Wednesday, May 31, 2006

NASCO trickery revealed by governmental news service

News Media Services, Rm 29, Legislative Bldg.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 0V8
Ph: (204) 945-3746 Fax: (204) 945-3988

MANITOBA HOSTS NASCO INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION FORUM Manitoba will host the first North America's SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO) conference to be held in Canada in Winnipeg from May 30 to June 2, Transportation and Government Services Minister Ron Lemieux and Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade Minister Scott Smith announced today. "The international trade corridor reaching from our doorstep to Mexico represents billions of dollars in annual economic activity," said Lemieux. "We are honoured to host our NASCO partners for the first time on Canadian soil because it reflects Manitoba's leadership in the development of North American transportation opportunities." "NASCO and this conference bring the strengths and resources of our international partnership to bear on the challenges and opportunities facing Canada, the United States and Mexico in the growing complexities of global markets," said Smith. "In creating a sound, sustainable and secure mid-continent trade and transportation corridor
[the transportation corridor is not sustainable], our NASCO partnership is telling the world North America is open for business." [The NASCO partnership tells the world what we already know, that every forest and river is for sale to the highest bidder. Nothing is sacred.] NASCO's membership and alliances include many of the cities [read: mayors], counties and states located along the trade corridor in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico. The Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba are the only Canadian members [more precisely, the mayor of Winnipeg and the Premier of Manitoba are members, the summit itself is inaccesible to any public voice]. Manitoba serves as the northern hub linking Churchill, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver to the corridor. Private sector organizations and government transportation departments from Canada, the United States and Mexico are also members. "NASCO is really looking forward to this year's conference in Winnipeg. The issues we are discussing at the conference are critical to both the trade competitiveness and the quality of life in North America [read: his quality of life], and the delegates in attendance are influential decision makers from the three NAFTA nations in each of the critical issue areas," said George D. Blackwood, Jr., president, NASCO. "This conference is a significant step in the powerful momentum along the NASCO corridor to bring the public and private sectors together [I do not want private interests to command what remains of the public domain! The Canadian government ought to be protecting the public from the encroachments of natural resource industry.] to increase focus, improve our transportation systems and to solidify trading relationships between Canada, the United States and Mexico." The conference will bring delegates together from the three countries to discuss developing economic partnerships, strengthening inter-modal connections, creating inland ports, and meeting needs related to emerging global markets [but not meeting the needs of people], cross-border security [Make no mistake, it's about their security, not yours or mine. Their plan is to expand the security perimeter of the United States to include Canada and Mexico. They want to harmonize the militaries, and food and drug regulatory policies. They want to integrate our cultures.] issues, pandemic planning and transportation sustainability initiatives. "The NASCO Corridor has the potential to be an alternative to the increasingly integrated supply chains of Asia and Europe," said Art DeFehr, honorary conference chair. "A leap of imagination followed by political will is required to make our cross-border differences work for us rather than against us [And by "us" he doesn't mean us]. We hope this conference will advance this agenda." NASCO was created to develop an integrated and secure multi-modal transportation and trade system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor through strategic planning, advocacy, infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements, facilitating trade opportunities, implementing new technologies, establishing an inland ports network and providing education.

- 30 -

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT NASCO North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. (NASCO) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994, and dedicated to developing the world's first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor (the NASCO Corridor) as well as developing the contacts necessary to build solid trading relationships between the three nations. The NASCO Corridor directly impacts the continental trade flow of North America. Membership includes public and private sector entities along the corridor in Canada, the United States and Mexico. From Manitoba, Canada and the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario; to the border crossing of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; extending to the deep water Ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico; the tri-national NASCO membership reflects the international scope of the corridor and the regions it impacts.

