Tag Archives: Harper

Canada ‘rogue state’ on environment, says ex-Harper appointee

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Book Review: Banned on the Hill by Franke James

How to catch the eye of friends who ignore our climate plight?

Put this on your coffee table, even your kids will pick it up:

What would you do if you discovered you were blacklisted by your own government for speaking up on climate change and the tar sands? In Banned on the Hill, artist and author Franke James, tells how she first discovered she was being censored by the Canadian government — and how she fought back.

It’s an inspiring story that shows how creativity, crowd-funding and investigative digging can work together to shine a bright light on a government that is more interested in message control than a citizen’s democratic right to free expression. Through eight visual essays, James traces her personal journey as an active citizen discovering the power of speaking out. Interviewed in the Guardian UK newspaper James said that she hoped the book would serve as a how-to guide to other activists hoping to take on the Harper administration, especially with humour. “It’s kind of like a judo flip, meaning that you can actually flip someone who is much bigger than you.”

In Banned on the Hill, Franke James assembles her funny yet factual visual essays on her observations, evidence, and experience as an everyday Canadian who is losing her identity: Canada the free-thinker; Canada the conscientious; Canada the conservationist.

Not only does James express the sense of helplessness felt by so many Canadians fighting to protect treasured natural landscapes and resources, she also exposes the Harper Government’s flagrant censorship of public employees (elected Ministers included) and publicly funded scientists, along with apparently one of Canada’s most obvious national security threats: artists.

Where words fail, James’ art fills in the emotion and visceral sense of the current identity shift in what it means to be Canadian under Harper’s Conservatives. Canada’s reputation as a world leader in clean air and water is giving way to a reputation of a nation that trades clean water for dirty oil and blacklists anyone who objects.

“The Canadian government has clamped down on scientists who tell the truth about the tarsands—and it’s tried to shut up artists too. Happily, Franke James is indefatigable!” ~ BILL MCKIBBEN, Founder, 350.org

“Whether deflating ethical oil or unraveling our access to information system, Franke James defends Canada’s natural capital with provocative imagery and tough questions. Banned on the Hill may be the planet’s most enjoyable how-to-write-to-your-elected official guide, and it reveals that the Harper regime can’t bully every foe into submission.”
ERIC RUMBLE, Editor-in-chief, Alternatives Journal

On behalf of Canadians left speechless by the Harper Government, Franke James says it all, despite being Banned on the Hill.

Check back for your chance to win a signed copy of Banned on the Hill!

Or, if you can’t wait, get your own copy at Amazon.

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Merry Propaganda!

Well, it’s that time of year and the political flyers are fluttering in, yet again. Mine reads something like: “Contact me anytime because I’m YOUR representative.”

Canada's Parliament lit up for the Holidays

Thanks Andrew Saxton, I have contacted you several times, through several means, yet
Continue reading

Prime Minister Changes his Name

Breaking News:

Citing the need to make communication about his character and intentions more efficient, Canada’s Prime Minister has announced he is changing his name to:

Prime Minister Hijack

Omnibus Budget Debate Debacle

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In Good Faith

I just can’t let go of the idealism that journalists and politicians truly desire to make the world a better place. At some time, each of them must have sat in a college class, hardly able to sit still through lectures on social injustices, and decided to do something about them.

It seems to me that political imperatives arise out of the mechanics of working within “the system,” and rising above that system is a challenge most of us do not take on. We have all seen the news about the toddler who was run over in China, and no one came to her aide. I have not been able to bring myself to watch the video, but there have been a flurry of theories rationalizing the behaviour, which points to our capacity to excuse and rationalize our actions, regardless of how gruesome. Judging the would-be samaritans in China, is similar to judging journalists and politicians. We take on “holier-than-thou” assumptions that we would behave better, yet there is resounding evidence that we wouldn’t. Continue reading

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