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.
We have also highlighted Trump’s support for the 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. While the battle against this polluting pipeline was already won, we now have to be prepared to defeat it again. We will also have to challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on this issue given he has expressed his “steadfast” support for this export pipeline.
Also at the top of our agenda is the imminent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Even though 500,000 well-paid, permanent, unionized jobs have been lost in Canada since its signing, the Trudeau government supports NAFTA and wants to maintain the agreement with the United States and Mexico.
The billionaire who Trump has nominated to head NAFTA negotiations has already stated NAFTA’s Chapter 11 investor-state provision (that allows transnational corporations to sue governments for public policy measures that impact their future profits) has given too much power to Canada. This despite Canada being sued 37 times under this provision over the past 23 years and the U.S. never having lost a challenge or paying any compensation to Canadian or Mexican companies.
The Trudeau government has defended this corporate right, saying it provides a “predictable, rules-based investment climate,” so we will have to be vigilant to ensure a harmful part of this agreement isn’t made even worse.
So while 2017 is shaping up to be a very difficult and uncertain year, you can be sure of one thing: the Council of Canadians is committed to continuing to work with you and other progressive voices across Canada, in the U.S. and around the world to oppose the Trump agenda and build the better, just and inclusive world we all know is possible.
Your activism and your support are needed now more than ever.