May 22, 2015
London event
Photo by Kevin Jones.

The Council of Canadians London chapter took part in a Raise the Rates campaign action yesterday.

As noted on the campaign's website, "The Raise the Rates Campaign, a coalition of poor people fighting back along with community and union allies, is not buying into [Ontario premier] Kathleen Wynne’s ‘social justice austerity’. We are demanding living wages, decent income, the reversing of cutbacks and adequate and secure ODSP [Ontario Disability Support Program] benefits. ...The Raise the Rates Campaign is calling on local communities to challenge MPPs during the week of May 18. During that week, they will be in their constituency offices and this is an ideal time to challenge the austerity and growing poverty that is being imposed in this Province."

They highlight that:

May 22, 2015
Fiona McMurran meets with MP Malcolm Allen
Fiona McMurran meets with MP Malcolm Allen.

The Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter met with Niagara Centre NDP MP Malcolm Allen yesterday to discuss public health care.

Chapter activist Fiona McMurran remarked after the meeting, "I'm proud to say that my MP Malcolm Allen supports our Medicare system and wants to strengthen it, for the good of Canadians from coast to coast."

The meeting was part of the Canadian Health Coalition's National Spring Constituency Lobby for Public Health Care. Other Council of Canadians chapters participating in this week of lobbying include Northwest Territories, Charlottetown, Saint John, Sudbury, London, Kamloops, Prince Albert, Vancouver, Comox Valley and likely St. John's and Kelowna. Council of Canadians health care campaigner Michael Butler met with Liberal MP Judy Sgro in Toronto on Wednesday.

The chapters have been asking MPs and candidates if they will:

May 22, 2015

UN side event

Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan spoke at a United Nations side event yesterday during the fifth session of the Post-2015 negotiations process (May 18-22). She has been working with allies around the world to ensure that the human right to water and sanitation is explicitly named and respected in the United Nations Declaration for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The side event was titled 'Addressing Corporate Accountability and Unregulated Private Sector Participation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Implications for Follow-up and Review'. It was organized by the Blue Planet Project, NGO Mining Working Group, Franciscans International, Public Services International and co-sponsored by the Republic of Palau.

Meera at the UN

Karunananthan argued that privatising public services is no way to fund sustainable development.

May 21, 2015

Facebook event

Caribou Legs, an Indigenous ultra-marathon runner, will be starting his 4800-kilometre run across the country starting this coming Monday June 1 at 9 am with a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Yellowknife-based runner will be running from Vancouver to Ottawa to highlight the waterways across this country that are under threat from pipelines, fracking, mining and extreme energy projects, especially under the Harper government.

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui says, "The Harper government's 2012 omnibus budget bills implemented sweeping changes to environmental laws and removed critical safeguards for water protection including: eliminating 3,000 federal environmental assessments through amendments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; removing protections for 99 per cent of lakes and rivers by changing the Navigable Water Protection Act, and gutting the Fisheries Act."

May 21, 2015

Summer Rock the Vote Challenge 

We have 150 days to end 9 years of Conservative rule. 

We’ve seen cuts to social services we value, meanwhile, corporate tax cuts for the richest while it gets harder for the rest of us. People from coast to coast feel it is time for a change. The next Federal election is October 19th, giving us 150 days to make that change happen. 

In 2011, 2/3 of young people did not vote in the last election, that is 1.8 million eligible youth, and meanwhile, the Harper government got a majority with just over 6,000 votes in key ridings. Young people are more likely to vote progressively, and if more of us voted, we could be game-changers.