Before saying goodbye to 2019, all of us here at the Council of Canadians wanted to do something special to thank you for your tremendous continuing support and to show you the vibrant and determined people-powered movement you are a part of and help to sustain.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil held a media conference this morning to announce he will not extend the Boat Harbour Act’s deadline of January 31, 2020. Even though the legislation was passed in 2015, Northern Pulp requested an extension of the Act because the company still does not have an alternate plan in place to deal with effluent from the mill. Company representatives claim they will need to close the mill without an extension.
Hopewell Avenue Public School in Ottawa is working towards the distinction of being the first elementary school designated as a “Blue Community.”
The school, which is home to more than 900 students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, welcomed Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow and Water Campaigner Vi Bui in their gymnasium today and listened to them speak about the importance of protecting water.
- The UN climate negotiations have been overrun by corporate interests through direct sponsorships of the conferences and increasingly intertwined relationships between industry and government around the world, resulting in false solutions to the climate crisis.
- This year was the first time that constraining fossil fuel production and supply was discussed as a problem to be solved in these international negotiations. While social movements have been talking about this for decades, this marks a huge shift at the UN talks.
Before Parliament adjourned for the summer, the race to ratify the new NAFTA was on. At the time, then Foreign Affairs Minister and now Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland advocated swift passage of the new NAFTA’s implementing bill and warned against reopening the agreement.Back then, many of us at the Council of Canadians were naysayers.
Yesterday, we were proven right. There were significant, positive changes to the agreement, including some of those you and I fought for.
The Throne Speech for the 43rd government included few surprises. The minority Liberal government has some of the right ideas – focussing on the climate crisis, health care and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, but their commitments fall short of the urgent change we need for our country.
Final arguments got underway in mid-November in a decade-old Charter challenge against public health care. Launched by private clinic owner Dr. Brian Day, the case is seen as a direct threat to Canada’s publicly funded medicare system.
The case pits Dr. Day, owner of the private Cambie Surgeries Corp.,which allows people to pay for access to surgeries, against the British Columbia government.
At a press conference on Friday, November 29, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort made an exciting announcement: as part of its commitment to becoming a Blue Community, the Regional government would re-municipalize sanitation services, which are currently provided through a P3. Minister-President Vervoort also committed to ban bottled water sales in all municipal facilities and events, and improve access to water by installing more public fountains.
Will this week’s Speech from the Throne be a meaningful step forward for climate justice and a just transition? Or will it be another missed opportunity to take action on the scale required to put out the fires of the climate emergency.