E-News: Analysis, recent wins, and campaign updates

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Monthly E-News Doug Ford vs Grassy Narrows

Grassy Narrows is under threat, again

The Ontario government is once again violating the rights and sovereignty of Grassy Narrows First Nation and threatening their lands and way of life.

The Ford government has granted eight new mining permits to three companies on Grassy Narrows territory without consulting, or even notifying, the community. Ontario is also considering a ten-year plan to allow more industrial logging on Grassy Narrows land. (Read more here.)

These violations would compound the harm that mercury, clear-cut logging, hydro dams, and residential schools have already done to the lives and lands of those in Grassy Narrows.

If you live in Ontario: Tell Doug Ford to withdraw all mining and logging from Grassy Narrows Territory now!

In 2018, Grassy Narrows enacted a Land Declaration, enshrining into their law a ban on all mineral staking, exploration, mining, and logging in their territory. The First Nation is protecting their territory so that their people will never again be poisoned, and so that they can heal from the damage that mercury has done to their health, way of life, and environment.

The Council of Canadians stands behind Grassy Narrows First Nation. There can be no reconciliation and no justice while our governments continue to encourage and approve industrial activity on Grassy Narrows territory.

Patented vs generic vaccines look the same

Tell PM Trudeau: Free the Vaccine!

As news of a worrying new COVID-19 variant dominate the headlines, calls are also growing for countries like Canada to stop getting in the way of an equitable global distribution of vaccines.

The rise of a new variant was entirely avoidable. Experts have been warning since the start of the pandemic that low vaccination rates – anywhere in the world – would give the virus more chances to mutate and evolve.

But the profiteering of big pharmaceutical companies, coupled with hoarding by rich countries, has meant that low-income countries have received only a tiny fraction of the doses they need.

The distribution of doses is so lopsided that the WHO has called it “vaccine apartheid.”

For more than a year, South Africa and a host of other countries have been calling on world leaders to temporarily suspend patents on COVID vaccines. Canada has not supported this call.

The federal government has also been obstructing efforts by a Canadian drugmaker to produce generic vaccines for export to Bolivia. Earlier this month, the Council of Canadians joined the Bolivian Minister of Foreign Trade and other coalition allies in urging the Canadian government to waive patents and allow for the export of generic vaccines. (Watch that press conference here.)

To end the pandemic and ensure access to life-saving medicines for all, the world cannot depend on the benevolence of Big Pharma. We need politicians who resist their power.

Tell Trudeau to stand up to Big Pharma and help end vaccine apartheid.

Sign our parliamentary petition now! Flood Parliament

Waves of support for a just transition

With Canada on the frontlines of climate disaster from coast to coast, the need for a just transition off fossil fuels is becoming more urgent every day. But as last week’s Throne Speech showed, the federal government is still failing to get the message that we’re in an emergency.

The speech was long on fluff and short on detail. It made vague references to the need for “bolder climate action” and “good, green jobs” but made no commitments to delivering the just transition legislation the government had promised in 2019.

The absence of that commitment is a clear failure of leadership. And it shows that change is up to us.

Over the last four weeks, many of you have supported us in putting pressure on the federal government to table just transition legislation in the first 100 days of the new Parliament.

As part of our Flood Parliament campaign, people across the country have been asking their MPs to bring that demand to the House of Commons. So far, 15 MPs – from across the political spectrum – have committed to bringing our just transition petition to the House.

There are more than 40 ridings still actively collecting petitions and more meetings with MPs are in the works.

Now that Parliament has resumed, we will be keeping up the pressure to make sure our government works for us, not Big Oil CEOs. If you haven’t already, support us in flooding Parliament with waves of support for a just transition.

Join the movement for a just transition! Water is life

Defend Wet’suwet’en rights, defend the water

For the third time in three years, the RCMP have violently invaded unceded Wet’suwet’en territory and violated Indigenous rights.

At the root of the current crisis are plans by Coastal GasLink (CGL) to drill under the Wedzin Kwa river to make way for a pipeline that would bring fracked gas to the coast for export. These plans could contaminate some of the most pristine water in the world and endanger all those who depend on it.

For years, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have been saying “no” to the CGL pipeline project. The right to say no to industrial activities is an essential part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which British Columbia passed into law in November 2019. In addition, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs hold rights and title on ancestral lands that have been recognized by Canadian courts.

The Council of Canadians reaffirms our support for the land and water defenders protecting their traditional, unceded territory from extractive corporate pipelines and increased militarization from the RCMP. And we encourage you – our members and supporters – to stay informed and support them too.

To learn more about what’s going on and what you can do, click here. To join or host a solidarity rally in your area, go here and click the ‘See more’ link to view a running list of upcoming actions.

No water to waste

Become a Public Water Champion!

The Ontario government has just recently renewed permits that allow American bottled water giant, Blue Triton, to extract and bottle billions of litres of precious groundwater.

Blue Triton, the corporation that bought Nestlé’s North American bottled water business earlier this year, will take a total of more than 8 billion litres of groundwater from two wells in Ontario over the next 5 years. These renewed permits grant Triton enough groundwater to fill 14 billion more plastic bottles. Laid end to end, those bottles circle the globe 70 times.

This is unacceptable. Bottled water is frivolous and wasteful, and groundwater resources are finite. We can’t allow these precious reserves to be bottled and sold for profit.

The most powerful tool against the commodification of water is an informed and organized network of people committed to safeguarding water as a public trust and shared commons.

Take the pledge never to use commercial bottled water. Become a Public Water Champion today by boycotting all bottled water.

Become a Public Water Champion!

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