October 16, 2018

In a recent op-ed in the Globe and Mail, Ed Broadbent and Hugh Segal argue that the time has come for electoral reform

The two argue that proportional representation must replace Canada’s archaic first-past-the-post voting system.

They point to Quebec’s stance on the issue, and what it may mean for electoral reform across the country.

“Three of the four parties now represented in the National Assembly, including François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec, who will now form a majority government, have signed an agreement declaring that they will support changing the province’s voting system from the first-past-the-post model to a proportional system before the next election, and do so without a referendum. Mr. Legault now has the clearest of mandates to implement this commitment,” they point out.

October 14, 2018

Members of the Fredericton Chapter at the proposed Sisson Mine site in New Brunswick.

Once again this week, Council of Canadians Chapters were active in communities across the country, hosting events and coordinating actions in the name of democracy, social and environmental justice, and Indigenous solidarity. Here are some highlights:


The Ottawa Chapter co-hosted an All Candidates debate for Rideau Vanier Ward city councillor on October 8.

The Guelph Chapter hosted a very successful Mayoral Debate at Guelph City Hall on October 10. The Chapter is continuing their "GET OUT AND VOTE" campaign for the upcoming municipal elections.

October 12, 2018

The the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that says governments must make "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of climate change.

The panel’s report, released earlier this week, says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, increasing the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

October 12, 2018

Global News reports that while the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is similar to its NAFTA predecessor in many ways, the removal of Chapter 11 – the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that allowed foreign corporations to sue the governments over policies and regulations that restrict their profits, even if they are done in the interest of the environment or people’s health – is a major victory according to some experts.

Chapter 11 corporate lawsuits have cost Canadian taxpayers almost one-third of a billion dollars.

October 11, 2018
Idle No More marching near Ottawa. Photo by Dave Chidley, Canadian Press, from Ottawa Citizen

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a ruling that says Canada's lawmakers do not have a duty to consult with Indigenous people before introducing legislation that may affect Aboriginal treaty rights, sidelining Canada’s commitments to reconciliation and UNDRIP by saying that such an obligation would be too onerous.

However, in a 5-4 decision, the court found there is still an obligation on the government to act honourably and maintain the "honour of the Crown" when drafting legislation that may affect Indigenous people and their charter rights. What this means isn’t specifically defined and could result in future legal challenges.