May 23, 2017

City Council President Bill Dwight, University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Bill Diamond, and Northampton High School student Mali Hornby-Finch have championed Northampton becoming a blue community.

Northampton is poised to become the first blue community in the United States. The city of just over 28,000 people is situated 170 kilometres west of Boston.

NBC-affiliate WWLP News reports, "City councilors approved the first step [on May 18] in a resolution for Northampton becoming the first 'blue community' in America. Blue communities promise to protect water as a public resource and minimize the number of bottled waters consumed in the city. 'The idea is to change the consciousness of the community', says Northampton city council president Bill Dwight."

May 22, 2017

The 'Rethink 150' billboard is situated about 100 kilometres south of Kelowna. The traditional territory of the Sylix includes the Okanagan Valley region.

The Council of Canadians London chapter is promoting awareness of the 'Rethink 150: Indigenous Truth' art and storytelling initiative.

The chapter posted this CBC article on 'Rethink 150' on Facebook and comments, "When it comes to First Nations peoples, we have to take responsibility for our government's and our ancestors' committing genocide, and we have to fight against denial, self centred ignorance, and repression by every means we have at our disposal."

The CBC article notes, "Rethink 150 is presenting Canadian history through the eyes of the First Nations people."

May 22, 2017

Common Frontiers program director Raul Burbano.

Our ally Common Frontiers is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to rethink his policy towards Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government.

The Latin American news service Telesur reports, "Canada is one of the main countries spearheading the antagonist campaign against the Chavista government in Venezuela. Amid the ongoing right-wing induced crisis in Venezuela, a coalition of labor groups and activists in Canada have urged the federal government to rethink its policy towards the socialist South American country. ...Slamming Ottawa's policy on Venezuela, [Common Frontiers program director Raul] Burbano said Canada needs to be fair and play an even-handed role in resolving the political impasse in Venezuela."

Burbano says, "I think the government of Canada should make clear its support for the constitutional government, electoral democracy and rule of law in Venezuela, and support mediation by organizations that are neutral."

May 22, 2017

Chapter activist Rick Arnold

The Council of Canadians Northumberland chapter was interviewed on Northumberland 89.7 FM on May 19 about an upcoming gathering in Mexico City of civil society and labour activists that will be strategizing around the imminent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Chapter activist Rick Arnold highlighted the upcoming 'Trinational Meeting of Social Movements from Canada, Mexico and the United States on NAFTA' that will take place this coming Friday May 26 and Saturday May 27.

Arnold and fellow chapter activist Bev Burke will be at this 'encuentro' in advance of the NAFTA talks that could begin as early as August 16.

May 22, 2017

Mark Eyking, the Liberal MP who chairs the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, says it would be prudent for the Trudeau government to consider the alternatives if NAFTA were to fall apart.

On May 19, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer wrote to Congress officially triggering the 90-day consultation period required to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

His letter mentions a wide range of issues (but without detail), including digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures relating to animal and plant safety, labour, environment and small and medium enterprises.