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Roughly 50 Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion Quebec activists have occupied the offices of Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault in Montreal.
The occupation began Friday afternoon to protest against oil sand projects in Alberta.
“Mr. Guilbeault sits in the cabinet of ministers: he has a crucial role to play in ensuring that this project is rejected by the deadline of February 28,” said Greenpeace in a press release to La Presse.
A number of the activists are seen wearing orange jumpsuits reminiscent of the jumpsuit Guilbeault himself wore while climbing the CN tower in Toronto.
Guilbeault—a former Greenpeace activist himself—is the latest in a number of civil servants who have had their offices and spaces occupied by environmental activists, such as the #ShutDownCanada/Wet’suwet’en protestors, a cut of the same cloth.
Organizers say the demonstration is to remind Guilbeault of “his old allegiances to the climate,” pressuring the MP to publicly reject Teck Resources, a mining project the federal government is still deciding on, despite heavy support from Jason Kenney, the Albertan premier.
“CEVES opposes Teck because it is in itself the point of no return,” said Albert Lalonde toLa Presse, in a statement translated from French.
“It threatens the security of all by making our water and air toxic, in addition to violating the fundamental rights of indigenous communities on the front line.”
The project is set to be the largest oilsand mine in the country, and would create thousands of jobs for the area which has been battling unemployement rates since at least 2008.
“We are asking Cabinet to reject Teck and ensure a just transition to clean energy and the creation of new sustainable jobs for workers in the oil sector,” said Patrick Bonin, Greenpeace Climate-Energy campaign manager. Canada, the position previously held by Steven Guilbeault.
Guilbeault is reportedly not at his office at the moment, according to police on the scene. The situation is reportedly calm.
Guilbeault to censor media (?)
Recently in an interview with the CTV, Guilbeault told reporters that he would be in favour of journalistic licensing.
“If you’re a distributor of content in Canada and obviously if you’re a very small media organization the requirement probably wouldn’t be the same if you’re Facebook, or Google. There would have to be some proportionality embedded into this.”
“We would ask that they have a licence, yes,” Guilbeault continued.
Guilbeault later walked back the comments, stating that the government had “no intention to impose licensing requirements on news organizations,” nor will the government “regulate news content.”
The Trudeau government also appears to be set to force streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime to pay tax and create and stream a set quota of Canadian content.
“As far as the GST or PST, depending where you are in the country, is concerned, it’s about fairness. Companies aren’t paying PST or GST in Canada, and there’s no reason that the wealthiest companies in the world who are operating on Canadian soil shouldn’t pay for it,” said Guilbeault in the CTV interview.
Protests from Halifax to British Columbia
Protestors have swarmed offices and city halls from Halifax to Toronto in recent weeks. On Wednesday, deputy PM Chrystia Freeland was blocked from entering the Halifax city hall by climate protestors with a similar kinship.
Videos posted had Wet’suwet’en protestors blocking the entrance as Freeland attempted to enter.
Her office was previously blocked a month prior for the same cause.
A total of 19 activists from Climate Justice Toronto occupied Freeland’s constituency office with signs that read “No violence against Indigenous people” and “No trespassing on Wet’suwet’en land.”
“Chrystia Freeland did not answer at all,” said Dafna Cohen, a protestor, to CTVNews.ca. “We really hope that she got the message clear, but we will continue and continue to be in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.”
Protestors also recently blocked British Columbian politicians from entering the building.
The video was posted from the province late Tuesday morning, eventually showing video of politicians entering the building with the help of security personnel.
Protestors have recently left Canada in a full halt, as Via Rail trains and cargo trains were stopped by blockades throughout Ontario.
Additionally, anti-pipeline protestors took over the offices of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, in downtown Toronto on Monday.
CP Rail conductor fired for social media posts awarded money, but won’t get job back – Global News
An arbitrator says a former Canadian Pacific train conductor who was fired over social media posts is entitled to monetary compensation, but not to getting her job back at the railroad.
Stephanie Katelnikoff was dismissed in November 2017 over disparaging remarks she made about the company online as well as modelling photos that were taken on railway property.
Union lawyers representing Katelnikoff argued the company’s investigation into her conduct was not fair or partial.
Arbitrator Richard Hornung says in his December decision, which was obtained by The Canadian Press, that he agreed with the Teamsters union.
He says some of Katelnikoff’s behaviour warranted a short suspension, but not a dismissal.
