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

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The Liberals’ plan to fight fire with fire

In its most recent budget, the federal government offered $2.6 billion in tax credits for carbon capture and storage, a false solution that the fossil fuel industry has been eagerly campaigning for. This, in addition to the billions of dollars in subsidies it already doles out to oil and gas companies each year.

The budget also doubled down on privatizing the transition to a low-carbon future, and it  threw public transit under the bus , once again.

Read more of our analysis on the government’s recent climate commitments here

In the midst of a climate emergency, we need the government to invest in our communities and our collective future – not bankrolling Big Oil.

For months, Council of Canadians supporters like you have been collecting signatures to get local MPs to table our just transition petition in Parliament. Thanks to your collective efforts, 18 MPs from across the political spectrum have already tabled the petition and at least 19 others have committed to doing the same.

A just transition would mean a soft landing for fossil fuel workers moving out of the industry. It would create millions of good-paying, unionized jobs as we transform our energy system and build new infrastructure. It would bring an opportunity to uphold the inherent rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples over land and resources. And, above all, it would break Big Oil’s stranglehold on our climate policies, ensuring a thriving future on a livable planet.

Visit our new just transition campaign page to learn about our demands, read more analysis, and get involved.

What you didn’t know about the Liberal-NPD pharmacare plan

A day after the Liberals and NDP signed their supply-and-confidence agreement, Canada’s most powerful pharmaceutical lobby – whose primary objective has been to delay, deter, and obstruct universal public pharmacare – released a statement welcoming the plan.

Why isn’t Big Pharma screaming bloody murder? It’s because the deal is so vague that it almost resembles a blank canvas – a canvas onto which the industry is undoubtedly keen to paint its own version of pharmacare. For the pharma lobby, that means pulling out all the stops to prevent a public pharmacare plan from ever being realized.

But blank as it may be, the new deal is as much our canvas to paint onto. Turning pharmacare from political gimmick to reality will depend, ultimately, on our elected leaders’ willingness to stop kowtowing to powerful corporate lobbyists – and on our continued pressure on them to deliver for us instead.

Read more of our analysis on the pharmacare deal here

‘Hope is a moral imperative’: a review of Maude Barlow’s new book

Maude Barlow has been on the frontlines of change for most of her life. A prolific author, she has written with passion about social justice issues and exposed injustices here and abroad.

Her new book Still Hopeful:  outlines the major lessons she has learned from a lifetime of activism, a refreshing take on the power of people-based movements

Read a review of the book by Paul Moist, former National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Policing, protest, and the resurgence of the far-right

The Council of Canadians has witnessed what members, supporters, and allies have experienced at the hands of the police. We have seen intimidation of LNG protesters, surveillance of environmental demonstrators, violence against Indigenous land defenders, and brutality in Black and racialized communities.  We have long expressed that there is a double-standard of police responses to dissent, and that this is not the Canada we want.

Please join us at  our upcoming webinar  where we will explore and discuss issues of policing, protest, and the resurgence of the far right.

Date: Thursday May 5, 2022  
Time: 4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm NT
Location: Zoom, RSVP HERE The event will feature: It will be hosted by Anne Lagacé Dowson, a Montreal broadcaster and commentator, and former CBC and BellMedia host.

A future Ontarians deserve

This week, the Ontario provincial election will officially kick off, with voters going to the polls on June 2nd.

For decades, successive Ontario governments have put corporate interests ahead of the needs of people in the province. Developers, land speculators, extractive industries, and big corporations have succeeded in tipping the scale of policymaking to line their pockets – through political donations, lobbying, PR campaigns, and revolving-door relationships with decision-makers.  

This corporate agenda has been on full display under Doug Ford. His government has privatized health care, deregulated environmental protection, railroaded progress on climate action, and undermined democracy.

This May Day, the Council of Canadians stands alongside our labour allies from the Ontario Federation of Labour, community groups, and workers across the province to rally for a better Ontario

Then, on June 2nd, we will raise our voices to make sure Ontarians secure the future they deserve – one that invests in care, communities, climate, and democracy.

If you live in Ontario, write to your local candidates today and ask them to put people before profits in this upcoming election .

We need a People’s Vaccine!

Only solidarity can end the pandemic. That’s why on May 1, International Workers’ Day, we’ll be out in the streets calling for global vaccine justice.

Almost a dozen communities across Canada will be participating in the National Day of Action for a People’s Vaccine , which we’re organizing alongside our partners in the Trade Justice Network. Together, we will urge Canada to back the global call for lifting patents on vaccines and other medical products needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here to find an action near you

We urgently need to end Big Pharma’s stranglehold over the production of COVID-19 vaccines. Around the world, there are still at least 2.8 billion people who have yet to get their first dose, because pharmaceutical corporations have chosen to prioritize selling their vaccines to wealthier countries – at huge profit margins.

Yesterday, Canada rolled out the red carpet for Moderna as the company announced the opening of its first Canadian plant in Montreal. But rather than pumping money into corporations that have consistently put their own profits ahead of public health, our government needs to become a leader in improving global vaccine equity.

Ask your MP to support a People’s Vaccine.

Welcoming two new Blue Communities

This month, we welcome two new Blue Communities: the municipality of North Grenville and Huron University College, both in Ontario.

They join 85 other Blue Communities around the world, committing to protect water as a human right and public good.

The Blue Communities Project was created by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 2009. It encourages municipalities, universities, faith congregations, and Indigenous communities to support the idea of water as a shared resource for all, by passing resolutions that:

  1. Recognize water and sanitation as human rights;
  2. Ban or phase out the sale of bottled water; and
  3. Support publicly financed, owned, and operated water and wastewater services.

Every new Blue Community helps reinforce the human right to water and protect it from privatization. 

We have another dozen communities that are currently working their way towards becoming Blue. If you’d like to put your own municipality, campus, faith group, or school on the path to being designated as a Blue Community, reply to this email and we’ll help you work out a plan. 

Click here to learn more about our Blue Community Project.

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