Talk and book launch with Yves Engler

Thursday November 1
7 pm
UVic, Harry Hickman 105

Everyone welcome. Free admission.

Yves Engler’s new book, Left, Right — Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada examines the role played by Canada’s “left” over many decades. While Canada supports empire and promotes corporate interests abroad, left commentators concede too much to the dominant ideology, whether it’s Stephen Lewis praising Canada’s role in Africa, or Linda McQuaig turning Lester Pearson into an anti-US peacenik.

Engler’s research examines the historical record of Canada’s social democratic party and unions in supporting imperialism, from the creation of NATO, Korean War, assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Bay of Pigs invasion, to the 2004 coup in Haiti. Even though the left in Canada has not been politically critical — there is work to be done, and Yves suggests a role for the left in helping to create a just foreign policy.

About the author
Dubbed “Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky” (Georgia Straight), “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I. F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), “part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada’s self-satisfied myths” (Quill & Quire), “ever-insightful” (Rabble), “Chomsky-styled iconoclast” (Counterpunch) and a “Leftist gadfly” (Ottawa Citizen), Yves Engler ( has nine published books.

Sponsored by Social Justice Studies UVic, Victoria Peace Coalition, Council of Canadians, Central American Support Committee, Chile-Mapuche Solidarity, Women in Black Victoria, Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network, and Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.

Overcoming the NDP’s anti-Palestinian history
A talk by Yves Engler

Saturday, November 3
1 – 3 pm
UVic, Cornett B111

Before Israel’s creation, Canada’s social democratic party took a sensible, humanist position towards Zionism, but soon it began echoing Israel’s justification for ethnically cleansing Palestinians and invasions of neighbouring countries in 1956 and 1967. Through the 1970s and ’80s NDP luminaries Tommy Douglas, Ed Broadbent and Stephen Lewis made stridently anti-Palestinian statements.

In recent years, NDP MPs have participated in the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs trips to Israel, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conferences and Jewish National Fund events.

At their convention in February 2018, the NDP leadership nakedly suppressed debate on a widely endorsed “Palestine Resolution”. That incident highlighted the party hierarchy’s anti-Palestinianism as well as growing support for Palestinian rights among the membership.

Yves Engler will offer a roadmap for those who oppose racism and colonialism to push the NDP into supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people. Discussion on action will follow.

Sponsored by Social Justice Studies, UVic, The Olive Tree Group, UVic and the Young Communist League


November 16, 7 pm
UVic, Harry Hickman Bldg Room 105
Free Admission

Once again, Yves Engler wades into the murky waters of Canada’s foreign policy, courageously going into the depths the mainstream media avoid. – Antonia Zerbisias, former Toronto Star media columnist


Organized by the Victoria Peace Coalition with help from co-sponsors:

UVic Social Justice Studies
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Raging Grannies
Victoria Friends of Cuba
Central American Support Committee
Women in Black
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Council of Canadians (Victoria Chapter)
Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
Mining Justice Action Committee
Camosun Human Rights and International Solidarity

Download a poster to help promote the event.

Canada in Africa
300 years of Aid and Exploitation

book cover

with Yves Engler, Canadian author and activist

Tuesday October 6 at 7:30 pm
University of Victoria

Harry Hickman Building Room 105

Free admission. Donations welcome

Yves Engler launches his latest critical overview of Canadian policy towards the African continent. Canada in Africa documents Canadian involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, missionary movement and European colonialism as well as Ottawa’s opposition to anti-colonial struggles and promotion of neoliberal economic prescriptions, which have benefitted Canadian mining companies whose exploitation of resources are often bitterly resisted by local communities.


“This should be required reading for every human with a conscience and all those that desire to join the forces fighting for change.” –
Nnimmo Bassey, winner of the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and author of To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa

For more information:

Sponsors: Victoria Peace Coalition, UVic Social Justice Studies, Council of Canadians Victoria Chapter, Social and Environmental Alliance, Friends of Western Sahara, Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, Central America Support Committee (CASC), Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Victoria Friends of Cuba, Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC), African Awareness Committee


Don’t be deterred by the length of this article. The author is offering a detailed interpretation of the implications of the new anti-terrorist bill.

Troubled Times Ahead With New Anti-Terror Legislation
Matthew Behrens
February 16, 2015

Just in time for an election campaign in which Stephen Harper is positioning himself as a war-time prime minister, Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorism Act 2015) was recently introduced to play a dual role: granting extraordinary new powers to already hyperactive and unaccountable state security agencies, and baiting as “soft on terror” anyone who questions the bill’s necessity and the human rights violations it will further legitimize.

More . . .


7pm Thursday, December 19

 2994 Douglas (BCGEU Hall)

 Admission by donation

“Shadows of Liberty” examines the phenomenal true story of today’s disintegrating freedoms within the U.S. media, and government, that they don’t want you to see.

The film takes an intrepid journey through the darker corridors of the American media landscape, where global media conglomerates exercise extraordinary political, social, and economic power. The overwhelming collective power of these firms raises troubling questions about democracy. Highly revealing interviews, actuality, and archive material, tell insider accounts of a broken media system, where journalists are prevented from pursuing controversial news stories, people are censored for speaking out against abuses of government power, and individual lives are shattered as the arena for public expression has been turned into a private profit zone. (more…)

The Time to Act is Now!

