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Experts Support an Intact Boreal Forest

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on October 1, 2011 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Four years ago the NDP decided to build the new transmission line to ensure energy security for Manitoba and to facilitate increased export sales of energy to the United States. They chose the west side route to protect the Boreal Forest on the east side of Lake Winnipeg (which would support a bid to designate the Boreal Forest as a UNESCO World Heritage site), while respecting First Nations' rights and considering long term sustainable development of the province. This Manitoba election, the Progressive Conservative party has tried to frame the west side construction of BiPole III as wrong. They claim that because the east side would be a shorter distance it would be cheaper, and therefore better.


Here's what the experts have to say:


Excerpt from:
Environmental scientists join bid to protect part of boreal forest
By Gloria Galloway - Globe and Mail - Sep. 29, 2011


"More than 70 prominent environmental scientists have endorsed a bid by first nations in Northern Ontario and Manitoba to have 43,000 square kilometres of intact boreal forest declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.


“As scientists who have contributed to advancing conservation issues and opportunities around the world,” they say in their letter, “we would like to acknowledge the globally unique cultural and ecological values of the boreal forest ecosystem on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.”


To protect this region “of outstanding universal value,” wrote the scientists, “we support the initiative of regional first nations in partnership with the governments of Manitoba, Ontario and Canada, to create the Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage Site.”


The area includes the swath of forest that would have been cut to construct a contentious hydro transmission line on the east side of Lake Winnipeg had the Manitoba government not refused to allow the project to proceed."


read the full article.



Excerpt from:
Protecting the boreal wilderness known as Pimachiowin Aki
By David Suzuki - September 20, 2011


"One of the largest areas of untouched boreal wilderness left in the world straddles a significant section of Eastern Manitoba and Northern Ontario. The local Anishinabe First Nation calls this massive 43,000-square-kilometre region Pimachiowin Aki (Pim-MATCH-cho-win Ahh-KEY). In English, it means the "the land that gives life".

 

Home to such threatened species as woodland caribou, and dotted with freshwater lakes, wild rivers, and biodiversity-rich wetlands, Pimachiowin Aki has remained more or less unchanged for some 5,000 years, roughly as long as recorded human history. It is the very absence of clear-cuts, mines, hydroelectric dams, transmission lines, and other industrial infrastructure, along with the region's rich cultural landscape, that makes Pimachiowin Aki so exceptional, and it is for this reason that First Nations communities want to protect it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site."


"Fortunately, the Manitoba government has listened and is working with First Nations to protect the area for its unparalleled ecological and cultural richness. If they succeed, it would join other world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and the 7.7 million-hectare Ténéré Nature Reserve in the Sahara Desert region of Niger.


However, obtaining international recognition for Pimachiowin Aki as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is no easy task. The Manitoba government and local communities have had to make difficult decisions to sustain the ecological integrity of the region in the face of industrial pressures. Most notably, the government decided to reroute a planned multibillion dollar hydro transmission line away from the area. It would have cut through the heart of the World Heritage Site. The controversial decision has become political fodder in the current Manitoba election campaign.


Many environmental groups and scientists, including the David Suzuki Foundation, support the government?s difficult decision. We believe Pimachiowin Aki must be protected as a special place where rivers run wild, caribou roam unfettered by industrial development, and the centuries-old values of its indigenous peoples are honoured and respected."


read the full article. 



Excerpt from:
Economic & Social Trends
By Lynne Fernandez - CCPA Review - March 2011


"The west side of Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis, where the west-side route is proposed, contains pockets of high-value boreal, but it is fragmented with lower value boreal, farmland, roads, forestry, mining and hydro-electric activity and settlements. The difference between the two areas is the intactness of the eastside. In fact, a global map of the boreal forest shows the east side of Lake Winnipeg and the western part of Ontario to have the highest quality boreal forest in the world.




