Council chapters are made up of volunteers who work with local community groups, organized labour and others to promote the Council’s campaigns to protect water and public health care, work for fair trade, climate justice and democracy as well as other issues of social and economic concern. Check out some of our chapters’ actions below and be in touch if you are interested in getting involved in a chapter near you.
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In a recent and hard-hitting article in Policy Options, Pam Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer from Eel River Bar First Nation, author, activist and Associate Professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto, writes about the water crisis many First Nations face, saying it’s a crisis that is “entirely of Canada’s own making.”
She points out that “400 of 618 First Nations were under at least one water advisory between 2004 and 2014. A recent CBC investigation revealed that 180 homes in Garden Hill First Nation, Manitoba, lack running water and indoor plumbing. Some of the residents don’t have central heating or power either.”
She asks: “How many Canadians would settle for water infected with fecal matter, sewers backing up into their bathtubs or being able to bathe only once a week due to lack of access to water? In all likelihood, if this were happening in any Canadian municipality on the same scale as in First Nations, a state of emergency would be declared and all resources would be brought to bear to address the crisis.”
The 2019 federal budget tabled this week makes some small progressive steps forward by offering some relief on student loans, enrolling more seniors in Canada Pension Plan, and providing other funding aimed at the so-called “middle class.” But it fails to provide adequate funding in key areas such as pharmacare, eliminating drinking water advisories in First Nations, and the funding needed for a just transition in our economy in the face of climate change.
While the Liberals committed some money to help create a national agency to assess prescription drugs, negotiate bulk purchasing prices, and set up a national drug formulary that would list the drugs all Canadians could access, it was not tied to implementing a national pharmacare program.
Yesterday, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court upheld an injunction from Alton Gas barring Mi’kmaq water protectors from protecting their land and water. As described on the Stop Alton Gas website, “Alton Gas has a hugely destructive plan to create salt caverns in which to store natural gas, by dumping the equivalent of 3,000 tons of hard salt into the Shubenacadie River every day. This massive 50-year project would seriously harm the river ecosystem and put the health, livelihoods and rights of the Mi’kmaq people at risk. It is also in contravention of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the deposit of ‘deleterious substances’ into water frequented by fish.”
The Nelson Chapter of the Council of Canadians is co-hosting an event on March 22 – World Water Day – to help raise community awareness about the importance of water.
The United Nations declared March 22 World Water Day in 1993. According to the UN’s website, the day is “a means of focusing attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The theme for World Water Day 2019 is 'Leaving no one behind.’”
The Council of Canadians mourns the 49 lives taken and dozens more injured in the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday.
We are grieving alongside Muslim communities everywhere and stand united in denouncing Islamaphobia and racism in all forms.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. The Council of Canadians honours the struggles of women around the world for justice and equality.
We celebrate women’s achievements and recognize that as a society, we can still do better.
Across the country, Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists are joining marches and actions in support of women’s aspirations for a better world.
We are inspired by the many examples of women who, through their solidarity and courage, demonstrate that a better world is possible. Today, and every day, we honour women’s struggles and commit to working collectively to build a better future for us all.
Bottled water that smells like "urine," tastes like "old socks" or reeks of "diarrhea." These were some of the complaints listed in four years' worth of government inspection reports obtained by CBC News.
CBC News noted that the reports revealed that “Dasani, owned by Coca-Cola; Real Canadian natural spring water, owned by Loblaws, one of Canada's largest grocery-store chains; and Refreshe spring water, from the Safeway grocery chain, are just some of the brands whose water has been hit with complaints over foul smells, tastes or unusually high levels of sulphur.”
Happy International Women's Day from Council Chapters — a day to recognize women's achievements and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality.