December 8, 2017

Today marks the 142nd day that a continuous 24-hour vigil has been maintained outside of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office in downtown Toronto. Under the slogan #NOMIC (Not One More Indigenous Child) the vigil has been honoring victims of the ongoing Indigenous youth suicide crisis and demanding real, meaningful responses. That’s over four months of the organizers suspending their lives in order to sleep, eat, and spend their days outside in variable ­–and increasingly frigid—weather. They have been tirelessly holding space with their bodies to serve as a visual reminder that Indigenous youth are dying and it is urgent that the government stop stalling and take action.

December 8, 2017

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter joined with allies to protest against Bill 160, provincial legislation that would have lifted a 44-year-old ban on private hospitals in Ontario. It now appears that Premier Kathleen Wynne won't end the ban, but Bill 160 still allows for the expansion of private clinics in the province.

Please see below this week's snapshot of recent and upcoming chapter actions across the country.

December 6, 2017

The Council of Canadians is opposed to the energy proportionality provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Financial Post explains, "[Article 605] means Canada and the U.S. cannot reduce access to each other’s oil, natural gas, coal, electricity or refined petroleum products without an equivalent reduction in domestic access to the same product. So if Canada wanted to cut oil exports to the U.S. by 20 per cent it would have to cut domestic supplies by 20 per cent as well, except in specific circumstances such as the need to protect national security."

The scale of impact is hugely different though - Canada exports about 3.76 million barrels a day to the United States, while the U.S. exports about 486,000 a day to Canada.

December 6, 2017

Opinion published in Ricochet, December 5, 2017

Last week saw Alberta Premier Rachel Notley join federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Kinder Morgan CEO Ian Anderson in Vancouver to deliver a hard sales pitch for completing the Trans Mountain pipeline.

People gathered outside to underscore the lack of consent from the majority of First Nations whose territories the tar sands pipeline crosses, and to return Kinder Morgan’s deterrent mats the company illegally installed in an attempt to prevent salmon spawning in streams the pipeline would cross.

December 6, 2017

The Council of Canadians Kelowna chapter hosted a talk by author-activist Joyce Nelson on neo-liberalism and Bank of Canada reform, October 5, 2017.

Numerous Council of Canadians chapters have called for Bank of Canada reform.

Now Hamish Stewart has written this article in the National Observer that notes, "The themes raised at a Nov. 28 to 29 meeting [hosted by the Dutch central bank and a Swiss economic policy think tank] represent a great opportunity for the Bank of Canada and our financial market regulators to consider how Canadian financial sector giants are preparing for a clean energy future."

Stewart adds, "While Canadian bank lending to fossil fuel companies and heavy investments by our largest pension funds into coal projects and fracking companies get lots of attention, the important signaling role played by the Bank of Canada and our national financial regulators deserves more attention."