29, 1949 - May 31, 2015
With profound sorrow the Marxist-Leninist Party of
Canada informs you of the death of our dear comrade Judith Snow on the
evening of May 31, 2015. The Party sends heartfelt condolences to
Judith's family, comrades and friends at this time of great loss and
Judith Snow was born in Oshawa, Ontario. Diagnosed as a
baby with spinal muscular atrophy type 2, Judith and her parents defied
all the predictions of the medical establishment. Judith vehemently
rejected being pathologized and labelled "disabled." She fought for all
to be permitted to fully develop their gifts and make their
contribution to society.
Her focus was on ensuring that everyone's right to have
a full life is recognized. She opposed the lack of respect afforded to
people with special needs who are treated as a drain on society, not
treasured for their gifts and contributions. She taught others to look
at people's different abilities and limitations as gifts to the society
that build social solidarity and to create practical solutions that
benefit everyone based on how society can meet people's needs.
Judith's achievements are the stuff stories are written
about. Her exploits were legendary, winning the affection and
tremendous admiration of all who knew her.
In 1980, with the help of family and friends in her
Joshua Committee, she defied the fate Canadian institutions had in
store for her and she became the first person in Canada to receive
individualized funding from the government so that she could live
independently, not in an institution. She had to fight to maintain that
support year after year but this opened the door for more than 600
people in Ontario and countless others across Canada to demand and
receive state funding to cover their needs.
Academically Judith excelled, first getting a BA in
mathematics, then a Master's in clinical psychology to then enroll in a
PhD program at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.
She travelled extensively throughout North America and
Europe and lectured to promote the integration of people with special
needs in all aspects of life.
She was the author of numerous articles published
worldwide and the books What's
Really Worth Doing and How To Do It, and Who's Drawing the Lines. She also
contributed to the play The Book of
Judith. The book From Behind
the Piano: The Building of Judith Snow's Unique Circle of Friends
was written by Jack Pearpoint with much input from Judith.
Describing herself as a social inventor and advocate,
Judith was also an artist who founded the Laser Eagles Art Guild, a
group of painters who have exhibited widely including at the Royal
Judith was a treasured member of the MLPC and
represented the Party in its work for renewal as a candidate three
times federally and once provincially. She profoundly understood that
the rights of people can only be guaranteed with the renewal of the
political system in Canada. She joined many causes dear to her heart
and made friends everywhere she went.
Nothing would stymie her. Nothing would stop her.
Judith, you will be sorely missed.
Anna Di Carlo, National
Leader, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
Judith's funeral will be
held on Saturday, June 6 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Metropolitan United
Church, 56 Queen Street East in Toronto.
A Wonderful Life
Judith Snow -- author, lecturer, artist, advocate for
and the rights of all, mentor, comrade, friend and much much more.
Judith was 65 years of age when her life ended on May
31, 2015, almost
36 years longer
than the medical establishment predicted at her birth. The doctors not
only predicted she
would not live long but that her life would not be worth living.
How wrong they were! At an early age Judith set out to
prove them wrong
and she prevailed.
Not only did she make her life worth living, it became a wonderful life
worth sharing for all
who knew her -- a life full of achievements, adventures, sorrows and
joys, courage and bold
decisions about choices to be made and about the lack of choices also.
fought relentlessly to
be always in command of her life, taking us with her in a deliberately
conscious act of
finding out. A passionate life. A beautiful life.
Judith's premature death is a great loss to all who knew
her as well as
all who benefited from
the successes she achieved. Among her many contributions, she
elaborated the relationship
between the individual and the society upon which every person depends
for her or his living
and on this basis she not only did her duty but claimed her rights in
order to fulfil her duty.
It has been a great honour to have known Judith, and a
that she chose our Party,
the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) as her own. Let her cause
for a society that
affirms the rights of all flourish! Let it always be connected to her
Voice, Expression and Validation
Judith -- a sweet, caring and determined woman who
for and embodied
a human-centred vision of society. She deeply understood that
collective rights must be respected and that the two can be harmonized
the general interest of society only if society affirms public right.
It was my privilege to stand alongside her as an
independent candidate for
democratic renewal in two Ontario provincial by-elections in 1993. I
remember her being there. It was March and often cold. She could always
counted upon to be at the entrance of a small shopping mall, speaking
about the need for the renewal of the society.
The following is an excerpt taken from a message posted
by Judith from
the web site Community
Works some 15 years ago:
Why are We Called "Dis-abled"?
We have different and unique characteristics. Often we
are silent, or nearly
so. Our bodies are unusually shaped. We are often fragile and frail.
We live in intimate connection with other people's
bodies, minds and
hearts. Our ways are not inferior to others' ways.
Living in this way challenges and extends our courage,
our love, our
empathy for others and our creativity. We see and hear what others miss
I am not suggesting that everyone should be like us. Our
gifts are rare, and
that is good. But, as difficult as our bodies and minds can be, their
uniqueness brings strength and positive challenge both to we who live
bodies and minds, and to society -- when we are appreciated, respected
We are unique and unusual people.
Why are we constantly being compared to the "normal"?
important about us that is being denied? What are we and others turning
Where do our gifts find full expression? How do our
gifts benefit others?
How can this aspect of our lives be celebrated and shared everywhere?
How do we naturally lead -- as our vulnerable selves and
not as bad
copies of other people?
Who listens to us now? How can it be made possible that
Focusing on the Right Question
TML Weekly is
posting an article written by Judith Snow
in 1993, in
which she gave her views on society's need for political renewal so
Canadians can exercise control over their lives and make sure the
rights of all
Judith wrote the article as part of the work of the
of Canada to spearhead a project for democratic renewal which led to
creation of the Canadian Renewal Party (CRP) as a non-partisan
open to all regardless of ideological or political persuasion to work
with the sole aim of empowering Canadians so that they can exercise
over their lives. The project was subsequently continued by the MLPC in
own name with the expectation that in the course of time, conditions
again be created to sustain the CRP to achieve its aim of realizing the
of political life in Canada.
Judith Snow speaking at
the founding convention of the Canadian Renewal
in Toronto April 24-25, 1993.
At the dawn of the Canadian Renewal Party, of which
I am a founding member, I decided to write down some thoughts on what I
have been learning in the last few months. I was active with the
to Vote No during the time of the (Charlottetown) Referendum, last
and October. From there I have worked as part of the National Council
Renewal of the Economy, Democracy and Federalism (NCR). Throughout this
I have struggled to understand the true nature of renewal. This
from our shared concern that our work will be effective.
I have been an activist for many years, directing my
efforts at fostering
diversity among classmates, workers and so on. About three years ago I
to seriously ask the question, "Who can make a decision?" I could not
I was always obstructed by bureaucrats. Policy makers in turn were
obstructed by other official procedures and interests. Even elected
could only make referrals to other ministries or legislative bodies.
an executive decision got made deep within the conclaves of a cabinet,
there was never any sure way of influencing a federal or provincial
to take action.
My question was crystallized when I attended a public
sponsored by the Committee to Vote No on October 26. It was made clear
citizens have the right to be elected and to elect. This right comes
out of the
fact that in a true democracy, the sovereignty lies with the citizens.
means that citizens have the right to decide in matters concerning how
society is governed. Our problem is that Canadian citizens are not
sovereign under our present Constitution.
Judith speaks at the
convention of the Canadian Renewal
Party, held in Ottawa, September 1993.
Many of us in the NCR, in our eagerness to bring about
quickly as possible, went about doing and writing various things.
discussions revealed that, at least for some of us, our approach was
political, and therefore we were not effective. I did not understand
means to be political. But in time I gathered the following realization.
At no time in the past has there ever been a true
democracy, where the
sovereignty of the people has been completely empowered by the
structures and the economy of society. But at various points in history
have a chance to take a step toward becoming a democracy. If the step
taken, society advanced and thrived for a time. If, instead, the
leaders of the
time turned their backs on the people, society would become deeply
in economic and political crises.
For example, when men of property forced the kings of
the 17th century
to give up their "divine right" and establish a Parliament, society
When Yeltsin in modern day Russia is attempting to gain executive power
over the elected legislature, he is deepening the crisis in his country.
A genuine political problem is one that addresses the
course of society in
relation to its development toward democracy. A genuine political
to a problem is one that opens up the opportunity for citizens to
themselves into a democratic society.
There are many problems that face society today and many
that an activist can take. Most of these approaches will look like good
to do. But an activity that is not political does not open up the way
to address the root problem that faces us all: that is, that there is a
Canadian democracy, and we are politically obstructed from making
and solving our own problems.
Members and supporters of the Canadian Renewal Party
must strive to
avoid apolitical work that would only render us in a deeper crisis in
country. Instead, we must do genuine political work that will empower
Canadian citizens and residents to develop a democracy that will renew
country and serve as a hope-engendering model for the world.
Banks' Guilty Pleas
Direction for the Economy
Criminal Manipulation of Currencies for Private Gain
The global financial institutions Citicorp, JPMorgan
Chase, Barclays and
Royal Bank of Scotland pleaded guilty on May 20 to criminal charges of
conspiring to rig the value of the world's currencies for private gain.
bank, UBS AG, entered a guilty plea of manipulating the London
Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other benchmark interest rates, although the
noted that UBS also participated in the broader currency conspiracy.
Justice Department accepted the guilty pleas in exchange for a
$9 billion fine but took no further action against the banks or
executives involved to hold them to account for the stolen money and
they caused. The Justice Department clearly said the guilty pleas are
prelude to further court action but its "resolution."
In their guilty pleas, the banks acknowledged that they
conspired to manipulate the value of currencies for personal gain from
of 2007 to the beginning of 2013. During this period, the four banks'
income from transactions dealing with foreign exchange totalled
No calculation was made of the damage their manipulation caused to
countries, companies and individuals involved in exchanging currencies
collateral damage to international trade, where the spot value of
a crucial element.
The banks involved have not
had their banking privileges
received any other punishment of note. Business as usual and lives of
continued class privilege seem to be the result. No one from the banks
involved has even been named let alone charged. The U.S. Justice
refused to explain how such lengthy, lucrative and repeated criminal
could have gone unsuspected and undetected by supervisors, managers and
executives. Also of note, the Justice Department labels the banks
serial offenders constantly breaking previous non-prosecution
refuses to restrict their financial activities as required in U.S. law.
Reflecting the absence of any serious accounting for
activities, the chief executive of Citicorp (after yet another takeover
merger now known as Citigroup), Michael Corbat, in a memo to employees
called the criminal conviction "an embarrassment." Compare the
"embarrassment" Mr. Corbat is experiencing with the arrests,
resignations forced upon executives of FIFA who have been targeted by
same U.S. Justice Department for corruption involving far less money. A
double standard appears obvious. The friendly relations of FIFA
towards South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Iran, Qatar and even Palestine
the U.S. Justice Department towards harsh punishment. Quite the
occurred in the case of the five banks, which hold prominent positions
the U.S.-led imperialist system of states. They received the kid
treatment with a tender admonishment, "You're one of us and too big to
so carry on but don't be so obvious."
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
embraced the plea
deals as good for the economy and gave its official blessing and
the banks could keep operating the same as always, despite their
misconduct and recidivism. One SEC commissioner, Kara Stein strongly
disagreed and issued a public dissent from the Justice Department and
decision to excuse the banks and not hold them to account.
This sordid affair is yet
another example of the
necessity for a new
pro-social direction for the economy. The modern socialized economy
embraces all the people and is their lifeblood. The economy and its
must serve the broad public interest and not the narrow private
interests of a
privileged few. Just think of how this currency manipulation affected
those directly involved, concentrating social wealth and power in fewer
but also affected the much broader issue of international trade and
The recidivism of the banks brings to the fore their
motive based on greed
and class privilege. Their central position within the economy
fact that private banks operating for profit no longer serve any useful
in the modern economy. They are tools of private interest to enrich a
privileged few and in this way are in contradiction with the socialized
economy and public interest. Their criminal disruptive activities are
causing economic crises.
The financial institutions are currently accountable to
themselves and their
private ownership groups. They hold extensive authority over the
can be characterized as self-serving to particular powerful private
against the public interest and good. Even within the current
private financial institutions play no positive role but are a drain on
socialized economy and a disruptive and destructive force. As part of
for a new direction for the economy, the people should insist that the
sector be recognized and treated in law as a public utility and
a mandate to serve the public interest and good.
1. Citigroup, the largest bank in the world during the
global economic crisis of 2008, suffered huge losses from trading in
derivatives with the crash of the mostly fictitious bond market. The
government rescued the company and its "troubled assets" in late 2008
early 2009 as "too big to fail," providing a massive pay-the-rich
totalling hundreds of billions of dollars in an equity stake, grants,
line of credit
Five Major Banks Agree to Parent-Level Guilty Pleas
Five major banks -- Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
Barclays PLC, The
Royal Bank of Scotland plc and UBS AG -- have agreed to plead guilty to
felony charges. Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, and
Royal Bank of Scotland plc have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to
manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign
currency exchange (FX) spot market. ... A fifth bank, UBS AG, has
plead guilty to manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)
other benchmark interest rates and pay a $203 million criminal penalty,
breaching its December 2012 non-prosecution agreement resolving the
"The charged conspiracy fixed the U.S. dollar-euro
affecting currencies that are at the heart of international commerce
undermining the integrity and the competitiveness of foreign currency
exchange markets which account for hundreds of billions of dollars
transactions every day," said Assistant Attorney General Baer. "The
seriousness of the crime warrants the parent-level guilty pleas by
Barclays, JPMorgan and RBS."
