Category Archives: Uncategorized

MP Called on to Consult on Kinder Morgan

August 14, 2018

NWT Chapter Co-Chair Lois Little presents the request for consultations to MP Michael McLeod

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter and partners have called on MP Michael McLeod to meaningfully consult with constituents on his government’s plans to purchase the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline.

Purchase of this pipeline is a dangerous move. It will result in the expansion of tar sands production by one-third; drive up greenhouse gas emissions; increase the pace of climate change; cross and possibly threaten more than 1300 freshwater bodies; undermine Indigenous rights and title; and threaten the Pacific marine environment, among other impacts. The purchase wastes scarce public funds that could fuel new investment, worker retraining and lasting jobs in a clean economy.

The NWT Chapter invited McLeod to a Kinder Morgan town hall discussion on July 17.  He chose to listen to Ottawa’s orders rather than his own people and declined our invitation, just as Liberal MPs avoided similar events across the country.

Read the full letter.


Kinder Morgan Town Hall and Film Screening—July 17, 7 PM

July 10, 2018

On July 22nd, Justin Trudeau and his government will choose whether or not to finalize their $4.5 billion dollar deal to buy the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline or pull out of the deal.

And despite tens of thousands of people calling on the government to hold public pipeline consultations, they’re making the decision without talking to people.

That’s why the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians with is helping citizens take matters into their own hands.  Between July 7th and 22nd, town hall screenings of the film Directly Affected: Pipeline Under Pressure are taking place across Canada.

In Yellowknife, Directly Affected will be screened July 17 at 7 PM at the Northern United Place Auditorium.  Northwest Territories Member of Parliament Michael McLeod has been invited to attend. 

Directly Affected details all the risks this pipeline poses to people and the planet. The goal is to bring together community members to learn about the project the Trudeau government has decided to buy out with billions in public money.

Add your voice, share your thoughts and deliver your message directly to our MP. 

If MP McLeod doesn’t come, attendees will be given postcards to fill out and mail to make sure our MP gets the message about how their constituents really feel about this pipeline deal.

See more details on the screening and on how Trudeau Can Pull Out Of The Kinder Morgan Deal

GNWT Must Honour Its United Nations Endorsements

June 12, 2018

In 2008 the 16th NWT Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion to support the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  In 2007 the 15th NWT Legislative Assembly declared, “all peoples have a fundamental human right to water that must be recognized”.

The GNWT is in the process of rewriting its major natural resource and environmental management laws.

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has asked the Premier to explain why past consensus government endorsements of UN declarations and covenants are not reflected in the revisions to legislation. 

Read the letter.

See NWT Premier Bob McLeod’s reply to the Chapter’s request for an explanation of the United Nation’s Declaration’s consideration in development of new NWT resource management and other laws.

Read the Letter


World Water Day Film Celebration March 22

Two short films spotlighting threats to our waters and the activism for environmental protection are screening in celebration of World Water Day.

The films are showing Thursday March 22 at 7 PM in Northern United Place Auditorium.

One River/Many Relations explores the harm of the Alberta Tar Sands to human health and the environment, as seen through the eyes of the Cree, Dene and Metis people of Fort Chipewyan. 

Water Warriors documents the coalition of Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation and French-and English-speaking New Brunswickers blocking fracking exploration and ultimately changing governments in an election focused on waters protection.

Brenda Dragon, Fort Smith water activist and opponent of the Peace River Site C dam, will share her thoughts in relation to water protection, and experience as part of the Site C Summit held in Victoria, BC., earlier this year.

The films are being presented in partnership by Ecology North, the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter and the City of Yellowknife.


Water Program Specialist 


Waste Management Strategy Input Filed

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has provided input into the GNWT’s consultations on a waste management strategy.

The Chapter submission points out that education, incentives, interventions, and clear policy and legislative responsibilities are key to efforts to successfully manage hazardous waste. We believe that the principles, goals, and priorities identified thus far are appropriate elements of this strategy. That said, we recommend that all actions in the strategy be linked to NWT legislation and/or policy order to give the necessary force. Our recommendation is supported by the following experiences. 

Read the submission

Chapter Comments on GNWT Draft Climate Change Plan

The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has submitted comments on the territorial government’s draft Climate Change Strategic Framework. 

