The Machine, hard at work.

4 03 2010

While under a different government, our home and native land decriminalized homosexuality and made it legal for same-sex couples to marry. But the current Conservative regime, with a failed attempt to ‘re-visit’ said issues in December of 2006 and little currency to undo the past, have opted to take a more coercively-passive approach to maintain their political ideologies and overarching dominant discourse on the matter.

In a new guide for immigrants applying for Canadian citizenship, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney, has had any reference to Canada’s progressive strides made on gay rights quashed. The Globe and Mail reported: “Internal documents show an early draft of the guide contained sections noting that homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969; that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation; and that same-sex marriage was legalized nationally in 2005”. Despite having sided with same-sex marriage proponents in the 2005 parliamentary debates, Kenney is said to have “ordered those key sections removed”.

Kenny is but a pawn in much larger game – a game premised on dichotamizing ideologies that invariably forge a rift between the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. In lieu of the preach on the abandonment of issues of equality for which our country has made many significant movements on its short history, I’d like to note that the politics of exclusion here pose both a hindrance and an instrument of empowerment. 

On the one hand, these ideologies attempt to suppress if not wholly erase history, imposing increased resistance upon the already marginalized; on the other,  the values of a suite of marginalized communities and their thoughts towards the way history is managed on the part of their government are verified, creating a parallel history that can and will be resurrected.





Consider other options…

26 02 2010

Evenings with the king of faux-compassion, Anderson Cooper, and being spat in the face by Bill O’Reilly can get a little annoying, if not utterly mundane, along with the same local news feed to which we subject ourselves to daily. Mainstream media, represented by an increasingly concentrated market, provides us with a seemingly single pane through which we receive information. That is why I want to feature two alternative media sites:

Launched in 2003, The Tyee is webmag that focuses namely on news and media issues facing the province of British Columbia, but ones that easily resonate throughout Canada and the world at large. As you might suspect, its online front-pages are wrought with olympic coverage at present, but the site continues to carry wide coverage of Canadian arts and culture, and the country’s unique media landscape. The site’s Mediacheck section is a great source for both looking at the politics facing Canada’s increasingly concentrated media scene and new technological innovations. Michael Geist, who I referenced in an earlier post, often writes for the Mediacheck. Click on the log0 below to check it out.

Rabble.ca is an online Canadian daily with a focus on progressive politics. Since its launch in 2001, Rabble’s has published work by noted Canadian leftist writers, including Naomi Klein and Linda McQuaig. The site has become the source of nation-oriented grassroots political discussion and features of variety of resources, including an expansive blogroll featuring some of the country’s most ‘insightful and opinionated progressive activists’, and great series of podcasts. Click on the logo below to check it out.