Between December 2007 and January 2013, euro-dollar
traders at Citicorp,
JPMorgan, Barclays and RBS -- self-described members of "The Cartel" --
used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate
benchmark exchange rates. Those rates are set through, among other
major daily "fixes," the 1:15 p.m. European Central Bank fix and the
p.m. World Markets/Reuters fix. Third parties collect trading data at
times to calculate and publish a daily "fix rate," which in turn is
used to price
orders for many large customers. "The Cartel" traders coordinated their
of U.S. dollars and euros to manipulate the benchmark rates set at the
p.m. and 4:00 p.m. fixes in an effort to increase their profits.
As detailed in the plea agreements, these traders also
used their exclusive
electronic chats to manipulate the euro-dollar exchange rate in other
ways. Members of "The Cartel" manipulated the euro-dollar exchange rate
agreeing to withhold bids or offers for euros or dollars to avoid
exchange rate in a direction adverse to open positions held by
By agreeing not to buy or sell at certain times, the traders protected
other's trading positions by withholding supply of or demand for
suppressing competition in the FX market.
Citicorp, Barclays, JPMorgan and RBS each have agreed to
to a one-count felony charge of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids
dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market in the United States
Barclays has further agreed that its FX trading and
sales practices and its
FX collusive conduct constitute federal crimes that violated a
of its June 2012 non-prosecution agreement resolving the department's
investigation of the manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmark
In addition, according to court documents to be filed,
Department has determined that UBS's deceptive currency trading and
practices in conducting certain FX market transactions, as well as its
conduct in certain FX markets, violated its December 2012
agreement resolving the LIBOR investigation. The department has
UBS in breach of the agreement, and UBS has agreed to plead guilty to a
one-count felony charge of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to
manipulate LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates. UBS has also
to pay a criminal penalty of $203 million.
According to the factual statement of breach attached to
agreement, UBS engaged in deceptive FX trading and sales practices
signed the LIBOR non-prosecution agreement, including undisclosed
added to certain FX transactions of customers. UBS traders and sales
misrepresented to customers on certain transactions that markups were
being added, when in fact they were. On other occasions, UBS traders
sales staff used hand signals to conceal those markups from customers.
other occasions, certain UBS traders also tracked and executed limit
a level different from the customer's specified level in order to add
undisclosed markups. In addition, according to court documents, a UBS
trader conspired with other banks acting as dealers in the FX spot
agreeing to restrain competition in the purchase and sale of dollars
UBS participated in this collusive conduct from October 2011 to at
In declaring UBS in breach of its non-prosecution
agreement, the Justice
Department considered UBS's conduct described above in light of UBS's
obligation under the non-prosecution agreement to commit no further
The department also considered UBS's three recent prior criminal
and multiple civil and regulatory resolutions. Further, the department
considered that UBS's post-LIBOR compliance and remediation efforts
to detect the illegal conduct until an article was published pointing
misconduct in the FX markets.
In conjunction with previously announced settlements
agencies in the United States and abroad, including the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Swiss Financial Market
Supervisory Authority (FINMA), today's resolutions bring the total
penalties paid by these five banks for their conduct in the FX spot
nearly $9 billion. [...]
Dissenting Statement Regarding Certain Waivers Granted
Commission for Certain Entities Pleading Guilty to Criminal Charges
Involving Manipulation of Foreign Exchange Rates
I dissent from the Commission's Orders, issued on May
20, 2015, that
granted the following waivers from an array of disqualifications
federal securities regulations:
1) UBS AG, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase
("JPMC"), and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc ("RBSG"), waivers
from the provisions under Commission rules that automatically make them
ineligible for well-known seasoned issuer ("WKSI") status;
2) UBS AG, Barclays, and JPMC waivers from automatic
provisions related to the safe harbor for forward-looking statements
Section 27A of the Securities Act
and Section 21E of the Securities
Act of 1934; and
3) UBS AG and three Barclays entities
Bad Actor disqualification provided under Rule 506.
The disqualifications were triggered for generally the
same behavior: a
criminal conspiracy to manipulate exchange rates in the foreign
exchange spot market ("FX Spot Market"), a global market for buying and
selling currencies. Traders at these firms "entered into and engaged in
combination and conspiracy to fix, stabilize, maintain, increase or
price of, and rig bids and offers for," the euro-dollar foreign
exchange ("FX"). To carry out their scheme, the
communicated and coordinated trading almost daily in an exclusive
room that the traders referred to as "The Cartel" or "The Mafia."
Additionally, salespeople and traders lied to customers in order to
undisclosed markups in certain transactions. This
on for years, unchecked and undeterred.
There are compelling reasons to reject these requests to
automatic disqualifications required by statute or rule. Chief among
however, is the recidivism of these institutions. For example, in the
face of the
FX criminal action, a majority of the Commission has determined to
Citigroup yet another WKSI waiver, its fourth since 2006. It is worth
that Citigroup was automatically disqualified from WKSI status between
and 2013 for unrelated misconduct, meaning that it has effectively now
triggered WKSI disqualifications five times in roughly nine years.
through this latest round of Orders, the Commission has granted:
- Barclays its third WKSI waiver since 2007;
- UBS its seventh WKSI waiver since 2008;
- JPMC its sixth WKSI waiver since 2008; and
- RBSG its third WKSI waiver since 2013.
The Commission has thus granted at least 23 WKSI waivers
to these five
institutions in the past nine years. The number climbs higher if you
Bad Actor and other waivers.
This latest round of criminal charges also comes on the
heels of the
Department of Justice's actions against UBS, Barclays, and RBSG for
collusive manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"),
benchmark used in financial products and transactions around the world.
manipulation of LIBOR was flagrant and "impact[ed] financial products
world over, and erode[d] the integrity of the financial markets."
of the settlements in the LIBOR matters, UBS, Barclays, and RBSG each
entered into agreements with the Department of Justice in which they
undertook not to commit additional crimes during the term of the
Allowing these institutions to continue business as
usual, after multiple
and serious regulatory and criminal violations, poses risks to
investors and the
American public that are being ignored. It is not sufficient to look at
waiver request in a vacuum.
