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.


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.

April events

We have a number of exciting events this month:

Do You Hear the People Sing: Defeating NAFTA, TPP and CETA:
Tuesday, April 25th 7:00-9:00 pm at Big Brothers Big Sisters, 639 Main Street East, Hamilton
Hamilton Premiere: “The Time is NOW – A Film about Sustainability”
Tuesday, April 18th 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Library
People Power & Climate Change: Our Pressing Need to SPEAK UP!
Thursday, Apr 20th 7:00-8:30 pm at Terryberry Library
People Power & Climate Change: Our Pressing Need to SPEAK UP!
Friday, Apr 21st 1:00-2:30 pm
People Power & Climate Change: Our Pressing Need to SPEAK UP!
Thursday, Apr 27th 7:00-8:30 pm at Westdale Library
Please join us – we would love to see you there!

Beyond Banksters book reading

Join us Wednesday March 1st at 7:00 pm at the Central Library, 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton.

Author Joyce Nelson will be sharing information from her latest book, Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism.

“From Milton Friedman to Trudeau’s Canada Infrastructure Bank, from BlackRock to crappy trade deals to Bilderberg, Beyond Banksters exposes the major players privatizing the world and creating a new state of feudalism. Iceland resisted and so can we.”

This interesting and informative discussion addresses an important issue that affects all of us; whether we realize it or not.

The presentation is in the Hamilton Room; doors open at 6:30 and refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Please click on the link below to see the flyer for this event.

Beyond Banksters flyer

NOTE: There is no Chapter meeting on February 28th. This special event replaces our regular February meeting.

Hamilton chapter scores big win against Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Hamilton city hall

Hamilton city hall


On January 25th, the Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter and our allies won the support of Hamilton’s City Council on a resolution regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The resolution resolves that:

  • the Mayor of the City Of Hamilton and Councillors express their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in its present form and communicate this decision to Prime Minister Trudeau, Federal Cabinet Ministers, and area MPs; and
  • the resolution be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for consideration and support.

Our Hamilton chapter worked in partnership with the Hamilton District Labour Council, the Hamilton Brantford Building Trades Council, and the Hamilton/Burlington/Oakville Chapter of the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada on this.

Our campaign began on January 18 when we and our allies won the unanimous support of the General Issues Committee for this resolution.

Talking about the experience, Chapter activist Kathie Clark said, “The four presentations, questions, discussion and vote on January 18 took almost two hours. It was exceptional to have the attention and involvement of the Mayor and Councillors for that length of time. They asked informed questions about Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS), procurement, drug costs and the impact of TPP on the City of Hamilton.”

Kathie also highlights, “It was the work of Paul Manly and the Mid-Island Chapter that inspired us to submit the resolution to the City of Hamilton. We were also following in the footsteps of [former Council of Canadians trade campaigner] Stuart Trew and Councillor Brian McHattie who submitted a resolution on CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) that was passed by the General Issues Committee on Dec. 12. 2011.”

To read the presentation the Hamilton chapter made to the General Issues Committee, please click here and scroll to agenda item 6.3.

On January 23, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that formally signals the withdrawal of the United States from the TPP. And Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland now says, “This agreement was so constructed that it can only enter into force with the United States as a ratifying country. So the TPP as a deal cannot happen without the United States being a party to it.”

But the Toronto Star reports, “Speaking with reporters [on January 24], Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to say whether he supports efforts to continue the TPP negotiations without the United States.”

For that reason, municipal resolutions that express opposition to the prime minister are even more critical now.

For more on the Council of Canadians national campaign to stop the TPP, please click here.

Holiday Potluck

Hamilton Chapter Council of Canadians celebrates a year of hard work with a holiday potluck!

Hamilton Chapter CoC celebrates a year of hard work with a holiday potluck!


The Hamilton Chapter celebrated a year of hard work with a relaxing holiday potluck dinner on Tuesday December 13th.

About 25 people turned out for the event including long-time members and others who have only recently joined the chapter.

We dined on great food, caught up on news, renewed friendships and made new ones.

In January we will identify our priorities and plans for 2017; but this night was for relaxing, catching up and having fun!

Thank you to all who attended and who brought such delightful and delicious dishes to share!

National Day of Action

Hamilton Chapter Council of Canadians takes part in National Day of Action on Electoral Reform

Members from LeadNow and the Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians outside Filomena Tassi’s office during the National Day of Action on Tuesday December 13th.


LeadNow organized a National Day of Action on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016.

The National Day of Action was directed at Liberal MPs across the country and focused on asking them to keep their party’s campaign promise to make 2015  the last federal election conducted under the First-Past-The-Post electoral system.

Members from the Hamilton Chapter – Council of Canadians and local LeadNow members gathered at noon outside the Constituency office of Filomena Tassi, Liberal MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.

We delivered a Christmas card to Ms. Tassi from “Canadians who support proportional representation and electoral reform”.

The Liberal government seems to be backing off their campaign promise on electoral reform and the National Day of Action was intended to send a clear message to the Prime Minister and his government that we want the Liberal Party of Canada to keep its promise on electoral reform.