October 21, 2016

The Belgian region of Wallonia is holding firm in its opposition to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Earlier this week, European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom had said that if the Council of the European Union (which is comprised of representatives from the 28 member states of the European Union) could not reach an agreement by today, then the CETA signing ceremony scheduled for October 27 would have to be cancelled.

News reports now suggest that negotiations will extend into the weekend to try to reach a deal, but given the depth of concerns that were expressed by Walloon minister-president Paul Magnette in an address to the Wallonian parliament today that prospect is highly unlikely.

Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey is in Belgium now and has been following the debate in the Wallonian parliament in Namur.

October 20, 2016

The Peterborough chapter was at Maryam Monsef's consultation on electoral reform on September 6. Photo by Jessica Nyznik/ Peterborough Examiner.

Twenty-three chapters have engaged in various forms of consultation on electoral reform over the last year.

In the October 2015 federal election, the Liberal platform promised, "We will make every vote count. We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting. This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform."

October 20, 2016

Chapter activists and allies gathered on October 15 to protest austerity and the Muskrat Falls dam.

Council of Canadians chapter from across the country participated in the Groundswell 2016 conference in St. John's this past October 14-16.

Thirty-five chapter activists from our four regions came together for three days of meetings, workshops, panels, protests, resolutions, connecting, and much more.

October 20, 2016

The Council of Canadians Moncton chapter participated in an occupation of the lobby of the Newfoundland and Labrador legislative building earlier this week.

Chapter activists Duc and Ylang Phi joined Atlantic organizers Angela Giles and Robin Tress and allies in the occupation on Monday October 17 to demonstrate their opposition to the Muskrat Falls dam.

The Muskrat Falls hydro-electric dam project would see two large dams - a 32-metre high north dam and a 29-metre south dam - on the lower Churchill River in Labrador. The federal government has played an instrumental role in enabling this dam by providing a $6.4 billion loan guarantee and by removing federal oversight of the Churchill River in the Navigation Protection Act.

October 20, 2016

About 25 people came together in Kitchener-Waterloo last night to launch a local chapter of the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest social activist group.

Those gathered learned about the organization, ongoing campaigns, and the vital role that chapters play in taking action for social and environmental justice. A strong interest was expressed in organizing locally around water issues, electoral reform, healthcare, and in solidarity with social movements globally.

The chapter will hold its first meeting next week. Contact regional staff member Mark Calzavara ( for information on how to get involved.