Recent highlights from the Council of Canadians

Recent highlights from the Council of Canadians r1 ... r71 | Add us to your address book

Abolish the Canada Infrastructure Bank

Earlier this month, a parliamentary committee studying the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) released a report with a single recommendation: the government of Canada should abolish the CIB.

The report extensively cited our Climate and Social Justice campaigner, Dylan Penner, who participated in hearings the committee held in 2021.

For decades, infrastructure has been severely underfunded in Canada and local governments have been bearing the brunt of it. But rather than boost public funding for infrastructure projects, the Liberal government established the CIB in 2016 to attract private investments. The bank is an arm's length crown corporation with a $35 billion budget.

For years, the Council of Canadians has been sounding the alarm on how the CIB’s mandate of promoting public-private partners undermines the possibility of having a just recovery out of the pandemic and a just transition to address the climate crisis. The parliamentary committee now agrees and it's time for the government to listen and take action accordingly.

Will you add your voice to the growing chorus demanding the CIB be abolished? Write to the Infrastructure Minister now.

Equinor’s Bay du Nord offshore oil project must go!

This month, Council of Canadians chapters and friends on both sides of the Atlantic spoke up against Bay du Nord, a deepwater offshore drilling project in the Flemish Pass, to the east of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian government approved the project in April, just two days after the latest report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warned that we need deep, rapid cuts to fossil fuel projects and the UN Secretary General called funding new fossil fuel projects "moral and economic madness."

So when Equinor, the parent company behind the project, had their AGM earlier this month in Norway, we made sure that shareholders and executives heard our opposition.

Learn more about the project and the fightback here.

Canadian environmental groups are also going to court to overturn the federal government's approval of the Bay du Nord project. Last week, Ecojustice filed a lawsuit challenging the project on behalf of Équiterre and Sierra Club Canada Foundation, on the basis that it clashes with Canada’s international obligations, legislated climate goals, and the urgent call to reduce global emissions.

Take action now! Tell Equinor we don’t want their deepwater Bay du Nord project! 

Ontarians vs. Doug Ford

On June 2, Ontario goes to the polls to elect a new provincial government.

As our Ontario Regional Organizer Vi Bui has documented, the last four years under Premier Doug Ford have ushered in corporate-driven cuts, privatization, and deregulation. Ford has peddled developers' unregulated sprawl agenda and paved over farmlands and greenspaces against communities' wishes. He undid major progress on climate action and set the province on a path towards rising emissions. And his government put business before public health by cutting and privatizing health services, seniors care, and COVID care services.

The Council of Canadians and our Ontario chapters have outlined a vision for the Ontario we want, alongside some key demands, to assist our members and supporters in their conversations with their local candidates, neighbours, family, and friends. You can download that guide here.

As part of the Keep Transit Moving coalition, we also released a platform for the Ontario election that demands that the province funds transit not highways. Read more about our vision for the future of public transit in Ontario.

A coal policy for Albertans – by Albertans

Two years after the government of Alberta rescinded the province's coal policy, which had for years protected the Rocky Mountains and rivers from mining and development, the Council of Canadians is proud to join more than 30 other organizations in endorsing a coal-free future for Alberta.

Together, we have outlined a new policy that is written by Albertans and for Albertans, and which presents a vision for the future of the province that encourages sustainable communities, a healthy, thriving environment, and engagement with Indigenous communities as equal partners.

A Coal Policy for Alberta – 2022 and Beyond is supported by grassroots Indigenous groups, municipalities, hunters, anglers, ranchers, rural landowners, artists, businesses, conservationists, and recreationists. It clearly and conclusively addresses public concerns and outcry from the last two years, by calling for an end to all new coal exploration and development.

To learn more about the policy, read this update from our Prairies Regional Organizer, Chris Kruszewski.

It's time to end fossil fuel subsidies

This month, the Council of Canadians joined more than 100 other organizations in demanding that the Canadian government end subsidies and public financing for fossil fuels.

The federal government's commitments on slashing subsidies for the sector have so far failed to amount to what is needed for Canada to meet its climate targets. They are also at risk of being undermined by weak implementation and new subsidies and public financing being made available to false solutions, including carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), gas, and fossil-based hydrogen, such as the new CCUS investment tax credit.

We urge the government to demonstrate true leadership by eliminating all subsidies, public financing, and other forms of financial support from the Government of Canada and federal crown corporations directed to the oil and gas sector by the end of 2022.

Oil and gas companies have profited immensely for decades from activities that are fueling the climate crisis and polluting our land and water. The public should not be on the hook for paying these companies to lower their emissions.

Read our full letter here

Ontario chapters celebrate May Day

On May 1, Council of Canadians chapters, staff, and allies joined labour and community groups to celebrate International Workers’ Day – and rally for change.

As Ontario heads into a provincial election, chapters across the region called for fair wages and better working conditions, paid sick days, affordable housing, stronger public services, and a just transition. Many joined forces with local coalition partners, such as the Waterloo Region Health Coalition and Hamilton 350, to take action on issues of importance to their communities.

In nine cities across the country – Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Peterborough, Charlottetown, and St. Anthony – Council activists also participated in the National Day of Action for a People’s Vaccine. Organized in partnership with the Trade Justice Network, the Day of Action united Canadians calling for equitable access to vaccines around the globe. In its aftermath, chapter members and People’s Vaccine campaign supporters will meet with local MPs to advocate that Canada back the global call for lifting patents on COVID-19 vaccines, rather than continue lining the pockets of Big Pharma.

Across all communities, it was a day of joy and solidarity, as we celebrated the power of collective action. Even members in Hamilton, who spent the day in the rain, did not let the weather dampen their spirits. They sang out their delight to be doing community outreach:

We're tabling in the Rain
We’re tabling in the Rain
What a wonderful feeling!
We're tabling again!

Read more about the local actions and see photos from the day here!

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