"Although not 100% pristine, the east side is intact, referring to its ". . . continuity of systems and processes, un-fragmented and distant from human infrastructure". It is both the considerable size of the area and its intactness that make it unique in the world, not just in Canada.


According to The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the area in question contains several interconnected natural environments that provide important "ecosystem services". In order for these services to continue to be provided, natural environments within the region have to remain whole and connected. One of the most important services is that of wildlife habitat, particularly in this case, for the boreal woodland caribou."


read the full report.



Excerpt from:
BiPole 3 Decision, A Reality Check - Debunking BiPole III Myths
The Heart of the Boreal


Myth #1:

BiPole III will cost more to go down the west side of the province than the east side.


In Reality:

On the surface this statement is correct, as the west side route for BiPole III will have some $400 million of additional upfront costs plus another $240 million for line loss. While this may be a lot of money, in reality the additional costs of building Bipole 3 on the west side amounts to only 3% of Manitoba Hydro's total capital program for the next decade. That's the difference between paying $1.09 for a loaf of bread instead of $1.06.


However, if the government of Manitoba were to reconsider its decision and construct BiPole III down the east side of Lake Winnipeg, through the intact Heart of the Boreal forest, these savings would be eaten up very quickly.


debunk all the myths.



BiPole 3 video:

Manitoba Hydro Bipole III Debate - Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


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"Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way
in order to come back a short distance correctly."


~Edward Albee


New View on New West

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 30, 2011 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Throughout this election campaign Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen has attacked the NDP government for not joining the New West Trade agreement. McFadyen asserts that joining the New West agreement and cutting red tape would help Manitoba businesses. Now politicians of all stripes agree that trade is good and that we need healthy trade for a strong economy and vibrant communities. However, we also need our provincial government to be a strong advocate for us - their constituents - when negotiating trade deals, both internationally and within Canada. 


So far, Manitoba has stayed out of the interprovincial New West Trade agreement. This agreement puts trade panels in authority over our governments, who can be fined for not abiding by the trade panel decisions. A provincial government under the New West cannot set policy to support or encourage provincial business or to prefer a bid for reasons of locality. Expert trade lawyer Steve Shrybman has published a report showing how agreements of this kind threaten our public services and serve to further deregulate provincial policies that protect communities and the environment. This is the same regional trade agreement that the conservative party promises to join, and that would preclude them carrying out their other promise about benefiting local businesses and jobs.


On election day remember“pro-trade” is not the same thing as smart trade and support the party you know will stand up for Manitobans.

Contributor: Mary McCandless - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member

Parties need to stand up for Democracy and Jobs

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The federal and provincial governments are currently negotiating with European Union representatives on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The EU is requiring that in exchange for greater access to European markets, Canada would have to adopt an across jurisdiction open procurement policy. This means that when the federal, provincial, or a municipal government decides to purchase goods or services they would be legally required to only consider price. An open procurement policy would severely limit the ability of governments to stimulate local economies and create local jobs.

 

Given that the next provincial government elected will be representing Manitobans at the bargaining table with the EU voters should know where the parties stand on the CETA. The Progressive Conservatives’ platform promises that they “will join national, international and regional trade agreements” but they also state that they “will formulate pro-trade policies for Manitoba that will benefit local businesses and jobs.” The PC platform doesn’t mention the CETA by name but the PC’s cannot have it both ways, either they are honest when they write in their platform that they “recognize the tremendous level of services provided by local governments and respect the leadership and input demonstrated by elected municipal officials” or they sign on to the CETA with its open procurement policy and prevent municipal governments from hiring local companies.

 

I would quote the NDP, Liberal, and Green Party’s stances on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement but none of their platforms have any references to any trade agreements.

 

With all of this discussion about the future of Manitoba Hydro you would hope that the political parties would reference how this proposed trade deal would limit Northern economic development by preventing Manitoba Hydro from contracting jobs to First Nations groups.

