August 30, 2016

The Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter opposes the possible sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), the city-owned utility that distributes electricity in Peterborough, Lakefield and Norwood, to the provincial electricity transmission and distribution utility Hydro One.

The Peterborough Examiner reports, "An activist who doesn't want council to sell the city-owned electrical utility to Hydro One says he can prove councillors have been privately discussing a possible deal since 2014 - even though they have said they've only been talking about it for nine months."

"Roy Brady filed a Freedom of Information request asking to see any records of closed-session meetings where councillors discussed the possibility of selling PDI."

August 29, 2016

Photo by APTN  

The Montreal chapter of the council of Canadians joined over 200 people gathered in downtown Montreal this morning in front of the National Energy Board proceedings on the proposed Energy East pipeline project. 

Early into the days' proceedings, protesters stormed the room, resulting in the commissioners leaving and police entering to remove the protesters, arresting at least two individuals. 

The CBC reports that "the ruckus began before Mayor Denis Coderre addressed the hearings as the scheduled first speaker. He canceled his appearance, calling the proceedings a "circus," and said he may hold his presentation Tuesday instead."  

August 28, 2016

The polls suggest we have a very popular prime minister. On Friday, the Calgary Herald reported, "One poll released this week found 67 per cent of Canadians would consider voting for Trudeau’s Liberals." It seems that Canadians have been captured by his dynamism and accessibility, and because he appears sincere in his desire to do the right thing. It may also explain why he now has 1.98 million followers on Twitter.

And while there are emerging narratives that Trudeau deftly uses his image, social media and personal appearances as a way to advance his political agenda, this concerns very few at this point, with most people most likely still wanting to enjoy the ride after ten years of a prime minister who was seen to be unfeeling and who instinctively distanced himself from people and the media. Canadians are generally warmed by photos of Trudeau embracing people, and are still left cold by the memory of Stephen Harper shaking hands with his children as he dropped them off at school more than a decade ago.

August 27, 2016

By Fiona McMurran, South Niagara Chapter, Council of Canadians, and Terry Nicholls,

map of Welland industriesWith grateful thanks to Rick Alakas, Malcolm Allen, Tim Clutterbuck, Cindy Forster, and Karrie Porter

Once know as the bustling industrial heartland of Niagara, “where rails and water meet”, Welland has now become the city that free trade left behind.

First settled in 1788 by United Empire Loyalists, Welland was the site of the second-to-last battle of the War of 1812, when Canadian troops defeated an American raiding party at the Battle of Cook’s Mills in east Welland, on October 19, 1814. The Americans retreated back to Buffalo after an intense skirmish.

August 27, 2016

Members of the Tsilhqot'in Nation on the front steps of the Supreme Court of Canada, November 2013.

In November 2013, the Council of Canadians, along with our Williams Lake chapter, contributed $15,000 to an intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in support of the legal challenge by the Tsilhqot’in Nation for a broad recognition of title to their territory in British Columbia.

Our entry point for this was our campaign (dating back to October 2008) to stop the Vancouver-based mining company Taseko's proposed Prosperity project, which would have destroyed Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) on Tsilhqot’in territory under a Schedule 2 exemption to the Fisheries Act.

Just prior to the Court's ruling in June 2014 that affirmed Tsilhqot’in title, the Vancouver Sun reported, "It is expected to be the first time the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on a specific claim to title, or land property rights, and experts say it could be the most important case in the history of aboriginal rights development in Canada."