Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians, is Canada’s largest citizens’, non-partisan organization with members and Chapters across the country. We are located on the shores, and within the watershed of the North Saskatchewan River on Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of the Cree, Blackfoot, Nakota Sioux, Metis and others. The Cree name for Edmonton is Amiskwaci-waskahikan (Amisk-watchee-waska-ikan) which means “Beaver-Hills House” –referring to the many beaver in the river, and the hills present day downtown Edmonton now sits on.
The Edmonton Chapter is one of about 40 Chapters of the Council of Canadians across the country. In the Edmonton Region, about 5000 CofC supporters are represented by a volunteer-run Steering Committee, currently about 10 people. who coordinate activities. National organizational Values include democracy, accountability, non-partisanship; social, environmental and economic justice. The Mission of ‘bringing people together through collective action and grassroots organizing to challenge corporate power and advocate for people, the planet and our democracy’ guides our Chapter activism, as does the Vision of creating a more just world. The National Goals of clean water, dignity and respect for all, governments that work for the public good and protection of the ‘commons’ are aligned with our local Chapter goals.
We are action-oriented, collegial, collaborative, inclusive. We make decisions by consensus, foster a shared community and respond to issues that are important to our members. We collaborate and think systemically. We cherish our supportive interpersonal relationships and value diversity/pluralism.
Our Chapter Goals. We work towards a caring society, environmental sustainability, responsible government for the people, corporate accountability, a strengthened democracy and judicial system. We protect the Commons – ecological, social and cultural resources shared by all – from privatization and abuse. We promote environmental stewardship of our natural resources.
What to do we do?
- We develop creative campaigns to put some of the country’s most important issues into the spotlight.
- We work with a network of over 30 volunteer chapters to organize speaking tours, days of action, conferences and demonstrations.
- We produce research reports, create popular materials, and work with individuals and organizations across the country and around the world.
The Council does not accept money from corporations or governments, and is sustained entirely by the volunteer energy and financial assistance of its members.
The Council does not accept money from corporations or governments (except for some recent Covid-Relief funds for staff during the pandemic) and is normally sustained entirely by the volunteer energy and financial assistance of its members.
The Council of Canadians – Edmonton Chapter has seen different evolutions since its inception.
More recently, our focus issues include:
- Defining and promoting climate justice;
- Protecting water and our ecological commons by encouraging alternatives to toxic pesticides;
- Climate change, transitioning away from fossil fuels;
- Protecting publicly provided services and promoting democracy.
To publicize our issues and to build public pressure, we’ve produced two conferences in the past four years: one on Democracy (June, 2015) and the other on Climate Change (November, 2016).
We’ve also put on numerous public forums challenging and exploring the issues of:
Fracking in Alberta
-The Role of the Alberta Energy Regulator
-Privatization in Alberta/the P3 involved with LRT River Valley Line
-Commodification of Water in Alberta
-A number of events over the years to celebrate World Water Day (March 22nd)
Our Chapter has also made specific efforts to:
-Challenge the corporatization of City of Edmonton’s Drainage Department (2017) and the Goldbar Waste Treatment Centre (2009).
The Edmonton Chapter supports Indigenous Rights and was an early supporter of Idle No More. One of our most successful public forums was with Tanya Kappo, who spoke about the issues and concerns that sparked the Idle No More movement, early 2013. During the Harper years, the Edmonton Chapter participated in Occupy Edmonton and especially with Idle No More, and continues to work with our allies. We want to work in coalition with our grass roots/civil society partners to build a better Edmonton.
Council of Canadians – Edmonton Chapter is engaged on many social justice issues through our members’ collaboration with other groups. Peace efforts, election reform, refugee support, trade justice, climate justice, Truth and Reconciliation, water protection, living wage are all concerns that engage chapter members in their work for a better world. Throughout, we respect the water, the land, and the people who live in this land by learning to honour the Treaties.
We encourage you to join us! You may want to help table at events, distribute information, join letter writing campaigns, attend rallies, circulate petitions; or drop into one of our regular meetings, add your voice to the discussion and figure out for yourself how you may want to contribute. To stay in the loop and receive action alerts, please send us an e-mail asking to be added to our list.