In her open letter to Trudeau posted just days after he was sworn in to office in November 2015, Barlow affirmed, "Our role as a civil society organization is to hold your government accountable to your promises of a new way of doing things and a more open and democratic government."
Brent Patterson's blog
Police at one of the occupation sites, Oct. 13. Photo by Alexandra Morton.
The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter in New Brunswick has expressed solidarity with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Namgis, Mamlilikula. Ma’amtagila and Tlowitsis nations and their occupation of three fish farms situated on their territories in British Columbia without free, prior and informed consent.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on October 11 to discuss NAFTA. In response to a reporter asking "Is NAFTA dead?", Trump responded, "We'll see what happens. We have a tough negotiation, and it's something that you will know in the not-too-distant future."
Unifor workers rally to call on Boeing to drop it's complaint against Bombardier, Sept. 20
On Saturday (October 14), the Trump administration put on the negotiating table eliminating Chapter 19 in NAFTA. The Canadian Press reports, "The U.S. want to strip down Chapter 19 that allows companies to fight to overturn duties... Chapter 19 would be eliminated entirely, after a phase-out period."
In late July, in response to previous reports that the Trump administration would seek the elimination of Chapter 19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented, "A fair dispute resolution system is essential for any trade deal that Canada signs on to and we expect that that will continue to be the case in any renegotiated NAFTA, that we will continue to have a fair dispute resolution system."
How should progressives respond to this?
On the first day of the 4th round of NAFTA talks, petitions from The Council of Canadians and numerous allies calling for an end to Chapter 11 were presented in Washington, DC.
The Trump administration has just proposed making the Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement mechanism voluntary, eliminating the Chapter 19 panels that examine anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, and turning the Chapter 20 state-to-state dispute settlement panels into advisory bodies.
The Canadian Press reports, "The American proposals would render all of [these chapters] toothless. Chapter 11 would become voluntary, with countries being allowed to opt out. Chapter 19 would be eliminated entirely, after a phase-out period. And Chapter 20's panels would become an advisory body."
On October 11, petitions from the Council of Canadians and numerous allies calling for the Chapter 11 'investor-state dispute settlement' provision to be removed from NAFTA were delivered in Washington, DC.
There have been a number of key developments midway through the October 11-17 round of NAFTA talks now happening in Arlington, Virginia.
The Council of Canadians North Shore chapter hosted honorary chairperson Maude Barlow and chairperson Leo Broderick at an Oct. 11 public forum in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia on NAFTA and the right to water.
Here is a snapshot of recent and upcoming activism by Council of Canadians chapters across the country:
Bulldozer plowing gravel and dirt from a Peace River island into the river. Site C construction site, June 2015. Photo by Garth Lenz.
On August 2, the British Columbia government asked the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to review the Site C project and recommend either continuing construction on the dam, pausing it, or scrapping it. The deadline for public comment was yesterday (October 11). The Commission's report is expected on November 1. The following is a letter submitted by The Council of Canadians to the BCUC:
From: Brent Patterson
Sent: October 11, 2017
Subject: Council of Canadians submission on the Site C dam
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor refuses to save lives and billions of dollars by implementing - or even being willing to discuss with the provinces - pharmacare.
The Council of Canadians calls on the Trudeau government to implement universal pharmacare and save billions of dollars a year (money that could be invested in public health care, prevention, and wellness programs to save lives).
The Council of Canadians Windsor-Essex and London chapter visited the community blockade of the North Kent Wind project construction site in late-August. Windsor-Essex chapter activist Randy Emerson says, "We were there to protect the Kettle Point Black Shale aquifer."
The Council of Canadians is deeply concerned by the impact pile-driving construction activities - for the 34-turbine North Kent Wind project - are having on drinking water for residents in the Chatham, Ontario area.
The North Kent Wind project is a joint venture of the South Korean-based transnational Samsung and its US-based partner Pattern Energy.