Category Archives: NWT Chapter Updates

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 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.


NWT Joins Worldwide Fracking Protest—Global Frackdown 2014

October 1, 2014

posterNWT citizens are joining the worldwide Global Frackdown event Saturday, October 11th to highlight concerns with the dangers of fracking for our waters and climate.

People will gather in Somba K’e Park at noon Saturday and march to Northern United Place to participate in an information session on the dangers of fracking.  The documentary “Showdown”, which focuses on the anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick, will be screened.

Participation in the worldwide event is being organized by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

“Global Frackdown will unite concerned citizens around the globe to tell elected officials that we want a future lit by clean, renewable energy; not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.” says Council of Canadians spokesperson Lorraine Hewlett. “The journey to a renewable energy future will not be fueled by oil and gas.”

“Horizontal fracking is moving forward in the Sahtu without even an environmental assessment.  We have no detailed understanding of the short- or long-term impacts of this technology on Sahtu water resources;  we don’t know the full details of the composition or quantity of chemicals that will remain underground;, and have no certainty that highly contaminated waste fluids will be managed properly toprevent leaks and spills into our northern waters.    

Read the full media release and download the poster.

GNWT Abdicates Responsibility for Protecting Environment and Public Trust

The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians disagrees with the GNWT Environment and Natural Resource Minister’s refusal to carry out an investigation of fracking chemicals under the Environmental Rights Act (ERA) and believes that he is abdicating his legal responsibility for protecting the environment and public trust.

Minister Miltenberger has essentially told the Chapter that the legislation guiding the National Energy Board and the Sahtu Land and Water Board override his authority to protect the public trust and the environment as required under the ERA. This assertion was made in Minister Miltenberger’s October 22, 2013 response to the NWT Chapter’s request for an investigation into, and full disclosure of the specific name and quantity of fracking chemicals to be used in ConocoPhilips’ hydraulic fracturing program in the Sahtu. In its letter back to Minister Miltenberger, the Chapter quotes from the ERA (section 2.3) which clearly states that the ERA will prevail in cases of conflict with other legislation.

The NWT Chapter contends that the Minister responsible for the ERA is obligated to carry out the requested investigation unless he believes that the release or likely release of contaminants does not pose a threat to the environment or the public trust. Since the Minister has refused to investigate, the NWT Chapter has written a response to Minister Miltenberger asking if this is in fact the GNWT’s position and if it is, how this decision was made.

Blue Future: Maude Barlow Event in Yellowknife

Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever
Featuring Maude Barlow
Wednesday, October 30 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Northern United Place
5403 Franklin Avenue, Yellowknife (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Please join the Council of Canadians’ NWT Chapter for a thought-provoking evening with Council of Canadians’ National Chairperson Maude Barlow, one of the world’s foremost experts on water.

Maude will be discussing the world’s growing water crisis and the fight to protect our most precious resource. Drawing from her recently released book, Blue Future, Maude will bring the global context to unfolding water issues in the Northwest Territories.

Copies of Maude’s new book, Blue Future, will be available for purchase, and Maude will be signing books after her presentation.

About Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 17 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever.

NWT Joins Global Day of Action on Fracking

Photo Credit: Bob Wilson

Photo Credit: Bob Wilson

Around 75 people in Yellowknife took part in events organized by the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter to mark the second annual Global Frackdown.

The CBC reported on the Yellowknife event and others that took place in Iqaluit and Whitehorse:

Fracking protests draw crowds in Northern Canada
CBC News Posted: Oct 20, 2013

Northerners joined a global protest movement against hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, with events in Yellowknife and Whitehorse this weekend.

In Yellowknife, about 75 people attended a Global Frackdown demonstration, marching through the streets of the capital to voice their opposition to hydraulic fracturing — a controversial procedure that involves blasting underground rock with hot water and chemicals in order to extract the oil and gas.

The movement made news this week after more than 40 protesters were arrested near the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick after an anti-fracking demonstration there turned violent.

