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Monday, December 5, 2011

Stop CETA Action Meeting

Congratulations to everyone for such a successful event on Dec. 1. Over 300 people attended our town hall and Maude Barlow expressed that it was a very touching evening. What was powerful, was hearing afterwards how many people said they felt like they could be part of change, like we were empowering each other to envision and create a better future.

With CETA being signed as early as one month away, there is a lot of work to be done and now many more people in our community know about it.

The meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wed. Dec. 7, 2011 at The East Village Cafe (785 Dundas Street just west of Aeolian Hall) will be about next steps.

It will be an actions-based evening where people can work on an action that is important to them.

Hope to see you there but if you cannot make it and are working on it from home, feel free to ask for sample letters, info, email addresses, etc.

to send to. The whole approach is to work like bees -- waggle dance, buzz and get as many Canadians in the know as possible from celebs to reporters to common day folks like you and I. CETA will NOT be signed if we create loud noise but the trick here to remember is that:

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

(From stopceta(at)gmail(dot)com)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maude Barlow on Dec. 1: Canada's Communities Are Not for Sale!

A cross-Canada CETA tour organized by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees: Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and CUPE president Paul Moist are speaking across the country highlighting the dangers of this proposed deal and to say that Canadian communities are not for sale.

In London, Ontario on December 1, 2011:

What: Canada is Not For Sale: A Town Hall Event with Maude Barlow, Paul Moist and Dr.Linda Wayne (East Village Cafe), MC poet Penn Kemp with local musicians
An evening to learn about the risks of CETA and what can be done about it through lecture, video and question and answer session
When: ...Thursday, Dec. 1st, 2011
Time: 6:30 Meet and Greet (with 7pm lecture time)
A time f
or socially concerned organizations to share their information with the public, learn more about CETA and the Civil Society Declaration by 80 National and International Organizations against CETA.
Where: Wolf Performance Hall, London Public Library, Central Branch, 251 Dundas St.
Who: Everyone is invited
Cost: Free


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Executive and Committees for the London Chapter

Our Chapter Executive now consists of the following positions:

Facilitator (and Chapter Contact and Bank Co-signor)
Past Facilitator (unfilled)
Membership Director (and Bank Co-signor)
Assistant Membership Director
Website and Social Media Admin
Newsletter Editor (currently held by the Facilitator)
Media & Public Relations (currently held by the Facilitator)

Our Chapter Committees now consist of the following:

Water Protection
Peace & Social Justice
Health Care
Food Security
Special Events
Creative Design
Waste Management
Environment (Air & Land)
Fund Raising (unfilled)
Youth (unfilled)
Legal & Credentials
Photo/Video Journalists
Government Monetary Policy
Government & Proportional Vote

In addition, our Chapter also has 3 student representatives (one each for UWO, Kings, and Fanshawe).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stop CETA Action Planning Meeting

Greetings Folks,

This week's meeting is on Wed. Nov. 16th at 7 pm at the East Village Cafe

(785 Dundas St. just west of Aeolian Hall).

We will mainly be working in small groups on a number of actions.

Action One: A Canada Post CETA video

Play a 30 second role in the video teaching how CETA will affect our day to day lives.

For anyone who wants to take part in a video of a cast of many, each person will read a question about CETA demonstrating its daily effect on our lives. Participation involves choosing one of the scripted questions or if you are so inclined, coming up with your own that demonstrates its dangers and saying it on camera. See attached starter script "A Canada Post CETA". We will add two details of first name and title: For example, Sarah: School Teacher or Thomas: Farmer or Rene: Gardener.

Action Two: Make a Date with Your Favourite Canadian: Writing to Canadian Celebrities and People in the Media to let them know about CETA and its far reaching effects on Canadian culture and society.

Action Three: Spreading the Word about our biggest local awareness campaign, Maude Barlow's CETA talk at Wolf Performance Hall on the 1st of Dec.

Action Four: Contacting the CBC. Crafting and sending emails and calls to the CBC.

