By Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embraced warmly today at their first official meeting at the White House, finding common cause in building oil pipelines, among other things. But protesters, who staked out Trudeau at the Canadian embassy later in the afternoon, made sure that the Prime Minister saw their determination to fight fossil fuel infrastructure. Among the flurry of executive orders issued during the first week of President Trump’s term was a memorandum he signed regarding the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. It invites TransCanada to re-submit its application for Keystone XL and instructs the Secretary of State to expedite review and render a decision within 60 days.
By Raul Burbano for Common Frontiers – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico that went into effect January 1, 1994. It is the largest agreement of its kind in the world and was implemented in the face of considerable opposition in all three countries. In the twenty-three years since NAFTA was implemented we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in profits and rights of multinational corporations, underscoring a widening economic inequality in North America. The social and economic consequences on working class people, across all three countries, has been devastating in terms of increased poverty, weakened labour rights and environmental protections, fueling a “race to the bottom” in living standards
By James Vincent for The Verge – The Canadian government wants every citizen to have access to download speeds of at least 50 Mbps. Canada has recognized the obvious and declared high-speed broadband internet access a “basic telecommunications service” that every citizen should be able to access. Previously, only landline telephone services had received this designation from the country’s national telecoms regulator, CRTC, and the change is supported by a government investment package of up to $750 million to wire up rural areas.
By Nia Williams and Ethan Lou for Reuters – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was “very supportive” of TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in their first conversation after the U.S. election. “He actually brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he was very supportive of it,” Trudeau told an event in Calgary, Canada’s oil capital. “I’m confident that the right decisions will be taken.” Trudeau, who too supports Keystone XL, said also he saw “extraordinary opportunities” for his country if the United States under Trump steps back from tackling climate change…
By Yasmin Khan for Counter Punch – With eyes red with fatigue, Pablo Fajardo stood in front of a room of activists in Toronto, Canada explaining the plight of the more than 30,000 indigenous peoples and farmers whose lands in the Ecuadorian Amazon are covered in toxic sludge. Fajardo was presenting evidence that the pollution stems from decades of oil extractions by Chevron-Texaco, one of the world’s largest oil companies. He and his clients are fighting a drawn-out legal battle that is part of a growing list of high-profile cases brought by indigenous communities against extractive industries…
By Kevin Grandia for Desmog Blog – Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision this week to approve a major expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has negative implications that go well beyond the borders of the Great White North. Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the United States. We export more oil to the US than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico combined. We are a secure, stable and reliable trading partner with the US for a product that can make or break their economy. Right now, Canada has almost zero ability to transport its oil to anywhere other than the United States.
By John Paul Tasker for CBC News – A task force appointed by the Canadian government to study the legalization of marijuana determined Tuesday that sales should be restricted to those 18 and older, with a personal possession limit of 30 grams. The Canadian Medical Association had recommended setting the age at 21, with strict limits on quantity and potency until 25. But the task force said higher age limits would simply drive young consumers into the hands of the black market, something the government hopes to actively discourage with its push to legalize pot.
By Christopher Curtis for Montreal Gazette – A Quebec Mohawk chief is promising a coordinated campaign of civil disobedience if recently approved pipeline construction encroaches on aboriginal territory in British Columbia. The actions could range from demonstrations and rail blockades to people occupying government offices across Canada, according to Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon. “I’ve always said my favourite form of action is civil disobedience,” said Simon, in an interview with the Montreal Gazette. “If the government insists on ignoring its commitment to First Nations, we’re looking at unrest in many areas of the country, not just in British Columbia.”
By Andy Rowell for Oil Change International – In the end, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for all his suave talk of being a new progressive politician, who would era in a new type of politics, turned out disappointingly to be like all the rest. His suit is cut from the same old cloth. And like a classic politician he spoke in Orwellian terms of fighting climate change, and promising clean air, water and wilderness whilst approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline that we know will exacerbate climate change, will impact air quality and lead to a massive increase in tanker traffic that will harm wildlife.
By Rafe Mair for The Common Sense Canadian. Canada – None should be in the slightest surprised at the anti-British Columbia stance of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. As Talleyrand famously noted when, after the fall of Napoleon the Bourbons were restored, “they learned nothing and forgot nothing”. Thus it is with the Liberals who, once safely back in power, turn their attention to repaying supporters, namely Ontario financiers and the oil industry, often the same people. This ancient Liberal policy never fails. This time Justin Trudeau has overstepped the mark and as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson warns, if he approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline, “…you’ll see protests like you’ve never seen before …” His Worship is right. British Columbians know that the standard Ottawa patter that something is “in the interests of Canada” is ill-concealed code for “in the interests of Bay Street and whatever they’ve invested in or covet.”
By Erin Calhoun for The Strand – On September 16, 2016, the Canadian Communications workers of America (CWA) held “Day of Action Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).” To protest the TPP, the CWA organized an academic forum where representatives from Doctors Without Borders, Canadian Environmental Law Association, and Osgoode Hall law professor Gus Van Harten, all discussed how the TPP threatens national sovereignty, health, and the environment.
By Staff of Truth Dig – Alex Cywink speaks quietly about his sister, Sonya Nadine Mae, in a diner on College Street in Toronto. He’s taking a break from helping his friend with his fresh-fish stand at a local farmers market. Cywink was raised on Birch Island in Northern Ontario, which is part of the Whitefish River First Nation. He and his siblings grew up with a foot in two cultures: His father was Polish and worked on the railway;
By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. Indigenous nations from Canada and the United States have signed a treaty agreeing to oppose future proposals for pipeline, rail, and tanker projects that attempt to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands. On Thursday, tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treating declaring their opposition to future proposals for pipelines that would carry crude oil from Alberta to other locations across Canada and the United States. The tribal nations are opposed to the pipelines based on potential threats to the environment. The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement. Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.
By Jillian Kestler-D’Amours for Aljazeera – Toronto, Canada – Canada has announced the details of a long-awaited federal inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Canadian Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett said a national, independent commission would begin working on what has been described as a “national human rights crisis” on September 1. Bennett said the commission would have the “historic” ability to gather information across Canada and she thanked the indigenous families that have already shared their experiences.
By Maude Barlow for The Council of Canadians – U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Canada, against the backdrop of Brexit and the U.S. presidential campaign, had many opinion leaders trying to dismiss concerns about free trade. Now, we’re told, people who are against free trade are isolationists who want to entrench themselves in the past, in a parochial nostalgia for the nation-state. The ideology of free trade opponents can only lead to an inward-looking mentality that fosters wars and destroys the economy.