February 21, 2018

The federal Liberal government is expected to spend more on water protection in its budget on February 27, while continuing to champion the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan pipeline that crosses more than 1300 waterways to fill hundreds of tankers on the Pacific Ocean with bitumen each year and recently approving BP to conduct oil and gas exploration in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Press reports, "The federal government appears poised to commit what some believe could be a significant amount of cash in next week's budget to protect more of Canada's lands, inland waters and oceans."

Inland waters refer to lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, groundwater, springs, cave waters, floodplains, as well as bogs, marshes and swamps. The Great Lakes are also considered to be inland waters.

February 21, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing a 'comprehensive and progressive' deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been reached, January 23.

The Canadian government has released the text of the so-called "comprehensive and progressive" Trans-Pacific Partnership, but numerous concerns about the deal remain including its investor-state dispute resolution provision.

1- Side letters not released
NDP Trade Critic Tracey Ramsey has posted, "The TPP text is out - but none of the side letters that contain the suspensions. They won’t be released until Mar. 8 when agreement is fully signed. So much for transparency." The Liberal government had said side letters were signed to protect Canadian culture and with Japan on automotive standards, but those letters were not released for public scrutiny.

February 20, 2018

A tweet by Saint John, New Brunswick-based Joel Richardson, Vice-President Public Relations, Cooke Aquaculture.

Washington is moving to ban fish farms in state waters, but the North American Free Trade Agreement could stand in its way.

The Canadian Press reports, "The Washington state senate and house of representatives have recently passed bills that would phase out net-pen farms when their leases come up for renewal over the next seven years. Each bill passed with about a two-thirds majority. Now the senate and the house are considering each other's proposed laws. The bills are expected to pass into law when approved by both the house and the senate. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's deputy communications director Tara Lee said in an email that he supports the phase out of net pens for non-native fish."

February 19, 2018

Justin Trudeau arrived in India on February 17 for a week-long visit that will include a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 23.

The Indian newspaper Business Standard reports, "Currently India and Canada are engaged in the negotiation of the proposed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) for facilitating investments and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or the proposed free trade pact."

That article notes, "Talks on FIPPA had earlier been stalled by New Delhi's decision to conduct negotiations for all investment pacts under the framework of the model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) issued by the government in 2015."

Negotiations on a Canada-India FIPPA were launched in September 2004 (under Liberal prime minister Paul Martin) and concluded in 2007 (under the Harper government), but the deal was never signed. Similarly talks on a Canada-India CEPA were launched in November 2010 (by the Harper government), but never concluded.

February 17, 2018

Will Minister McKenna listen to Mi'kmaq elder Keptin John Joe Sark?

Mi'kmaq elder Keptin John Joe Sark rejects federal environment minister Catherine McKenna's modifying the name of a national historic site in Prince Edward Island from Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst to Skmagn-Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst.

The CBC reports, "The site came under scrutiny in recent years following a re-examination of Jeffery Amherst, who the fort was named after. Mi'kmaq elders have raised questions about honouring Amherst, arguing he was an enemy of Indigenous people. Scholars had debated Amherst's actions during his service until evidence was found he advocated the use of biological warfare, through smallpox blankets, to kill Indigenous peoples."