September 6, 2017

The Cato Institute -- which was co-founded by billionaire Charles Koch on "the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace" -- is calling on the Trump administration to support the Trudeau government's proposal to have a US-Canada-Mexico regulatory cooperation council integrated into NAFTA 2.0.

Regulatory cooperation can involve "harmonizing" or "aligning" regulations in areas as diverse as genetically modified foods, resource extraction project approvals, water protection rules relating to toxic mining waste, pesticide residue levels in food, pharmaceutical drug approvals, and crash-testing standards for seat belts and built-in child booster seats.

September 6, 2017

Hundreds of small farmers and union members rallied this week in front of Mexico's legislature to demand that NAFTA be renegotiated to benefit workers.

The second round of NAFTA renegotiation talks concluded yesterday in Mexico City - with the third round set to take place on September 23-27 in Ottawa (most likely at Old City Hall at 111 Sussex Drive).

The Toronto Star reports, "Canada, the US and Mexico put a positive spin Tuesday on what sources say was a tough five-day round of negotiations to rewrite North American free trade rules. ....A joint statement issued by [Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo] emphasized that 'important progress was achieved in many disciplines' and said more is expected in the coming weeks as negotiators take a break to consult with their respective industry associations and political decision-makers."

September 5, 2017

The Council of Canadians Kamloops, Kelowna, Campbell River, Regina, Hamilton, London, Guelph and Peterborough-Kawarthas chapters took part in Labour Day activities yesterday.

Labour Day has been celebrated in Canada on the first Monday in September since the 1880s. The first Labour Day parade in Canada was in 1872 to support the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week. In July 1894, Prime Minister John Thompson made Labour Day an official holiday.

The Council of Canadians is proud to have a strong relationship with the labour movement both in this country and around the world.

Our Board of Directors includes representatives from Unifor, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, and the Northern Territories Federation of Labour. Our staff are members of Unifor Local 567.

#LabourDay2017 #Solidarity

Regina chapter

Campbell River chapter

September 4, 2017

The Selwyn open-pit mine would be located at the headwaters of the Pelly River in Yukon.

The Trudeau government will spend $247 million of public funds to subsidize highway and bridge construction for mining corporations that want to build open-pit mines in the Yukon that involve massive tailings ponds that put local lakes and rivers at risk.

The Canadian Press reports, "Trudeau poured nearly a quarter of a billion dollars into Yukon's highway network Saturday [September 2] in hopes it will lead to resource development, but some Indigenous leaders remain wary about environmental implications. Trudeau and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver announced their two governments will spend more than $360 million to improve road access to mineral-rich areas in the territory. ...The governments say the money will upgrade more than 650 km of road and build or upgrade a number of bridges for highways leading into the Dawson Range in Central Yukon and the Nahanni Range in the southeast part of the territory."

September 4, 2017

Jerry Dias, Scott Sinclair, Thomas Walkom, Maude Barlow

The Trudeau government should be publicly affirming that it has an exit strategy and is prepared to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) now being renegotiated.

1- Labour rights
Yesterday, Reuters reported, "Canada’s biggest private-sector union [the 310,000 member Unifor] said NAFTA should be scrapped if Mexico cannot agree to better labor standards... Jerry Dias, national president of Canadian union Unifor, said NAFTA had been a 'lousy trade agreement for working-class people' and that the union was pushing his government to walk away from the talks if it could not secure them a better deal. 'If labor standards aren’t a part of a trade deal, then there shouldn’t be a trade deal', Dias told reporters in Mexico City on the sidelines of a second round of negotiations to update the 1994 trade agreement among the three countries."