January 29, 2018

Steve Verheul, Canada's chief NAFTA negotiator, during the 6th round of talks in Montreal.

Mainstream media reports are suggesting we should feel cautiously optimistic about the 6th round of NAFTA talks that concluded in Montreal today.

The Globe and Mail reports, "Canadian negotiators spent all last week presenting new ideas." The Canadian Press notes, "Countries [are] seeking a pathway to solutions for the difficult problems" and that there is now "a glimmer of hope that the continental trade pact may yet be saved." And the Toronto Star has reported, "Canada has made a bold offer to accept a controversial U.S. demand at the NAFTA talks about how to resolve commercial trade disputes."

New ideas? Pathway to solutions? Glimmer of hope? Bold offer?

January 29, 2018

The Indigenous Liberation Walk will take place between February 16 and March 1 in South Africa. About a dozen Indigenous people will walk a 1,000 kilometre route between Victoria West and Cape Town over a 14 day period.

This year will be the sixth walk for the Khoe, Nama and San people. Khoisan refers to the Khoi (or more specifically Khoikhoi, formerly known as Hottentots) and the San (or Bushmen) of Southern Africa.

Myiingan Kwe, a member of the Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario, writes, "Asking all First Nations people, water walkers, Site 41 family members and all supporters of Indigenous Rights to say a prayer on February 18 for the Khoisan people of South Africa who will walking with the Site 41 water in their annual liberation walk for human rights, in the midst of the impending Cape Town Water Crisis."

January 27, 2018

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter and allies rallied on Saturday January 27 outside the Hôtel Bonaventure in Montreal, the venue for the 6th round of NAFTA talks. Photo by Mike Le Couteur, Global News.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to arrive in Montreal tomorrow (Sunday January 28) and to comment on Monday (January 29) on the Trudeau government's counter-proposals that have emerged during this 6th round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Key areas that are reportedly being discussed this round include:

1- Auto parts: The Trump administration wants to increase the overall North American content requirements from 62.5 per cent to 85 per cent and US content to 50 per cent. The Trudeau government is proposing the percentage include software development and high-tech auto components in the calculation to inflate the US percentage.

January 27, 2018

The Māori led a protest march of thousands of people opposed to the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in New Zealand in February 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's so-called 'Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership' (CPTPP) - to be signed on March 8 in Chile - is a violation of Indigenous rights.

January 26, 2018

The Council of Canadians was honoured to partner with artists Melisse Watson and Syrus Marcus Ware to create these portraits to commemorate the six victims of the attack on a mosque in Quebec City on January 29 2017: Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane. Please share them in order to remember these lives lost and to fight for a world free of Islamophobia and white supremacy. (Full size images here). 

On January 29, 2017, at 7:52pm, a young white man entered a mosque in Quebec City in Canada and over the course of a few minutes murdered Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane. Five others were badly injured: Aymen Derbali, Said El-Amari, Mohamed Khabar, Nizar Ghlai and Said Akjour.