September 30, 2016

Council of Canadians health care campaigner Michael Butler is highlighting the ties between Big Pharma and a health accord conference held in Ottawa this week that featured federal Health Minister Jane Philpott as a keynote speaker.

The conference, titled 'A New Health Accord for All Canadians', was a partnership between the Canada 2020 think tank and the Canadian Medical Association, but was sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), along with corporate players like Merck Canada, Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, and even the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

September 30, 2016

Photo by Russell Monk.

A court case relating to the Digby Neck quarry NAFTA investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) challenge will be heard in early 2017.

The case is significant because it will deal with the question of whether a Canadian court or a NAFTA tribunal is the appropriate forum for corporations to challenge environmental assessment decisions.

September 30, 2016

Council of Canadians organizers Robin Tress and Angela Giles were at the TPP protest yesterday morning outside the hotel where the TPP hearings were being held.

The Council of Canadians North Shore chapter presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade hearing in Halifax yesterday. Committee members visited the Atlantic provinces this week seeking input on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Chapter activist and Unifor Local 2215 member Darlene McIvor raised concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the TPP and specifically the Digby Neck quarry controversy.

The ISDS provision in the TPP would allow transnational corporations to sue the governments of the twelve signatory countries over public interest legislation that impacts their future profits. A special tribunal would make the ruling outside of the regular court system and award costs to the transnationals.

A similar provision exists in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

September 30, 2016

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke to a capacity audience of 300 people in Vancouver last night.

She was joined on stage by environmentalist David Suzuki for a discussion on the main themes in her new book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.

Vancouver-based Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui posted to Facebook, "Wonderful night tonight at Maude Barlow's book launch in Vancouver! And she was joined by David Suzuki. What a duo!"

Vancouver Cooperative Radio was also there last night and will podcast the speeches on their Redeye program here.

September 29, 2016

Over the past two days a major health care summit has occurred in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The summit, titled “A New Health Accord for All Canadians,” is a partnership between the Canada 2020 think tank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). This summit featured variety of stakeholders and speakers including senator Chantal Peticlerc, Dr. Granger Avery the president of the CMA, Dr. Gaétan Barrette the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, and Dr. Jane Philpott Canada’s Minister of Health. This summit comes at a pivotal point in the history of medicare with a new health accord being negotiated in coming months and an urgent need for national pharmacare (among many pressing topics).