March 2, 2018

In the lead-up to the 7th round of talks, The Council of Canadians and allies hosted a talk by Gordon Laxer in Vancouver. He spoke on NAFTA, energy proportionality and climate change and argued it's time to end NAFTA's mandatory exporting rule. We will be releasing two reports on this issue later this month.

The 7th round of NAFTA talks will conclude on Monday (March 5) with no indication of movement on key issues, but instead a potentially huge new obstacle.

February 28, 2018

Finance Minister Bill Morneau

The Council of Canadians has long called for a single, universal, publicly funded prescription drug program that would both save lives and billions of dollars.

Like many across the country, we were hopeful about the news reports on Monday that suggested that the federal government was about to announce a new advisory council to be headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins with the purpose of studying options to implement a pharmacare program.

On Tuesday, the federal government confirmed a council would be formed led by Hoskins with a "mandate to study, evaluate and ultimately recommend options on a path forward on pharmacare that puts Canadians first."

February 27, 2018

Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Photo by Sean Kilpatrick.

The Council of Canadians has had a first look at Budget 2018 tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau this afternoon and has these initial observations:

1- $0 for pharmacare
"There's a pledge for a new national pharmacare program — but the budget says nothing about what that might cost. Eric Hoskins, who resigned as Ontario's health minister Monday, was officially named today as the chair of a new council that will hold nationwide consultations on how to proceed with a national program." - CBC
After years of study and clear evidence that pharmacare would both save lives and billions of dollars, we are disappointed that the government decided to pursue consultations rather than taking immediate action to implement pharmacare. The advisory council's report isn't expected until the spring of 2019, just prior to the October 2019 federal election.

February 27, 2018

Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow has tweeted, "Terrifying! Coke and Nestle want to buy up the Guarani Aquifer! Must be stopped!!!"

Mint Press reports, "A concerted push is underway in South America that could see one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water soon fall into the hands of transnational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Nestle. According to reports, talks to privatize the Guarani Aquifer – a vast subterranean water reserve lying beneath Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – have already reached an advanced stage. The deal would grant a consortium of U.S. and Europe-based conglomerates exclusive rights to the aquifer that would last over 100 years."

February 27, 2018

The Victoria, Cowichan Valley and Mid-Island chapters along with our Vancouver-based organizer AJ Klein were at the Site C accountability and action summit in Victoria this past January 26-27. One call to action from that summit included, "In response to the civil suits brought by the West Moberly First Nations, the Prophet River First Nation and the Blueberry First Nations, the Province of BC must instruct BC Hydro to stop work on Site C and walk away from the project."

Three court cases will be heard in the coming months regarding the controversial Site C dam on Treaty 8 territory in northern British Columbia.

The Georgia Straight reports, "Many assumed the $10.7-billion Site C dam was a done deal when Premier John Horgan announced in December that B.C. Hydro would complete the project. [But now] the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations said in a news release that they've managed to secure a 'major work stoppage' in advance of presenting legal arguments in court for an interim injunction."