“Everyone matters” Says Harper as He Gives Blankets Full of Smallpox to Aboriginal Citizens and Gets on His F-35 for a Vacation in Hawaii
While many Canadians were busy holding passover saders and hunting for Easter eggs, the Harper government announced they are cutting 200 million dollars from its budget, striking a major blow to one of Canada’s most marginalized and under served communities.
Come this June, Native Aboriginal Health Organization will be shut down entirely. For 12 years NAHO has worked towards improving the quality of care for aboriginal communities across Canada, enhancing other native health programs, educating communities for better disease prevention and most importantly collecting statistics and researching native health to find opportunities for improvement.
In the past twelve years NAHO has done something the Canadian government has refused to do, look at the quality of life for Aboriginals living on reserves. When Stats Canada does the census, they do not look at Aboriginals who live on reserves, thus the health statistics provided by the Canadian government are inaccurate and skewed in the governments favor. NAHO collects health statistics from Metis, Inuit and Aboriginal on and off reserves.
NAHO is run entirely by the native community. It provides education and career resources for natives looking to enter the medical field. They produce the fact sheets, guides on traditional medicine, hundreds of health reports and an annual Journal of Aboriginal Health. Or at least they did. As of June all their advancement of native health care will be referred to in past tense.
With the shut down, NAHO is looking to universities and research institutions to take over their many assets. NAHO is currently known as one of the worlds leading information source and by splitting up the assets the services are less likely to continue to be maintained at the standard by which they currently function.
The large database of health records NAHO provides, will be destroyed. This database includes ground breaking studies on how overcrowding housing situations in Inuit communities effects Inuit childrens health; the many programs in place to improve the Inuit overcrowding will go with it. The role that NAHO has taken in midwifery, to help stop the infant mortality rate, which is three times higher then the average Canadian rate, has heard no word on what will replace it. NAHO’s disease prevention programs, such as HPV vaccinations, sex education, resources for better nutrition, access to safer water for the prevention of water borne infections (none of which effect non-aboriginal status citizens) and suicide prevention programs as the Native community has a suicide rate 6 times that of the average Canadian, will not be taken over by the government.
The government has completely distanced any responsibility it has in providing for the Native community. The Harper government has erased 12 years of progress to bettering the lives of Native children, elders, men and woman. Still, the Harper government expects the Native community to function along with the rest of Canada. He expects them to work on pipelines with no health coverage, He treats the native community like they aren’t Canadians or even human for that matter.
With a system that already marginalizes Native communities, the Harper government has shown no interest in wanting to take steps to fix centuries of colonial damage; if anything Harper is looking to squish Canada’s native communities further.
Prior to 2004, the Liberal government had set aside several land claims to be ratified after the 2004 federal election. Between 2000-2004 the Liberal government had ratified a little more then a dozen land claims in the arctic territories and BC; had they been elected they would have worked (granted slowly) at ratifying the several huge land claims in BC they had planned to ratify during their time in power.
When the Liberal government lost the election to the Conservatives in 2004, the land claims were instantly addressed. Harper choose to disregard the land claims, never ratifying them and ensuring they would never be ratified. Had those land claims been ratified most of BC would be self-governing native land claims, but instead Harper wants to illegally build a pipeline on not just the 100+ canceled land claims but several ratified land claims.
Since 2004 Harper has set a new standard in mistreatment of the native people. The unfortunate truth is, the dismantling of NAHO is yet but another chapter in a series, which spans four centuries, of insults, to the Aboriginal people of Canada.
But what do I know? I’ve lost all hope that education funding to native programs will actually make its way to the native community.
Obesity: A symtom of a cultural problem
Obesity In North America
I saw a fake Time Magazine cover for “The Obesity Epidemic In America” today and it got me thinking. Its not like this “Obesity Epidemic” is a new issue. As far as I could remember, the growing waistlines of North Americans has been an issue of discussion.
We shouldn’t be looking at obesity as an epidemic. Obesity is not a disease, its a symptom of a culture we’ve managed to create with our excess resources. Yes, its unhealthy to put bullshit chemicals into your body and live a sedentary lifestyle. And while obesity may be a result of too much food and sitting around all day (in some cases, not all); obesity is just the part of the problem you can see.
