The Canwest News Service reports today that, “Legislation used by Newfoundland and Labrador to ‘kick out’ AbitibiBowater Inc. and expropriate most of its assets purports to be ‘rational public policy’ but is really the ‘populist rhetoric’ of a vindictive premier, according to papers served on the federal government Thursday. The forestry giant formally notified Ottawa that it will challenge that action under North American Free Trade Agreement and seek more $300 million in direct compensation for the rights and assets expropriated after it announced the closing of its Grand Falls, N.L., mill.”
Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly writes in today's Report on Business magazine that, "Spain is creating Europe's first 'water banks,' which may be the forerunners of the water markets of the future. This has the potential to be the biggest resources growth story since the oil trade began more than a century ago."
Due to water shortages in Spain, "Last summer, Barcelona briefly relied on shiploads of water from Marseilles to keep the taps on. Expensive, energy-gobbling desalinization plants-Spain has more than 700 of them-are being built everywhere."
Reguly writes that, "'water use rights exchange centres,' better known as water banks...allow farmers with irrigation rights, typically in the wetter central and northern parts of Spain, to sell to the parched regions in the south, where cities, resorts and golf courses are going dry."
The Regina Leader Post reports that, “The Support Our Troops decal getting stuck to all Saskatchewan government vehicles isn't getting a warm response from everyone. Regina resident Allan Taylor said he supports the troops, but opposes the war in Afghanistan and questions why the stickers are going on public vehicles…Taylor's concerns were echoed by the Council of Canadians. ‘We see it as not a smart initiative for the province of Saskatchewan to be taking,’ said Sheila Muxlow, the group's Edmonton-based prairie organizer. While the decals are often called a show of support for the troops and not necessarily the war, Muxlow said the council doesn't feel that's the case. ‘To see a support the troops campaign happen now, it's inevitable that it's going to be linked to the mission where our troops are most actively involved,’ she said.”
We have received word from Council of Canadians BC-Yukon organizer Harjap Grewal that Vancouver has just passed its resolution against bottled water. We will have more details soon on this important vote in Canada's third-largest city.
The Vancouver Courier had reported yesterday that, "the city's standing committee on city services and budgets will consider (on April 23) a plan to phase out sales of bottled water at city-owned facilities such as recreation centres, park concession stands and theatres, and to increase the number of drinking fountains...The city's plan calls for the immediate elimination of single-serving bottled water at council meetings as a symbolic first step. The plan also calls for encouraging the cafeteria at city hall to voluntarily reduce sales of bottled water and for improved maintenance of outdoor drinking fountains to make them more appealing."
To help secure this win the Council of Canadians issued a joint action alert with the Polaris Institute, which can be read at http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=354.
The CBC reports this afternoon that, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is required to press the United States for the return of Omar Khadr to Canada from Guantanamo Bay to ‘comply with a principle of fundamental justice,’ a Federal Court judge ruled Thursday. Unmoved, Harper said the government may try to overturn the judge's decision on Khadr, who is accused of killing a U.S. army soldier with a hand grenade during a gunfight in Afghanistan in 2002…Justice James O'Reilly ruled in favour of Khadr's charter challenge of the Canadian government's decision not to request his repatriation from the U.S. detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ‘The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr's repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr's rights,’ O'Reilly said in his 43-page decision. ‘To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr's repatriation as soon as practicable.’"