TO JUSTIFY LAND 4 – ONWARDS, ECOFISCAL COMMISSIONS!

full article on Berfrois: http://www.berfrois.com/2017/09/lital-khaikin-justify-land-4/

golconda magritte
“Golconda”, René Magritte (1953), painting usually housed in Texas.

excerpt:

To Justify Land 4: Onwards, Ecofiscal Commissions! is a project of assemblage and republication without altering the splinters of original text, creating an emergent narrative. The act of re-composing information, or found text, changes the legible context and the experience of reading, assimilating and forgetting information. Nothing new, only what is already-there. Journalistic materials and press releases are interpreted outside of their chronological documentation or perceived span of relevance – when the spectacle is discarded and forgotten, and becomes history. Also: in the absence of critical discussion in the Ottawa-Gatineau region that reaches outside of exclusive activist communities, corporate media pundits who wouldn’t be caught dead having an opinion, and academics who won’t antagonize without the sweet seduction of grant money, tenure, or proof of expertise, this section of To Justify Land pirates the bandwidth of search-engine keywords, hopefully directing more attention to the networked information contained herein for readers’ own interpretation. This mimics both the parasitic character of most mainstream news sources, as well as spam sites that copy and re-post excerpts or articles in their entirety elsewhere (a venture through the looking glass). By collaging the found fragments, the project also reflects the prominence of particular sources which are most accessible, or simply reflect certain algorithmic affinities and the speed of their discovery. This might also reflect the sources that hold the most interest in reporting these events, and thus tend to influence public perception and policy. As with the earlier, related project A Draft for Asinabka, this section of To Justify Land looks at the rhetoric that is used to represent to the public the interests of multinational corporate entities, the competency of corporate leadership, and the rhizomatic accumulation that leads towards prosperity. This particular section will also continue to evolve as a ‘living’ document, and as such is ‘unfinished’ – the completeness of it at this stage is not the point.

The framework for this project is the Hydro One Board of Directors, announced in 2015, in the same moment as the Zibi development was finally receiving local media traction for the sale of Domtar land for condominium development, and the launch of Hydro Ottawa’s $45 million dam upgrade. The incestuous entanglements of the Ontario Hydro One Board of Directors reflects the absurdity of the corporatized regime under which the earth continues to be exploited under the motivations of ‘economic prosperity’. The interconnections demonstrate how crises that appear disconnected – such as the privatization of water in Delhi, mining in Brazil, Saudi Arabian ‘special economic zones’, the mergers and contracts of seemingly apolitical construction companies, and the construction of a condominium development in Ottawa – are closely related, but often neglected in the context of the innocuous entries and exits of the figureheads who determine these maneuvers. The absurdity of the relationships is contextualised with recent news, excerpts, or tangentially relevant bits of trivia that inform their actions. Formally, it’s an experiment with the usefulness of the footnote / annotation as an irritant where footnotes concentrate on ‘derivative facts’, and with the hyperlink for mapping nets of influence. These ‘nets’ are intended to reflect the connections  between the protagonists behind the governance, auditing & oversight, and policy influence of the corporate acquisitions of ‘public assets’. These connections are available to the public – however, due to their displacement and the limited means of their discussion and representation, they remain ‘hidden in plain sight’. In the complex and non-linear operations of an economic climate that is created through collaborative business and relationship building, the relevance is found in repetition. Here, information leads to more information!

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TO JUSTIFY LAND 3 – DISCREPANCIES IN THE VALUES

“In Gèsèr Khan’s Land”, Albina Tsybikova, 1982.

full article on Berfrois: http://www.berfrois.com/2017/08/lital-khaikin-to-justify-land-3/