Rally Against Harper Government’s support for the US bombing of  Syrian Civilians

Sunday September 8
2 -4 pm
Cenotaph, Belleville and Government St.

Seven lies for seven wars:

  • Human security (Iraq 1991)
  • Humanitarian intervention (Kosovo 1999)
  • Self Defence (Afghanistan 2001)
  • Pre-emptive/preventive Strike (Iraq 2003)
  • Responsibility to Protect (Libya 2011)
  • Will to Intervene (Mali 2013)
  • Moral Imperative  (Syria?)

The US and allies have used depleted uranium and/or white phosphorus on civilians in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan despite signing Chemical Weapons Convention.

  1. Say no to Harper’s support for bombing Syrian civilians
  2. Demand a ceasefire in Syria and a peace conference
  3. Increase funding assistance for Syrian refugees and host countries

Endorsed by Victoria Peace Coalition, Global Compliance Research Project, Council of Canadians (Victoria Chapter), UVic Social Justice Studies program, Victoria Friends of Cuba,Victoria Women in Black, Social and Environmental Alliance, Victoria Raging Grannies, Independent Jewish Voices

Don’t Attack Syria


Victoria joined other cities across Canada with a protest in front of the
BC provincial legislature on Saturday August 31

The Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is calling on all its members and supporters to oppose an impending US-led attack on Syria.

See the Canadian Peace Alliance’s Statement and Call for Action. Petition below. 

CPA Statement
August 27, 2013

Once again, a report about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction is being used to justify an intervention. We are always opposed to the use of any weapons on civilians, but as was the case with the last reports of an alleged attack, there is no conclusive proof that the attack came from the Syrian government.

Undaunted by the lack of evidence, US Secretary of State John Kerry has nevertheless declared that the US and its NATO allies will strike Syria. Any intervention by a new “coalition of the willing” will be against international law and must be opposed.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has said that Canada will be in “lock-step” with its NATO allies. Canadian officials are currently meeting with counterparts from France, the UK and the US to devise strategies for an intervention.

Regardless of what one thinks of either the Syrian government or of the opposition forces, we know from recent experience that:

  • NATO and its allies have and will continue to lie about the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify “humanitarian” intervention.
  • NATO-led attacks, justified as a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) civilians, have resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths. The death toll from military attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya can be counted in the hundreds of thousands.
  • The geopolitical calculations of the NATO powers, and not the interests of ordinary people, are always the main considerations for any intervention.

During the Vietnam War, US officials described a situation where it became necessary to “destroy the village in order to save it.” As with all the recent evocations of R2P, it appears that the goal of NATO is to murder civilians in order to save them. We must, therefore, stand in opposition to the actions of the aggressor states in NATO and call on the government of Canada to keep its hands off Syria.

CPA Call for action
Many CPA member groups, as well as coalitions in other countries including the US, have devised emergency response plans in the event of an attack on Syria. The CPA calls upon peace and social justice groups to devise such plans, whether or not an attack immediately involves Canada, and to continue to pressure the Government of Canada and NATO to keep their hands off Syria.

Please e-mail or call your Member of Parliament and demand that they oppose an attack on Syria. A full list of MP contact information can be found here.

Petition against military intervention in Syria
The petition below prepared by Joan Russow provides further background to share with our MPs.

COGNIZANT THAT resorting to military intervention, the US and its allies will be in violation of the fundamental purpose of the United Nations – to prevent the scourge of war
CONCERNED ABOUT the years of using various ill-conceived guises for justifying military intervention: “human security” (Iraq 1991), “Humanitarian intervention” (Kosovo, 1999), “Responsibility to Protect” (Haiti, 2004, Libya, 2011) or “will to intervene” (Mali, 2013)

AWARE THAT in May 2013 UN human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin

AWARE THAT the US has ratified the UN Chemical Conventions but has not yet completely eliminated chemical weapons, Israel has signed but not ratified the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, and Syria will only ratify the chemical weapons Convention if Israel renounces nuclear arms

AWARE ALSO THAT Canada, Israel and US have refused to adopt the Declaration on a Nuclear Arms Free Middle East

NOTING THAT 188 states have ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, the provisions in the Convention have become international peremptory norms

DEEPLY CONCERNED that the US and its allies are attempting to secure support, through Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, for an intervention into Syria, rather than invoking chapter VI- the peaceful resolution of disputes

Given the social, environmental, health, human rights, economic consequences of war, under no conditions or circumstance is war legal or just.

The following signatories oppose military intervention in Syria and call for:

  • Invoking Chapter VI – the peaceful resolution of disputes- of the Charter of the United Nations, and
  • Respecting the International rule of law including a referral to the International Court of Justice, as per the Chemical Weapons Convention
  • Increased humanitarian aid to countries aiding Syrian refugees

Add your name and send to MPs (see the link for MP contacts on the CPA link above)
For more information contact Joan RussowGlobal Compliance Research Project

An article worth reading
An attack on Syria will only spread the war and killing

Tariq Ali provides thoughtful analysis — On Intervening in Syria