August 22, 2016

In the middle of a severe drought in southern Ontario, the bottled water giant Nestle is buying up more groundwater sources and now has permits from the Ontario government to remove a total of over 20 million litres of water per day!

A Canadian Press article reports :  “Environmentalists are urging the Ontario government against renewing one of Nestle’s water-taking permits in a southwestern Ontario town, saying “water should be for life, not for profit.” Wellington Water Watchers says the permit for Nestle Waters in Aberfoyle, Ont., expired on July 31, but the company has been allowed to keep extracting water from a local well even in the midst of a severe drought.

August 20, 2016

The Council of Canadians is calling for justice for Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old man from the Red Pheasant First Nation who was killed earlier this month.

We extend our condolences to his family and mourn the loss of this young man. Boushie had recently earned his firefighting certificate, was a volunteer firefighter, and was planning to attend university next month. He also volunteered his time doing yard work and chopping wood for elders.

CBC reports, "[Boushie] was killed on August 9 on a rural property near Biggar, Sask. Boushie, an Indigenous man, was a passenger in a car with four other people when he was shot. His family says the group was going to ask for help with a flat tire. On [August 18], 54-year-old Gerald Stanley pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in Boushie's death."

August 19, 2016

Twitter photo by George Bear Claw.

The Council of Canadians expresses its solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois who have mobilized to stop the building of the Dakota Access pipeline by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (which owns a US$1.5 billion share in the pipeline).

The pipeline could carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline would also cross 200 waterways, including under the Missouri River, upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation (which draws its drinking water from that river).

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the construction of the pipeline on July 25, construction began on August 10, and the water protection protests began on August 15. There is now a "spirit camp" at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, plus a more recently established "Red Warrior Camp".

August 19, 2016

I went to see the Tragically Hip play in Ottawa last night. It was a memorable concert and additionally moving given the band's singer and lyricist Gord Downie is courageously facing brain cancer.

Below is a brief summary about his politics (which includes water protection, health care, pipeline opposition, Indigenous solidarity, prisoner rights, and more).

August 12, 2016

The Council of Canadians is supporting the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation and East Coast Environmental Law in their intervention on this NAFTA tribunal. We were joined by MEP Anne Marie Mineur, right, for this info session.

NAFTA is a dirty word, especially around Sandy Cove on Digby Neck, Nova Scotia. Back in 2007, people in Sandy Cove won a years-long fight to stop a quarry from being built in their backyards. Months after this incredible win, in which a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment actually stopped a project from happening, quarry company Bilcon filed a suit under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11, claiming that the company was treated unfairly because it is American and didn’t know about particular details of Nova Scotia’s environmental assessment process.