October 22, 2018

Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project and Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians spoke in Zurich last week urging the city not to privatize its drinking water systems. 

Her intervention comes at a time of heated debate regarding the future of public drinking water systems in Switzerland.

In July this year, the parliament of Zurich voted to revise local legislation in order to allow for private investments.

As Barlow argued, there is overwhelming evidence demonstrating that privatization has been disastrous for communities around the world: 

“The public and communities lose control as local government officials abdicate control over a vital public service,” she explained. “Private water companies are accountable to their shareholders, not to the people they serve and often restrict public access to information about their operations Because they have to make a profit, they have to cut corners, raise water rates or lay off workers - often all three.”

October 19, 2018

Investor-state dispute settlement was tempered in the USMCA, but the government needs to justify why it persists asking for it in other agreements.

Blog written by Maude Barlow and Sujata Dey posted in the Huffington Post, October 19, 2018.

The current Liberal government recently had a road to Damascus moment. After defending Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions (ISDS) around the world, suddenly Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she championed the elimination of Chapter 11 between Canada and the U.S. in the new USMCA.

October 19, 2018
IPCC Delivery
On Wednesday, October 24, the Council of Canadians is partnering with our friends at to bring people together from across the country. We will be delivering copies of the the IPCC report to Member of Parliament’s constituency offices along with a pledge that they will take action on climate change in line with what scientists are telling us is needed. Can you join us? Learn more here.
October 18, 2018

This week, Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow and Trade Campaigner Sujata Dey were in Italy to meet with concerned groups and politicians about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the threats trade agreements pose to food production and water.

The Canadian government ratified CETA despite massive public opposition, but Italy has held out, concerned about the harm CETA will do to the country’s agricultural and food traditions.

In July, Dey noted in a blog post that the 5-Star, Liga Nord Italian coalition government reiterated that not only would it not ratify CETA, but it would remove any official who promotes the agreement.

October 16, 2018

Photo by the Vancouver Sun

MPs spent their first day back in Parliament after their recent break debating the perils of climate change.

According to the Canadian Press, the emergency debate was granted by House of Commons Speaker Geoffrey Regan just a week after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a dire global warning of a looming climate catastrophe.

The report says the world will be facing unstoppable climate change sooner than expected and that urgent government action is needed now.

The article notes that “the world has already warmed up about 1 degree C compared to the mid-19th century and is experiencing the effects of that, including more violent storms, more frequent flooding, longer droughts and more forest fires.”