Rendezvous in Kananaskis
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Rendezvous in Kananaskis
General News Archives (March 28 - April 30, 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:
Terror bill may limit G-8 military (April 30, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Another C-55 article, in which Alliance defence critic Leon Benoit picks up on the loophole mentioned here previously. The incredible thing is that the media are parroting the Liberals' claim that this bill corrects the much maligned C-42. It doesn't - in fact it is looking increasingly probable that on the whole, with the various additions that have been made, it will turn out to be worse. More on C-55 here: CSIS, RCMP will be given airline data (April 30, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
Trade rule changes needed for fairness (April 29, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Lloyd Axworthy, former foreign affairs minister and currently director of the Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, says G8 trade barriers ought to be removed. But he doesn't say much (does he say anything?) about holding globally mobile corporations responsible for paying decent wages, upholding workers' rights, and reinvesting profits in the economies where they are operating. Don't be fooled - this is really just more neoliberal drivel.
G-8 activists hit roadblock to rent Alberta native land for village (April 29, 2002 / CP) Sounds like the government is turning the screws on the Stoney councillors to keep protesters out and to let the RCMP use the land instead....
Government Introduces New Anti-Terror Bill (April 29, 2002 / AP) The state failed to put one over on us with C-42... so now it's on to plan B: Bill C-55. Here's another report on this bill, New anti-terror bill limits power to declare military zones (April 29, 2002 / CBC), which explains how the bill has been modified to include a 'limitation' requiring that the army place something - like a tank - on a particular area before the defence minister can officially declare it a 'military security zone'. This allows the minister to move as many soldiers as he wishes into that area. But we'll have to wait until the official publication of the government bill to find out if the minister is then permitted to roll one, two, or three dice before attacking. See also: Bill limits powers of Cabinet ministers (April 30, 2002 / National Post).
Cop report must wait till after G-8 (April 27, 2002 / Calgary Sun) Ok this article might seem a bit peripheral to the G8 summit for most, but it has interesting ramifications. If indeed there is a major reform just around the corner for Alberta policing, including a decommissioning of the RCMP in favor of a provincial police force, you can be sure there will be some major jockeying for power as the new regime takes shape, and the Kananskis operation will be a very important arena for solidifying internal alliances and a particularly vulnerable point for seeking positions which are PR sensitive. But it may also mean that if the police get out of hand and serious trouble results, those responsible may be able to escape being held accountable as the old system disappears and they move on to a new one.
Summit cost called small price to pay (April 27, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Robert Fowler tries to squirm his way around the dubious notion of spending a half a billion dollars for 30 hours of meetings. Notice how, the topmost item in Fowlers brief list of potential benefits is "a promise from the United States to spend $80 billion Cdn over 10 years on foreign development, with a significant portion going to Africa." But in fact this isn't a new commitment, or even a desireable one, necessarily. Back in February, a U.S. State Dept. official was quoted as saying "by 2003, investment in the African oil industry will exceed $10 billion [thousand million] a year. Between two-thirds and three-fourths of our foreign direct investment in Africa will be in the energy sector." This is primarily to realize a long term CIA goal of moving American dependence on African oil from 15% to 25% of U.S. domestic consumption (see: U.S. Officials Cite Importance of African Oil to U.S. Economy). If the record of oil exploitation in Africa in the past is any indicator (think Nigeria, Congo, Angola, Chad...), this will most likely result in increased suffering of Africans.
CSIS warns of G-8 violence (April 27, 2002 / Calgary Herald) This sounds almost exactly like another CSIS report issued prior to Quebec City. (see: Radicals Want Violence at Quebec Summit, says CSIS). The really interesting part is that both reports just happened to make it into the media about 2 months prior to the events, suggesting that a government source is deliberately leaking info on the existence of specific documents so that journalist Jim Bronskill can find and publicize them at what is considered an opportune moment. In fact, the documents are most likely prepared specifically in order to be leaked. Sophisticated manipulation of the masses.
Activist warns of police tactics at G-8 (April 27, 2002 / Edmonton Journal) A brief piece on the Human Rights Forum held in Edmonton. The title of the piece seems singularly inappropriate in view of the fact that Jaggi Singh was mainly criticizing state and media propaganda efforts to deter people through fear.
