First Nations leaders: Canada must obey international law – Including UN Declaration (as endorsed)

Rotinonshonni ónhwe - Tkanatáhere

Another speaker at the forum, Quebec lawyer Paul Joffe, stated that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — which Canada signed in 2010 — has legal consequences in this country.

He cited a recent decision regarding a human-rights complaint about child-welfare services on First Nations reserves. “The Federal Court said the following: ‘The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the relevance of international human-rights law in interpreting domestic legislation,’ ” Joffe said. “So right away, you can see there are legal effects.”

The UN declaration has 46 articles calling on countries to protect indigenous peoples’ economic, social, cultural, political, environmental, and spiritual rights. The Conservative government has claimed that the UN declaration is “not legally binding”, describing it as “an important aspirational document”.

Joffe, however, adamantly rejected that argument. He noted that the Federal Court decision stated that Parliament “will be presumed to respect the values…

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Aboriginal activists to ‘increase tension’ over rights during summer of action

OTTAWA — Indigenous rights activists are aiming to “increase tension” this summer to oppose the Harper government’s agenda, which they say ignores aboriginal rights and weakens environmental protections.

Friday, National Aboriginal Day, marks the launch of the so-called “Sovereignty Summer” in which the grassroots indigenous Idle No More movement says it will band together with other activist groups to plan “non-violent direct action” across the country.

“The point is to increase tension,” said Sheelah McLean, one of Idle No More’s four co-founders. “To raise awareness and increase tension between people who are wanting to assert their rights and people who are unjustly forgetting about the rights of indigenous peoples.”

At play are many of the same issues that helped galvanize the indigenous movement in December and January when protests reached their peak: matters such as implementing historic treaty rights, the federal government’s changes to environmental protections, and consultation with aboriginals…

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When they learned of secretive TPP meeting, activists rushed to Vancouver to protest

Citizen Action Monitor

Video: Protesters explain why citizens should be concerned about TPP

No 782 Posted by fw, June 18, 2013

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership involves 12 countries around the Pacific (Canada, US, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan) and 600 international corporations which also participate in the talks. In addition to new investor rights rules, the TPP aims to extend patents for brand-name pharmaceuticals thereby driving up drug prices, put new restrictions on and even criminalize routine Internet activities such as file-sharing, and poses a threat to environmental and public health laws.”Rabble Staff

Click on the following linked title to watch the 3:33-minute video on the website. Or scroll down this page for an embedded version of the video, with accompanying text.

Video: Activists challenge secret TPP negotiations held in Vancouver, by Rabble Staff,, June 17, 2013

Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim…

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Stephen Harper passes on Pacific Alliance but vows to maintain close relations with Americas

Is Canada in or out of the TPP?

CALI, Colombia — Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood with four of Canada’s closest friends in the Americas on Thursday as they laid out an ambitious plan for making their Pacific Alliance one of the world’s premier trading blocs.

But when it came time for Canada to formally ask to join them at the negotiating table, Harper took a pass for now.

Harper praised Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru for coming together in an effort to knock down walls and become more economically competitive while at the same time working to strengthen their respective democracies together.

But while he said Canada will continue to support those four countries as they push forward, “it is too early to say whether we should seek full membership in the Alliance.”

“I have enjoyed the conversations I have had with many of the leaders who are here, and look forward to deepening our relations and…

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