July 12, 2017

Image: Location of the KSM mine. Photo: Mike Kay | Rivers Without Borders

In 2002, the Harper government allowed a loophole in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations of the Fisheries Act, giving the green light to mining companies to dump their toxic waste into lakes and creeks.

Originally introduced under the former Liberal government and intended only to apply to lakes already dead, Schedule 2 allows for the reclassification of a lake as a 'tailings impoundment area' no longer protected by the Fisheries Act.

In this June 29 blog we noted, "The Trudeau government has approved a 'tailings management facility' in the upper tributaries of Teigen and North Treaty creeks (which form part of the Nass River drainage system) near Stewart, British Columbia."

July 11, 2017

Amber Cook teaches yoga in Chicago and Diana Oppenheim offers yoga classes in San Francisco. Last year, they contacted the Blue Planet Project after having watched the film Blue Gold based on the 2005 international bestseller about the global water crisis by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke.

July 5, 2017

The Council of Canadians protested in front of the Prime Minister's Office during the second round of exploratory talks this past April.

The Trudeau government continues to pursue a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) despite public concerns.

The Canadian Press reports, "A third round of exploratory trade talks is scheduled to start this month and [China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye] hopes formal negotiations will follow at an 'early date', Lu said. However, the spokesman for International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the government is still waiting on the results of its public consultations with Canadians. If the exploratory talks lead the government to conclude that formal negotiations should take place, Ottawa might launch another round of consultations, said spokesman Joseph Pickerill."

July 5, 2017

While media attention was given to the colourful socks worn by the prime ministers, CETA remains a controversial issue in Ireland.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar on July 4 to push for the provisional implementation of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The Globe and Mail reports, "A surge of Irish opposition to the deal is coalescing even as the country’s newly minted and popular Prime Minister seeks to put down worries over a bad deal. ...This week, a variety of Irish groups representing trade unions, small businesses, farmers and environmentalists came out against the deal and urged the Irish parliament not to ratify it. The largest opposition party has also tempered its support for CETA and last fall, the country’s Senate narrowly passed a motion against the adoption of CETA."

July 4, 2017

While a recent Nanos Research survey found that 54 per cent of Canadians are either open or somewhat open to the Trudeau government making concessions to the Trump administration to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) suggests that may not be necessary.

The report says that if Trump actually terminated NAFTA the impact on the Canadian economy - contrary to conventional wisdom - would be relatively minimal. The report notes that if NAFTA were abrogated then Canadian exporters would fall back on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and tariff rates.