What are the top two human rights issues that Justin Trudeau needs to address?
Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter is engaged on many social justice issues through our members’ collaboration with other groups. Peace efforts, election reform, refugee support, trade justice, climate change, water protection, living wage – these are some of the issues that the new prime minister must address.
Currently, two campaigns are the primary focus for our chapter, both informed by our growing understanding of Treaties, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. Freedom Road to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation became an active part of our work when we were invited to support the promotion of the community’s Museum of Canadian Human Rights Violations. Opposition to the Energy East pipeline – which would be the largest oil pipeline at 1.1 million barrels a day – grew out of our earlier involvement with International Stop the Tar Sands Day.
Construction of the Freedom Road will finally bring safe access and the possibility of clean water to the dislocated Shoal Lake 40 First Nation community. The lack of clean drinking water on First Nations reserves is a shameful symptom of the continued colonization and oppression of the First Peoples. This system will only change through honouring the Treaties and the findings of the TRC.
The Energy East pipeline is a destructive tar sands expansion project that will pour up to 32 million tonnes a year of climate-changing GHG emissions into the air, and put at risk the water, land and communities along its route. Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter, as a member of the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, is working to stop the pipeline, and to help bring Manitoba closer to a just, sustainable energy future.
We invite Justin Trudeau to respect the water, the land, and the people who live in this land by honouring the Treaties and fulfilling the TRC recommendations.