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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 08:00

Council of Canadians re-starts Medicine Hat Chapter

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Although a chapter did exist in Medicine Hat a number of years ago, interested city residents have felt the call to create a Council of Canadians Medicine Hat Chapter once again.


The founding meeting of the chapter was held Nov. 2 with Prairies region organizer Brigette DePape in attendance.
“We recently opened up a Blood Tribe chapter nearby, it’s so exciting,” she said, prior to the evening meeting getting underway. “It’s great to see new energy in the Council of Canadians.
Many people may recall DePape for her activism in the House of Commons in 2011. At the time she was a Senate page and during the Throne Speech she held up a sign that read “Stop Harper.” She was expressing her dissatisfaction with the direction of government under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and their response to several issues including climate change. She lost her job as a result of the incident.
Now she works with the Council of Canadians, assisting chapters in getting started and offering support.
The Council of Canadians focuses its efforts in many areas on the social agenda including, protecting water, green energy, stopping climate change, keeping health care public, advocating for fair trade and making sure the interests of local residents are carried out by local governments.
“It’s really wonderful to see new chapters. The major strength of the Council of Canadians is the chapters. It’s a people-powered organization and it’s that people power that carries out great change,” explains DePape.
For the founding meeting of the Medicine Hat chapter, about 15 people showed up. DePape spoke about the Council, life as an activist and the joy that comes with work that is meaningful. She also spoke about some of the Council of Canadians’ campaigns including one focused on trade and another dealing with climate change.
Other areas the Council focuses on are offering meaningful regulations to stop climate change, health standards, and workers’ rights. The Council also takes a stand against the TPP seeing it as legislation that interferes with democracy.
“It forces government to side with corporations out of fear of being sued,” points out DePape.
There will be work ahead for the Medicine Hat chapter of the Council of Canadians as it works through the process of creating an executive and determining what kind of action they want to take.
Through it all DePape will help guide and train he local chapter members in creating like-minded campaigns and coming up with ideas to take action locally.
More information about the Council of Canadians and the local Medicine Hat Chapter will be available online at: canadians.org.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor