October 9, 2015
Maude Barlow and Andrea Harden-Donhue
Maude Barlow and Andrea Harden-Donahue

There is a lot at stake with this federal election, including our capacity to start addressing climate change, the most pressing issue of our time. Putting a freeze on further tar sands expansion and related infrastructure is a critical step, yet two of the major opposition parties has not made these commitments. So far, we have mostly vague promises of an improved process for reviewing tar sands pipelines.

With this is mind, the Council of Canadians has sent an open letter to all three opposition party leaders with key requests for a new Prime Minister.

October 10, 2015

To: Elizabeth May, Leader, The Green Party of Canada
      Justin Trudeau, Leader, The Liberal Party of Canada
      Thomas Mulcair, Leader, The New Democratic Party of Canada

October 9, 2015

Democracy is vital

Yesterday, the CBC reported that 436 voters in Calgary received voter information cards from Elections Canada directing them to the wrong polling station.

And this isn’t an isolated incident.

October 9, 2015

Site C dam

The Journal of Commerce reports, "Construction crews are now more than two months into construction for the Site C dam megaproject. Workers are continuing site preparation activities, including clearing work, building access roads and starting construction of a 1,600-person worker accommodation camp."

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Site C dam since March 2010.

Site C is a 60-metre high, 1,050-metre-long earth-filled dam and hydroelectric generation station being built on the Peace River between the communities of Hudson's Hope and Taylor in northeastern British Columbia. It will create an 83-kilometre-long reservoir and flood about 5,550 hectares of agricultural land southwest of Fort St. John. It will also submerge 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual significance.

October 9, 2015

UBCIC posterThe Canadian Press reports, "The fate of the Northern Gateway pipeline project is now in the hands of a trio of Federal Appeal Court judges who reserved their decision [on Thursday October 8] on whether to uphold or quash the government's approval of the controversial project." If the environmental approval certificates were quashed by the court, the project could not continue.

The Gitga’at First Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Haida Nation, Haisla Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo Xai’Xais Nation, Nadleh Whut’en and Nak’azdli Whut’en took the mater to court. They all oppose the 1,200 kilometre, 525,000 barrels per day pipeline and are seeking to protect their land and water from its impacts.

October 9, 2015

VoteWatchWhile it's too early to say whether there will be a higher overall voter turnout this election, the indications look positive.

CBC reports, "Canada's chief electoral officer sees positive signs that voters are keenly engaged in the election, including students and citizens living abroad. ...[Marc Mayrand says] there are positive signs that even more people are participating in the democratic process." Mayrand observes, "We see more people voting by mail, more people voting from abroad, more people having a vote on campus. This week in the first three days we had 42,000 students who voted. So all across we see Canadians quite engaged, and that's good as far as I'm concerned."