 

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement will have huge implications for the Manitoba economy and how our governments can respond to economic recessions. If democracy is to work and elections are to be more than a daily affair of bickering and one-liners, we need to have political parties willing to take stands on difficult and complicated issues. Manitobans don’t support “pro-trade” policies for pro-trade sake, but rather are for smart trade policies and the CETA is not smart and will not benefit our economy. 

During these final days of the campaign, demand that your candidates tell you their stance on the CETA. Tell them local governments and local jobs are important and that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement is not good for Manitoba.


Contributor: Trevor Semotok - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member

Manitoba's Political "Environment"

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 29, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A critical issue in the coming election is the environment. Not a day passes when we are not reminded of the human impacts on the natural environment and the need to plan for our future and for the coming generations.




All levels of government need to work together with all sectors of society to create and implement a plan with the core values of preserving our natural environment. Manitobans need to have clean air and water, local and equitable food strategies, best-practice waste management to reduce our impact and secure publicly-owned power sources to move beyond the petroleum era. It’s everyone’s job but we especially need our Provincial government to provide visionary leadership.  


We at the Council of Canadians - Winnipeg Chapter have reviewed platform documents, election questionnaires, press releases, party track records and the All-Candidates Panel on the Environment.  

The Green Party provides the most innovative ideas, but with little experience actually running a huge bureaucracy like a provincial government, their role can be best utilized as activists to push the mainstream parties and rally public opinion around excellent concepts like micro-energy generation, free public transit and a GMO-free agriculture in Manitoba.  


The NDP have a working track record with many successes like its moratorium on hog production, commitment to rapid transit and the protection of the Boreal Forest through the Bi-pole III project. However, many critics, including the environmentalist community, would like more changes more aggressively sought. 

 

The Liberals offer some substantial platform concepts such as phosphorous elimination, Kyoto targets and a green energy plan.  


The Progressive Conservatives have not deemed the environment important enough to have a place in their platform. This is unacceptable and should be a major consideration for every voter considering a Conservative vote.  


This coming Provincial election on October 4th, please choose your candidate and party wisely according to the practicality and commitment to their position on the environment.



The All-Candidates Panel on the Environment:

 


The Council of Canadians - Winnipeg Chapter attended the All-Candidates Panel on the Environment held on September 14th at the Unitarian Church on Wellington Crescent. The candidates present were James Beddome (Green Party), Paul Hesse (Liberal), Heather Stefanson (PC) and Jennifer Howard (NDP). The Council of Canadians prepared a score-card so that the audience could rank the candidates and party positions as well as provide their own comments. Here are some highlights of the positions presented, audience comments and scores.  

 

James Beddome, Green Party, came in first place with the audience giving him an average  score of 8.3 out of 10.   

  • Ban all agricultural land drainage and provide subsidies to farmers who will restore wetlands.  
  • Greenhouse gases significantly reduced by providing free bus service. 
  • Would focus on alternative energy production in Southern Manitoba instead of costly Northern hydro electricity projects.  
  • Introduce a provincial composting program, deposit on recyclables and would not permit the transport of nuclear waste through our Province.   
  • The Green Party’s approach to CETA is fair trade not free trade with an emphasis on local food production.

 “The only speaker truly prepared. Has innovative ideas and knows the issues.”


"Had big dreams on most issues. Has very interesting arguments about farming and greenhouse gases."

 

    

Jennifer Howard, NDP, came in second place with an average score of 6.7 out of 10.

  • The NDP has put in place regulations for “Protected Areas” and are committed to a more costly West side route for the Bipole project in order to protect the Boreal forest.  
  • Waste-management success of the tipping fees at the dump
  • NDP 1987 High Level Radio-Active Waste Act indicating that transportation of nuclear waste through the Province would not be permitted.   
  • Committed to rapid-transit and 50/50 transit subsidy funding in municipalities.
  • NDP is committed to the Canadian Wheat Board and to the Northern Manitoba greenhouse program.
  • NDP is aware of CETA and its ramifications.

