The fight in New Brunswick against TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline gained momentum this past weekend! At the invitation of the Wolastoq Grand Council, this past Saturday saw close to 50 people participate in an historic gathering at the Woodstock Band Council’s office to form an alliance with indigenous and non-indigenous allies.
Yesterday's protest outside MPP Deb Matthews' constituency office. Photo by Robert Cory.
The Council of Canadians London chapter joined with allies yesterday to protest in front of Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Deb Matthews' constituency office. They were there to demand that she stop the the proposed closure of birthing and other obstetrical services at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital.
Council of Canadians organizer Leila Darwish presented a deputation to the Transit Police Board meeting in Metro Vancouver this morning.
Darwish stated, "We are one of over forty organizations that endorsed the Transportation Not Deportation campaign. Like many of the groups and individuals who are here to speak to you today on this critical issue, the Council of Canadians believes that everyone deserves access to public transportation without fear of being criminalized, abused, detained, and deported. ...The Council of Canadians and our members are pleased that the pressure and determination of concerned community members has forced an end to the memorandum between Transit Police and CBSA. But whether this is a true victory for justice remains to be seen."
Darwish then outlined four key asks:
The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter and its allies – the Sacred Water Circle, the Kawartha Truth and Reconciliation Support Group, and KTRSG Nibi Emosaawdimojig (Those Who Walk for the Water) – are calling for a national inquiry on murdered and missing Indigenous women.
In their letter to the editor published in Peterborough This Week, they write, "When there is a federal government that can ignore the reality of almost 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, we are in deep trouble as a ‘civilization’." Highlighting that "Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women" and other facts, they note, "This is a horrendous series of events that would not likely be tolerated if occurring within the mainstream population. So far, the federal government has not recognized this national crisis."
On April 1, the Harper government will begin implementing its new "four and four" rule for temporary foreign workers in so-called low-skilled industries (such as retail, food and manufacturing) and Live-In Caregivers. That rule says that migrant workers who have been employed in Canada for more than four years must leave the country and that they cannot return for another four years.
The Harper government's four and four rule does not increase the low wages paid to these migrant workers. It also doesn't address the difficult and often dangerous working conditions faced by many temporary workers. Nor does it improve the monitoring of the businesses that employ migrant workers. And it doesn't facilitate a process for "temporary" workers to become permanent citizens. Instead, this new rule creates a revolving door with exploited workers being replaced every four years by another group of exploited workers.