December 5, 2019

Members of the Counci of Canadians Vancouver/Burnaby Chapter were on courthouse steps with signs of support on the first day of final arguments in the Charter of Rights challenge launched by Dr. Brian Day against public medicare.

Final arguments got underway in mid-November and conclude this week in a decade-old Charter challenge against public health care. Launched by private clinic owner Dr. Brian Day, the case is seen as a direct threat to Canada’s publicly funded medicare system.

The case pits Dr. Day, owner of the private Cambie Surgeries Corp. – which allows people to pay for access to surgeries – against the British Columbia government.

An audit of the surgery clinic’s billing revealed that fees were being charged to both the public medicare system as well as directly to patients. When the province finally clamped down on the clinic for double-dipping, Dr. Day launched this Charter challenge.

December 4, 2019

European Blue Communities meeting
European Blue Communities meeting

I have just returned from Brussels where we wrapped up the first European Blue Communities meeting, co-sponsored by the Blue Planet Project, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, the World Council of Churches, the Swiss Reform Church and Brussels Capital Region, our newest Blue Community.

The meeting brought together representatives from more than 40 organizations across Europe involved in the Blue Communities Project. We were also joined by Marcela Olivera from Bolivia and Samuel Ventura from El Salvador who are leading a new Blue Communities initiative in Latin America through the Plataforma de Acuerdos Publicos-Comunitarios – a network of rural community water cooperatives.

December 2, 2019

Will this week’s Speech from the Throne be a meaningful step forward for climate justice and a just transition? Or will it be another missed opportunity to take action on the scale required to put out the fires of the climate emergency.

November 26, 2019

On Tuesday, November 19, Kingston City Council reaffirmed its commitment as a Blue Community. Alongside Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and Robyn Hamlyn, a young water activist, Kingston’s Mayor Bryan Paterson committed to protecting the human right to water, phasing out bottled water in municipal facilities, and promoting publicly owned and operated water and wastewater services.

Through the amazing advocacy from young activist Robyn Hamlyn and the community, Kingston passed separate resolutions as a Blue Community back in 2011. At this ceremony, we are excited to see the city council renewing its commitment to protecting our water and keeping water services in public hands.

November 26, 2019

Photos by Greenpeace USA

Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow joined a crowd of protestors who brought the rallying cry for a Green New Deal and urgent action on the climate crisis to Capitol Hill in Washington last week.

Marching alongside Jane Fonda and crowds of environmental activists, Indigenous water warriors and land defenders, she helped bring attention to the water and climate crises.

As reported by the LA Times, the activists marched toward the Supreme Court last Friday to demand new water regulations  as part of the ongoing campaign to raise climate-crisis awareness.

Barlow spoke at the podium wearing a vibrant red “Canada” shirt. She shared stories and information of links between water and climate.