"Laid out the NDP position honestly - even when their success rate was less then targeted. The environment is not NDP's biggest priority - in the overall contest she did a good job of defending what had been done.”


"Apologist for a government of comfortable inaction."



Paul Hesse , Liberal, came in third place with an average score of 5.1 out of 10.

  • Water management plan focused on retention and storage of water to deal with drought/flood patterns of climate change.
  • Active transportation and rapid transit are on the Liberal plan and have long been a personal commitment of Hesse’s through his work with the Rapid Transit Coalition.  
  • Liberals are committed to a composting program, deposit for containers and will not allow the transporting of nuclear waste through the province.
  • Liberals would commit to a ban on cosmetic pesticides

"Ok - So we know what the NDP did not do. What will you do?”


“Very focused on municipal issues.”



Heather Stefanson, Progressive Conservative, came in last place with an average score of 3.5 out of 10.

  • The Conservatives will be releasing an environmental plan in the near future and therefore Stefanson could not comment on a plan for wetlands, nor for any waste management issues.
  • Stefanson would not comment on what she referred to as a speculative question on the transportation of nuclear wastes through our province.  
  • The issue of greenhouse gas would be dealt with by a task force to maintain target.  
  • A Conservative Government would cancel the West-side Bipole III project and instead construct an East side route through the Boreal Forest. Stephanson asserted that an East route would not jeopardize UNESCO designation for this forest.
  • The Federal Conservative and Manitoba Progressive Conservative parties are fully in support of the CETA and the concept of Free Trade in general.  

“Most comments she made related to consulting and then determining best practice. As a party in opposition for 12 years the PC should already know what best practices would be! Spoke to philosophy of issues - no real details of what exactly does "support" and "encourage" mean."


"Talked more rhetoric than information...Too many references to press releases."

 


General audience comments on the panel:

“Glad to see two women and two men on panel.”


"Many answers were quite vague, development issues were skipped over, and education/ long-term initiatives seemed to take a backseat to short-term topics."


“Need electoral reform of ranked ballot to encourage vision and end the politics of fear.”


“Politics is not about knocking the other guy, but about making the best choices for our people.” 



Event Video Coverage:

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Watch video coverage of the event by Paul S. Graham



Synopsis of Party Platform Statements:


NDP is preventing hog manure from entering our waterways, expanding on clean hydro and wind energy, expanding protected areas including the Boreal Forest, requiring the City of Winnipeg to upgrade the North End sewage treatment plant.  


The Liberals will introduce a green energy plan, support composting programs, save our lakes by reducing or eliminating phosphorous, protect the Boreal forest, create a plan to meet Kyoto targets with a focus on agriculture, transportation and energy efficiency,  assist farmers to shift to organic production.  


The Green Party will cancel Bipole III and shift to renewable energy with an emphasis on building a post-petroleum local economy, free public transit, no nuclear storage or transport in Manitoba, compost program, rebuilding wetlands and a GMO-free Manitoba. Included in their platform are sections on “Ecological Literacy” and “Protecting Living Systems.”  


The Progressive Conservatives have a scant environmental platform. They have one press release outlining a brief plan to address Lake Winnipeg including a goal of reducing phosphorous inputs by 20% by the year 2020. This, coupled with the PC pro free-trade stance will severely restrict our local decision-making on how our natural resources are used and protected. 


 

Election Questionnaires:

 

For additional information pertaining specifically to this coming election and party positions, please see the website of the non-profit group Manitoba Wildlands. Their six topical questionnaires (Lake Winnipeg, Licensing and Environment Act, Hydro and Energy, East Side Region, Protected Areas, Parks and World Heritage Site, Climate Change, Carbon and Emissions)  include responses from all parties. 

 

Contributor: Louise May - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member

 

What if the Government said your vote didn't matter?