And today the Commission heads further down this path.
After the LIBOR
guilty pleas, UBS was granted a WKSI waiver that was explicitly
on compliance with the judgment in the LIBOR-related matter.
explicit condition has now been violated. Yet, the Commission has just
UBS a new WKSI waiver.
It is troubling enough to consistently grant waivers for
misconduct. It is an order of magnitude more troubling to refuse to
own explicit requirements for such waivers. This type of recidivism and
repeated criminal misconduct should lead to revocations of prior
the granting of a whole new set of waivers. We have the tools, and with
tools the responsibility, to empower those at the top of these
create meaningful cultural shifts, yet we refuse to use them.
In conclusion, I am troubled by repeated instances of
these global financial institutions, which may be indicative of a
culture that does not adequately support legal and ethical behavior.
am concerned that the latest series of actions has effectively rendered
convictions of financial institutions largely symbolic. Firms and
increasingly rely on the Commission's repeated issuance of waivers to
the consequences of a criminal conviction, consequences that may
positively contribute to a firm's compliance and conduct going forward.
To read the full notes click here.
1. Created by the Commission as part of the Securities
of 2005, WKSI, or well-known seasoned issuer, status is available "for
most widely followed issuers representing the most significant amount
capital raised and traded in the United States." See Division of
Finance's Revised Statement on Well-Known Seasoned Issuer Waivers (Apr.
24, 2014), available here.
through the capital markets. In addition, WKSIs enjoy greater
their public communications and a streamlined registration process with
oversight than smaller businesses.
2. [...] As part of this package of plea agreements,
rather than pleading
to the deceptive FX trading and sales practices in which it engaged,
agreed to "plead guilty to manipulating the London Interbank Offered
("LIBOR") and other benchmark interest rates....
The Necessity for a New Direction for
TML Weekly is
posting below Part Two in the series “The
Necessity for a New Direction for
International Trade,” which
discusses the problem of volume and fluctuating prices and provides
information on the March figures for merchandise trade. For Part One in
the series see TML Weekly, May 23,
2015 - No. 21.
Statistics Canada has
revised upward the record deficit
for the country's
international merchandise trade for March 2015. The original
deficit has now become $3.9 billion. The trend continued in April with
$3.0 billion trade
deficit. The monthly deficits do not bode well for the future, as it
a continuing drain of social wealth from the country.
Reasons for the large deficit include the fall in value
of the Canadian
currency relative to the U.S. dollar and other currencies, the drop in
price of oil and importantly the use of international trade and
serve private monopoly empires and not nation-building. The issue
Canadians is their lack of control in dealing with the situation and
problems. No public authority exists that can exercise any meaningful
over what is exported or imported, the price of those commodities, or
value of the Canadian currency. The global monopolies control all the
factors of international trade and do whatever suits their narrow
Currency Manipulation for Private Profit
The private control
of the monopolies extends to manipulation of the price of currencies
trading for private profit, as revealed in the guilty pleas of five
major U.S. and
European financial institutions in a New York court. Citicorp, JPMorgan
& Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and UBS AG
to a joint fine of $9 billion for illegal manipulation for private gain
currency exchange rates and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)
other benchmark interest rates. The $9 billion penalty is eclipsed by
estimated gross income of $85 billion the banks pulled in from their
in trading and manipulating. The guilty plea does not include any
punishment for those involved and allows the monopolies to continue
activities without additional restrictions. One member of the U.S.
and Exchange Commission loudly dissented from the majority over the
of justice and punishment in the case, allowing the financial
continue operating as usual.
The fluctuation in currency prices directly affects
international trade, as
transactions are realized in the relative value of currencies at the
especially in relation to the U.S. dollar, as most basic commodities
in U.S. dollars and it remains the primary reserve currency. The volume
quality of goods traded may be similar but their value in one's own
can vary widely under the current trading regime controlled by private
monopoly interests. All aspects of international trade are seen as
speculation and easy profits by finance capital and a forum in which
competition for empire is played out.
The Necessity of a Public Authority to Restrict
Everything is traded
globally, both goods themselves and
imagined derivatives, including the much ballyhooed carbon credits. The
powerful monopolies compete and collude to manipulate international
their narrow private interests. This drains social wealth from the
economies and nation-building, and further concentrates wealth and
the hands of a few. This problem can be addressed through a public
with the power to restrict monopoly right and uphold the principle of
mutual benefit and development. Private centres of exchange for goods,
derivatives and currencies should be banned. International trade should
conducted nation-to-nation for mutual benefit and development. Market
should be determined scientifically according to their prices of
evened out internationally according to friendship and the mutual
of the peoples and their economies and needs.
For a chart detailing the
fluctuating price of the
Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar over the last two years,
The figures from the March report dealing with
manufactured goods are
troubling, as most sectors experienced large deficits. Calculated in
exports of Motor vehicles and parts totalled $6,602 million for March.
compares with imports of Motor vehicles and parts totalling
$7,858 million for
the same month, a deficit of $1,256 million. Some of this deficit
the big auto companies importing parts going into their own vehicles
assembled in Canada, most of which are subsequently exported to the
States. In this manipulation of many countries for the benefit of
monopolies, Canada acts as a conduit for auto parts that are imported,
fitted into vehicles, and immediately exported. This process results in
loss for the country's balance of payments and leaves Canadians at the
of the global monopolies, but is excused as a net gain in employment,
is rapidly being eroded. Rarely is any thought given to a new direction
on an indigenous vehicle sector under Canadian control spread across
country building cars, trucks and heavy equipment from raw material to
finished product designed for Canada's varied weather and needs.
The widest deficit occurs in Consumer goods where
$5,337 million with imports at $9,980-million creating a deficit of
$4,643 million in just the one month of March.
manufacturing sector consistently in
deficit is industrial
machinery, equipment and parts with March exports of $2,674 million and
imports of $4,607 million for a deficit of $ 1,933 million. No excuse
this continuous large deficit except the sector's obvious domination by
global monopolies Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu, Volvo Construction
and Hitachi Ltd. that resist any change towards local production.
Also, electronic and electrical equipment and parts saw
$2,294 million and imports of $5,279 million for a deficit of
Those four manufacturing sectors alone accounted for a
trade deficit of
$10,817 million for March. The fall in value of the Canadian currency
accounted for some of the deficit but the problem in those
sectors is a consistent systemic feature of monopoly opposition to
Many commentators say the cheaper Canadian dollar should
thus lessening the trade deficit and generating employment but this is
borne out with the facts. The cheaper dollar means imports of
goods calculated in money are greater even if volumes decrease and the
reverse for exports. One effect of the cheaper dollar was on exports of
products, which decreased in money for the month of March by 43.7 per
compared with March 2014.
