Chapter protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Hamilton Chapter Council of Canadians takes part in protest against TPP

Hamilton Chapter Council of Canadians takes part in protest against TPP

On November 5th, The Council of Canadians South Niagara, Hamilton, London and Guelph chapters gathered to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

They did so outside the constituency office of Chris Bittle, the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Catharines.

After the rally, South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran posted on Facebook, “We had a great turnout today for the Niagara Day of Action against the TPP! Niagara activists from the Council of Canadians, from labour and the Niagara Regional Labour Council, as well as environmentalists and students were joined by activists from Council of Canadians Chapters in London, Guelph and Hamilton, as well as labour representatives from London and Hamilton. The National Farmers Union was represented by Brian Griffith and Gwen French.”

The promotion for the rally had noted, “Join us outside the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle, 61 Geneva Street, for a Day of Action against the Trans Pacific Partnership — help us send a message to our MPs that this ‘free trade’ deal is a bad deal for Canada. It will eliminate good Canadian jobs, increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, make it much harder to address climate change and honour Canada’s commitments in the Paris Accord, overrule Indigenous land rights…and make our Internet less open.”

November is a month of action against the TPP. Actions include:

  • Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow speaking against the TPP at Canadian Labour Congress-organized town hall meetings in Toronto (November 8), Halifax (November 10), Vancouver (November 22), and Winnipeg (November 23).
  • Our allies in Quebec organizing the “1st Citizens’ Public Assembly on FTAs, extractivism and power of transnational corporations” in Montreal (November 10).
  • Rallies and petition deliveries in Toronto and Winnipeg (November 23).
  • The Council of Canadians organizing with allies a demonstration against the TPP in Vancouver (November 30).
  • A trinational conference opposing the TPP in Toronto (November 30-December 3).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes G7 ‘major advanced economies’ (the United States, Canada and Japan), G20 ‘major economies’ (Australia and Mexico), relatively smaller economies (New Zealand and Singapore) and ‘developing economies’ (Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam). A Tufts University report projected that the TPP would lead to employment losses in all countries, with a total of 771,000 lost jobs. It also contains the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision which could be used to violate community and Indigenous rights. And its patent provisions would lead to higher prescription drug costs.

While Justin Trudeau promised during the election “a full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted on this historic trade agreement”, just last month he stated, “It’s difficult to imagine a world where Canada would turn its back on three of its top five trading partners. We established very clearly during the campaign that we’re a pro-trade party.”

The TPP signatory governments are expected to try to ratify the agreement by February 2018.

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



Community Friends:

Please come out and join the Community Election Celebration hosted by Homegrown Hamilton.

Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time: Starting at 7:00 p.m.

Location: Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St, Hamilton

We have all worked long and hard on this election. Let’s get together as a community and celebrate our accomplishments. Many thanks to all those who have had the courage and conviction to stand for election.

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls - The Uncomfortable Truth

The Public Forum on June 1 was very well attended – it was standing room only in the City Hall Council Chambers. The program of speakers and singers provided a very moving and thought provoking event.

Here is the media coverage the event received:–you-are-the-ones-who-ve-been-detectives-/#.VW3POuLVXYk.facebook

Public Forum: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians is co-hosting a public forum entitled Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls – The Uncomfortable Truth on Monday, June 1 at the Hamilton City Hall Council Chambers. 71 Main St W, Hamilton. The facility is wheelchair accessible. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m.

The keynote speaker was to be Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaw lawyer, activist and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. However, due to a family matter Pam is not able to be with us. Instead, the keynote speaker will be Angela Sterritt. Angela Sterritt is an award-winning Gitxsan journalist, artist, writer, motivational speaker and filmmaker from British Columbia who is currently a television, radio and online reporter with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) –

Other speakers include Wonda Jamieson, daughter of a sister in spirit, and Norma General, Elder. Val King will provide the traditional opening ceremony. 

We are co-hosting this community forum in partnership with Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University, and the Aboriginal Education and Student Services at Mohawk College. Other community organizations are helping to promote the event among their members.

June is Aboriginal Awareness Month. This public forum has been designed to raise the awareness among the community about the current issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Public Forum - Tar Sands: Who Wins? Who Loses? Mon Feb 9th

Please join us for a public forum entitled Tar Sands: Who Wins? Who Loses? presented by Democracy Probe International

Date: Monday, February 9th
Time: 7pm
Place: Unitarian Church, 170 Dundurn St. S., Hamilton

The speaker will be Dr. Jim Quinn, with panelists Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill and Adam Scott.

