March 10, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, "The Rainforest Action Network...staged a demonstration outside the annual meeting (of the Royal Bank of Canada in Vancouver recently) - and, at the same time, another one at RBC's Toronto headquarters."

The Council of Canadians joined the Rainforest Action Network for both of these demonstrations (notably organizers Harjap Grewal and Stuart Trew) and intends to do more collaborative work with them in the coming months.

BLUE WATER PROJECT INCOMPATIBLE WITH TAR SANDS INVESTMENTS The article notes that, "The activists say the bank's status as a prominent Olympics sponsor and its 10-year, $50-million Blue Water philanthropic program (which funds fresh-water projects internationally) is incompatible with its role as a top financier of the Alberta oil sands, which many believe is a significant source of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions."

March 9, 2009

The Hindu newspaper was first published in 1889, and in 1995 became the first Indian newspaper to offer an online edition.

The Hindu is the most circulated periodical in India with a circulation of 1.17 million copies, according to the Registrar of Newspapers for India. According to the Indian Readership Survey, The Hindu has a readership of 5.2 million people.

Today, The Hindu reviewed Maude Barlow's book Blue Covenant. The review states, in part, that "the first three chapters of the book tell a grim, depressing and frightening story, but chapters four and five dispel the gloom (at least partly) and offer a degree of hope through their accounts of the battles fought by the water warriors, some of them remarkably successful, and of the progress of the idea of the right to water. Being in substantial agreement with the argument of the book, this reviewer has no serious criticisms to offer."

The full review can be read at

March 9, 2009

The Guardian reports this morning that, "Premier Robert Ghiz says the province is seriously discussing a ban on bottled water within government facilities.The issue was brought up Thursday when the senior water adviser to the United Nations and Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow met with the premier to discuss her concerns about access to clean water on P.E.I."

The article notes, "She offered several suggestions on how Prince Edward Island can sustain and protect its groundwater supply. Banning the sale and purchase of bottled water in all provincial public spaces, including the legislative assembly and in all provincial government buildings, would promote and support the Island’s public water, Barlow said."

Barlow says, "We’ve asked the premier and other premiers to ban bottled water and to invest in more infrastructure into our public water so it’s supporting public water."

March 9, 2009

CBC reports this morning that, "The P.E.I. government intends to ban the sale of cosmetic pesticides starting in 2010. Environment Minister Richard Brown told CBC News Friday that regulations are being drawn up, and they will be straightforward...Brown said Islanders were very clear about what they wanted, in their presentations to a legislative committee looking into lawn chemicals in 2007."

The full report can be read at

NAFTA CHALLENGE AGAINST QUEBEC FOR THEIR PESTICIDE BAN In October 2008, CBC reported that, "A company that makes the commonly used herbicide ingredient 2,4-D is challenging the Quebec government under the North American Free Trade Agreement for banning its product. The Canadian unit of Dow AgroSciences alleges the prohibition of the weed killer is without any scientific basis and in violation of the trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico."

March 8, 2009

It is with sadness that I share the news with you that Ottawa chapter activist Jeremy Wright passed away early this morning.

Jeremy was a committed chapter activist dedicated to a better Canada and will be remembered fondly by many from his participation at our annual general meetings and at Ontario-Quebec regional meetings.

Jeremy was a retired federal civil servant who contributed his considerable skills and energy to grassroots organizing and documentary film-making in the belief that a better world is possible. We honour him for this dedication and for his volunteerism.

Thank you to Peterborough chapter activist Roy Brady for letting us know about Jeremy's passing. We extend our condolences to Jeremy's family, friends, and fellow Ottawa chapter activists.