May 23, 2016

Trudeau and Abe at their first meeting at the time of the APEC summit in Manila, November 2015. Photo by AP.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo tomorrow.

The Canadian Press reports, "Japan is expected to tout the benefits for Canada of the TPP, a huge, 12-country treaty that would deepen trade connections across the Asia-Pacific region." CTV notes, "Benoit Hardy-Chartrand, Asia-Pacific Expert at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said that if ratified, the TPP could benefit the Canadian mining and oil industry [in Asia]."

Japan clearly wants the TPP to be ratified.

May 23, 2016

Photo by Adrian Wyld/ Canadian Press.

The Trudeau government faces a number of key decisions in the latter half of 2016.

Their current level of public support is undeniable. A Forum Research Inc. poll conducted earlier this month found that 48 per cent of Canadians think the country is moving in "the right direction". The poll also found that 52 per cent would vote Liberal if an election were held today. And CBC has reported, "The last quarter of polling, including all polls conducted and published over the last three months, has been positive for the Liberals. They have averaged 46.6 per cent support, a gain of 7.1 points over where they stood on election night."

But the Trudeau government will need to decide this December on the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain export pipeline.

May 23, 2016

The Council of Canadians Terrace chapter.

The Council of Canadians Terrace chapter opposes Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) developments in northern British Columbia.

In a letter to the editor published in the Terrace Standard, the chapter lists numerous reasons for this including:

May 22, 2016

The Council of Canadians is calling on federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to protect the Shawnigan Lake watershed.

A federal government media release from March 2013 says, "The Esquimalt Graving Dock has been used for the repair and maintenance of military and civilian vessels since 1927. Decades of work at the dock have contributed to sediment contamination in the seabed around the facility."

It's that contaminated soil that is being dumped in the Shawnigan Lake watershed area.

CHEK News has reported, "In March, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the controversial Stebbings Road site can’t be used as a landfill. But six contracts — responsible for 106,000 tonnes of waste — can be fulfilled and the vast majority of the tainted soil is coming from Department of National Defence."

On April 29, the Council of Canadians Victoria chapter was at a protest at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt to call on defence minister to protect the watershed.

The Council of Canadians Mid-Island chapter has also been actively opposing the dump site.

May 22, 2016

The group AntiGoldGreece is highlighting that the Skouries mine in northern Greece is an asbestos hazard.

The Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold's Skouries project - an open pit gold mine and processing plant - is situated near the town of Ierissos in the Halkidiki peninsula of northern Greece.

Opponents of the mine note that 2,162 tons of dust per hour will be produced by the mine (which is a concern in of itself), but that the ore and waste rock contain mineral asbestos and that the mine will produce 108 tons of asbestos dust per hour. The European Union recognizes that 'respirable crystalline quartz' (the dust that is produced by mining, crushing and grinding materials containing quartz) is one of the main causes of pneumoconiosis (a disease of the lungs due to inhalation of dust, characterized by inflammation, coughing, and fibrosis) and chalicosis (a form of pneumoconiosis affecting the lungs or bronchioles, found chiefly among stonecutters).