July 17, 2017

On Saturday, July 15 Mi’kmaq elders and organizers held a ceremony to remove the spirit of Edward Cornwallis from a park in downtown Halifax.

The Cornwallis statue was covered in black cloth during the ceremony to remove his spirit and his legacy of violence from Halifax. Photo by Sadie Beaton.

Cornwallis arrived in K’jpuktuk in 1749 and renamed the place Halifax. The British were fighting with the French for control over what is now Nova Scotia, and some Mi'kmaq warriors aligned with the French to fend off English forces. As part of this war, Cornwallis ordered a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq people. He is seen today as a symbol of genocide and colonial violence, and Mi’kmaq organizers have been working to have the statue of Cornwallis removed from this park for decades.  

Elizabeth Marshall, one of the organizers of the July 15 ceremony, told APTN she felt like the ceremony was “a rebirth of our people who felt oppressed and who felt they were voiceless. Today they had a voice."

July 14, 2017

The Trudeau government wants to increase oil and gas exports to China - a dangerous agenda that could be entrenched through a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement.

Last month, Natural Resources minister Jim Carr stated, "We have to expand our export markets in all of our natural resources. And that is why China is so important to us. That’s why we approved a pipeline to take Alberta crude to the West Coast, and then on to Asia. ...The government of Canada is committed to the Trans Mountain expansion project. We believe it’s in the national interest for all of the reasons that we have expressed – job creation, expansion of export markets. ...At the moment, China represents only a fraction of our oil exports and none of our natural gas. We’re looking to change that."

Tim McMillan, the president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, accompanied Carr on a recent trip to China along with executives from oil and gas corporations to push this agenda.

July 14, 2017

Maliseet grandmothers have set up a camp at the site of the proposed Sisson Brook mine, an hour north of Fredericton.

The Council of Canadians is opposed to the proposed Sisson Brook mine in New Brunswick that was approved by the Trudeau government in late-June.

Sisson Brook is a proposed open-pit tungsten and molybdenum mine that would be built at the headwaters of the Nashwaak River on Maliseet territory about 100 kilometres north of Fredericton. The mine would also include an unlined tailings pond and an ore processing plant. Molybdenum is used for warplanes and industrial motors.

This past February, CBC reported, "The Todd Corporation, a 130-year-old company based in Wellington, New Zealand — with remarkable similarities to New Brunswick's own Irving family enterprises — has emerged as the chief backer of Northcliff Resources Ltd. and the beleaguered Sisson Brook mine it has been attempting to create."

July 14, 2017

While both Republican and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have pushed back against President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate funding to clean up the Great Lakes, the Trudeau government has yet to seriously commit to protecting the Great Lakes.

The Toronto Star reports, "U.S. President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans have rejected his proposal to eliminate all federal funding for cleaning up the Great Lakes. Trump’s request to slash the budget of the popular Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million (U.S.) to $0 had sparked an outcry from environmentalists and politicians on both sides of the border. ...Republicans and Democrats on the powerful Republican-led House Appropriations Committee decided this week to set the 2018 budget for the restoration initiative at the previous level of $300 million."

The article adds, "A series of congressional votes are required before the budget is finalized, but advocates say the initiative appears safe."

July 14, 2017

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto

This past April U.S. President Donald Trump made comments about Canadian energy exports in relation to the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) set to begin next month. On April 20, Trump said, "We can't let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers. And again I want to also just mention: included in there is lumber, timber and energy."

At that time, The Globe and Mail reported, "Neither Canada’s government nor oil industry have any idea what Trump was talking about when he warned that the U.S. will target Canada’s energy sector in renegotiations of the North American free-trade agreement. Finance Minister Bill Morneau, in Washington at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings, said he could not think of any energy-related trade disputes between the two countries."