Stories Of Resistance And Resilience From The Pacific Islands To Canada

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By Staff of 350.org – The Canadian tar sands are one of the dirtiest sites of fossil fuel extraction in the world. Carbon emissions from the tar sands are one of the biggest drivers of climate change globally, and locally, they poison the lands and water, contributing to health and environmental crises which disproportionately impact Indigenous communities. Pipelines are the arteries of this oil patch — they make it economically viable to continue expanding the tar sands. That’s why an Indigenous-led social movement in North America has emerged opposing pipelines like Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, Keystone XL, and Energy East. The Pacific Climate Warriors will start their journey in Canada by visiting the tar sands to bring their prayers of hope and healing right to the heart of the destruction. While they are there, they will meet and build solidarity with Indigenous peoples opposing the tar sands from the front lines and show them that they are seen and heard in the Pacific.

Corporate Siege and Trade in the 2018 Elections

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Trade policy is amounting to be an increasinly contentious topic as the Trump administration has clearly showed its intentions to keep major TPP provisions in NAFTA. Corporations are working with the Department of Commerce to eliminate the few but significant labor and environmental protections the government enforces while members of Congress begin to campaign around trade. 2018 promises to put trade policy at the forefront as presidential elections in Mexico and mid-terms in the United States could determine the fate of North American trade agreements to come.

Canada Strengthening Net Neutrality As US Moves To Weaken It

Protestors organized a "light brigade" outside the White House on Thursday night to promote net neutrality. (Photo by Nancy Scola/The Washington Post)

By Gerrit De Vynck for Bloomberg – Canada is strengthening regulations to protect the principle of net neutrality just as the U.S. is preparing to gut Obama-era internet rules. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Thursday that Montreal-based wireless carrier Quebecor Inc.’s practice of not charging users for data they used for music-streaming services like Spotify violated fairness rules. In doing so, the regulator adopted a new framework that would forbid giving unfair access to certain content over others. Quebecor has 90 days to comply with the new rules. The decision also affects bigger Canadian carriers like Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc., which supported Quebecor in the hearings but haven’t pitched similar offerings to their customers. Videotron, Quebecor’s telecommunications unit, is determining its next steps, and customers will be able to keep using the unlimited music service for now, the company said in a statement. “We regarded Unlimited Music as a compelling example of innovation and diversification from a new market entrant seeking to differentiate itself from the dominant mobile carriers, to the benefit of Canadian consumers,” said Videotron Chief Executive Officer Manon Brouillette.

The NAFTA Machine is in Motion

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By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance. This month, the Trump adminsitration sent out an eight-page draft letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees outlining the administration’s objectives for NAFTA renegotiations. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expressed wanting to send out the official letter to Congress, which upon approval would initiate the 90-day consultation period required before beginning negotations. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto already began Mexico’s own 90-day consultation period in early February. That means the NAFTA negotiations could start in early July.

Canadian Police Surveilling Journalists

Martin Prud'homme, chief of the Sûreté du Québec, testified Monday before the commission looking into the surveillance of journalists by police. (CBC)

By Staff for CBC News – The head of the Quebec provincial police revealed Monday that its officers had a seventh journalist under surveillance — Nicolas Saillant of the Journal de Québec. Sûreté du Québec Chief Martin Prud’homme revealed the information about Saillant in his testimony Monday at the commission tasked with looking into police surveillance of journalists. The commission is led by Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Jacques Chamberland. The revelation about Saillant came out of a cross-examination by Christian Leblanc, the lawyer representing a number of news organizations in the province, including CBC / Radio-Canada, before the commission.

Canadians Say: Reject TPP, Transform Trade

From foodandwaterwatch.org

By Meghan Sali for Open Media – Report crowdsourced from nearly 28,000 people finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and ensure real transparency and engagement for future trade deals. March 14, 2017 – “Next time, consult us!” – that’s the clear message coming from Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A new report published today finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and for the government to ensure much greater transparency and public engagement for future trade deals. The report is published as trade ministers gather in Chile to discuss the future of trans-Pacific trade, following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP.

Medicine Hat Becomes First City In Canada To Eliminate Homelessness

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters released its annual report Thursday that said despite the economic downturn the province hasn't seen a spike in shelter visits. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

By Staff for CBC Radio – Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, pledged in 2009 to put an end to homelessness. Now they say they’ve fulfilled their promise. No one in the city spends more than 10 days in an emergency shelter or on the streets. If you’ve got no place to go, they’ll simply provide you with housing. “We’re pretty much able to meet that standard today. Even quicker, actually, sometimes,” Mayor Ted Clugston tells As It Happens host Carol Off. Housing is tight in Medicine Hat. Frequent flooding in the past few years didn’t help matters. With money chipped in by the province, the city built many new homes.

It’s Time to Scrap NAFTA, Not ‘Tweak’ It

NAFTA opened the doors for a flood of subsidized agricultural products and large-scale consolidation, eviscerating small farmers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo: Bread for the World / Flickr)

By Victor Suarez and Alejandro Villamar for Foreign Policy in Focus. Some politicians and “experts” still don’t understand — or don’t want to understand — that a great deal of popular discontent in the United States, Mexico, and Canada alike is rooted in undemocratic policies that have produced inequality, unemployment, migration, food dependency, and pollution. NAFTA isn’t the only factor — but it’s one of the most powerful. The reason is that NAFTA was never designed for the development of our peoples through trade, but instead to advance the narrow corporate interests of multi-national firms and the governments that serve them. In the case of Mexico, it was negotiated and signed by an authoritarian government that only served the interests of large Mexican and global corporations, and which turned its back on productive sectors linked to the domestic market.

Keystone XL Fighters Ready To Take On Canada’s Trudeau On First Visit With Trump

About 100 protesters made sure Justin Trudeau saw their objections to the Keystone XL pipeline at the Canadian Embassy./Photo by Anne Meador

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.

The Canadian Government Should Replace NAFTA Or Scrap It

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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

Canada: High Speed Internet A Human Right, Essential To Quality Of Life

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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.

Canada’s Trudeau Says Trump Very Supportive Of Keystone XL Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a meeting of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary, Alberta, Canada December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Todd Korol

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…

Ecuador’s Indigenous People Take Their Case Against Chevron To Canada

Chevron’s Kern River oil field in California’s Central Valley. CREDIT: AP

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…

International Implications Of Trudeau's Kinder Morgan Pipeline Approval

courtesy of Abdallahh on Flickr under creative commons

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.

Canadian Government Task Force Recommends Legal Sales Of Marijuana

The task force appointed by Ottawa to study the legalization of marijuana said Tuesday that cannabis sales should be restricted to those 18 and older, with a personal possession limit of 30 grams. (Jim Young/Reuters)

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.