Measures taken to keep tear gas out of City Hall (April 27, 2002 / Calgary Herald) The story is just an excuse to give Calgarians the impression that protests will be bad news. Nowhere does the reporter think of asking the 'city spokesman' this glaringly obvious question: "Before this 'new computer system' (i.e. a fancy on-off switch) was installed, are you saying it was impossible to turn off the ventilation system?! How were repairs conducted?" 100% media manipulation.
Critics Fear Canada G8 Summit Costs Out of Control (April 25, 2002 / Reuters) Stockwell Day attacks G8 cost overruns but fails to muster any deeper criticism of the G8. An awfully dismal effort on the part of someone who is supposedly the official 'foreign affairs critic'. More on the same topic: Ottawa hoping to pare costs for G-8 summit (April 25, 2002 / Toronto Star).
Kananaskis G-8 summit largest peacetime operation:police (April 25, 2002 / CBC) "This is the largest peacetime security operation in Canadian history," says Rick Hanson, deputy chief of the Calgary Police Service.
Liberals bow to terror-bill critics (April 25, 2002 / National Post) Happily, Bill C-42 is dead - although, unhappily, some of its provisions live on in C-44, and it appears that other parts will be "replaced by more moderate legislation later this week." Nevertheless, after the steamroller treatment the Liberals inflicted on Canadian civil liberties late last year with the passage of C-36 (now law) and C-35 (which is now in the Senate), this retraction of C-42 represents a significant turning of the tide. The days of 911 paralysis are over, and the government's window of opportunity for ramming through repressive legislation has narrowed considerably as the public becomes increasingly critical.
Banff costs covered for G-8 Summit (April 24, 2002 / Banff Crag&Canyon) Here is an interesting little article about Banff receiving funding in order to be prepared in the event of biological/chemical terrorist attacks around G-8 time. Apparently other towns in the region are being similarly funded. An excellent example of John Kirton's 'new security economy' (NSE) in action!
Police buying armoured vehicles (April 24, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Hey, what's another $1.1 million when you're already in for over 300 million? That seems to be the rationale. And of course there's the 'protester deterrent' value of buying vehicles designed "for going into dangerous and volatile situations, to remove injured citizens or injured protesters." The same model of vehicle, the RG-12, was first lent to the RCMP as part of a GM promotional effort on the occasion of the OAS summit in Windsor (see One extreme machine), and then just days later, the RCMP rented one on the occasion of the Petroleum Congress in 2000. The vehicle is distributed in North America by GM Defence, and manufactured by Vickers OMC (see Vickers RG12), a South African subsidiary of the giant Vickers Defence, which is based in the U.K. and owns Rolls Royce among other things. According to a Calgary Sun article (see G-8 defence ready to roll), the 2 vehicles will be fitted with a Mobile Adjustable Ramp System, meaning that they will look like this. See also: Riot squad favourite ready to roll in Calgary: Armoured vehicles will allow police to keep 'public order' (April 24, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen).
Canada Plays Down Link Between Poverty, Terrorism (April 23, 2002 / Reuters) Says Robert Fowler: "We need to be careful, I would argue, about drawing casual connections between poor or being marginalized and becoming a terrorist." These remarks are obviously an effort to 'correct' statements made by Chrétien at the EastWest Institute on April 17 (see below - particularly the Toronto Star article of that date). The reason certain powerful people are pushing Chrétien/Fowler to change their tune is clear. If we establish that poverty is a major cause of terrorism, then it makes sense to direct money towards poverty alleviation - the root of the problem - rather than extravagant security expenses. But that would put a damper on the "new security economy" (NSE) boom ... (for more on the "new security economy", see "Retreating to Reach Out" by G8 sycophant John Kirton, March 15 2002 in these news archives)
Education for poor vowed (April 22, 2002 / Toronto Star) "Finance Minister Paul Martin was at the table yesterday as ministers from several countries agreed at the IMF-World Bank meetings to set a year 2015 deadline to get children from underdeveloped countries into school." No money was committed. Don't ask me why the G8 leaders have to agree to something - i.e. commitment to the Dakar framework - that they already agreed to in July 2001. But notice how George W. Bush - the 'education' President - and the U.S. are absent from the proceedings.
