social environment when monopolies like Glencore are not held accountable by government.  Environmental control and protection need to be an integral part of production itself. They are an essential part of the control that can and must be exercised, but instead the government protects and pays Glencore to continue its poisoning of the human and natural environment. Furthermore, besides enforcing standards with redress, no public funds should be handed over to Glencore to address their irresponsible arsenic emissions.

Glencore shows that the private monopolies and oligopolies want nothing to interfere with the pursuit of maximum private profit for themselves. The government claims of providing a “balance” between economic development and the environment are a fraud. A sound environment is the responsibility of the owners of modern production and technology exists to guarantee it. As long as global private interests control production and own the production facilities, they must be required to use some of the social wealth they expropriate from the workers to ensure that the human and natural environment remains unharmed.

Premier François Legault is playing a dishonest game with regard to where its own responsibility lies. On June 23, he hinted at the threat of closure if demands are placed on Glencore. "The people of Rouyn-Noranda do not want the company to be closed," he told reporters. Then, faced with the opposition of the people, he told the press, on July 5: "Let's be very clear: if no plan is submitted by the company to reduce emissions to a level that is safe for the public, we are effectively not ruling out closing down the company."

People are very clear. The Quebec government must defend and protect them. It must hear the voice of the people speaking out on what they require in order to live a healthy and secure life, which is their right. However, under the hoax of protecting jobs and of "economic development," that right has never been recognized and enforced. It must force Glencore to abide by the Quebec standard, within a definite time frame.

Are these phrases the Premier is uttering a plan to open up the floodgates for an ever more massive injection of public funds into Glencore in the name of avoiding the possibility of a closure? And if a closure were to occur, are workers and communities to blame?

Legault's statements do not reflect the history of the labour and popular movement in the region. In the early 2000s, and even before, the smelter workers and their union fought an epic struggle to block emissions of beryllium, sulfur and other elements, to protect workers and the community. They faced blackmail and the threat of closure, but they declared that they were not going to be intimidated and that production must include a safe and healthy environment for all. And the plant did not close! Progress was made to protect workers and the public.

It is absurd to say that a determined struggle to defend rights will inevitably close the plant. It is this struggle that moves us forward and paves the way for progress in all aspects of life, including building an economy that serves the well-being of the people and over which they exercise control.

Let us passionately defend the cause of the people of Rouyn-Noranda who are speaking out in defence of their rights and a future worthy of the name!

(Photos: CARET, E.L. Therrien)

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Quebec Government Commissions Market Studies to Justify Lowering Nickel Air Emission Standards

In 2018, following lobbying efforts by mining companies such as Glencore to justify a more than five-fold increase in nickel air emission limits, the Quebec Liberal Party in power commissioned SNC-Lavalin and Deloitte "to conduct a comparative analysis of the regulatory framework [for nickel] and to advise" the government.

According to the Deloitte report, which remained confidential until December 2021, when the new nickel air emission regulations were published, one of the "key findings of the study" was that "a nickel standard more restrictive than elsewhere in the world and in the rest of Canada could make additional investments in Quebec in the nickel sector less attractive, at a time when the global context appears more favourable to the development of new projects. Notably, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Australia could be potential alternatives."[1] This justification of "attracting investments" is presented even as the price of nickel has risen from U.S.$7,000 per tonne in 2016 to over U.S.$22,000 per tonne on February 24, the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

What these mining oligopolies are actually concerned about is that their already staggering profits may be threatened by peoples' and Indigenous nations' movements opposing the plunder of Mother Earth's natural resources and the pollution of the natural environment. This was expressed by way of another observation made in the Deloitte report:

"The combination of the threshold and frequency requirements of Quebec nickel standards exposes nickel mining companies to repeated overruns. The publication of these results could raise concerns within surrounding local populations and Indigenous communities and even call into question the social acceptability of projects. Communities could demand a reopening of their impact and benefit agreement in order to be compensated for this perceived risk to their environment and health, and residents around new mine sites could go so far as to put pressure to end mining activities or at least for potentially substantial investments in additional mitigation measures."[2]

In other words, the regular publication of airborne nickel emission rates is making the mining oligopolies worry that "surrounding populations and Indigenous communities [will] question the social acceptability of projects" once they realize that these mining companies are repeatedly exceeding the scientifically rigorous standards in place for airborne nickel. These same local populations and communities will rightly demand that these mining companies put in place mitigation measures that will reduce the presence of nickel sulphide in the air but that will compromise their astronomical profits.

