Welcome

Welcome to our website!

The Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization. It is non-partisan and is a registered non-profit that does not accept money from corporations or governments.

Our Hamilton Chapter is one of about 60 Council of Canadians chapters across the country. We advocate for social, economic and environmental justice at all levels of society: local, regional, provincial/territorial, national and international.

To learn more about our national Council of Canadians organization, please click here.

To learn more about our local Hamilton Chapter, please click here.

To learn about our various Education/Action Groups, please click here.

To learn about our monthly meetings, please click here.

To learn how you can get involved, please click here.

To learn about other organizations we partner with and to find links for more information, please click here.

Below you can read posts about some of our current and past activities.

Thank you for visiting our website and we hope you will join us in creating a fair and just society for all.

October Monthly Meeting - October 24 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Please note the October Chapter Monthly meeting is a week early because of Halloween falling on Oct. 31.
We will meet at our usual place, 639 Main East – ground floor (Big Brother/Big Sister building). Parking availble and wheelchair accessible.
The guest speaker will be Grant Linney who was in the Antarctic in February and subsequently the high Arctic in August of this year. He will share his experiences and the alarming message about climate change that is coming from both regions. His time in the Arctic was with a stellar Canadian program called Students on Ice and Grant highly recommends that you watch the following 16 minute video on YouTube prior to his talk: https://youtu.be/6SoK5frP9mw.
Grant has entitled his presentation – Poles Apart but the Same Message.
Grant Linney was this year’s recipient of an Environmentalist of the Year lifetime achievement award.
This meeting is being hosted and organized by the System Change Not Climate Change Group in cooperation with Hamilton 350.

September Monthly Meeting - September 26 at 7:00 p.m.

The first fall meeting of the Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians will take place on Tuesday, September 26 at 639 Main St. East at 7 PM (Big Brothers/Big Sisters, between Wentworth and Sherman, close to Burris. Enter via back entrance).

Our guest speaker for this meeting is Stuart Trew and he will be speaking on The NAFTA Renegotiations by SKYPE from Ottawa. Stuart is the editor of the Monitor, a bimonthly journal of new research and opinion from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). He’s also a trade researcher with the CCPA, and the recent co-editor (with Scott Sinclair) of the book, The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Canada: A Citizen’s Guide. Stuart is formerly a trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians and lived in Hamilton while working with the CoC.

May-June issue of COMER's Economic Review newsletter

COMER_MayJun2017

Hamilton Chapter Resolutions passed at the Council of Canadians 2016 AGM

.         Restoring Intended Use of the Bank of Canada

Received September 12, 2016

Submitted by Hamilton Chapter, ON, Mary Love, marylove@bell.net

 

Whereas the Bank of Canada is a rarity in the world, a national public central bank in existence since 1934, and nationalized in 1938 to fund government programs and infrastructure projects – with little or no interest charged – as laid out in the Bank of Canada Act, and which funded the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans Canada Highway, and the establishment of social programs such as the Old Age Pension and Medicare;  and

 

Whereas, since 1974, successive federal governments have neglected their fiduciary duty to use The Bank of Canada, and have instead borrowed from private central banking institutions, resulting in the Canadian government and the Canadian people paying (by 2012) 1.1 trillion dollars in compound interest alone on the national debt;

 

Whereas this deliberate debt has directly led to a corresponding erosion of our social programs and the crumbling of our infrastructure at all three levels of civil society, as well as a stagnation in the process of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples;  and

 

Whereas the current Liberal government has proposed a Canada Infrastructure Bank “to provide low-cost financing for new infrastructure projects” -as though the Bank of Canada and its power to spend money into circulation, rather than into debt – does not exist; and

 

Whereas, as laid out in Article 14.2 of the Bank of Canada Act, the leadership of the Bank of Canada must comply with directives from the Government;

 

Therefore be it resolved that the Council of Canadians call on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to stop all talk of a new federal infrastructure bank.