G7 backs Canada's lending plans (April 22, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Another article on this very misleading issue of 'debt restructuring'. Check out New debt-relief plan given nudge (April 21, 2002 / Montreal Gazette), G7 striving to control financial crises (April 20, 2002 / Globe&Mail), and Argentine banking system shut (April 20, 2002 / Globe&Mail), as well as a couple of the articles below for context. Essentially, the U.S. has succeeded in keeping the proposed idea of an international bankruptcy court (which would allow countries the possibility of writing off unpayable debt) off the negotiating table. Instead, it has redirected the G7 down the 'restructuring' road, which simply means that creditors will be playing musical chairs regarding payment priorities and schedules. From the viewpoint of poor countries, the debts will remain, and the only difference will be a bit more leeway in negotiating extensions on dates for meeting obligations. The advance is miniscule - and in reality it represents a step backwards because it is being used to sidestep the real goal: debt cancellation. Notice, also, how Paul Martin says: "Argentina's crisis would not have happened if this was in place." Really? Why? Not because the real problem - crushing debt and neoliberal IMF policies which amount to a massive selloff of national assets - would have been removed, but because Martin believes that if Argentina had been squeezed with a bit more delicacy, revolutionary social upheaval could have been avoided.
No down time for activists with summit approaching (April 21, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Superficial reporting on the Starhawk/Jaggi Singh workshops in Calgary. Starhawk's remark about "one and a half hours" - referring of course to the planned luncheon with African leaders - is misconstrued. On purpose?... probably. The really incredible thing is how there is virtually nothing of substance about why people will be protesting the G8.
No-fly means no profit (April 21, 2002 / Calgary Herald) This article parrots material published previously in the Rocky Mountain Outlook (see April 4 in these archives). Marty von Neudegg and a few other business operators in the area continue to elaborate sob stories in an effort to get the government to fork over money for 'projected lost profits' due to the announced 3-day no-fly zone around the G8. But what really got me about this article, was the following paragraph - based, no-doubt, on Marty's rantings: "Heli-adventure tours are a favourite of the world's monied eco-tourists. A three-day trip to one of Canadian Mountain Holidays' $8-million luxury mountain lodges in B.C's Purcell Mountains, for example, costs more than $1,500 per person. Tourists must book their tickets a year in advance, and, due to the no-fly zone, 176 customers worldwide are now watching their dream vacation turn into a nightmare." A three-day snag in their travel plans. What a NIGHTMARE!!
Canada's Martin to Push Debt Relief at Next G7 (April 21, 2002 / Reuters) Yesterday (see April 20 Globe&Mail article) we were told that Martin intended "to demand immediate action from rich countries on the worsening problem of Third World debt" this weekend in Washington. Now he says he'll bring it up in Halifax. Yeah yeah yeah....
G-7 Leaders Back Action Plan (April 21, 2002 / Washington Post) "The world's leading industrial nations yesterday endorsed new approaches for containing future crises, including a U.S.-backed plan to prod countries and their creditors to adopt more-flexible loan terms aimed at averting catastrophic defaults...." In other words, the G7 has opted once again for some relatively small reform measures that fall far short of addressing the urgent problems. Over at the IMF meetings, once again aid was denied Argentina while the country was urged to implement further reforms and budget cuts. Paul Martin's concerns (see yesterday's G&M article below) were either ignored or not brought up in the first place (Martin has a tendency of doing this - recall how he formerly championed the Tobin Tax, but has persistently ignored the topic ever since he made it into the G7/G20 circles).
Educate Them All (April 20, 2002 / Washington Post) Editorial by Gene Sperling, President Clinton's chief economic adviser. Excerpt: "At the World Bank meeting this weekend and the G-8 Summit in June, the United States has the opportunity to jump-start the process of creating a global education compact. First, it should insist on a clear and coordinated global contract under which a poor nation can be sure that if it meets tough but flexible criteria, an equally clear financing mechanism is in place to deliver needed assistance....The second track would be to directly fund successful nongovernmental service providers in nations without comprehensive education plans, so that we do not neglect millions of children because of the shortcomings of their governments." Sperling seems to be bending over backwards to avoid using the p-word, but it seems pretty clear what he's talking about: funneling aid money into privatized education. More neoliberal leveraging.
Martin champions Third World (April 20, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Paul Martin occasionally talks the talk. He likes to hear himself talk the talk. Unfortunately, that's as far as it usually goes. Stay tuned to find out what the outcome in Washington DC is, but don't hold your breath.
