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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rally against Harpocracy!

Sunday, April 3 · 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Four Points Sheraton on Wellington Rd.

Show that we stand Canadian values against the CONtempt of the CONservative CONmen!

The London Chapter of the CoC will be there! Join us! Bring an anti-Conservative and/or pro-CoC sign! Tout CoC values; trash Conservative ones! Signs should be as large as possible, the messages short and to the point, and the lettering should be large enough to be readable from a distance. Simple recognizable graphics are always effective (e.g. Harpo's mug inside a red circle with a diagonal red line across it).

(Remember, as a non-partisan organization, we can't campaign for a particular party, so don't bring any campaign signs if you are going to be with us, but we can criticize Harper and the Conservatives relentlessly! You can, of course, campaign for one of the other parties there if you wish, but not with our group.)

NOTE: This is not a CoC event exclusively. It is open to any and all groups or individuals who oppose the Conservatives.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

London Bottled Water Ban

For the record, the 2008 resolution banning the sale of bottled water in City-owned facilities can be found here.

April Newsletter

The April newsletter of the London Chapter has just been published:

Forum: "Bringing Home Climate Change"

Tuesday March 29, 2011

Wolf Performance Hall,
London Central Public Library

251 Dundas St., London, Ontario

Join us to hear internationally-recognized local scientists present the most current global
and local information about Climate Change.

6:00 p.m. Informal Poster Presentations of Recent Research Results
• How Uncertain are the Future Extreme Precipitation Events ?: An Upper Thames River Basin Context by Tarana A. Solaiman and Slobodan P. Simonovic
• Moving towards Probability based Intensity-Distribution-Frequency (IDF) Curves under Climate Change by Tarana A. Solaiman and Slobodan P. Simonovic
• Climate Change Uncertainty and Water Resources Decision Making – Probabilistic Approach by Dejan Vucetic and Slobodan P. Simonovic
• Climate Change Uncertainty and Water Resources Decision Making – Fuzzy Set Approach by Dejan Vucetic and Slobodan P. Simonovic
• An Approach to Quantifying Uncertainty in Estimates of Intensity-Distribution-Frequency (IDF) Curves by Fahad Alzahrani and Donald H. Burn
7:00 p.m. Climate Change – Global Prospective – Dr. Gordon A. McBean
• what is climate change
• what are the main global problems
• how to deal with climate change (global and local issues)
• mitigation and adaptation
8:00 p.m. Climate Change – Challenges at the Local Level – Dr. Donald H. Burn
• how is climate change manifesting at the local level
• what are the main issues (scales, uncertainties, communication)
• temperature, precipitation, extremes
• Upper Thames River Watershed experience
8:30 p.m. Climate Change – The Local Experience – Dr. Slobodan P. Simonovic
• review of work done in the Upper Thames River Watershed
• impacts of climate change in the Upper Thames River Watershed
• from impacts to adaptation action
• City of London precipitation and risk to infrastructure work

For more information contact
Teresa Hollingsworth
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, at

Friday, March 25, 2011

London Health Coalition Meeting

When: Tuesday, March 29th, at 7pm

Where: CAW Local 27 Hall - 606 First St., London, ON

At this meeting we will have briefings and discussions on:

• Distribution of federal election leaflets
• Discussion of findings for written draft of London report
• Town Hall meeting re London Hospital Cuts
• A campaign staff of OHC will be with us; also, Natalie Mehar is trying to make the meeting

For more information please contact Shirley Schuurman at:

Call for Renaissance of the Bank of Canada

Dear COMER (Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform) colleagues, and advocates of monetary policy change and social justice for Canada,

I am writing to ask your assistance in an initiative to gain support for an urgently needed change in monetary policy for Canada. As you may be aware, I have been working for many years---ever since 1994 when I first learned about this possibility---to induce our federal government to use our publicly owned Bank of Canada to provide essentially interest-free loans to governments at all levels in this nation in place of the present practice of governmental borrowing at interest from private banks and other private money lenders. Reviving these powers of the Bank of Canada, which were used for public benefit from about 1935 to 1975, could save our governments some $60 billion in interest payments each year, freeing huge sums of funding to meet human and environmental needs, to eliminate gradually existing debt, and to avoid imminent devastating funding cuts and privatization of our highly valued social programs.

I am asking for your support not as individuals, but as activists working valiantly in many different public welfare organizations, to urge your organization(s) to endorse a "Call for Renaissance of the Bank of Canada". This "Call" has now been posted on the website of the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform ( Using the website, your organization can sign on to endorse the "Call", and join other organizations in announcing publicly support for this urgently needed change.

My thinking in promoting this effort has been that many of the organizations working in Canada for public welfare are necessarily constantly pressing for public funding for the causes they espouse, whether they are working for improved medical care, or justice for native peoples, or poverty reduction, or environmental improvement, or responding to any of many other urgent needs. I have long been dismayed that such organizations have not pushed for the changes in monetary policy which could make abundant funding available to meet the whole range of social and environmental needs for which they advocate. If organizatiions could join in calling for these changes, perhaps they could have some significant political impact. When we get several organizations to endorse the "Call", we will start posting their names on the website. As this list grows we will be able to point to increasing understanding of monetary policy, and to support for returning to the creative 1935-1975 use of the Bank of Canada which is a key part of Canadian history.

