E-News: Pfizer demands tax cuts / Offshore drilling licenses / Looking back on 2020 and more...

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Pfizer demands tax cuts as Canada’s COVID response inches ahead

Global drug giant Pfizer-BioNTech seems to be leveraging their role in the COVID-19 recovery to gain tax cuts from the federal government.

As the Globe and Mail has revealed, in the middle of this crushing global pandemic, Pfizer made an extraordinary pre budget submission to the Commons Finance committee, threatening to reduce or even move their Canadian operations out of the country if they didn’t receive favourable changes to their corporate tax rates. This tactic has been used by countless corporations to avoid contributing their fair share to the communities they operate in. Pfizer, an already profitable company, is expected to have windfall profits from COVID vaccine sales this year.

Don’t let Pfizer call the shots: Say no to new tax cuts for big pharma! No KXL

Five Reasons for Canada to Say Goodbye and Good Riddance to KXL

The final nail has been placed in the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline’s coffin as TC Energy suspends work on the pipeline. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are still committed to fighting to bring KXL back from the dead. We should all be saying goodbye and good riddance to KXL and setting our sights on greener pastures – Kenney and Trudeau included.

Here are five reasons these two politicians should rejoice rather than reject the end of KXL:
  1. Have you heard about the climate crisis? With this pipeline’s passing, we have a greater shot at creating a climate-safe and equitable future together.
  2. Indigenous Peoples and lands must be respected. This cancellation comes after 13 years of hard-fought land defense led by Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.
  3. Canada’s energy regulator says we don’t need that much pipeline capacity anyway! This pipeline would never be used to its full capacity, and the cost of that would be borne by taxpayers. It’s not a good investment for public finances or the climate.
  4. Delaying just transition planning harms workers. PM Trudeau and Premier Kenney need to work with fossil fuel workers to plan retraining, retirement packages and other job transition supports.
  5. Now governments can stop throwing good money after bad. With the writing on the wall, it’s time for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to accept that this pipeline will never be built, and to stop spending the public’s money chasing this pipedream.
Now, we can focus more of our energy on creating the future we need. The Council will continue to push our governments to do the same. Read more. End Offshore Drilling

End Offshore Drilling Now

In mid-January, BP renewed its offshore exploration licenses in Nova Scotia, enabling them to continue looking for more oil in 2021. The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has approved the extension of BP’s license to look for new oil and gas resources, completely disregarding the public’s opposition to drilling and the clear need to wind down the fossil fuel economy.

Will you send a letter to PM Trudeau and Premier McNeil to call for a moratorium and inquiry on offshore drilling?

Call for a moratorium and inquiry on offshore drilling in Nova Scotia Public Water

Don’t let the federal government privatize your water – a lesson from Mapleton, ON

A small township outside of Guelph, Mapleton Ontario, had been promoted as the poster child for a federal effort by the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to privatize water and wastewater across Canada. However, this past summer Mapleton called off its plans to privatize its water infrastructure with the CIB on the grounds that it would have been too risky.

Communities across Canada must learn from the example in Mapleton and reject any attempt to privatize these critical infrastructure and services. Water is a human right and should remain in public hands.

Read more from Mapleton. Hindsight: 2020

Hindsight: 2020

While 2020 will always be remembered for the horrifying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to be learned from the past 12 months. It’s clear that climate justice movements have transformational visions for a just and sustainable future, and there is a lot of public support for those transformations. The big obstacle we face is corporate influence over government decision-making at all levels. We need to organize ourselves to turn that into real power and real change.

Read the first in this three-part blog series. (And check out Part 2 - climate policy, fossil fuel industry and land defense and Part 3 - the road ahead) Parliament and Capitol Hills

How we respond to threats against democracy

Christina Warner, the Council’s Director of Campaigns and Organizing responded to the January 6 attack in Washington. At the Council of Canadians, we understand the direct link between austerity, racist violence and the erosion of democratic processes. The U.S. is bearing the fruit of decades of cruelty — breaking up unions, cutting public services and siphoning public resources and wealth into the hands of the very elite. These policies, also present in Canada, inevitably deepen racial divisions because our systems already marginalize Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Combined with explicit scapegoating, this creates fertile ground to justify political power for white leaders while targeting state and communal violence toward racialized peoples.

Read her analysis.

Membership Builds Our Movement

The Council of Canadians has proudly reinstated an open membership structure. You are now eligible to become a member by making at least a $1 contribution to cover your annual membership fee.
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