February 15, 2018

The late Art Manuel and Nicole Schabus of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade have been critical voices in relation to the threats posed to Indigenous rights by trade policy.

Yesterday, the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau pledged a new 'legislative framework' for Indigenous rights in Canada.

The Globe and Mail reports, "The federal government says it will support Indigenous people in realizing their visions for their futures and in rebuilding their nations by creating new legislation that forces its officials to stop demanding that Indigenous people prove their constitutional rights exist."

How might this relate to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the so-called 'comprehensive and progressive' Trans-Pacific Partnership?

The Liberals tabled a proposed an Indigenous rights chapter for NAFTA during the 5th round of talks that took place in November 2017. The proposed chapter was then discussed during the 6th round of talks that took place last month in Montreal.

February 14, 2018

Secwepmec Nation activist Kanahus Manuel challenges Liberal minister Carolyn Bennett at the United Nations, April 2017. Manuel will be a keynote speaker at the Council of Canadians annual conference in Ottawa this coming June 22-24.

The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is promising a new "legislative framework" for Indigenous rights in Canada.

The Canadian Press reports, "The prime minister said the new approach, to be developed in partnership with First Nations, Metis and Inuit, is needed to tackle the many challenges facing their communities, including overcrowded housing, unsafe drinking water and high rates of suicide among Indigenous youth. ...The new Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework -- to be unveiled later this year following consultations led by Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould -- will include new legislation."

The CBC adds, "The framework would cover reserves, systems of governance and energy projects."

February 13, 2018

The Council of Canadians brought a 'scrap the summits' message to the G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario on June 24, 2010.

The Council of Canadians has long argued that the so-called 'Group of' summits are expensive and undemocratic.

Expensive because the meetings cost hundreds of millions of dollars (the three-day G8 and G20 summits in Huntsville and Toronto cost more than $857 million) and undemocratic because the meetings include only the richest countries in the world (and not, for instance, the 54 countries in Africa or the 12 countries in South America).

We have argued that G-summits should more inclusively be G-195 summits (all countries represented in the United Nations General Assembly) and that it would be more cost-efficient for them to take place at the UN Secretariat Building in New York (where the costs of security measures would be minimized because of a consistent location).

February 12, 2018

Delilah Saunders, whose sister Loretta was murdered in Halifax in 2014, speaks at the gathering on Parliament Hill.

Council of Canadians chapters and staff have been present at #JusticeForColten gatherings across the country over the past three days.

February 12, 2018

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui at the Fraser River in British Columbia. The Trudeau government-approved Kinder Morgan pipeline would cross the lower portions of the Fraser River, North America's primary salmon-producing fish habitat.

The Council of Canadians calls on the Trudeau government to dramatically strengthen environmental reviews and water protection measures in its recently tabled Bill C-69 that would govern the reviews of proposed tar sands pipelines, mines, hydroelectric dams and transmission lines.

The Globe and Mail reports, "Scientists and advocates worry there is no clear guidance under which projects would be turned down because of environmental impacts. Instead, the minister of environment or, in some cases, the federal cabinet, will have discretion to declare a project to be in the national interest and approve it, regardless of the findings of the impact assessment review."