Blog

February 23, 2020

Last week, on February 18, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) passed in the lower house of the Netherlands Parliament by just three votes, 71 to 68. After a raucous debate, several days in the making, it is looking like CETA may have survived for now but is unlikely to pass in the upper house.

Financial newspapers were stunned: the Netherlands, the nation that invented trade, rejecting a trade agreement? How is that possible?  

February 13, 2020

Collage of Wetsuweten lodge and Mikmaq lodge

As the International Days of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en build in momentum across Turtle Island, the responses of the Canadian and British Columbian governments have been abysmal.

The Delgamuukw Supreme Court decision in 1997 affirmed that Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have legal jurisdiction over the nation’s territory. In violation of this decision, both the provincial and federal governments have continued to sanction illegal RCMP attacks on camps and Indigenous land defenders on the land of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Beginning on February 6, the RCMP raided monitoring posts, supporter camps, and finally the Unist’ot’en camp, healing lodge and camp on Monday, February 10, 2020.

February 11, 2020

The Alton Gas project is a proposal to store extremely high pressure natural gas in underground salt caverns. To create these caverns the company would drill wells into the salt deposit and dissolve the salt with water from the Shubenacadie River. The resulting brine would be about eight times saltier than seawater and would be piped back into the river, which is home to Striped bass and many other fish. For years, grassroots Mi’kmaq rights holders have opposed this project in their community and in court.

February 7, 2020

 

Lessons from NAFTA 2.1. Future trade deals must be open to the public!
 
From the beginning, it was clear CUSMA was going to be a corporate-friendly trade agreement. With President Trump in the White House, the old NAFTA as a template, media hysteria around the possible loss of NAFTA, and corporations being granted preferential access to the negotiations, the stage was set. 
 
But in Canada, our arcane processes did not allow the public or parliamentarians in.  This must change.

Together with labour, citizen’s groups, environmental and faith groups in the three countries, we successfully campaigned to get rid of some of NAFTA’s most destructive provisions. While we succeeded in removing certain provisions like Chapter 11 and the energy proportionality clause, which we have fought against for decades, we were unable to prevent problematic new provisions like the erosion of farming conditions and corporate-friendly forums to impact regulations.

February 7, 2020

 

Early in the morning on February 6, the RCMP raided the supporter camp down the road from Gidimt'en and Unist'ot'en, in Wet'suwet'en territory.

At the time of writing this, up to six people have been arrested. The Unist’ot’en camp lost radio contact with Gidimt’en after receiving reports that the RCMP smashed the window of the radio vehicle. There are reports some RCMP had their guns drawn – not pointed at people – but guns in hand.

The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs issued an eviction notice to Costal GasLink (CGL) on January 4, 2020 that applied to “Camp 9A” on Dark Horse territory, as well as the neighbouring Gidimt’en, Tsayu and Laksamshu clan territories.

Since then, CGL has refused to comply with the eviction notice. British Columbia has not upheld its commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or removed its RCMP from sovereign Wet'suwet'en land. 

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