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LETTER: Council of Canadians tackles many issues

On July 13, the Ottawa Citizen‘s Andrew Potter wrote, “John Manley was probably the last best hope for the Liberals, but now it looks like he’ll finish his career heading up the largest pro-business lobby group in the country. …(But) from the outside, the (Canadian Council of Chief Executives) has more and more seemed out of touch, an ideological holdover from the big battles of the 1980s. As a one-man show beholden to a narrow and fairly predictable set of interests, it is in many ways just the mirror image of its old opponent, Maude Barlow’s Council of Canadians — two once-powerful organizations whose best days are 20 years gone.”

Today, Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter activist Roy Brady replies in the Ottawa Citizen‘s letters page that, “That columnist Andrew Potter’s preferred leader of the Liberal party is also the preferred chief lobbyist for Canada’s largest corporations is bad enough for democracy. His indifference, however, to what Maude Barlow and the Council of Canadians have done over the past 20 years to resist the merger of corporate and government agendas can’t be passed over in silence.”

“If the Canadian Council of Chief Executives has been less successful at deepening NAFTA through its promotion of the failed Security and Prosperity Partnership, it is precisely because the Council of Canadians successfully exposed the process as secretive, unaccountable and undemocratic.”

“Our leadership on water issues led to the appointment of our chair, Maude Barlow, to the position of senior adviser on water to the president of the UN General Assembly. We’re currently putting our belief in water as a human right into practice by fighting alongside community and First Nations groups in Simcoe County who are opposed to a dump being built on top of a surface spring and aquifer that links to Georgian Bay.”

“Local chapters of the Council of Canadians are proud to have helped municipalities pass bottled water bans on their property and operations. They have warned municipal governments about the lack of protection for local decision-making from the terms of trade and investment agreements. They continue to lobby to protect public health care. And several years ago Ontario chapters struggled to stop the privatization and sale of Hydro One and Ontario’s electricity generation.”

“Perhaps the Council of Canadians’ best days are right now.”

Roy’s letter can be read at