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The farmer owned CWB (Canadian Wheat Board) handles export sales of Canadian barley and wheat, pooling every penny of profits back to the farmers. The CWB is known as a formidable international competitor, successfully defending against free trade legal actions, finding the best markets in tough times and mitigating the effect of fluctuating grain prices.



When the Harper government put in motion their plan to scrap the single desk, not-for-profit wheat board in favour of a multitude of competing private businesses, farmers spoke out strongly against that decision. In the recent plebiscite, over 40,000 farmers (62%) voted to keep the single desk CWB in place. 


The Harper government is ignoring farmers’ choice.


There has been a lot of talk about the wheat board “monopoly,” and the restrictions it places on farmers. But the wheat board, as the powerful unified voice for thousands of prairie farmers, allows farmers to compete head-on with large international grain companies, while having the pooled resources to ride out periods of lower prices.


We don’t need to guess at the results if the wheat board is privatized and farmers begin selling directly to grain buyers. The Australian Wheat Board has already undergone the change, and is now broken up and taken over by Canadian fertilizer company Agrium and U.S. agri-food giant Cargill. With farmers competing against each other instead of working cooperatively through the wheat board, prices dropped, quality standards slipped and logistics fell apart.


In Denmark, farmers gamble every year on whether to sell grain on contract or wait out the market. The private companies who buy the grain often sell many different products, making farmers’ interests secondary to the goals and bottom line of the company.


Where farmers take on the enormous task of dealing directly with buyers, they have to waste precious farming time keeping track of the markets and negotiating with companies who have the resources to wait out cash and time strapped producers.


Farmers will have to make their own shipping arrangements instead of being able to rely on short lines (serving those who live farther from the main elevators)  and producer car loading sites (railway sidings where farmers load their own grain, at a savings of about $1600 per railcar). Without the CWB, farmers won’t have the resources to maintain these essential parts of the shipping system, for-profit grain companies and railways won’t have the interest, and producers who live too far from main terminals won’t be able to carry the increased costs of selling their grain.


Dave Woods used to be an opponent of the wheat board until he and a group of neighboring farmers found themselves “staring power in the face, in the form of the grain companies and the railways.” Now he’s a director of the CWB. “The more I learned about why we have the CWB,” says Woods, “the longer my list of benefits from the CWB grew. On the other side, all I had was ‘freedom.’ It didn’t balance.”


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Our current government in Manitoba is a powerful voice in support of the wheat board. Ask your candidates whether they will fight for farmers and do what it takes to keep the CWB.


More action:

Sign the CWBA’s e-postcard telling Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and your own MP to respect farmers’ vote!

Sign the Government of Manitoba’s online petition.

More things you can do at the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance - Take Action


Sources:

Short Lines And Producer Cars Are In Jeopardy With CWB Demise - Ag Canada - August 29, 2011 - By Helen McMenamin (Article about Dave Woods)
Marketing freedom is risky business
- The StarPhoenix - September 15, 2011 - By Lynden Kjaer (Article about Denmark)
Why rush to flush CWB?
- The Leader-Post September 24, 2011 - By Bruce Johnstone
Notes on the Loss of the Australian Wheat Board Single Desk
- Canadian Wheat Board Alliance


Resources:

Farmers to own ships: historic CWB announcement a major step forward - CWB Newsroom - February 8, 2011
Excerpt from John Morriss’s editorial in  the Manitoba Cooperator
- August 11, 2011.


Contributor: Mary McCandless - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member

Voters' choice for on-line Manitoba Election Info

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As each election passes more voter resources become available on-line. The upcoming provincial general election has generated sites chock full of a variety of useful information and even some fun interactive tools.


The Elections Manitoba's official website offers resources for participating in Manitoba provincial elections. They conduct Manitoba's provincial elections, by-elections and referendums and operate free of political influence. It's their job to make sure every eligible citizen has the opportunity to vote. The best place to start is to find out who your candidates are in your electoral division and where you can vote.