Statistics Canada writes in the March report, "(Total)
Imports rose to $45.5
billion in March, as 7 of 11 sections increased. Imports increased 0.6%
first quarter of 2015 from the fourth quarter of 2014. However,
imports were down 0.2% in real (or volume) terms....
"Total exports declined 3.0% in the first quarter of
2015 from the fourth
quarter of 2014. However, quarterly exports were up 0.6% in real (or
"Exports of energy products declined 8.9% to $6.9
billion (in the one
month from February 2015 to March 2015). There were widespread
in exports among the commodity groupings in the section, led by refined
petroleum energy products, down 29.7% to $855 million. Exports of
gas (-16.2%) and crude oil and crude bitumen (-2.7%) also declined. For
section as a whole, prices fell 7.0% and volumes 2.1%."
Necessity for a New Direction for the Economy
trade controlled by private interests motivated by empire-building to
global monopolies is contrary to the public interest and
Imperialist globalization with its free trade controlled by the most
monopolies means that trade is viewed as a way to exploit the people
enrich private interests. The situation points to the necessity for a
direction for international trade and the manufacturing sectors in
Stability in manufacturing sectors can be found through
especially in those sectors where the Canadian economy has constant
both as articles of consumption and means of production. Only a public
authority with power to restrict monopoly right in the wholesale sector
international trade can turn the situation around to serve the public
nation-building and the public good.
The deficits and instability of trade value in money
reflects in part the
fluctuation of the market price of currencies and commodities
manipulated by private interests. A public authority must have the
restrict the global monopolies and their self-serving trade in
major commodities and manipulation of their market prices. Market
goods traded must be set in a mutually acceptable way amongst the
partners, which more accurately reflects the prices of production and
value of the goods traded and the specific needs of the countries
Market prices should align consistently with their prices of production
adjusted in international trade to serve the principle of mutual
development. The particular relative value of currencies should not be
distort trade. In most cases, other means than pricing in currencies,
particular the U.S. dollar can be found to ensure the principle of
The criminal activity of the global monopolies in
trade and prices of currencies and major commodities, and their
practice of exchanging derivatives must stop. A public authority must
power to deprive the private mostly foreign interests of the control
exercise over Canada's international trade in merchandise and the
prices of the Canadian currency and major commodities. The criminal
of the global monopolies with regard to financial wheeling and dealing
underscore the necessity to transform the financial sector into a
serving the public interest and not private greed.
The demand for a new direction for international trade
is directly linked
with the desire for good relations amongst the peoples of the world
peace and the friendly and mutual development of each other's economy
all peoples' well-being. A new direction embodies the desire of the
everywhere for empowerment, stability and security in their working
anti-war governments, and to put an end to imperialist globalization.
Harper Government's Glorification of
Fascism in the Name of Victims of Communism
Why Harper Government's Anti-Communist Memorial Must Be
Scrapped, Not Relocated
Lest We Forget: Hitler and his ilk were the victims of
eight million Canadians or 100 million people on the world scale as
Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims, to which his Minister of Defence
Jason Kenney and Minister
Employment and Social Development Pierre Polievre add their voices. In
virulent anti-communism, they repeat outrageous bits of anti-communist
propaganda such as the nonsense that all those in Canada who come from
current or former socialist countries are victims of communism.
Let us take the argument
that all Canadians of Chinese origin in Canada
are victims of communism. How many of them arrived in Canada prior to
1949 when China stood up free from Japanese militarism and
and European foreign domination? Is the Harper government counting them
as part of the eight million Canadians? Members of the Vietnamese
have already come forward to say they are not opposed to the direction
which the government of Vietnam has taken their country. In fact, those
among Vietnamese who left the country after the Fall of Saigon on April
1975 who sought to escape communism were the few who had become stooges
and lackeys of the U.S. imperialist occupiers and drug lords,
inflicting heinous crimes on the people of Vietnam. A similar case can
made for the 21,000 Canadians of Cuban origin. They too came to Canada
economic and other reasons, but not to escape communism, which is also
case for people of Korean and other origins.
Of the Ukrainian community in Canada, a fighting
contingent of the
Canadian working class, 170,000 had arrived by World War I, while
70,000 came from Poland and Romania between the world wars. Many were
fleeing the reactionary and chauvinist governments which denied the
Ukraine to a unified state only won by the World War II liberation
the Red Army and partisans. These waves of migration make up the bulk
Ukrainian settlement in Canada yet so too are all these Canadians
"victims of communism" by the Harperites without any say in the matter.
Many people left Indonesia after the documented massacre
of one million
communists carried out in 1965-66 by President Suharto, while people of
Kosova left to escape the bombing of their country by the aggressive
military alliance and people of Albanian origin left after their
devastated following the fall of socialism.
Harper's claim of 100 million victims of communism on
the world scale
and eight million in Canada merely serves a propaganda purpose. It is
embroil us in forgetting that the victims of communism were in fact
Hitler himself and his Werhmacht and Third Reich, along with Mussolini
his brownshirts and Tojo and the Japanese militarists. They were routed
United Front Against Fascism in which the Red Army played a
heroic role and suffered the greatest losses along with the peoples of
They were joined by peoples from all countries, including Canada, as
north Africans, Italians, Greeks, Albanians, Yugoslavs and other
peoples with the help of the Americans at the end of the war. Tojo and
Japanese militarists were defeated by the heroic Korean, Chinese and
peoples of Asia with the help of the Red Army at the end of the War.
Harper and his ministers have nothing to say about the
victims of fascism
except to mention the European Holocaust in a manner which suggests
the Jewish people suffered at the hands of the Hitlerites and, most
to cover up the role of their heroes in committing those crimes. They
tell us how many Canadians would be counted as victims of fascism
to their political algebra nor recognize them. It is telling that the
government does not recognize Canadians of German, Italian, eastern
European, Spanish or Japanese descent as victims of fascism, much less
from countries who came under the jackboot of German imperialism or
Japanese militarism. With utter shamelessness they neither condemn the
of fascism nor recognize the significance of its defeat in an effort to
the people from confronting it today.
The boycott by the Harper Conservatives and other
leaders of NATO countries of the
celebration in Moscow on May 9, the 70th anniversary of victory over
fascism in Europe, was not an isolated incident. The purpose was to
decisive role of the Soviet Union in defeating the German Nazis'
throughout Europe and to do further warmongering propaganda in support
the Ukrainian neo-nazi government which is poised to attack Russia.
