September 17, 2017

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, House of Commons Finance Committee chair Wayne Easter

Changes to the tax system proposed by the Liberal government on July 18 are expected to be hotly debated when Parliament resumes sitting this week.

As reported by the CBC, the proposed changes include:
- Eliminating income sprinkling, which allows incorporated small businesses to shift income to family members who don't necessarily work for them.
- Eliminating the ability to convert a corporation's earnings into capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate.
- Reducing the use of private corporations to make passive investments in stocks and real estate.

The Toronto Star reports, "Taken together, the package could save Ottawa hundreds of millions of dollars annually."

Halifax-based Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives economist Lars Osberg says, "What these measures are designed to do and do do, is tax very aggressive tax avoidance at the top of the income distribution."

September 17, 2017

CTV reports, "Hundreds [more accurately thousands] of people gathered in Toronto’s Queen’s Park on Saturday [September 16] to protest the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. Roughly 40 per cent of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim population -- some 400,000 people -- have sought refuge in Bangladesh in recent weeks, fleeing violence widely blamed on Myanmar’s military that has seen entire villages razed and countless people killed. The United Nations has called the longstanding crisis in Buddhist-majority Myanmar a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'." Photo by Sid Lacombe.

In late-2016, Reuters reported on "the systematic confiscation of land [in Myanmar] from farmers by the army and the placing of that land in the hands of crony companies close to the military junta that ruled Myanmar for half a century." That article noted, "The vast majority [of the three to five million acres of land] was taken in the 1990s and early 2000s, amid a military-led transition from socialism to a market-driven economy."

September 16, 2017

On May 16, 2017 AWARE News Network reported, "William Shotyk, right, addresses Tiny Township Council. Vickie Monague of Beausoleil First Nation, known for her role in stopping Dump Site 41, is at left, live streaming the presentation."

The community group 'Friends of Waverly Uplands' says, "There will be a public meeting held by Dufferin Aggregates on Tuesday September 19 [at the Wyebridge Community Centre at 6:00 pm] in regards to protecting French's Hill, the recharge area for the Alliston Aquifer which supplies gold standard water to [the communities of Tiny, Springwater and Tay Township in southern Ontario]."

Their outreach for this meeting warns, "Dufferin staff have confirmed that they’ve purchased the Beamish Quarry. Dufferin also confirmed that they were going ahead with the water taking permit to wash gravel, and will be taking asphalt and other construction material into the site. There will be no concrete pad or other ground barrier for this material to prevent groundwater contamination."

And they highlight, "This could be another Site 41!"

September 16, 2017

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter joined a protest on September 8 calling on Desjardins Credit Union to not invest in tar sands pipelines, including the Energy East pipeline. The credit union already has a $145 million investment in the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. The credit union is expected to make its decision by September 29.

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

1- Hamilton, South Niagara & Guelph chapters join with allies to protest Line 10 pipeline
2- Chilliwack chapter at massive march in Vancouver vs Kinder Morgan pipeline
3- Montreal chapter calls on Desjardins credit union to divest from tar sands pipelines
4- Victoria chapter endorses letter to Trudeau backing climate-friendly transportation investments
5- Winnipeg chapter activist in Ottawa for Climate Action Network's ClimaCon convergence, Sept. 27

September 16, 2017

Photo by Ute Schmid Jones

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the tripling of the existing 63,000 barrel per day Enbridge Line 10 heavy crude pipeline since November 2015.

Yesterday, the Hamilton, South Niagara and Guelph chapters took part in the 'Rally Against Line 10 Tar Sands Pipeline in Hamilton!' at the corner of Homestead and Upper James, Mount Hope, Hamilton.

Chapter activists Don McLean, Fiona McMurran, Kathie Clark, Mary Love, Paul Costello, Timothy Healey, and Ruth Pickering were there.

As noted on the Calgary-based transnational Enbridge corporation website, "Line 10 is a 143-kilometre export pipeline that carries oil from Enbridge’s Westover Terminal in Hamilton, Ontario to West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, New York. From there, the oil travels via the Kiantone Pipeline to Warren, Pennsylvania, where it is refined into gasoline, diesel, propane, butane, asphalt and other petroleum products."