The NASCO/ International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor:
* is over 4,200
[unnecessary] miles long;
* connects 71 million people
[It does not really connect anybody. Only containerized goods are allowed on the corridor, in Texas. The corridor connects natural resources from Canada and Mexico to markets in the U.S.] and a total gross domestic product of over $2.3 trillion;
* moves more than $190 billion between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
[the corridor empties oil, water, gas, and electricity from Canada into the U.S.], a 68 per cent increase since 1995;
* supports total commerce between the three NASCO nations approaching $1 trillion a year;
* has approximately 2.1 million trucks travelling along any portion each year;
* is expected to play a central role in doubling international trade by 2020; and
* includes three of North America's top-20 NAFTA land ports: Detroit (first), Laredo (second) and Pembina, N.D., (11th).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mass of arrests


A group of Winnipeg cyclists pinned to the ground and arrested mid-ride Friday adds to a long battle between police and a peaceful riders' movement, says a man who's spent years chronicling the riders' cause.

Winnipeg police said they arrested five adults on traffic-related charges and further charges may be added related to the rush-hour clash. But the cyclists said police used excessive force to make needless arrests.

"It really seems the unspoken charge is challenging the car culture," said Austin, Texas, resident Michael Bluejay, who runs, a website directory of the rides.

"If you cross that line, you're going down."

The ride is meant to promote bicycle use over driving.

But Bluejay said it's not an excuse for illegal behaviour.

"I never excuse cyclists who break the law. Punishment should just fit the crime," he said.

"When's the last time you heard of a motorist getting arrested for failing to put on a seatbelt? In critical mass, they're tackling and arresting them for minor traffic infractions."

About 250 Critical Mass cyclists out of 5,000 were arrested in New York City during an August 2004 ride meant to protest the Republican National Convention.

A Montreal ride that spring led to fines and at least one arrest, said Bluejay.

His site has also tracked cyclist arrests in Los Angeles, San Francisco and several other cities.

The rides began in San Francisco in September 1992 and have spread across the world, according to

Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas said officers may have violated freedom of association rights, depending on the circumstances.

"I wasn't there and didn't see exactly what happened, but from the accounts out there, it appears they went too far," said Matas. "My sense is that these people were caught by surprise."

Winnipeg cyclist Melanie Howe said police directed Friday's cyclists toward a three-cruiser blockade near the corner of Donald Street and Broadway about 5:30 p.m., then singled out and arrested riders.

Aiden Enns said he saw a man dressed in plain clothes, who other protesters later identified as an officer, drag one cyclist by his head to a sidewalk while uniformed police pushed others off their bikes.

"From what I saw, the aggression was started by police," said Enns.

He said the cyclists did nothing to deserve what he describes as "police violence."

"We were taking up the whole street, which is problematic for traffic," said Enns. "We need to carve out a safe space for bicyclists in our city."

Winnipeg police did not return calls yesterday.

Several Critical Mass riders were also arrested earlier this month for allegedly disturbing traffic to protest Operation Charging Bison, a military exercise.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Cops haul in bicycle activists

by Adam Clayton

A bike ride through the streets of downtown Winnipeg ended in chaos and arrests yesterday.

Members of Critical Mass Winnipeg -- an activist group that promotes bicycle use over automobiles -- claim [the word "claim" is used by the conservative media to cast doubt on what is true - Timothy] police used excessive force when several cyclists were arrested near the provincial legislature.

Police followed approximately 50 cyclists -- many dressed in costumes in what was apparently a display of self-expression -- along their route before trying to arrest some members near the corner of Donald Street and Broadway around 5:30 p.m.

Melanie Howe, who was taking part in the monthly bike ride, said she wasn't sure how everything started. Earlier, police stopped traffic at the corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street so the cyclists could proceed.

"I saw several cops chase after this bicyclist and grab him in a headlock from the back," said Howe, who wore fairy [drone - Timothy] wings and antennae. "I saw one fellow with a cop's knee on his head; he was being pressed to the ground."

Shaun Martin said police and some of his fellow cyclists were jawing at one another before all hell broke loose.

"People started arguing with the cops. There's some anti-establishment sentiment going on here. I guess some guys got aggressive and things got out of hand," he said. "It was just crazy. Absolutely crazy."

Police Insp. Steve Pilote said five adults were arrested in total and face traffic-related charges in addition to possible charges stemming from the scuffle that broke out.

