January 17, 2017

Council of Canadians organizer Angela Giles tweeted this from the town hall meeting in Halifax yesterday evening.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's town hall tour was in Halifax last night.

The Canadian Press reports, "The tone was largely friendly until one woman asked about green energy. 'That oil has to stay in the ground', said a woman who identified herself as Mi'kmaq. 'Why do you guys constantly bring up all these oil pipelines?' Trudeau told the woman that we are 'going to have to agree to disagree on the issue'."

The article continues, "As he tried to say that 39 indigenous communities in Western Canada are supportive of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, he was interrupted by the word 'lies'. Trudeau stopped in his tracks and asked for respect. 'A little respect please, I'm giving you as much respect as I can and I'm asking for the respect back', Trudeau said."

January 16, 2017

David Thomson, Galen Weston

The Council of Canadians vision statement highlights that economic globalization and unregulated market capitalism have divided the world – and Canada – into rich and poor as at no time in living history.

The Canadian Press now reports, "The two richest Canadians have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 30 per cent of the country combined, according to a new report from a group of international aid organizations. The Oxfam report says the wealth of billionaire businessmen David Thomson and Galen Weston Sr. equals that of about 11 million Canadians."

David Thomson has an estimated net worth of $37 billion. His family's holding company is The Woodbridge Company, which own 59.6 per cent of the Thomson Reuters media empire and 100 per cent of The Globe and Mail. Galen Weston has an estimated net worth of US $8.9 billion and maintains a controlling interest in Loblaw Companies, the largest food retailer in this country.

January 15, 2017

Photo by Canadian Press

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter has written the Trudeau government calling on it to enforce the Fisheries Act in the case of the Mount Polley mine disaster. When the mine's tailing dam ruptured in August 2014 it damaged fish habitat, a violation of the Fisheries Act.

Chapter activist Elaine Hughes writes, "It has now been over two and a half years since the Mount Polley Mine’s tailings dam collapsed and sent up to 25 million cubic metres (10,000 Olympic-size pools) of wastewater and mine waste solids into downstream waters, and, in violation of the Fisheries Act, destroying or affecting downstream waters and fish habitat. Despite clear evidence of violations of Canadian laws, no charges have been brought forward by any level of government. How can this be?"

January 15, 2017

Daniel Green, William Gagnon

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter held a public forum on proportional representation on January 11.

The featured speakers were Daniel Green and William Gagnon.

Chapter activist Abdul Pirani tells us, "The Liberal party made a promise to have electoral reform come the next federal elections in 2019 so that every vote counts. However, after over a year, it is still work in progress.  Mr. Green gave a visual presentation with Lego and convinced people that the system is broken and needs to be fixed."

Pirani notes, "In this photo, three scenarios can be seen from right to left with the Liberals in red:

January 14, 2017

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter will be holding a "Do Oil and Water Mix?" strategy and information event in Mahone Bay on January 29.

The speakers will include LJM Environmental lawyer Lisa Mitchell, Clean Oceans Action Coalition director John Davis, Dalhousie University professor Michael Bradfield, and Sierra Club Canada-Atlantic director Gretchen Fitzgerald.

The chapter notes, "The afternoon will also provide two short, informal sessions to talk with representatives from local organizations—for example, the Ecology Action Centre, Divest Dal, Sierra Club, and Marine Protected Areas. The last portion of the afternoon will be a strategy session when all participants will break into groups to focus on one or two strategies and connect with allies working to protect our marine resources and coastal communities that depend on them."