This event is co-sponsored by Friends of Red Hill Valley, Environment Hamilton, Hamilton 350 and the Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Click on the link to see the event poster: TarsandsFeb9

We hope to see you there!


January monthly meeting - Tues. Jan 27th @ 7pm -

Please join us on Tuesday, January 27th at 7pm at McMaster University – Health Sciences Centre, Lecture Hall 1A6 for a screening of the CBC documentary “silence of the labs” which aired on CBC in early 2014. This ground-breaking documentary opened up and laid bare the drastic effects of our Government’s decisions that turn away from science and evidence in the formation of public policy.

We are co-sponsoring this event together with 350 Hamilton and Evidence for Democracy.

We hope you will join us!

“Taxes: Not always a dirty word” Chapter member’s Letter to the Editor

This Letter to the Editor was published on Dec 12, 2014 in the Hamilton Spectator, written by Louise Roger.  Click here for the link.
Excellent letter Louise!

Taxes: Not always a dirty word
Hallmarks of a civilized society, such as universal health care, owe their existence to them

Hamilton Spectator

By Louise Rogers

“Try to think of a word more hated than “taxes”!

Right! Let’s lay our cards on the table and say we are talking taxes. By promising us lower taxes and, therefore, more disposable income if we vote for whoever is running for office, “taxes” has become a hated word. The promise of lowering them is luring a bear to a honey pot because many of the electorate believe they will be better off financially. This is a myth.

One has only to note all the “extras” for which you would fork out on a daily basis — that is, if you are fortunate enough to have the income.

It’s been said “taxes are what one pays for a civilized society.”

And we are civilized, aren’t we? Taxes pay for all the services we expect to receive in a first world country: health care, social workers, schools, libraries, bridges, roads, clean drinking water and sanitation, parks, food and building inspectors — and more. If these necessities are not being delivered it’s likely taxes are being misappropriated or are insufficient — or maybe both.

It’s clear we have allowed ourselves to be bamboozled by politicians who promise that if we vote for whoever is electioneering, we shall have halcyon shopping days using the extra money that otherwise would have been lifted from us in taxes.

The word “bamboozled” is used advisedly. Take our hospitals. In the 21{+s}t century, in Canada, are these institutions meeting the needs of all Canadians, no matter the income? The answer is no. This is not to say that there are not many patients who feel they have received good care. But we are talking about “all Canadians” and not only those who have spun the wheel and been lucky. There are so many horror stories in the media concerning mistakes made and neglect of patients that you feel sorry for conscientious staff from all hospital departments who may feel their efforts are not appreciated. These employees go to work each day and do their best, despite being overworked and stressed.

For years polls have told us that health care is Canadians’ No. 1 concern. Yet federal governments, in particular the present one, have handed down to provinces insufficient funding, thus our health care system finds itself in palliative care.

One cannot mention hospitals without speaking of their fundraising campaigns. No matter how you slice the pie, fundraising doesn’t seem to be the way to run a first world health care system. What if donations dry up due to a national or global economic downturn? Solid federal funding, the disbursement of which is scrutinized by an informed electorate, must result in careful management by our health and finance ministers. This is really “standing on guard for thee” and being a proud Canadian.

For sometime now, Hamilton’s hospital walls and elevator doors have been plastered with massive posters of smiling doctors and patients urging us to “make a difference.”

It would be interesting to know the grand yearly total of staff salaries, equipment, office rents, printing, mail-outs, massive posters, and full-page newspaper and television advertisements. Even our telephone calls are met with the suggestion that the caller might like to make a donation. How can our health care system survive, expand and improve while being so reliant on the whims of donors?

Further, let’s not forget the multiplicity of other organizations that are also urgently fundraising — health care has to contend with these.

And it may not be widely known that it is the current government’s intention to make another $36 billion in health care cuts over the next 10 years. This doesn’t convey a picture of a future robust not-for-profit system which Canadians maintain is their No. 1 concern.

If Tommy Douglas, medicare’s founder, were to walk hospital corridors today, it is likely he would see this aggressive fundraising as one gigantic begging bowl.

