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8 chapters participate in joint democracy-trade day of action

We Can Do Better in Ottawa

Today is both a “We Can Do Better” day of action and a Transatlantic day of action against the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

“We Can Do Better” is a coalition of progressive organizations who believe that “a better Canada is only one election away.” It is united by a desire for a fair economy, a democratic system that truly enfranchises all voters and a healthy environment. The coalition includes the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Fair Vote Canada and Leadnow.

Several Council of Canadians chapters are participating in this combined day of action to promote both election activism and opposition to CETA:

  • the St. John’s chapter launched a election-themed video about CETA, Sept. 23

  • the Peterborough chapter organized a voter ID clinic, Sept. 24

  • the Hamilton chapter did door-to-door canvassing in a swing riding, Sept. 24

  • the South Niagara chapter did voter outreach to increase turnout in the election, Sept. 25

  • the Sudbury chapter rallied against CETA, Sept. 25

  • the PEI chapter joined with a coalition of community groups to stage a play about CETA, Sept. 26

  • the London chapter organized a #BeTheChange rally and community bike ride, Sept. 26

  • the Comox Valley chapter will be doing a letter writing campaign against CETA

In addition, Council of Canadians organizers Tori Ball and Angela Giles helped organize a silent march in Halifax to oppose the Unfair Elections Act. The Chronicle Herald reported, “Local branches of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Council of Canadians and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now came together to march in silence through the Halifax Public Gardens to protest changes to Elections Canada under Bill C-23.” That article quoted Ball who stated, “This act is just another example of how the Conservative government under Stephen Harper has taken this country in a direction away from a true democracy and the kind of future that myself and many others want to see them go in.”

And our Ottawa-based democracy campaigner Dylan Penner was on Parliament Hill and Byward Market today. He was with a group of people who assembled cardboard boxes to take to Parliament Hill to “send the prime minister packing” and then did voter outreach in the downtown market.

Beyond this week’s democracy-trade actions, some 35 chapters have organized 103 actions this election.

Further reading
Sorry Harper, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement Is Still Not a Done Deal (Huffington Post op-ed by Maude Barlow, Sept. 26)
Rally opposes free trade deal with Europe (Sudbury Northern Life news article about the chapter protest, Sept. 26)
We Can Do Better website

Photo: Penner leafleting in Byward Market today.