September 13, 2017

The Bombardier CSeries aircraft assembly line in Dorval, Quebec. Photo by Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press.

What is the dispute between the U.S.-based The Boeing Company and Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. about?

1- The basics
CBC reports, "Boeing argues the Montreal company is unfairly subsidized by the Canadian government and sells its C-Series jets south of the border at below market costs." In May, Reuters explained, "The [U.S. Department of] Commerce probe in Boeing’s case parallels a probe by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) into Boeing’s allegations that Bombardier sold 75 CSeries planes to Delta Air Lines Inc last year at a price well below cost. Bombardier has rejected the allegations and the two sides clashed at an ITC hearing whether the companies’ competing plane models are even comparable."

September 12, 2017

Jessica Brooks in front of water tank that the construction company says they will remove.

In Chatham-Kent, the Ontario government is allowing Samsung (and their partner-Pattern Energy) to run roughshod over the community during the construction of 34 foundations for the North Kent 1 wind turbine project.  Since the company began pile driving, there have been 9 complaints of well interference and several families have lost the use of their water wells. Today, the construction company is set to remove a water tank they had provided to the Brooks family just last month after their well became plugged with black shale silt immediately following the start of pile driving nearby. The company says they looked at vibration monitoring data and decided that the problem wasn’t caused by their pile driving so they can remove the water tank. This is the latest outrage in a story that has been playing out in the region for almost 10 years.

September 12, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on Texas, March 9, 2017, where he famously said, "No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there." Sponsors of the conference included bp, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Total, Chevron, and Shell.

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could involve the United States presidential permitting process for cross-border pipelines and hydro-electric transmission lines.

The Financial Post has reported that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce "urged Canada to push the U.S. to end the practice of requiring a presidential permit for pipelines such as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL" in this June 2017 submission to the Trudeau government on the NAFTA talks.

September 12, 2017

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

The multi-billion dollar Seattle-based electronic commerce and cloud computing company, Inc. has a stake in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Globe and Mail reports, "E-commerce is one of the least-discussed, but vitally important pieces of the NAFTA negotiations."

What does Amazon want out of the talks?

The Globe and Mail's national business correspondent Barrie McKenna says, "Higher Canadian duty-free thresholds on cross-border purchases, freer movement of data, harmonization of Canadian and U.S. intellectual property rules, unwinding cultural protections and fewer restrictions on locating data farms in this country for privacy and security reasons. ...[Also, raising] the value of goods Canadians can buy online from the United States without paying taxes and duties. The current limit is $20 (Canadian). The Trump administration wants that raised to $800 (U.S.), matching its own threshold and providing a lucrative boost for U.S. online retailers, Amazon among them."

September 11, 2017

Citizens for Quality Healthcare after they made a presentation to the regional hospital board against paid parking at hospitals, October 2016. Campbell River chapter activist Rich Hagensen is second from the right in the photo.

The Council of Canadians Campbell River chapter is celebrating the recent decision by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health) to scrap their plan to charge for parking at the newly opened Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals.

On September 1, the Campbell River Mirror reported, "Island Health said in a public service announcement released today that many considerations were taken into account as part of the decision including the organization’s patient and family-centred care focus, cost sustainability, and community feedback."

Chapter activist Rich Hagensen says, "For over two years, members of Citizens for Quality Health Care North and Council of Canadians Campbell River chapter as well as other individuals have been advocating against the plan by Island Health to have pay parking at both hospitals."