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September 28, 2016

Council of Canadians organizer AJ Klein at the Burnaby Mountain protests against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, November 2014.

There is speculation that the Trudeau government is likely to approve the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline on Monday December 19.

Bloomberg News reports, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to approve at least one new oil pipeline project in his first term, with Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Pacific Coast the most likely candidate, people familiar with his plans said. ...Kinder’s proposal is seen as likeliest to win approval despite opposition among key figures in vote-rich Vancouver, the people said. The Trans Mountain expansion already has conditional regulatory sign-off from the National Energy Board. ...Trudeau’s government believes it must demonstrate to investors the country is capable of reaching consensus to build major energy projects."

The article adds, "The government hopes to approve one project before the next election in 2019, the people said."

September 28, 2016

Liberal health minister Jane Philpott

The Trudeau government will maintain the Harper government's funding formula for health care transfer payments.

In terms of background, the Canadian Press explains, "The last 10-year health accord, which included an annual six-per-cent increase in health transfers to the provinces, expired in 2014. The previous Conservative government refused to renegotiate it and unilaterally declared that the six-per-cent escalator would end in 2017." The Conservative plan was to tie health care transfers to the GDP with a minimum three per cent annual increase between 2017 and 2024.

The Liberals in opposition rejected the Conservative plan.

September 28, 2016

Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape at the Lax Kw’alaams resistance camp at Lax U'u'la, November 2015.

When the Trudeau government approved the Pacific NorthWest LNG project yesterday, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna stated, "Indigenous Peoples were meaningfully consulted, and where appropriate, impacts on their rights and interests were accommodated." She did not comment on their right to "consent" as guaranteed under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recently endorsed by the federal government.

The LNG terminal would be located on Lax U'u'la (Lelu Island) on Lax Kw’alaams First Nation territory.

After the announcement, Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chief Yahaan commented, "I think Mr. Trudeau made the biggest mistake of his career ... he's not as straightforward of a guy as everyone perceived him to be. We're trying to protect something here that belongs to the people of Canada."

September 28, 2016

Ken Kavanagh

The Council of Canadians St. John's chapter presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade today. The committee is visiting the Atlantic provinces this week seeking input on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Chapter activist Ken Kavanagh told the committee, "In case there is any doubt, let me say unequivocally and with the strongest conviction, that I do not support the TPP. ...I am here today to express the concerns of my Chapter on this controversial trade deal."

September 28, 2016

Medicare in Canada is being put on trial. Dr Brian Day, a for-profit clinic owner, has launched a lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry of Health which is ongoing at the province’s Supreme Court. While this case is provincial, the ruling will have national implications for Canada's universal, public health care system.

Dr. Profit, as he is known, is using Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to argue that if you have money, you should have the right to buy your way to the front of the line. The cornerstone of medicare is the principle that health care should be provided according to a patient’s needs and not ability to pay. We believe preferential treatment that puts profits over people has no place in Canada.

This case isn’t about improving health care it’s about money and greed. Dr. Profit is using misinformation and the courts to force in a two-tier, U.S.-style system.

Here are six things you need to know about what this case is really about.

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