Critical Mass members, who gathered outside the Public Safety Building [named like other government institutions in Orwell's "1984" - Timothy] following the arrests, said some cyclists were injured and one might have suffered a broken leg but Pilote said any injuries were relatively minor.

"I don't know of anybody that has any injuries that were of any consequence," he said. "I would expect there might be some scrapes and bumps on both sides but nobody went to the hospital or anything like that." [Because they brought an ambulance to the detention cells, to give Marcel stitches! - Timothy]

Several Critical Mass members were arrested earlier this month for allegedly disrupting traffic to protest Operation Charging Bison, a military exercise that took place in Winnipeg.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Copy the text:

Please grant the Poplar River First Nation's request for permanent protection of their traditional lands. I hope you will take action to move these lands toward World Heritage Site status. I ask that you now confirm the goal of Poplar River First Nation's land use plan by enacting permanent protection for its traditional territory as the "Asatiwisipe Aki Protected Traditional Lands." These lands are an irreplaceable part of the global boreal forest ecosystem. Grant permanent protection of the Asatiwisipe Aki Traditional Lands under the Manitoba Parks Act by the end of June 2006.

Now click here

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Dear Prime Minister Harper,

This communication is a criticism of your recent commitment of Canadian troops to the American-lead military operation in Afghanistan. I will begin by reminding you that massive bombing raids associated with America’s “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan swelled temporary makeshift camps close to the Pakistan border with desperate families (I am citing Nancy Hatch Dupree, who has been studying families during crisis in Afghanistan). Never in the history of the Afghan refugees have families been reduced to such misery and it will be long before the effects of these tragedies on the society are known, but there are strong indications that many have been alienated from the support networks that once sustained them. The fact that they even survive is ample testimony of their courage, resilience and determination. However, all NATO allies and eight non-NATO countries have supplied troops to the destructive American-lead reign of chaos in Afghanistan. The largest single commitment is that of Canada, with about 2,000 or 2,500 troops.

Today, there are advertisements in the Washington subway, which promote a Canada-U.S. trade website with the slogan “boots on the ground.” These advertisements break my heart. My mouth goes dry when I consider that 50 000 DEAD CIVILIANS owe gory and untimely deaths to coldhearted economic agreements. Canada will do anything – apparently - to ingratiate itself to America. Why?

Although very little information in this regard is accessible to me, I hypothesize that your recent commitment to keep Canadian boots on the ground in Afghanistan is part of a long-term plan. In a Deutsche Presse Agentur article “We’re Doubling Afghanistan Numbers, Says ISAF Deputy Head” (February 6, 2004) the Canadian deputy commander of ISAF envisioned only a slow expansion of the force to “between 8,000 and 12,000 troops countrywide in the coming three or four years.” In any case, the ongoing war in Afghanistan is preoccupying the Canadian military, while both U.S. and NATO commitments to peace in Afghanistan seem inadequate (here I am citing Laura Neack's "Peacekeeping, bloody peacekeeping" from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists). The Bush administration’s refusal to acknowledge that it has made mistakes has combined disastrously with its refusal to acknowledge that the immediate past holds any lessons for its messianic version of a new world order. Whether you, Stephen Harper, are for or against the Bush administration, you are now focused on Bush administration demands almost to the exclusion of all else.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Rules

Hello blog reader. As of today, I'm going to wait three days before I publish any letter to the Prime Minister on my blog. My past two letters, regarding the Canadian combat forces in Afghanistan and the upcoming Atlantica Summit in Saint John, discussed grave issues that deserve more than passion and anecdotal evidence. I have hidden the letters as drafts for now, but you can expect to see more scholarly letters regarding the Canadian presence in Afghanistan in three days time, and regarding Atlantica in six days time.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Two things today


UN chastises Canada for human rights record
by Lisa Schlein

A United Nations watchdog group has harshly criticized Canada for its failure to live up to its commitments under an international treaty that protects people's economic, social and cultural rights.

