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    April 20, 2021

    The Government of Canada must do more to prevent human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas.

    In 2019, Canada created the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, but failed to give the ombudsperson the powers needed to conduct effective investigations into human rights abuses involving Canadian companies. Amnesty continues to press the government to give the Ombudsperson the power to compel documents and testimony. 

    April 19, 2021
    From Amnesty's Powering Change Comic, two characters stand in front of electric bus while one removes her bike from the front bike rack
    Recharge for Rights this Earth Day: Time for Canada to take a climate justice approach to transportation

    Guest blog by Eric Doherty, member of AI Canada’s Corporate Accountability and Climate Justice specialized team on Energy Transition. To join, please send an email to Elena: edumitru@amnesty.ca and indicate your interest in the Energy Transition team. 

    Last month the U.S. Department of Transportation put a Texas highway expansion project on hold, because it could violate U.S. human rights law by increasing pollution and displacing people from their homes in lower income Black and Latino neighbourhoods. And, after some intense campaigning by climate justice organizations like the Sunrise Movement, under the Biden administration, U.S. transportation spending is finally being shifted away from highway expansion and toward public transit.

    April 19, 2021

    Climate change is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Here are four ways you can take action for climate justice this spring:

    April 19, 2021

    People understand climate change as an environmental issue of course, but tend to forget that it affects our basic human rights too. The rights to life, health, food, water, housing, security and the rights of Indigenous peoples.

    While all of us are affected by climate change, disadvantaged communities around the world and right here in Canada -  that have done the least to cause climate change - will be hit the hardest.  From those who live in coastal communities, to poorer communities who experience toxic and polluted air, and indigenous people who frequently live and depend on fragile ecosystems that are in danger.

    Climate change is a crisis. And the Canadian government must act like it is. 

    The response of the Canadian government so far has been lethargic in commitment and inadequate in response. 

    Simply put -  Canada needs to do more, and do more now! 

    March 11, 2021

    Gladys Tolley, the mother of Bridget Tolley from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec, was struck and killed by a police officer’s vehicle on October 5, 2001. Ever since, Bridget has been advocating for police to be held accountable for her death. She runs Families of Sisters in Spirit, a volunteer-run, grassroots initiative supporting the loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people across Canada. Since 2006, Bridget has been instrumental in organizing a vigil every October 4 on Parliament Hill, bringing together loved ones to honour their stolen mothers, aunties, sisters, and daughters.

    Bridget is one of the grassroots Indigenous advocates at the heart of the movement to end violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and two-spirit people in Canada. On February 18, 2021, Amnesty International spoke with Bridget about her many years of art, activism, and her guidance for Amnesty International’s supporters.

    March 10, 2021

    There is no doubt that humanity is facing an environmental crisis of unprecedented proportions. Climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystems degradation and toxic pollution of air, water and soil are dramatic and interconnected processes that severely impact the enjoyment of human rights for billions of people, and particularly of those marginalized and facing discrimination.

    In the light of this emergency, it is imperative that the human right of all to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is globally recognized.  The momentum for the global recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is growing.

    As pointed out by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, most countries have already incorporated the right to a healthy environment in their constitutions and laws. Numerous UN agencies have also called for the recognition of this right at the global level. Canada however has yet to do so.

    March 10, 2021

    This week, Amnesty International Canada and 46 other environmental, health and human rights organizations sent a letter opposing the creation of a new federal tax policy designed to subsidize increased oil production in the upcoming budget. 

    The Canadian government must make important decisions on the route to decarbonization. The path we take is a societal choice, with significant implications for intergenerational equity, social and economic justice, land use rights, access to energy, sustainable development, and our ultimate effectiveness in decarbonizing our economy. 

    By lowering the cost of production for the oil industry, the tax credit increases oil company profits and promotes the expansion of fossil fuel production. Canada is already falling short on its commitment to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. This policy would add yet another taxpayer subsidy for the oil and gas industry.

    Read the full letter.

     

    March 01, 2021
    Irma Leticia Mendez, from the Hamlet of Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, had been living in her home for 13 years when suddenly, in 2006, the walls began to crack. She states: “The mining company says the fissures are due to the corn grinder I have. But it is due to the explosions underneath the ground.”

