September 2, 2014

In 18 days, I will be boarding a bus alongside 53 Ottawans (one of several Canadian buses) to join a historic people’s climate march in New York city.

Why march? 

The face of climate change is increasingly visible, with extreme weather events becoming regular news. Not only is this having serious environmental impacts, it is hurting people. Lack of access to water. Destroyed homes. Wilted crops and cracked earth. It is hurting our economies.

September 2, 2014

In December, the Mexican government passed an 'energy reform law' that means corporations can now explore and extract the vast oil and gas reserves in Mexico. Bloomberg described this as "the nation’s most significant economic reform since the North American Free Trade Agreement".

The expected inflow of foreign capital means that oil production could increase from 2.5 million barrels a day now to as much as 4 million bpd by 2025. Natural gas production is expected to increase from 5.7 billion cubic feet now to 10.4 billion cubic feet in 2025. Without question this will involve fracking and the use of millions of litres of water.

August 30, 2014

On August 4th, the massive tailings dam at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley gold and copper mine burst. The dam breach unleashed 14.5 million cubic meters of toxic heavy metals and chemical laden tailings water and sludge into Polley Lake, down Hazeltine Creek, into Quesnel Lake and onto the Quesnel River which directly connects to the Fraser River Watershed. The Quesnel Lake watershed is a major source of drinking water and home to one quarter of the province’s sockeye salmon.This is the largest mining disaster to occur in Canada and it's still unfolding. 

August 30, 2014

There have been ongoing concerns that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department could be privatized.

August 29, 2014

The Peoples’ Social Forum has created many opportunities to change the precarious course our society is on. 

One promising strategy the democracy assembly agreed on is the proposal to produce a Peoples’ Platform to articulate a common unifying vision that reflects the aspirations of social movements and communities. I had the honour of co-facilitating this assembly with Amélie Nguyen from la Coalition Pas de démocratie sans voix. 

The Hamilton Civic League, with the support of the Hamilton chapter of the Council of Canadians, has already begun a Peoples’ Platform initiative for the municipal election in October 2014. As they describe it, “We’ll present that plan to the candidates in the municipal election and ask them to support it. This way, we all get to say what we want before we decide who we want.”

A federal Peoples’ Platform would be a new tool to pressure federal election candidates and parties to adopt more progressive positions. This could be a strong part of our on-the-ground organizing before, during, and after the next election. Want to help construct the Peoples’ Platform? Email me here.