Harper and other western leaders were not present at the celebration of
the 70th anniversary of the victory over German fascism in Europe.
The ongoing falsification of the history of World War II
by the Harper Conservatives is not a new phenomenon. It is a
the lies and distortions put forward by the ruling circles of the U.S.,
and France who did everything in their power before and even during the
to isolate the USSR, help Germany rearm and encourage Hitler to drive
and defeat the Soviet Union.
Outright lies are being repeated by Conservative cabinet
Chris Alexander that the USSR was the aggressor in Ukraine and Poland
in fact the Soviet Red Army, despite facing 85 per cent of the elite
Wehrmacht, was victorious in liberating all of the east European
of which were under German Nazi occupation.
Mr. Alexander's praise for the "national heroes of
Ukraine" who fought on
the side of the German Nazi army against the Red Army is the
of fascism and an attempt to reverse the verdict that history has
pronounced on these mass murderers and traitors. It is an established
the Ukrainian collaborators with Germany, who joined the Galicia
the Waffen SS, were responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands
Polish, Ukrainian and Yugoslav partisans and Jews. Their descendants
have been put into power in the Ukraine today are committing the most
vicious crimes against the people in the eastern part of Ukraine, who
fighting to defend their democratic rights and opposing the
neo-nazi government in Kiev.
The Harper Conservatives are actively participating with
the U.S. and
NATO in fomenting war on the borders of Russia. They are sending
of Canadian troops to train the army of the Kiev government, comprised
largely of Nazi militias who display German Nazi symbols on their
This betrayal by the Harper
Conservatives of Canadian WWII veterans and
all the Allied armed forces who fought and died fighting German fascism
of great concern to all Canadians. It is a clear indication of the
the Harper Conservatives are trying to impose on Canadian society. This
includes its abuse of power in building an anti-communist memorial in
on a prime piece of real-estate so as to impose Nazi values on
value the sacrifice made in World War II to contain and defeat fascism
not want to have it restored and promoted in their name.
Lest we forget: Hitler and his henchmen were the victims
not Canadians who sacrificed so much to join the anti-fascist cause
spearheaded by the Soviet Union and its heroic red army in World War
far as crimes committed at the time of the Cold War, it is a
fact that it was the United States which dropped atomic bombs on
and Nagasaki and subsequently waged one war after another against the
peoples of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean no
than the Second World War was over. Even before the war ended, they
to join the Hitlerites in undermining the Soviet Union and they
sabotaged the peoples of the new people's democracies. A serious
required into the crimes committed during the Cold War in the name of
freedom, democracy and human rights and opposition to totalitarianism
It is incumbent upon Canadians to think deeply about
Anglo-American crimes of the Cold War and ask why the Harper government
does not consider them worth investigating let alone memorializing. In
their drive to construct a fascist monument the Harperites have put
forward spurious and over-the-top claims about communism and even put
the government of Canada and the National Capital Commission in the
position of sanctifying a monument based on no facts or expertise
whatsoever. At no time has the Harper government undertaken an
objective investigation into these matters, which would also have to
investigate the crimes of the fascists, U.S. cold warriors, British
imperialists and the colonialists in Canada.
Communism is the ideology of the working class to bring
emancipation and the emancipation of all oppressed peoples and to open
society's path to progress. All those forces in society who seek
democracy demand that the Harper Government's anti-communist memorial
Harper Government Plays the Numbers Game
No matter what the Harper government says to justify
memorial to so-called victims of communism, it does not change the fact
this monument has no historical foundation. The government is basing
on a book (a single book!) entitled The
claims that Communism killed 100 million people around the world
the 20th century. "A minimum approximation" only, one reads in the
edition (1997). Are we to forget that the book was nearly not published
precisely because of this "minimum approximation" invented by one
The group of authors of the Black Book arrived at a
minimum of 65
million people; no more than 93 million maximum. What was the figure of
million minimum based on? As for the difference of 28 million between
minimum and maximum, an amount almost equal to the population of
how can this be explained? These questions have not been addressed. On
contrary, they were buried by the hype surrounding the book's release.
[The Black Book's]
of authors, caused
by the intervention of the coordinator Stéphane Courtois hired
Laffont. With the stroke of a pen he arbitrarily changed certain
example, the 15 million Soviet casualties of communism rose to 20
an increase of 33 percent! Following other arbitrarily added
Courtois announced his personal minimum: 100 million, a minimum
higher than the maximum extrapolated by the authors and 35 million
Indignant, some of the authors refused to submit their
final copy meaning
that the Black Book would not
be published. Supporting Courtois against
authors, Éditions Laffont resorted to legal threats, "registered
letters, threats of
prosecution in court, bailiff summons at the request of the editor
the copies be surrendered." (Le Monde,
The authors conceded and their names are on the cover of
the book which
contains the inflated figure they rejected.
Minister Kenney was therefore incorrect in stating that
the figure of 100
million was the result of "close[...] stud[y] by several leading
historians in The Black Book on Communism."
2013) The opposite is the case.
The private organization Tribute to Liberty, as if to
combat the ignorance
of the Canadian people, stated in its online petition calling on
support the project, "Who knows that the Soviet Union murdered 20
people?" (October 2010) The answer is that nobody knows except
A year ago, Prime Minister Harper added his voice to
of figures saying, "More than 100 million souls were lost, an almost
incomprehensible number. We must never forget that these are not
they are not statistics. They were mothers and fathers, sons and
friends and neighbours." (May 30, 2014)
These are just invented numbers, not statistics, let
alone people. What is
"incomprehensible" is that the government of Canada has used state
such a prime piece of real estate, valued at anywhere between $16 - $30
based on arbitrary figures. The figure of 100 million people worldwide
arbitrary as the figure of eight million Canadians. Such contested
themselves a reason to prohibit the project from being built.
Professor François Lazure teaches history at
the Cégep de
1. This quote is a paraphrase from Kenney's August
23, 2013 speaking notes (see here). The
"But Black Ribbon Day recalls just one aspect of a
century of tyranny
behind the Iron Curtain and in totalitarian communist regimes, a
closely studied by several leading scholars and historians in The Black
on Communism, which estimates that in the range of 100 million
their lives in the 20th century as a result of state-sponsored violence
persecution and genocide in communist states."
