April 24, 2017

Kathie Clark (in yellow Council of Canadians t-shirt) and other chapter activists were at the the 'Keep Your Promise' public forum.

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter was at MP Nathan Cullen's 'Keep Your Promise' tour stop in the federal riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek on April 23.

That riding is currently held by Liberal MP Bob Bratina.

The Canadian Press has reported, "Cullen says he will challenge 20 Liberal MPs to show up at meetings in their ridings to debate [electoral reform]. He also says those 20 votes would make all the difference if those MPs were to break with the prime minister."

Bratina didn't show for last night's gathering.

Upcoming public forums will also be held in:
Winnipeg - April 25
Saskatoon - April 26
Edmonton - April 27

All of this comes in the critical weeks before a vote this spring in the House of Commons on the recommendations made by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.

April 24, 2017

The Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter at a protest to keep library funding, April 7.

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan are celebrating the government of Premier Brad Wall backing down and cancelling its budget plan to cut almost $5 million in funding for public libraries.

CBC reports, "The provincial government is turning back the page on its budget day cuts to Saskatchewan's libraries by restoring $4.8 million in funding. That's the same as last year's funding levels. ...Premier Brad Wall had asked [Education Minister Don] Morgan to review the cuts last week after public protest as well as new poll results that showed the budget was hurting the Saskatchewan Party's popularity."

On March 25, just days after the budget was tabled, the Regina chapter joined a protest of 150 people to rally against the funding cut to libraries.

April 24, 2017

Greenpeace China climate campaigner Liu Shuang tries to deliver a letter to the Canadian embassy in Beijing in advance of the COP 15 climate talks in Copenhagen, December 2009. Both Trudeau and the Chinese government are open to a further expansion of the tar sands and export pipelines to tidewater.

The Trudeau government is signalling it wants to move quickly on 'free trade' with China before the October 2019 federal election.

The Globe and Mail reports, "Canada has yet to formally launch free-trade negotiations with China. [After a first round of talks in Beijing in February, a] second round of exploratory talks will take place this week [April 24-28] in Ottawa. Other Western countries have taken as long as a decade to conclude free-trade pacts with Beijing. But Ottawa is now indicating it expects to move quickly."

April 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter joined with the Ontario Coalition against Poverty (OCAP) and others who camped outside Toronto Mayor John Tory's $2.4 million luxury condominium on Saturday night to highlight their demand that he do more to help the more than 5,000 people who are homeless in Toronto.

David Cherewski, the chair of the chapter's Poverty and Inequality group, was among the 42 people who slept on the street outside the building on Saturday night.

The outreach for the action stated, "Toronto Mayor John Tory refuses to open enough shelter space to prevent homeless people from sleeping on the streets. If that's what people are forced to do, we have picked the best possible spot to do it - right in front of Tory's multi-million dollar condo. Join us if you can for all or part of the night."

April 24, 2017

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui has written this letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to ask that it reject a permit application from Nestlé Waters North America.

The Swiss transnational is seeking permission from the DEQ to increase the amount of water (from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute) it draws from a well north of Evart in Osceola Township for its bottled water operations.

Lui highlights, "Water is a human right, commons and public trust, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around it. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human rights to water and sanitation, and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals also recognized these fundamental rights. The human rights to water and sanitation must be recognized at every level of government."