Category Archives: Uncategorized
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. “
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.
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 responsibleminingnwt.ca 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.
December 1 is the deadline for submissions to the Mineral Resources Act
Download the media release
“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
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…
April 24, 2017
To the Ends of the Earth—the feature film examining the rise of extreme energy, the end of economic growth, and the people caught in the middle—is screening Thursday May 4 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place auditorium.
The film examines the state of our energy system today, and the people in critical positions watching global developments unfold. We meet Inuit concerned that undersea seismic testing is harming marine mammals Inuit rely upon for food. Or the environmental lawyer who goes on a journey to areas that produce energy for the Tarsands of Alberta. Or the river conservationist in Utah who fights to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects that would disturb its headwaters.
‘To the Ends of the Earth’ brings forward the voices of those who not only denounce the rise of extreme energy, but also envision the new world that is taking shape instead: a future beyond the resource pyramid, a post- growth economy.
The film is presented by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians. Admission is by donation.
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.