Anything any of us can do to recruit organizations to endorse the "Call" will contribute toward our efforts to promote the changes in monetary policy that we need. With an election now imminent here in Canada, we have an opportunity to enable our organizations not only to request better funding, but also, through the "Call", to show that increased government funding is fully feasible even while deficits and debts are brought under control. This is a great educational opportunity as well as a means for exerting pressure on the electoral process. I will be doing all I can to recruit endorsements from the connections I have, local, provincial, and national. And endorsements from organizations of any size at any level, local to national, are welcome. Please take a close look at the part of the website dealing with the "Call". I ask your help in promoting it, as you are able. I am willing to coordinate this effort, with help from John Riddell on the technicalities of the website.

There is another opportunity we have to make creative use of the COMER website. When the Green Party at its convention last August passed a resolution calling for return to use of the Bank of Canada for public welfare, Elizabeth May, the Party Leader, asked us to provide information on this issue for Green Party candidates running for the federal Parliament. As some of you know from an e-mail I sent on March 21 to Elizabeth and copied to you, I have already referred her to the COMER website for information for GP candidates. If you have any ideas for strengthening the website for this purpose, please communicate your suggestions as soon as possible to Ann Emmett (, who is focussing on this issue. If you have not explored the website thoroughly lately, as I had not until recently, I can attest that it is well worth careful study. If we want to make use of it, we need to know how to direct people to the parts of it that promise to be most useful for them.

One additional matter. Ann called to my attention this morning a CBC report that describes an extraordinarily outrageous penalty fee extracted by Scotiabank for early termination of a mortgage. You can see it on the internet at "cbc radio" by typing into the search bar: "customer fee to pay out mortgage doubles". This information is very useful in showing how our banks are increasingly gouging us---in this case for $25,000. In the discussion following this CBC report, other people tell of similar experiences. This incident reveals the ever-growing abuses that result from control over our money system by privately owned banks.

Not since the Great Depression has the need for monetary policy change been more urgent than now. Just to our south in the U.S., state governments are claiming that public deficits and debts constitute a crisis justifying devastating attacks on public sector unions, on democratic institutions, and on public services. This is "disaster capitalism", as described by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, and we are in danger that right-wing governments here will follow suit and take similar actions. In order to prevent our bondage to our present money system from becoming even more devastating, we need to go on the offensive to transform it into a power for creative social change.

The COMER community appreciates all you do for social and environmental well-being, and hopes you find it possible to enhance your existing commitments by helping to work for transformation of our crucial money system.

Many thanks and all best wishes,

George Crowell

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No to CETA—CETA and the Tar Sands Teach-in

Environmental Justice Toronto is holding a teach-in about the CETA and its implications on the Tar Sands and communities.

Friday, April 1st

3-6pm Panel discussion, followed by discussion and snacks.

OISE Room 2211 (At Bedford and Bloor, St. George Subway Station)

CETA is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement–a free trade deal between Canada and the European Union. This trade deal will allow for water, land, and oil to be exploited. Who bears the brunt of this resource exploitation?

What does this mean for environmental justice? What does this mean for trade justice? What do we do about it?


Clayton Thomas Mueller: Tar Sands Campaigner, Indigenous Environmental Network

Stuart Trew: Trade Campaigner, Council of Canadians

TBA: UK Tar Sands Group

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Watch "Burning Water" Online

If you missed our screening last night, you can watch the entire documentary online here. It is a fascinating, if depressing look at how a private citizen can be crushed by a private corporation acting with impunity with the help of an unsympathetic government (in this case, the Alberta provincial gov). Fracking will soon come to Ontario, and we will be in the same boat. Forwarned is forarmed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maude Barlow's Message for WWD

A message from Maude Barlow:

Dear friends,

Today is World Water Day and a time to reflect on the gift of water that sustains all life on Earth. While many have access to clean safe drinking water, millions do not. We must come together this World Water Day to commit to a new relationship with water. We must conserve it, restore watersheds, protect source water from pollution – pollution must be viewed as a criminal act – and share it more equitably for all humans, for the future and for other species as well.

Modern humans see water as a great big resource for our pleasure, convenience and profit and not as the essential element of a living ecosystem that gives us all life - so we pollute it. We dump an amount of industrial and human waste into the watersheds every year equivalent to the combined weight of all humanity. We pump water from watersheds and rivers into mega cities where, if they are anywhere near the ocean, it is then dumped as waste – a major cause of rising oceans. We grow crops with flood irrigation in deserts. We poison water with mining, nuclear, fracking and tar sands production. We let water drain away from ancient rusting pipes because we have "run out of money" for public infrastructure.