LISTEN: Stephanie Katelnikoff responds to CP Rail’s claim that she was fired for safety issues
However, Hornung says social media posts after her firing, especially a sexually suggestive one mentioning the CP investigating officer by name, make it untenable for her to go back to the railroad.
He says in the decision that the post “speaks volumes regarding both her lack of respect for the company and her unsuitability to return to the company as a fully participating employee.”
The union also argued at the arbitration hearing that an emailed complaint about Katelnikoff’s online posts came from a fake person the company made up to give it the pretext for an investigation. Hornung says in his decision that it’s improbable the email came from a legitimate functional address.
CP was not immediately available to comment.
Katelnikoff said in an interview that it’s now up to her union representatives and the company to try to work out an appropriate compensation amount. If they can’t agree, it goes back to the arbitrator.
She said she loved her job at the railroad and is sad she’ll likely never get to work as a conductor again. She’s now working in a shop fixing heavy equipment and trailers for a fraction of the pay.
“I’m with a really good company now so that helps take away the sting of not getting to go back to the railroad,” said Katelnikoff, 30. “At least I’m somewhere that I like and they treat me really well and they’re really understanding and progressive.”
Katelnikoff said she eventually wants to go to law school so that she can help others.
In addition to the railroad photos, CP seemed to take issue with racy pictures posted to the same Instagram account where there was a 2017 selfie of her in a work vest.
Katelnikoff said she’s tired of hearing about women getting flak for what they do outside of work.
“What a girl does in her spare time when she goes home with her life and her body isn’t anybody else’s business but her own. And if it’s not hurting anyone, then it really shouldn’t matter to the company.”
Katelnikoff’s 2017 dismissal was the second time she was let go from the railway.
On Boxing Day in 2014, a train Katelnikoff was conducting derailed, sending 15 cars off the tracks in Banff, Alta. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash.
She was fired a month later. The company said it was because she violated rules on injury reporting and protecting an accident scene.
In February 2016, an arbitrator found in Katelnikoff’s favour, saying the grounds for her termination were discriminatory and in bad faith.
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Social media users claim double standard over German attack – Al Jazeera English
A deadly shooting in the German city of Hanau on Thursday by a far-right gunman sent shock waves around the world.
At least nine people were killed in a shisha bar, with foreign and German citizens among the dead. The suspect, identified as Tobias R, a 43-year-old white male, was found dead at his apartment along with his mother, according to officials.
Germany’s federal prosecutor said the suspected perpetrator’s 24-page manifesto and video messages pointed to “deeply racist views”.
Despite strong reactions from world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, some social media users pointed out that response to the story was somewhat muted – suggesting it would’ve gained more traction had the attacker been a Muslim.
Another white supremacist terrorist murders at least 10 in Germany, yet people won’t flinch because he didn’t shout Allahu Akbar https://t.co/EDbKyf48Zm
— Omar Suleiman (@omarsuleiman504) February 20, 2020
Others pointed out why some news outlets had chosen to simply refer to the assailant as a “deranged gunman” and not a “terrorist” – or refused to describe the incident as a case of “Islamophobia”.
So a white supremacist, islamaphobe, eugenicist, incel kills mainly Kurdish Muslims in a Shisha Bar in #Hanau Germany & guess what, he’s a “deranged gunman”
No, he’s a Far Right TERRORIST
His enablers & radicalisers please note
— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) February 20, 2020
Try imagine an attack in Germany on the Jewish community and the BBC not mention the faith of the victims or “antisemitism”?
A far right gunman (terrorist) has just attacked Shisha bars popular with Muslims. This is islamophobia and terrorism. Don’t be shy BBC.
— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) February 20, 2020
— Vikas Shah MBE (@MrVikas) February 20, 2020
United States President Donald Trump, who has been criticised in the past for his noticeably more vocal condemnation of attacks committed by Muslims, rather than those targeting Muslims, was yet to comment on the incident at the time of publication.
Peter R Neumann, a professor at King’s College London, analysed the suspect’s 24-page manifesto in which he revealed that “he hated foreigners and non-whites”.
“Although he doesn’t emphasise Islam, he calls for the extermination of various countries in North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia (which all happen to be majority Muslim).”
— Peter R. Neumann (@PeterRNeumann) February 20, 2020
There have been a number of far-right attacks in recent years in Germany, with violence rising sharply in 2015 when the country took in more than one million migrants.
The German domestic intelligence agency estimated that the number of violent crimes with far-right elements rose by 3 percent in 2018, although attacks on centres for asylum seekers fell after a spike in 2015 and 2016.
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