July 3, 2018

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won the Mexican presidency this past Sunday July 1 with almost 53 per cent of the vote. What are the implications of his win on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? The signals following his election win are still difficult to discern.

Reuters now reports, "Lopez Obrador, a onetime NAFTA skeptic who moderated his views in his third run at the presidency, said in a Mexican TV interview on Monday that he wanted a NAFTA deal that was good for Mexico. 'We’re going to accompany the current government in this negotiation, we’re going to be very respectful, and we’re going to support the signing of the agreement'..."

That said, just prior to the election, former Mexican ambassador Jorge Guajardo commented in The Atlantic, "Even though he has spoken favorably about NAFTA, he is not a free-trader by heart. If Trump pulls out of NAFTA, AMLO likely won’t feel obligated to offer concessions in hopes of bringing him back."

July 3, 2018

This massive march against the Rosia Montana mine took place in Bucharest, Romania in September 2013. Photo by Romania Insider.

The Council of Canadians has opposed the construction of the controversial Rosia Montana mine in Romania since December 2013.

Whitehorse-based Gabriel Resources wants to construct a massive open-pit mine in the Carpathian mountains that would use cyanide to mine about 314 tons of ton of gold and 1,500 tons of silver. It would destroy mountainsides, displace about 2,000 villagers and create a 300-hectare toxic tailings pond.

As public opposition to the mine grew, the Romanian government of the day eventually rejected the project in 2014.

July 3, 2018

Dudley George

When Ontario Premier Doug Ford appointed Greg Rickford as the "Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs" this past Friday, he turned his back on a key recommendation that emerged out of the Ipperwash Crisis that took place in September 1995.

The Canadian Encyclopedia explains, "The Ipperwash Crisis took place in 1995 on land in and around Ontario’s Ipperwash Provincial Park, which was claimed by the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. The underlying cause of the crisis was the appropriation of the Stoney Point Reserve in 1942 by the federal government for use as a military camp. After repeated requests for the land to be returned, members of the Stony Point First Nation occupied the camp in 1993 and in 1995."

July 3, 2018

The Council of Canadians is dismayed by Ontario Premier Doug Ford's weakening of pharmacare for youth and seniors while at the same time he pledges to implement a massive corporate tax cut.

The previous Liberal government in Ontario introduced a pharmacare plan called OHIP+ that provided free access to 4,400 medications in a provincial formulary to 4 million children, teens and young adults under 25. The Council of Canadians - and its allies the Ontario Health Coalition, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and Unifor - welcomed OHIP+ when it was first announced in April 2017.

Toronto Star columnist Tom Walkom has commented that Ontario's Progressive Conservatives (under former leader Patrick Brown) do not like OHIP+ because, "It is a step on the road to universal pharmacare."

July 1, 2018

A water protector in MinnesotaA Line 3 opponent blockading traffic in front of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in downtown St. Paul.

On June 28th, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude from Hardisty, Alberta to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.