July 3, 2017

Hamilton chapter activist Mary Love writes:

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians planned an information booth and potluck on Canada Day at a local event called It’s Your Festival In beautiful Gage Park in Hamilton, Ontario, traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg.

Besides engaging the public on issues such as clean water, the Nestlé boycott (which we were glad to find fairly well known by now) and our local Enbridge pipelines, we brought attention to the 150 + years of resistance by Indigenous peoples of this land against colonialism. One of our chapter activists bought extra Respect Indigenous Rights buttons, perfect for the day and very popular. Kathie Clark had followed up on a notice from Jim Elliott (Regina Chapter) about Briarpatch magazine’s CANADA 150 CONFRONTED July/August issue and ordered a hundred copies to give to festival attendees.

July 3, 2017

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was to have been provisionally implemented on July 1.

But that didn't happen.

The CBC reports, "While it's not the biggest snag slowing up CETA's implementation, Europeans are concerned that some provinces aren't opening up their procurement on the timetable they were expecting. Canada's approach seems to be to fix a date for CETA's implementation first, and then change the required regulations. But the EU wants to see the regulatory changes, particularly for Ontario and Quebec, before it agrees to a date."

It adds, "Potential European bidders watch municipal and provincial infrastructure announcements – such as a recent contract by Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto Area's transit authority – with interest. Future sole-source contracts could violate the open bidding the EU bargained for."

July 3, 2017

A Canadian Armed Forces gunner on a CH-146 Griffon helicopter in northern Iraq, November 2016.

The Trudeau government announced late last week that Canadian troops would stay in Iraq for another two years.

Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom comments, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ill-considered efforts to mollify Donald Trump continue apace. The decision to keep sending Canadian soldiers to the war in Iraq is just the latest version. The federal government’s entire defence posture and much of its foreign policy is focused on convincing the U.S. president that Canada is a loyal American ally. Ottawa’s hope is that if Trump thinks Canada is pulling its weight militarily, he will order his negotiators to go easy on this country during the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement talks."

July 2, 2017

Photo of the week: The Council of Canadians Edmonton chapter held a picnic discussion on pesticides and water protection.

July 1, 2017

"Canada is like two grains of sand in an hourglass in the timeline," said Clanmother Alma Brooks of the Wolastoq Grand Council. "We are celebrating time immemorial and we are celebrating more than 14,000 years.  That is what we represent."

The Wolastoq Grand Council have constructed a Longhouse out of birch sapplings, cloth ties, and with cedar boughs on the floor.  It is located on the green beside the Wolastoq (the St. John River), across the street from the Provincial Legislature in downtown Fredericton.  It is just down the main street where Fredericton's CANADA150 events are taking place. 

The communal assembly of the Longhouse is a powerful testament to the traditions of the Wolastoqiyik.  The men harvest and put up the poles while the woman tie together all the poles with the coloured cloth.  "The women tie together all people. They keep our Nations together," explained Grand Chief Ron Tremblay.