July 4, 2009

March to Site 41Yesterday, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, water campaigner Meera Karunananthan, and I met with the mayor of Collingwood, the mayor and deputy mayor of Tiny Township, and then the mayor and deputy mayor of New Tecumseth.

It was a full day of driving to these different communities in Simcoe County to talk with these members of Simcoe County council about how Site 41 can be stopped.

In Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier told us there was no imminent need for the dump, and noted that while the computer-generated 'modflow' report could not be released because it is the private property of the company that develped it, its results could (and should) be independently reviiewed by a hydrogeogolist.

July 3, 2009

Yesterday evening at about 10:00 pm, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, water campaiigner Meera Karunananthan, director of organizing Carleen Pickard, and I arrived in Midland, Ontario after a five hour car drive (in the rain) from Ottawa. Here we met with Ontario-Quebec organizer Mark Calzavara, who is based in Toronto.

We are all here for the next several days to put a stop to a garbage dump that is to be constructed on the Alliston aquifer at Site 41 in nearby Tiny Township.

As has been reported almost everyday for the last several days in area newspapers including the Barrie Examiner, "On Friday at 7 p.m., Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chairman and adviser to the United Nations on water issues, will be showing the documentary film, Flow for Love of Water, at the First Nations campsite opposite the site. On Saturday, Barlow will be leading a march from Elmvale to Site 41 at 10:30 a.m."

For extensive background on the campaign to protect the water in this area from the garbage dump please go to

July 3, 2009

"While the Government of Canada hopes to see Parliament ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia, we believe that a preliminary study on the impacts of such a treaty on human rights is more justified than ever," writes Lawyers Without Borders Canada in a June 30 report on the Colombian government's surveillance and intimidation of human rights associations and the judiciary.

According to the report, a secretive branch of the Administrative Department of Security called the G-3 was involved in "Operación Transmilenio," a surveillance initiative targetting the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR), a partner organization of LWBC.



July 2, 2009

It's fair to say most municipalities are supportive of federal government efforts to work out Canadian exemptions on "Buy America" requirements in U.S. recovery and stimulus legislation. But it's also fair to say that Canada's cities have been left out of federal-provincial discussions on the matter so far. This is odd considering the Harper government's preferred solution -- an adjunct to NAFTA that would bind municipal procurement to international trade rules -- would have such sweeping impacts on municipal autonomy and the policy space our cities need to navigate the current economic downturn.

July 2, 2009

Friends of the Earth International is demanding the European Union end its free trade negotiations with Central American states on the grounds that relations with other regions "should be based on full realisation and respect for human rights." A final round of negotiations were set to begin July 7 but the coup in Honduras has stalled the process.


According to Charly Poppe, trade campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, "The cancellation of this round of negotiations is positive, but sadly, the European Commission still envisages a conclusion of the negotiations with the Central American countries this year. Unless the EU fundamentally revises its trade agenda, the Association Agreement under negotiation will only worsen the problems of poverty and social exclusion in Central America."