With most eyes focused on the Trudeau-SNC Lavalin drama, another back-and-forth is going on involving ratification of the new NAFTA, dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Thank you to all Council of Canadians chapters for everything done to advance social and environmental justice in communities across Canada! 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...
There are troubling new reports that Prime Minister Trudeau is on the verge of rushing the ratification of NAFTA 2.0 through Parliament.
On Tuesday, Canada’s ambassador to Mexico, Pierre Alarie, told Mexican media that Canada is ready and keen to ratify.
At the intersections of the climate crisis and the system that created it there is much work to be done. This is true in the sense that there are many more good jobs to be had in a just transition to a low carbon economy than there are in fossil fuel expansion. It's true in the sense that we have a lot of organizing to do to win a future that avoids the worst possible outcomes of the climate crisis.
The Council of Canadians congratulates the City of Montreal and McGill University for becoming Blue Communities on World Water Day, March 22, 2019. Montreal joins more than 40 Blue Communities around the world, including major cities such as Paris, Berlin and Victoria. McGill University becomes the fourth university in the world to obtain this certification.
The Blue Communities Project encourages municipalities and Indigenous communities to support the idea of a water commons framework, acknowledging that water is a shared resource for all. They do this by passing resolutions that recognize water and sanitation as human rights, ban or phase out the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities and at municipal events, and promote publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.
The Council of Canadians is excited to join the the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project (ALDP) “an independent and non-partisan initiative pushing for accurate and transparent government-level data pertaining to Alberta’s oil and gas liabilities.”
In January the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a ruling on the Redwater case, overturning earlier decisions that said the Alberta Environmental Regulator (AER) couldn't seize assets of bankrupt companies to pay for environmental cleanup. Because our regulatory system has allowed for it, a disturbing pattern has emerged whereby extraction companies rack up huge debts, file for bankruptcy, sell their assets to the creditors, and shed any responsibility for the environmental wreckage they leave behind. January's ruling will help break this cycle, but still leaves us with a broken regulatory system that has no way to recoup many of these environmental liabilities. Companies' assets at bankruptcy are often not enough to cover the full costs of cleanup for their projects.
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.
Do you have 2 minutes to show your love for water? Today is World Water Day – a day for all of us to celebrate this life-giving resource, take action to protect it, and support communities suffering without access to clean, safe drinking water, including right here in our own backyard.
Tell the government your thoughts on Teedon Pit, a gravel pit that already threatens an aquifer containing the purest groundwater ever tested.
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.”