It is all so tacky.

According to their literature, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario has set goals for public health, primary care, hospital care, home care and rehab, complex and long-term care. Further, Canadian Doctors for Medicare state its first goal is “to help continuously improve publicly funded health care in Canada.”

These goals cannot be achieved without a big injection of tax dollars which, spent wisely, enable our public health care professionals to deliver the quality of health care Canadians need and deserve.

Think about it!
Louise Rogers lives in Dundas.

CoC Annual General Meeting – Photos

The October 3-5 , 2014 Forging Solidarity CoC AGM was a great success!  Here are some of the photos from the weekend.

Council of Canadians “forging solidarity” in Hamilton this weekend October 3rd to 4th

Media Release September 30, 2014

Forging Solidarity          Maude Barlow

Hamilton, ON – With one year to go before the next federal election, over 300 Council of Canadians supporters from coast to coast will gather in Hamilton to prepare for the crucial year to come. This Friday, the Council of Canadians opens its conference, Forging Solidarity.

“Hamilton has a great history of grassroots and labour organizing. But it doesn’t just end there: First Nations organizing, active transport organizing, anti-poverty organizing and environmental organizing: it’s all happening here in Hamilton,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The city is an inspiration. This is exactly what we need with our uninspiring Conservative government one year before the next federal election.”

Forging Solidarity will bring together activists from environmental, health, youth, Indigenous and labour groups to fight back against Harper’s austerity agenda, the elimination of door-to-door delivery by Canada Post, and mining and pipeline projects that threaten the environment.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A tree planting ceremony with mayor Bob Bratina and councillor Hamilton Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie, and the Council’s Vice Chair Leo Broderick and Hamilton Chapter President Kathie Clark.
  • A rally for good jobs and to protest the elimination of door-to-door delivery by Canada Post in conjunction with Unifor. Protesters will gather letters to send to MPs and to Canada Post.
  • A public forum with internationally recognized keynote speakers such as John Hilary, London Guardian columnist and Executive Director of War on Want; Ben Powless, Mohawk citizen from Six Nations and organizer with Defenders of the Land and Idle No More; John Cartwright, President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council;  Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); and Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

With over 100,000 supporters, the Council of Canadians is the largest citizen-powered social action group in Canada.

Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina welcomed the group, “On behalf of the City of Hamilton, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Forging Solidarity. This three-day conference will bring together chapter activists, supporters, and allies for a dynamic event that includes a public forum, workshops, panels and more.

I offer my congratulations to the organizers of this event.”

Ava Hill, Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River welcomed the conference, “I am very pleased to welcome everyone to the Traditional Territory of the Haudenosaunee. I hope that you enjoy yourselves during your stay here and that you have the opportunity to visit the community of Six Nations to experience our culture and our proud history.”

For media events go here.

ADMISSION: The conference is free for accredited media. Friday night is Pay What You Can, with a suggested donation of $15. All are welcome. For the full conference on Saturday, registration is required. Conference admission is $70 for Council supporters and $95 for the general public. The fixed income rate is $35, and the youth rate is $25. Conference registration includes lunch and admission to the Friday public forum. The Saturday banquet dinner is $50 per person and $10 for youth.

Program and registration information is available at:

The Council of Canadians Annual Conference and Business Meeting

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 17:00 to Sunday, October 5, 2014 – 12:00

Forging Solidarity

Join us in Hamilton from October 3-5

Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, 116 King Street West, Hamilton, ON (map)

This year our Annual General Meeting moves to the industrial city of Hamilton, Ontario. We will bring together chapter activists, supporters and allies for a dynamic weekend event that includes a public forum, workshops, panels and more.

Titled Forging Solidarity, the conference theme is collective rights and strengthening labour-community alliances to build momentum towards a brighter future with strong public services, good jobs, and renewed democracy. Our speakers will also highlight the creative ways community groups have come together to fight – and win – against corporate power and ensure the well-being of their communities.

On behalf of our Hamilton Chapter and regional hosts: Council of Canadians Board Member John Cartwright, Hamilton Chapter Chair Kathie Clark, and Hamilton Chapter Co-Chair Youth Division Justine Schultes, I invite you to join us in Hamilton for this inspiring event. We hope to see you there!

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians


Registration is open! Advance registration closes at 5:00 p.m. EDT September 26.