E-News: Analysis, recent wins, and local campaign actions

E-News: Analysis, recent wins, and local campaign actions r1 ...

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Resistance to Truth and Reconciliation Day shows just how far away we are from reconciling

Truth and Reconciliation Day as a holiday isn’t for the Indigenous peoples who have chosen to share their land with Canadians. It’s intended for settler Canadians, so they can recognize the pain and hurt they’ve caused in their relationship with those who were here before them, such as the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Nehiyaw (Cree), or Mi’kmaq to name a few.

The focus on the pain caused by settlers is settlers seeing themselves first, rather than appreciating Indigenous contributions to their well-being.

Nevertheless, the day offers an important opportunity for all Canadians to pause and reflect on the truths about the country’s history and present.

And the response from some provinces to this holiday tells us a lot about just how much work remains on the road to true reconciliation.

It's time for all our governments to collectively recognize the harms they've caused to Indigenous people and take meaningful action to remedy those harms.

Recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday is a tiny step, listening to the concerns of their constituents would be better but we'll get there.

Join the Climate Code Red week of action!

Scientists have issued a “code red for humanity” to tackle the climate crisis, but governments continue to let corporations call the shots.

In 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to introduce a Just Transition Act to give workers in the fossil fuel industry “the training, support and new opportunities needed to succeed in the clean economy.” Now that he’s been re-elected, it’s time for him to deliver on that promise.

This month, the Council of Canadians is launching the Climate Code Red week of action, October 12-17th, to demand that the federal government implement just transition legislation in the first 100 days of Parliament.  

We are mobilizing our membership to gather petitions and flood Parliament with waves of support for just transition legislation. Some communities will also be organizing online or in-person events throughout the week on their local just transition priorities. So far, 11 actions are planned for the week, and more are on the way.

Over the last two years, we have been building an expanding network of local communities demanding effective answers to the intersecting climate, social, and economic crises. The Council currently has 14 community groups across the country working on locally-rooted campaigns. We have also been in touch with more than a hundred other individuals who are interested in joining this network and running local campaigns.

We’re helping to build the power and capacity of these groups by supporting their strategic planning, coalition-building, and organizing efforts. Our team has been running skill-building workshops and coaching groups on setting campaign goals, doing community outreach, building a base of support, and telling activists' stories of self.

Individually, these groups are drawing on local experience to demand just transition legislation and local action. Nationally, we’re leveraging our collective expertise and energy to win real change at the federal level.

For a list of confirmed Climate Code Red actions, or to join our network and organize a local action, visit canadians.org/GreenNewDeal.

Join the movement for a Green New Deal!

The 2021 federal election and the road ahead

Last month’s federal election came at a critical time, even if it ultimately left the makeup of Parliament largely unchanged. At a moment when the country is grappling with multiple, overlapping crises – from the pandemic to the climate emergency, ongoing injustices against Indigenous peoples, systemic racism, and rampant inequality – the stakes were high.

Thanks to your support, the Council of Canadians was able to run vital voter outreach and education programs that engaged and informed people from across the country.

To give our members and supporters the resources they need to participate in local debates and townhalls or talk to their neighbours and families, our team identified six major election issues – climate justice, water, Indigenous rights, long-term care, Big Pharma, and electoral reform – and compiled key questions and background information on each of these issues. As many as almost 2,000 of you printed the pamphlet we prepared with all these key questions, keeping it by your door for when candidates came knocking or using it to pose questions at local events.

Our organizers also supported many Council of Canadians chapters across the country in hosting all-candidates’ debates and organizing local election-related actions. We also supported members in writing letters to editors at local newspapers.

The Council of Canadians also participated in several larger calls during the election period. As part of the Keep Transit Moving coalition, we called on all parties to commit to federal funding for transit operations, pointing to looming service cuts in the absence of that funding. We also joined a broad coalition urging party leaders to put the overhaul of long-term care (LTC) at the top of their priorities. Together, we called for the establishment of national LTC standards and the phasing out of for-profit care. The Council also joined other members of the Offshore Alliance, a consortium of groups concerned about offshore oil and gas development off Nova Scotia, in asking the leading political parties about their commitments to protecting the offshore.

With the federal election now behind us, we will keep working on your behalf to make sure that our elected officials are putting our collectives needs and interests first – not those of powerful corporations.

With your help, we will continue to push this government to turn its many promises – like a just transition, reconciliation, long-term care reform, pharmacare, and proportional representation – into reality.

Thank you for all the ways you support us in building a stronger democracy.

Protecting wild salmon from coast to coast

Open-net fish farms spread parasites, disease, and pollution through coastal waters, endangering and destroying wild salmon and the marine ecosystem. While multinational corporations running the farms profit, coastal communities and local economies that rely on salmon face the consequences.

Indigenous communities and local volunteers have been leading the fight against fish farms, and now Council members from coast to coast have come together to fight open-net fish farms at the federal level.

In British Columbia, the all-volunteer ‘Fish Farms out of Coastal Waters’ working group has urged various provincial politicians to remove fish farms from the ocean in favour of closed containments on land. While the federal government has committed to phasing out some West Coast fish farms by 2025, the group has been calling for legislation that applies across the country. They have also urged the government to provide immediate support for all impacted workers.

In the Atlantic, the federal government has yet to commit to removing fish farms from the coast. Despite years of chapter and partner advocacy, the former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan, refused to meet with local volunteers about removing existing farms, even as she promised to remove fish farms from B.C. In the absence of federal legislation that’s consistent across coasts, corporations running fish farms might very well simply turn to Atlantic waters after they’ve been rightfully removed from the West Coast.

As we take on the crises of climate change, rising inequity, and biodiversity loss, we need true political leadership to protect the communities and ecosystems we love and rely on and to ensure a future where everyone on this land can thrive.

Join the fight to protect the coasts. Write our regional organizers to learn about how you can get involved.

Atlantic Region: Angela Giles, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy86934 + '\' style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">'+addy_text86934+''; //-->
Pacific Region: AJ Klein, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy94326 + '\' style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">'+addy_text94326+''; //-->

Introducing our new Trade & Privatization campaigner

We are excited to introduce Nikolas Barry-Shaw, the Council of Canadians’ new Campaigner responsible for the trade and privatization files.

Nik’s work in fighting back against pro-corporate trade agendas began when he attended the tear gas-filled protests at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001. After several years of involvement in the anti-globalization and anti-war movements, he began building the Canada-Haiti Action Network to fight Canada’s 2004 intervention in Haiti. International solidarity, anti-racist, and migrant solidarity work have been central to his political commitments and will help develop the Council’s trade work in important ways.

Nik also brings solid research and organizing skills that will both give momentum to the campaign and deepen our research and analysis work.

As a researcher for the past two decades, he has written frequently on the themes of trade and privatization. Working with the journalist Martin Lukacs for his 2019 book The Trudeau Formula, he researched the Liberals’ deceptive rebranding of CETA, TPP, and other trade deals as “progressive.” This research also covered the (BlackRock-inspired) Canada Infrastructure Bank and its agenda of privatization-by-stealth of our public infrastructure.

Nik Barry-Shaw is based in Montreal. To reach out with campaign ideas, questions, or just to say hello, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy72341 + '\' style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">'+addy_text72341+''; //-->

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