Rendezvous in Kananaskis
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Rendezvous in Kananaskis
General News Archives (Prior to March 28, 2002)
Note: for information on the anti-terrorist bills, the so-called 'dirty C's' (C35, C36, C42...), see: Civil Liberties Under Siege. Also, in addition to the following links, try checking the G8 related news items archived at the Digital Banff News Service (scroll down to the "related stories" section for a large list of articles), the Newstrove G8 archive, and G8.activist - Media Working Group. Keep in mind that because mainly original links are provided at these sites, some of the articles will have expired.
Other News Archive pages:
Report says RCMP should apologize (March 27, 2002 / CP) In a final report, the head of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP says the Mounties should apologize to APEC protesters for abuse suffered in 1997, but Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay says he's confident the RCMP will be up to jobs like the G-8 summit in Kananaskis because they've learned "valuable lessons" from APEC. As an example he cites 'restraint' used at the Summit of the Americas. ("restraint"? 'Restraint' in Quebec City meant twist-tie handcuffs and Orsainville Prison. See these Quebec City Reports for a selection of accounts of police brutality at the Summit of the Americas). A Globe&Mail article - APEC activists deserve an apology, RCMP told (March 27, 2002) - covers the same terrain, adding more detail about the role of Jean Carle, the PM's aide at the time of the Peppergate events, and who has been implicated in other subsequent scandals (i.e. Shawinigate). A handy Peppergate timeline is also included. Other articles on this topic: APEC report tells Mounties to apologize (March 27, 2002 / National Post); Sorry's a four-letter word (March 28, 2002 / Globe&Mail).
Fast and furious agenda for G-8 (March 26, 2002 / Calgary Herald) The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a national taxpayers advocacy group, comments that the summit "is a waste of public money."
Pared down G-8 summit in Kananaskis won't have a final communique: organizers (March 25, 2002 / CP) "There's a definite attempt by the Prime Minister to bring the G8 summit meeting of the leaders more back to the original philosophy," says Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham. We can only speculate what that means.... A return to the secretive, militaristic paradigms of the Cold War? A retrenching of the longstanding G8 mission to undermine more democratic global governance efforts? The elimination of the annual litany of hollow G8 promises? Predictably enough, John Kirton, doyen of the University of Toronto's G8 Information Center (a G8 support group which hides behind a bloated, academic facade) regrets the reduced emphasis on mumbo-jumbo: "From a sheer tactical level, people look at it and say, 'Geez, this was an awfully expensive executive retreat'.... Surely leaders should get together and chat, but if all we get from it are two pages of principles - which will probably look somewhat anodyne to the average observer - then we'll really increase the degree of skepticism."
Ottawa targets trade barriers (March 25, 2002 / Globe&Mail) "An end to tariffs and quotas on some agricultural products will be at the centre of the package, but it could also include the elimination of protections for clothing and textiles as well as some other products, the sources say. The dairy industry and direct subsidies to Canadian farmers, however, are not on the target list."
CHR plans for G-8 (March 25, 2002 / Calgary Sun) The Calgary Health Region is "bracing for everything from chemical decontamination to ...mass casualties from a violent protest attack...." Panic-mongering from the ever-paranoid Calgary Sun.
Police plan for worst at G-8 (March 24, 2002 / Calgary Sun) Law enforcement shmaltz (for maximum nausea, read it with a Southern drawl). Note how RCMP Supt. Hickman "will be retiring the minute the summit is wrapped up." I guess 911 will have positive financial repercussions in spite of all that gut-wrenching emotional pain he suffered....But also note how he's "vowed to commit as many resources to enable [protesters] to exercise their lawful right to protest as forces he's committing to deal with law-breakers." Could someone please tell me what that means? (Hickman! Are you reading this? Please let us know how many men we will be assigned, and when and where the formal transfer of command is to take place. Over and out!).
Massive no-fly zone ordered over Kananaskis, Alta., for June G8 summit (March 21, 2002 / CP) Says Alan Bell (we've heard from him earlier - see July 29 Calgary Sun link below) of Globe Risk Holdings (provides security primarily to mining, oil and gas companies - more info via link), "I would expect this will end up being one of the most expensive G8 summits."
