March 27, 2017

The Council of Canadians Quinte chapter is concerned by the impact of a now partially submerged 27-metre long industrial barge in Picton Bay, the source of drinking water for the community of Picton.

The barge, which began sinking on Thursday night, contains contains about 1,200 litres of diesel fuel and 100 litres of hydraulic fluid. While the fuel tanks are reportedly intact, a sheen is visible on the surface of the water from about 30 litres of fuel, that is believed to be a combination of gas and diesel and some emulsives.

Mayor Robert Quaiff says, “I’m relieved right now that there doesn’t appear to be a threat to our drinking water, but we are monitoring closely hour-by-hour and we are getting regular updates."

County Live reports, "[Mayor Quaiff] couldn’t say how close exactly it is to the municipality’s water intake pipe but said 'the sheen was coming dangerously close and we let Coast Guard Canada know it may be in violation and that’s when action was taken to deploy another boom around the contaminant.'"

March 27, 2017

Photo by Susan Sparks

The Council of Canadians Kitchener-Waterloo chapter had an information table at the Renison Ministry Centre/ Renison University College on the University of Waterloo campus during a live-stream presentation of Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow speaking from the Trinity Institute Water Justice conference in New York City.

The Trinity Institute had noted, "Water Justice, a global conference held in New York City and webcast all over the world. With a sharp focus on the need for water justice initiatives in areas of access, droughts, pollution, rising tides, and flooding, Trinity Institute aims to offer actionable guidance for individuals, congregations, and the larger faith community surrounding these issues."

For those in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Trinity Institute at Renison 2017 organized a gathering in which people could, "listen to the speakers, ask panelists questions via email, and reflect in our own small groups about local water issues and actions."

March 27, 2017

The French Constitutional Court has delayed its ruling on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) prompting calls for the deal's provisional application to be postponed past July 1.

EurActiv reports, "Following a request in February by 153 elected politicians, including 53 MPs, the Constitutional Court announced that it would delay its decision on the legality of the EU’s free trade agreement with Canada. Something of a rarity, this report threatens the implementation of the deal."

March 27, 2017

(Canadian Energy Pipeline Association's Chris Bloomer and Sonya Savage take questions from the NEB Modernization Expert Panel in Saint John, New Brunswick on March 21, 2017)

On March 21, 2017, the NEB Modernization Review Expert Panel came to Saint John, New Brunswick to hold their 9th public meeting.  This review was launched by the Government of Canada in an attempt to return public confidence back to the National Energy Board.  What's at stake is how pipeline review projects like Energy East get decided and whether the NEB should have their mandate changed or expanded. It should be noted that the Expert Panel choose not to include the other 3 Atlantic Provinces in their consultation meetings.

March 27, 2017

Can these Liberal MPs explain why their government hasn't implemented pharmacare?

The Council of Canadians is mobilizing for a day of action in support of pharmacare on Saturday May 27.

While this poll shows that 91 per cent of Canadians want pharmacare, and this report notes that implementing it could save up to $14 billion dollars annually, Health Minister Jane Philpott stated last April that pharmacare is not part of her mandate, that it is too costly, and that it will not be introduced in this Parliament.