Action Five: AVAAZ blitz. This super-powered justice provoking, human right violation take-down organization founded by some Ontarions, needs to hear us say how bad CETA will be.

There will be other actions if folks bring an idea they want to do.

If you have one, it may be useful to bring your laptop. The Cafe has wireless.

Hope to see you out Wednesday! If you can;t make the meeting, take one of these actions on your own and let us know. Also, we will continue filming up until the Barlow event at which we will first show the video.


The Protect the Commons from CETA team


Proposed script for video:

"A Canada Post CETA"

Do you want to a mega corporation from Europe in charge of the quality standards of our drinking water?

Do you want our kids to go to school at a place where the agenda is shaped by corporate interests and hiring of some of the staff is done by multinational corporations?

Do you like being able to call up your local contractor to build stuff for you? You get to talk to them, tell them exactly what you want?

Do you want to pay for each hospital visit you or your family has – for a cast, for surgery, for child birth?

Do you want to pay much more for drug costs – up to 2 billion more country wide a year?

Do you think every child should have access to medicine and the hospital when they need it?

Do you want a multinational corporation in charge of Canada’s mail?

Do you want our last strong Canadian news source, the CBC, to be sold in part or whole out from under us?

Do you want the CBC radio to be downsized and the standards of Canadian content lowered putting at risk some of our most important news sources from The Current to Q?

Do you enjoying watching some favourite Canadian TV from the Ricker Mercer report to Dragon’s Den and would you like to see more?

Do you want our farmers to go further into debt and more and more be bought out by growers thousands of kilometres away?

Do you want more of our food industries to close down from breweries to mills?

Do you want more of our companies to close factory and head somewhere else from clothing to cars?

Do you want to the cost of food to rise higher?

Do you want to proliferate our gmo foods around the world further with no labels and no long-term testing?

Do you want corporations to be able to sew our municipalities for enacting bylaws to protect us and our environment?

Do you want the Tar Sands further entrenched?

Do you want city services such as waste water and garbage disposal to be owned and controlled not by government but by non-Canadian corporations?

Does all this sound like madness?

If you said yes to any of these things, CETA matters to you. All of these are possibilities when the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement is enacted. It was called Comprehensive by Stephen Harper for a reason. It is the most far-reaching document ever written to shape the way our country works besides the constitution. Stephen Harper wants to close the deal as early in 2012 as he can.

Get informed at and . Tell everyone you think should know. Have your city council pass a resolution to exempt your municipality from CETA as many have done.

Brought to you by a collective of concerned Canadians at in cahoots with the Council of Canadians.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

London Chapter AGM November 14, 2011

Poster: click here.
Monday November 14, 5:00pm London Chapter AGM
Lamplighter Best Western – 591 Wellington Road (519) 7151
Glen Pearson – Executive Director London Food Bank
Keynote presenter talking on poverty in London & Canada
PLUS: Why we need the Council of Canadians as a voice for all.

... London Chapter AGM – 4:30pm registration, 5:00pm AGM
Members must register to vote
Reception & Dinner: $40 per person
Speaker Event only: $10 per person or as you can donation
Please Contact Events Director to register in advance for all events:
Louise Hollingsworth (519) 679-0795

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Report on CETA Negotiations

Report on CETA for London Chapter, Council of Canadians

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) being negotiated between Canada and the European Union has the same basic goals as the entire family of trade agreements going back to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which went into effect in 1989, and the North American Agreement (NAFTA) which followed in 1994. These and all other such agreements have been initiated and negotiated under pressure from privately owned corporations seeking to gain opportunities for profit by limiting the power of governments to act for public benefit. Governments which have participated in such trade negotiations have been willing, indeed have been eager, to sacrifice public needs, human and environmental, in order to cater to the interests of powerful corporations. We can assume that the European Union negotiators are just as eager to serve corporate interests as our own present government obviously is.

