September 22, 2017

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter filled a bus (and four cars) for the Curve Lake First Nation Pow Wow on September 16.

Council of Canadians chapters take action for social, economic and environmental justice. Here is a snapshot of some of their recent activities:

1- Montreal chapter in Ottawa for civil society summit on NAFTA
2- Ottawa chapter at quadri-national civil society NAFTA declaration presentation on Parliament Hill
3- Northumberland chapter at civil society summit in Ottawa during NAFTA talks
4- Northumberland chapter sends letter with NAFTA concerns to Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland
5- North Shore chapter to host Barlow talk on NAFTA and water, Oct. 11

6- Guelph chapter opposes Pickering Nuclear Station running until 2024
7- Hamilton, South Niagara & Guelph chapters join with allies to protest Line 10 pipeline

September 22, 2017

With NAFTA negotiations starting in Ottawa today, my mind is on the interconnections between climate, social and trade justice.

Here are 5 reasons why we need to build relationships between climate, social and trade justice movements:

1. Chapter 11

NAFTA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has allowed corporations to sue the government of another country if it introduces new laws, regulations or practices that impacts their investments. Canada has faced 38 NAFTA Chapter 11 suits, two-thirds of them over environmental protection laws. This includes a moratorium on fracking in Quebec (ongoing dispute) and Nova Scotia’s denial of a dangerous quarry mine. Canada currently faces suits where corporations are seeking over $6 billion in damages. Chapter 11 has also been used to undermine labour and human rights.

2. Energy Chapter undermines climate action and human and Indigenous rights

September 20, 2017

Photo by Andrew Harrier/ Bloomberg.

As the third round of NAFTA negotiations come to Ottawa this September 23-27, here are five things Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be thinking about:

1 Why the rush?
US President Donald Trump wants a NAFTA 2.0 deal to be concluded by the end of this year. That's roughly a four-month negotiation period (in contrast to other 'free trade' deals that can take eight years or more to negotiate). The government should take its time and not be rushed into a deal on someone else's timeline.

We are deeply concerned that rushing the negotiations will result in a deal that has not been thoroughly studied, whose full implications are not known, an agreement that lacks the due diligence of sober and second thought, and that is very likely not in the best interests of people and the environment.

September 19, 2017

Chapter activist Ann Pohl at anti-fracking protest, June 2013.

Houston-based SWN Resources has dropped its lawsuit against Harcourt, New Brunswick-based Kent County chapter activist Ann Pohl.

In November 2013, CBC reported, "SWN Resources Canada is suing 13 anti-shale gas protesters for damages it claims it has suffered as a result of protests in New Brunswick. The company has lost $650,000 since the protests began, according to an affidavit by Christopher Cainsford-Betty, a staff operations geophysicist for Southwestern Energy Company, the parent company of SWN. Every hour the machines and crews aren't working costs a minimum of $5,000, according to the eight-page affidavit."

The respondents included Pohl, Suzanne Patles, Rachel Daigle, Lorraine Clair, Jim Pictou, Seven Bernard, Jason Okay, Greg Cook, Wilhelmina ('Willi') Nolan, Melanie Elward, Jean-Sebastien Theriault, John Doe and Jane Doe.

Then on September 14 (almost four years later), Pohl received a letter from SWN saying they are prepared to drop the lawsuit against her.

September 19, 2017

This past July Desjardins announced a moratorium investment in, and financing of oil pipeline. This decision reflects a growing movement pushing the financial sector to cut times with Big Oil.

And it is gaining traction.

According to a recent report, Banking on Climate Change, the world’s biggest banks have reduced lending to extreme energy projects such as coal, tar sands, LNG and offshore drilling, by billions of dollars. 

Desjardins is deciding whether to make their ban permanent by September 29th. Doing so will impact Kinder Morgan (Desjardins has a $145 million commitment to the project they need to drop) and is more bad news for Energy East.