The citizen-created, volunteer-run ManitobaElection.ca website is a great resource for getting to know your candidates. Candidates are listed along with links to their web pages, email addresses, Facebook fan pages, Twitter feeds and even You Tube channels. News articles that mention candidates are automatically gathered from Google News and fed directly onto the website, as well as a scrolling Twitter feed with all comments using the hash tags #mbvotes.


The University of Manitoba's Understanding the Manitoba Election has run a series of cafe events encompassing a wide range of topics "...intended to raise the level of knowledge and awareness of politics in Manitoba, so that more citizens may engage meaningfully in the democratic process." If you missed a cafe they are available to watch on their You Tube channel.


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The Winnipeg Free Press has quite a selection of engaging features on their Democracy Project. The website is not only a rich source of articles from Free Press journalists, but also has everything from video clips and the full Chamber of Commerce leaders debate to a voter issue quiz and the somewhat addictive "Whack an Issue" game.


The CBC's Manitoba Votes 2011 website has video clips, the scrolling tweets tagged with #mbvotes, as well as their fair-minded Reality Check series - offering straightforward facts on the election issues that are often being exaggerated or completely discounted.


CTV Winnipeg's Your Vote page also has video clips, the twitter scroll, and an election story archive.


Please remember to come out to vote on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4th or check out the advance voting for even more convenience.



Provincial Crime Priority - Prevention or Punishment

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 20, 2011 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

“Evidence based crime prevention.”  It's a whole system of finding and recommending the most effective methods of crime prevention, based on careful, thorough research and clear, significant results. Public Safety Canada has published a number of reports intended to assist governments as they make decisions about crime prevention strategies.


There's even a report called "Evidence Based Crime Prevention: Scientific basis, trends, results and implications,"  in which the most successful methods are outlined in detail, with full statistical support.


So, we know how best to prevent crime. 


We too often don't have the political will to follow through. "Regrettably, evidence of what works best seems to rarely be a factor in implementing new crime prevention programs because policy and political considerations often dominate." p13 EBCP - Brandon C Welsh, PhD. 2007


In the various settings of family, community, school or specific places (stores, parking lots, buses etc) there are effective, proven ways to prevent or reduce crime. In the community, for instance, there are three types of programs that after extensive experimentation and observation, show promising results:

  • gang member intervention programs that are focused on reducing cohesion among youth gangs and individual gang members;
  • community-based mentoring;
  • and after-school recreation.

Prison does not appear in the list.


Here in Winnipeg, there is a never ending struggle to ensure funding for programs like Circle of Courage and Ndinawe; programs that fit exactly into these categories. Instead of funding these  programs, federal money is directed toward building more prisons and the municipal budget toward more police and a police helicopter. Now it's true that where there are criminals, police and up-to-the-minute equipment make it easier to catch them, but isn't an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?


Kids aren’t born criminals; they’re born kids. Life in prison doesn't bring back a murder victim. Early intervention with effective programs and accessible resources for at-risk children can prevent a murder from happening.


There are many potentially successful programs already in place in Manitoba and there’s room for many more. If we truly want to reduce our crime rate, we need to put our tax dollars into proven crime prevention strategies; but with the popular, ill-informed push to hire more police, build more prisons and fill them with more prisoners serving longer sentences, our elected representatives will be in danger of once again letting political considerations dominate as they address crime in Manitoba.


Talk to your candidates. Tell them you want to help stop kids from becoming criminals. Tell them you want your tax dollars to pay for prevention, not punishment.


Contributor: Mary McCandless - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member

Who's Defending the Local Economy in EU Trade Deal?

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on September 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (1)

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) is currently being negotiated behind closed doors by the Harper government, provincial representatives, and the EU. The European Union is demanding the inclusion of an open procurement policy across all levels of government jurisdiction. This would result in both provinces and municipalities being effectively banned from applying any preferences in public contracting or procurement. Local and provincial governments could not purchase local goods, hire local companies, or sign contracts that had any considerations other than price. Infrastructure projects would no longer be an investment in local job creation as any corporation could sue a government that hired a local company that did not offer the lowest price.