Court time grows for G-8 (April 18, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Another 'protester deterrent' article. "Three Calgary courtrooms will be kept open from dawn to dark to deal with the large number of protester arrests expected during the G-8 summit in June." See also a previously posted Edmonton Sun article from Feb. 20.
Chrétien feted for helping Russia join G8 (April 17, 2002 / National Post) For anyone keen on conspiracy interpretations, this item is of particular interest. Here is Chrétien rubbing shoulders with première globalist David Rockefeller (of Chase Manhattan Bank fame, but also the founding member of the elitist and secretive Trilateral Commission and the equally reclusive Bilderberg Group) and various other notable elitists, including, of course, the Desmarais snagged by Chrétien's daughter (André); Hilary and Galen Weston (together, they have been called "the closest thing to royalty in Canada"; they control a vast business empire, amounting to the 2nd largest accumulation of wealth in Canada); John C. Whitehead, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and co-chairman of Goldman-Sachs (one of the largest investment banks in the world); the omnipresent Thomas d'Aquino; .... See also: Prime Minister accepts award for leadership (April 17, 2002 / Globe&Mail), EastWest gala lauds statesman Chrétien (April 17, 2002 / Toronto Star), and PM receives statesman award from international think-tank (April 17, 2002 / CBC).
City rustles up G-8 wingding (April 16, 2002 / Calgary Herald) A $300,000 wingding. And who gets invited? G-8 delegates and the international media - meaning the city of Calgary is throwing their citizens' money into G8 promotion and an opportunity for the city councillors to bask in a warm feeling of self-importance....
G8 summit on African poverty to cost $300M (April 13, 2002 / National Post) Estimates of the total cost of the 2-day summit have been on a constant rise since the announcement of the Kananaskis location last summer, and it is now predicted that the costs may continue to rise to as much as $500 million - the total amount Canada has committed to its 'Africa Fund'. Think about it: the amount spent on arranging a 2-day meeting for 8 'leaders' would be equal to the amount being devoted, over 3 years, to alleviating poverty for over 800 million Africans. The conclusion? The G8 summit isn't about poverty or Africa at all. In reality, its first objective is to channel obscene quantities of money into what John Kirton has called the "new security economy" (NSE), and when Justice Minister Martin Cauchon says "it is going to be a wonderful event indeed", he is thinking mainly about the wonderful opportunities it will create for the security (read 'repression') sector here in Canada.
G8 summit blueprint whisked off Net (April 12, 2002 / Globe&Mail) The Globe&Mail runs in circles with its 'scoop', while security 'experts' provide lurid speculation to ensure that money continues to flow into what John Kirton, U of T G8 huckster, has termed the "new security economy." See also: Net posting an invitation to terrorists, MPs charge (April 12, 2002 / Globe&Mail); Was security for G8 summit breached by Web site? (April 12, 2002 / Globe&Mail); and The RCMP: asleep at the G8 security wheel? (April 12, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
Banff Mounties up for stun guns (April 11, 2002 / Banff Crag & Canyon) A third of the 104 RCMP detachments across Alberta are due to receive training on Tazers in May.
What steps are being taken to ensure a safe G8 summit? (April 11, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Basically just recycles the same material we've seen in a couple of other articles earlier this month.
Planners want site looking sharp for G8 (April 11, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Black velvet drapes, strategically placed potted plants, "Hiss and/or noise will not be acceptable".... all that's missing is the casket.
Summit blueprint turns up on Web (April 11, 2002 / Globe&Mail) The original scoop, in which security pundits Alan Bell and John Thompson are trotted out for comments (see March 21 CP and March 13 Calgary Herald articles below). And here's another of the many articles which appeared today on this topic: Canada, Raising Eyebrows, Publishes G8 Floor Plans (April 11, 2002 / Reuters). And here are the floorplans in question.
Natives invite activists to G-8 (April 6, 2002 / Calgary Herald)
U of C hosts summit to unravel G-8 issues (April 4, 2002 / Calgary Herald) Article about the G6B conference: "a voice for the other six billion people on the planet."
