Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians, https://canadians.org is Canada’s largest citizens’, non-partisan organization with members and Chapters across the country. The Edmonton Chapter includes members from Edmonton and the surrounding area. 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.
We work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on climate justice, clean water/environmental rights, public health care/pharmacare, fair trade and other issues of environmental, economic and social justice in Canada.
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 also produce research reports, create popular materials, and work with individuals and organizations across the country and around the world. We do all of this to ensure that governments know the kind of Canada we want.
The Council does not accept money from corporations or governments, and is sustained entirely by the volunteer energy and financial assistance of its members.
Chapters are the active force behind the Council of Canadians’ vision to promote economic and social justice, protect and expand the commons, and create a living democracy.
The Council of Canadians – Edmonton Chapter has seen many 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/just transition away from fossil fuels, protecting publicly provided services and promoting democracy.
During the October, 2017 municipal election, Edmonton Chapter members attended most candidate forums to challenge Edmonton’s continued use of the potent and persistent neurotoxin chlorpyrifos to control mosquitos.
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. —