As much as I hate to point fingers on something like the issue of obesity; because it defiantly doesn’t boil down to one factor, for one person. Its not one size fits all issue. I’ve only heard the idea of this culture of excess and money that we have created, talked about in one or two articles as a factor of obesity, but I think it is one of the most important.
I do have a theory on why the factor of our culture as an obesity factor is rarely talked about. Have you ever seen that MadTV sketch with Christa Flanagan, and shes wearing a fat suit and she wants to know how to loose weight, and this guy gives her a pentathlete that says “Eat Less Move More”?
Think about that ideal. If one is to “Eat Less” and “Move More” they loose weight, but lets say you used to eat a lot of McDonalds, and now you don’t eat at McDonalds. You are now one costumer lost to McDonalds. As corporations and governments will refuse to admit, if you dangle a big enough stack of cash in their faces, you will get your way.
If people are unhealthy its a shame, but if a company fails or the stock market plunges, its a tragedy. The people who suffer don’t matter, the only concern to a company’s CEO is “Which garage should I park my Mercedes in tonight”. It doesn’t matter to economists, CEOs or politicians that the people in North America are dying from excess food while children are dying of starvation impoverished countries across the world. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter to them if its your money, my money, or even the starving children’s money in their pockets, because money is money and at the end of the day political debates are all about who has the highest paid lobbyists. Congress almost considered Pizza a vegetable last year. If that doesn’t scream “Pizza companies want more money! So they hired lobbyist to make it so” I don’t know what does.
Being fat is a sign of a excess and sitting on your ass all day, but its the only sign.
Look at the plight of local farmers. Look at other countries standard of life in comparison to ours. In other parts of the world people live on barely ten dollars a day, here we don’t even think about dropping ten dollars for a pair of headphones or a few bucks for a single meal.
I’ve been thin my whole life, I’ve always been under or in the tenth percentile for height and weight. Despite being thin my whole life, I didn’t realize how unfit I was until I started jogging three years ago. While you couldn’t see the any sign of unhealthy eating or a sedentary lifestyle reflected on my body, it sure as shit was obvious when I ran. As I continued to jog and started reforming my diet to be healthier, I slowly and subconsciously started doing something that all North American girls should do but most don’t.
I started liking my body.
At first I was reluctant to the idea that my body was fine the way it was, because I saw all these little flaws. I couldn’t like my face because my nose was too big. I couldn’t like my stomach because it was too flabby. Thighs/legs not toned enough. Hair too thin. Boobs too small. Ass too small. Eyes too big. The list goes on.
But my body gets me places. My legs do this thing called walking, you see, and I can go almost anywhere doing this walking thing. Its amazing! I have these things called vocal chords, and they help me communicate. I have thumbs. Thumbs. Thumbs are amazing.
The human body is amazing. No matter how you look on outside, you have the ability to form thoughts and that makes you amazing, no matter how many flaws or what size you are.
While beauty has no size, it is always important to take care of yourself. Caring for yourself is the best way to show your beautiful body some love. No matter how you look you are always amazing.
So to all of you big girls out there, remember; the yo-yo diet industry is the only industry that makes money by failing. The only way to be the perfect size is to take care of your body and love every curve and every flaw. Happiness will fallow. Beauty has no size, the only persons standard who matters is yours. So love yourself, so take care of YOU.
But what do I know. I’m just some skinny 17 year old trapped in this crazy culture of excess.
An Overveiw of the “Consumer Education Act”
Hope you’ve all been having an awesome holiday, I know I have. This holiday hasn’t been much of a break for me as I (By choice) didn’t stop working. As the title states, this is an overview of the “Consumer Education Act”.
The “Consumer Education Act” is something I have been working on for a few weeks now. What started out as the “Green Consumer Education Act” has morphed into something that encompasses the disclosure of information regarding no just “green” or “eco-friendly” products, but all products regardless of claim or company.
This act (If I get it passed) could change the way we think about products. It could change our spending habits. The most important thing it will do is make a products origin traceable and hold companies responsible for the very products they sell us.
The purpose of the “Consumer Education Regulation”, is to provide members of the Canadian public further knowledge into the process and manufacturing of products marketed and sold to consumers by local retailers and international companies. The “Consumer Education Regulation” will also allow for the distribution of scientific data regarding claims of added benefit, such as environmental benefit and health benefit.