G8 summit won't close Kananaskis, RCMP say (March 18, 2002 / National Post) "A security perimeter will be established around the Kananaskis hotel village complex where G8 leaders will meet, but its size has not been determined....The perimeter in the environmentally sensitive Kananaskis region will not consist of wire fences or other physical barriers, except on roads."
Campers will need a convoy (March 16, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - The previously announced closure of the entire Kananaskis area (see March 10 Calgary Herald article) is revealed here to have in fact been a strategic ploy to make the actual plan (closure of the northern part of Kananaskis area) look more palatable. Within the northern part of Kananaskis, the G8 will simply pay businesses to pretend they are open. Note that the 'Sundance Lodges' mentioned in the article is owned by the Delta Lodge Kananaskis - which will be hosting the G8. And speaking of the Delta Lodge, isn't that rich how Dale Dick, chairman of the 'Kananaskis Area Residents for Economic and Environmental Sustainability', also happens to be general manager of the Delta Lodge Kananaskis. The article closes, interestingly enough, with a quote from the song 'Convoy' (C.W. McCall) which tells the story of a group of renegade truckers who end up crashing through a police barrier to get to the other side of a state line (but the Herald quote omits that part of the song).
G8 Preview: Retreating to Reach Out for Real Results at Kananaskis 2002 (March 15, 2002) John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto's G8 Research Group - a conservative front organization which seeks to bolster G8 claims to legitimacy with a barrage of 'scholarship' - gives a speech at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS). (Helpful note to Canadian spies: this is not the CSIS you belong to - it is another one). This is ten days before the media were told about how the government intends to replace the usual pre-negotiated G8 communique with a short summary (see Pared down G-8 summit in Kananaskis won't have a final communique), but Kirton already knows all about it. He comments: "While this substitution will open the G8 to the charge that it prefers 19th-century style 'secret decisions, secretly arrived at' and make compliance with G8 commitments more difficult back home in subsequent months, it will free the leaders at Kananaskis to focus fully on what they alone as leaders really want. This summit, as never before, is designed to be their summit - the ultimate executive retreat." Kirton also speaks of how he sees the leaders promoting a "new security economy" where "the new wave of spending unleashed by September 11th brings not only short-term stimulus, and enhanced security with added transaction costs, but permanent, productivity-enhancing growth." In short, expanding the capacity for state repression will continue to be given priority, not just to protect elite interests, but also as a major focus of economic growth. "Retreating to Reach Out" - Indeed!!
Fears over damage cloud G-8 poll results (March 14, 2002 / Calgary Herald) "Calgarians are deeply conflicted over the upcoming G-8 summit in Kananaskis," writes Mark Reid, who then claims that the large bloc of negative sentiment is due to 'fears of damage'. No mention is made of Calgarian political opposition to the G8. Reid would have us believe that Calgarians are entirely self-interested creatures who base their opinions solely on potential damage versus potential economic benefits to their region. Nary a hint that they might entertain a wider political consciousness - or that some of them might not like the G8 on principle. One might have expected the pollster, Jon Hartenberger, to ask if Calgarians support G8 protests ... well, if so, the results somehow didn't make the news. And who asked this guy to do the survey in the first place? Answer: nobody. Apparently: it was "conducted independently". Which is convenient, because it means that if the poll can't be manipulated to yield 'acceptable' results (e.g. - try manipulating a poll asking Kananaskis residents about the G8) - it can be trashed without a trace.
Elite forces may see G-8 duty (March 13, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - Here is another 'protester deterrent' article. It suggests that the ever-mysterious JTF-2 commandos (see: Imperialism — Canadian style for a glimpse into the sadistic background of this 'elite' corps) will be lurking around Kananskis - in much the same way it was reported that they would be lurking around the G20 meetings in Ottawa last November. Rather suspect is the inclusion of commentary by John Thompson of the MacKenzie Institute, a notorious little nest of right wing sentiment that poses as a charitable organization for tax purposes and snipes at various forms of political dissent (check out The Terrible Burden of Righteousness for a sampling of a typical MacKenzie diatribe, and here for some of John Thompson's racist-inspired trouble-making). Thompson is active with the pro-gun lobby as well (see here), but what stands out about him is his obviously well-connected status within Canada's security community - thanks, presumably, to his background as a former intelligence officer himself. He consistently appears in breaking reports about JTF2 (see Joint Task Force 2), making it highly probable that the appearance of this Calgary Herald article is in fact due to his machinations (it would be interesting to know who actually placed the "access to information" request, eh?). An instructive article!