Ottawa City Council Opposes Ministerial Dictate
Opposition to the Harper government's proposed monument
to "victims of
Communism" is continuing to grow in all sectors of Canadian society,
increasing dissatisfaction with the Conservatives' arrogant flouting of
longstanding procedure is playing a major role. One example of this is
motion adopted by Ottawa City Council on May 27 officially requesting
the location the government has declared be reconsidered and another
found. The motion pointed out that the government's preferred location
of the Supreme Court of Canada violates the Long Term Vision and Plan
(LTVP) for federal land in the capital which states that the site
should be used
for a new federal court building as part of a judicial triad.
Ottawa City Council debates motion on location
anti-communist memorial, May 27, 2015.
The final vote on the relocation motion moved by
Councilor Tobi Nussbaum was 18 to 6. A number of councilors spoke of a
large number of complaints about the proposed monument from the people
Debate on the motion took the form of an argument about
which levels of government have the right to comment on what issues.
Opponents of the motion contended that because the government has a
majority in the parliament and can make decisions over all sorts of
matter what the people think, it was not appropriate for the City of
comment. Others, supporting the motion said that because the proposed
location is in such a prominent area of the city for tourists and
residents it is
appropriate to comment on the monument's placement, but matters such as
monument's design or its validity period were not for the city to
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson's comments highlighted the
dissatisfaction with arrangements by which it is not consulted by the
government on matters such as this monument and the way past practice
land allocation has been swept away by abuse of ministerial power:
"Why does the government
feel it is necessary to consult the public on the
redevelopment of Tunney's Pasture but not the judicial precinct?" he
"Why has there been extensive public consultation on the Rockcliffe
lands but absolutely no input allowed on this project? Why has this
piece of real estate valued at millions of dollars been given away to a
interest when we at the city are required to pay tens of millions of
the federal government for subterranean land rights for a public
Mayor Watson said, "[As] a resident of Ottawa and as a
I'm bothered by the lack of consultation on this project and on the
changes to the federal plan for the judicial precinct that was part of
study, where there was great input from the city, citizens and other
Watson reminded councillors of the high level of
opposition to the
monument and to its location, providing examples of some of those who
out against the Conservatives' extremist disdain for Canadian
"The architecture community both locally provincially
oppose the location as its bleak nature runs counter to the principle
urban design. The legal community rightfully opposes this being used as
political statement to erase the long-established plans for the Supreme
of Canada federal court precinct," he said.
Watson went on to say that "taxpayers rightfully oppose
arrangements and decision making which have been void of fairness and
transparency. And many residents of the city of Ottawa have also spoken
on this approach," he said, adding "it's clear to me that a majority of
engaged on this project are, in fact, against it."
In response to the city council vote, the government
indicated its disregard
for the existing designation of federal land via the LTVP through
Poilievre, the minister responsible for the National Capital Region.
called the established plan for a federal court building at the site
government building full of lawyers to destroy beautiful green space in
downtown Ottawa." According to Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the National
Capital Commission which is tasked with allocating federal land, an
amendment to the LTVP is required before the anti-communist monument
be built on the land chosen by the government. Neither Poilievre nor
anti-communist crusaders Harper and Jason Kenney have acknowledged this
fact or treated the existing legal framework as relevant or having any
on their plans.
Canadians are continuing to
demand that the Harper Dictatorship's
reactionary monument project be tossed in the dustbin of history. The
and Reconciliation Commission's report and recommendations released
2 included a recommendation that a national monument be built in Ottawa
honour survivors [of residential schools] and all the children who were
their families and communities." Calls are being made to scrap the
anti-communist monument in favour of a space for a memorial to the
and survivors of Canada's genocidal policies towards the First Nations.
to the editor in major newspapers, including two in the June 4 Chronicle
Herald, express this opinion and dozens expressing their views on
media agree. A June 4 CTV News article by Don Martin voiced
the public's opposition to the anti-communist monument and said
genocide "is singularly worthy of a monument on the same scale as our
National War Memorial."
Historic Fight to End Colonial Justice
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report
Underscores Need for
and Political Renewal
"Walk for Reconciliation"
in Ottawa, May 31, 2015 began the final gathering of the Truth and
On June 2, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
summary document of its report on its 6-year investigation into the
School System and its impact on Aboriginal peoples. The rest of the
six-volume report will be presented later this year.
Speaking to a packed
audience at the Delta Chelsea hotel
Ottawa, Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Commission said among
things: "We must remember that at the same time that Aboriginal
made to feel inferior, generation after generation of non-Aboriginal
exposed to the false belief that their cultures were superior." He also
that this legacy of the residential schools continues to this day.
colonialism and a sense of cultural superiority linger on," he said,
"The courts have agreed that these concepts are baseless and immoral in
face of inalienable human rights."
His comments underscore the pressing need for
political renewal in Canada. The current constitution, based on
19th-century colonial notions of white man's burden and values of
"tolerance" of "inferior cultures" is outdated and can only give rise
to the suppression of rights across the board by the state as we are
seeing today. The
constitution cannot meet the claims and aspirations of Aboriginal
can it meet the needs of the people of Canada and the people of Quebec
their rights. It is noteworthy that on June 3, at a meeting at
Hall, to bring formal closure to the work of the TRC, Governor General
Johnson, the representative of the Queen in Canada, and an honorary
to the TRC stated: "A moment like this arises very rarely in a
history. This is a moment for national reflection and introspection.
This is a
moment to reflect upon our history, our relationships and our
towards each other.... To think about the depth of our commitment to
tolerance, respect and inclusiveness and whether we can do better. We
"Tolerance, respect and inclusiveness" are not going to
cut it. Aboriginal
peoples are rising up and laying their claims. In this they are
supported by the
Canadian people and Quebec people. A recent EKOS poll found that the
majority of Canadians think that instead of a monument to the victims
communism that the Harper government is trying to fast-forward, the
government should be building a "memorial to the historic injustices
against Aboriginal peoples." This shows the high level of consciousness
Canadian people and Quebec people to stand with the First Nations and
an end the crimes that were committed and continue to be committed
against Aboriginal peoples in Canada and to find a way forward together
for political and constitutional renewal.
Who Said What
"Walk for Reconciliation,"
Ottawa, May 31, 2015.
Justice Murray Sinclair,
Chair of the TRC:
"We must understand that
the lives of Aboriginal people
Canada are connected to the lingering effects of residential schools
many of the most destructive attitudes are perpetuated in our public
"We must remember that at the same time Aboriginal
children were made
to feel inferior, generation after generation of non-Aboriginal
exposed to the false belief that their culture was superior.
colonialism and a sense of cultural superiority linger on.
