October 14, 2018

Members of the Fredericton Chapter at the proposed Sisson Mine site in New Brunswick.

Once again this week, Council of Canadians Chapters were active in communities across the country, hosting events and coordinating actions in the name of democracy, social and environmental justice, and Indigenous solidarity. Here are some highlights:


The Ottawa Chapter co-hosted an All Candidates debate for Rideau Vanier Ward city councillor on October 8.

The Guelph Chapter hosted a very successful Mayoral Debate at Guelph City Hall on October 10. The Chapter is continuing their "GET OUT AND VOTE" campaign for the upcoming municipal elections.

October 12, 2018

The the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that says governments must make "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of climate change.

The panel’s report, released earlier this week, says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, increasing the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

October 12, 2018

Global News reports that while the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is similar to its NAFTA predecessor in many ways, the removal of Chapter 11 – the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that allowed foreign corporations to sue the governments over policies and regulations that restrict their profits, even if they are done in the interest of the environment or people’s health – is a major victory according to some experts.

Chapter 11 corporate lawsuits have cost Canadian taxpayers almost one-third of a billion dollars.

October 11, 2018
Idle No More marching near Ottawa. Photo by Dave Chidley, Canadian Press, from Ottawa Citizen

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a ruling that says Canada's lawmakers do not have a duty to consult with Indigenous people before introducing legislation that may affect Aboriginal treaty rights, sidelining Canada’s commitments to reconciliation and UNDRIP by saying that such an obligation would be too onerous.

However, in a 5-4 decision, the court found there is still an obligation on the government to act honourably and maintain the "honour of the Crown" when drafting legislation that may affect Indigenous people and their charter rights. What this means isn’t specifically defined and could result in future legal challenges. 

October 9, 2018

In response to the Maritimes Energy Association’s conference on October 2-3, where BP and a number of other fossil fuel companies funded conversations about ‘setting the stage’ for our energy future, we hosted a number of events to show that offshore drilling should be part of our past, not our future.

This included a rally outside the conference, two public forums in Mahone Bay and Halifax, and a kayak flotilla. I think this series marked a moment of growth in the movement to protect offshore Nova Scotia for a few reasons. First, the tourism industry showed up like never before. Companies are speaking out, and Mayor of Mahone Bay David DeVenne spoke in defense of the industry. Second, we learned a lot about the links between the need to stop offshore drilling and Indigenous struggles for sovereignty and the ability to exercise inherent rights. Last, we remembered that creativity is a critical part of every successful movement.