It is precisely this concern that the Deloitte report alludes to when it talks of "looking at the potential impacts of the current nickel standard in Quebec." The report states that "the current nickel standard could call into question the social acceptability of projects, hinder their competitiveness and jeopardize significant economic benefits for Quebec."[3]

To set the stage for the "social acceptability" of the new standard, a spokesperson for Quebec's Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, in an interview with Radio-Canada on December 27, 2021, said: "The implementation of additional mitigation measures [to minimize nickel emissions] in response to potential standard overruns would reduce the global competitiveness of nickel mines in Quebec and could eventually have them slow down their activities temporarily or even permanently."

In other words, the priority for the Legault government is the mining companies' quest for new markets for their products internationally and the pursuit of maximum profit for these large private interests. It is not the health of the residents of Limoilou and the mining and Indigenous communities, who become "collateral damage."

Thus, in order to satisfy the demands of these global oligopolies who see the world as belonging to them, the Quebec government has rendered the standard for airborne nickel five times less stringent rather than require that these wealthy oligarchs put in place mitigation measures that, from a technological point of view, already exist. Such measures are even mentioned in the Deloitte report: a closed building to store nickel concentrate, a dust collection and dust suppression system, a wet scrubber, a control curtain surrounding the equipment drop-off area to control dust projections, sufficient watering of the equipment to prevent dust emissions, regular cleaning and watering of the loading areas, etc. Such mitigation measures would make it possible to capture at the source the nickel sulphide dust that would otherwise escape into the air.

For the Legault government, nickel is "a key component for the electrification of transportation" and for its strategy to develop the lithium battery industry for electric vehicles. However, not a word is said about nickel's widespread use in applications related to the aerospace industry, whose military component is becoming increasingly important.

Here is what the United States Geological Survey (USGS) says about nickel and its use:

"About 65 per cent of the nickel consumed in the Western World is used to make austenitic stainless steel [steel containing chromium, nickel and other elements such as molybdenum, titanium and niobium -- TML Ed. Note]. Another 12 per cent goes into superalloys (e.g., Inconel 600) or nonferrous alloys (e.g., cupronickel). Both families of alloys are widely used because of their corrosion resistance. The aerospace industry is a leading consumer of nickel-base superalloys. Turbine blades, discs and other critical parts of jet engines are fabricated from superalloys. Nickel-base superalloys are also used in land-based combustion turbines, such as those found at electric power generation stations." [4]


1. Deloitte, Final Report: Economic Impact Assessment of the Nickel Standard and Industry in Quebec, December 3, 2018, p.37. 

2. Ibid, p.37

3. Ibid, p.29

4. USGS, Nickel Statistics and Information.

(With files from Radio-Canada, MELCC, Direction de la santé publique du Québec, Monlimoilou, Journal de Montréal, USGS)

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Government Bowing to Demands of Mining Companies to Produce Nickel Without Regard
for People's Health

In Quebec, a new daily air emission standard for nickel came into effect on April 28, 2022 in Quebec. Tabled on December 16, 2021, the Projet de règlement modifiant le Règlement sur l'assainissement de l'atmosphère -- norme nickel, was issued by the Legault government's Conseil des ministres (cabinet) and allows the mining industry to increase fivefold -- from 14 to 70 nanograms per cubic metre (ng/m3) -- the daily airborne nickel emission standard. 

This will have a direct impact on the transshipment of nickel concentrate (pentlandite) that arrives by ship from Glencore's Raglan mine in Nunavik and Vale's Voisey's Bay mine in Labrador to the port of Quebec City. It is unloaded there and transported by rail to smelters in Sudbury.

Documents obtained by Radio-Canada reveal that residents of Vieux-Limoilou, located less than a kilometre and a half from the port, already breathe in four times more nickel than those in the Saint-Sacrement sector located on higher ground in Quebec City's Haute Ville. According to this data, collected by the Direction de la santé publique de la Capitale-Nationale (DSP), the concentrations of nickel measured in the air increase when the wind blows from the port installations towards Limoilou. A highly visible red dust is deposited on homes, lawns, parks, streets and cars in the Limoilou neighbourhood.

