May 6, 2016

In the two previous article on trade deals and health, Bad Medicine Part 1 and Part 2, we looked at the negative impact trade deals will have on our health, how they will increase costs, could preclude pharmacare, and how ‘big pharma’ is largely behind pushing these agreements. In this third article in the Bad Medicine series we will look at how changes to patent regimes resulting from trade deals- like the TPP and CETA- create less transparency into the pharmaceutical industries research and development (R&D) and their nefarious influence on medical practices.

May 5, 2016

Source: Daily Herald Tribune.

Another dam is being planned for the Peace River.

It's called the Amisk dam and it would be situated in northwestern Alberta.

The Alaska Highway News has reported Bowmont Capital & Advisory, Concord Green Energy and AHP Development Corporation "want to build the dam 15 kilometres upstream from the community of Dunvegan, about 90 kilometres from Fort St. John as the crow flies." In terms of size, "The project would generate 1,875 gigawatts of energy per year — a little over a third of the 5,100 gigawatt hours the Site C dam would produce." Construction could begin as early as 2018 with the dam in operation by 2023.

The dam would also flood about 800 hectares of land.

May 5, 2016

The next so-called "Three Amigos" summit will take place in Ottawa on June 29.

CBC reports, "[Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau will play host in the final week of June to U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto at the first gathering of the so-called Three Amigos to be held in Canada in nearly a decade. ...The prime minister has also invited Obama to address Parliament, an invitation he extended when the president feted him in Washington two months ago. And, not to play favorites, Pena Nieto will be in Ottawa ahead of the summit for a state visit of his own. It includes a formal dinner hosted by the prime minister at the National Gallery of Canada where a special exhibit of Mexican art is planned."

What will the summit be about?

May 4, 2016

The people of North Bay are ramping up the fight against the Energy East pipeline project. Last week, Maude Barlow and I spent three amazing days there working with friends and allies to stop this dangerous and unneeded tar sands export pipeline.  We were hosted by Stop Energy East-North Bay, a vibrant and very active local group that co-authored a report with us, When Oil Meets Water: How the Energy East pipeline threatens North Bay watersheds which we released at a press conference first thing Monday morning. The report received broad coverage in regional media and drew a weak response from Energy East’s proponent TransCanada Pipelines Inc. 

May 4, 2016

There is now an evacuation order for the whole city of Fort McMurray. Photo by CBC/Reuters.

As a wildfire devastates the Fort McMurray area, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has tweeted, "Horrible! Hearts go out to residents!"

CBC reports, "A huge wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., destroyed an entire neighbourhood and burned homes and businesses in several others Tuesday, and continues to rage out of control. By late afternoon, the entire city of 60,000 had been ordered evacuated. Residents by the thousands fled the fire, and for hours caused gridlock on Highway 63, and even overwhelmed oilsands work camps [north of the city], where beds and meals were offered. Fire chief Darby Allen said the entire neighbourhood of Beacon Hill 'appears to have been lost' and the fire burned many homes in other parts of the city."