In a tough assessment, one of the committee's 18 independent experts noted that "some situations (in Canada) had actually got worse" since Canada's record was last scrutinized in 1998.
Canada is one of five countries being examined by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on its compliance with the international covenant dealing with those rights. The committee's session will also examine Monaco, Liechtenstein, Morocco and Mexico. Each of the 153 states that is party to the treaty, effective from 1976, has to submit a periodic report to the committee.

The committee grilled Canada for two days, last Friday and again Monday, about its record on poverty, homelessness, indigenous and migrant rights, health and education. It found the government wanting in all areas.

"Many of the issues our committee raised in 1993 and 1998 are unfortunately still live issues today," said Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay, an expert from Mauritius. "Years later, the situation appears to be unchanged, and in some respects worse."

"There is continuing homelessness and reliance on food banks, security of tenure is still not enjoyed by tenants, child tax benefits are still clawed back."

"The situation of Aboriginal peoples, migrants and people with disabilities doesn't seem to be improving," Mr. Pillay said.

In presenting Canada's report, Alan Kessel, a legal adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said Canada is "proud of its record of achievement in the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights."

Canada is at the forefront of promoting human rights internationally and domestically, and "its efforts had paid dividends," Mr. Kessel said.

He noted the Canadian government provides income support for low-income families with children through the National Child Benefit Supplement. He said Canadians are among the best-housed people in the world and that most "have access to housing of acceptable size and quality at affordable prices."

Among the federal government's priorities, he said, are improved childcare, lower taxes, health care and crime reduction.

But the committee challenged the Canadian delegation on a wide range of issues, including Aboriginal rights. It specifically asked about the government's failure to settle outstanding land claims brought forward by the Six Nations and the Lubicon River Indians.

The experts also asked why young Aboriginal women are disproportionately exposed to sexual assault and murder. They expressed concern regarding discrimination against women under the Indian Act.

The Canadian delegation countered the criticisms by saying "it recognized and affirmed land and treaty rights." It said it recognized "the inherent right of Aboriginals to self-government."
Several committee members said they were disturbed by the lack of investment in social programs and by continuing high poverty rates of the most marginalized - including women, Aboriginal peoples, people of colour and immigrants.

A group of about 20 non-governmental organizations representing a range of human rights, Aboriginal, anti-poverty and women's groups attended the hearings and provided the committee with studies that painted a bleak picture of life in Canada for underprivileged people.
Vince Calderhead is with the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues, a Canadian social advocacy group.

He said "social assistance levels are lower now than they have been in 25 or 30 years even though the government is trumpeting an improved economy."

The Canadian delegation said Canada is making progress on poverty alleviation and believes that this is due to "Canada's support for self-reliance for families and self-sufficiency" for those with disabilities, Aboriginals, and the homeless.

It said "there had been a consistent downward trend in low incomes since 1996, and governmental programming was benefiting all Canadians."

The committee will formally issue its conclusions and recommendations on May 19 when its session concludes


Turning sludge into black gold
by Russell Gold

In February, engineers from French oil giant Total fired up colossal drum boilers to generate steam that will be pumped to a depth of 300 feet under the frozen ground here. If all goes well, by May, the steam will marinate a tar-like mix of oil and sand until the crude begins to flow.

Nearby, Total will go after the oil-soaked sands closer to the surface, scraping away an ancient forest of spruce and poplars and shoveling the black soil into two-story dump trucks. Fully loaded, the trucks weigh as much as a Boeing 747. Total will then use industrial versions of giant washing machines to remove the oil, generating enough liquid waste to create vast toxic lakes.

Heavy-duty oil-extraction projects like these are turning Fort McMurray into the first great oil boom town of the 21st century. A Florida-size section of sandy soil beneath the boreal forest in this sparsely populated area of northern Canada is loaded with bottom-of-the-barrel petroleum.

These deposits were once dismissed as ''unconventional'' oil that couldn't be recovered economically. But now, thanks to rising global oil prices and improved technology, most oil-industry experts count oil sands as recoverable reserves. That recalculation has vaulted Venezuela and Canada to first and third in global reserves rankings, although Venezuela's holdings in extra-heavy crude are a rough guess. Saudi Arabia is No. 2.

