Hassan Diab is finally freed–this time unconditionally

Thanks to the French justice system, Hassan Diab is finally free today, January 12, 2018. Tim McSorley of International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group states, “This time is different. The other times were orders to release him on bail, not to end the charges. This decision actually ends the charges and orders his unconditional release. Apparently … Read more

CUSJ’s ‘Academic’ awards for progressives in 2017

What a year 2017 was. As we contemplate the events of the past 12 months, what fun it is to pretend that we progressives could have our own Social Justice awards, a bit like the Oscars, minus the glitz and glamor, and with the understanding that the awards in this case are, virtual. Drumroll, please! … Read more

Site-C dam decision leaves Canadians feeling betrayed (again)

Two-thousand seventeen has been a roller-coaster year for progressives (and I write this as someone who dislikes amusement parks). We started the year on a high note, eager to usher in electoral reform, only to learn that  Liberal PM Justin Trudeau was backing out on his electoral reform promise. A big lie. However, we took … Read more

Peacemakers gather to celebrate ICAN’s victory for peace

(above: Hosts Steven Staples and Anne-Marie Grondin) On December 7, 2017, politicians, peace organizations and others gathered in Center Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to celebrate Setsuko Thurow and ICAN, days before the latter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. CUSJ’s Québec chapter was invited in its capacity as an International Peace Bureau member, and Board … Read more

CUSJ president attends TO rally in solidarity with Palestine

On December 9 2017, CUSJ President Margaret Rao attended a Toronto rally in defense of Jerusalem’s continued status as a shared capital city and spiritual home to Jews, Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike. This is her report. A large crowd of Palestinian Canadians and Palestinian-friendly Jewish, Christian and labour leaders were on hand. It was … Read more

Canadian human rights defenders and citizens proclaim Hassan Diab’s innocence

Hundreds of people, including many prominent Canadian professors, lawyers and human rights defenders, have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help Hassan Diab, detained without trial in a Paris jail. The first paragraph reads, We address this Open Letter to you to express our deep concern about the unjust situation of … Read more

But wait… it gets worse

CUSJ’s JUSTnews editor Philip Symons has just published a new Discussion Paper from the July 10 2017 New York Times article on Climate Change, providing example after example of what awaits us. To summarize: Doomsday ‘Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of … Read more

Power without limits: engineering our own destruction (film review)

Castor Inc. is a documentary by Jean-François Vallée and Thibaud Mony that exposes the dark side of Hydro-Québec’s ‘clean’ hydro-electric energy: Québec, once the land of rivers and lakes, has become a land of dams and reservoirs.  This documentary is a bit slow moving, taking its tone from its subject, the once-mighty rivers that have … Read more

Pipelines status update

Note: This article was updated on Nov 28th to add Keystone XL information and to add links to Trans-mountain pipeline news items.  Prior to that, the article was updated on October 5th to show the news that the Energy East pipeline was cancelled. I have been asked a couple of times lately to brief aquaintances on … Read more

What if psychoactive drugs were legal in Canada?

This op-ed is part of a series inspired by CUSJ’s resolution to explore ways to reform Canada’s criminal justice system. What if psychoactive drugs were legal in Canada? No need to wonder what would happen–we have only to look to countries like Portugal and New Zealand , which have legalized psychoactive drugs. Here’s the scoop: … Read more

Canada supports a nuclear holocaust… yes, you read that right

On July 7th, the United Nations member nations held a vote on a global treaty that, if successful, would lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use. Negotiators representing two-thirds of the 192-member United Nations finalized Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons this week after months of talks. Canada did … Read more

CUSJ Québec Chapter at the UU Estrie picnic

Left to right: Rachel Garber, John Mackley, Adele Ernstrom, Sheila Laursen, Phyllis Baxter, Nancy Graham, Patricia Phillip, Rev. Carole Martignacco, Christina Duvander, Cym Gomery On July 2nd 2017, the CUSJ Québec Chapter met in a bucolic setting–at the home of Uma Nigam in Canton de Hatley, the site of the UU Estrie summer picnic. The picnic … Read more

Stop playing games with this man’s life: Press Conference for Hassan Diab

On June 21, 2017, the group Justice for Hassan Diab held a press conference in Ottawa to appeal to the Canadian government to free political prisoner Hassan Diab, in jail without fair trial since 2014. A recap of the story: In 1980, a synagogue in Paris was bombed. Initial news articles blamed right-wing neo-nazis (implicated … Read more