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February 24, 2009

The Niagara Falls Review reported last night that, "Members of the Council of Canadians and Brock University's chapter of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group waved placards in front of city hall before the start of Monday's council meeting."

The article continues, "Niagara Falls council is scheduled to consider a recommendation from its Park in the City committee calling on the city to cease the sale of bottled water at arenas, parks and city-run events."

This morning, a Niagara Falls Review headlne reads, "Niagara Falls scraps bottled water."

The article isn't accessible at the moment, but Council of Canadians Ontario-Quebec organizer Stuart Trew who was there last night reports, "It was a unanimous vote in favour of a bottled water phase out. Frank Fohr's presentation convinced them all."

February 23, 2009

As you may know, the Council of Canadians has been working with CUPE Ontario on a 20-city ‘Unbottle It’ tour against bottled water (fifteen communities have been visited, with five more to come in April) and on a possible speaking tour later in the year on the Ontario-Quebec economic partnership agreement, which is a version of TILMA.

The CBC reports today that, "Delegates at a Canadian Union of Public Employees conference in Windsor, Ont., have voted in favour of a resolution to boycott Israeli universities to protest against Israel's recently ended offensive in Gaza."

February 21, 2009

This past week we heard US President Barack Obama demand that labour and environmental side agreements be incorporated into the main text of NAFTA.

We are now hearing from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Trade Minister Stockwell Day that they are open to addressing President Obama's concerns, but seemingly with the assertion that NAFTA would not need to be renegotiated to accomplish this.

HARPER AND DAY
At the joint media conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "We're perfectly willing to look at ways we can address some of these concerns which I understand without opening the whole NAFTA and unravelling what is a very complex agreement..."

In an interview on Friday with the Canwest News Service and Global National, Trade Minister Stockwell Day said, "There was lots of speculation that President Mr. Obama wanted to do a wholesale renegotiation of NAFTA. We understand now that that's not on and we think there's ways of accommodating the environmental concerns and the labour concerns."

February 20, 2009

The UK Guardian reported yesterday that, “Potential strains in relations between the US and Canada were exposed today when Barack Obama, on his first foreign trip as president, hinted at renegotiation of the North American Free Trade agreement.”

OBAMA SEEKS INCLUSION OF LABOUR AND ENVIRONMENTAL SIDE AGREEMENTS INTO NAFTA

The Guardian reported that, "Obama told reporters at the press conference in Ottawa he wanted to begin talks on adding provisions to the agreement relating to workers and to the environment. 'My hope is as our advisers and staffs and economic teams work this through that there's a way of doing this that is not disruptive to the extraordinarily important trade relationship that exists between the two countries,' he said."

February 19, 2009

Following today's media conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, please note below a review of recent media coverage on the 'clean energy dialogue', the proposed 'clean energy agreement', and more on what a 'smart grid' might mean.

1. A 'CLEAN ENERGY DIALOGUE' ANNOUNCED

(Toronto Star, Feb. 19) “Canada and the United States have announced plans to work on clean energy technology following meetings between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper today. The agreement to begin a ‘clean-energy dialogue’ was officially announced by the two leaders at a press conference this afternoon."

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