The United Nations has recognized water and sanitation as a human right, which means that every government must now come up with a plan of action based on the "Obligation to Protect, Respect, and Fulfill" this right. We expect no less from the Harper government. The United Nations must also turn its attention to water conservation and watershed restoration, and to finding ways to make water a means of peace, not conflict.

We must also declare water to be a common heritage, a public trust and a public service, and we need to support the government of Bolivia in its new move to declare that water must be protected as a public right and not allowed to be delivered on a for-profit basis by the private sector. We need water for life. Water can teach us how to live in harmony with one another and more lightly on this Earth if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Maude Barlow
National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians
March 22, 2011

Find World Water Day events and resources at

Greenpeace shuts down Darlington nuclear hearing

Just received from Greenpeace:

"Happening now: Greenpeace shuts down Darlington nuclear hearing

Greenpeace activists have shut down hearings for new nuclear reactors in Ontario by locking themselves down in front of the panel at the centre of the hearing.
Watch live streaming video from inside the hearings.
The four activists have locked themselves in front of the panel to prevent the hearing from continuin with a banner that reads "No nukes are safe - Stop Darlington". Other volunteers have taped over their mouths, symbolically bearing witness to a flawed hearing process that fails to allow discussion of important issues such as catastrophic events and clean energy alternatives.
The government of Ontario is moving full speed ahead to build new nuclear reactors at Darlington, just outside of Toronto, even while a nuclear disaster continues to unfold in Japan.
Last week and again yesterday, Greenpeace and other groups called for the hearings to be suspended until more is known about safety concerns highlighted by the events in Japan, but this call has been ignored.
Take action with us: Email Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Opposition leader Tim Hudak demanding Ontario choose safe and clean energy alternatives."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cinema Politica: "Water on the Table" about Maude Barlow

Is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?
Liz Marshall / Canada / 2010 / 79 min.

Water On The Table is a character-driven, social-issue documentary by Liz Marshall that explores Canada’s relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?

This FREE documentary film screening is proudly presented b Cinema Politica and the London Public Library.

Official Site for Water on the Table

When: Mar 28 2011 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Hosted by: London Public Library and Cinema Politica London
Street and City Location: Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, 251 Dundas

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BREAKING: Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project

Change of toll-free dial-in telephone numbers for English audio for the Darlington Joint Review Panel proceedings

This is to inform those individuals wishing to listen live to the Darlington Joint Review Panel hearing proceedings beginning March 21, 2011, that the toll-free dial-in numbers for the English audio have changed. They are now 613-960-7527 or 1-877-413-4815. The identification number is 5760957.

The toll-free dial-in telephone numbers for the French audio remain the same. They are 1-877-413-4788 or 613-960-7513. The identification number is 7346589.

Written transcripts and audio recordings of the proceedings will be available the day after each session.

Find out more at:

Webcast of Joint Review Panel for proposed Darlington new nuclear power plant project

The proceedings of the Darlington Joint Review Panel public hearing for the proposed Darlington new nuclear power plant project beginning March 21, 2011, will be Webcast via the CNSC’s Web site.

To access the Webcast starting at 1:30 EDT on March 21, 2011, click on the link below.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monthly Meeting: Tuesday April 12

Next meeting of the London Chapter of the CoC
Tuesday April 12, 2011
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Carson Branch, London Public Library
465 Quebec St. (at Dufferin)
Agenda: click here.

Minutes of March 8 meeting: click here.

World Water Day Film: "Burning Water"

World Water Day documentary film presented by the London Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Tuesday March 22, 2011
6:30 p.m. Reception; 7:00 p.m. (sharp), film, "Burning Water", followed by discussion & Q&A
Free to all; donations always welcome
The Black Shire Pub, 511 Talbot Street (2 doors north of Dufferin Avenue)

Coming soon to an aquifer near you!

For recent info on contamination of Canadian water supplies by "fracking" for natural gas, see

For a poster of World Water Day events in London, Ontario, click here.

To see what other CoC chapters around the country are doing to mark WWD, see

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ACTION ALERT! No more fossil fuel subsidies!

The Canadian government is one of the major financiers of the hated tar sands... Tell the oil stoog in the PM's office that we don't want to subsidize fossil fuel industries with our tax dollars!

CLICK HERE to give him a piece of your mind!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Council of Canadians Toronto: 2011 Toronto Chapter Water Forum

Council of Canadians Toronto: 2011 Toronto Chapter Water Forum:

Water Forum 2011: Healthy Water, Healthy Cities
Sunday, March 20
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Metro Hall, 55 John Street

1. We have a car going down from London early Sunday morning that can take 4 passengers.
2. Please contact Don McLeod asap to add your name to the list.
3. Don:

(519) 667-4016
4. Council of Canadians are paying for the gas for car pooling.


Hello Folks:

Reminder Notice

Council of Canadians London Chapter March 8, 2011

7PM - Literacy Room - Floor 2, Central Library 251 Dundas Street

Agenda March 8, 2011
Meeting Minutes Feb 8, 2011

Please bring articles and research on issues for discussion along with event notice posters for announcements.

We hope to see you there!

Don McLeod
London Chapter Contact
Council of Canadians