November 17, 2017

Finance Minister Bill Morneau

The Council of Canadians joins with numerous allies to demand that Bill C-27 be withdrawn by the Trudeau government.

In this open letter to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff writes, "I am writing on behalf of Canada’s unions to urge you to abandon Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, which represents a dangerous and immediate attack on future and current retirees and Defined Benefit pension plans in the federal private sector and Crown corporations."

Yussuff highlights, "C-27 was introduced without notice or consultation with Canadians, pensioners, or unions and proposes measures that directly contradict election promises to improve retirement security for Canadians. If enacted, it will have negative implications for private and public-sector DB plans in every jurisdiction in Canada."

November 17, 2017

NDP MP Romeo Saganash

Bill C-262 will go to second reading in the House of Commons on December 4. C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was introduced as a private members bill in April 2016 by NDP MP Romeo Saganash.

APTN has reported, "Saganash said passage of his bill ... would complete a circle that began in 1984 when he began work on UNDRIP which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007."

The Council of Canadians has long-supported UNDRIP. In September 2007, we issued a media release that stated, “The Council of Canadians denounces the Harper government for voting against UNDRIP ... along with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. The Council of Canadians is demanding that the Canadian government show leadership on Indigenous rights by supporting the Declaration and taking necessary measures to ensure justice for Aboriginal communities in Canada.”

November 12, 2017

How should we understand the status of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 agreement?

What was agreed to?
The Globe and Mail reports, "The deal announced Friday removed 20 sections of the original TPP deal, including provisions related to pharmaceutical products, patent protection, copyright and intellectual property. Another section lists four categories as areas where 'substantial progress was made but consensus must be achieved before signing': the treatment of state-owned enterprises, services and investment, dispute settlement and culture. A Canadian government official said rules related to the auto sector continue to be part of the TPP but will be the subject of a 'work plan' to reach an agreement on details."

November 11, 2017

A few highlights from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature presented a Rights of Nature report as an alternative framework for justice and climate rights. With contributions from global leaders including Pablo Solon (Bolivia); Cormac Cullinan (South Africa) Maude Barlow (Canada) and many others, this report explores not just the idea of a radical shift toward recognizing rights of ecosystems (and our responsibilities to the Earth) but includes global examples from around the world where these new laws are taking root. Please download and share this new report.

November 11, 2017

What was the deal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to yesterday in Vietnam just before midnight local time?

On Friday, a Global Affairs media release noted, "[International Trade Minister François-Philippe] Champagne welcomed the progress made on the margins of the APEC Trade Ministerial Meeting on a framework for a new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. Environment and labour rights will form crucial pillars of a new agreement and will be subject to dispute settlement mechanisms. However there still are a number of issues that remain outstanding for Canada."

On Saturday, a draft statement from Canada and ten other countries stated, "Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership."