November 17, 2017

The spill from the Keystone pipeline in northern South Dakota. Photo by TransCanada.

The TransCanada Keystone 1 pipeline has spilled 5,000 barrels (795,000 litres or 210,000 gallons) of oil in South Dakota.

CBC reports, "A Native American tribe in South Dakota is on edge following a large oil leak from TransCanada's Keystone pipeline. ...[The spill happened] near Amherst, S.D., about 64 kilometres west from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. ...Tribal chairman David Flute said his community is concerned the leak, the largest by the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota to date, could pollute the area's aquifer and waterways. 'We are keeping a watchful eye and an open ear', said Flute. 'The concern is at a high level, but there is really nothing we can do.'"

November 17, 2017

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter visited the Wolastoq Grandmothers Sisson Encampment to deliver supplies, provide lunch, cut firewood and help build a winter home to assist in the ongoing effort to stop the planned Sisson Brook open-pit tungsten and molybdenum mine that would be built at the headwaters of the Nashwaak River on Maliseet territory.

Please see below this week's snapshot of recent and upcoming chapter actions across the country.

November 17, 2017

Finance Minister Bill Morneau

The Council of Canadians joins with numerous allies to demand that Bill C-27 be withdrawn by the Trudeau government.

In this open letter to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff writes, "I am writing on behalf of Canada’s unions to urge you to abandon Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, which represents a dangerous and immediate attack on future and current retirees and Defined Benefit pension plans in the federal private sector and Crown corporations."

Yussuff highlights, "C-27 was introduced without notice or consultation with Canadians, pensioners, or unions and proposes measures that directly contradict election promises to improve retirement security for Canadians. If enacted, it will have negative implications for private and public-sector DB plans in every jurisdiction in Canada."

November 17, 2017

NDP MP Romeo Saganash

Bill C-262 will go to second reading in the House of Commons on December 4. C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was introduced as a private members bill in April 2016 by NDP MP Romeo Saganash.

APTN has reported, "Saganash said passage of his bill ... would complete a circle that began in 1984 when he began work on UNDRIP which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007."

The Council of Canadians has long-supported UNDRIP. In September 2007, we issued a media release that stated, “The Council of Canadians denounces the Harper government for voting against UNDRIP ... along with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. The Council of Canadians is demanding that the Canadian government show leadership on Indigenous rights by supporting the Declaration and taking necessary measures to ensure justice for Aboriginal communities in Canada.”

November 12, 2017

How should we understand the status of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 agreement?

What was agreed to?
The Globe and Mail reports, "The deal announced Friday removed 20 sections of the original TPP deal, including provisions related to pharmaceutical products, patent protection, copyright and intellectual property. Another section lists four categories as areas where 'substantial progress was made but consensus must be achieved before signing': the treatment of state-owned enterprises, services and investment, dispute settlement and culture. A Canadian government official said rules related to the auto sector continue to be part of the TPP but will be the subject of a 'work plan' to reach an agreement on details."