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Showing posts from March, 2023

Marking 20 Years Since the Invasion of Iraq

Front page of the New York Times on March 20, 2003 In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq based on a web of lies spun by President George W. Bush. Americans expected to find weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons, as well as a program to develop nuclear weapons. After years of searching, inspectors determined that Iraq in fact did not have any weapons of mass destruction and no concrete plans to develop them. The Costs of War Project at Brown University recently estimated 550,000 to 580,000 people have been killed  by the war in Iraq and Syria since 2003, and "several times as many may have died due to indirect causes such as preventable diseases." There are also approximately 15 million Iraqis and Syrians currently displaced by the war. The US and Canada still have troops stationed in Iraq.  Yesterday the Canadian government extended its military mission in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon for another 2 years. Canadian troops will remain in t

University Exhibit Honours Ukrainian Students Killed in the War

Exhibit at the University of Alberta Rutherford Library, March 3, 2023 The University of Alberta is hosting a small exhibit honouring students who were killed in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Called " Unissued Diplomas ," the exhibit is also on display at the University of Toronto and Saint Mary's University in Halifax. The display includes pictures and short biographies of dozens of university and college students killed in Ukraine since February 2022. Some students enrolled in the military after Russia's invasion and were killed in action. Some were civilians killed in their homes by artillery strikes. Some were trapped under buildings or struck by shrapnel. Most of the students pictured were in their early 20s, but some were as young as 17 when they were killed. The exhibit is co-organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union.  It is on display at the University of Alberta Rutherford Library until March 10. 

Why Parliament Should Be Turned Into a Homeless Shelter

Everyone who takes public transit in Edmonton is used to seeing homeless people sleeping on the bus, camping out in train stations, smoking, injecting drugs, yelling incoherently, and asking passengers for money. The same scenes play out in every major city across Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax. In Edmonton, the number of  homeless people doubled during the pandemic. The number of amputations for frostbite also doubled. People obviously don't live in train stations for fun. They have nowhere else to go. The days of blaming people for their own lack of housing are over.  Between high housing prices, inflation, years of covid restrictions, and unemployment, it's no wonder so many Canadians have become homeless. The City of Edmonton tolerates (and sometimes endorses) the use of downtown stations as informal homeless shelters. City councilors and politicians of all stripes are okay with people living, sleeping, and freezing in transit facilities. Why? Because politicians don&#