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Campaign Updates: August 2018

This morning, the Federal Court of Appeal handed down a momentous decision, quashing the construction approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project.

WIN! Federal Court of Appeal quashes Trans Mountain pipeline approval

This morning, the Federal Court of Appeal handed down a momentous decision, quashing the construction approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. The Council of Canadians joins the celebration of this incredible Indigenous-led victory.

Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists have been deeply involved in the fight to stop this pipeline expansion project, which would move tar sands bitumen from Alberta to the coastal shores of British Columbia. With your generous support, the Council stood alongside Indigenous allies asserting their rights, and helped raise awareness about the serious threats the pipeline project poses to waterways it crosses, to our climate and our coastal waters.

The Court decision said the National Energy Board’s (NEB) review of the project was flawed and failed to take into account the full environmental impacts, particularly the impacts of a seven-fold increase of large export tankers on the B.C. coast. The ruling stated the federal government failed to adequately consult Indigenous peoples as required by Canadian law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“This fight was led by First Nations who were not adequately consulted and now the government, if it persists in its flawed support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, must entirely restart the process of listening to First Nations and respecting consent, including the right to say no,” says Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

The Council of Canadians offers sincere thanks to everyone who has been working to stop this pipeline from coast-to coast-to coast, including those who have been speaking out about the federal government’s decision to buy the existing pipeline with public money from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion, (and rising).

While we celebrate a great victory today, we know this fight isn’t over. This afternoon, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the federal government said it is reviewing the court decision, but plans to go ahead with the pipeline project. It’s crucial that we keep the pressure on our government to scrap this broken pipeline plan! Sign our national “No Kinder Morgan buyout” petition.

On September 8, we encourage Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists to take to the streets as part of the global day of action to “Rise for Climate” and a 100% renewable energy future. Will you join us?

With your support, the Council of Canadians will continue to work with Indigenous peoples, and allied groups and organizations to stop this broken pipeline plan from moving forward.


Kinder Morgan portrait series

Climate Justice portrait series to stand in the path of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline

The Council of Canadians’ Edmonton Chapter and the Prairies-NWT Regional office have been excited to help with Climate Justice Edmonton’s “People on the Path” this summer, a series of giant portraits that will be installed in the path of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline route. Now that the Trans Mountain pipeline has been delayed, the paintings will be used in other tar sands fights or installed along the pipeline route as planned if construction ever does start up again. The portrait project was launched earlier this month at the Whitemud Park in Edmonton, just metres from the pipeline’s route through the city. It is set to include 25 larger-than-life paintings of Albertans, First Nations and Métis peoples who are opposed to further tar sands expansion. Standing 8-feet tall, the bright portraits will be installed directly along the route of the pipeline and will display quotes of participants’ hopes and visions for the future of Alberta. “People on the Path” is about dismantling the myth that all Albertans are pro-pipeline and can’t possibly envision a future beyond fossil fuels. Instead, we’re creating a new narrative for this province – one that upholds Indigenous rights and sovereignty, puts workers first, and honours our international climate commitments.

Read more.


Don’t let Trump bully Canada into a bad trade deal

No bullying on NAFTA negotiations, President Trump!

On Monday, U.S. President Trump announced he is ditching the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in favour of a new agreement called the “U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement.” He says Canada has the option to sign on to the deal if we “play fair.”

President Trump has given Canada until today to accept the terms of the deal, or the U.S. will officially terminate NAFTA. He threatened to implement steep tariffs on Canada’s car manufacturing industry if these conditions are not met.

Once again, President Trump is posturing and bullying Canada – this time threatening our farmers and their supply management system, our autoworkers, our access to prescription drugs, and our democracy.

Ironically, President Trump may not even have the authority to approach NAFTA negotiations this way. U.S. Congress’ fast track authority gave President Trump the right to negotiate NAFTA, not any bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico.

As the U.S.’s second largest trading partner we do have leverage and we need to use it for a better, fairer NAFTA deal, one that benefits workers, addresses climate change, and shifts the balance of power away from corporations.

Read our CBC News op-ed and if you haven’t already, send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau telling him not to let Trump bully Canada into a bad trade deal.


Nestlé expired

Nestlé still pumping after Ontario water permit expired two years ago

Two years ago, Nestlé’s permit to pump water from a well in Aberfoyle, Ontario expired. Yet the multi-billion dollar water corporation continues to pump up to 3.6 million litres a day from the well. Since the permit expired in 2016, Nestlé has pumped an estimated 1.4 billion litres of water – and counting. Nestlé’s permit to pump from another well in Erin, Ontario expired exactly one year ago, but Nestlé also continues to pump up to 1.1 million litres each day from that well.

The Council of Canadians is calling on the Ontario government to phase out massive corporate water takings and to implement the human right to water.

Read more. If you live in Ontario, tell Premier Doug Ford that Nestlé and bottled water have to go!

And if you haven’t already, please be sure to sign the Nestlé boycott pledge.


Red Deer Chapter

Water is life: How we can protect water

This summer, members of the Council of Canadians’ Red Deer Chapter used colourful signs at their City Hall to help raise awareness about the lack of water protections for every lake and every river in Canada. They also wrote a letter to their local newspaper. “We feel that clean water connects us all,” said chapter member Janet Walter. “We use it for cooking, cleaning and especially for drinking as well as our fisheries and all that. To have healthy fish, we obviously have to have clean water.”

Council of Canadians Water Campaigner Emma Lui also submitted a column to her local newspaper about water near her.

The Council of Canadians is encouraging supporters and chapters to raise awareness about water in their community, and the impact gutted federal legislation is having on protecting local watersheds. Are you interested in writing something for your local paper? Send us an email and we will help you!

Read more about recent drought warnings across Canada and the impacts of thirsty industries like bottled water, fracking and tar sands development.


Labour Day

Council of Canadians joins Labour Day celebration

Labour Day is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the achievements of working people in this country while taking action to ensure the future is bright for tomorrow’s workers. The rights workers enjoy today were not handed over without struggle. Things we might take for granted today were realized only because workers fought for them: the eight-hour work day, safe workplaces, sick leave, maternity benefits, same-sex benefits, and the right to organize. Organized labour and workers across the country fought for each of these and more. The Council of Canadians has consistently stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the labour movement and continues to do so today. Human rights, fair trade, a clean environment, democratic reform, and improved health care are just a few of the many issues the Council has worked on with labour allies for the benefit of all. This Labour Day, the Council of Canadians encourages everyone to recognize and strongly support the ongoing work of Canada’s labour movement. Together, we can make the change we believe is possible.

Read the full statement.

Join the Council of Canadians

Founded in 1985 by a handful of citizens including Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood and Farley Mowat, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social justice organization. When you support the Council of Canadians, you raise your voice on social, economic and political issues and help build a strong, independent and diverse Canada. Join the Council today, and prove that a better Canada is possible.