Campers infuriated by closures (March 10, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - The Kananaskis area will be closed for up to three weeks as security-related closures continue to expand, and vacationers - who would normally number close to 100,000 over that period - are upset. Says one camper: "If they're worried about security, then go to a security facility (for the summit). Don't go up into a prime camping area, close it down, just so you can marvel at our mountains."
Canada, U.S. close to reaching border deal (March 9, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen)
Give the girls a chance, too (March 7, 2002 / The Guardian) "Of the 125 million children worldwide who receive no education at all, two-thirds are girls." The author makes the point that educating girls is both morally and economically the right thing to do: "an increase of 1% in the share of women who complete secondary education is associated with a rise of 0.3% in per capita income." The number one recommended policy is to "phase out school fees in developing countries."
Expert dampens fear of forest fires (March 7, 2002 / Rocky Mountain Outlook) - An 'expert' prays for heavy rains in May and June. The article also states that "in the event of a fire in Kananaskis Country that destroyed houses there or further up the valley in Canmore and Banff, the cause of the fire would dictate whether insurance would cover the losses." It appears that 'fire following' terrorism would be covered, but not fire resulting from vandalism (i.e. arsonists must be wearing their bin Laden costumes).
American entourage says G-8 site 'exotic' (March 8, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - Giving security personnel a 'human face', as Paul Martin would say, by portraying them as a herd of simple-minded tourists (travelling at public expense).
Portable security device is on the March (March 5, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen) - A 'protester deterrent' article which also functions as a splash of free publicity for an expensive video surveillance system. Benefitting from the freebie is high-tech company March Networks, owned by Terry Matthews, one of the twenty richest people in Canada and currently worth over one and a half billion dollars. In an interview on The National (Feb. 5, 2001) Matthews took pains to explain his grandiose ambitions to make hundreds of millions more in the high-tech security field ("there's nothing wrong with a little greed", says Matthews). That would be in addition, of course, to his stints as chief World Bank investigator. Formally speaking we should now refer to him as Sir Terry after he was knighted last year (in spite of a ban on the practice ... recall how Conrad Black raised a fuss about being denied the title - which he eventually got anyhow). Of the new video system, Sir Terry says: "the DVR doesn't provide only surveillance, it acts like a 'witness' to events as they unfold.... It records activity so you can use it as evidence. So if someone claims that a police officer beat him up, you can find out where that person was standing, review the tape and see whether the claim is valid." So it seems Sir T. is suggesting the G8 videos be made available to citizens to corroborate their claims of police brutality. Something to make a note of.... And one last piece of info from the article: "Total [G8]security costs are expected to top $100 million." For comparison's sake, in the year 2000, the total amount of money collected by ALL charities in Canada was estimated at $90 million.
Education is a powerful peace builder (March 4, 2002 / Toronto Star) - Deb Ireland, a researcher with RESULT:Ed Education Fund and a volunteer with RESULTS Canada, a grassroots organization dedicated to the eradication of global poverty, urges people to voice their opinions about the importance of universal education via the G8 Education E-Consultation (see above). Excerpts: "some 854 million adults remain functionally illiterate and 110 million children are still being denied access to even the most basic education. Two-thirds of them are girls.... UNICEF says that all it would take to achieve the Dakar goals is an annual increase of $9 billion in global education spending. By way of comparison, global military expenditures for 2000 (even before the war on terrorism) were a whopping $798 billion. "
Canmore gets G8 money it wants (March 3, 2002 / CBC) - $600,000 and an open-ended invitation for more.
