April 22, 2009

U.S. Senators are not letting President Obama off the hook for his apparent back-peddling in renegotiating NAFTA, and his apparent wish to get the Colombia, Panama and South Korean free trade agreements through Congress after successful delays from his apparent allies. Excuse me for all this apparentness, but Obama is not beholden to his trade representative, and we really want to believe that renegotiation has not slipped entirely off the table.

“Sen. Sherrod Brown, a free-trade skeptic, said Wednesday he will soon introduce legislation that would effectively delay congressional consideration of the proposed free-trade pacts drafted under President George W. Bush,” reported the Wall Street Journal today. “Speaking before the Washington International Trade Association at George Washington University, Mr. Brown said any effort to finalize the pending agreements would be a continuation of failed Bush policies, and he warned of opposition in Congress.”

April 22, 2009

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow addressed the United Nations General Assembly this morning. To see the video of her address, please go to

She is introduced by the President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann at 33:02 in this video, and Maude’s speech starts at 33:49 and concludes at 40:02.

The text of her speech, which she adapted in her presentation, is posted on the Council of Canadians website at

April 22, 2009

As we noted yesterday, Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow will make her first address to the United Nations General Assembly on the morning of April 22 to support the Bolivian call for an annual “International Mother Earth Day” celebration. Her speech will be a call to action to implement the human right to water.

Your technology permitting, you should be able to see Maude’s presentation on United Nations webcast Channel 1 at shortly.

We will also be seeking the video of this historic event and let you know when we’ve posted that to our website

April 22, 2009

It is my great pleasure this morning to let you know that Matthew Ramsden has accepted the position of Communications Officer (campaigns) at the Council of Canadians.

Matt has made a tremendous contribution to the work of the Council over this past year as our Communications Officer (web), and we look forward to his ongoing contributions to our work. He has brought with him new ideas, creativity, a good spirit, and valuable team participation.

He will continue in his current role through to Pam Woolridge’s return from maternity leave on June 4, then formally take on the communications officer position at that time.

April 22, 2009

Please see below an update from trade campaigner Stuart Trew.

Teri Strain of the Peterborough Water Action Group (WAG) informs us that the students at James Strath Public School are rejecting bottled water and promoting the tap!

The move was inspired by a recent showing of the film Blue Gold at the school arranged by WAG – a community water watch committee set up by the Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter of the Council of Canadians immediately after the Unbottle It! tour stop by Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan at the end of January.

A class at the school studied bottled water as a debate subject and “could find no positives,” writes Teri. “One of the things they want to do first is to ban the sale of bottled water at our school. They will be writing persuasive letters to the principal who is already aware this will be happening. He’s very supportive of the kids’ wish to get rid of the bottled water from our vending machines.