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What happened last week in Canada

Montreal police crack down on one-year anniversary protest

Last Friday, protestors gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a historic march against tuition increases that took place on Mar. 22, 2012. However, the Montreal police (SPVM) intervened quickly, and arrested over 250 people.

Several demonstrators criticized the police for dispersing them before the protest truly began, and the march’s organizers pointed to the SPVM’s behaviour as “increasingly systemic repression,” according the National Post.

CBC News reported that Québec Solidaire member Manon Massé said that her party is requesting an independent public inquiry into police conduct during demonstrations and protests in downtown Montreal.

Friday’s march, which saw hundreds of attendees­—a number that came nowhere close to the tens of thousands of students who paralyzed the streets of Montreal last year—was the latest in a series of protests that have occurred following the Quebec government’s decision to index tuition by three per cent a year.


Cree group to finish 1,600 km trek in support of Idle No More movement in Ottawa

A group of Cree youths will soon complete their 1,600 kilometre march to Ottawa in support of the Idle No More movement.

The group, originally comprised of six young adults and a guide left their James Bay community of Whapmagootsui, Quebec, in January. Many people from other Cree and Algonquin Communities have joined them since their departure, increasing the group’s membership to 200.

The group has been travelling in the winter weather conditions only by snowshoe. Throughout the duration of the march, 22 of the walkers suffered from foot injuries and had to seek medical attention in Kitigan Zibi, Quebec. Three required further treatment and were sent to a hospital in Maniwaki.

David Kawapit, an 18-year-old Cree youth, told  CBC News that the group has received a lot of support along their journey.

The group, who has called their trek “The Journey of the People,” arrived in Ottawa on Monday.


TVO pulls online game that shows pipeline bombing

Following heavy criticism from the premiers of Alberta and B.C., public broadcaster TV Ontario (TVO) has decided to remove an online game that features the bombing of gas pipelines. Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals and two appointed individuals will review the game and determine whether it meets the broadcaster’s programming standards.

According to the Globe and Mail, TVO paid to have the game developed, with the intention of including it in a documentary highlighting the heated public debate over Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project. The Gateway pipeline would transfer raw bitumen from the Alberta Oil Sands, through B.C., to the West Coast.

“It’s disappointing to see a taxpayer-funded game and organization depict the blowing up of pipelines,” Alberta Premier Alison Redford said in a public statement. “It’s exactly opposite of Canada’s interests given all of Canada benefits from a strong and diverse energy sector.”

TVO spent approximately $100,000 on the production of the game and the documentary, according to the Globe and Mail.


Manitobans suffering from flood damages sue Province

People who owned property on Lake Manitoba prior to the flood of Apr. 2011 flood filed a lawsuit on Mar. 23 against the province for $260 million, saying that the government relocated too much water into the area that had already been damaged extensively by flooding.

According to CBC News, the government of Manitoba had committed to providing multi-year compensation for floods from 2011 onwards. Many property owners on Lake Manitoba initially received compensation for the flood. However, they claim that they have not received anything more since 2012, despite remaining property damages.

“The government needs to fess up that they dumped a pile of water in there, and it had nowhere to go,” Alice Dent, one of the plaintiffs in the case who lost her cottage due to the excess water, told CBC News. “I don’t think you can talk to anybody that doesn’t understand that we were sacrificed for Winnipeg.”


One-man Hunger Strike begins in Vancouver

On Mar. 22, a Vancouver resident, who calls himself “The artist formerly known as Homeless Dave,” began a hunger strike to protest the gentrification of the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood in Vancouver.

According to the Globe and Mail, his specific demands include that the city’s government deny a permit to build condominiums at 138 Hastings Street E.; that social housing be built on the site of a former police station on Main Street; and, that the entire neighbourhood be deemed a “social justice zone.”

The man only plans to drink sage tea and juice until his demands are met, the Globe and Mail

This is the latest instance of protesting against the alleged displacement of low-income residents in the Downtown Eastside. Earlier last week, a group that identifies as “Anarchist” stole a sign from an eatery in the neighbourhood that they had deemed to be a “prominent piece of gentrification propaganda.”

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