The council is a privately funded "social watchdog" (if I may be blunt.) At the above site you will find all you could want to know about the council.
On march 8th I received an email from the council, it is summed up by the following quotation.
I felt it worthy of sharing.
AbitibiBowater NAFTA settlement has privatized Canadian water, trade committee hears
Council of Canadians Board member and trade lawyer Steven Shrybman presented to Parliament’s Trade committee today arguing that the record-setting $130-million NAFTA settlement with AbitibiBowater has effectively privatized Canada's water by allowing foreign investors to assert a proprietary claim to water permits and even water in its natural state.
"It would be difficult to overstate the consequences of such a profound transformation of the right Canadian governments have always had to own and control public natural resources," said Mr. Shrybman in his presentation to the Standing Committee on International Trade, which is studying the AbitibiBowater NAFTA settlement from last August.
The Council of Canadians feels strongly there is no place in existing or future trade agreements for such overstretching investment protections and has repeatedly called on the federal government to reopen NAFTA to remove the investor-to-state dispute process. The Council also recently joined several other Canadian organizations in writing to all members of the European Parliament urging them to reject the inclusion of NAFTA-like investment protections in the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which could be signed by the end of the year.
To read Shrybman’s full presentation to the International Trade Committee go here.
To read the media release go here.