November 23, 2017

Leo Broderick and Maude Barlow have highlighted the need to protect water in Prince Edward Island.

Charlottetown-based Council of Canadians chairperson Leo Broderick commented this past spring on the draft Water Act that had just been released by the provincial government of Prince Edward Island.

At that time, Broderick expressed concern that there was no direct reference to fracking in the draft text of the legislation.

The draft was released in mid-March after a first round of public consultations.

In October 2015, Broderick presented to the PEI Environmental Advisory Committee as it gathered input for this draft Act. He raised concerns at that time about fracking, bottled water takings, the need to recognize water as a human right, and the need to legislate a ban on deep well irrigation to prevent long-term groundwater depletion in the province.

November 23, 2017

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) poses a threat to net neutrality in Canada.

The Toronto Star reports, "U.S. telecom regulators have confirmed plans to roll back Obama-era rules designed to protect net neutrality."

In response, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has commented, “Canada will continue to stand for diversity and freedom of expression. Our government remains committed to the principles of net neutrality‎."

Let's hope so.

The loss of net neutrality would mean "a two-tiered system where certain content is favoured for paid subscribers, while other streams are blocked or slowed."

The Toronto Star news report cautions, "John Lawford, executive director and general counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre [says] major wireless carriers in Canada could seek a review of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission net neutrality policies, arguing that harmonization with the U.S. to protect investment here is now warranted..."

November 21, 2017

Photo of our protest at the start of the 4th round of NAFTA talks in Ottawa, September 2017.

The fifth round of NAFTA talks concluded in Mexico City earlier today. In short, it would appear that no 'progress' was made on any key issues.

This is notable because the three countries have given themselves the extended deadline of March 31, 2018 to reach a deal, with only two more rounds of formal talks left, the penultimate round being January 23-27, 2018 in Montreal.

The Financial Post reports, "The fifth round of talks has largely avoided the most divisive U.S. proposals on dairy, automotive content, dispute panels, government procurement, and a sunset clause."

That news report adds, "Negotiators spent much of their time in the fifth round on rules of origin, which govern how much of a product must be produced in North America to trade without tariffs, though discussions on that centered on mundane details such as paperwork requirements."

November 20, 2017

Today's announcement is just a distraction, in time for Minister Caroline Bennett's participation in a traditional sharing circle with the LLP as well as PM Trudeau's upcoming visit to Labrador to apologize for residential schools, since they were not included in the original apology.

The fact that Trudeau is coming to apologize to the Indigenous people of Labrador while backing the cultural genocide that is Muskrat Falls is irony at it's best. Or, worst.

None of the frontlines' demands can happen if the construction continues.

Following up on his government's announcement earlier this Fall, NL Premier Dwight Ball today announced the terms of reference for the judicial inquiry into the Muskrat Falls hydro project.

VOCM reports "Supreme Court Justice Richard LeBlanc will lead the inquiry which will begin in January and be completed by December 31, 2019."

CBC News reported that the inquiry will include questions such as:

November 20, 2017

Kluscap Wilderness Area

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia wants Liberal premier Stephen McNeil and his provincial government to ease 'Parks and Protected Areas Plan' regulations so it can explore 154 known mineral occurrences that are on protected land on Cape Breton Island.

Yesterday, the Cape Breton Post reported, "One of those potential projects [the Kellys Mountain project] is an aggregate deposit in Victoria County that is completely covered by the Kluscap Wilderness Area."

Kellys Mountain is located about 100 kilometres east of Inverness and about 380 kilometres north of Halifax.

Council of Canadians organizer Robin Tress says, "People fought off a mining company that wanted to make a quarry in the middle of Kluscap/Kellys Mountain 20 years ago and now the mining industry is trying again."

The Waycobah First Nation know Kellys Mountain as Kluscap Mountain and oppose exploration in this area that is sacred to the Mi’kmaq people.