March 26, 2017

Halifax-based Council of Canadians Robin Tress spoke at a rally yesterday focused on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise to eliminate boil water advisories in First Nations across the country.

The CBC reports that about 150 people were at the protest.

On October 5, 2015, Trudeau made this election promise: "We have 93 different communities under 133 different boil water advisories across the country. [Serpent River First Nation] Chief Isadore Day has called for within five years there should be zero, and I've told the Chief and I've told First Nations many times, we agree with that, and a Canadian government led by me will address this as a top priority because it's not right in a country like Canada that this has gone on for far too long."

Katie Douglas, the organizer of yesterday's protest, says, "We're here as voters to let him know that we are paying attention and we have not forgotten and we want to see change."

March 26, 2017

Photos by Lynaya Astephen

The Council of Canadians Saint John chapter marked World Water Day with a celebration of water with music, short videos, and speakers.

Their gathering took place on March 25 at the Brundage Point River Centre in Grand Bay-Westfield.

Twenty-eight Council of Canadians chapters participated in World Water Day actions across the country this year.

Pacific - Chilliwack, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Powell River, Whitehorse
Prairies-NWT - Brandon/Westman, Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Northwest Territories, Prince Albert
Ontario-Quebec - Centre Wellington, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal, Northumberland, Ottawa, Peterborough-Kawarthas, South Niagara, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Windsor-Essex, Quinte
Atlantic - Kent County, Prince Edward Island, Saint John, South Shore

March 26, 2017

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter is speaking out against the 830,000 barrel per day TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline was approved by US President Donald Trump on Friday (March 24), but still faces regulatory approvals in Nebraska (that could take 8-24 months), as well as First Nation and community opposition in that state and South Dakota.

Interviewed by CTV News, chapter activist Jim Elliott says, "The route that they picked for this one goes through some fairly sensitive areas up closer to the Great Sandhills and I know a number of First Nations have expressed some concern." In January, Elliott had commented, "That area is both environmentally sensitive, but also very heritage-rich with our First Nations people.”

March 25, 2017

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter rallied today against the provincial government cutting funding for public libraries by nearly $5 million.

CUPE activist Tria Donaldson writes, "Today we rallied for Saskatchewan libraries. Over 150 people came out on very short notice because libraries are more than brick and mortar. They are the hearts of our community. We are going to keep the pressure up on our politicians, and keep building awareness in our communities."

The provincial government of Premier Brad Wall delivered its budget on March 22.

That budget announced the Regina Public Library would lose $600,000 in funding through the elimination of its provincial grant. The provincial budget also eliminated $651,200 in funding for the Saskatoon Public Library. The seven regional libraries - in Chinook, Lakeland, Palliser, Parkland, Southeast, Wapiti and Wheatland - are to be cut by $3.5 million.

March 25, 2017

Calgary-based TransCanada CEO Russ Girling reacts as Donald Trump signs an executive order in the Oval Office approving the Keystone XL pipeline on March 24, 2017.

The Trudeau government is celebrating US President Donald Trump's signing of a presidential permit for the 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says, “We’re very pleased with the announcement coming out of the United States." And Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr notes, "This is a very good opportunity for us to move more Alberta crude south of the border. It's a very good example of how the integration of the energy economy in Canada and in the United States is in the interests of both countries, so we think it’s a good day.”

Trudeau has long backed this pipeline.