April 22, 2017

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter screened two films -- Oshkiigmong: A Place Where I Belong and To the Ends of the Earth -- last night in a space shared by the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough and the Beth Israel Synagogue.

Oshkiigmong: A Place Where I Belong is a 32-minute film that tells the story of Oshkigmong (Curve Lake First Nation), which is located just 25 kilometres from Peterborough. As noted on a film festival website, "In this unique and vital documentary, Elders and knowledge holders share the early stories of the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga), the history of the controversial 1923 Williams treaty (which covers about 13 million acres of present-day Ontario), and the contemporary culture and challenges of this rich community." The film is narrated by cultural archivist Anne Taylor.

April 22, 2017

The Ontario government has announced modest changes to how bottled water companies, including Nestlé Waters Canada, are regulated in the province - but their tweaking falls well short of the substantive demands made by more than 20,000 people during recent public consultations.

Yesterday, the government said it would:

  • reduce the length of water extraction permits granted to bottled water companies (the length of a permit, that could still be renewed many times over, would be reduced from 10 years to 5 years)
  • implement a mandatory reduction on water taking during a drought (but not stop that water taking)
  • increase Indigenous and public notification, consultation and reporting (but did not say that community consent would be required for bottled water permits to be issued by the government).

It had also recently announced it would:

April 21, 2017

The CCPA-NS launched its' annual Alternative Provincial Budget, entitled "Building Green, Inclusive, Thriving Communities" yesterday in Halifax. The launch comes a week prior to the release of the NS Liberal government's budget.

The Budget provides an alternative to the neoliberal budgets we see from our governments time and time again, including the narrative that a good budget is a balanced budget, regardless of who suffers as a result. It proves that you don't need to make cuts to health care in order to pay for roads and many other myths politicians would have us believe.

The Council of Canadians has participated in the working group that develops the Alternative Provincial Budget for over 5 years now, and usually leads the writing of the water section and supports the energy, health care and trade sections.

April 21, 2017

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both support pursuing a Canada-China FTA.

China faces huge water challenges.

The rapid industrialization of China has consumed massive amounts of water and has contributed to a terrible water crisis there. It has been estimated that 90 percent of groundwater in their cities and 75 percent of their rivers and lakes are polluted and as such some 700 million people drink contaminated water every day.

In this article in Water Canada magazine titled Canadian Water: Get Ready for a Free-Trade Deal With China, Jeff Sanford writes, "If a free trade agreement can be struck between the Canadian and Chinese governments, it seems Canadian water companies are on course to tap into a huge market."

Sanford highlights:

April 21, 2017

The Canadian Press reports, "A controversial Ontario company that pays people for their blood plasma is set to begin recruiting donors in New Brunswick. Canadian Plasma Resources CEO Barzin Bahardoust says Health Canada has reviewed and approved the processes at their new Moncton collection centre, but inspectors still need to see it in operation before granting a licence."

The article highlights, "Bahardoust said they will use social media to attract about 30 donors, starting May 1, for the inspection period." Canadian Plasma Resources hopes to get final approval from Health Canada by early June.

The Trudeau government approved Canadian Plasma Resources opening the first private, for-profit plasma donation clinic in Saskatoon in February 2016.

Plasma is the largest single component of blood and contains over 700 proteins and other substances which are used to make medical products. These products are then used as treatments that can potentially help save the lives of people suffering from burns, shock, trauma, and other medical emergencies.