Opinions & Analysis

Maradona: Final whistle for the people’s champion

Maradona: Final whistle for the people’s champion

The Argentinian great Diego Maradona died today from a heart attack. He was 60. His rise to footballing heights was not just a sporting miracle, but also a one-of-a-kind sociocultural phenomenon.

Though Argentina and its people are sometimes thought to stand aloof from the rest of Latin America, the diminutive Maradona’s legend and off-field influence knew no borders.

His strident anti-imperialism and embrace of leftist leaders made him a sports icon with political influence surpassed only by Muhammad Ali in recent world history.

Civil Forfeiture Must Be Abolished

Civil Forfeiture Must Be Abolished

In 2012, the Ontario Provincial Police seized $10,000 directly from the pockets of North Bay, Ont., man, Jason Paquette, during a random street search. He hadn’t been charged or convicted of any crime in relation to the money — his only recorded conviction had been drug possession charges from several years earlier — and there was no evidence of connection to criminal activity. Paquette said he’d been saving the money to buy a car.

Paquette wasn’t charged or convicted of a crime at any point in this process, yet what the Ontario government was doing was legally permissible due to a practice known as civil forfeiture, which allows police to seize cash, property or goods suspected to be associated with criminal activity. It’s part of the legislation in all provinces except for Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Despite favourable polls, campaign against war plane purchase won't be easy

Despite favourable polls, campaign against war plane purchase won't be easy

Despite polls that suggest most Canadians do not support warplanes used to kill and destroy things around the world, the federal government seems determined to spend tens of billions of dollars to expand that capability. 

While there is a growing movement afoot to block the Liberals' fighter jet purchase, it will require significant mobilization to overcome the powerful forces seeking cutting edge new warplanes.

Canadian corporate greed on display in Mexico mining dispute

Canadian corporate greed on display in Mexico mining dispute

As gold prices soar to record levels, the Los Filos gold mine in Mexico, one of the country’s largest, has sat idle since early September after its owner, Vancouver-based Equinox Gold, failed to uphold its agreement with the nearby community of Carrizalillo, a small town of about 3,000 people. Equinox blames the community for the shutdown, but in reality, the company and its executives have no one to blame but themselves.

On September 3, the community assembly of Carrizalillo set up camp outside the mine, which is principally located on their lands, after their representatives tried for months to appeal to company management to correct breaches of their social-cooperation agreement. Instead of receiving a constructive response, they faced disrespect, ridicule, and discrimination from the manager designated to respond to their concerns.

The mink link: How COVID-19 mutations in animals affect human health and vaccine effectiveness

The mink link: How COVID-19 mutations in animals affect human health and vaccine effectiveness

The importance of commercially raised animals in the COVID-19 pandemic has received much attention in the past few weeks, when a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in farmed mink. Unfortunately, mink tend to be relatively susceptible to respiratory infections, and these can readily spread through mink farms due to high-density housing.

Canadian Laws Were Made For Corporations, Not You And Me

Canadian Laws Were Made For Corporations, Not You And Me

In Canada, non-violently obstructing a corporation’s capacity to conduct business on land it “owns” can result in a criminal charge of mischief and a maximum of 10 years incarceration.  Under s. 430(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, it’s a criminal offense to willfully obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property.

This year, police have made a number of high profile arrests on the grounds of mischief and breach of various court injunctions. 

In January, 13 Unifor members were charged with mischief for forming a picket line blockade in breach of a court injunction in Regina. The employer, the Co-op Refinery Complex, locked out its workers and set up a scab work camp after the union refused to accept cuts to workers’ pension plan.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are about to ruin stargazing for everyone

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are about to ruin stargazing for everyone

I walk outside my rural Saskatchewan house before dawn and look up, expecting to have my breath taken away by the sheer number of stars overhead. I’m a professional astronomer, but I still appreciate naked-eye stargazing as much as an eager child. This is the first place I’ve lived that’s dark enough to easily see the Milky Way, and I’m stunned and awed every time I look up.

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