Need some help driving your office’s green initiatives? WWF Canada offers free downloadable tools including getting-started guides, spreadsheets, benchmarks, campaign poster templates for green initiatives on energy reduction, paper reduction, waste reduction, travel, procurement, and green team building. I find some of the tools very useful.
As mentioned in an earlier article Employee Engagement Drives Sustainability Strategy, World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet @ Work program aims to make it easier for businesses to make greener choices. The program helps businesses large and small with strategic guidance on green business ideas and best practices and offers tools to (Read more…)
Stephen Harper is being taken to task a lot lately for spending $600 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on ‘Government of Canada’ advertising that does little more than promote his own partisan interests.
The latest and most blatant example, chock full of lies, paranoia and doubtful science, is the offensive anti-marijuana ad campaign from “Health Canada” released this fall. You’ll recall how many health care professionals refused to participate in it or lend it credence, rightfully aware the campaign was little more than a political attack on Harper’s main opponent, Justin Trudeau. I won’t post a link to (Read more…)
When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.
Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)
It’s one thing when an outfit like RubberMaid gets bought out, packed up and moved overseas. It’s another thing when what have been considered “strategic industries” go the same route.
Imagine if Lockheed or Raytheon decided to open start-up, mirror operations in, say, China to build and supply high-tech wizardry to the Chinese military. Sound preposterous? It shouldn’t. It’s happened before. During WWII, certain US companies maintained their involvement with German companies producing key products for the Nazi war effort.
Aviation Week reports that momentum for something similar is building today.
U.S. companies are trying to replicate themselves in (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Is America About to be Stabbed in the Back by Its Own Defence Contractors?
“All the laws were good laws. For cats.”—Tommy Douglas
The other day I called Telus to cancel my campaign phones and internet service. Groan. After listening to canned music for 17 minutes I was transferred to a customer service rep. He took my information, argued with me when I wouldn’t give him my email address, and finally transferred me to the cancellation department…where I was put on hold. Groan. After listening to canned music for 6 minutes the cancellation rep came on the line.
She was a lovely woman who follows politics closely. We had (Read more…)
Apple, BMW, LG, HP, Coca-Cola, and Walmart are among the 187 companies cited by non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project for doing the most to combat climate change. These green warriors also outperform the Bloomberg World Index. Five Canadian companies made this elite group. I find out how their stock prices compare to the S&P/TSX Index.
The recently released CDP 2014 report is covered by media around the world but, sadly, passed by all major Canadian publications. I find informative coverage by Bloomberg, Forbes, and CNBC. A few key quotes:
Bloomberg: “If acting on climate change hurts the economy, (Read more…)
Here is Jon Lefebure’s pushback on Taxation, the dominant theme of Election 2014 in North Cowichan Municipal Election.
Taxes, we all wish we they weren’t necessary, but they are. We have to maintain our infrastructure, roads, pipes, buildings, or they will fail. We have to invest in our community or we stand to lose our opportunity to build a diverse, sustainable economy.
We have driven tax increases down over the last 3 years from 3.85% to 3.05%. We have worked hard to get our house in order and my goal is to be (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Politically Speaking
Jian Ghomeshi has been fired, resigned, was forced to resign, chose to leave of his own free will or just what the hell has really happened?
Arguably Canada’s top broadcaster does not just bolt as it appears. Was he pushed?
The social media may reveal more but for now this is the story being released.
Here is the CBC’s release, so far.
CBC’s relationship with Jian Ghomeshi, host of the cultural affairs radio show Q, has ended, the network announced Sunday.
“The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an (Read more…)
It takes a while to digest the sale the other day of Canada’s English-language Sun newspapers to Postmedia. All you can say for sure is that the newspaper market in Canada continues to implode. Postmedia President and CEO Paul Godfrey provided the answer at the announcement of the $316 million purchase of 175 English-language newspapers and Sun’s major printing plant in Toronto. He said it all when saying the best part of the deal was the acquisition of Canoe.ca and related websites.
Sun newspapers are no stranger to Paul Godfrey. He used to be publisher of that newspaper chain. (Read more…)
After California state regulators shut down 11 fracking wastewater injection wells last July over concerns that the wastewater might have contaminated aquifers used for drinking water and farm irrigation, the EPA ordered a report within 60 days.
It was revealed yesterday that the California State Water Resources Board has sent a letter to the EPA confirming that at least nine of those sites were in fact dumping wastewater contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants into aquifers protected by state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Center for Biological (Read more…)
I went for lunch today with my old pal Bruce Miller. I chose the Original Joe’s on 102 Avenue because a) it’s relatively cheap and good (I always have a wrap, which is enough food for today’s AND tomorrow’s lunch), and b) I wanted to see the gaping hole where the old metal bridge used to be.
If you’ve lived in Edmonton for any time, chances are you went over the 102 Avenue bridge. I can’t imagine how many thousands of times I went over that bridge, mostly as a kid. It was sort of my gateway to the world, (Read more…)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
This post was originally posted on envirolawsmatter.ca.
‘Streamlining environmental regulatory review’ and ‘reducing the regulatory burden on industry’ are among the hottest buzzwords from the federal and BC provincial governments.
As the Mt. Polley Mine tailings lake breach that occurred on Monday, August 4 demonstrates, however, deregulation of industrial activities that impact the environment is a gamble that can have devastating outcomes for local communities and the environment.
A salmon caught from the Fraser River after the Mt. Polley tailings pond spill. Xaxli'p, Sek'wel'was & Tsk'way'laxw First Nations have closed all fishing activities due (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Environmental regulation: better than a pound of cure
This is a guest post by Paul Thacker, on assignment with Oil Change International. Cross-posted with permission.
