August 21, 2017

The Council of Canadians Kamloops chapter participated in their local Pride march yesterday.

CFJC reports, "Almost 40 years after the inaugural Vancouver Pride Parade, downtown Kamloops hosted its very first march for the LGBTQ2+ community today. Hundreds of people took to the streets while hundreds more cheered them on from downtown sidewalks."

The article adds, "After the success of this inaugural Pride parade, [Kamloops Pride president Kirstin] McLaughlin says Kamloops Pride has already started work on next year’s Pride celebrations."

The Council of Canadians calls for an end to homophobia, a stop to all manifestations of hatred and violence, and supports the full realization of rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, Two-Spirit and gender nonconforming people.

August 21, 2017

The first round of NAFTA 2.0 talks took place at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, DC. It has not yet been made public where the talks will be in Canada.

The third round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will take place in Canada on September 23-27.

The first round of talks (August 16-20) just concluded in Washington, DC, the second round will take place September 1-5 in Mexico City, and given the choice of locations so far, it might be expected that the third round in late-September will take place in Ottawa (though that has not yet been confirmed). A fourth round will take place in the United States.

August 19, 2017

The Trudeau government has until September 28 to respond to the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Co-operation on its failure to enforce the Fisheries Act in relation to water pollution emanating from the tar sands.

The Canadian Press reports, "The environmental arm of NAFTA is demanding Canada explain what it is doing to stop oilsands tailings ponds from leaking into Alberta waterways. The request comes in a decision by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation, which oversees the environmental pact Canada, the United States and Mexico signed as a parallel agreement to NAFTA. Canada has until Sept. 28 to officially respond to allegations it is failing to enforce the Fisheries Act by allowing contaminants from the ponds to leak into water without forcing the companies involved to fix the problem."

The article adds, "The complaint was made in June by Canada's Environmental Defence group and the Natural Resources Defense Council based in the United States."

August 19, 2017

The Council of Canadians opposes Article 605, the energy proportionality provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The provision basically says that Canada must maintain at least the same level of oil and gas exports to the United States as it had supplied for the past thirty-six months. Only if Canadian consumption is cut proportionately, and then only in times of crisis, could the Canadian government cut export levels to the US.

To put numbers to this situation, the US imports about 3.76 million barrels a day of oil from Canada (that's about 1.37 billion barrels a year), while Canada consumes about 2.32 million barrels a day.

If a future Canadian government were to commit to a 100 per cent clean energy future by 2050 (as the climate justice movement demands due to the climate crisis) it could not begin by ending those oil exports to the United States and then slowly weaning domestic consumption as more renewable energy is brought online.

August 18, 2017

Clan mothers have set up a roadblock in Caledonia (which is located about 10 kilometres south of Hamilton, Ontario).

The Hamilton Spectator reports, "Doreen Silversmith and a 12-member group of mostly women — supporters of the Six Nations hereditary government known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy — [established the blockade on August 10]."

That article adds, "Reading a statement to reporters, Silversmith said the barricade is a direct consequence of the Ontario government's failure to live up to a negotiated land settlement that led natives to dismantle barricades they set up during an intense occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates [DCE] housing project in 2006. The new barricade is at the entrance of DCE, which was never been resolved."