Trick, Not Treat, For Canadians: Harper’s Scary Canada-China Trade Deal

It’s All Hallows’ Eve, the time that creatures of darkness are said to come out and haunt humans. That is certainly true in Ottawa today, as Stephen Harper and his minions stir up a cauldron of trouble for Canadians by fast-tracking their Canada-China investment treaty. FIPA or FIPPA (Foreign Investment Promotion Protection Act) is set to become ratified today. If you are Canadian, FIPA – which is set to be passed by the Harper government without any debate in the House of Commons or scrutiny by the public – should be on the top of your scary list, too. If you’re from China, well then you should be very very pleased:

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA or FIPA) is the most startling trade deal to be put before Canadians in more than a generation. Actually, that’s not quite right… The deal has NOT been put before Canadians. The Conservative government is actively avoiding debate and discussion on the deal, and are instead rushing towards ratification without anything resembling a sober second look.

This trade deal has the potential to permanently alter the course of Canada’s economic and environmental security. It’s set to pass in less than a week. Time is not on our side. We need to push our politicians to put the brakes on this deal, and to closely examine it with Canada’s best interest in mind.



Go to to learn more. Right now you can donate to Lead Now to help them place ads right in the Conservative heartland about Harper’s Halloween trick.


Also on my very scary list, as always, is the incredible capacity for humans to ignore and/or deny the impact of our dirty energy system on the climate, and on our children’s future health and happiness.

Source: Other 98%


George Lakoff, author of “Don’t Think of An Elephant!”, has a good piece on his blog on the language to use to make the connection between Hurricane Sandy and climate change, Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy.

Also, Hurricane Sandy hit Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and The Dominican Republic on the way to the U.S., creating chaos and killing more people than in North America. Read more on


And lastly, here’s an image that speaks for itself. Happy Halloween, folks.


Now For The Real Scary Stuff

All Hallow’s Eve is over for this year and tomorrow, in many countries, is the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day. So today might be a good day to focus on what is really alarming: the Climate Zombies that hang around year-round in Washington and Ottawa, and the Corporate Dementors that feed these Zombies with money. Dementors, if you haven’t read your Harry Potter lately, are:

… among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Check out these stories:

From the BBC News, regarding an upcoming climate conference to be held at the British Medical Association’s headquarters, where  doctors, academics and military experts will gather to discuss climate change:

Officers in the UK military warned that the price of goods such as fuel is likely to rise as conflict provoked by climate change increases.

A statement from the meeting adds that humanitarian disasters will put more and more strain on military resources.

It asks governments to adopt ambitious targets for curbing greenhouse gases.  Read the full story Climate Change “Grave Threat” To Security and Health.

Meanwhile, Occupy-related arrests are soaring in the U.S., with often-violent police raids on the public sites in the dark of night. The arrests now number close to 3,000. Here’s a report from the Daily Kos:

A series of evictions of Occupy encampments this weekend has pushed the total number of arrests associated with the movement to nearly 3,000. The evictions occurred in a geographically diverse range of cities around the country

According to Occupy Arrests, 2,963 protesters associated with the movement have been arrested since Sept. 17. That is an average of 66 per day. Click here to get the details on the police raids.

Apparently governments haven’t realized that the people who are putting their lives on hold to make a statement about corporate greed and the lack of representation of the concerns and needs of the majority aren’t “camping”, and they aren’t going to go away until this injustice is addressed. As the slogan goes, “System change not climate change”.

In a classic example of Corporate Dementors at work, there’s a hearing in a Virginia courtoom this week that could have implications for the privacy rights of scientists at colleges and universities across the country. A special investigation by Facing South has found that this current attack on climate scientists is being orchestrated by an astroturf group well-funded by fossil fuel interests who want to obscure the truth of our warming world and the part their industry is playing in it:

It’s part of a lawsuit brought by the American Tradition Institute, a free-market think tank that wants the public to believe human-caused global warming is a scientific fraud. Filed against the University of Virginia, the suit seeks emails and other documents related to former professor Michael Mann, an award-winning climate scientist who has become a focus of the climate-denial movement because of his research documenting the recent spike in earth’s temperature.

By suing the university, the American Tradition Institute wants to make public Mann’s correspondence in an effort to find out whether he manipulated data to receive government grants, a violation of the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

But a Facing South investigation has found that the Colorado-based American Tradition Institute is part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation. Our investigation also finds that ATI has connections with the Koch brothers, Art Pope and other conservative donors seeking to expand their political influence. Read the full story here.

There are defenses against Dementors. According to the Harry Potter Wiki:

Dementors hold no true loyalty, except to whomever can provide them with the most people to feed off. They cannot be destroyed, though their numbers can be limited if the conditions in which they multiply are reduced, implying that they do die off eventually.

The time has come for the 99% to demand change to our system in which corporate greed has multiplied like a cancer and sucked all common sense as well as the commitment to the common good out of our elected representatives. Occupy!!

More links:

A Conspiracy of Transparency Behind Occupy Wall Street

Witch’s Fingers And Night Of The Living Duck

Who says climate hawks don’t have any fun?

For years I have made “Witch’s Fingers” with my daughters and their friends for Halloween. Now both are university students living away from home, but each of them recently sent home pictures of how their dastardly digits, made without mom, turned out. It’s wonderful to see a family tradition emerging, no matter how silly! Here are the pictures and the recipe (although you can also use your favourite sugar cookie recipe, just shape as described below):

Witch’s Fingers

1 cup butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¾ cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

Whole almonds

Red gel icing, or raspberry jam

Mix together wet ingredients. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then beat into wet ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keep remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape; using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.

Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325 degrees F over for 20 – 25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almonds, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath.  Let cool on racks, repeat with remaining dough.

And for your Halloween viewing pleasure, here’s a 1988 WB Daffy Duck cartoon Night Of the Living Duck, directed by Terry Lennon and Greg Ford and released as a part of “Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters”:


Happy Halloween everyone!

More links:

The Real Class Warfare: Law Firm Representing Banks And Mortgage Services Mock Homeless At Halloween Party

What The Costumes Reveal.NY Times