April 29, 2009

The 21st annual Canadian Bottled Water Convention and Trade Show, titled 'Challenge of Change', runs from today through to May 1 at the Delta Halifax Hotel in Halifax.

Greeting those attending this bottled water industry convention today and the 114,000 readers of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald is an op-ed by the Council of Canadians national water campaigner Meera Karunananthan.

April 29, 2009

We want to extend congratulations to our friends at MiningWatch Canada, who we have been working with on Sandy Pond and the broader 'tailings impoundment area' issue.

Their April 24 media release notes that, "MiningWatch Canada and Ecojustice are hailing a landmark decision from the Federal Court of Canada released late yesterday that will force the federal government to stop withholding data on one of Canada’s largest sources of pollution – millions of tonnes of toxic mine tailings and waste rock from mining operations throughout the country. The Federal Court sided with the groups and issued an Order demanding that the federal government immediately begin publicly reporting mining pollution data from 2006 onward to the National Pollutant Release Inventory."

April 29, 2009

The Penticton Western News reports on Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow's speech to the annual BC Water and Waste Association’s conference this past weekend at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

"Suffering from both environmental and economic pressures Barlow called the state of water the most urgent ecological and human threat of our time, as well as the first face of climate change."

"Touching on the 'dirty dozen' of water degradation Barlow listed various areas of concern, but said the world’s fate isn’t cast in stone — only the concept of unfettered expansion has to be tossed out."

"Barlow also warned strongly against legislation that gives power to Independent Power Producers. 'Beware of Run of River projects, which will turn public property into private gain,' she said."

Maude is also quoted in the article saying:

- "We have a comet coming at us, and it's called the global water crisis."

- “Water is a public trust and it belongs to the public.”

- “We need to map out our groundwater and ensure extraction doesn’t exceed growth...and put our rivers under strict restrictions.”

April 28, 2009

Abitibi, Newfoundland compare paper cuts

Dr. Russell Williams, graduate coordinator at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, predicts in the news today that AbitibiBowater has a good case if it does eventually challenge the Newfoundland government under NAFTA for expropriation. But he’s careful to point out he doesn’t agree with the process – Chapter 11 – by which the American company can sue for compensation.

"It's a reason why as members of the public we should be demanding that NAFTA be changed, that Chapter 11 is a bad system, and it's unfair to citizens who control their natural resources," he said. Read more here:

April 28, 2009

As we wait to see whether Obama will ask Congress to ratify new free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia, we’re reminded of the flipside of U.S. trade policy: border control and excessive surveillance.

On April 24, we learned that U.S. authorities had diverted a flight from Paris to Mexico, forcing it to make an unplanned stop in Martinique, all because one journalist, Hernando Calvo Ospina of Le Monde in France, happened to be on board and on a U.S. no-fly list.

Ospina’s publisher told the media he was likely blacklisted by request from the CIA, which the journalist was researching for his next book. Ospina “has written favorably about Cuba, has denounced the rightwing Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe, and has been critical of the U.S. role in Latin America,” according to The Progressive.