April 28, 2016

Today, On April 28, is the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.  CBC reports for the first time organized labour has chosen to rally around one workplace health issue in particular: asbestos.

It’s estimated that asbestos-related diseases (like mesothelioma and lung cancer) kill more than 2,000 people ever year in Canada. Death from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012. Yet, just last year before losing power the Harper government actually made it easier to import products containing asbestos. CUPE National President Mark Hancock has stated,

April 28, 2016

#OccupyINAC in Winnipeg. Facebook photo by Doug Thomas Photography.

The Council of Canadians supports the occupation of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) office in Winnipeg.

On April 15, the Winnipeg Free Press reported, "In Winnipeg, more than 40 people were reported inside INAC’s Manitoba regional office downtown, to show solidarity with the suicide crisis in Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Manitoba as well as Attawapiskat." Earlier this week, the newspaper noted, "Half a dozen women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and a few young men, were holding down OccupyINAC Winnipeg [on April 26]. They said their time is divided between inside the building and outside, at a camp in the parking lot where a fire pit burns 24/7 for prayers."

April 28, 2016

On April 22, the Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter began a 'Publicly Take Back the Letter' campaign over concerns that Fredericton city council had secretly sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing the city's support for the Energy East pipeline. Today, CBC reports, "The City of Fredericton has admitted it didn't follow the proper steps when it approved a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that supported the proposed Energy East pipeline project."

The news article adds, "The city issued the statement on Thursday morning, days after a group of citizens complained at a council meeting. 'The City of Fredericton recognizes that the appropriate process was not followed in regard to the letter issued on Jan. 26, 2016 to the prime minister of Canada in regards to the Energy East project', the statement said."

April 28, 2016

This past week the co-founder of, Kat Lanteigne, was in Halifax as part of a cross-country educational tour. Lanteigne’s trip included a public event co-sponsored by the NS Health Network and Council of Canadians as well a press conference with the NS-NDP Health Critic, Dave Wilson. Lanteigne and Wilson urged the Premier Stephen McNeil and the NS Liberals to vote on and pass Bill 43 - the Voluntary Blood Donations Act. “Nova Scotians do not want to see corporation buying and selling blood and plasma. Paying for plasma is a slippery slope” said Wilson.

April 28, 2016

Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui.

Vancouver-based Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui spoke about water sustainability at a public forum in Blewett, situated just outside of Nelson, on April 21, as well as at the 'Water, Drought & Climate Change Forum' in Nelson on April 22-23. The communities are located about 650 kilometres west of Vancouver.

Lui tells us, "The public forum on April 21 was held outside of Nelson in a small town called Blewett where the Okinshaw bottled water plant is located. There were 100 people at the event, which is remarkable for a town of 800 people." The event featured Lui, Sinxit elder Marilyn James, geomorphologist Peter Jordan, and Simon Fraser University doctoral candidate Sarah-Patricia Breen.