 

Be it further resolved that the Council of Canadians call on the Government immediately to resume using the Bank of Canada, not just for infrastructure needs, but for all the needs of Canadians and the Indigenous Peoples of this land, and for the Minister of Finance to so direct the governor of the Bank of Canada.

 

 

  1. Where Does Money Come From if “it Doesn’t Grow on Trees”?

Received September 12, 2016

Submitted by Hamilton Chapter, ON

 

Whereas it is imperative that activists understand the importance of monetary policy and how its use affects the success of the Council of Canadians’ campaigns, including those on trade, water, health care and a vibrant democracy; and

 

Whereas the Council of Canadians website also says that we educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable;

 

Therefore be it resolved that the Council of Canadians National Office encourage and assist chapters to address the following questions:

  • Where does money come from?
  • What is the difference between a public central bank and a private one?
  • How has monetary policy that borrows from private banking institutions led to the austerity agenda?

COMER pamphlet on monetary reform

COMER pamphlet

Hamilton Chapter Canada Day Event

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians planned an information booth and potluck on Canada Day at a local event called It’s Your Festival In beautiful Gage Park in Hamilton, Ontario, traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg.

Besides engaging the public on issues such as clean water, the Nestlé boycott (which we were glad to find fairly well known by now) and our local Enbridge pipelines, we brought attention to the 150 + years of resistance by Indigenous peoples of this land against colonialism. One of our chapter activists bought extra Respect Indigenous Rights buttons, perfect for the day and very popular. Kathie Clark had followed up on a notice from Jim Elliott (Regina Chapter) about Briarpatch magazine’s CANADA 150 CONFRONTED July/August issue and ordered a hundred copies to give to festival attendees.

You will also see that we are making good use of the CoC button-making machine, which our chapter borrowed from Mark Calzavara in the spring. After a short tutorial from Karl, one of the chapter’s younger supporters became our star button maker, turning out People Over Pipelines buttons, as well as those supporting the release of Leonard Peltier. Despite a thunderstorm or two, we kept dry together under Kathie Clark’s tent. We had planned a picnic and a story circle on what Unsettling Canada (and ourselves) means to us, but the weather turned nasty and chilly, so one of our chapter activists generously invited us to her house for the rest of our Canada 150 Day event.

After a tasty potluck supper with eleven chapter members round Rose’s table enjoying lively political conversation, 8 people stayed for the story/talking circle. The quieter, slower pace of a story circle with its emphasis on one person speaking at a time and attentive listening, allowed us a deeper understanding of where each of us is at in our unsettling journey, and also how we as chapter activists might grow to be trusted allies of the local Indigenous land and water defenders with whom we, as Treaty People, share this land and the responsibility to care for it.

Mary Love July 2 2017

5th Annual Public Forum - June 15

The Hamilton Chapter hosted its 5th annual public forum on Thursday, June 15. The title and theme was Boiling Point: Canada’s Water Crisis. About 175 people from Hamilton and the surrounding communities came to hear the three excellent speakers and to engage in the follow-up discussion. Danielle Boissoneau, Anishnaabe writer and activist, lead the programme with the land acknowledgement and a moving message of the importance of water to the Indigenous people. Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson provided the local context of current water issues including water extraction, opposition to bottled water, and the closing of the Sulphur Springs artesian well. The keynote speaker was Maude Barlow. She spoke about her latest book and report on water, and shared wonderful stories of her water campaign experiences such as Site 41 and her visit to Port Stanley. The audience was eager to ask lots of questions  and offer comments about water issues related to trade agreements, pipelines, and government policies.

5th ANNUAL PUBLIC FORUM

On Thursday, June 15, the Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadian will be hosting its 5th Annual Public Forum. The event will be located at the Hamilton Spectator Auditorium 44 Frid Street (near Dundurn and Main). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Maude Barlow, Honourary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. The title of her presentation will be Boiling Point: Canada’s Water Crisis. Copies of Maude’s latest book  (Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis) will be on sale and Maude will  be pleased to sign books after the event. Other speakers include Councillor Aidan Johnson and Danielle Boissoneau, Anishnaabe writer and activist. The event is free of charge and the facility is wheelchair accessible.