Trying to justify this decision, the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MELCC) Benoit Charette said on January 18: "We wanted to do things right and we relied on scientists and specialists who, today, tell us that, in a very safe way, we can review this standard.” When asked to explain this statement, he added, "Quebec's standards were contrary to the spirit of many others internationally." He gave the examples of the standards in force in Ontario and Europe, which are less stringent than the one in force in Quebec from 2013 until 2022, when the Legault government changed the standard. 

What the minister did not say is that the standards in Europe are for forms of nickel concentrates that are different from those found in Quebec. This difference had even been pointed out by one of the organizations that presented a brief during the public “consultations” meant to justify having the regulations on the nickel in air standard modified in a manner more harmful to the public.

Scientific Study Supporting the Legitimate Concerns of Limoilou Residents, Ignored by Government

The Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment (AQME) submitted a 47-page brief to the public consultations organized by the Quebec Ministry of the Environment on the controversial draft regulation.

The fact sheets on which the Legault government is basing its decision to increase the current standard fivefold state that "no data on speciation [the search for the precise kind] of nickel in Quebec's ambient air or in emissions from sources is available." when in fact the government is ignoring its own studies.

The AQME recently discovered that a scientific study on this subject does exist. Published in 2013, it is entitled Origine des concentrations élevées de nickel dans l'air ambiant à Limoilou (Source of high nickel concentration in the ambient air in Limoilou)[1] and is available on the website of the Ministry of the Environment.

According to Johanne Elsener, a veterinarian and spokesperson for the AQME, "the study [of 2013] shows that the air in Quebec City contains a totally different composition of nickel from European air."

In the brief the AQME submitted, it states:

"We have discovered a fundamental scientific error. The annual European standard of 20 ng/m3 is based on the respiratory effects of nickel sulphate, a compound present in high proportions in European air, rather than on the carcinogenic effects of nickel subsulphide (Ni3S2), a compound present at less than 10 per cent in European air. The MELCC proposes to adopt the European standard on the assumption that the composition of Quebec air is comparable to that of Europe. However, a study conducted in 2013 by the same ministry reveals that the nickel present in the air of Quebec City is totally different from the composition of European air. It is essentially pentlandite, a nickel and iron sulphide (Ni9Fe9S8) that may be associated with an increase in lung cancers in the scientific literature," explains Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, president of the AQME.

"As a precautionary principle, the AQME recommends adopting as an annual standard the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline value of 3 ng/m3 in PM10 based on the carcinogenic effects of nickel subsulphide. This is the standard that Western Australia, another major producer of pentlandite, has adopted," says Dr. Frédéric Tupinier-Martin, public health resident and member of the AQME. 'Medical science must conduct this file based on real data and not on invalid hypotheses; we are talking about people's health.'"[2] When asked to respond to this statement, the Environment Minister's press secretary replied that "we will not comment one by one on all the recommendations received."

As part of the consultations to change the regulations, the Quebec City municipal authorities also submitted a public brief in which it requested "an exception" in order to be "excluded" from the application of the new standard. The Quebec government refused this request, just as it refused to respond to the legitimate demands for clean air standards from the organization L'initiative citoyenne de vigilance du Port de Québec, a citizens' group that has had a mission since at least 2013 to collect and disseminate information on the environmental impacts of industrial activities at the Port of Quebec. This organization has surrounded itself with experts, or trained its own, in order to ensure that existing laws and regulations for the defence of the natural and social environment are respected by the various levels of authority, starting with the Port of Quebec authorities and the Quebec Ministry of the Environment.


1. Pierre Walsh and Jean-François Brière, "Origine des concentrations élevées de nickel dans l'air ambiant à Limoilou," Minsitère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, Québec, 2013, 21 pages. 

2. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, "Nickel Standard: A fundamental scientific error denounced by the Association québécoise des médecins pour l'environnement (AQME)," February 23, 2022. 

(Radio-Canada, MELCC, AQME, Direction de la santé publique du Québec, Monlimoilou, Journal de Montréal. Photos: Citizen's Vigilance Initiative for the Port of Quebec)

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