May 18, 2018

The Council of Canadians is planning a large rally against the Trudeau government's promise to indemnify Texas-based Kinder Morgan's controversial pipeline.

Earlier this week, CBC reported, "Canada is willing to write Kinder Morgan — or anyone else who steps up to the plate — a cheque to ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets built despite British Columbia's opposition, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday. Morneau said the federal government is willing to compensate the pipeline's backers for any financial loss due to British Columbia's attempts to obstruct the company's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. ...Kinder Morgan has threatened to abandon the project if a clear path forward isn't reached by May 31."

That article adds, "Morneau wouldn't say if there's a limit to how much the government is willing to spend to compensate the pipeline's backer."

May 17, 2018
10,000 peaceful protesters marched in the streets of Burnaby, British Columbia this spring to show their opposition to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline. Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has stated the Kinder Morgan pipeline would have been approved under Bill C-69.
The Trudeau government is attempting to ram through Bill C-69, a 400 page bill that makes sweeping changes to Canada’s water, environmental assessment and energy laws. In fact, Bill C-69 hands even more power to corporations in environmental, water, and energy decision making. 
May 17, 2018

It now looks increasingly likely - but not a certainty at this hour - that the May 17 deadline for the conclusion of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will not be met by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The Toronto Star reports, "No NAFTA deal will be reached by the Thursday deadline imposed by a top U.S. legislator, a Canadian government source and Mexico’s economy secretary said on Wednesday. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says a NAFTA deal would have to be made by Thursday in order for this Congress, which is controlled by trade-friendly Republicans, to hold a vote by the end of the year. The Canadian source said there will be no deal of any kind by Thursday, even a partial 'agreement in principle'."

May 16, 2018

Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter activist Mary Love presenting to the City of Hamilton's Board of Health on Monday. Photo by Ute Schmid Jones.

The City of Hamilton's Board of Health has voted to ban bottled water in municipally-run community spaces.

CBC reports, "Hamilton's board of health has voted to ban the sale of sugary drinks and bottled water in its arenas, rec centres and other facilities. ...The board - comprised of all city councillors - voted 6-3 Monday in favour of the ban. Aidan Johnson, Ward 1 councillor in Hamilton's west end, sided with student and adult presenters who said bottled water is unnecessary and a scourge on the environment."

The Hamilton Spectator adds, "Johnson said banning bottled water would benefit the climate, reduce the amount of water and energy needed to create a bottle of water, and help to eliminate plastic. About 80 Canadian municipalities have restricted the use of bottled water. The City of Toronto imposed a ban on bottled water that included parks, recreation facilities and civic centres."

May 15, 2018

The Council of Canadians has been highlighting the threat posed to winning pharmacare by so-called 'free trade' agreements.

A study by Joel Lexchin (York University) and Marc-André Gagnon (Carleton University) found that the extended patent provisions for pharmaceutical drugs under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could cost between $850 million to $1.65 billion annually.

And Steve Morgan (University of British Columbia) and Ruth Lopert (George Washington University) have commented, "In its efforts to repeal Obamacare, the current U.S. administration is willing to drive up health care costs [and could] attempt to coerce Canada to do the same to Canadians by way of NAFTA provisions that would prevent implementation of an equitable and sustainable universal pharmacare system."