October 28, 2016

Walloon minister-president Paul Magnette answers questions from media. Photo by Yves Herman/ Reuters.

What can we discern from the news reports on the resolution of the impasse that stopped the signing ceremony yesterday for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)?

The impasse was led by the Belgian region on Wallonia and its Socialist Party minister-president Paul Magnette.

October 28, 2016

Muskrat Falls - then and now.

The Council of Canadians St. John's chapter has expressed caution about the recently negotiated Muskrat Falls deal.

Chapter activist Ken Kavanagh says, "While I fully support and gratefully thank both the land protectors and the Indigenous leaders who likely brokered the best deal they could, there are still many doubts, questions and concerns. While I would describe the final deal as useful, progress and hopeful, I'm not ready to call it a victory yet."

He notes, "Clearly, the two biggest positives are three heroes are no longer on the hunger strike and the potentially dangerous standoff at the Muskrat Falls site has been deescalated."

October 28, 2016

Council of Canadians St. John's chapter activist Ken Kavanagh says the so-called 'investment protection' provisions found in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are dangerous.

VOCM reports, "An Atlantic Representative with the Council of Canadians says CETA threatens local municipalities in the province. Ken Kavanagh says the investor-state rules within the agreement move things in the wrong direction. He says it's still the major issue with CETA because it gives corporations the right to sue not only the federal government, but provincial and municipal governments as well. Corporations would be able to sue governments if local regulations interfered with a company's business prospects, and many see this as a shift in power from the legal systems of government to corporations."

October 27, 2016

Liberal trade minister Chrystia Freeland signing the TPP, February 2016. The House of Commons is expected to vote on the deal in late 2017.

Several Council of Canadians chapters will be mobilizing on November 5 in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The Council of Canadians Hamilton, South Niagara, London and Guelph chapters will be coming together for a protest outside the constituency office of Chris Bittle, the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Catharines.

The South Niagara chapter's promotion on Facebook notes, "Join us outside the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle, 61 Geneva Street, for a Day of Action against the Trans Pacific Partnership -- help us send a message to our MPs that this 'free trade' deal is a bad deal for Canada. It will eliminate good Canadian jobs, increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, make it much harder to address climate change and honour Canada's commitments in the Paris Accord, overrule Indigenous land rights...and make our Internet less open."

October 27, 2016

The defence of the Missouri River against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) continues in North Dakota.

CNN reports, "At least 24 protesters have been arrested [today] since law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path. Calling themselves 'water protectors', supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty. As the standoff continued into Thursday afternoon, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd."

The Associated Press highlights, "The confrontation marked a major escalation of a protest that has raged for months. Police and soldiers driving trucks, military Humvees and buses began the operation to clear the camp at midday and formed a horseshoe-like loop once they reached the camp, where about 200 protesters were awaiting them — some defiant and other praying."