October 13, 2009

As noted on their website, Project Censored "tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media."

This year, they have highlighted 'Activists Slam World Water Forum as a Corporate-Driven Fraud' as one of their top 25 stories.

As you will remember, the Council of Canadians sent our chairperson Maude Barlow, Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo, and national water campaigner Meera Karunananthan to the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey this past March.

October 13, 2009

The Midland Mirror recently reported that, "Protesters charged in relation to recent events at Site 41 will have to wait another two months before getting their day in court. Seventeen people face charges – including mischief – for an alleged blockade outside the gates of the controversial landfill this summer. The accused individuals appeared in court on Oct. 8. Their cases were remanded until Dec. 3."

On September 18, the Council of Canadians wrote Ontario's attorney general requesting that all charges be dropped against these individuals.

Maude Barlow wrote, “The Council of Canadians is respectfully asking that the Crown also consider the extenuating circumstances which led to these law abiding and deeply respected people being arrested. If real justice is to be served, these unjust charges need to be dropped."

October 13, 2009

The Toronto Star reports that, "The (Harper) government's push to abandon much of the Kyoto Protocol prompted dozens of developing countries to walk out on Canada's address during recent climate talks in Thailand, the Canadian Press has learned."

"The mass walkout came after the Canadian delegation suggested replacing the Kyoto Protocol with an entirely new global-warming pact, according to one of the negotiators and notes taken by others at the meeting."

"The developing countries want a new climate deal to complement Kyoto, but Canadian officials told the room they would rather replace Kyoto with one agreement..."

"Canada's delegation was apparently open to putting 'some or all' of Kyoto in a new climate pact..."

"At that point, the South African delegation stood up and led the Group of 77 developing nations – except for a group of small island states – out of the room."

October 12, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports that, "A team of Canada's top scientists (brought together by the Royal Society of Canada) is wading into the pitched debate over the damage the oil sands is causing to the environment and human health."

"(The nine-member panel) will examine some of the most controversial accusations that have been levelled against industry: that it is damaging aquatic life; that it is causing elevated rates of cancer in nearby First Nations; that it produces green house gas-laden 'dirty oil'."

Their report is expected in the spring of 2011.

Steve Hrudey, a professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the University of Alberta, will be the chair of the panel.

A University of Alberta newsletter says, "Hrudey is an internationally recognized authority in the fields of drinking water safety and environmental health risk assessment and management. His pioneering research on cyanobacterial toxins was a major impetus for Canada's drinking water guideline on microcystin, and he was an architect of the restructured Australian Drinking Water Guidelines."

October 11, 2009

No One Is Illegal has produced an important statement on Canadian immigration and foreign worker policy. I'm reproducing it in full below. Though the Security and Prosperity Partnership is formally dead as a venue for pursuing closer integration of Canadian and American security and regulatory policy, one unfortunate consequence is that the border is again the American weapon of choice when it comes to pushing Homeland Security-friendly policies in Canada. DHS chief Janet Napolitano has declared the northern border with Canada an international checkpoint like any other and Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has taken the point. Since their meeting in May, we've seen visas slapped against Mexican and Czech travellers to Canada, and a reversal of former minister Stockwell Day's promise that new lawful access legislation will now allow Canadian security agents to access computer and online data without a warrant.