September 27, 2019

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson and pictured speaking at an event in Albuquerque in 2009.

The Council of Canadians mourns the passing of Graeme Gibson, author, educator, activist, friend and founding member our of organization. Gibson passed away on September 18, 2019.

“Graeme was a fighter for environmental justice and for the planet. His passion for the natural world informed his life’s work,” said Maude Barlow, Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians. “We will miss him very much.”

In addition to his environmental activism, Gibson was a passionate advocate for writers and writing. He served as the past president of PEN Canada and a founding member of both the Writers' Union of Canada and the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community.

In 1992, Gibson was invited as a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his life’s work.

September 27, 2019


As reported by the Guardian, long-time Council of Canadians activist and former Board member Leo Broderick “often gets up on a soap box, but never tries to put himself on a pedestal.”

Broderick was one of three inductees into the Order of Prince Edward Island. He accepted his award at a ceremony earlier this week.

He was described as “a man outspoken and well-informed on social justice and environmental concerns but one also respectful of the opinions of others.”

Broderick, a former teacher, told The Guardian he was “shocked’’ when he first learned he was selected this year as a member of the Order of P.E.I., which puts his name on a list that includes pioneer doctors, renowned entrepreneurs and heralded former political leaders.

September 25, 2019

Ottawa book tour

This week, Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow is in the Atlantic, speaking in East Coast cities about her new book, Whose Water is it, Anyway? Taking Water Protection Into Public Hands.

The multi-city tour got underway in Ottawa on September 16 where more than 100 people came to the event wanting to know more about what they could do to protect water in their city. Ottawa recently announced it will ban single-use plastics, including bottled water, by 2021. Many of those attending the book tour launch want to the city to go even further and signed up to work together to have Ottawa designated a Blue Community.

Then on Monday, Maude was in St. John’s in Newfoundland where she spoke to a crowd of about 90 people about the global water crisis, its impacts in Canada, and how the Blue Communities Project gives people a positive, proactive way to protect water sources.

September 23, 2019

Climate rally on Parliament Hill

Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old student from Sweden, is trying to save our planet. As she says, our house is on fire. She and other youth like her are leading a wave of action around the world to help put out the flames of the climate crisis. The urgency is real and young people are leading the way to a safe climate future. They need your support.

Will you join them for the global climate strike?

Join an action for climate justice in Canada on September 27.

These youth are calling on everyone: young people, parents, workers, and all concerned citizens to join massive climate strikes and a week of actions which started on September 20. More than 4 million people around the world are taking part.

September 23, 2019

The Winnipeg Free Press recently published a book review of Maude Barlow’s new book Whose Water is it, Anyway?: Taking Water Protection Into Public Hands. Written by Matt Henderson, the review explores the book’s themes and concludes it “provides a blueprint for the work and pathway for hope.”

Here is the full review:

It’s difficult to fathom that a water crisis exists in Canada. As a hyper-privileged person on this planet, the lack of this public good and basic necessity for life seems like a problem that other people have. Think Flint, Mich.; Cape Town, South Africa; Chile; Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. Many Canadians live under the illusion that clean drinking water is in abundance, that it is somehow protected from the greedy reach of corporations and that we have designed a system of governance to ensure that we all have access to this most basic need.