By comparison, events in Yellowknife and Whitehorse were much more peaceful.

Barb Deakin, who attended the Yellowknife event, said every little bit of awareness helps the cause.

“I believe that it’s going to help us, give us more support and then eventually maybe they may listen to us,” she said. “But at least we’re trying to do something about it, rather than sit and do nothing.”

Plans are underway to start fracking in the N.W.T.’s Sahtu region soon, and protesters were eager to show their displeasure with that.

RCMP and by-law officers redirected traffic while participants marched through Yellowknife’s downtown.

Young people were front and centre at the event; the march was led by three young girls who held up a “Don’t Frack Up Here” sign.

About 30 people attended a similar event in Iqaluit, and over in Whitehorse, about 100 people demonstrated their opposition to fracking. Fracking isn’t currently used anywhere in Yukon, but it’s also not banned in the territory.

“There’s a lot of people saying this is not good and we really want to investigate anything we do that’s going to poison our water forever so hopefully this will bring more awareness and I thing that’s the whole objective here,” said organizer Don Roberts. “People can let our politicians know this is not a good practice.”


Global Frackdown – Yellowknife


Global Frackdown – Yellowknife
Saturday, October 19 at 12:00 noon
Somba K’e Park (next to City Hall)

The NWT chapter of the Council Of Canadians will be joining the worldwide Global Frackdown event on Saturday, October 19th. All Northerners are invited to meet at Somba K’e Park next to City hall at 12:00 noon.

Bring your placards, your drums and your voices for an Awareness March ending up at Northern Untied Place for an education session about the negative impacts of fracking.

Citizens’ Group Calls for Fracking Investigation

by Laura Busch

(Reprinted from Northern News Services, September 9, 2013)

As the date of the first horizontal hydraulic fracturing program in the NWT draws closer, alarms are sounding over a clause in the water license issued by the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) that states ConocoPhillips does not need to fully disclose the chemical content of its fracturing fluid if the mixture is deemed a “trade secret.”

“People don’t really understand what they (the company) are doing,” said Tulita’s Begaa Deh Shuh Tah Got’ie Chief David Etchinelle of the project that was approved in June.

A citizens’ organization also takes exception to ConocoPhillips not needing to fully disclose what chemicals they will be putting into the ground in the Sahtu.

“It’s in the public interest to know exactly what’s being pumped into the ground,” said Peter Redvers of the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Most industries, including the oil and gas industry, are required to clean up any contaminated waste that is released into the environment.

“What is it about fracking that allows these companies to contaminate large volumes of water, to create a real toxic soup, and then simply release those into the environment?” he asked. “Underground, I’m sorry, is still part of the environment.” Read the rest of this entry

Minister to Investigate Secret “Frac” Fluids

by Meagan Wohlberg

(Reprinted from the Northern Journal, September 9, 2013)

Peter Redvers, co-chair of the NWT Council of Canadians chapter, says the issue of fracking and what fracking fluids are made up of is of interest to all citizens.

The new NWT chapter of the Council of Canadians is demanding Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Minister Michael Miltenberger launch an investigation immediately into what chemical agents are being used in the territory’s sole fracking project.

Peter Redvers and Lois Little, co-chairs of the NWT Council chapter, addressed a request to Miltenberger last Tuesday citing the Environmental Rights Act, which permits any two NWT residents to call on the minister to carry out an inquiry into matters that violate protection of the environment and public trust.

Miltenberger is obligated to look into the matter and respond within 90 days.

The two Yellowknife residents argue that allowances made in the water license issued to ConocoPhillips to frack two wells near Tulita, which permit the company to refrain from naming chemicals considered “trade secrets,” are violations of public safety and the environment.

“We believe that because the issue of fracking and, particularly, fracking fluids and how they’re used, where they end up and what they’re made of is of interest to all citizens,” Redvers told The Journal last week. Read the rest of this entry