Not including the oil sands, Canada would fall to No. 22. Led by Total, nearly every major Western oil company as well as their Chinese and Indian brethren are gearing up to go after the deposits here. In all, they plan to spend more than $70 billion in the next decade unlocking the oil from the sand.

The surging interest in Canadian oil sands is stark evidence that the world isn't about to run out of oil. Instead, it is running low on readily accessible light, sweet crude -- oil that flows like water, has few impurities and can be easily turned into gasoline. As the good stuff gets scarce, Big Oil is turning its attention and pouring money into extra-heavy crude, such as the giant deposits near Fort McMurray and another similar one in Venezuela.

But heavy oil has big economic and environmental drawbacks. It costs more to produce and takes more energy to turn into gasoline than traditional light oil. Recovering and processing Fort McMurray's heavy crude releases up to three times as much greenhouse gas as producing conventional crude. And upgrading it into refined products, such as gasoline or diesel, will require a gigantic investment to retool global refineries.

''The light crude undiscovered today is getting scarcer and scarcer,'' says Jean-Luc Guiziou, president of Total's Canadian operations. "We have to accept the reality of geoscience, which is that the next generation of oil resources will be heavier.''

Total is making the biggest bet on heavy crude of any of the half-dozen international Western oil giants. Nearly one-fifth of its commercial reserves are in heavy-oil belts, a larger portion than any of its Western rivals, according to oil consultant Wood Mackenzie. Its stockpile of heavy-oil reserves is second only to that of ExxonMobil, a company that is more than twice as large. Total has spent years developing the complex technology needed to extract oil from tar sands in the frigid environment of northern Canada. So much heat is required to separate the oil from the tar that Total briefly floated the idea of building a nuclear- power plant there.

The rush into the oil sands also has turned a long-standing belief about fossil fuels and the environment on its head. For years, environmentalists have argued that higher gasoline prices would be good for the Earth because paying more at the pump would promote conservation. Instead, higher energy prices have unleashed a bevy of heavy-oil projects that will increase emissions of carbon dioxide, suspected of causing global warming.

''As oil prices have gone up, you get this increased desire to get out onto the new frontiers of oil,'' says Marlo Raynolds, executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute, an energy and environment think tank. ''We're now getting into the dirtiest sources of oil anywhere.'' To be sure, rising energy prices have spawned more interest in renewable fuel sources, but those investments pale in comparison to what's going on here.

Canada, which exports more oil to the United States than any other country, already is having trouble meeting its pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions largely because of its mushrooming heavy-oil production. By 2015, Canada's Fort McMurray region, population 61,000, is expected to emit more greenhouse gases than Denmark, a country of 5.4 million people.

Canada's northern forest contains at least 174 billion barrels of recoverable heavy oil, equivalent to five years' supply for the planet, according to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board. Venezuela has perhaps even more in the Orinoco River delta. By comparison, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of more traditional crude, or 8 ½ years' global supply, according to the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the federal Department of Energy. Heavy oil also is being produced in the Middle East, the Caspian Sea, Brazil and even in California's San Joaquin Valley.

In northern Alberta, the oil-sands boom is remaking the landscape. The mining operations have clear-cut thousands of acres of trees and dug 200-foot-deep pits. The region is dotted with large man-made lakes filled with leftover waste from the mining operations. To chase off migratory birds, propane cannons go off at random intervals and scarecrows stand guard on floating barrels.

Alberta's energy minister, Greg Melchin, says oil-sands development creates a minimal environmental disturbance that is outweighed by the opportunities and jobs created. ''It's worth it. There is a cost to it, but the benefits are substantially greater,'' he said.

Environmental groups are increasingly critical of the government's reluctance to regulate the oil sands. ''The pace of development is outstripping our ability to manage the environmental issue,'' says Raynolds of the Pembina Institute. "Our unwritten energy policy is dig it up and sell it as fast as possible.''