The submission itemizes shortcomings in the draft, including its:

  • Lack of an appreciation of the urgent need for action
  • Failure to embrace the growing number of community-based innovations that seek sustainable local economies and manage and mitigate climate change impacts
  • Neglect of climate change adaptations and mitigations being introduced throughout the circumpolar north
  • Failure to set departmental responsibilities, budgets, deliverables, and timelines for achievement of meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas.

The submission calls on the GNWT to improve the draft “so it serves northerners and our environment. More importantly however, after what will now be four years of planning, it is critical that the GNWT expedite the action plan and immediate investment in mitigations in recognition of the urgency of the threats of climate change. “

Read the submission.

NGOs encourage GNWT to produce modern mining legislation

Northwest Territories and national public interest groups have filed detailed comments in response to the territorial government discussion paper for consultation on a new Mineral Resources Act.

Alternatives North, Ecology North, the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society NWT, Northern Territories Federation of Labour, Canadian Arctic Resources Committee and MiningWatch Canada collaborated to analyze the information available to produce submissions expressing the particular concerns of each organization. These submissions, along with much of the information analyzed, are posted to the website Responsible Mining Northwest Territories.

Read the media release, with its link to each organizations’ submission including detailed NGO Engagement Findings and Principles.

Activists Launch Mineral Resources Act Consultation Resources Website

A coalition of NWT and national advocacy groups have created a website to
promote informed input into the territorial government consultation on a new
Mineral Resources Act.

The website was created as a result of a review of the
proposed Act by the groups. It contains resources including mining practices and
revenue options research, pertinent media coverage and video resources.

The participating groups are Alternatives North, the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter, Ecology North, Mining Watch Canada, the Northern Territories Federation of Labour, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association and the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee.

The website resource will provide informed best practices to build a world class
mineral strategy for the NWT that will: reflect current requirements to respect the
inherent, constitutional and international rights of Indigenous Peoples with comanagement
authority over land and resources; maximize revenue generation;
ensure ample infrastructure and legacy funds are built into a mining strategy; and
provide regulations for companies to operate on the highest levels of safety and
environmental accountability. In their input to the consultation, the groups saw the
need to provide information and resources for those wanting to participate, but
lacking expert knowledge of issues and policy alternatives.

The website contains a link to the Government of the Northwest Territories
survey and to the consultation discussion paper. Written submission can also be
contributed to the consultations.

December 1 is the deadline for submissions to the Mineral Resources Act

Download the media release

Standing Rock Protest Documentary “Awake” November 16

“Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock”, the three-part documentary film profiling the dramatic protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being presented Thursday November 16 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place Auditorium by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Awake follows the rise of the historic #NODAPL First Nations-led resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.   Thousands of activists converged to stand in solidarity with the water protector activists.  The pipeline is intended to carry fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through sovereign land and under the Missouri River, the water source for the Standing Rock reservation and 17 million people downstream.

The collaborative documentary  is created in three chapters directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker and activist Josh Fox (Gasland), Academy Award nominated filmmaker James Spione (Silenced, Incident in New Baghdad) and indigenous filmmaker and Digital Smoke Signals founder Myron Dewey.  It is described as “part of the rallying cry for indigenous sovereignty and clean water that has resonated across the globe”. 

As well as dramatic footage of peaceful protest against militarized local police and private security teams and of day-to-day life of the camp community, the film explores the unity of opposition across cultural lines focused against another environmental tragedy.

Admission is free with donations. 

Download the poster.

Contact:   867 445 2149

CoC Letter on Premier McLeod’s ‘red alert’

The following letter was submitted to Northern News Services following NWT Premier Bob McLeod’s public remarks on the federal decision to place a five-year moratorium on off-shore oil and gas exploration and development in the Beaufort Sea.

To:  Editor, Northern News Services

Premier Bob McLeod’s mistaken comments on federal “colonialism” denying us the opportunity of offshore fossil fuel development miss the economic reality of today, condemn us to the energy past, and perpetuate the colonialism the Premier complains about.

First, the Premier claims that the federal government has cut our economic throat by denying development of offshore oil and gas resources.  Wake up.  Big oil isn’t even interested in the on-shore oil and gas his government controls, let alone the impossibly expensive development of offshore sources.   An economic development policy balanced on impossibly expensive fuels stranded far from markets is a plan from the past doomed to economic failure.  And, perhaps incidentally to the Premier, there is no demonstrated ability to clean up oil spills in arctic marine environments – the stated reason why the Prime Minister set this moratorium…

Read the entire letter.