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.  

October 20, 2016

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin. Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen.

On September 29, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote to about 2,000 of our supporters in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

She noted, "I urgently need your help. Residents in and around Ottawa and Gatineau, like you and me, need to ready ourselves because the fight to stop the proposed Energy East pipeline is entering a pivotal phase. Over the coming weeks, our city councillors across the National Capital Region will be considering their position on the controversial mega-project and making a recommendation either for or against it. The City of Gatineau’s environment commission will hear arguments from the proponents and opponents of the Energy East pipeline on October 6 before making a recommendation to city council on whether or not to support the pipeline."

October 19, 2016

Louise May. Photo credit.

The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter is part of a four-person team fighting the proposed 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline.

Louise May, a St. Norbert farmer and Winnipeg chapter activist, has posted on Facebook, "Thanks to The Council of Canadians -- Winnipeg Chapter, a lawyer and a scientist, I'm part of a team that has come together to fight this pipeline coming through our neighbourhood and across our country. Of course, Canada will never meet its global commitments to curtail global warming unless the oil of the tar sands remains in the ground."

May will be speaking at the St. Norbert Arts Centre (SNAC) Gallery on Thursday (October 20) starting at 6:30 pm.

October 19, 2016

Elma Parker

The Council of Canadians Northumberland chapter is expressing its appreciation of Elma Parker.

Chapter activist Patricia Daly writes in Northumberland Today that, "Elma Parker, now 91, has been a longstanding advocate, activist and past-president of the Council of Canadians in Northumberland County for many years. We regret to say that she is now in palliative care at Northumberland Hills Hospital."

She highlights, "Being the iron-lady that she is, she guided the chapter through many tricky straits and narrow passes over the years and was instrumental in establishing this chapter of the Council of Canadians back in 1989. We have much to thank Elma for. She has left us a legacy of steely determination and dedication that has helped shape how we all think and see ourselves."

Daly adds, "As president of the Council of Canadians here for many years she has been a voice for hardworking family farmers. She has been a voice for fair-trade, and electoral reform, an advocate for the right to water, water security and protection."

October 19, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be backing away from his pledge of electoral reform.

CTV reports, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is suggesting electoral reform might not happen after all, despite an election promise that last year's vote would be the last one under the existing system. And he also suggested there's less need for electoral reform now that the Conservatives are out of power."

In an interview with Le Devoir today, Trudeau commented, "Under Mr. Harper, there were so many people who were unhappy with the government and his approach that people said, ‘We need electoral reform in order to stop having governments we don’t like'. However, under the current system, they now have a government with which they are more satisfied. And the thirst to change the electoral system is less striking."