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January 15, 2017

Daniel Green, William Gagnon

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter held a public forum on proportional representation on January 11.

The featured speakers were Daniel Green and William Gagnon.

Chapter activist Abdul Pirani tells us, "The Liberal party made a promise to have electoral reform come the next federal elections in 2019 so that every vote counts. However, after over a year, it is still work in progress.  Mr. Green gave a visual presentation with Lego and convinced people that the system is broken and needs to be fixed."

Pirani notes, "In this photo, three scenarios can be seen from right to left with the Liberals in red:

January 14, 2017

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter will be holding a "Do Oil and Water Mix?" strategy and information event in Mahone Bay on January 29.

The speakers will include LJM Environmental lawyer Lisa Mitchell, Clean Oceans Action Coalition director John Davis, Dalhousie University professor Michael Bradfield, and Sierra Club Canada-Atlantic director Gretchen Fitzgerald.

The chapter notes, "The afternoon will also provide two short, informal sessions to talk with representatives from local organizations—for example, the Ecology Action Centre, Divest Dal, Sierra Club, and Marine Protected Areas. The last portion of the afternoon will be a strategy session when all participants will break into groups to focus on one or two strategies and connect with allies working to protect our marine resources and coastal communities that depend on them."

January 14, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at a town hall meeting in London last night.

The view emerging from London, Peterborough-Kawarthas and Quinte chapter activists about his town hall meetings this week is appropriately critical. There are concerns that the events have been poorly organized (with people registering ahead of time but not being allowed inside because of seating capacity), that some questions appear to have been scripted, that the prime minister takes a limited number of questions (just twelve in London last night), that his answers are evasive (with no opportunity for follow-up), and that there's no line-up for the microphone (rather Trudeau picks from the audience).

Concerns have also been expressed that placards are not allowed inside (perhaps because they would spoil the impression of the photos in the news and on social media) and that the forums have felt more like a skillful popularity-building exercise rather than a genuine opportunity to discuss substantive concerns.

January 13, 2017
Today the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Alberta landowner Jessica Ernst's legal challenge to sue the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for denying her right to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court said that Ernst should have launched a judicial review of how the AER handled and defended the immunity clauses that shield government bodies from lawsuits. 
 
In 2007, Ernst launched a multimillion-dollar suit against the regulator, Alberta Environment and Calgary-based energy company Encana for negligence that contaminated her well water. Similar to cases in Josh Fox's documentary Gasland, her well is so contaminated with methane that she can light the water on fire.
 
(Photo of Jessica Ernst by Colin Smith)
 
January 13, 2017

The Council of Canadians Victoria and Mid-Island chapters will be rallying against Donald Trump on January 21, the day after his inauguration.

The website for the Women's March on Washington states, "The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault - and our communities are hurting and scared."

It adds, "The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us."

It is expected that more than 200,000 people will gather in Washington for this protest that will begin at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW.

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