March 30, 2017

Sipekne'katik war chief Jim Maloney, water protector Dorene Bernard, Treaty Truckhouse organizer Dale Poullette, Council of Canadians organizer Robin Tress. Photo by Council of Canadians organizer Angela Giles.

The Council of Canadians has organized two recent public forums on the Alton Gas Natural Gas Storage Project in Nova Scotia (Alton Gas, Site C, and Indigenous Consent on March 21, and Stop Alton Gas Town Hall Tour - Halifax on March 27) and will hold a third public forum this evening in Antigonish. Halifax-based Council of Canadians organizer Robin Tress is both organizing and hosting these events.

Alton Natural Gas Storage LP, a subsidiary of Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd., wants to build underground caverns to store natural gas near the Shubenacadie River on Sipekne’katik territory near the rural communities of Alton and Stewiake, which are situated about 75 kilometres north of Halifax.

March 29, 2017

Premier Li and Prime Minister Trudeau.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be making concessions demanded by the Chinese government in relation to the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement talks.

Among the Chinese government's demands:

  • China's Vice-Minister of Financial and Economic Affairs Han Jun has said his government wants a tar sands pipeline to the coast.
  • Vice-Minister Han and China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye have both stated that China wants unfettered access for Chinese state-owned firms to invest in tar sands projects.
  • Ambassador Lu has also stated that Canada invoking national security to block state-owned companies from buying Canadian companies would be seen as trade protectionism.
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wants an extradition treaty so that people accused of crimes who flee to Canada can be extradited back to China.

In turn, the Trudeau government:

March 29, 2017

I took this photo while Jim Maloney, war chief for the Sipekne'katik district of Mi'kma'ki, spoke about Alton Gas at a town hall on Monday March 27th in Halifax.

March 29, 2017

The Toronto Star reports, "Environment Canada is projecting that, based on policies in place last November, the country was on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30 per cent more than promised that year. The report describes the projections [not as a forecast, but] as an educated guess based on policies in place as of Nov. 1, 2016."

The article adds, "Canada will emit between 697 and 790 megatonnes of greenhouse gases in 2030, depending on a range of factors that include oil prices and the rate of economic growth. Canada’s goal under the Liberal government is to cut emissions to 523 megatonnes in 2030 — a reduction of 30 per cent below 2005 levels."

In terms of climate-harming policies, the Liberal government:

March 29, 2017

Barbara Ronson-McNichol (in foreground holding the blue case).

The Council of Canadians Sudbury chapter is mourning the death of Benny Forest defender Barbara Ronson-McNichol.

An outdoor ceremony for Ronson-McNichol, who died on Wednesday March 22, was held at the Cartier Community Centre on Sunday March 26.

The Sudbury Star reports, "A ceremonial fire was lit in Cartier after her death and was kept burning for four days, noted [fellow activist] Anna Harbulik, 'so Barb has completed her spirit journey now'.  [Friend] Will Cribbs [added] that her spirit lives on. 'She has empowered all of us', he said. 'Her energy is still with us.'"

The article adds, "Penny Earley, of the Sudbury chapter of the Council of Canadians, was moved by Ronson-McNichol's spirit. 'It was her gentleness and sincerity that came through to me', she said. 'And how deeply she felt for this forest.'"