Today January 17, 2019, marks exactly one year since the Canadian government announced it would create the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), an office to independently investigate allegations of abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas. When that anouncement was made, I wrote a piece sharing my thoughts, hopes, and concerns about the ombudsperson announcement that had just been made.
Protestors rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Algonquin territory) against RCMP actions on January 7 on Wet'suwet'en territories.
On January 7, 2019 militarized RCMP invaded and occupied unceded Wet'suwet'en territories and faced children and elders with heavy assault rifles following a court injunction granted to Coastal Gaslink (TransCanada). They were trying to forcibly clear a path for a fracked gas pipeline. Fourteen land defenders were arrested, including Gitdumt'en Clan spokesperson Molly Wickham.
Cameron Fioret, a PhD student at the University of Guelph and member of the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians, writes in a thought-provoking op-ed that “the advent of the commodification and privatization of water has resulted in strife and inequality amongst the most marginalized people in society.”
Fioret goes on to say that “it is a widespread, pressing issue that will be exacerbated by climate change, whereby clean water will be even more of a luxury for the privileged few of humanity. Anyone who desires for a world of equitable access to clean water should not tolerate the status quo.”
Members of the Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter in Ontario joined with the local group, the Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action for an event last weekend called “Drum for the Planet.”
Participants marched through the streets, banging on drums, using bells and tambourines as well as their voices, to raise awareness about the urgent need for climate action now. Many wore bright green signs with messages and slogans, calling on governments to act before global warming reaches a critical tipping point.
In October, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued an urgent report that says governments must make "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of climate change.
Campbell River, B.C. protest in support of the the Wet'suwet'ten Nation's blockade.
Vancouver Unist'ot'en Solidarity rally
Wet’suwet’en rally in Ottawa / Algonquin Territory
On January 8, Council of Canadians chapters across the country supported the International Day of Action: Stand in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. See #CouncilChapters for highlights and read more about actions you can take now in support of the Wet’suwet’en.