A Stronger Water Sustainability Act

With the provincial election less than two months away, now is the time to do all we can to protect our BC waters with a stronger Water Sustainability Act (WSA).

Though the WSA delivers some gains and positive steps forward, it falls short of what it has to do to put the needs of communities ahead of private interests, corporations and industries and to protect the health and vitality of our BC waters.

Use the link to find letter writing points and contact information for your letter on how to protect BC’s water with a stronger Water Sustainability Act

Improving Seniors’ Care in BC

The recent sale of Retirement Concepts’ chain of seniors’ care facilities across Canada to foreign multinational Anbang Insurance has raised red flags for many.

The lack of public process and the speed at which both the federal and provincial governments made their decision is disappointing, considering the serious implications for the level of care provided to seniors in this country.

If, in the future, Canada or the provinces decided to put stronger regulations in place (e.g., stricter training requirements, staffing levels or standards of care in retirement homes), “trade” deals that have been negotiated could allow foreign companies like Anbang to sue Canada for loss of anticipated profits.

We need publicly funded and delivered home and community care, not facilities whose primary purpose is to make a profit.

Use this link to find letter writing points and contact information to advocate for better seniors’ care.

Send a message to the new Minister of Democratic Institutions

make-every-vote-countMP Karina Gould of Burlington is the new Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Although Ms Gould has in the past expressed support for replacing Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system, since her new appointment, she has remained non-commital.

Send a message to Minister Gould. Let her know that proportional representation is important to you and that you are committed to holding the government accountable for its campaign promise of electoral reform. Click here for letter writing points and contact information.letter-to-minister-gould

Stop Site C

site-cA new poll conducted by Insights West, sponsored by readers of DeSmog Canada, found that 73 per cent of British Columbians support sending the Site C dam for an independent review of both costs and demand, as recommended by the Joint Review Panel in its 2014 report.

Seven in 10 respondents supported pausing construction of Site C to investigate alternatives to meet future power demand.  http://www.desmog.ca/2016/11/16/video-70-british-columbians-support-pausing-site-c-dam-construction-poll

It’s not too late to stop this project!  Use the letter writing points and contact info in the link below to tell the BC and the federal government to put Site C on pause. site-c

Electoral Reform

“We need to know that when we cast a ballot, it counts. That when we vote, it matters.
So I’m proposing we make every vote count”.
Justin Trudeau, June 2015

Canada is one of only three Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries (a forum of 35 democracies) that does not use a form of proportional representation to elect its government. Our current “first-past-the-post” system can deliver 100% of the power to a party that receives less than 50% of the vote.

Canadians have been given a rare opportunity to engage in dialogue in order to determine the best kind of electoral system for our country.

Please take this momentous opportunity to write about why electoral reform is important to you. For suggestions on what you might include in your letter and contact information, click here

Ban Pay-for-Plasma Clinics

A pay-for-plasma company, Canadian Plasma Resources, has applied for a license to set up three clinics in BC. This company has already set up a clinic in Saskatoon and is offering donors a $25 gift card in exchange for their blood products.

This flies in the face of Justice Krever’s recommendation after the tainted blood scandal of the 1980’s that the safest blood collection system is voluntary.

It is prohibited in Canada to sell any human body part, including sperm, eggs, embryos and blood products.

There are only 4 countries in the world where donors are paid for their blood products and the World Health Organization is recommending that they be phased out by 2020. Continue reading

Express Your Concerns about the TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)was negotiated in secrecy between the previous tppfederal government, the United States, Mexico and nine other countries.The Council of Canadians opposes this deal because it includes an investor-state dispute settlement provision that allows transnational corporations to sue governments over legislation or policies made in the public interest, it extends the patent length (and profits) of pharmaceutical corporations by delaying the introduction of lower cost generic drugs, it slashes the domestic content requirement for automobiles, putting thousands of autoworker jobs at risks, and it undermines family farmers by opening up the Canadian dairy market to imports without creating new export markets for Canadian farmers.

The Trudeau government has promised real consultation and has extended the deadline for Canadians to submit written comments on the TPP to June 30, 2016

Individual letters in your own words are the most effective – and handwritten trumps all. Please use the key points and background information in Notes for Word Activists-1 to craft your own letter.

You can also email your concerns to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade ciit-tpp-ptp@parl.gc.ca