Community partners for this event are Bay Area Restoration Council, Hamilton Blue Dot, Democracy Probe International, Eco-Locke, Environment Hamilton, Hamilton 350, and the National Farmers Union (Local 351).

Hamilton Chapter blitzes local MPs

Don Giberson (Hamilton Council of Canadians), Filomena Tassi (Liberal MP, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas), Heather Yoell (Leadnow) and Martin Reid (Fair Vote Canada)

The Hamilton Chapter has been blitzing local MPs on the issues of electoral reform and trade. We met with:

  • David Sweet (Conservative MP for Famborough-Glanbrook) on April 28th
  • Scott Duvall (NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain) on May 23rd
  • Bob Bratina (Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) on May 23rd as part of a joint delegation with two Fair Vote Canada members
  • Filomena Tassi (Liberal MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas) on May 24th as part of a joint delegation with members from Fair Vote Canada and Leadnow
  • David Christopherson (NDP MP for Hamilton Centre) on May 25th

We also requested a meeting with Karina Gould (Liberal MP for Burlington) but were unable to get a meeting with her.

In our meetings with Bratina and Tassi we shared the results of Fair Vote Canada polls on electoral reform in their ridings as well as 19 other Liberal ridings across the country. Filomena Tassi’s riding was not originally included in the poll so our chapter helped raise the funds to include it in the polling. In all 21 Liberal ridings, a clear majority indicated that they support proportional representation, they want every vote to count and they want their Liberal MP to advocate for PR as the party promised during the 2015 election campaign. You can find the full poll results at: http://www.fairvote.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Fair-Vote-Canada-IVR-May-16-2017_FINAL.pdf

In our visits with Sweet, Duvall and Christopherson we also discussed trade issues: CETA, TPP and NAFTA.

There is expected to be a vote in the House of Commons on May 31st on a motion asking Parliament to concur with the recommendations of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. In all of our meetings, we asked the MP to vote in support of this motion. This is expected to be a free vote and the Conservatives, NDP, BQ and Green Party are all expected to vote for the motion. Given the Liberal majority, the motion would need the support of 15-20 Liberal MPs to pass. The Fair Vote Canada polls and our visits were all aimed at convincing Liberal MPs in the ridings polled to support this motion.

Did we succeed?

We will find out on May 31st!

electoral reform conference call

Nathan Cullen, Co-Chair of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform and NDP Critic for Democratic Reform

On Wednesday April 12, 2017 our Hamilton Chapter hosted a conference call with other chapters across the country to discuss how we could work together on electoral reform.

12 Chapters from 6 different provinces were represented on the call.

We discussed how we could support an initiative by Nathan Cullen.

Nathan was a Co-Chair of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.

He will be introducing a motion in the House of Commons in late May asking Parliament to concur with the recommendations of the Committee; which included adopting a system of proportional representation for 2019.

The Conservatives, NDP, BQ and Green Party all supported the Committee’s recommendations and are expected to support the motion.

If the motion is passed, it would put electoral reform back on the table.

But it will need the support of 15-20 Liberal MPs in order to pass.

Nathan Cullen is currently doing a “Keep Your Promise” Tour of ridings held by Liberal MPs where he holds a Town Hall and encourages people in the riding to pressure their Liberal MP to keep their promise and vote for his motion.

We discussed how our chapters could support this initiative; which is currently our best chance at getting electoral reform moving again.

Nathan’s Keep Your Promise Tour will be in Bob Bratina’s Hamilton East-Stoney Creek riding on Sunday, April 23rd.

Our chapter will be attending and will help promote the event.

We still face a steep uphill battle to get the government to keep their campaign promise on electoral reform.

But this initiative has a reasonable chance of success and we will be working hard to see it succeed.