June 6, 2019

Yesterday, the federal government announced it will spend up $15 million over four years to rescue the 50 Million Tree Program which was cut by the Doug Ford government in its last budget. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made the announcement in Ottawa.

Soon after the cut to the tree program was announced, the Council of Canadians jumped into action, launching a petition to make the case that trees are essential to fighting climate change. With historic flooding, wildfires and increasing climate change impacts, scientists say we only have 11 years left to make significant changes to save our planet.

Trees are a natural part of that solution. Trees keep carbon out of the atmosphere, expand our forest cover, and help prevent floods. We need more trees in Ontario and across the country – not fewer.

In a short span of time, more than 12,000 people signed onto the petition, echoing their support for the 50 Million Tree Program and calling on the Ford government to reverse the cut.

June 6, 2019

Releasing more polluted mine tailings into the Athabasca River may soon become a lot easier for oil sands companies. According to The Globe, the federal and Alberta governments are working with companies on new regulations to authorize the discharge of treated effluent.

This follows on recent revelations from a leaked Alberta Energy Regulator presentation that in a “worst-case scenario” total liabilities for oil and gas operations could be as much as $260-billion. Taxpayers have purchased a used pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5-billion so the industry can ship its product to unspecified markets, which we are assured will be profitable. The industry is also demanding weakened review procedures to fast track new development, despite the oil-sands expansion likely making it impossible for Canada to meet international commitments for greenhouse gas reductions. Are there no limits to the concessions that we must make to facilitate this ill-conceived industry?

June 5, 2019


The Council of Canadians’ statement on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

This week, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report.

Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls confirms what Indigenous peoples have been saying for a long time.

The report “reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people… It is time to call it as it is: Canada’s past and current colonial policies, actions and inactions towards Indigenous Peoples is Genocide.”

June 4, 2019

This has to stop.

This has to stop.

Nestlé’s permit to pump groundwater out of Aberfoyle, Ontario for its bottled water empire expired two years ago.

Since then, Nestlé has continued aggressively pumping. And earlier today, it surpassed taking its 2 billionth litre of water on that expired permit.

This is an astronomical amount of pure, clean and increasingly valuable water taken directly from the underground aquifer that will never be replenished.

Nestlé is exploiting Ontario’s lax regulations that allow commercial water bottlers to continue pumping out and bottling groundwater after their permits expire if they apply for a renewal before the expiration date.

Nestlé is currently seeking a new 10-year permit to continue its bottled water takings.

May 31, 2019

Green New Deal (GND) town halls have been happening in communities across Turtle Island and the Atlantic region (Wabanaki territory). The South Shore chapter worked with others to host one in Bridgewater NS last week, one happened in Gagetown NB, and this past Wednesday night the Kent County chapter hosted their own meeting to bring people together to discuss climate emergency action.

Kent County chapter members (l-r) Denise Melanson, Serge Robichaud, James Lane, Ann Pohl, Debbie Hopper.