October 9, 2015

Amidst the Federal election and many other important issues cropping up in the news these days, the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel (NLHFRP, or the review panel) is hosting their long-awaited public consultations next week in four communities along the West Coast of Newfoundland.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador established a temporary fracking moratorium in November 2013, and since established an independent review panel to make a recommendation to the NL Minister of Natural Resources as to whether the moratorium should be lifted or remain in place and be legislated. The public were invited to make submissions to the panel over the spring and summer, and the next phase is the public consultations / meetings. The review panel anticipates completing its’ work by 01Feb2016.

The public consultations are being held in four communities along the West Coast of Newfoundland, which is the area Black Spruce / Shoal Point Energy was considering fracking for shale oil in an onshore-to-offshore project.

October 9, 2015

The outcome of Election 2015 is far from certain. Significant shifts like those that happened in BC, Alberta, and federally took place in the final days of those elections. If and/or when Harper loses it will be - at least in part - because movements showed him the door. And I mean that literally.


Firstly, the legalization of voter suppression by the Unfair Elections Act is a major wild card that, as far as I can tell, hasn’t been factored into the various seat projections being made. Voter suppression could prevent tens of thousands of people from voting – both through the Unfair Elections Act and other as yet unforeseen dirty tricks. Those disproportionately targeted by the Unfair Elections Act tend to vote for parties other than the Conservatives, including students, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, and the homeless.

October 9, 2015
Maude Barlow and Andrea Harden-Donhue
Maude Barlow and Andrea Harden-Donahue

There is a lot at stake with this federal election, including our capacity to start addressing climate change, the most pressing issue of our time. Putting a freeze on further tar sands expansion and related infrastructure is a critical step, yet two of the major opposition parties has not made these commitments. So far, we have mostly vague promises of an improved process for reviewing tar sands pipelines.

With this is mind, the Council of Canadians has sent an open letter to all three opposition party leaders with key requests for a new Prime Minister.

October 10, 2015

To: Elizabeth May, Leader, The Green Party of Canada
      Justin Trudeau, Leader, The Liberal Party of Canada
      Thomas Mulcair, Leader, The New Democratic Party of Canada

October 9, 2015

Democracy is vital

Yesterday, the CBC reported that 436 voters in Calgary received voter information cards from Elections Canada directing them to the wrong polling station.

And this isn’t an isolated incident.

October 9, 2015

Site C dam

The Journal of Commerce reports, "Construction crews are now more than two months into construction for the Site C dam megaproject. Workers are continuing site preparation activities, including clearing work, building access roads and starting construction of a 1,600-person worker accommodation camp."

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Site C dam since March 2010.

Site C is a 60-metre high, 1,050-metre-long earth-filled dam and hydroelectric generation station being built on the Peace River between the communities of Hudson's Hope and Taylor in northeastern British Columbia. It will create an 83-kilometre-long reservoir and flood about 5,550 hectares of agricultural land southwest of Fort St. John. It will also submerge 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual significance.