profile image

Yves Engler

Writer and Political Activist

Yves Engler has been described as "Canada's version of Noam Chomsky" (Georgia Straight), “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I. F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), "ever-insightful" (rabble.ca) and a "Leftist gadfly" (Ottawa Citizen). His latest book is A Propaganda System: how Canada's government, corporations, media and academia sell war and exploitation
Shutterstock / Calin Tatu

Canada Has a Bad Case of Oil Sands Fever

Environmentalists and union activists should be making common cause by explaining how tar sands profits that go to the rich and powerful cost Canadian workers hundreds of thousands of jobs. Expansion of the tar sands and the resulting bouts of Oil Sands fever may be good for capitalists but it will further weaken the job market and do great harm to Canadian workers.
12/27/2013 12:20 EST
Getty Images

The Tories' Naked Self-interest in Foreign Policy

Should the primary purpose of Canadian foreign policy be the promotion of corporate interests? Canada's business class certainly seems to think so. And with little political or ideological opposition to this naked self-interest, Harper's Conservatives seem only too happy to put the full weight of government behind the promotion of private profits. Recently, the Conservatives announced that "economic diplomacy" will be "the driving force behind the Government of Canada's activities through its international diplomatic network." The release of GMAP is confirmation of the Conservatives' pro-corporate foreign policy.
12/23/2013 12:04 EST
CP

Canada's CEOs Are Among the Fattest Cats

After the US, Canada has the second highest CEO-to-worker pay ratio. Last year, for instance, the CEO of BCE, George Cope, received $11.1-million in compensation. This staggering sum is nearly 200 times more than what a Bell Canada technician in Toronto makes and 2,000 times the pay of an Indian call-centre worker who responds to Bell customers.
12/04/2013 12:45 EST
Getty

What You Don't Know About Canada's "Aid" to Haiti

When the media in this country focuses on Haiti, it is typically to highlight Canadian aid projects. Yet, here is one of Haiti's most popular politicians telling the press (and audiences throughout South America) that Canada helped overthrow its elected government and continues to undermine its sovereignty.
11/26/2013 05:26 EST
Getty

Will Harper Ever Pay for His Climate Crimes?

Despite a growing human toll and scientific consensus on climate change, the Harper Conservatives have pushed to grow the "carbon bomb." At every turn, Harper's government has blocked progress on setting minimally serious targets for reducing CO2 emissions.
11/18/2013 12:34 EST
Getty

Why CETA is Little More Than a Corporate Bill of Rights

Under CETA Canada will lengthen the time drugs remain under patent, which is expected to drive up already high Canadian pharmaceutical drug costs by more than $850 million a year. Instead of extending Canadian patent laws to more closely reflect Europe's rules, why not harmonize daycare programs to reflect the best of the trading area?
11/07/2013 12:31 EST
PC

The "N" in NDP Now Stands for Neoliberal

This past week may come to be seen as a watershed moment in the NDP's capitulation to neoliberal capitalism. The nominally social democratic party effectively supported a major corporate trade accord all the while opposing an International Monetary Fund call for a more progressive tax code.
10/27/2013 11:43 EDT
Getty

Will Harper's Love for Big Business Turn Ugly?

Everyone knows the Conservative government is an unabashed supporter of corporations and foreign investors. They have slashed environmental oversight; attacked labour unions; opened the telecommunications sector up to majority foreign ownership; tripled the financial threshold point where the government must do a "net benefit" test of a foreign corporate takeover. Clearly, big business has gotten almost everything it has wanted from Harper's Conservatives. What should we learn from the fact that it still pushes for more? Perhaps a simple truth about capitalism: There is never enough profit.
10/25/2013 08:19 EDT
Getty

Lose the Double Standard Around Foreign Investment in Canada

Should the "right" of a foreign corporation to make a profit trump governments' attempts to create local jobs, improve environmental regulations or establish laws that raise royalty rates? Most Canadians would say no. But that's what the Conservative government is pushing poor countries to accept if they want Canadian investment.
10/15/2013 05:49 EDT

