Pharmacare Town Hall in Burlington — Monday, 5 March 2018 at 7pm

Pharmacare for all -- why not?

Monday, March 5 at 7 PM — 9 PM
Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, Ontario

PHARMACARE FOR ALL — WHY NOT?

An event sponsored by Council of Canadians (Halton Chapter) — Monday, March 5 at the Art Gallery of Burlington, 7 PM to 9 PM.

This event intends to inform the public about the health, social and economic impacts of universal Pharmacare, and intends to help keep this issue at the forefront of the political agenda for Ontario and Canada as a whole

Keynote Speakers

Maude Barlow:

Maude Barlow is the Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She serves on the executive of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates as well as many prestigious awards for her environmental activism. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is the author of dozens of reports, as well as 18 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever and Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.

Prof Emeritus Brian Hutchison:

Brian Hutchison is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and past Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis at McMaster University. He practiced comprehensive family medicine for five years in a fee-for-service group practice, followed by 25 years in a McMaster University academic family practice. Among other senior roles, he was the Co-Chair of the Canadian Working Group for Primary Healthcare Improvement from 2008 to 2014 and is currently a vice-chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. In 2015 he was named as one of 20 Top Pioneers of Family Medicine Research in Canada by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Following their presentations, there will be a panel including a local pharmacist, a retired benefits specialist and a health professional. The audience is welcome to participate in the discussion.

Canada is the only developed country with a universal Medicare program without a universal Pharmacare plan. This event intends to inform the public about the health social and economic impacts of universal Pharmacare and keep this issue at the forefront of the political agenda for Ontario and Canada as a whole. Ontario has already improved Pharmacare coverage to Age 25 but it is time to complete the process.

Free Admission
For parking, there is street parking available nearby, free after 6 PM. Also, the AGB parking lot (see map http://bit.ly/2EtoJck) requires payment only until 7 PM.
https://artgalleryofburlington.com/

Please bring your own reusable water bottle

Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook Event page.

Pharmacare Toolkit — https://canadians.org/pharmacare-toolkit

Pharmacare Town Hall – Halton Chapter

An invitation to protest the TPP in Toronto on Friday, 13 May 2016

Jodi Koberinski @JodiKoberinski of Dangerous Ideas writes:

To get into the hearings, arrive at Ritz Carleton by 8:00am… Protests and a people’s hearings (running as a parallel process) outside the Ritz Carleton beginning at 9am…

also check out Shiv Chopra and the Canadian Council for Food Sovereignty and Health’s tour and youtube videos….


Civil society protests outside the House of Commons trade committee hearings on the TPP in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

The House of Commons standing committee on international trade will be in Montreal, Quebec City, Windsor and Toronto this week to hear testimony on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

And civil society will be there to let them know that they want the TPP stopped and that the hearings themselves are not as inclusive or welcoming to the public as they should be. At the previous committee hearings in Vancouver (April 18), Calgary (April 19), Saskatoon (April 20), and Winnipeg (April 21), members of the public had to produce identification, have their bags searched, and be frisked. Only 12 organizations were allowed to present at the 1-day hearing in Vancouver, even though 175 people had registered to testify.

The hearings will take place this week in Montreal (May 10), Quebec City (May 11), Windsor (May 12) and Toronto (May 13).

In Montreal, the Council of Canadians, Citizens in Action, and the Raging Grannies will be outside the Queen Elizabeth Hotel (900 René-Lévesque West) this Tuesday at 8:30 am with placards, banners and images of what they hold dear that would be threatened by the TPP.

In Windsor, the Council of Canadians Windsor-Essex chapter will be outside the Best Western PLUS Waterfront Hotel (277 Riverside Drive West) this Thursday at 8:45 am. They will be setting up a speakers corner for anyone wishing to send a video message to the House of Commons committee.

And in Toronto, the Council of Canadians, OpenMedia, LeadNow, the Trade Justice Network, Common Frontiers, and others are organizing an action outside the Ritz-Carlton Toronto (181 Wellington Street West) on 9:00 a.m. this Friday.

Unifor has also just announced this morning that it will hold rallies in both Windsor and Toronto at 10 am outside the hearings, as well as help fill the hearing rooms in these two cities.

Presumably in response to criticisms that the committee has only heard from a small number of organizations and not concerned individuals in the cities it has visited already, the committee has now scheduled one-hour at the end of each of day for “Spontaneous Presentations”. NDP MP Tracey Ramsey, a member of the committee, says, “Members of the public who wish to speak at these sessions must register on-site. The list of speakers will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. The Committee Chair will decide how much time each speaker will be given based on the number of speakers.”

