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).
Rachel Small's blog
Photo caption: Activists in Toronto protest the murder of 16 year old anti-mining organizer Topacio Reynoso Pacheco. She led youth in her community in opposing Canadian company Tahoe Resource's silver mine in Guatemala.
This week, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, announced the creation of a new human rights ombudsperson who will investigate allegations of abuse abroad concerning Canadian corporations. Champagne explained that the new watchdog, named the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), will be empowered to independently investigate complaints of human rights abuse at the hands of Canadian companies, to make public recommendations for remedies, and to monitor the implementation of those recommendations.
Today marks the 142nd day that a continuous 24-hour vigil has been maintained outside of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office in downtown Toronto.
“In my community we are fighting for our lands and we will protect them until we die.” Margarita Caal Caal explained to the 150+ people who had packed into the Toronto Friends’ House on November 23rd. “I am here to tell you the truth.”
Margarita is one of 11 Mayan Q'eqchi' women from the tiny Guatemalan community of Lote Ocho at the frontlines of the struggle against Hudbay Minerals. The women had traveled to Toronto to be cross-examined as part of the lawsuit they launched against the Canadian mining company in 2010. The suit addresses the gang-rape of 11 women from Lote Ocho by mining company security personnel, police, and military during the forced eviction of their village and families from their ancestral lands on January 17, 2007. The company is also being sued for the murder of community leader Adolfo Ich Chamán and the shooting and paralyzing of German Chub.
About 25 people came together in Kitchener-Waterloo last night to launch a local chapter of the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest social activist group.
Those gathered learned about the organization, ongoing campaigns, and the vital role that chapters play in taking action for social and environmental justice. A strong interest was expressed in organizing locally around water issues, electoral reform, healthcare, and in solidarity with social movements globally.
The chapter will hold its first meeting next week. Contact regional staff member Mark Calzavara (email@example.com) for information on how to get involved.
On Friday, dozens of people gathered outside the office of Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of El Salvador who have waited seven years for a World Bank tribunal decision in the controversial case of OceanaGold v. El Salvador.
Angélica Choc and Máxima Acuña, two of the land-defenders we most deeply admire, were threatened and attacked last week at their respective homes in Guatemala and Peru.
It was standing room only at the Grad Club in Kingston last night, as a crowd gathered to hear Maude Barlow speak about her new book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.
“The water crisis is at our door here in Canada. All the issues we thought so far away are upon us now,” writes Barlow in Boiling Point. “It is time to abandon our false beliefs that Canada has unlimited supplies of water, that Canadians have taken care of this water heritage and one another or that we still have lots of time to do so. We need a strong, national plan of action based on a new water ethic that puts water protection and water justice at the heart of all our policies and laws.”
Image: Public interest lawyer Steven Shrybman addresses the crowd; Michael Brothers from the Toronto Chapter introduces a series of films
Last night, the Toronto Chapter of the Council of Canadians hosted a “Challenge the TPP!” speaking event and film screening. The evening began with a series of short films (a few can be watched online here, here, and here), introduced by chapter activist Michael Brothers, followed by speeches by public interest and international trade lawyer Steven Shrybman, and Council of Canadians regional organizer Rachel Small.