May 6, 2015

75 per cent Ontarians want a ban on fracking

Ontario MPP Peter Tabuns’ anti-fracking private members bill is getting a surprising amount of backlash from Ontario natural gas interests considering that there are supposedly no hydraulic fracturing projects in the works for the province.  Bill 82 goes for second reading at Queen’s Park this Thursday and both Union Gas and the Ontario Energy Association have sent letters to all MPPs asking them to vote against it.  The letters claim that the economic benefits from potential fracking in Ontario are significant and that it can be done safely.

May 5, 2015

Caribou Legs

The Council of Canadians is helping to sponsor Caribou Legs, an Indigenous ultra-marathon runner, to run the 4800 kilometres from Vancouver to Ottawa to highlight the waterways across this country that are under threat from pipelines, fracking, mining and extreme energy projects.

Caribou Legs, as Brad Firth prefers to be called, is a Gwich'in man who now lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The Gwich'in are one of the most northern Indigenous peoples. Their traditional territories extend from the interior of Alaska through the Yukon and into the Mackenzie Valley.

He will run 75 kilometres a day on this journey. He has previously run 3200 kilometres from Vancouver to Whitehorse, 1200 kilometres from Inuvik to Whitehorse, as well as numerous other runs of more than 100 kilometres in distance to highlight the threats to the Peel River watershed from mining.

May 5, 2015

Steven ShrybmanThe Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students and three voters will be in Ontario Superior Court this July 2-3 seeking an injunction to suspend key provisions of the Harper government's C-23, the so-called Fair Elections Act, for the upcoming federal election expected this October.

The Canadian Press has reported, "The new rules [in C-23] forbid voters from using the Elections Canada voter information card mailed to their home as proof of residency -- although some 400,000 voters used the cards for this purpose in the 2011 federal election. The law also now sets up a more restrictive process for attesting to the identity of voters who don't have proper identification -- a process known as vouching, which allowed 120,000 additional voters to cast a ballot in 2011."

May 5, 2015
Press Conference
Photo: Lynaya Astephen (far right) speaking at a Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association media conference yesterday.

The Council of Canadians is helping to support the End of the Line march in Saint John against the Energy East pipeline on Saturday May 30 starting at 1 pm.

The march is being organized by the Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. CTV reports, "The newly formed Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association has become the first neighbourhood coalition to oppose the pipeline." The community is situated at the terminus of the pipeline on the Bay of Fundy, literally at the end of the line.

May 4, 2015

Maude Barlow in the Yukon

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow just spoke at a rally on the steps of the Yukon Legislative Assembly in Whitehorse.

She spoke against the Yukon Party government's decision to allow fracking in the Kotaneelee gas fields in the Liard basin in southeast Yukon. Members of the Liard First Nation spoke at the rally alongside Barlow and delivered a letter stating that the community does not approve of fracking.

The CBC news report on the rally quotes Barlow saying, "I'm here in solidarity. The Yukon has not yet started this process. I beg you — don't start it. The water here is so precious."