    On March 2 the Federal Court of Canada will hear a case alleging that the Canadian government is improperly withholding information about its diplomatic interventions on behalf of a Canadian company accused of human rights abuse at its mine in Guatemala.  

    The lawsuit, filed by Shin Imai, York University law professor and co-founder of the Justice & Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP), is supported by several civil society organizations including Amnesty International Canada.

    It asks the court to order Global Affairs Canada to remove the redactions on 20 pages of documents detailing Canadian officials’ communications with the Guatemalan government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) after the commission called for Goldcorp’s Marlin mine to be shut down in 2010. 

    February 27, 2021

    As we came together to mark International Women’s Day last year, we had no idea that the world was about to shut down and that hard-won women’s rights were about to be put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Over the past year, because of the pandemic, we have seen the number of women experiencing gender-based violence go up, the hours women dedicate to unpaid care work skyrocket, threats faced by women human rights defenders increase, marginalized groups including sex workers become further marginalized, access to sexual and reproductive health services decrease, and the number of women in the paid labour force plummet.

    But we have also seen activists come together to demand that governments address the violence, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services, protect activists, advocate for the rights of sex workers, and demand access to affordable and high-quality childcare.

    February 27, 2021

    DOWNLOAD THE CAMPAIGN GUIDE

    The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls finished its work a year and a half ago, and the issue has largely faded from news headlines during the pandemic. But this human rights crisis has not gone away. In fact, according to a survey conducted last Spring by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people has increased during the pandemic.

    The federal government has still not issued a formal response to the National Inquiry’s Final Report. The much-anticipated National Action Plan to implement the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice, which was set to be released in June 2020, was delayed because of the pandemic. The government has stated that the plan is under development, but the timeline remains unknown.

    February 19, 2021

    “I am an example because the government’s suspicion that I was a criminal was totally and one hundred percent wrong. I was never charged, let alone convicted, of any crime. The only independent judge I ever faced during my ordeal had ordered my release after seeing the secret evidence that even I wasn’t allowed to see.”
    Former Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Slahi, referred to as “The Mauritanian” by intelligence officials

    In early February 2021, the Biden administration launched a formal review of the future of the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. Will there be a genuine commitment to truth, accountability and remedy?

    Almost 800 men have passed through the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. As the facility enters its 20th year, 40 Muslim men remain there facing indefinite detention. Two of them have been there since the facility opened on January 11, 2020, and fifteen since that first year. All 40 men have been held for over 12 years. At least 24 of them were held in secret CIA custody prior to their transfer to Guantánamo, some for over four years.

    January 29, 2021

    Climate change is not only the great environmental emergency of our time, but also an unprecedented human rights crisis. It threatens a wide range of human rights, including the rights to water, to health and to life itself. Unfortunately, some of our current technology-focused climate solutions, such as electric vehicles or solar power, threaten those rights. The shift to electric vehicles and renewable energy is essential for the fight against the climate crisis, but must not come at the cost of further human rights abuses or environmental harms. 

    This February, Amnesty International Canada embarks on a year-long project to bring awareness to these issues and to call on Canada to put human rights and Indigenous knowledges at the centre of climate justice and decarbonization initiatives.

    January 26, 2021

    Amnesty International is extremely concerned about human rights harms resulting from climate change and  we therefore urge governments and companies to cease investments that expand fossil fuel exploration and production, including the development of new infrastructure. Amnesty Canada has joined a coalition representing over 3.5 million Canadians calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline project because it conflicts with Canada's climate policy goals. Amnesty further urges the Canadian government to ensure that the transition to a zero carbon economy is "just" and done in a way that reduces inequalities and protects the rights of workers and vulnerable communities.

    To the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
    Cc: Federal Cabinet Ministers

    January 14, 2021

    What’s this all about?

    Anti-Black racism is prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and its legacy. Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in Canadian institutions, policies and practices, to the extent that anti-Black racism is either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger White society. Anti-Black racism is manifest in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of African Canadians, which includes unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment, significant poverty rates and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. [source: https://www.ontario.ca/document/data-standards-identification-and-monitoring-systemic-racism/glossary]

    Communities have been speaking out for decades about how Black people experience policing in Canada. It’s time to listen: racism is not up for debate – it’s systemic.

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