G-8 summit security to take wilderness course to protect pristine forests (March 3, 2002 / CP) - A cleverly conceived, PR-friendly way of suggesting that police will be swarming in the woods - thereby deterring protesters and claiming the environmental highground - all in one fell swoop. But while the RCMP take care not to pee on the plants, Calgary-based Genesis Land Development plans to spend $500-million on ripping up the south end of the Spray Lakes Reservoir for its mega resort - the latest in a series of proposed projects (see: Kananaskis Country Resort Slammed). And to the North, scientists are appealing for the preservation of wildlife corridors in order to offset the negative impacts of plans for large-scale development on the Three Sisters Resorts lands (see: Scientists Speak Out on Three Sisters and Bow Valley Wildlife Corridors). In other related news, an 82 page report was released in which it states that resort development is expected to cause a "dangerous decline" in the grizzly bear population of the Kananaskis area if current trends continue (see: Report predicts dwindling grizzly population near Banff).
Big wheels hope for a smarter border (March 1, 2002 / National Post) - The Canadian Trucking Alliance wants in on the 'smart border' talks that are expected to be concluded at Kananaskis. "Trucks carry 70% of the goods between Canada and the United States -- that's $1.6-billion worth a day. About 13.5-million trucks cross the border a year -- one every 2.5 minutes." This being the National Post, we find no mention of last year's CEC report which linked all this increased truck traffic - largely a result of NAFTA - with excessive and steadily increasing pollution around the main transportation corridors.
Security teams stalking K-Country (Feb. 26, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - Notable here is the appearance of Centurion Security on the scene. This, presumably, is the same Centurion Security whose CEO was heavily criticized for not only proposing the idea of "bringing Big Brother to Yellowknife" in the form of public surveillance cameras, but also trying to realize the scheme single-handedly (unsuccessfully, thanks to a privacy commission inquiry). See: Big Brother foiled in Yellowknife (July 24, 2001 / National Post) and Federal Privacy Commissioner says "no" to Street Surveillance Cameras (June 20, 2001 / Privacy Commission). Also of interest are the company's claims that it was hired to plant infiltrators during the World Petroleum Congress two years ago, and its apparent tendering for contracts to do the same at Kananaskis.
Protesters start planning for G8 summit (Feb. 26, 2002 / The Link) - A brief report on the outcome of the Ottawa Consulta held Feb. 16-17 at Carleton University from Concordia University newspaper, The Link. The next week's edition (March 5) included the following correction: "In last week's Link it was falsely stated that Convergence des luttes Anti-Capitalistes advocates violent protest. In fact, the group advocates a policy of "diversity of tactics" whch does not include violence. The Link regrets the error."
Case delays for summit will strain courts: lawyer (Feb. 20, 2002 / Edmonton Sun) - regular court services will be suspended to accomodate the possibility of mass arrests at G8 protests and associated legal bottlenecks.
Schroeder, Chretien Cautious on U.S. Move on Iraq (Feb. 18, 2002 / Reuters) G8 leaders make a half-hearted attempt to voice criticism of US unilateralism and 'axis of evil' absolutism.
Move on to Protect Students during G-8 (Feb. 18, 2002 / Calgary Sun) Anticipating "violent protests and armed camps...." The Calgary Sun stirring up more paranoia....
Italy Minister Under Fire Over Open Fire Order (Feb. 16, 2002 / Reuters) - Claudio Scajola, Italian interior minister, admits to giving the order "to shoot anyone who breached the Red Zone" shortly after a policeman shot and killed Carlo Giuliani during the Genoa G8 last summer. In spite of this disturbing revelation, the Italian government is maintaining its decision to close the lid on further investigations.
PM perpetuates wrong meaning of 'Kananaskis' (Feb. 16, 2002 / National Post) - "The error is frustrating for the local Stoneys, the native group that lives closest to the G8 Summit site. They refer to the Kananaskis area as 'ozada', or in its long form, 'oz-ada imne'."
U.S. expects Canada to back action in Iraq (Feb. 16, 2002 / National Post) - a report on the Vancouver visit of Marc Grossman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and a senior aide to Colin Powell, aimed at trying to drum up Canadian support for renewed military aggression against Iraq
Police surf Net to find clues on G8 protests (Feb. 15, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen) - Similar to the previous article with a bit more detail.
Police probe G-8 protest plans (Feb. 14, 2002 / Vancouver Sun) - "RCMP officers are scouring Internet Web sites featuring information about plans to protest the G-8 summit in Alberta this June...." Very brief, uninformative article about state surveillance of popular political dissent.
K-Country snoops sought (Feb. 7, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - Calgary RCMP begins nurturing K-Country informants, asking them to be on the alert for people "who seem a tad too interested in the G-8." Also, G8 security spokesman James Johnston is reported to claim that "G-8 security officials have no plans to close all of K-Country to the public." Make a note of that one....
Contentious security act to be softened (Feb. 7, 2002 / Edmonton Journal) - The article refers to Bill C42, which, among other things, would allow the government to declare 'military security zones'. It is suspected that this provision was included with Kananaskis specifically in mind.
G8 sets sites for finance, foreign minister meets (Feb. 6, 2002 / Reuters) - finance and foreign ministers will meet in Halifax and Whistler respectively in June as part of the lead-up to the Kananaskis summit
New border security to be unveiled at G-8 - (Feb. 3, 2002 / Calgary Herald)
Lionel Jospin pour une mondialisation "maîtrisée" - (Jan. 31, 2002 / Le Monde) We already know, of course, that the G7 has no legitimacy as a global agenda setter, but now we've got the number 2 man from the government of a G7 country saying as much. In his speech of Jan. 30 2002 Jospin was talking about arbitrating multilateral market regulations: "...Nous ne pouvons en effet accepter de laisser, par défaut, le G7 jouer ce rôle ; il n’en a pas la légitimité." The Le Monde article summarizes the speech.
Mounties to use video surveillance at G8 summit (Jan. 31, 2002 / National Post) - the RCMP will be spending a conservatively estimated $300,000 for the rental of three satellite uplink trucks and associated satellite bandwith costs. This communications initiative is apparently in addition to the 40 kilometers of optical cable which will be installed from Fort Chiniquay down to Kananaskis Village (see Project to Install a Duct and Fibre Optic Cable Along the TransCanada Highway and Highway Forty in Kananaskis Country in Alberta), leading some to believe that the optical cable is simply a pork barrel initiative to gain the support of the major property owners in the Kananaskis area.
Churches prepare for G8 meeting (Jan. 28, 2002 / Western Catholic Reporter) - New ecumenical group wants Kananaskis to lead to social justice - specifically, to a recognition of the moral debt owed by the North to aboriginal people, the people of the South, and the earth.
G-8 activists pitch tent-city concept - (Jan. 28, 2002 / Calgary Herald)
Canada may declare G-8 summit site a militarized zone(Jan. 12, 2002 / World Socialist)
Ottawa to shorten G8 summit by a day (Jan. 11, 2002 / Globe&Mail) - the Kananaskis summit is now scheduled for June 26-27... two days instead of three.
Summit security will toe the line - (Jan. 9, 2002 / Calgary Herald) "...summit security forces will, for the first time, be ordered to obey a code of conduct recognizing the public's right to protest..." (my italics). What the code consists of, exactly, has not yet been made public.
Summit too costly(Dec. 28, 2001 / Toronto Star) - editorial in which it is predicted that full costs for hosting Kananaskis G8 may exceed $200 million. Just for comparison's sake, this figure would outstrip Canada's recently announced (July 18, 2001) contribution to the Global AIDS and Health Fund by $50 million.
Don't use anti-terror bill to block G-8 protests: critics - (Nov. 30 2001 / CBC) Bill Blaikie suspects C42 will be used to silence political dissent
Parts of new anti-terrorist bill more about protest than terrorism, says MP (Nov. 29, 2002 / CP) "There's no question in our mind that this legislation [Bill C-42] is established so that the Defence Department can put a military zone around Kananaskis," Tory-Democratic Representative Coalition MP Val Meredith said. "To keep out terrorists? No. To keep out legitimate protesters."
