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.

Fractured Land Film Screening March 23

FL-WWD poster-Northwest TerritoriesFractured Land, the story of a young Dene lawyer and activist’s battle against fracking in Northern British Columbia, will be screened Wednesday March 23 at 7 PM at Northern United Place.

Fractured Land follows the political awakening of Caleb Ben through community life and law school, sharing knowledge with other Indigenous peoples, speaking to larger and larger audiences, dealing with deep community divisions, and building a movement to fight big oil interests.

Fractured Land offers vital lessons for our movement to prevent fracking in the NWT, and on the need to be vigilant of the up-stream impacts affecting the health of the entire Mackenzie River Basin,” says Council of Canadians Co-Chair Lois Little. 

The 2015 film shows how new leaders like Caleb are forging alliances with scientists and environmentalists, sharing strategies using traditional knowledge and contemporary law, and keeping up the pressure for a total, national ban on fracking.

“Fractured Land demonstrates how people have mobilized to protect our precious heritage of fresh water from poisonous fracking operations,”  Little says, “It’s the kind of unity and determination we need if we are to make the new Mackenzie Basin trans-boundary water agreements mean anything for water protection.”

The Fractured Land screening is part of the 2016 Water Week activities underway to raise awareness of water issues in the NWT.

Download the poster

Clean Energy for the NWT

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.”

Read the letter and contact your MLA asking for a commitment to a clean energy future for the NWT.

Ingredients for a Sustainable Community—A Round Table Discussion

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. 

Download an overview of the event and a poster for printing.001-Sustainable-Community-Event-Poster-web

Results of Territorial Candidates Survey on Fracking Released

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:

  1. 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?
  1. 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?

See the results as a spread sheet of textual responses, and a summary of the questionnaire process, background and questions.

Read the commentary on the results of the fracking survey by Council of Canadians NWT C0-Chair Lois Little.

NWT Chapter draws water from Great Slave Lake

DrawingWaterGreatSlaveLakeThe 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.”

Read More

This Changes Everything

Film Presentation

fb imageThis Changes Everything, the documentary film based on the acclaimed nonfiction best-seller by award-winning journalist and author, Naomi Klein is being screened Thursday November 19 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place Auditorium.

The presentation is sponsored by the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter and Ecology North.  Admission is free.

Screenings of the film This Changes Everything are part of the book, film and public engagement project demonstrating why the changes we need to avert climate chaos are our best chance to build the more equitable, livable and healthier societies world citizens want and need.

See the media release from the September 13 Toronto International Film Festival launch of the film, the press pack from the film launch, and download the poster providing details of the Yellowknife screening.