June 14, 2019

This is part of a series on sparking change with a Green New Deal.

When I first started working on climate issues almost 20 years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) pegged the annual death toll from the climate crisis at 150,000. The WHO is now projecting that from 2030 to 2050 the climate crisis will take the lives of at least 250,000 every year.

June 13, 2019

This is the first blog in a series on the changes a Green New Deal can spark.

On May 6, the Council of Canadians helped launch the Pact for a Green New Deal, along side dozens of other organizations. Over 50,000 people have since signed the pledge, over 100 organizations have now joined, and 150 town halls have taken place (with many more still planned). This is just the beginning of shaping a Green New Deal.

June 13, 2019

Farmer protest on Parliament HillWhile the Canadian Parliament is in the process of actively ratifying the Canada United States Mexico Agreement, a U.S. dairy farmer is visiting Ottawa to tell farmers that access to Canadian markets in the new NAFTA will not solve the woes of American farmers.

In the U.S., major dairy industry lobby groups have been urging the swift passage of the CUSMA though the U.S. Congress. Jim Goodman, President of the National Family Farm Coalition says, however, that they miss the point: it is American overproduction that hurts American farmers, not Canada’s control on imports and its supply management system.   

June 11, 2019

13 people were arrested on Parliament Hill yesterday at a Protest Against Megadam Megadamage in Ottawa, which started outside the annual meeting of the International Coalition on Large Dams before marching to the Hill. Everyone was released with a trespass ticket and a 90 day ban from the Hill soon after.

I took part in the protest, organized by the Ontario-Muskrat Solidarity Coalition and Wa Ni Ska Tan: An Alliance of Hydro Impacted Communities. Indigenous Land and Water Protectors were in Ottawa to challenge Site C, Muskrat Falls, the Automation of the Grand Rapids Generation Station, and other damaging megadam projects.

The Indigenous Land and Water Protectors and allies were arrested while trying to deliver a 15,000 signature petition against megadams to Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.

June 11, 2019

The Trudeau government has continued to fast-track the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) through Parliament. Just this morning, it was sent for second reading – just 17 days after it was first presented.

Prime Minister Trudeau is desperate for a political “win,” before the October elections.

But we all know whose deal this really is – U.S. President Donald Trump’s.

And right now, progressive Democrats in the U.S. are using their majority power in the House of Representatives to push for stronger environmental and labour provisions in NAFTA 2.0, as well as to reduce protections for pharmaceuticals that lock-in higher drug costs for people like you and me, and lock in billions in profit for Big Pharma. We would all reap the benefits of these changes.

But these much-needed improvements from the U.S. will be harder to achieve if Canada rushes to ratify this deal.