How will it do this/Key terms:
- Make all scientific data regarding a product’s claim available online or in stores
- The bill would mainly effect international and international manufacturers, however it will become a local business’s responsibility to comply with an international or multinational manufacturers request to display information
- A webpage listed on the label of a product must be visible and specific:
“This product is Eco-Friendly! Find out more information at www.companywebsite.com”
“This product is Eco-Friendly! See our scientific research at
- Companies must list the process the product underwent including:
- Full list of materials including origin
- Where has a product been shipped in the manufacturing process:
Example: This paper was made in China (The wood is from Canada, the pulp was bleached in China)
- Companies must provide an exact address of where a factory is located and where a product has been, how the product was made:
Discouraged: “Made In China”
Encouraged: “Made In China. Find out more about how this product was made at www.companyname.com/productnameprocess”
Encouraged: “For Information On What Went Into This Product Visit www.companyname.com/productnameprocess”
Encouraged: “This Product Was Assembled At This Address
123 Street. Ave
City, Province/State, Country
- This bill would ask meat producers to list what went into an animals diet including where it was raised:
Discouraged: “This Product Is Made Out of Beef”
Encouraged: “This product contains country of origin, food-fed beef”
Encouraged: “To find out what goes into our meat check out www.companyname.com/whatgoesintothebeef”
Encouraged: “Our cows are raised at
123 Street Ave.
City, Province/State, Country”
- The bill would ask companies to disclose any and all risks possibly associated with a product
Discouraged: “There are risks associated with this product”
- Encouraged: “Find out about the risks associated with this product at www.companyname/risksassociatedwiththisproduct”
Encouraged: “For all risks associated with this product ask your retailer for a pamphlet where ever this product are sold”
And this is just the beginning of the regulation/bill.
But I can’t do it without support so please spread it, make suggestions.
Remember, you can make a difference
Canada, I Am Disappoint
I used to be one of those patriotic Canadians who used to always boast “Yeah! Look at our glorious healthcare! We’re peace keepers! Yeah! America (pronounced A-mur-ee-ca) got nothing on us!”.
….I don’t feel that way anymore
Don’t get me wrong; Canada’s health care system is amazing, neither of my parents would be alive without it and I thank the great unicorn in the sky everyday for it. No one is putting a gun to my head and no one is taking away all of the little things I take for granted. No one is keeping me from doing anything or forcing me to do anything I don’t want to do. For that matter, here in Canada I don’t think we know how amazing our standard of living is. Canada is very much a free country; no argument there.
In recent months I can’t help but wonder how democratic is our democracy? While nobody is threatening to take away the Canadians right to vote (I’m 17 so one more year), and the government isn’t censoring the media, in the past few months, it seems like the way Harper is running his cabinet has been not autocratic so to speak, but less then democratic.
Now you may think I’m going a little bit far saying that, but I can give you several examples of how I got to this conclusion.
For one, despite out right opposition from environmental groups and Canadian citizens, Peter Kent the Environment Minister of Harper’s Government withdrew Canada from the Kyoto Protocol. Canadian MPs in opposition to the decision were not allowed to the attend the conference. The Keystone Pipeline and Ontario’s MegaQuary was met with the same opposition as withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol was…Hasn’t stopped Harper from doing it.
Kent says that the Kyoto standards were unrealistic for Canada. He blames the Liberal government for signing the Kyoto Protocol in the first place; conveniently forgetting to mention the programs that the Liberals had put in place to meet these goals…which have been cut by the Conservative upon their election in 2006.
Ohhhhh, and we wonder why Justin Trudeau was so angry!
Still not convinced?
Recently Green Party MP, Elizabeth May pointed out during Question Period:
“Mr. Speaker, from 1913 to 1956, a period of over 40 years, time limits on debates were used 10 times. In the last 40 days, it has been used 7 times, making a new historical record.
What used to be the exception to the rule appears to now be the rule.”
This was met with heckling from the conservative party. Why? I have no idea why, parliamentary debates these days seem to be less of debates and more of Conservatives yelling.
I understand how important Harper believes the economy is, but as a Canadian I don’t feel like the government that represents my believes. Isn’t a government that represents the beliefs of the people and open debate what democracy is about?
But then again; what do I know. I can’t even vote.
Read About Elizabeth May: