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Reader Meg Shatilla lists a number of disturbing trends she has observed in the Saskatchewan Party government.

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According to Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works, we may be seeing early warning signs in Saskatchewan:

– Identification of enemies as a unifying concern (federal government, teachers, LGBTQ2+);

– strong and persistent nationalism (Saskatchewan First Act, mandatory flying of the Saskatchewan flag);

– Disregard for human rights (indigenous rights, women's rights, high levels of poverty, homelessness, discrimination against the poor and addicts, cuts to disability and social assistance, refusal to fund safe injection sites);

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– Military superiority (Marshal Service, opposition to gun bans, poppy-wearing laws);

– rampant sexism (domestic violence, wage gaps, pro-choice T-shirts banned in parliament, women’s health devalued);

– Obsession with national security (no trespass laws based on racism);

– Religion and state are closely intertwined (financing of religious schools by cutting funding for public education, implementation of discriminatory measures according to the requirements of the religious right);

– Protection of corporate power (industrial agriculture, fossil fuels, uranium, potash, agribusiness, real estate-government ties, including the GTH land deal);

– oppression of the workforce (teachers, childcare workers, Canada's lowest minimum wage, trust-based collective bargaining, and taxpayer-funded anti-teacher billboards);

– Contempt for intellectuals and the arts (defunding of schools and universities, contempt for experts, ignorance of art, artists and art galleries, taxation of arts and cultural events, defunding of the film industry in Saskatchewan);

– Obsession with crime and punishment (highest rate of female incarceration in Canada, overrepresentation of indigenous peoples in prison, lack of prevention programs);

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– Rampant nepotism and corruption (GTH land scandal, political donations from health centres in Alberta) and;

– Electoral fraud (inevitable if paper voting were to be replaced by machine voting).

Meg Shatilla, Spruce Home

Russian and Israeli war crimes

With ongoing news about Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, we have become accustomed to images of bombed homes, damaged hospitals and destroyed civilian infrastructure.

Those responsible for this destruction are politicians who are considered war criminals under the Geneva Convention, which has been ratified by 196 countries, including Russia and Israel.

These laws prohibit indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population and on goods necessary for survival (food, water, etc.).

The use of weapons that cause unnecessary injuries and unnecessary suffering is prohibited.

Hospitals, hospital staff, women, children and journalists should be protected.

Impartial humanitarian organisations must be allowed to provide assistance.

Israel has a modern armed force with sophisticated weapons, including ammunition, that can be used to target military personnel and equipment.

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If these resources were used wisely, we would not have to watch entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip being razed to the ground. If Israel granted humanitarian organizations unrestricted access, Palestinian civilians would not have to go hungry or drink contaminated water.

The Israeli government has not exercised the restraint required by international law in the fight against Hamas. The decisions of the Israeli leadership can only be described as ruthless revenge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knowingly violated the Geneva Conventions and should be tried as war criminals.

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