March 24, 2017

Barbara Ronson-McNichol and Clyde McNichol

The Council of Canadians Sudbury chapter is mourning the passing of Barbara Ronson-McNichol.

Chapter activist Terri MacKinnon tells us, "Members of the Sudbury Chapter worked with Barbara on her Benny Forest campaign, and saw her at other protests. She was an avid activist for the poor and homeless, too."

The Sudbury Star reports, "Barbara Ronson-McNichol, a longtime academic and activist from Cartier who devoted the recent years of her life to stopping logging in the Benny forest, has been identified as the pedestrian struck and killed by a train on Highway 144 in Moncrieff Township on Wednesday. Ronson-McNichol, whose Anishinaabe husband Clyde McNichol claims the area of Benny forest as family territory, fought tirelessly to halt logging there, even going to jail for the cause. She was arrested for a second time only this past Monday for blocking a logging road in Benny and was to appear at the Sudbury courthouse next month on charges of mischief and breach of bail conditions."

March 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter, in collaboration with Ecology North and the Government of the Northwest Territories, hosted a public forum on March 23 titled, The Past, Present and Future of the Mackenzie River: A Discussion on Climate Change Impacts and Transboundary Waters.

Chapter activist Lois Little was the moderator for the evening.

The Globe and Mail has reported, "The Mackenzie River, including its two great upstream supply lines, the Peace and Athabasca rivers, travels 4,241 kilometres before it reaches the Beaufort Sea. Its watershed spans three western provinces and two territories, covering approximately 1.8 million square kilometres, the largest by far in all of Canada and triple the size of France."

And Maclean's magazine has noted, "The watershed is threatened by climate change — occurring faster there than almost anywhere else on Earth — as well as by upstream development such as Alberta’s oilsands or British Columbia’s hydro dams."

March 24, 2017

Photo by Kai Oshea

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter co-hosted a provincial election all-candidates meeting on March 22, World Water Day.

The promotion for the event had noted, "In honour of the United Nations World Water Day we are co-hosting the first all-candidates meeting of the upcoming BC Provincial General Election for the ridings of Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Kent. The WaterWealth Project, the Chilliwack Chapter of the Council of Canadians, The Canadian Fresh Water Alliance and Friends of the Camp/Hope Slough are organizing this opportunity for us to explore some of the issues concerning water together."

March 24, 2017

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing exploratory talks on a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement, September 2016.

The Chinese government is seeking greater investment in and ownership of the tar sands through a proposed Canada-China Free Trade Agreement.

Exploratory talks toward a Canada-China FTA began on February 20 in Beijing and a second round is now scheduled to take place in April.

The Globe and Mail reports, "China’s new envoy [Ambassador Lu Shaye] says Beijing is seeking unfettered access for Chinese state-owned firms to all key sectors of the Canadian economy during free-trade talks now under way with Ottawa – including an end to restrictions barring these enterprises from investing in the oil sands."

March 24, 2017

TMX external relations manager Lexa Hobenshield

Texas-based Kinder Morgan held a community meeting in Hope, British Columbia about the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

The Hope Standard reports that Trans Mountain Expansion Project external relations manager Lexa Hobenshield says that tree removal and site preparation along the route will begin in the fall, pipeline construction will begin in January 2018 (though she doesn't know when construction on the Hope segment will begin), the construction will be done by the end of 2019, and that the pipeline will go into service "shortly after that".

The article highlights, "Hobenshield said they have had less than 85 spills through 60 years and the number of spills over time have decreased."