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Peterborough chapter helps launch books critical of Canadian mining in Africa

Colonial Extractions  Canada in Africa

The Peterborough chapter helped launched these two books.

The Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter co-sponsored Double Book Launch: Criticism of Canada’s Mining Interest and Aid in Africa at Trent University on Jan. 21.

Arthur, the Trent University newspaper, reports, “OPIRG, The Council of Canadians, and the Student Association for International Development (SAID) have come together in a collaborative event that will feature book readings from Trent University Professor, Paula Butler, and from ‘Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky’, Yves Engler.”

“Paula Butler will be reading from her most recent book, Colonial Extractions: Race and Canadian Mining in Contemporary Africa. The book explores the discourses and narratives through which Canadian mining activities in Africa are legitimized and provides a sharp critique of Canada’s mining industry overseas. …[And] Yves Engler will be reading from one of his multiple books on the issue, Canada In Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation. The book presents an analysis of the past and the present of Canadian foreign policy. This analysis centers around the mining complex and Canada’s role in the process of resource extraction abroad, domestic shares, and the ability to influence politics within the African nations in which its mining companies operate.”

The article also notes, “Both authors deliver a highly controversial view of Canada that directly challenges the nation’s widespread benevolent image. By shedding light primarily on Canada’s mining activity and its multiple components, Engler and Butler present a complex and little-known analysis of Canada’s contentious foreign policy.”

Chapter activist Roy Brady tells us that the Student Association for International Development, one of the co-sponsors of the Butler-Engler book launch on Jan. 21, has now also invited the Peterborough chapter to their Migration: Exploring Roots and Routes conference on February 5-7.

According to the conference website, that gathering will include speakers such as “social justice activist Harsha Walia; Amnesty International Refugee coordinator Gloria Nafgizer; Trent University alumni Tamara Britton studying immigration and refugee settlement at Ryerson University; Peterborough End Immigration Detention; New Canadian Centre refugee coordinator Michael Vanderherburg; Trent University professors Juan Carlos Rochos Osornio, Dan Longboat, Winnie Lem, Feyzi Baban, and Philip Giurlando; and a variety of other guests, workshops, and speakers.”

In October 2012, Council of Canadians chapters helped support a 15-city tour with Engler for his book The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy. At that time, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow noted, “The notion of the Ugly Canadian may be hard to accept but it is true and I for one am deeply grateful to Yves Engler for this important book.”