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Friday, October 24, 2014


The Council of Canadians is the VOICE of progressive Canadians in 52 cities all over Canada. It is grassroots and bottom-up in its organization, with a small paid staff of researchers in Ottawa who provide the data we need to campaign on issues. 95% of all operating money comes from individual donations. The average individual donation is $50. We are non-profit but are not a charity because we educate and lobby for social and environmental justice. Each chapter determines which issues are important to its local supporters and is as active in campaigns as time and energy allow. Our London Chapter has eight committees: 

The Solidarity Film Coalition manages the Cinema Politica film series, which shows documentary films at the Central Library on the second Monday of each month. The motto of Cinema Politica is “Screening Truth to Power”.

The Trade Justice Committee campaigns against corporate-driven international trade agreements that would take away Canadian democracy and basic rights of self- determination. It has been active in educating London City Council about the perils of the Investor-State clause of CETA, and has been instrumental in getting London City Council to vote unanimously to have the option to vote for an ‘opt-out’ of CETA. 

The Health Care Committee works with the London Health Coalition to keep health care public and is currently engaged in planning a campaign and rally for Nov. 21 in Queens Park, to resist the austerity budget and the adoption of two-tier health care in Ontario. 

The Peace and Human Rights Committee has been active in bringing back John Greyson and Tarek Loubani from an Egyptian prison, supports the boat from Gaza, and opposes war as a solution to problems, social, religious, political or otherwise. 

The Energy and Climate Committee opposes expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands and the movement of bitumen by pipeline and rail. Because we have probably gone past the threshold where our climate can right itself, our position is that any further use of fossil fuels is suicidal for humans and life on this planet. It is also our position that pipelines and rail transport of dangerous substances threaten cities, First Nations, and wildlife, and poison watersheds and rivers they pass through. We actively oppose the reversal of flow of Enbridge’s 38- year-old Line 9 pipeline, just north of London, which crosses the Thames River north of Fanshawe Lake.

The Water Committee will be approaching our new City Council next spring to ask that London become a Blue Community. This means enforcing the bottled water ban in municipal venues and committing to keeping London Hydro public. We have been supporting OPAL (Oxford People Against the Landfill) by protesting with them in Ingersoll, Woodstock, Beachville, and other nearby towns most Fridays at 3:00 pm. In 2015 we will be working with First Nations to organize a water walk along the Thames River from Tavistock to Lake St. Clair.

The Democracy Committee works with Leadnow to fight for fair elections and proportional representation, so that our election process is a more just and accurate reflection of the wishes of all Canadians.

The Food Security Committee is working with City Council to make London a pollinator sanctuary for bees and butterflies. It opposes GM foods, and supports urban agriculture and the distribution and marketing of local food.

We strongly urge citizens to go beyond emotional or intellectual sympathy with the campaigns of the Council of Canadians and to contact us and get involved. We will put you in touch with whichever committee chair is working on your favourite issue. Help make Canada THE CANADA WE WANT. 

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