The hearings have already been met with protests.

In Vancouver, the Council of Canadians Vancouver-Burnaby chapter joined with OpenMedia, LeadNow and other allies to unfurl a large banner outside the hotel where the hearing was taking place. The banner said, “170,000 Say No To TPP”. The groups also organized to have a 16 foot high Jumbotron outside the hotel with messages of concern from people across the country.

In Saskatoon, the Star-Phoenix newspaper reported, “Members of Climate Justice Saskatoon and the local chapter of the Council of Canadians set up placards and protested outside the Radisson Hotel during a public consultation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.”

And in Winnipeg, Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape tells us, “Activists from Migrante Manitoba, No One Is Illegal, the University of Winnipeg Student Association, Solidarity Winnipeg, the Public Services Alliance of Canada, and the Council of Canadians chanted and distributed leaflets outside the Delta Winnipeg Hotel where the hearing was taking place.”

Beyond attending the hearings, you can also email your comments on the TPP to the committee via email at ciit-tpp-ptp@parl.gc.ca The committee is accepting written submissions (of no more than 1,500 words in length) until June 30. Media reports suggest that the House of Commons will vote on the ratification of the TPP in the fall of 2017, just before the November 2017 deadline set by the 12-signatory countries.

For our critique of the TPP, please see our campaign web-page.

This item was mirrored from An invitation to protest the TPP this week! | The Council of Canadians

Easy Actions on Health Care, Fair Elections, Fair Taxes, and new Costco in Waterloo

Eleanor Grant writes:

A lot going on these days!

Please sign these action alerts and tell others.

Peace,

Eleanor Grant

HEALTH CARE

VOTE Sat April 5 to Save our Local Hospitals!

Please go to Ontario Health Coalition for location of “polls” in KW where you can express your preference for maintaining our public hospitals.

If you miss the poll you can vote on-line.

Background:
Ontario’s Wynne Government Plans to Bring In Private Clinics: Threatens
Non-Profit Community Hospital Care

The Ontario government plans to introduce private specialty clinics to take the place of local community hospitals’ services. The government’s proposal would bring in legal regulations under the Independent Health Facilities Act and the Local Health System Integration Act to usher in private clinics and shut down services in community hospitals. Ontario’s Auditor General reported in 2012 that more than 97% of the private clinics under the Independent Health Facilities Act are private for-profit corporations. The Ontario Health Coalition warned about the costs and consequences of private clinics for patient care in a press conference at Queen’s Park today. In addition to the danger of for-profit privatization, coalition director Natalie Mehra raised concerns about poorer access to care and destabilization of local community hospitals.

The coalition challenged the government to:

  • Amend the IHF Act to specify that no future Independent Health Facilities
    can be for-profit.
  • Amend the LHINs Act to specify that LHINs cannot transfer services to
    for-profit corporations.
  • Ensure that all clinics or satellites are brought in under the Public
    Hospitals Act and therefore covered by its legislative and regulatory
    protections for quality of care, non-profit governance, and the public
    interest.

ALSO, as the Canada Health Accord for federal transfers to the provinces for health care expires TAKE THE MEDICARE PLEDGE.

STOP THE UNFAIR ELECTIONS ACT !

Leadnow.ca: Stop US-style voter suppression from becoming Canadian law

and

Council of Canadians: PETITION: Investigate and prevent electoral fraud with a truly fair Elections Act

Background Articles from the Cambridge Times

DONE YOUR TAXES YET?

How much revenue does Canada lose every year to tax havens? Please visit Canadians for Tax Fairness to send a message to your MP to look into this.

AND IF YOU LIVE IN WATERLOO

At 6:30 Monday night, April 7, Waterloo city council will consider a zoning change that would allow a COSTCO store to be built on Erb St W, right across from the dump.

Here’s a backgrounder from Kevin Thomason of Grand River Environmental Network (GREN).

Please send a message to your city and regional councillors – links at end of Kevin’s message. I will be one of many delegations at the council meeting Monday. Come out if you can!

Hello GREN folks,

This coming Monday, April 7th, Waterloo City Council will vote to approve a proposal to build a Costco Membership Warehouse on Erb St. across from the Waterloo Landfill. The facility is expected to total over 200,000 square feet with a 975 car parking lot, a 16 pump gas bar, and additional big-box stores. It is estimated the development will attract more than 5,500 cars per day with weekend peak hours surpassing 1,400 cars per hour. The projected opening date is December, 2014.

