August 31, 2016

The official welcome ceremony with Premier Li this morning at the Great Hall of the People. Twitter photo.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in preliminary talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on a possible Canada-China 'free trade' agreement.

The Canadian Press reports, "After meeting with Trudeau, [the Chinese premier] told reporters through a translator that Canada and China will launch a feasibility study on an eventual free-trade deal. A senior Canadian official later said the two counties have ongoing technical discussions on free trade, but stressed that there are no negotiations under way at this point."

August 30, 2016

The Energy East review panel: Roland George, Lyne Mercier, Jacques Gauthier.

The National Energy Board has halted hearings into the controversial Energy East pipeline. The hearings were suspended while the NEB considers what to do about the scandal of its two review panel commissioners who privately met with former Quebec premier Jean Charest, a paid consultant with TransCanada, the company behind the Energy East pipeline proposal.

August 30, 2016

The Trudeau government voted against the adoption of a United Nations report on August 19 that recommended negotiations for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons.

The Guardian UK reports, "The report, which recommended negotiations begin in 2017 to ban nuclear weapons, was eventually passed by 68 votes to 22. ...The proposal recommended a conference be held next year to negotiate 'a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination'. ...The next step will be for the proposal for negotiations to begin in 2017 will be tabled at the United Nations general assembly, after which it is likely formal negotiations will begin."

August 30, 2016

The Council of Canadians Thunder Bay chapter organized an edible-plant walking tour this summer.

In July, The Chronicle-Journal reported, "Will Stolz, an environmental science master’s student at Lakehead University, hosted two-hour walking tours around Boulevard Lake on Saturday [July 23] to identify the many edible plants that grow readily in the area."

Among the edible plants identified were golden rod, dandelion, clover, berries, wild raspberries, strawberries and pine needles.

The article highlights, "The tours served as a fundraiser for the Council of Canadians, Thunder Bay branch. The council advocates for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care and democracy. Tom Cook, who took part in the afternoon tour, was thrilled to discover wild hazelnuts growing in the green space behind the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. ...Stolz says to watch for a think-tank discussion on the corporate ownership of food that will be hosted by the Council of Canadians this September."

August 30, 2016

The Council of Canadians Windsor/Essex and London chapters supported a blockade yesterday by Grandmothers, Aunties and Mothers intended to stop the construction of a fracked gas pipeline at the Walpole Island First Nation.

Windsor/Essex chapter activist Randy Emerson tells us, "The Windsor/Essex chapter had the privilege to protest along side indigenous people's at Walpole Island. The London chapter was also present. At first we stopped traffic on the bridge to the island to hand out info flyers and to block any Union Gas equipment. When Walpole Island police told us we could not impede traffic we stood by the side of the road with our signs. We accomplished two things.  One, the work was stopped on the pipeline and two, no equipment made it over the bridge."