The final formal round of negotiations for CETA took place in Ottawa the week of October 17 to 21. There is some small comfort for us, who oppose it, in the fact that a final draft of CETA was not achieved. Canada's lead negotiator reported in a briefing to representatives of Canadian organizations opposed to CETA, including Trade Justice Network and CoC, that negotiations are becoming “increasingly difficult,” but that there has been “good progress in a number of areas.” Although there will be no more “formal” negotiations, intense informal discussions through video and teleconferences continue, and there will also be “face to face” meetings in Brussels the week of December 5 and in Ottawa in mid-January. The process may be reaching a conclusion “around February or March,” when the agreement could be signed, made public, and brought before Parliament.

Signing the agreement means that the negotiators have completed their task, but does not bring the agreement into effect. After the signing, the document is to be published on the internet. Then we who object would know precisely what we are up against. The Trade Justice Network has done a good job of smoking out the provisions included, but a considerable measure of secrecy continues. Trade Minister Ed Fast briefed friendly journalists after the”final round”, but swore them to secrecy. The briefing given to opponents was vague and general. So the signed document may have some shocks to reveal. The agreement would come to Parliament for an up or down vote. While there is no real chance that our present Parliament would vote it down, there may be some hope that resistance might be effective in Europe. Provinces in Canada would be required to enact “enabling legislation”, and they may be in a position to throw a monkey wrench into the works. We have a tough job ahead of us. When Maude Barlow and Paul Moist are here in London on December 1, we need to learn from them all the procedures involved in promoting the agreement, and how opposition across Canada, including us, can be most effectively mobilized.

George Crowell
(Monetary Policy Chair, London Chapter, Council of Canadians)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Monthly Meeting: Tuesday November 8, 2011

Next open meeting of the London Chapter of the CoC
Tuesday November 8, 2011
6:00-9:00 p.m.

Agenda: Stay tuned

Minutes of last open meeting on October 11, 2011: click here.

Minutes of open meeting on September 13, 2011: click here.

Videos: CETApus in the Oakland Solidarity March

Monday, October 24, 2011

Comments on the EPCOR/London Hydro Debate, by Don McLeod

Comments on an article in "The McLeod Report", a blog by Philip McLeod (no relation):

Profit = EPCOR

It looks like a pretty simple business formula:

Revenues: (from you & I for services of water, power, sewers, garbage & parking)
Less: expenses to operate the above.
Equals Profit.

When run as a public trust, as it is now, the object is to break-even plus have a little extra profit for a reserve.

If there is a big profit, more so than there is today, then dividends could be paid out.

Nice idea, however the "big profit" would start with higher revenues - so we all pay more for our services. It is that SIMPLE!

With EPCOR taking a slice of the profits in their share of dividends we end up paying more for our services so that EPCOR can have a share in “OUR” profit for the City of Edmonton to offset THEIR taxes.

Why would we do that?

Profit = Jobs for EPCOR

Revenues - Expenses = Profit

The "expense" part of the formula includes wages which equates to jobs in the City of London.

In the EPCOR scenario, EPCOR takes care of a portion of the wage expense and jobs move to Edmonton.

I think that Mayor Joe has been talking about bringing jobs to London versus exporting our jobs to Edmonton!

Why did this matter even come up?

In Mayor Joe's words "I think we have more pressing matters to spend our time on!"

Purchase of London Assets by EPCOR

Assets of the City of London allow us to have financial credabilty in money markets. We have a high bond rating should there be a need to borrow.

When assets are sold and the money is used to buy other capital assets, there is a significant transfer loss for the selling and buying of assets.

At the end of the sale & purchase transactions we are financially worse off.

The "gamble" is that the "new assets" will provide London with a high return. If they do not - especially in the short term, London ends up heading for a lower bond rating and higher interest rates should we have a need to borrow.

In Summary for the EPCOR "deal"
1) Higher cost of services for Londoners & Londoners end up paying to offset Edmontoner's taxes.
2) Loss of London jobs
3) London bond rating falls - London pays a higher interest rate to borrow.

EPCOR - Three Strikes you are out!