April 26, 2017

The Associated Press reports, "President Donald Trump plans to stick with his campaign pledge to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent... A senior administration official confirmed the planned reduction to corporate rates, speaking on condition of anonymity in order discuss details of the plan the president is expected to unveil Wednesday [April 26]."

The current corporate tax rate in Canada is 15 per cent (with most provincial rates in the 11 to 12 per cent range).

Trump has also promised to cut the personal income tax rate to 33 per cent from a top marginal rate of 39.6 per cent.

Maclean's has noted, "While the rate facing the highest earners in B.C. remains only 47.7 per cent, the top rate in Ontario, Quebec, and some other provinces now exceeds 50 per cent. In the U.S., the top federal income tax rate is currently 39.6 per cent, but states like California add up to 13.3 per cent more in state income taxes. New York City even has a municipal income tax rate of 3.9 per cent on top of the state and federal taxes."

April 25, 2017

The Council of Canadians PEI chapter is opposing a proposed commercial operation for genetically modified fish in Rollo Bay West, a community about 73 kilometres east of Charlottetown.

The chapter is at a public meeting tonight at the Fortune Community Centre organized by the PEI Department of Communities, Land and Environment.

The genetically modified AquaAdvantage brand Atlantic salmon are produced by the Massachusetts-based company AquaBounty. The salmon contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and a gene from an ocean pout. The result is a fish that is large enough to eat in about a year and a half, rather than the typical three years. In other words, the salmon are genetically modified to grow at twice the rate of regular salmon. As originally proposed, the salmon would be raised in Bay Fortune, PEI and then exported to Panama where they would be grown to full size in above-ground tanks.

April 25, 2017

Hamilton City Council chambers.

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter presented to their City's Board of Health on Thursday April 20 in support of a proposed ban on local groundwater extraction for non-agricultural commercial activity.

Councillor Aidan Johnson’s motion requests staff to study and report to the Board of Health on water-taking by water bottling facilities.

That motion notes, "the report [should] include the feasibility of a permanent ban on water-taking by water bottling facilities (commercial, not agricultural or residential water-taking) within the geographical area of the City of Hamilton."

Chapter activists David Bennett and David Cherkewski presented to the Board.

April 25, 2017

A letter I sent to the organizers of the Citizens’ Process at the World Water Forum, April 25, 2017.

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to participate in the preparatory meeting for the World Water Forum’s “Citizens’ Process” that is taking place today, April 25 in Brazilia. I understand that this meeting is part of the World Water Council’s effort to coordinate global civil society organizations in advance of the World Water Forum taking place in 2018 in Brazil.

I am writing to explain why I and the undersigned organizations will not be accepting the invitation to participate at this meeting or in any future process associated with the World Water Forum.

As global water justice organizations, we have long opposed the role of the World Water Forum in promoting the privatization and commodification of water. The World Water Forum is not a legitimate policymaking space. It is a corporate trade show organized by the World Water Council – a multi-stakeholder consortium promoting solutions to the water crisis that serve the interests of multinational corporations.

April 25, 2017

Guelph chapter activist Richard Chaloner speaks against online voting at Guelph Committee of the Whole meeting, April 3, 2017.

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter is celebrating the defeat of the use of online voting in next year's municipal election in their community.

Guelph Today reports, "Guelph City Council has officially rejected online voting for the next municipal election. At a meeting that started Monday [April 24] night and lasted over six hours, council voted 7-6 against a motion to have online voting available for the advance polls in 2018."

That article highlights, "Monday’s meeting included 15 delegates, 13 of them speaking against online voting at this point."

Chapter activist Norah Chaloner tells us, "Several Council of Canadians members wrote letters and made delegations at this meeting." Overall, more than 290 emails were sent to city councillors on this issue.

At the City Council meeting last night, chapter activist Lin Grist told councillors, “Voting in an election is not like shopping for groceries."