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

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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.

Film Presentation–To the Ends of the Earth Details “Extreme” Energy Impacts and Answers

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.

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 opposes sale of seniors-care facilities to Chinese company, cites FIPPA concerns

December 18, 2016

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has written federal Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains to request an extension of his ministry’s review under the provisions of the Investment Canada Act of the Ambang Insurance Group’s proposed purchase of the Canadian assets of Retirement Concepts.

Retirement Concepts owns twenty-four seniors-care facilities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

Read the blog  and read the letter.

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.

 

Northwest Territories chapter submits brief on water protection to federal Transport committee

October 31, 2016

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has submitted its written brief on the Navigation Protection Act to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

NWT chapter activist Lois Little writes, “Under Omnibus Budget Bill C-45, the previous Conservative Government eliminated environmental protection of 99% of Canada’s lakes and rivers when the Navigable Waters Protection Act was replaced with the Navigation Protection Act (NPA).”

Read the brief 

That change reduced the scope of the Act to just 159 lakes and rivers, leaving more than 31,000 lakes and 2.25 million rivers without federal scrutiny.

Little highlights, “In the NWT, only three water bodies retain some environmental protection – Great Slave Lake, Great Bear Lake and the Mackenzie River. The NPA also exempted large projects such as pipelines from scrutiny so their impacts are no longer assessed for any navigable waterway. Lack of federal protection of our many lakes and rivers is worrisome for residents in the NWT as there is no modern legislation to protect our water against climate change, drought, and risky industrial activities such as fracking and mining, or to enforce trans-boundary water agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions.

And she notes, “Every effort must be made to protect our lakes and rivers and navigable waterways. The June 2013 Rosenberg International Forum report on the Mackenzie River Basin stated that the Basin may be the most threatened in the world by climate change. This is because it is the largest cold water basin on the continent and therefore, the lynch pin that holds the ice-water-weather-climate of North America together. Robust legislation to protect and manage water resources including navigable waterways must be in place to address these modern-day challenges.”

Read more 

Danger in Trans Pacific Partnership

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.

Read more…

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.