January 23, 2017

Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment photo.

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter has called for the release of inspection reports given an oil spill in Saskatchewan late last week.

On Friday (January 20) a pipeline leaked about 200,000 litres (about 1,400 barrels) of crude oil on the territory of the Ocean Man First Nation, which is located about 140 kilometres southeast of Regina.

The Regina Leader Post reports, "The province says an actual source of the leak will not be known until the site is excavated and the break location confirmed." Reuters adds, "It was not immediately clear how the current incident happened or which company owns the underground pipeline that leaked the oil." Other news reports suggest the pipeline is owned by Tundra Energy Marketing.

This pipeline spill follows the 225,000 litre Husky Oil spill in July 2016.

January 23, 2017

Thousands marched in Ottawa on Saturday vs the Trump agenda.

Did a mass mobilization of tens of thousands of people on Saturday just succeed in stopping the U.S. president from visiting Canada?

60,000 people marched in Toronto, 15,000 in Vancouver, 8,000 in Ottawa, 800 in Nanaimo, 500 in Courtenay, 400 in Fredericton, and hundreds more in communities across the country. The Council of Canadians Victoria, Mid-Island, Kelowna, Comox Valley, Northwest Territories, Quinte, Guelph, Centre Wellington, Windsor, London, Ottawa, Hamilton, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John and PEI chapters took part in rallies.

Here's the chronology of events:

January 22, 2017

Francois-Philippe Champagne

Trade minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has signalled his interest in saving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Champagne says, “There’s a number of countries which would be interested in either considering bilateral trade agreements or seeing potentially what could be done with TPP." Bloomberg reports, "His comments signal Canada’s optimism the TPP can survive in some form without the US – echoing recent votes of confidence by Australia and Japan."

And while many have stated their opposition to the TPP at hearings, consultations and protests across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has commented, "In our conversations with Canadians, with industries which are ongoing, there are a lot of people in favour of it and there are a few who have real concerns and we’re looking at understanding and allaying certain fears and building on some of the opportunities."

January 22, 2017

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) now appears imminent.

Reuters reports, "U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he plans talks soon with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump said he would be meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to begin work on overhauling the deal."

The CTV News report quotes Trump stating, "We have set up meetings with the prime minister of the United Kingdom and Prime Minister May will be coming over the United States shortly. We’re also meeting with the prime minister of Canada. And we will be meeting with the president of Mexico, who I know, and we’re going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA. Anybody ever hear of NAFTA? I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA. We’re going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border."

January 22, 2017

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has called on the Trudeau government to move forward with proportional representation.

The Every Voter Counts Alliance open letter states, "The report on the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform was tabled on December 1, 2016. The parliamentary committee recommendation is for a voting system that maintains the link between Canadian citizens and a locally representative MP while eliminating the risks posed by majoritarian systems (such as First past the Post and Ranked Ballots under FPTP) of severe electoral distortions of the will of the voters. We congratulate the newly appointed minister, the Hon Karina Gould, and urge her to move to implement the key recommendation of the parliamentary committee and move to a system of proportional representation for the next federal election."