Harper's Role in the Westgate Mall Attack

There are no shades of grey, no nuance or even cause and effect in the simplistic world view proclaimed by the current Canadian government. The Conservatives' response to the horrific attack in Nairob...
09/28/2013 10:25 EDT
Getty

Harper's Lack of Support for Jailed Canadians in Egypt Tells Us a Lot

John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have had the misfortune of being caught up in a repressive climate. The Conservatives clearly support Egypt's military rulers, which is tied to an extreme pro-Israel outlook. If these two courageous individuals are further harmed, blame the pro-Israel/anti-Egyptian democracy forces in this country.
09/24/2013 05:39 EDT
CP

Harper's Got a Thing for Jordan's Monarchy

Harper's Conservatives have a thing for monarchy, the more absolute the better, it seems. At home they've put up portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and added the moniker "royal" to the Canadian Navy and Air Force while in the Middle East they've strengthened Canada's ties to kingdoms from Morocco to Saudi Arabia.
09/20/2013 05:52 EDT
Getty

Canada's Toxic Relationship With Chemical Weapons

Somewhere in the Lester B. Pearson Building, Canada's foreign affairs headquarters, must be a meeting room with the inscription "The World Should Do as We Say, Not As We Do" or perhaps "Hypocrites 'R Us." With the Obama administration beating the war drums, Canadian officials are demanding a response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. The Conservatives signed Canada onto a White House statement claiming: "The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal." While one may wish this were the case, it's not. In fact, Canada has repeatedly been complicit with the use of chemical weapons.
09/16/2013 12:49 EDT

Canada's Involvement in Syria Is Deepening

Conservatives are telling a skeptical public that Canada won't be significantly involved in any military action. Yet, ten days ago the head of the Canadian military met generals from some of the main countries backing Syria's rebels to discuss the prospects of building an international coalition force. In another sign of Canada's deepening involvement in the Syrian conflict the National Post and Ottawa Sun recently reported that Canada has funnelled $5.3-million to the Syrian rebels' propaganda efforts since April of last year.
09/10/2013 09:15 EDT

Canada's Regional Isolation Is Hurting Us

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's recent mission to Latin America cannot mask Canada's unprecedented diplomatic isolation in the hemisphere. Despite shifting 'aid' to the region and claiming to have made Latin America a priority, Ottawa is increasingly offside with a region breaking free from centuries of Western imperialism.
08/29/2013 12:31 EDT
Getty

Stephen Harper Wants You to Major In Military

The Conservatives' militarism is unrelenting. Last month, the Harper government launched a Civil Military Leadership Pilot Initiative at the University of Alberta. The program "allow[s] people to simultaneously obtain a university degree while also gaining leadership experience in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserves." The four-year Civil Military Leadership Pilot Initiative will be "co-directed by the University of Alberta and the CAF" and the government hopes to export this "test model" to other universities. The program is an attempt to reestablish the Canadian Officer Training Corps, which was offered at universities from 1912 until 1968.
08/16/2013 07:52 EDT

How the Media Confuses Fact and Political Spin

What's the difference between fact and political spin in Canada's "national" newspaper? Not much if a recent Globe and Mail article is any indication. In an article about the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi foreign affairs reporter Campbell Clark claims Ottawa faced a "conundrum in responding to" Morsi's ouster since "the Harper government [is] normally critical of any military takeover." Did anybody bother to check if this was true?
07/26/2013 05:29 EDT

Canadian Aid to Palestinians Serves Israel

A recently uncovered government document confirms that Ottawa has delivered millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority in a bid to advance Israel's interests. The internal memorandum also sheds light on Canada's efforts to build a security apparatus to protect the Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.
07/19/2013 05:09 EDT

Foreign Branch of Tar Sands Industry

Stephen Harper's Conservative government has transformed Canadian diplomacy into the lobbying arm of dirty oil. They've spent tens of millions of dollars pushing the Keystone XL pipeline in the US but...
06/14/2013 03:24 EDT