"The courts have agreed that these concepts are
baseless and immoral
in the face of inalienable human rights. To this end, the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission's recommendations address some of these core
challenges...Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from coast to coast
the young and the elderly, are interested in taking part of the
reconciliation and being part of making reconciliation a reality.The
eyes of the
world and the gaze of history is upon us.What we do now and in the
ahead matters a great deal. It matters not only for those who are with
but also the generations to come and the spirits of those who are not
here today whose memories we must honour. We must work together "
Governor General of Canada, at closing of
TRC's work, June 3, Rideau Hall:
"This is a moment for national reflection
introspection.This is a moment to reflect upon our history, our
and our responsibilities towards each other. To think about the depth
commitment to tolerance, respect and inclusiveness, and whether we can
better. We can, and we must. Generations of First Nations, Metis and
people suffered as a result of residential schools, and for many that
continues. This is a moment to think about those people -- those
mothers and fathers, those families and those elders, past and present.
also a moment to ask: where do we go from here?...Our hope lies in
and an unwavering commitment to tolerance, respect and inclusiveness in
"This is the only way forward -- the path by which we
will create a
country for all of our children and grandchildren to share. A country
all be proud of."
Prime Minister, in Parliament on June 2:
"Canada is one of the very few countries in the world
where Aboriginal and treaty rights are recognized, and that's one of
the government accepts the UN declaration as an aspirational document
"We have taken specific actions to enhance the rights of
particularly women living on reserves and generally all Aboriginal
under the Canadian Human Rights Act."
Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition and
"The release of the Truth and Reconciliation
report is a landmark moment in Canada's reconciliation process. Today,
country is trying to turn the page on the many dark years and to move
towards a better future for all peoples. As Canadians, we must all
about this sombre chapter in our history. We will not forget the
and we will remember the children who never made it home to their
The NDP remains determined to repair the broken relationship with
peoples, which is the result of the inaction on the part of previous
governments at the nation-to-nation level."
Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party:
"As the TRC's report and
recommendations note, it is time
to act, without delay, to advance the process of reconciliation, and
Canada's relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
Peoples based on
rights, respect, cooperation, and the standards of the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Meaningful
will only come when we live up to our past promises and ensure the
of opportunity required to create a fair and prosperous shared future.
of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I affirm
unwavering support for the TRC's recommendations, and call on the
Government of Canada to take immediate action to implement them. As
leaders and legislators, we have a responsibility to act. The truth of
occurred has been established. Now we must all commit to the important
of reconciliation going forward."
Elizabeth May, Leader of the
means forging new relationships in light of
this history -- extending the respect and equality to First Nations
that has been
withheld for generations. The TRC findings provide an unprecedented
accounting of our past mistakes; but, also an opportunity to atone. The
outlines recommendations for actions that touch all jurisdictions, all
areas and all Canadians. Although the last residential school closed in
their devastating effects remain. Canada consistently ranks in the top
ten of the
UN Human Development Index, but First Nations rank 63rd or lower. These
recommendations give us the means to work with Aboriginal communities
begin to overcome the historical and ongoing injustices of brutal
and cultural genocide. We can, and must, all take action to redress the
of residential schools."
Pam Palmater, Associate
Professor and Chair of
Governance at Ryerson University:
"The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission did an incredible
job in the face of many barriers put forward by the federal government
make sure that their stories were heard and that as much documented
was contained in the report.
"It would be a
terrible mistake to historicize this [the residential school
period] and say, 'Well, this happened a long time ago. We now know what
happened. Let's apologize and move on.' It is ongoing. When they closed
residential schools, their very next policy was known as the Sixties
where they actually took more children from first Nations than during
residential school period. Which is why we now have 30 to 40 percent of
children in care. They're still taking our children. They're still
trying to raise
them in non-indigenous families. And many of these children end up
or missing indigenous women, or they end up in the prison system. And
legacy of the residential schools is ongoing. It is very much in the
National Chief Perry
Bellegarde, Assembly of
courage, the survivors of the Indian Residential
Schools sought justice and recognition from Canada through court cases
set us on a course toward truth and reconciliation. To the former
the survivors -- I honour you and I thank you. I am humbled to be
On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, one of the parties to the
Settlement Agreement, we thank the Commissioners for your strength,
and heartfelt approach to the important work of truth and
Assembly of First Nations commitment to reconciliation remains strong.
Reconciliation means so many things as we move through the aftermath of
Indian Residential School system, one that we know was designed to rid
Canada of 'Indians'. In its aftermath, we are left with the gap -- a
wide and unacceptable gap in the quality of life between First Nations
other Canadians. We commit to doing the necessary work to close the
Highlights of Recommendations
The 382-page summary
document of the final report of the TRC contains
94 recommendations which the Commission is putting forward to assist
reconciliation process between the Aboriginal peoples and the legacy of
residential school system and the Canadian people. The overarching
recommendation is for the federal government and governments at all
to adopt and implement the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the
Indigenous Peoples, as "the framework for reconciliation." The Harper
government has resisted implementing this international law for several
only formally "endorsed" it in 2012.
Another theme is for
legal reforms that would end the over-representation
of Aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system in Canada, one of
legacies of the residential school system. The Commission's report
national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in order to
address the indifference of the Canadian state under the Harper regime
important concern of the people.
The Commission also
proposes various strategies for governments to
implement in order to inform Canadians about the true history and
consequences of the residential school system and to correct the
about Aboriginal people that is being taught in schools, the
in government. It calls for a "National Council for Reconciliation"
would monitor the reconciliation process and provide reports on a
The Commission also
calls for the Canadian government to work with Aboriginal peoples to
issue a "Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation"
that of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of Niagara of
which would affirm the "nation-to-nation" and mutually respectful
between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. Such a Royal Proclamation
amongst other things, reject the Eurocentric Doctrine of Discovery and terra
nullius, adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
or establish Treaty relationship based on principles of mutual
mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining those
the future" amongst other principles.
In light of the
destruction of Aboriginal languages through the residential
schools system where Aboriginal children were forbidden to speak their
languages, an Aboriginal Languages Act is also proposed as a
means to recover and encourage Aboriginal languages as well as to
an Aboriginal languages commissioner to monitor the implementation of
The Commission is
calling for additional funds to maintain the National
Residential School Student Death Registry that it has created as part
work in order to recover the identity of thousands of children who died
hands of residential schools authorities and who are buried in unmarked
graves, so that their families and communities can put to rest what
to their children. The Commission is also calling for $10 million over
seven years to fund the work of the National Centre for Truth and
Reconciliation housed at the University of Manitoba to carry on the
Last but not least,
the Commission is calling for commemorative events
such "a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation" to honour the
their families and communities as well as a Residential School Monument
Ottawa and in other cities as part of events leading to the 150th
Confederation in 2017
The full summary
report can be found here.
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