February 19, 2017

Protest outside the White House against Trump's immigration policies, January 31. Twitter photo by @TimNHyde.

The Council of Canadians has long opposed the Safe Third Country agreement.

In 2005, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow explained, "The Smart Border Accord includes a Safe Third Country agreement, which requires Canada to turn back refugee claimants who have arrived at our border via the United States. The agreement is ostensibly based on the principle that refugees must claim refuge in the first country they reach as long as that country is 'safe' for them. But it is really based on strong pressure from the [US President George W.] Bush White House, which views refugees as a security problem, to create a seamless North American refugee system, with the terms and conditions set in Washington."

February 18, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must "get real" about the devastating impacts of neo-liberal policies, including free trade.

The Canadian Press reports, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used one of Germany's most prestigious black-tie galas to tell business leaders to 'get real' about the addressing the anxieties of their workers in an uncertain world. Trudeau delivered the no-holds-barred message to an audience of 400 politicians, business leaders and other notables at the annual St. Matthew's Banquet in the opulent Hamburg city hall."

February 18, 2017

Winnipeg chapter activist Dennis LeNeveu

The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter participated in a National Energy Board (NEB) modernization panel session yesterday.

Winnipeg chapter activist Dennis LeNeveu was there along with Indigenous allies including Lorraine Clements (Cedar Woman) and Ken Young (Assembly of First Nations Manitoba), as well as allies Alex Paterson (Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition), Eric Reder (Wilderness Committee), Patricia Fitzpatrick (University of Winnipeg), and Teika Newton (Transition Initiative Kenora).

In a widely-shared report-back, Newton notes, "We heard and discussed current problems in general with regulator: captured regulator, lack of environmental consideration / oversight, inadequate emergency preparedness / response protocols, exclusion of climate change from regulatory assessments, insufficient rigour re: completeness determination of applications (especially for the Energy East pipeline)."

February 17, 2017

Vancouver-based Council of Canadians organizer AJ Klein at the mobilization against the Trans Mountain pipeline on Burnaby Mountain, November 2014.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan has reportedly approached the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to help finance its $6.8 billion Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

Reuters reports, "Kinder Morgan Inc. has begun talks with institutional investors including major Canadian pension funds and private equity firms to raise capital for the $6.8 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline project, according to people familiar with the process. Kinder Morgan has held discussions with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, three of the biggest Canadian pension funds, the people added. It was unclear whether talks with the three pension funds were still ongoing."

February 17, 2017

The United States government has spent more than $239 billion - a massive weapons industry corporate subsidy - on the so-called 'Strategic Defense Initiative' since it was first announced by then-US president Ronald Reagan in March 1983.

Tucked in the Joint Statement issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump earlier this week was the line, "We will work to modernize and broaden our NORAD partnership in these key domains [aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning], as well as in cyber and space."

The Toronto Star reports, "Canada decided more than a decade ago not to join the ballistic missile defence program being developed at the time by the U.S. But that decision is getting another look as the Liberal government reviews its defence priorities."

In her book Too Close for Comfort: Canada's Future within Fortress North America, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow observed, "The decision not to join George Bush's ballistic missile defence plan was popular with the Canadian people."