September 15, 2017

The United Nations says, "In some makeshift sites around Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, humanitarian agencies have built tube wells that provide a much-needed source of drinking water for undocumented Rohingya living outside the official camps. ©UNHCR/Saiful Huq Omi"

Up to 400,000 Rohingyas have fled the state of Rakhine in Myanmar/Burma for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 25. That's in addition to the 400,000 Rohingya refugees who had fled earlier from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

The Independent explains, "Rohingya Muslims face widespread persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma, where the recent violence has driven hundreds of thousands to seek refuge overseas. ...Members of the ethnic group are commonly referred to as 'Bengalis' by many in Burma who insist they migrated illegally from Bangladesh."

September 15, 2017

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter took part in a 4-week campaign this past March-April that successfully stopped a provincial cut of almost $5 million to the province's public library system.

Council of Canadians chapters are celebrating at least 18 significant wins achieved during the first nine months of 2017!

These WINS! include:

September 15, 2017

The Globe and Mail reports, "The Trump administration is pushing for a 'sunset clause' in the North American free-trade agreement that would automatically kill the deal after five years unless all three sides agreed to keep it in place."

The article highlights, "Canada and Mexico immediately rejected the idea, arguing that it would create unnecessary uncertainty for businesses, which would not want to make investments without reassurance that market access between the three countries is here to stay. Such a provision, if inserted into NAFTA, would all but guarantee that the current trade-related drama would play out in the United States again in five years' time."

David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the U.S., says, "Not to try to make light of it, but if every marriage had a five-year sunset clause on it, I think our divorce rate would be a heck of a lot higher than it is right now. The best thing you can do in these things is to try to have goodwill and try to work through tough times rather than set an arbitrary date."

September 14, 2017

A study found that the CETA ICS provision would not have stopped the NAFTA Chapter 11 ISDS challenge launched by Lone Pine against a fracking moratorium in Quebec.

The Trudeau government is reportedly pushing to have the Investment Court System (ICS) replace the Chapter 11 Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

While this is being presented as a progressive reform, closer scrutiny suggests it is highly problematic and against the public interest.

September 13, 2017

During the October 2015 federal election, the federal Liberals stated, "Stephen Harper’s changes to the Fisheries Act, and his elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act, have weakened environmental protections. We will review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards."

Following the election, the Trudeau government conducted a series of consultations on the Navigation Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, the National Energy Board Act, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The results of those reviews have been disappointing.

For example, Transport Canada issued a response (on June 20) accepting the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities recommendations (from March 23) on the Navigation Protection Act, the first of which recommends leaving only a scant list of 99 rivers, 64 lakes and three oceans protected under the Act.