THE NEXT GOVERNMENT MUST RECOGNIZE THE RTW: The Assembly of First Nations, Amnesty International Canada and the Council of Canadians have called on all political parties to recognize explicitly the human right to water and sanitation and to commit to ensuring that Canada meets its obligations in upholding these rights for people in Canada. To read our media release, go to http://canadians.org/media/water/2011/28-Apr-11.html.
RALLY FOR THE RTW: The Winnipeg Free Press reports, “Reading, writing and arithmetic were put on the back burner by hundreds of Winnipeg high school students Thursday in favour of marching, protesting and supporting aboriginal demands for clean water and sewer services for northern First Nations. About 300 students from half a dozen Winnipeg high schools marched from the University of Winnipeg to the legislative building to demand an end to what they call Third World conditions faced by aboriginal communities.” The students held placards saying, “Water is a human right” and “Canada abstained from UN vote on water rights”.
CONSERVATIVES HAVE DONE LITTLE TO PROTECT WATER: David R. Boyd of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance writes in the Victoria Times-Colonist, “The Conservatives have done little to protect water and make no new promises in their platform.”
NEW MAUDE BARLOW VIDEO: Yesterday, the Council of Canadians chairperson commented on this last week of the federal election and on the importance of voting for democracy. Watch the video below or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heBFCh5JbGI.
HEALTH CARE VIDEO: A new Council of Canadians video questions the Harper government’s commitment to health care funding. To see that video, watch below or go to www.canadians.org.
SECRETIVE BORDER DEAL AT RISK: CBC reports, “Canada needs a strong Conservative majority to protect trade relations with the US, Stephen Harper said Thursday, adding that a border security agreement with the country’s southern neighbour is otherwise at risk. The Conservative leader said that without a Tory government: ‘The border vision would be dead.’ …’The NDP has opposed every trade deal we have signed,’ Harper said.” The Council of Canadians opposes what is believed to be in the secretive deal and the highly-secretive process the Harper government has followed in its perimeter security negotiations with the United States.
PETITION AGAINST BORDER DEAL: Yesterday, the Council of Canadians launched a new petition saying to all party leaders: “I urge your party to commit to protecting our sovereignty and ensuring that a new Canada-U.S. security and trade agreement would not give away our ability to determine our own security policies, democratically. Je demande à votre parti de s’engager à protéger notre souvraineté et assurer qu’une nouvelle entente portant sur la sécurité et le commerce entre le Canada et les Etats-Unis ne compromettre pas notre capacité de déterminer nos propres politiques de sécurité de facon démocratique.” To sign this petition, go to www.canadians.org/election.
GLOBE ENDORSES HARPER: The Globe and Mail editorial board states, “Those who disdain the Harper approach should consider his overall record, which is good. The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party have demonstrated principled judgment on the economic file. …They have assiduously pursued a whole range of trade negotiations. …Only Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have shown the leadership, the bullheadedness (let’s call it what it is) and the discipline this country needs. …Canadians take Mr. Harper’s successful stewardship of the economy for granted, which is high praise. He has not been the scary character portrayed by the opposition; with some exceptions, his government has been moderate and pragmatic.”
THE NATIONAL POST TOO: The National Post has also officially endorsed Harper, calling the Tories the “clear choice in uncertain times.”
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM PM LAYTON: Michael Byers writes, ” From a Layton government, Canadians can expect an ambitious but pragmatic governing agenda that is directed at demonstrating that the NDP can exercise power responsibly and effectively. Expect Layton to adhere to his commitment to balance the federal budget within the next four years, by returning the corporate tax rate to the 2008 level and eliminating the roughly $2 billion in subsidies to the oil sands — though this might depend what his minority partners, the Liberals, have to say. When it comes to climate change, Layton understands the scale and immediacy of the crisis, and also the opportunities. No less significantly, expect legislation on proportional representation: the NDP, after years of being held back by our centuries-old first-past-the-post system, is not about to miss its chance at electoral reform. On foreign policy, look for a distinct improvement in Canada-U.S. relations. There are numerous personal connections between the Layton and Obama teams… In Afghanistan, the NDP’s commitment to an ‘immediate’ withdrawal of Canada’s soldiers coincides perfectly with the current deployment out of Kandahar.”
NO MAJORITY: The Toronto Star reports, “Stephen Harper’s Conservatives must win 23 more seats in Ontario to achieve their coveted majority, a task that senior party insiders now admit is almost impossible, the Star has learned. High-ranking sources confide that even with the collapse of Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals — and NDP Leader Jack Layton’s surge, which helps split the vote in many Ontario ridings — it will be very difficult to make such immense gains in Canada’s most populous province. Party sources say the possible loss of several British Columbia ridings to the New Democrats — and others in Quebec, where Layton is surfing an orange wave — has forced them to revise their projections.”
HARPER FINISHED? Toronto Star columnist Tim Harper writes, “He set the bar himself. So, plain and simple, if Stephen Harper does not win a majority Monday, he has lost. He will have to deal with the fact that after five years in power, and after four elections as leader, Canadians do not trust him with a majority. It would seem inconceivable the Conservative leader would get a fifth kick at the can. …In the final 72 hours of this race, it would take nothing short of political sleight-of-hand to get him where he wants to go.”
TODAY’S POLL: CJAD reports, “Harris-Decima pollster Allan Gregg says he’s never seen anything like it. A new poll suggests the high-flying NDP have closed in on the Conservatives. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey shows Jack Layton’s New Democrats just five percentage points away from the Harper Tories, who are at 35 per cent support nationally. The Liberals are trailing in third place at 22 per cent.”