September 24, 2017

To read about how The Council of Canadians and its civil society allies have been challenging NAFTA in Ottawa this past week, please click here.

The third round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are taking place in Ottawa now (September 23-27).

What's the latest on these talks?

September 23, 2017

The Council of Canadians is working with civil society allies to both challenge the existing North American Free Trade Agreement and put forward a positive vision for a renegotiated NAFTA 2.0 as negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico are in Ottawa for a third round of talks (September 23-27).

Wednesday September 20, 9:30 am
The Council of Canadians released an Ekos Research poll that found: 76% of respondents say if the NAFTA negotiations result in a bad deal for Canadians and the environment, Canada should walk away from the deal; 63% believe Chapter 11 should be eliminated; 70% don't want the energy proportionality provision; and 80% want the clauses that make water vulnerable to export removed.

Wednesday September 20, 9:41 am
Council of Canadians climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue posted a blog on the 5 reasons climate activists need to join the fight for trade justice.

September 22, 2017

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter filled a bus (and four cars) for the Curve Lake First Nation Pow Wow on September 16.

Council of Canadians chapters take action for social, economic and environmental justice. Here is a snapshot of some of their recent activities:

1- Montreal chapter in Ottawa for civil society summit on NAFTA
2- Ottawa chapter at quadri-national civil society NAFTA declaration presentation on Parliament Hill
3- Northumberland chapter at civil society summit in Ottawa during NAFTA talks
4- Northumberland chapter sends letter with NAFTA concerns to Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland
5- North Shore chapter to host Barlow talk on NAFTA and water, Oct. 11

6- Guelph chapter opposes Pickering Nuclear Station running until 2024
7- Hamilton, South Niagara & Guelph chapters join with allies to protest Line 10 pipeline

September 22, 2017

With NAFTA negotiations starting in Ottawa today, my mind is on the interconnections between climate, social and trade justice.

Here are 5 reasons why we need to build relationships between climate, social and trade justice movements:

1. Chapter 11

NAFTA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has allowed corporations to sue the government of another country if it introduces new laws, regulations or practices that impacts their investments. Canada has faced 38 NAFTA Chapter 11 suits, two-thirds of them over environmental protection laws. This includes a moratorium on fracking in Quebec (ongoing dispute) and Nova Scotia’s denial of a dangerous quarry mine. Canada currently faces suits where corporations are seeking over $6 billion in damages. Chapter 11 has also been used to undermine labour and human rights.

2. Energy Chapter undermines climate action and human and Indigenous rights

September 20, 2017

Photo by Andrew Harrier/ Bloomberg.

As the third round of NAFTA negotiations come to Ottawa this September 23-27, here are five things Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be thinking about:

1 Why the rush?
US President Donald Trump wants a NAFTA 2.0 deal to be concluded by the end of this year. That's roughly a four-month negotiation period (in contrast to other 'free trade' deals that can take eight years or more to negotiate). The government should take its time and not be rushed into a deal on someone else's timeline.

We are deeply concerned that rushing the negotiations will result in a deal that has not been thoroughly studied, whose full implications are not known, an agreement that lacks the due diligence of sober and second thought, and that is very likely not in the best interests of people and the environment.