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October 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter at a 'Save Our Crowns' rally at the Legislature last Spring. Photo by Gail Shin.

The Council of Canadians Regina, Prince Albert, Quill Plains (Wynyard) and Saskatoon chapters all oppose Bill 40.

The privatization bill was passed by Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party majority in the Legislature on April 26 and received Royal Assent on April 27.

The bill allowed the government to sell up to 49 per cent of a Crown corporation – such as SaskTel and SaskPower – without holding a provincial referendum. The legislation followed a World Bank definition of privatization in which nearly half of a public entity could be owned by private shareholders without technically being privatized.

Now, six months later, the Canadian Press reports, "Saskatchewan’s premier says the government will repeal [Bill 40]. Brad Wall says in a post on Facebook that there won’t be any change to the ownership structure of Crown corporations."

October 24, 2017

The City of White Rock in British Columbia has completed the purchase of its once privately-owned water utility.

CBC reports, "The City of White Rock has negotiated a final price for the city's water utility, which it purchased from private provider EPCOR two years ago. ...The city said that it would receive a $600,000 reimbursement from the Edmonton-based company, making the final purchase price $13.4 million. ...White Rock has been plagued with numerous water issues over the years, including high levels of naturally occurring manganese and arsenic, turbidity and E. coli contamination. In a news release, the city says residents have been saving on their water bills since it took over the utility."

White Rock, which has a population of about 20,000 people, is located within the Metro Vancouver regional district.

October 21, 2017

Trade minister François-Philippe Champagne

The Trudeau government is pursuing numerous 'free trade' agreements. Below is a timeline of key political moments over the next several months:

October 23-27 - first round of Canada-Pacific Alliance FTA negotiations
"[Champagne] welcomes the first round of free trade negotiations between Canada and the Pacific Alliance [full members - Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru; associate members - Singapore, Australia, New Zealand] taking place from October 23 to 27, in Cali, Colombia." - Government of Canada media release (issued the day before the talks begin)

October 21, 2017

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter is reflecting on the life of chapter activist Carol Winter who passed away earlier this week.

Peterborough This Week reports, "A woman who dedicated much of her life to helping the less fortunate in the Peterborough community has died. Carol Winter, 75, died on Thursday morning, Oct. 19. Over the years, Winter worked tirelessly to helping those in dire economic straights without any desire for reward or recognition."

Chapter activist Roy Brady tells us, "Carol was a regular member of the Peterborough and Kawarthas chapter of the Council of Canadians for 14 years, with particular emphasis on the environment, peace, relations with the local First Nations and a few chapter resolutions to our AGM on social justice and anti-militarism. She will be sorely missed and, at the same time, a local inspiration for even more social justice work. She hardly missed a chapter event, up until the last two months."

October 20, 2017

Rosemary Keenan of our Peel chapter reports:

“Council of Canadians - Peel Chapter rallied with the Unifor Local in Brampton today, calling for a trade agreement that focuses on people and communities. Rallies took place across Canada, calling for #ABetterNAFTA.

We referenced  Maude Barlow's current publication, Getting it Right: A People's Guide to Renegotiating NAFTA, calling for removal of the Investor State Dispute Settlement clause.

We called for putting people at the centre of trade agreements, promoting regulations that protect the health and safety of workers and communities, protecting public services, and removing water as a tradable good. 

Local media covered the event. Before leaving we spoke with Brampton North MP Ruby Sahota, gave her a printed copy of Getting it Right: A People's Guide to Renegotiating NAFTA, and promised to drop off a copy of Maude's Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada's Water Crisis."

 

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