July 3, 2015

Court team

Day 1, July 2, 2015

“This case is about the right to vote – the cornerstone of democracy.”

With these words, lawyer Steven Shrybman opened day one of hearings against the Harper Conservatives’ “Fair” Elections Act. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students and three individual electors are seeking an injunction to stop regressive new voter ID rules from coming into effect for October’s federal election.

Over eight hours in a Toronto courtroom, Shrybman presented powerful evidence that, if allowed to stand, the so-called Fair Elections Act would cause “irreparable harm” in the 2015 election and beyond.

Citing expert testimony, he argued that tens of thousands of eligible voters – mostly students, aboriginals, seniors and the homeless – would have their constitutional right to vote taken from them under the Conservatives’ new rules.

July 3, 2015
Fredericton chapter outreach
The Fredericton chapter helps to promote the Jobs, Justice and Climate day of action. Photo by Joan Green.

At least 19 Council of Canadians chapters will be participating in actions for climate justice this weekend.

Saturday July 4 is a national day of action for jobs, justice and the climate. The Vancouver, Delta-Richmond, Kelowna, Nelson, Nanaimo, Edmonton, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Peterborough-Kawarthas, Montreal, Fredericton and St. John's chapters will be participating in that day. And Sunday July 5 will see a march in Toronto to coincide with the Pan American Climate Summit and an Economic Summit. The Toronto, York University, Hamilton, London, Niagara South, Guelph and Peterborough-Kawarthas will be participating in that march.

July 2, 2015
The Peace-Athabasca Delta is located at the confluence of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers with Lake Athabasca.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee is concerned about the impact of the tar sands and the proposed Site C dam on Wood Buffalo National Park and the Peace–Athabasca Delta region in north-eastern Alberta.

The Canadian Press reports, "The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has asked Canada to invite a team to Alberta to study how the [tar sands] and other nearby projects will affect Wood Buffalo National Park. The UN committee’s request follows a petition by the Mikisew Cree First Nation in December that asked for the park to be added to a list of world heritage sites in danger."

June 30, 2015

In May, the International Joint Commission (IJC) released the draft Ten Year Review of the International Joint Commission’s Report on “Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes.” Ralph Pentland, President of Ralbet Enterprises, and Dr. Alex Mayer, Professor of Environmental and Geological Engineering at Michigan Technological University, authors of the report, give a very thorough review of advancements and what is happening around the Great Lakes Basin.

Photo courtesy of myheimu/Creative Commons.

The IJC created a process to invite public comment to the draft report that looks at advances and issues related to consumptive use, legal and policy considerations, diversions and other removals, water use data, cumulative impacts, climate change, groundwater and conservation.

The recommendations in the report which include:

RECOMMENDATION 1: The existing Agreement and Compact should continue to be rigorously implemented to minimize loss of water from the Basin.

June 30, 2015
Credit: All rights reserved.
Credit: All rights reserved.

“There is no place on earth that can be safe, secure or healthy in a world that is running out of water.”

On April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered officials to impose mandatory water restrictions in his drought stricken state for the first time in history. The news was carried around the world.  “Climate change” was named as the culprit — and it is.