October 20, 2017

The Council of Canadians Inverness County, North Shore and South Shore chapters gathered in Halifax yesterday for a rally to defend forests in Nova Scotia from clearcutting. Photo by Joanne Hussey.

Here is a snapshot of recent and upcoming activism by Council of Canadians chapters across the country:

1- Guelph chapter live-streams Barlow NAFTA & water talk on Facebook
2- Five chapters at Guelph chapter public forum on trade & water with Maude Barlow

October 19, 2017

Photo by Liam Richards/Canadian Press.

The day after the October 19, 2015 federal election, Council of Canadians honorary chairperson Maude Barlow wrote, "While such a majority for one party might not have been our desired outcome, and while we are sad at the loss of many dedicated MPs, we can move forward now to hold the Liberals accountable for their promise of a new way of doing things and a more open and democratic government."

She noted, "Together, you and I will be insisting that Justin Trudeau makes good on his promises of holding a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, negotiating a new Health Accord with the provinces, instituting electoral reform and fixing the 'Fair' Elections Act, ending the war on charities, repealing anti-union legislation, repealing parts of Bill C-51, welcoming more refugees to Canada, protecting the Great Lakes, and banning oil tankers off the West Coast, among other promises."

October 18, 2017

Police at one of the occupation sites, Oct. 13. Photo by Alexandra Morton.

The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter in New Brunswick has expressed solidarity with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Namgis, Mamlilikula. Ma’amtagila and Tlowitsis nations and their occupation of three fish farms situated on their territories in British Columbia without free, prior and informed consent.

The Canadian Press reports, "First Nations occupying several fish farms off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island say tensions are rising after protesters were served with injunctions [on Monday October 16]. A news release from the protesters says RCMP and representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and [Norwegian-owned] fish farm company Marine Harvest have arrived near Alert Bay in the Broughton Archipelago. They say the injunction applications are due to be heard in court [today, Wednesday October 18] but add police have no jurisdiction to remove them and protesters are concerned about the escalation of what they describe as tactical teams in advance of the court hearing."

October 16, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on October 11 to discuss NAFTA. In response to a reporter asking "Is NAFTA dead?", Trump responded, "We'll see what happens. We have a tough negotiation, and it's something that you will know in the not-too-distant future."

In mid-August, just before the 1st round of NAFTA talks, the CBC reported that the Trudeau government's demands for NAFTA 2.0 were:
1- Maintaining [the Chapter 19] process to regulate anti-dumping and countervailing disputes
2- Reforms to the investor-state dispute settlement process
3- Expand procurement
4- A new chapter on labour standards
5- Protect Canada's supply-management system for dairy and poultry
6- A new chapter on environmental standards
7- A new chapter on gender rights
8- A new chapter on Indigenous rights
9- Freer movement of professionals
10- Protect cultural exemptions

October 15, 2017

Unifor workers rally to call on Boeing to drop it's complaint against Bombardier, Sept. 20

On Saturday (October 14), the Trump administration put on the negotiating table eliminating Chapter 19 in NAFTA. The Canadian Press reports, "The U.S. want to strip down Chapter 19 that allows companies to fight to overturn duties... Chapter 19 would be eliminated entirely, after a phase-out period."

In late July, in response to previous reports that the Trump administration would seek the elimination of Chapter 19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented, "A fair dispute resolution system is essential for any trade deal that Canada signs on to and we expect that that will continue to be the case in any renegotiated NAFTA, that we will continue to have a fair dispute resolution system."

How should progressives respond to this?