Military could protect G-8 site: Terror law allows army to limit access -(Nov. 29, 2001 / Calgary Herald)Defence Minister Art Eggleton admits that C42 may be used to militarize Kananaskis
City gets $34.3-million for G8 costs - Calgary, that is. (Nov. 20, 2001 / CBC)
Summit organizers hope to see protests limited to Calgary -(Nov. 8, 2001 / Calgary Herald) Robert Fowler, Jean Chretien's representative for Kananaskis summit, doing his best to discourage protesters from showing up in Kananaskis
Canada to Beef Up Air Defense at 2002 G8 Summit - (Nov. 8 2001 / Reuters)
Alberta and Calgary will Receive Federal Financial Assistance to Cover Security Costs for G8 Summit in Kananaskis (Nov. 6, 2001 / Canada NewsWire)
Picturesque village dreading spotlight - (Oct. 31 2001 / National Post) - An ominous, Orson Welles-inspired piece which portrays a sleepy, pristine Kananaskis on the brink of confronting the scourge of terrorism. The article includes many B-movie touches. "'Some people here are very worried,' says Naoko Maebashi, standing behind the cash register in an empty souvenir store." (oooh, an empty souvenir store) "Now, when some who work here in Kananaskis look down the valley where golden eagles are often sighted, ....they see shadows racing in where the sun used to shine." (oooh, shadows). "Even guests show signs of apprehension. One woman, a Calgarian who refuses to give her name, says that last night her waiter told them there had been security experts in to check the water supply. She shudders...." (oooh, they checked the water supply). Note, how, at this stage, budget allocations for security are still reported to be at $17-million - and soon to balloon exponentially. "But," says Bob Mitchell, a Calgary energy worker, "from Sept. 11 on, world security has to be rethought completely." (...energy worker, eh? Now this wouldn't be Bob Mitchell, Vice-President of Operations for Talisman Energy - based in Calgary and notorious for its links to war and slavery and ethnic cleansing in Sudan - would it? Maybe they're just recycling the Petroleum Congress characters and this really is a B-movie on a blockbuster budget).
DFAIT asks for military help at G-8 Summit - actually, reading this suggests that the government is not yet decided (as of Oct. 29,2001) whether security will be dealt with primarily by the RCMP or by Canadian Forces. It also appears that the army and the RCMP are competing to be the main beneficiaries of the massive outlay of tax-dollars which the government has slotted to reduce the visibility of political dissent during the summit.
Limiting the violence when the G-8 comes to Canada (October 24, 2001 / The Manitoban) Suggestions from a protester back from Genoa.
RCMP targets Raging Grannies (October 11, 2001 / Eye) - not specifically focused on Kananaskis, this article is nevertheless relevant as it discusses some of the activities of the "Public Order Program" set up by the RCMP to spy on groups and individuals involved in political dissent activites.
Klein unsure of G8 summit (Sept. 12, 2001 / Canoe) Unsure of the G8, just like Jean-Paul L'Allier, Mayor of Quebec City, was unsure of the Summit of the Americas. Expect this de rigueur political posture soon to be replaced by a 'reluctant' or 'guarded' support of the G8, etc. This is from a script that has been seen before.
Attempts to Establish What Constitutes "Legitimate" Protest Against the G8 Summit in Kananaskis (Sept. 10, 2002 / Marxist-Leninist Daily)
RCMP can handle G8, Mounties say(July, 2001, Globe and Mail)
Expert paints scary picture (July 29, 2001 / Calgary Sun) Says Alan Bell (the 'expert') of Globe Risk Holdings, as he drums up business for his security consulting company: "It's a movie in the making. You have got to bring eight of the most powerful men in the world into a wilderness facility ... and you've got to protect them from the anti-globalization guys and against the threat of terrorism. And in my experience, that is almost an impossible task...." Frank Cilluffo, terrorism task-force director at the Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C., disagrees, saying "Sometimes bears and cougars can be pretty good security guards."
Earliest reports in which Kananaskis was announced as location of next G8 summit - collected at Indymedia Ontario
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Contact me (Eric Squire) at: firstname.lastname@example.org