April 24, 2017

Greenpeace China climate campaigner Liu Shuang tries to deliver a letter to the Canadian embassy in Beijing in advance of the COP 15 climate talks in Copenhagen, December 2009. Both Trudeau and the Chinese government are open to a further expansion of the tar sands and export pipelines to tidewater.

The Trudeau government is signalling it wants to move quickly on 'free trade' with China before the October 2019 federal election.

The Globe and Mail reports, "Canada has yet to formally launch free-trade negotiations with China. [After a first round of talks in Beijing in February, a] second round of exploratory talks will take place this week [April 24-28] in Ottawa. Other Western countries have taken as long as a decade to conclude free-trade pacts with Beijing. But Ottawa is now indicating it expects to move quickly."

April 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter joined with the Ontario Coalition against Poverty (OCAP) and others who camped outside Toronto Mayor John Tory's $2.4 million luxury condominium on Saturday night to highlight their demand that he do more to help the more than 5,000 people who are homeless in Toronto.

David Cherkewski, the chair of the chapter's Poverty and Inequality group, was among the 42 people who slept on the street outside the building on Saturday night.

The outreach for the action stated, "Toronto Mayor John Tory refuses to open enough shelter space to prevent homeless people from sleeping on the streets. If that's what people are forced to do, we have picked the best possible spot to do it - right in front of Tory's multi-million dollar condo. Join us if you can for all or part of the night."

April 24, 2017

Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui has written this letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to ask that it reject a permit application from Nestlé Waters North America.

The Swiss transnational is seeking permission from the DEQ to increase the amount of water (from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute) it draws from a well north of Evart in Osceola Township for its bottled water operations.

Lui highlights, "Water is a human right, commons and public trust, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around it. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human rights to water and sanitation, and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals also recognized these fundamental rights. The human rights to water and sanitation must be recognized at every level of government."

April 23, 2017

Chapter members and early arrivals gather with MP Bill Casey before the public forum.

The Council of Canadians North Shore chapter held a public forum on electoral reform with their Member of Parliament Bill Casey on April 20.

Their Facebook outreach noted, "Public meeting with MP Bill Casey on Electoral Reform, April 20, at the Tatamagouche Library. No more false majorities - we CAN make every vote count! Let's send a message to Ottawa that voters are fed up with piecrust promises!"

After their 'citizens forum on electoral reform', they posted, "Many thanks to Bill and the people who came from all corners of the riding (and beyond) to participate. Great discussion! We are so fortunate in this area to have so many thoughtful concerned citizens and an MP who is always willing to listen and share."

And on Twitter they shared, "We packed the room at #Tatamagouche Library!"

April 23, 2017

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will advance to a second vote on May 7 to be France's next president.

The Associated Press reports, "With Le Pen wanting France to leave the European Union, and Macron wanting even closer co-operation between the bloc’s 28 member states, the projected outcome [of the first round of voting on] Sunday means the presidential runoff would have undertones of a referendum on France’s EU membership."

That article adds, "It also would represent a seismic shift in the French political landscape, with neither of the candidates from the mainstream left Socialists or the right-wing Republicans party - which have governed post-war France - making the runoff. Pollsters projected that conservative former Prime Minister Francois Fillon was trailing the two leading candidates and that Socialist Benoit Hamon was far behind."