It now looks increasingly likely - but not a certainty at this hour - that the May 17 deadline for the conclusion of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will not be met by Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The Toronto Star reports, "No NAFTA deal will be reached by the Thursday deadline imposed by a top U.S. legislator, a Canadian government source and Mexico’s economy secretary said on Wednesday. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says a NAFTA deal would have to be made by Thursday in order for this Congress, which is controlled by trade-friendly Republicans, to hold a vote by the end of the year. The Canadian source said there will be no deal of any kind by Thursday, even a partial 'agreement in principle'."
Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter activist Mary Love presenting to the City of Hamilton's Board of Health on Monday. Photo by Ute Schmid Jones.
The City of Hamilton's Board of Health has voted to ban bottled water in municipally-run community spaces.
CBC reports, "Hamilton's board of health has voted to ban the sale of sugary drinks and bottled water in its arenas, rec centres and other facilities. ...The board - comprised of all city councillors - voted 6-3 Monday in favour of the ban. Aidan Johnson, Ward 1 councillor in Hamilton's west end, sided with student and adult presenters who said bottled water is unnecessary and a scourge on the environment."
The Council of Canadians has been highlighting the threat posed to winning pharmacare by so-called 'free trade' agreements.
A study by Joel Lexchin (York University) and Marc-André Gagnon (Carleton University) found that the extended patent provisions for pharmaceutical drugs under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could cost between $850 million to $1.65 billion annually.
And Steve Morgan (University of British Columbia) and Ruth Lopert (George Washington University) have commented, "In its efforts to repeal Obamacare, the current U.S. administration is willing to drive up health care costs [and could] attempt to coerce Canada to do the same to Canadians by way of NAFTA provisions that would prevent implementation of an equitable and sustainable universal pharmacare system."
BP’s offshore drilling project didn’t have a full risk assessment before drilling started, according to a long-time industry expert.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May has proposed 170 amendments to Bill C-69.
The Council of Canadians has been raising numerous concerns about Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui has highlighted, "Among its many flaws, the bill fails to undo the damage by the Harper Conservatives’ own 2012 omnibus bill, which stripped 99% of lakes and rivers of federal protections and greases the wheels for energy projects to get federal approval."
The Council of Canadians Victoria, Cowichan Valley and Mid-Island chapters and organizer AJ Klein were at the Site C accountability and action summit in Victoria in January. One call to action from that summit included, "In response to the civil suits brought by the West Moberly First Nations, the Prophet River First Nation and the Blueberry First Nations, the Province of BC must instruct BC Hydro to stop work on Site C and walk away from the project."
There are renewed hopes that the Site C dam on the Peace River in Treaty 8 territory in northern British Columbia could be stopped by an injunction.
A media release issued yesterday by the West Moberly First Nations and Prophet River First Nation indicates that the federal government has taken "no position" and filed no evidence for an injunction hearing that will be heard from July 23 to August 4.
Anna Reeves Jarvis
Mother's Day has its historical roots in the struggle for the human right to water and sanitation.
Slate reports, "The women who originally celebrated Mother's Day conceived of it as an occasion to use their status as mothers to protest injustice and war. In 1858, Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mother's Work Days in West Appalachian communities to protest the lack of sanitation that caused disease-bearing insects and polluted water to sicken or even kill poor workers."
The West Virginia Encyclopedia adds, "Jarvis organized Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, which raised money to buy medicine for needy families and cared for families stricken by tuberculosis. Club members worked with local physicians to obtain clean water supplies and safe sewage disposal."
The Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter and allies recently took to a busy intersection to make their 'Stop Kinder Morgan' message.
Here's a snapshot of recent and upcoming chapter actions across the country:
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Given it appears unlikely that the US, Canadian and Mexican governments will conclude a NAFTA 2.0 deal prior to the July 1 election in Mexico, it makes sense to take a moment to look at the views of the leading presidential candidate - Andrés Manuel López Obrador aka AMLO - on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Earlier this year López Obrador stated, “I hope nothing is signed until after the elections and that we don’t rush into making the mistake of signing something that could be bad for us, that could affect our national producers, that doesn’t include the migration issue and that accepts such an infamy as the construction of the wall."