January 18, 2017

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter is opposed to the selling of Guelph Hydro.

Guelph chapter activist Richard Chaloner notes that privatization would mean the loss of local control, higher hydro rates and reduced service.

CTV reports, "An expansion, a merger, and a sale are all on the table." Another CTV article adds, "Should Guelph Hydro expand its operations, or stick with the status quo? Should it look to merge with another hydro company, or continue to try and go it alone?"

The Guelph Mercury explains, "Guelph Hydro, city hall and members of a five-member committee that has been looking at Guelph Hydro’s future since the fall began a big public-consultation blitz this week with an open house in Rockwood on Monday night, which was followed by afternoon and evening open houses at city hall Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a phone poll of local residents about Guelph Hydro’s future, conducted for the city by Pollara Strategic Insights, was launched."

January 18, 2017

The Council of Canadians PEI chapter will be taking part in the Women's Solidarity March in Charlottetown this Saturday.

PEI chapter activist Leo Broderick has posted on Facebook, "Gather at Receiver Coffee, 128 Richmond Street. The Council of Canadians PEI Chapter is supporting the event and everyone is welcome."

Broderick adds, "The Women’s March on Washington, open to all genders, aims to stand up to the kind of misogynistic rhetoric seen during the US election and send a message that women’s rights are human rights. But it’s not just Americans who will be marching. Campaigners have laid on buses to transport Canadians to the march, and sister marches will be taking place across Canada."

Our Victoria and Mid-Island (Nanaimo) chapters will also be rallying on January 21. London chapter activist Roberta Cory will be in Washington for the main march which is expected to draw more than 200,000 people.

January 18, 2017

Wilbur Ross

It is expected that the United States will give formal notice to the Canadian government to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) within days of the inauguration of Donald J. Trump on January 20.

The Globe and Mail reports, "Canadian officials say the nominee for commerce secretary [billionaire investor Wilbur Ross] has indicated a formal-notification letter to open negotiations on NAFTA will be sent to Canada and Mexico within days of Friday’s presidential inauguration."

The article highlights, "[Ross] has informed Canada that rules of origin and independent dispute tribunals will be central to talks aimed at resetting the North American free-trade agreement. Remarkably the investor-state dispute panels are reportedly "on Mr. Ross's radar" given "the United States has long complained these independent panels are unaccountable and give too much power to Mexico and Canada".

January 18, 2017

The Canadian Press reports it has learned that the Ontario government is proposing to charge Nestle and other water-bottling companies more than $500 per million litres of water taken, up from the current fee of $3.71 per million litres.

This morning the news service reports, "A government source says a proposal to increase the charge to $503.71 per million litres for water-bottling companies who take from groundwater will be posted this morning on the regulatory registry for a mandatory 60-day comment period."

The article highlights, "Critics say simply charging companies more won't protect the water, while some environmentalists are pushing for a total ban on giving permits to companies that remove the water for bottling. Environmental group Wellington Water Watchers has said that increasing the price for permits for bottled water companies won't address concerns about water use. 'No price would be high enough to stop some companies from doing what they're doing because the profits are so high', Water Watchers chair Mike Nagy has said."