February 23, 2017

The Council of Canadians supports efforts to protect the Peel Watershed in northern Yukon from mining.

In her book Boiling Point, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote, "In 2014, the Yukon government announced it would open up a huge swath of the pristine Peel Watershed for mining, an area over half the size of New Brunswick. Shocked First Nations asserted this violates land claim agreements. They joined conservation groups to launch a legal challenge to the plan, saying it betrayed a previously negotiated agreement that would have conserved a much greater landmass and protected the watershed."

Barlow then notes, "The Supreme Court of Yukon agreed. In November 2015, the court set the planning bar back to 2011, before the development announcements."

February 23, 2017

The Council of Canadians has donated $200 of supplies for refugees fleeing the United States by crossing the border near Emerson, Manitoba.

The Facebook outreach for this effort noted, "No One Is Illegal-Winnipeg Treaty One Territory is calling for supplies and donations to support border crossers in Manitoba. If you are in Winnipeg, please drop off supplies at University of Winnipeg."

Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape says, "We made a donation of winter supplies for refugees who are crossing the border to Emerson Manitoba in dangerous conditions because of unjust American and Canadians laws. Thanks to No One is Illegal-Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg Students Association for organizing!"

February 23, 2017

Council of Canadians campaigner Daniel Cayley-Daoust presenting to the NEB modernization panel yesterday.

Ottawa-based Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Daniel Cayley-Daoust presented to the National Energy Board (NEB) modernization panel yesterday in Gatineau, Quebec.

The panel was appointed by the Trudeau government in November 2016 to consult and come up with recommendations to reform the energy regulator. Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter activist Dennis LeNeveu presented to the panel at their session in Winnipeg on February 17.

While we are participating in these sessions, we have also raised concerns about the expert panel itself. We have called on the Trudeau government to suspend the NEB modernization process and remove three of the five panel experts on the basis that they have pre-existing ties to the pipeline and oil industry that place them in a serious conflict of interest with the panel's mandate.

February 23, 2017

The Council of Canadians opposes the Trudeau government's approval of Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group purchasing the Retirement Concepts chain of twenty-four seniors care facilities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

In an in-depth blog, Toronto-based Council of Canadians health care campaigner Michael Butler writes, "In Canada, 37 per cent of long-term care beds are already owned and operated on a for-profit basis."

He notes, "The Council of Canadians has repeatedly proposed including long-term care and related services under the Canada Health Act; including bringing them universally into the public system with mandated minimum direct care staffing levels consistent with the evidence. In lieu of federal government leadership on this, we believe the least they should have done is protect the interests of Canadians and the further erosion of our health care system by rejecting this deal. Health groups from Alberta and British Columbia also called on the government to reject this takeover."

February 23, 2017

Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne

The Council of Canadians is calling on the Trudeau government to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This morning, The Globe and Mail reports, "Canada is searching for a new 'coalition of the willing' to forge trade links in Asia following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the new Trade Minister says. ...Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a recent interview that he will explore 'whether there is the possibility to pursue something on the multilateral level with the coalition of the willing or bilaterally'. The work on that begins in three weeks when Mr. Champagne travels to Chile for talks with the 11 remaining TPP countries, as well as two significant countries not in the pact – China and South Korea."

Champagne travelled to New Zealand and Australia to "initiate the brainstorming of what's next" in advance of the meeting in Chile on March 14-15.