In Southern Siberia, where the Sayan Mountains rise over the heavy chest of confluence of Central Asia, the Buryat peoples have told legends about the ancient lake Baikal and his beautiful daughter Angara. There are 300 rivers that stream into the Baikal, and Angara is alone among them as the only river to flow away. Old man Baikal made sure to keep Angara locked up, so that she would never leave his care. Out of the ancient Sayan, the great river Yenisei heard of the beautiful Angara. The Yenisei was known as a great and proud warrior spirited with wildness, his mighty waters rippling over the land’s most ragged stones, the water like sinew, stretching and coiling to gather strength. The two rivers were seduced by each other from afar. Longing for freedom, Angara escaped her father’s confines, the only river to stream out of the great lake, and flew towards Yenisei. When Angara escaped from Baikal, making a dive north through Irkutsk, the old man pursued his runaway daughter. In a fury, Baikal threw a stone to stop his daughter in her path, which became known as the Shaman-Rock. It is said that if the Shaman-Rock were to fall, it would open the way for the Baikal, who would spill over his banks and recapture the runaway Angara. The waters of the Angara still course with tears of wrath and loss, concealing a prayer for liberation. In those times, the gods heard her cries. The beautiful river spills over her banks into a larger basin at Bratsk, and continues north to Ust-Ilimsk, to curl west on her passage towards the Yenisei. Angara finally reaches the Yenisei at the town of Strelka, “arrow”. The great rivers run together through the unyielding tundra, towards the churning grey and black waters of the Arctic Ocean.

TO JUSTIFY LAND 2 – A GATHERING PLACE WHERE THE REMARKABLE OCCURS

full article on Berfrois: http://www.berfrois.com/2017/07/lital-khaikin-justify-land-2/

The working class of industrialist Québec was integrated into the state project of Canada – the inclusion of a French workforce of “civil servants” in the federalist project – as an act of securing the legitimacy of a unified Canadian state. The federalist vision is dependent on a pacification that is bought by the inclusion of the working class and the poor in the further development of the state, via employment that provides them with marginal benefits that are otherwise not afforded or systemically denied. When there was resistance from Algonquin communities to the development of yet another inaccessible and consumerist project constructed on a sacred site, Windmill seized the opportunity to integrate a “progressive” employment policy that would allow underemployed Algonquin workers a chance to participate in the construction of a “world-class sustainable waterfront community”. In order to employ a quota of Indigenous workers, Windmill and the Gatineau municipal governments have created a special administrative zone to bypass regulations on the certifications, practices and working conditions set in place by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). “For tradespeople and construction workers from Kitigan Zibi, it has been almost impossible to work off reserve because of complex Québec construction regulations. Windmill is negotiating to have parts of its site declared a special administrative zone. That would allow Algonquin tradespeople to work there.” [Zibi Press Release, Jun. 30, 2015]. There would be no need for this benevolent creation of a special administrative zone by Windmill and the Gatineau municipal government for the employment of Algonquin workers, if these barriers weren’t already entrenched within systemic practices of discrimination, and absence of required training, certification and employment resources.

Speaking of their collaborators, the Zibi developers write,

“For tradespeople and construction workers from Kitigan Zibi, it has been almost impossible to work off reserve because of complex Québec construction regulations. Windmill is negotiating to have parts of its site declared a special administrative zone. That would allow Algonquin tradespeople to work there. Historically, many people from Kitigan Zibi have gone to the United States to work in construction because they were unable to find work near home.” [Zibi Press Release].

 

TO JUSTIFY LAND 1 – INTRODUCTION

full article on Berfrois: http://www.berfrois.com/2017/06/lital-khaikin-justify-land/

… Fresh water itself, however, as opposed to hydro-electricity, was excluded from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is currently threatened by renegotiation or dissolution between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It is also significant that under Canada’s second largest trade agreement after NAFTA, the Comprehensive European Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada is currently obligated to treat European companies bidding on contracts in the country equally as Canadian companies.

The result: provincial and municipal governments will have to treat EU companies the same as Canadian ones when it comes to awarding service or procurement contracts […] Jacqueline Wilson, a lawyer with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), said that there could be a path to commercialization of water resources. She pointed out sections of CETA (Annex II) that uphold EU companies’ immediate rights to water resources if those water resources are commercialized by a Canadian government.” (Water Canada, How CETA Will Impact the Water Sector, Jan. 19, 2017) …