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October 15, 2009

Bill Bhaneja, co-founder of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, writes that, "Bill C-447, An Act to Establish the Department of Peace, was tabled in the House of Commons on September 30 as a Private Members Bill by NDP MP Bill Siksay and seconded by Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis."

The Council of Canadians has long supported the call for a Department of Peace. As noted on the solidarity page of our website, "The Canadian Department of Peace Initiative seeks to establish a Department and Minister of Peace in Canada to change the dynamic of debate and decision-making in Cabinet and Parliament towards a culture of peace and non-violence at home and abroad." That's at http://www.canadians.org/solidarity/peace.html. We are also noted in their list of supporters at http://www.departmentofpeace.ca/list-of-supporters/.

October 15, 2009

The CBC reports that, "A new report warns that Canada's rivers are at risk and some are even close to drying up due to the effects of climate change and growing demand for water and energy."

"The World Wildlife Fund-Canada report, called Canada's Rivers at Risk: Environmental Flows and Canada's Freshwater Future, looks at the health of 10 major rivers from the perspective of water flow. It says that growing more food, generating more electricity, quenching the thirst of expanding cities, and fuelling industry are taking their toll on the nation's rivers."

"According to the report, flow regimes in some of Canada's most important rivers, such as the South Saskatchewan and the St. Lawrence, have been modified to the extent that ecosystems are in serious trouble. And it warns that other rivers, including some of the planet's increasingly scarce large, free-flowing rivers like the Skeena, the Athabasca, and the Mackenzie - could soon be in trouble."

The Canada's Rivers at Risk report is at http://wwf.ca/conservation/freshwater/riversatrisk.cfm.

October 15, 2009

Please see this message from Council of Canadians Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo:

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Yesterday the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Dr. Elinor Ostrom. That's at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/12/nobel-economics-prize-elinor-ostrom.

Dr. Ostrom is someone who we have previously contacted regarding the water commons work that some of you are aware of and which I hope we can move forward together.

Dr Ostrom has done work on the issue of water governance and community participation in control of water resources.

The idea of the commons is a powerful concept for our water justice movement. There is a new project called Our Water Commons which is promoting the water commons - more information on this project will be forthcoming.

October 14, 2009

The Telegraph Journal published an opinion piece today (copied below) by freelance writer Janice Harvey, "Where are we 40 years later on the environment?"

Harvey, also known as a university lecturer, president of the New Brunswick Green Party as well as once serving as the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, is a panelist at the Council of Canadians upcoming AGM in Saint John, October 23-24. Find out more information here.

In reviewing the last 40 years of environmental action through the lens of celebrating the Conservation Council of New Brunswick's 40th anniversary, Harvey captures the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.

The appalling federal state of affairs on climate action is laid bare. In particular, the recent actions of the Canadian government at international negotiations leading to the creation of a post-Kyoto Protocol agreement on climate change,  are particularly cringe-inducing.

October 14, 2009

The Canadian Press reports this afternoon that, "A moratorium on the exploration and mining of uranium in Nova Scotia will be turned into law by the provincial government."

"The ban has been in place since 1981, but was only in the form of a cabinet policy statement. Natural Resources Minister John MacDonnell ...says a legislated moratorium will make it more difficult for future governments to rescind or change the law."

Mr. MacDonell also said that turning the ban into law was a response to public concerns.

The Council of Canadians has been calling for a legislated moratorium on uranium exploration and mining through grassroots chapter work, statements, action alerts, media work, a tour, and other activities.

On April 8, 2008, Atlantic organizer Angela Giles highlighted in an action alert that, "Capella Resources of Vancouver (through their subsidiary Tripple Uranium Resources Inc.) announced (on April 1) that they have found more than 100 parts per million of uranium in their exploration site in Central Nova Scotia (west of Windsor Forks)."

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