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Council of Canadians Newsletter

NAFTA talks in Ottawa met with protests, a blimp, projections and more
Round 3 of NAFTA renegotiations came to a close yesterday in Ottawa. While contentious issues are only beginning to be put on the table in this latest round of talks, U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights on putting “America first” in the tri-national deal with Canada and Mexico.

Thanks to the generous support of people like you, the Council of Canadians was on the ground in Ottawa throughout the talks, drawing attention to the serious problems that plague the deal. Check out this full recap of events and actions! Our trade campaigner, Sujata Dey, presented your concerns with NAFTA to the House of Commons Committee on International Trade. We joined with Leadnow to bring a giant blimp and projector that put messages on buildings calling for the removal of Chapter 11 provisions in NAFTA. These provisions allow corporations to sue governments over policies or regulations that diminish investments, even if they are done in the public interest. That same day, we joined labour activists to speak out about how NAFTA has hurt workers. Over the weekend, we organized a summit of civil society representatives from all three countries to talk about ways NAFTA needs to be a better deal for people and the planet.

Yesterday, the Council of Canadians joined more than 100 prominent Canadian, Québécois and Indigenous artists who are asking the government to protect culture in NAFTA negotiations. We also helped leading environmental, climate, health, labour and faith organizations to release an open statement on NAFTA, the environment and climate change.

You can read more analysis from round three of the renegotiations here.

You are making a difference in these negotiations. Your support is putting the heat on the Trudeau government to stand up to President Trump and corporate lobbyists – and secure a better deal for people and the planet. Thank you!

Read more about the campaign and add your voice today .

Communities unite to defend Great Lakes from Nestlé and water threats
On September 29 and 30, people from Ontario, Michigan and First Nations will come together in Flint, Michigan to talk about the growing need to protect water from water-bottling, over-extraction and pollution. In Ontario, Nestlé is using two expired provincial permits to extract millions of litres of community water every day and bottle it for huge profits. Meanwhile, local Indigenous communities continue to suffer through prolonged drinking water crises. In Detroit, people are facing sky-high water bills and water shutoffs that are part of a larger plan to privatize the municipal water system. And in Flint, families are still living with lead in their drinking water more than three years after it was first detected.

We all need water to live. Water should be viewed as a shared commons – something that is shared and protected by all so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

Read more about the forum.

Trudeau government forging ahead with Trans-Pacific deal despite public opposition
Negotiations are now underway on a new form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States. According to a Global Affairs documents obtained by the Council of Canadians through an Access to Information request, only two out of more than 18,000 Canadians wrote in to support the TPP. That means only 0.01 per cent of those who participated in public email consultations supported the deal.

“It is all very well to consult Canadians about an agreement, but it’s extremely cynical to then ignore everything that people have said to you. No wonder people are so exasperated with trade agreements,” said Maude Barlow, honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

Read more.

Vibrations from wind turbine construction threaten water
In Chatham-Kent, Ontario, the provincial government is allowing Samsung to run roughshod over the community during the construction of the North Kent One Wind power development. Since the company began pile driving, 13 local landowners have filed complaints after experiencing serious problems with siltation of their wells. Several families have lost the use of their water wells entirely. Council chapters from Windsor and London supported an 11 day blockade of one construction site in August and last Sunday, Maude Barlow joined local residents for a meeting to support the community’s efforts to protect their water from further harm.

Read more.

Unsettling Canada Book Club meeting – new date of October 5
Unsettling Canada is a book written by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ron Derrickson that details decades of struggle for Indigenous rights in Canada at a local, national, and international level. Organizers of Unsettling Canada 150, a group formed to bring attention to these struggles, called on Canadians to read and discuss this book to gain a better understanding of Canada’s colonization of this land. The Council of Canadians is launching a monthly webinar on the book – each meeting will cover three chapters. The first book club meeting will be held on October 5 at 8 p.m. ET. A link will be shared closer to the date. Please join us for this thought-provoking conversation!

You can borrow the book from your local library, or buy it from local vendors like Between the Lines.

Learn more about Unsettling Canada 150.
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