Council of Canadians opens Pender chapter

June 4, 2016

I remember when Maude Barlow, who is the ‘wings’ behind the Council of Canadians, was touring Canada and talking about how computer technology was going to drastically reduce the number of jobs available to us on this planet.

She was absolutely correct about this. No one seems to make the connection between the two anymore but there was and is a connection.

This makes me tend to believe what Council of Canadians people tend to be saying.
It does not stop what they say will happen but at least we are forewarned.

I think it is important– if only so we can be psychologically prepared– to know ahead of time when negativity is destined to descend on our lives.

The following story reminds me of this (and I hope it reminds you of this as well, dear reader):

Gulf Islands Driftwood: Penders Edition
Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Council of Canadians open Pender chapter
by Tanya Lester

Water and health — two main components for life’s survival– are the issues the Council of Canadians’ newly formed steering committee agreed to concentrate on at its inaugural Penders meeting last Thursday.

The focus will be primarily on education concerning protection of this country’s water and health system, said Dr. Peter Carter, a steering committee member.Taking action will come later.

To this end, the Pender chapter has invited Richard Bocking from Victoria to speak at its July 19 meeting. He is a water management expert versed in problems concerning this resource and the Norht American Free Trade Agreement.

The 100,000-member Council of Canadians was founded in opposition to the free trade issue when North American governments first began to discuss the agreement. Maude Barlow is a founding member who name is still synonymous with the council.

Carter said that people in BC are aware of Suncore’s bid for BC water. When it was denied, the Calfornia corporation decided to go to court for $2-million in compensation for lost profitability.

The Penders doctor said islanders understand the concept of water as a limited resource. As another example, he referred to studies that show the Great Lakes have a declining water table. “These resources aren’t going to go on forever,” he said.

Protecting the Canadian health system from privatization is another council concern, said Carter. Alberta’s Bill 11 will give private health service providers access to public funds. This opens the door for every other Canadian province to follow suit, he said.

“Quite simply, we’ll end up with a worse health system,” Carter said. Despite politicians’ focus on the current health care situation and media attention, the Penders doctor indicated that three recent polls showed 85 per cent of Canadians who access the health system believe it is excellent.

If privatization of health continues in Canada, the fear is that large American corporations , who opt for profits instead of good care, will monopolize the system in this country as well, Carter explained.

Tje council has members from all political parties but its focus in on dealing with important Canadian issues and not on partisan politics or specific philosophies, he said.

Carter was actively involved with the council when he lived in Nanaimo. He said BC was the first Canadians province to develop council chapters and now has 26. Steven Staples, who is the BC organizer, attended the inaugural Penders meeting.

The Penders chapter meeting are open to members and non-members alike. The membership fee is $6 annually for those on fixed incomes and $35 for others. It includes a subscription to the Council of Canadians magazine called Canadian Perspectives.
To find out more about Tanya go to; pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google; or email: call: 250-538-0086


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