May 30, 2015

Steven Vs PolievreOn July 2-3, the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students and three voters will be in Ontario Superior Court seeking an injunction to suspend key provisions of the Harper government's so-called 'Fair Elections Act' in time for the upcoming federal election this October.

More than 500,000 votes could in the balance with this challenge. The Canadian Press has reported, "The new rules [in the 'Fair Elections Act'] forbid voters from using the Elections Canada voter information card mailed to their home as proof of residency -- although some 400,000 voters used the cards for this purpose in the 2011 federal election. The law also now sets up a more restrictive process for attesting to the identity of voters who don't have proper identification -- a process known as vouching, which allowed 120,000 additional voters to cast a ballot in 2011."

May 29, 2015

The day after the European Parliament's international trade committee (composed of Members of the European Parliament) voted 28-13 in favour of the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) voted to oppose the inclusion of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in both TTIP and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The European Economic and Social Committee is an advisory assembly composed of social partners, namely: employers, labour unions, and representatives of various other interests.

EESC rapporteur Sandy Boyle says, “This is not an opinion against investor protection but an opinion that opposes ISDS, which is not a form of dispute settlement acceptable to a large majority of civil society. Opacity, lack of clear rules of arbitration, the lack of right of appeal, and discrimination against domestic investors who cannot use the system have undermined the credibility of this system."

May 29, 2015

The Hardy Boys: A Figure in HidingBy Maude Barlow and Sujata Dey. Published on Huffington Post

With every new free-trade agreement comes the promise of shiny new jobs and economic prosperity.

CETA, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreement, is no different.

May 29, 2015

Caribou Legs APTN

The Council of Canadians is helping to sponsor an Indigenous ultra-marathon runner to run 4,800 kilometres across the country to promote awareness that the Harper government has removed legislative protections for rivers and lakes in order to advance its agenda of pipelines, fracking, mining and extreme energy projects.

APTN recently reported, "Caribou Legs is known for trekking across Canada to raise awareness on water protection. He’s at it again. His next run will be from Vancouver to Ottawa to tell the federal government to protect Canada’s fresh water. But first, he led a fun run in his hometown of Yellowknife."

May 28, 2015
Guelph chapter activist Paul Costello at today's protest. Photo by Mark Calzavara.
Guelph chapter activist Paul Costello at today's protest. Photo by Mark Calzavara.

The Council of Canadians helped rally against the privatization of Hydro One today.

Blackburn News reports, "More than 1,000 people converged on Queen’s Park this afternoon, calling on MPP’s to cancel plans to privatize Hydro One. The rally took place as the legislature began its final clause-by-clause review of the provincial budget bill, which includes legislation intended to make the sale legal."