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."

January 21, 2017

The Centre-Wellington chapter in Washington, DC today.

Sixteen Council of Canadians chapters joined with tens of thousands of people across the country today to march against the Trump agenda.

The 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 today.

Council of Canadians staff in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax also took part in the marches.

The Associated Press reports, "More than 600 'sister marches' were planned around the world, and plenty of men were part of the tableau, too. Organizers estimated 3 million people would march worldwide."

An estimated 60,000 people marched in Toronto, 15,000 in Vancouver, 8,000 in Ottawa, 800 in Nanaimo, 500 in Courtenay, and more than 400 in Fredericton.

January 21, 2017

The Council of Canadians rejects the agenda of Donald Trump and is committed to working with you to challenge that agenda head-on – here in Canada and with civil society groups in the United States.

Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists from Victoria to Charlottetown will take to the streets today in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. We will join with more than 1.3 million people in 600 marches around the world for an inspiring day of action against all that the Trump administration stands for.

The Council has been preparing for this since the early hours of November 9, 2016 as Trump's electoral college win was confirmed (even though Hillary Clinton garnered 2.86 million more votes than him). We shared our concerns that he has called climate change a hoax, vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (meaning at least 18 million Americans will lose their health insurance), has said he would ban Muslims from entering the United States, and is likely to introduce massive corporate tax cuts.