April 19, 2009

The Canadian Peace Alliance is circulating a petition titled 'Stop the Attacks on the Tamil People'. To add your name to it, please go to

The Globe and Mail reports this weekend that, "as the Sri Lankan military moves into (a tiny patch of northern Sri Lanka) historically held by the country's Tamil minority...a humanitarian crisis (is) in the making..."

The article continues, "The Sri Lankan government has been cited for human-rights violations – arbitrary arrests, discrimination against the Tamil minority, and, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. State Department, the condoning of paramilitary groups 'credibly alleged' to have attacked civilians and practised torture and kidnappings."

April 19, 2009

The Ottawa Citizen reports this morning that, "The Ottawa Folk Festival will not sell bottled water at its annual summer festival this year."

Julia Adam, outreach manager for the festival, says, "Working closely with Ottawa Riverkeepers, Council of Canadians, Life Without Plastics, and CUPE 503, we have just learned too much about supporting public water and doing away with plastic water bottles. Hopefully this effort will inspire audience members, volunteers, artists, and other events to consider making similar changes."

Council of Canadians chairwoman and UN senior adviser on water Maude Barlow adds, "By going 'unbottled', the Ottawa Folk Festival is playing a leading role in protecting our water services from the growing threat of underfunding and privatization."

Our media release on this can be read at

April 18, 2009

The National Post reports today that, "As U.S. President Barack Obama and Venezuela's leftist leader Hugo Chavez stole the spotlight with their unexpected rapprochement at the Summit of the Americas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pushed Canada's free trade ambitions..."

"On the second day of the 34-country summit, Harper held his first meeting with the full membership of CARICOM, the organization of 15 Caribbean countries that the prime minister dearly wants to add to Canada's growing portfolio of free-trade agreements. A Harper aide said 'significant progress' was made at establishing a mandate to begin formal negotiations on a possible agreement with the Caribbean countries, but a breakthrough was not expected this weekend."

April 18, 2009

The Canwest News Service reports this morning that, "David Jacobson, a Chicago lawyer who was the deputy finance chair of Obama's campaign, is the leading contender to become the ambassador in Ottawa, the Washington Post reported Friday."

The article notes, "Jacobson has done litigation work nationwide for prominent clients such as Allstate and General Motors, according to an online profile, and is also a specialist in Internet economy legal cases...Outside of his law practice, Jacobson has also been associated with several organizations, including CEOs for Cities, an umbrella group representing 75 mayors, business leaders, academics and non-profit groups that promotes strong economies in cities."

"Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson said a key criteria for any American ambassador is having a personal relationship with Obama and, as a major campaign fundraiser, Jacobson could fall into that category."

April 17, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports that, "federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Ottawa is reviewing its (carbon emissions) policy to ensure its conforms with whatever climate change legislation is passed in Washington...Mr. Prentice said that while the final outcome of U.S. climate change debate remains uncertain, Ottawa must ensure its regulations and enforcement mechanism are 'comparable' to the U.S. to avoid 'trade-related consequences.'"

"A bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week would establish U.S. national emission caps and a trading system for emission allowances. It would also impose border duties on importers whose home governments are deemed to be lax in the climate change fight."

But Alberta and Saskatchewan are saying that "any federal climate change policy needs to be consistent with their own approaches to greenhouse gas regulations, which set industrial emission standards based on levels of production rather than strict caps."