While many people in Waterloo are excited about a Costco coming to town, few are aware of the significant issues we face. There are a numerous unanswered questions and issues that need to be addressed before a final decision is made:

  1. Widespread Traffic Congestion – Almost all other Costco’s are located near multiple arterial roads and freeways designed to handle high traffic volumes. This Erb St. location is a two-lane road already facing traffic issues. As a result planners are predicting:
    • Severe delays and widespread congestion on area roads with overflow traffic impacting residential streets and even rural roads in Wilmot Township
    • Travel times to increase dramatically, as speeds on some roads during peak times drop to below that of walking speeds. For example, parts of Erb Street with current travel times of less than 1 minute, are expected to increase to 7 to 9 minutes to travel less than 750 meters. This is even after a widening to four lanes in 2018.
  2. Infrastructure Issues – Commercial development is part of the City Official Plan but development was not expected until 2018 after area roads such as Erb Street, Ira Needles and Columbia Street are widened. And such large scale development surpassing 200,000 sq ft was never anticipated. Other necessary infrastructure such as sidewalks, trails, bus routes, etc. isn’t expected to reach the development until several years after opening.
  3. Communications and Public Engagement – Neither the City of Waterloo, The Rice Commercial Group (the developer), or Costco are planning any public information sessions, open houses or consultation events about this proposed development prior to the final vote this coming Monday, April 7th. Staff reports and most studies were just released to the public days ago and most citizens have learned about this plan in recent newspaper articles from the Waterloo Chronicle:
  4. Other Area Impacts – Both Costco and the Regional Landfill share the same peak hours. The landfill is already experiencing queuing issues, causing cars to back up out onto Erb Street right where new roundabouts are to be located for Costco. This would bring traffic to a standstill as cars would be unable to get through the congested roundabouts.
    • Severe congestion could restrict the ability for Fire, Police and Ambulance services to reach the Costco area, the communities beyond, or even return to the city from the EMS training center in case of an emergency.
    • Environmental and ground water recharge areas to the north could be overwhelmed by traffic seeking to avoid the predicted severe traffic congestion on Erb St, Ira Needles Blvd, Columbia Street, etc. This could reverse years of efforts to protect these vital parts of our community.

Few can fathom that a high volume store such as Costco could be built with only one two lane road for access on the onset and ultimately only two roads reaching the store by 2018. The resulting long-term congestion could so negatively impact so many Westside area roads and neighbourhoods. However, this is the plan being recommended by City Staff (report link below) for final approval this Monday night.

What You Can Do

It is really important that we raise the awareness about the importance of Monday’s City Council vote as our community could be impacted by a hasty decision here for decades. Here are some easy things that you, your family, friends, and neighbours can do:

  • Contact City and Regional Councillors: Tell them that an approval would be premature and ask them to support a motion to defer decision until after public consultations and integrated traffic plans have been completed. You can reach all City Councillors at one simple e-mail address – council@waterloo.ca and Regional Councillors at regionalcouncillors@regionofwaterloo.ca
  • Get your social networks involved: Start conversations and ask questions on Twitter and Facebook about the issues that concern you the most. Use the hashtag #WCostco so the community can easily follow the conversation;
  • Write a letter to the editor and get local media engaged in the vital community discussions surrounding this proposal and what sort of community we seek to become;
  • Attend Monday’s City of Waterloo Council meeting for the vote on the Costco development proposal. Register to speak if you like or simply be present to support other presenters. A strong attendance and showing of concern from the community will be important as an empty room sure wouldn’t send a strong message to Council;
  • Learn more by reading the City and Developer Reports.

Hopefully we can collaborate as a community with the City, the Region, the developers, and Costco to find the best path forward for our community and not rush into a situation with so many unanswered traffic, EMS, environmental, and financial questions with no way out after the zoning approval being sought on Monday.

Please let us know any questions, thoughts, or ideas.

Kevin.


Kevin Thomason

1115 Cedar Grove Road
Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2J 3Z4

Twitter: @kthomason
E-mail: kevinthomason@mac.com

Eleanor Grant writes a semi-regular e-mail newsletter on social justice issues. You can contact Eleanor at eleanor7000@gmail.com

@FairVoteWRC hosts a CETA Panel Discussion — Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fair Vote Canada logo
Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter

The Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter is hosting a panel discussion on CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement proposed between Canada and the European Union.

What: CETA Panel Discussion
When: Thursday, 1 May 2014 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm [iCal]
Where: Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, 120 Duke St., Kitchener [map]

Invited Panelists:

  • Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians trade campaigner (confirmed)
  • Stephen Woodworth, CPC Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre
  • Jacqueline Romanow, the GPC‘s trade critic
  • Don Davies, NDP trade critic
  • Chrystia Freelander, the LPC trade critic