The remarkable properties of Fort McMurray's oil sands have been known for centuries. Native tribes mixed the tar-like substance with tree sap to waterproof their canoes. In the 1960s, companies now known as Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada, a consortium of oil companies, opened oil-sands mines in the area. Both operations stumbled through periods of low oil prices but are now rapidly expanding.

When oil was trading at $12 a barrel in the late 1990s, Big Oil had little interest in oil sands. But surging energy prices have made heavy-oil investments significantly more attractive. It costs about $25 a barrel to produce crude from Canada's oil sands, an acceptable cost when oil is trading for more than $70 a barrel. By comparison, it can cost as little as about $5 a barrel to produce crude in the Middle East and $15 in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

For Paris-based Total, the world's fifth-largest publicly traded energy company by market capitalization, the oil sands play to its strengths. Total had its roots as a refiner rather than an exploration and production company. Oil sands were easy to find but hard to process.

Total's first foray into heavy oil was in Venezuela's Orinoco belt. In 1997, the company's giant $4.2 billion Sincor project there began producing market-grade crude. Sincor, which Total owns with Norway's Statoil and Petróleos de Venezuela, now produces 180,000 barrels of oil a day.

The same year, Total opened an office in Calgary to determine if a similar investment was warranted near Fort McMurray. It was soon clear to Total engineers brought in from Sincor that Canadian oil sands were more technically difficult than Venezuela's heavy-oil belt.

The key difference: The heavy oil in Venezuela was quite warm and flowed easily, albeit slowly, while in Canada the oil-sand mixture had the look and consistency of tar-like Play-Doh. But Canada was attractive because it offered a haven from politically unstable oil hot spots.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Communiqué from the Resistance

Dear Editor,

Canada is involved in an immoral and unjust war in Afghanistan. Our politicians are lying to us. The priorities for the placement of Canadian troops are corrupt. The UN has not legitimized this war. The resources attributed to war reflect the priorities of war profiteers. Most Canadians are not in support of the war. Many Canadian soldiers are from working class families, one reason that they take this job is to pay for their education. In 1919 the returning soldiers of the Canadian military recognized their rightful position in solidarity with the working class, and they operated on the side of the striking workers, but times have changed. War profiteering is killing us all. Is there no profit from promoting peace? From stopping genocide? The Canadian military is not being sent to Darfur, despite the humanitarian urgency of the situation. Purportedly, Canada is not applying the military to this continuing crisis because our troops are spread too thinly in Afghanistan. The War on Terror is destructive. This war is sowing the seeds of dissension for generations to come. The military enacts a disproportionate effect on the poor owing to the the destabilization of governments for the expansion of transnational markets. The resistance to Exercise Charging Bison believes Canada should be involved in neither Afghanistan nor Haiti (nor embedded with American troops in Iraq). We do not want Canadian troops dying in immoral and unjust wars! The resistance to Exercise Charging Bison began many months ago, when citizens of Winnipeg first saw the news that the operation would be conducted. The Charter, not the military, gives us our rights. We do not want soldiers, or anybody else, to be brainwashed or obey authorities without question. Internationally, there are many ways to address humanitarian concerns (poverty and deprivation, for example) and security. Militarism is not an appropriate response. The more viable alternatives, which are less expensive, involve the enabling of community based nonviolent groups. We question the legitimacy of the coverage given Exercise Charging Bison. Wasn't Winnipeg signatory to World Mayors For Peace? Where was the mayor on May Day? We object to the constant referal by the mainstream media to the resistance as uninformed. We chose public action because of the importance of these issues, and the lack of public consultation and accessible information. Sincerely, The Resistance to Charging Bison

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is Canada fit to sit on a UN Human Rights Council?

by Kate Harries

Canada's dealings with aboriginal people in Ontario and Alberta are being used to cast doubt on its qualifications to join a new United Nations human rights body. Representatives of the Six Nations of the Grand in Southern Ontario and the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation in Northern Alberta were in Geneva this week to give different UN human rights bodies a similar message: Canada should be held to account. Federal officials will be questioned in Geneva today and Monday about Canada's record.