No-fly order hits CMH hard: officials furious (April 4, 2002 / Rocky Mountain Outlook) A number of items have appeared in local Banff or Canmore media about 'irate' companies claiming to be facing 'huge business losses' due to this or that G8-related inconvenience. This article is a typical example. Here we have a company, Canadian Mountain Holiday (owned by Alpine Helicopters, which is in turn 45% controlled by Intrawest), that specializes in heli-skiing - in fact it is the largest heli-skiing operation in the world - which, as a sideline, promotes what it calls 'heli-hiking' to try to squeeze a few extra bucks out of its fleet of helicopters during the offseason. At their website (visited on April 5, 2002), there is no mention of Kananaskis, and in any event, the heli-hiking business seems to play a minor role in their promotional efforts; nevertheless, they are claiming for $300,000 in 'losses' because of a 3-day G8 no fly zone.
Police prepare for clashes at G8 summit (April 3, 2002 / Globe&Mail) "Calgary police are preparing for the possibility that protesters will be killed in riots when the leaders of eight of the world's industrialized countries meet in Alberta this June." This, if you can believe it, is the opening sentence of this Globe&Mail article. It continues with suggestions of "Chemical agents. Unknown substances. Terrorism. Riots" and concludes with a final effort to spook readers with the fear of "the unknown". After the Globe&Mail, the Calgary Sun article, City police prep for G-8 (April 3, 2002 / Calgary Sun), comes off sounding almost like level-headed journalism. Meanwhile, the Calgary Herald article - Police face all possible threats in Kananaskis (April 3, 2002 / Calgary Herald) - while mostly just another verbatim repetition of the basic info all the major media were obviously told to print, at least appends a token statement from one of those on the majority side of the police barriers: "Sarah Kerr, a Calgary activist, said police are 'fear mongering' by talking publicly about the risk of terrorism and nuclear attack. She said such talk threatens to overshadow the issues most activists want highlighted during the summit." For useful news about RCMP training (rather than the calibrated propaganda of these corporate media articles) go to the previously posted Alberta-IMC article (March 29).
Protesters plan return to Ottawa (March 30, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen) Article about the Take the Capital action planned for June 26-27 in Ottawa.
RCMP GEARS UP FOR G8 (March 29, 2002 / Alberta IMC) - RCMP training report which gives an idea of what protesters might be facing, along with some important advice. This later report - All Alberta RCMP to get stun guns (April 4, 2002 / Edmonton Sun) - appears to corroborate the claim that tasers may be used.
G-8 police try to disperse cloud of distrust from activists across Canada (March 28, 2002 / CP) This is just one of a number of media reports covering the "Conflict Resolution and the De-escalation of Violence" forum which took place at the University of Calgary on March 28. Other articles include: Police bid to head off G8 violence meets distrust on Calgary campus (March 29, 2002 / Globe&Mail); Students, police at impasse over G-8 security (March 28, 2002 / CBC); and U of C acts to curb violence (March 29, 2002 / Calgary Sun). Coming in the wake of recent reports about the RCMP's continuing refusal to apologize about the APEC fiasco, these latest articles simply reinforce the image of security forces which are eager to engage in positive-sounding PR, but are incapable of addressing their own record of unwarranted brutality. Faced with charges that they cannot be trusted - particularly in view of the vicious and gratuitous attacks which were launched against G20 protesters in Ottawa last November (and that was after an agreement had been reached which was to allow protesters to march peacefully, let's not forget) - the police representatives at the forum avoided the issue by responding that "students and activists [in the Calgary room] weren't even at those demonstrations." (psychological observation: Law enforcement personnel assume, quite reasonably, that legitimate testimony must be based on firsthand experience. But interestingly, this principle often gets twisted into the idea that a citizen's legitimate concerns should be strictly limited to what affects him/her as an individual - a classic right-wing 'divide and conquer' ethic.)
CHR readies for G-8 war (March 29, 2002 / Calgary Sun) Those Calgary Sun reporters are at it again trying to ratchet up the sensationalism (see the similar March 25 Calgary Sun article below). The 'G8 war' spin peters out somewhere in the third sentence (it's probably assumed that not many readers will ever get that far - who can blame them?).
Plan to drop trade restrictions on poorest countries criticized (March 28, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Lowering Canadian textile tariffs will mean job losses in the domestic industry as companies move to take advantage of far cheaper wages and lax labor regulations abroad. Global capital can look forward to increased opportunities for exploitation and increased profit margins and thus won't have a problem with this; but for society at large, both in developed and in developing countries, will this really be of benefit?
Big Mountie is watching you (March 28, 2002 / Globe&Mail) A critique of Bill C35 by civil liberties lawyer Alan Borovoy
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