March 21, 2017
Statistics Canada released an updated water study today about freshwater supply and demand in Canada showing fluctuations in water yield - water runoff into streams and rivers - throughout 1974-2013 as well as seasonally. The study, Human Activity and the Environment 2016: Freshwater in Canada, provides statistics on freshwater supply and demand for each of the 25 drainage regions in Canada.

The study notes: 
  • The annual water yield in southern Canada fluctuated over time, from a high of 1,544 km3 in 1974 to a low of 1,165 km3 in 1987. The water yield decreased from 1971 to 1987 and then began a gradual recovery to 2012, with a dip in the late 1990s to early 2000s.
  • The main water users in 2013 were electric power generation, transmission and distribution (68%); manufacturing (10%); households (9%); agriculture (5%) and mining and oil and gas extraction (3%).
March 21, 2017

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty.

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter is calling on the Saskatchewan provincial government to reject austerity measures in the budget it will table on Wednesday March 22.

The Regina Leader-Post reports, "With consecutive years of lower-than-expected revenue from natural resources [from oil, gas and potash], [Finance Minister Kevin] Doherty will be presenting a plan — they’re calling it 'Meeting the Challenge' — to eliminate Saskatchewan’s roughly $1.3-billion deficit and bring the books back to balance over the next three years. That plan will likely mean residents of the province paying more in taxes."

March 21, 2017

Trudeau at the G20 summit in China, September 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to take action on the climate in the lead-up to the G20 summit in Hamburg this coming July 7-8.

The Globe and Mail's energy reporter Shawn McCarthy writes, "Globe crude demand will have to decline by 40 per cent over the next 25 years if the world is going to succeed in keeping average temperatures from increasing by more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report released Monday."

The IEA and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report was prepared to help foster discussion at the G20 summit.

The IEA/IRENA report also says carbon dioxide emissions would need to peak by 2020 and fall by more than 70 per cent from today's levels by 2050.

March 21, 2017

An Angus Reid Institute poll recently found that 47 per cent of Canadians want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to "employ a hard approach" with US President Donald Trump, "even at the risk of damaging the relationship between the two countries." But instead of doing that, Trudeau seems focused on soft-pedalling:

Women's rights – Rather than denouncing Trump's sexism, the prime minister facilitated a women entrepreneurs roundtable that served to distract from Trump's misogynistic views. Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren has written, "These are the things we do for trade deals [but] was it really necessary for our feminist Prime Minister to make such an utter mockery of women's rights (which are under real threat in the United States at the moment) while he was on a social visit to casually secure broader points of the North American free-trade agreement?"

March 20, 2017

The Council of Canadians Brandon/Westman chapter presented to Brandon City Council today about the blue communities project.

The Brandon Sun has reported, "Brandon City Council will hear a presentation on Monday on becoming a 'blue community', from the local Council of Canadians chapter. The Blue Communities Project encourages communities to adopt a water commons framework by recognizing water and sanitation as human rights; banning or phasing out the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities/events; and promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services."

Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape tells us, "We had a great presentation to the Brandon City Council."