The Council of Canadians' Blue Planet Project has partnered with the Projet d'Accompagnement Guatemala Quebec to launch a new campaign called The Money Thread. We are calling on people living in Canada and Quebec to show their solidarity with mining impacted communities in Guatemala by pushing for the divestment of Canadian funds from the mining projects of Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. Our new website contains a toolkit, petitions and background information about the campaign.
If you've been following the news on fracking on social media, you will have likely come across a big story about a lawsuit against fracking in Denton County, Texas. And a key spokesperson against the project is ExxonMobil's CEO Rex Tillerson. The Council of Canadians wanted to provide some tips to Mr. Tillerson about how to fight fracking in his community. Here's the letter we sent him:
Rex Tillerson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ExxonMobil Corporate Headquarters 5959 Las Colinas Boulevard Irving, Texas 75039-2298
Last month the Ontario Ministry of Environment released regulations to follow through on their commitment to fund the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). The Council of Canadians made a submission today in support of the regulations and the Ontario government's bold move while calling on the Ontario government to ensure that the research remains independent from industry influence and to continue to press the federal government to reinstate funding for the ELA.
With the Harper government’s sustained cuts to water protection, the hope that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would announce the necessary funds to fulfill its federal water responsibilities seemed bleak on Tuesday afternoon.
While water protection has consistently been low on the Harper government’s priority list, Canadians and indigenous communities witnessed an all out assault on water protections with the 2012 omnibudget bills. The bills gutted the Fisheries Act, removed protections from 99 per cent of lakes and rivers under the former Navigable Water Protections Act and amended the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in such a way that cancelled 3,000 environmental assessments.
The opposition to the expansion of the Alberta Clipper transporting tar sands oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin continues to grow. Last week over a dozen U.S. environmental organizations sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling for the Alberta Clipper and Keystone XL to be reviewed together.
In Barcelona last week, 50 water justice activists, trade unionists, researchers and water operators from 29 countries gathered to share analysis and strategies aimed at promoting democratic public water and sanitation services. The groups are loosely affiliated through the Reclaiming Public Water Network, which met previously in 2011.
As Satoko Kishimoto of the Transnational Institute pointed out the global water justice network has won many struggles over the last decade including formal recognition at the United Nations of water and sanitation as human rights.
In a media release, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society warned that “Fortune Minerals is proposing construction of a metal processing plant near Langham, SK. This proposal involves use of highly hazardous chemicals and the burying on-site of 2.8 million tonnes of arsenic-containing waste.”
A local resident from Langham has warned that “260,000 gallons of water will be drawn out of our aquifer daily, then contaminated and pumped back down through the aquifer to the Manville area to be lost to the water cycle forever.”
On Wednesday morning, Shit Harper Did (SHD) and friends put up a 24-foot banner reading "I SPY A WASTE OF MONEY" with two 3-foot eyeballs at the new spy agency on Ogilvie Road in Ottawa. The purpose of the action, part of SHD's new Creep campaign, was to bring attention to the costly building and Canada's spying on environmental and other advocacy groups.
I am at the Budapest Water Summit this week working with friends from Public Services International, the Transnational Institute, KruHa Indonesia, Food and Water Europe and IBON. The Budapest Water Summit is yet another UN event dominated by the corporate policy agenda. It features an exhibition where UN agencies display their information alongside corporations -- like Veolia and Nestle -- that are peddling the latest profit-making schemes as solutions to the environmental and economic crises. One panelist summed up the general tone of the summit in this morning's plenary session when he said, "water is everybody's business."