An enforced open procurement policy would severely limit the ability of governments to respond to economic downturns with stimulus spending.


In Manitoba valued public assets like Manitoba Hydro, the Winnipeg International Airport, and Winnipeg Transit have all been identified as public assets that EU corporations could outbid and takeover. Given Winnipeg’s recent deal with the notorious French Water Company, Veolia, for a 30 year contract for our waste water treatment centres and with the CETA in effect there would be tremendous pressure placed on all Manitoba municipalities to privatize their water and waste services. The CETA would force governments to make decisions where profitability would have legal precedence over local economic concerns, the needs of the community, and the human right to the public availability of water.


As it stands the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union would restrict local and provincial government and limit our ability to make democratic choices about our economy. We would lose control over our resources, our jobs, our economy, and our local government.


Stephen Harper wants the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement signed by 2012, but he needs the cooperation of the provinces. During this election talk to your MLA and local candidates and tell them about your concerns over the CETA. Make sure that the next government of Manitoba will defend our local economy and our democracy by saying NO to the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.


Contributor: Trevor Semotok - Council of Canadians Winnipeg Chapter Member


 For more info please click here.


Voting is Easy - Being Informed Takes Some Effort

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on April 26, 2011 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)
Federal Election is Monday, May 2, 2011
______________________________________________
Below in an excerpt from Rabble.ca Voter's Guide

Voting

This is the easy part. If you are already registered to vote, you will be mailed a card indicating where and when you can vote. Or you can find out where to vote here. If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote prior to election day, or you can bring two pieces of ID to any polling station on May 2nd to register and vote. If you are homeless and stay at a shelter, you can still vote by getting a shelter administrator to attest to your residence there. There really is no excuse not to vote.


Before you vote

Before voting, unless you are already part of a party, you'll want do some research...

Read the Rabble.ca Voter's Guide here.

______________________________________________


Following is an excerpt from X-Ray Magazine, Issue 23, April 21, 2011

This may not be the “social media election” but the growth of a grassroots social movement for democracy has seen hundreds of thousands of Canadians finding their election news on social media sites.

The growth and diversity of social media outlets, vote mobs and YouTube activism is the best thing to come out of this federal election. And we think that's something to celebrate. Check out the sites that are informing and inspiring people on their way to the polls. And join the party!...

Check out X-Ray's Top 10 Kick-Ass Election Sites here.

______________________________________________

 

“We must highlight the negative implications of another Conservative minority government, or worse, a Conservative majority government. Stopping the Conservatives from gaining power in this election will be a win in and of itself.”  ~Maude Barlow~


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Maude Barlow on 2011 Election - Week 1          

 

    

 

 



Homeless Ignored in Election

Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on October 14, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

In response to "Put homelessness on election agenda", Winnipeg Free Press article By: Brian Bechtel Posted: 5/10/2010


Brian Bechtel’s Oct 5th editorial position that our civic candidates have failed to address the city’s homelessness epidemic needs Winnipeg’s response. We are calling upon citizens of Winnipeg to press their candidates in the upcoming civic election to address this issue.

That Winnipeg could have among its citizens anyone without a home is shocking; that Winnipeg should do so little about it is shameful. Despite the failure of the federal government to establish a national housing policy, municipalities across the country are creating housing policies and actively pursuing innovative and workable solutions. Winnipeg City Hall repeatedly evades the issue, passing the buck to other levels of government.

If we want to be more like Calgary or Edmonton, we should do it by imitating their homelessness initiatives instead of by buying police helicopters.

As Bechtel notes, sustainable housing strategies save taxpayers money and address a whole host of problems faced by metropolitan centres. It is time for our city to recognize that homelessness is an intolerable assault on fundamental human dignity.


Council of Canadians - Winnipeg Chapter