The Canwest News Service reports today that, “Legislation used by Newfoundland and Labrador to ‘kick out’ AbitibiBowater Inc. and expropriate most of its assets purports to be ‘rational public policy’ but is really the ‘populist rhetoric’ of a vindictive premier, according to papers served on the federal government Thursday. The forestry giant formally notified Ottawa that it will challenge that action under North American Free Trade Agreement and seek more $300 million in direct compensation for the rights and assets expropriated after it announced the closing of its Grand Falls, N.L., mill.”
Brent Patterson's blog
Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly writes in today's Report on Business magazine that, "Spain is creating Europe's first 'water banks,' which may be the forerunners of the water markets of the future. This has the potential to be the biggest resources growth story since the oil trade began more than a century ago."
The Regina Leader Post reports that, “The Support Our Troops decal getting stuck to all Saskatchewan government vehicles isn't getting a warm response from everyone. Regina resident Allan Taylor said he supports the troops, but opposes the war in Afghanistan and questions why the stickers are going on public vehicles…Taylor's concerns were echoed by the Council of Canadians. ‘We see it as not a smart initiative for the province of Saskatchewan to be taking,’ said Sheila Muxlow, the group's Edmonton-based prairie organizer. While the decals are often called a show of support for the troops and not necessarily the war, Muxlow said the council doesn't feel that's the case. ‘To see a support the troops campaign happen now, it's inevitable that it's going to be linked to the mission where our troops are most actively involved,’ she said.”
We have received word from Council of Canadians BC-Yukon organizer Harjap Grewal that Vancouver has just passed its resolution against bottled water. We will have more details soon on this important vote in Canada's third-largest city.
The CBC reports this afternoon that, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is required to press the United States for the return of Omar Khadr to Canada from Guantanamo Bay to ‘comply with a principle of fundamental justice,’ a Federal Court judge ruled Thursday. Unmoved, Harper said the government may try to overturn the judge's decision on Khadr, who is accused of killing a U.S. army soldier with a hand grenade during a gunfight in Afghanistan in 2002…Justice James O'Reilly ruled in favour of Khadr's charter challenge of the Canadian government's decision not to request his repatriation from the U.S. detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ‘The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr's repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr's rights,’ O'Reilly said in his 43-page decision. ‘To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr's repatriation as soon as practicable.’"
Fort McMurray Today reports that, "Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) announced 53 charges yesterday in connection to the April 24, 2007, accident that (killed two workers and) injured four other workers, two seriously, at the Canadian Natural Resources Horizon project, about 75 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Twenty-nine charges were laid against CNRL, the operator of the Horizon site where the accident occurred. Another 14 charges were laid against contractors SSEC Canada Ltd. and 10 against the Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd. The charges included several counts of failing to ensure the health and safety of the workers...The three companies are expected to make their first court appearance June 8 in Fort McMurray."
This morning ‘24 Hours Vancouver’ reports that, "Vancouver council will consider banning bottled water from civic facilities today and urge a return to the tap. Metro Vancouver wants to reduce bottled water use by 20 percent by 2010 because of the effects of bulk water removal, the life-cycle of bottles and the use of energy in transportation. The city ban could cost $841,300 in revenue and sponsorship if civic theatres, parks board, PNE, Carnegie Centre and the Gathering Place could not sell single bottles of water.”
The Globe and Mail reports this morning that federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt has written Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about California's proposed new low carbon fuel standard saying, "We are concerned that crude oil derived from Canada's oil sands may be discriminated against as a high (carbon-intensity) crude oil, while other crude oils with similar upstream emissions are not singled out This could be perceived as creating an unfair trade barrier between our two countries."
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow addressed the United Nations General Assembly this morning. To see the video of her address, please go to http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/ga/63/2009/ga090422am.rm.
As we noted yesterday, Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow will make her first address to the United Nations General Assembly on the morning of April 22 to support the Bolivian call for an annual “International Mother Earth Day” celebration. Her speech will be a call to action to implement the human right to water.