Category Archives: Uncategorized
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.
Coming October 12, 2016
Brenda 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.
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.
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.
February 23, 2016
The Fracking Action North Coalition has called on Members of the NWT Legislative Assembly to confirm their vision for a new energy economy based upon renewable sources and ending the dependence upon the fossil fuels destroying our ecosystem.
FAN’s letter to MLAs says that “We look forward to hearing back from each of you, as many of you indicated prior to the election that this is a matter of utmost importance to the public of the NWT.”
What makes a community sustainable?
What do we know, and what do we need to know about community sustainability?
What are the social, cultural, economic and environmental necessities of community sustainability?
What are your ideas on the important features of such a community?
We’re getting together to share, learn and apply our knowledge:
Thursday, January 21 7:00-8:45 PM
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre – Auditorium
You’ll hear brief presentations and panel discussion by participants representing
- NWT Biomass Energy Association
- Community of Gamètì
- City of Yellowknife
- Yellowknife Community Gardens
- Ecology North
- Council of Canadians
- NWT Association of Communities
Audience discussion will gather ideas on a vision for sustainable northern communities.
Ingredients for a Sustainable Community is organized by the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter as a member of the Fracking Action North Coalition.
November 16, 2015
The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians has released the results of the survey on horizontal hydraulic fracturing sent to territorial general election candidates on behalf of the Fracking Action North (FAN) coalition.
The survey asked:
- Will you support a moratorium or a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing? Why or why not, and under which conditions would you allow fracking in the NWT?
- Will you commit to proposing or supporting a motion in the NWT Legislative Assembly calling for a moratorium on fracking until a comprehensive, transparent and public review of the risks and public acceptability of fracking in the NWT is completed? Yes or no?
Read the commentary on the results of the fracking survey by Council of Canadians NWT C0-Chair Lois Little.
The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has drawn a jar of water from Great Slave Lake to send to Justin Trudeau. The water will be part of a ‘climate welcome’ action in Ottawa on Nov. 7 to remind the new prime minister about the threats posed by tar sands expansion and pipelines to waterways across this country.
The Athabasca River, which is near many tar sands projects, flows north into the Peace-Athabasca Delta, south of Fort Chipewyan, and then into Slave River and Great Slave Lake. The Natural Resources Defense Council has commented, “Northern communities living downstream from the massive [tar sands] tailings dams are aware and concerned about risks presented by the tar-sands industry upstream. A larger spill could threaten not just the Athabasca river but the Peace-Athabasca delta, Lake Athabasca, the Slave river and delta, Great Slave Lake, and the Mackenzie river and delta, all of which empty into the Beaufort sea. Cleaning such a spill could cost billion of dollars.”
Opinion Piece by NWT Chapter Co-Chair Lois Little
The Edge October 27, 2015
The Government of the NWT under Premier Bob McLeod is having an affair with China. The premier has made five trips to China, offered the Chinese eight NWT rivers for hydroelectric development, and, with Minister Dave Ramsay, tried to recruit 2,000 Chinese immigrants. In September, McLeod pursued this affair on home turf while touring China’s ambassador to Canada around the North.
So what’s behind the GNWT’s interest in China? We’re told that the hundreds of thousands spent courting the Chinese is about ‘spending money to make money’ to grow the NWT economy with Chinese investment. But a closer look shows that it has an uncanny, almost eerie similarity to recently ousted Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s obsession with China. In fact, the similarities are so striking one wonders when McLeod will propose bringing panda bears to the NWT.
September 21, 2015
Alternatives North and the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter staged the “We Can Do Better” planning session September 19 in Yellowknife to work toward an NWT common front movement to promote social justice and plan actions to encourage northerners to vote.
Common front movements draw together social and environmental justice advocates to coordinate actions based on shared goals and priorities. By combining the public profile of many organizations, these solidarity movements multiply their political influence and effectiveness. More than 40 people from social, environmental, economic, labour and First Nations justice organizations attended.
“With federal, territorial and municipal elections taking place in October and November, northerners can make their voices heard and help elect candidates who support social justice priorities,” says Council of Canadians NWT Co-Chair Lois Little. “We Can Do Better was a forum to identify common values and priorities and examine ways to promote social, political, economic and environmental justice in the NWT.”
“Panel and group discussions linked these shared values to the issues which federal, territorial and municipal candidates could influence and support,” says Alternatives North spokesperson Craig Yeo, “We examined ways to help each other to push progressive solutions to issues facing our communities and getting candidates’ positions on record.”
Participants discussed how general objectives such as economic justice could be achieved through such measures such as a living wage or improved access to housing, or environmental progress served by increasing the use of renewable energies.
Patti Dalton, President of the London and District Labour Council addressed delegates on the history and influence of common front movements. Panelists representing labour, social, environmental, economic and indigenous justice movements shared their priorities for the coming elections. They overwhelming agreed that while thinking globally, we all have the power to act and change our circumstances locally.
See the agenda for planning session details and speakers.
The event was made possible by the financial assistance of the Northern Territories Federation of Labour, Public Service Alliance of Canada North, and Union of Northern Workers.