Author Archives: cocnwt

Noam Chomsky Film, “Requiem For the American Dream” Feb. 2

requiem-posterRequiem For the American Dream”—Noam Chomsky’s 2016 overview of a half-century of policies designed to favour the most wealthy at the expense of the majority—is being screened Thursday February 2 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place Auditorium.

Widely regarded as the most important intellectual commentator alive, Professor Chomsky dissects the defining characteristic of our time – the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.  Chomsky blends history, philosophy and ideology into a sobering vision of a society in an accelerating decline through the death of the middle class. 

The screening is organized by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians. 

Requiem For the American Dream is a potent reminder that power ultimately rests in the hands of the governed,” says NWT Chapter Co-Chair Lois Little. “Requiem is required viewing for all who maintain hope in a shared stake in the future.”

The film is presented through the support of Public Service Alliance of Canada North.  Admission is free with donations appreciated.

NWT chapter opposes sale of seniors-care facilities to Chinese company, cites FIPPA concerns

December 18, 2016

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has written federal Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains to request an extension of his ministry’s review under the provisions of the Investment Canada Act of the Ambang Insurance Group’s proposed purchase of the Canadian assets of Retirement Concepts.

Retirement Concepts owns twenty-four seniors-care facilities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

Read the blog  and read the letter.

NWT chapter expresses concerns about C-51 and C-22 ‘national security’ legislation

December 18, 2016

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter made a presentation on C-51 and C-22 at a recent town hall meeting in Yellowknife.

Chapter activist Craig Yeo tells us, “I attended the ‘National Security Framework Consultation Town Hall’ hosted by Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice. It was a moderated tables format, but there were few enough people that folks just gave remarks. Main points were accountability, oversight, the definitions of security and terrorism and the control of data.”

Read the blog

NWT Chapter Calls for North’s Inclusion in National EA Processes Review

November 21, 2016

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has called on the federal Environment and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Ministers to include the Northwest Territories in the upcoming national Review of Environmental Assessment Processes, and to collaborate in bringing forward the promised review of northern processes.  The Chapter also requested full provision for funding of public participant groups in the consultations.

See the letter.

 

Northwest Territories chapter submits brief on water protection to federal Transport committee

October 31, 2016

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has submitted its written brief on the Navigation Protection Act to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

NWT chapter activist Lois Little writes, “Under Omnibus Budget Bill C-45, the previous Conservative Government eliminated environmental protection of 99% of Canada’s lakes and rivers when the Navigable Waters Protection Act was replaced with the Navigation Protection Act (NPA).”

Read the brief 

That change reduced the scope of the Act to just 159 lakes and rivers, leaving more than 31,000 lakes and 2.25 million rivers without federal scrutiny.

Little highlights, “In the NWT, only three water bodies retain some environmental protection – Great Slave Lake, Great Bear Lake and the Mackenzie River. The NPA also exempted large projects such as pipelines from scrutiny so their impacts are no longer assessed for any navigable waterway. Lack of federal protection of our many lakes and rivers is worrisome for residents in the NWT as there is no modern legislation to protect our water against climate change, drought, and risky industrial activities such as fracking and mining, or to enforce trans-boundary water agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions.

And she notes, “Every effort must be made to protect our lakes and rivers and navigable waterways. The June 2013 Rosenberg International Forum report on the Mackenzie River Basin stated that the Basin may be the most threatened in the world by climate change. This is because it is the largest cold water basin on the continent and therefore, the lynch pin that holds the ice-water-weather-climate of North America together. Robust legislation to protect and manage water resources including navigable waterways must be in place to address these modern-day challenges.”

Read more 

Danger in Trans Pacific Partnership

Northern News Services Feature Column–October 26, 2016

“The TPP comes to Yellowknife” (Oct. 21) is a well-researched article that brings to light the many views on trade agreements and levels of understanding of their impacts.

Creating awareness of these impacts was a reason the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter invited Brenda Sayers from Hupacasath First Nation to come to Yellowknife.

Read more…

Special Presentation in Yellowknife Warns of TPP Trade Deal Dangers

Coming October 12, 2016

photo-by-franBrenda Sayers, the BC First Nation councillor who led the court challenge against the Canada-China investor promotion and protection agreement will speak on the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal October 12 in Yellowknife.

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter is hosting the event Wednesday October 12 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place Auditorium.

Ms. Sayers led the court challenge on behalf of Hupacasath First Nation. Since then she has represented the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) in promoting and defending Indigenous rights by combatting the possible adoption of the TPP and other corporate rights deals such as the Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA).

“TPP and associated processes usurp the ability of public and First Nations governments to legislate progressive environmental, social and economic measures.  They threaten Indigenous title and treaty rights.  They can result in the assignment of damage payments to foreign companies for any action which influences their corporate profits,” Ms. Sayers says.

“They are an outrageous infringement of the democratic authority of Parliament and the  sovereignty of Indigenous nations, and they must be stopped.”

While in Yellowknife, Ms. Sayers will also be leading an afternoon teach-in and meet with representatives of labour and other social justice organizations.

See the poster, media advisory and backgrounder on Brenda Sayers and the TPP, and an infographic and factsheet on Investor State Dispute Settlement arrangements.

CoC NWT Asks for Municipalities’ Support Fighting TPP

April 29, 2016

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has asked the City of Yellowknife and the NWT Association of Municipalities to join in opposing the passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership investor-state, or so-called “trade”, agreement.  The Chapter points out TPP’s harmful provisions restricting the ability to support local economies and vulnerability to damages suits and payments as a result of the rulings of non-judicial tribunals, with no right of appeal.  The NWT Teachers Association has joined in circulating this information opposing the passage of TPP.  TPP Factsheet_Page_1

As the letter says, “The TPP is extremely detrimental for the democratic authority and decision making power of municipalities and should not be ratified as written. The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians respectfully requests that the City of Yellowknife formally oppose this deal and bring its opposition to the NWT Association of Communities requesting NWTAC to do likewise and make this opposition known to the GNWT and the Federal Government in the form of a motion requesting that the Canadian government not ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership. ”

See the letter to the City of Yellowknife letter, and a fact sheet outlining the consequences of TPP adoption.

Ingredients of a Sustainable Community

On January 21, 2016, the Council of Canadians, Alternatives North, and Ecology North co-sponsored a panel discussion on sustainable communities in the North.  Presenters included the Executive Director of the NWT Association of Communities, the Mayor of Yellowknife, representatives from Yellowknife Community Gardens Collective, Ecology North, and the NWT Biomass Energy Association. 

Roundtable presenters and audience members made a number of recommendations and suggestions on the “Ingredients of a Sustainable Community”

A summary of the proceedings, and of the recommendations has been prepared and sent to Members of the Legislative Assembly.

See a copy of the recommendations letter.

Draft Water Strategy Plan Comments Given

The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians has provided comments to the Government of the Northwest Territories on the Draft NWT Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan 2016-2020.  

See a copy of the letter commenting on the draft plan.