December 30, 2017

The Blue Planet Project has been expressing its opposition to the 'El Zapotillo' dam in Mexico since January 2011.

The dam would likely be 105 metres tall, divert the course of the Verde River, involve the construction of a 140 kilometre long aqueduct, flood the towns of Temacapulín, Acasico and Palmarejo, displace the residents of these communities, and submerge cultural heritage sites and farmland.

The dam would divert water to the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, the Los Altos region in Jalisco, and the city of León in the state of Guanajuato.

A major struggle has been under way to both stop the construction of the dam and/or to keep the height of the dam to 80 metres (which would mean the three communities would not be flooded).

In September 2012, despite popular mobilizations, about 40 per cent of the construction on the dam's wall had been completed.

December 29, 2017

Despite an October 2015 election campaign promise to review changes, restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards in the Navigable Waters Protection Act gutted by the Harper government, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna replied to the Council of Canadians Guelph chapter in this letter (dated December 27, 2017) stating processes are still underway (more than two years after the election).

In the midst of the holiday season, Council of Canadians chapters remain active on shared issues of concern:

December 27, 2017

Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations Marc-Andre Blanchard abstained at the United Nations General Assembly vote and says he will attend "with great pleasure" US Ambassador Nikki Haley's "friendship" party on January 3 for the countries that didn't vote against the United States moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

What was behind the Trudeau government's abstention in the United Nations General Assembly vote that overwhelmingly rejected the Trump administration's plan to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Council of Canadians honorary chairperson Maude Barlow has tweeted, "Is this to save NAFTA?!? Shame!"

CTV reports, "Canada’s decision to abstain comes from a simple logic, according to Bessma Momani, a senior fellow with the Waterloo-based Centre for International Governance Innovation. 'Frankly, I think it’s just one factor: NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA'..." That same article quotes Carleton University political science professor Mira Sucharov highlighting "NAFTA uncertainty" as a factor.

December 25, 2017

Council of Canadians honorary chairperson Maude Barlow.

During this season that celebrates peace and goodwill to all, let us continue to build a better world that includes:

1- The right to water and sanitation, clean drinking water for all, the public ownership of water utilities, and the full protection of all water sources.

2- The public ownership of energy resources, energy democracy, energy efficiency and public transit, just transition strategies for workers in the fossil fuel economy, and a 100 per cent renewable energy future by 2050.

3- Fair trade that promotes the creation of permanent, well-paying jobs, the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, the prioritization of environmental protection, and where the judiciary arbitrates on trade related disputes.

4- The full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, notably the right to free, prior and informed consent, and respect for inherent rights and title.

December 22, 2017

Port Elgin, Ontario is situated on Lake Huron.

Canada is being challenged by Napa, California-based Tennant Energy under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Investment Arbitration Reporter reports, "The Government of Canada disclosed today [December 21] that it faces a new claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Request for Arbitration by US investor, Tennant Energy, LLC, was filed on June 1, 2017 and acknowledged today in a brief announcement on a Canadian government website."