A wife and mother of two from Venice, Louisiana, Kindra Arnesen says her life can be divided into two chapters: before April 20, 2010, and after. On that evening, an oil well located several miles off the coast of Louisiana discharged large bubbles of gas which traveled a mile to the surface before igniting, destroying the oil rig and killing eleven men. Thus began the worst marine oil spill in history and America’s largest environmental disaster, with hundreds of millions of gallons of oil (Read more…)
There must be an election due in the next year. Why else would the Harper government minions be running around in the heat of the summer pandering to Conservative interest groups? Take the inappropriately labelled Public “Safety” Minister Steven Blaney, for example. He showed up at a Northern Ontario gun club the other day to announce convenient changes in the rules for happy gun owners. These changes might make some sense in such a remote rural setting but he should try to explain his changes to people at Dundas and Yonge Streets in Toronto.
But you have to admit, the (Read more…)
On Monday, Quebec premier Philippe Couillard left the impression that the third and fourth dams on the La Romaine river were in doubt.
Couillard told reporters as he headed to the meeting of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers that Hydro-Quebec would finish the first two dams, currently under construction, and then make a decision:
“We will evaluate them and we will see exactly what is needed. [translation of “On va les évaluer et on va voir justement quel est le besoin.”
According to La Presse, Couillard said that HQ would assess electricity needs for industrial (Read more…)
On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.
Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill an exploratory well adjacent to the Golden Gates Estates development.
“We are very happy that Hughes won’t drill next to our home,” Pamela Duran, who lives 1,000 feet away from the previously proposed drill site, told DeSmogBlog.
“I think the whole neighborhood feels like there is a heavy weight taken off our shoulders,” she said.
Pamela Duran in front of (Read more…)
A survey of Ontario high school students reveals more than one-third of all licensed drivers in Grades 10 to 12 admit to having texted while driving.
That percentage increases to 46 per cent of licensed students in Grade 12.
Approximately 108,000 adolescent drivers surveyed said they have texted while driving at least once in the past year, according to the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), a biannual study conducted for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
“We asked about texting while driving because research shows that this is a very hazardous behaviour,” said CAMH senior scientist Dr. Robert Mann. (Read more…)
Office building green roofs tend to be a ‘spectator sport’: look but don’t touch. Telus, one of the Big-Three telecom in Canada, launch their participatory rooftop garden in their downtown Toronto building where staff are encouraged to seed, water, weed, and harvest the vegetables. I talk to Sameer Panjwani, National Chair of Telus Green Team, to see how this environmental employee engagement initiative came to harvest.
Located in Toronto’s financial district, the thirty-floor office building is surrounded by Union Station, Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square, and the under-construction new RBC headquarters. On the fifth floor of this LEED Gold (Read more…)
A number of shibboleths fell with the election of Kathleen Wynne. The most insidious of them was the notion that the words “tax” and “theft” are synonyms. Linda McQuaig writes:
The centerpiece of this ideological orthodoxy has been an almost phobic attitude towards taxes. The vilification of taxes has profoundly changed our society in recent decades, dramatically limiting our ability to act collectively to achieve common goals that improve our lives, confining us instead to isolated lives as private consumers.
Under Stephen Harper, Ottawa today collects about $30 billion less in revenue than it did a decade ago — (Read more…)
Way to go Ontario! When it comes to thwarting democratic rule in Canada, you continue to lead the way.
Not only did Ontarians peviously vote in a province-wide referendum against the notion of changing the anarchistic voting system (first-past-the-post) that allows a political party to form a majority government with less than 50% of the popular vote, they were able to elect a new government with the participation of about half the eligible voters in last week’s general election.
Talk about efficiency!
In Ontario, depending on how the vote is distributed, a political party can go on to rule the province as if it had the (Read more…)
Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesday, June 10, 2014: Rocco Galati plans legal challenge to Citizenship Act changes Angelina Codina facing legal troubles again – Law Times Time to Say Goodbye to an Employee? Employment lawyers should prepare for new world following WSIB mental-distress ruling Daughter of hospitalized Casey Kasem, rather than his wife, will make medical decisions, judge rules Top court rejects Big Tobacco’s appeals of awards to Florida smokers Barbara Yaffe: No point training more lawyers when existing ones can’t find work – Vancouver Sun Employees suspended after video surfaces of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Wise Law Blog: 140 Law – Leading Legal Headlines for Tuesday June 10, 2014
Written by Robyn Ladner
BC has the worst student-educator ratio in Canada.
BC has the 2nd worst per student education funding in Canada.
BC’s Education funding is $1000 less per student than national average.
BC has the highest child poverty rate in Canada.
BC teachers with a Bachelor of Education and no experience are 12th highest paid of the 13 provinces and territories.
BC teachers with a Master’s degree and ten years experience are 11th highest of the 13 provinces and territories.
Since I began teaching in 2001 teachers in BC have had their collective agreements ripped up, (Read more…)
Allan Gregg tells a great anecdote, one that explains why the least popular guy is presently ahead in the Ontario provincial election campaign.
It’s all about authenticity, the talented former Progressive Conservative strategist says: “For most of my adult life, I have worked with political and business leaders and have never ceased to be amazed at how different they can be in private compared to their public personae.
“Time and time again, I have witnessed otherwise funny, thoughtful, caring men and women walk from the wings of the auditorium to the podium, only to be transformed into nothing less than (Read more…)