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Environmental Law Alert Blog: What is climate leadership in BC, Canada and the world?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The governments of both British Columbia and Alberta are currently consulting the public as they develop “climate leadership plans.” But what does it really take to be a climate leader? Let’s take a moment to reflect on what climate leadership means and to acknowledge some recent examples, and to consider what that means for BC's promise of climate leadership.

The governments of both British Columbia and Alberta are currently consulting the public as they develop “climate leadership plans.” Here in BC the deadline for email submissions has been extended to September 14th.

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. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: What is climate leadership in BC, Canada and the world?

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: B.C. must heed Mount Polley disaster’s lessons

“We need stronger environmental assessments,” says award-winning Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, reflecting on last year’s Mount Polley disaster in British Columbia.

The post David Suzuki: B.C. must heed Mount Polley disaster’s lessons appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: Dear Crusty. LNG is Volatile. It Could Even Blow Up in Your Face.

BC premier Christy Clark is in love – with British Columbia’s natural gas reserves.  She sees it as a magical solution to pay off all of the province’s debts and fund wonderful new projects and services.  She even imagines herself riding across northern BC on a unicorn sprinkling fairy dust wherever natural gas is to be found.

Uhh-uhh.  Crash. Thud.  Sorry, madam premier, to be the carrier of more bad LNG news (there’s been a lot lately) but a new report says our own natural gas reserves may be a stranded asset if international action reaches an accord to limit (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Where Are Our Leaders?

Vancouver is all but obscured in this satellite image

It’s fire time in BC.

Real leadership means speaking the words, recognizing facts and realities for people, and saying leader-y kinds of things like empathic comments that reflect understanding, like an acknowledgement that things are changing thus making BC more vulnerable to this huge fire risk, like we have many smart people exploring risks and coming up with plans to make sure this will happen less in the future.

Instead, we have no leaders. They’re silent, on vacation or while in the city [Harper], living the contemptuous life of having so (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Here are a few quick, initial thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum, where new transit funding paid for by a regional sales tax was rejected roughly 60% to 40%. You might want to read on even if you’re not from Vancouver: after all, it isn’t the only property-value-driven urban “utopia” where public services, public spaces and people themselves are being pushed out by elites.

(1) The result is unhappy, but not unexpected. The process was designed to fail and it has succeeded at that task with flying colours: the provincial government took an area of long-standing funding responsibility, turned its expansion into a vote on (Read more…)

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Here are a few quick, initial thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum, where new transit funding paid for by a regional sales tax was rejected roughly 60% to 40%. You might want to read on even if you’re not from Vancouver: after all, it isn’t the only property-value-driven urban “utopia” where public services, public spaces and people themselves are being pushed out by elites.

(1) The result is unhappy, but not unexpected. The process was designed to fail and it has succeeded at that task with flying colours: the provincial government took an area of long-standing funding responsibility, turned its expansion into a vote on (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Drought Is Upon Us–This is Good News and Bad News Depending On How We Respond

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The watering restriction notices are out throughout the Cowichan Valley. The systems operated by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and some of the Water Improvement Districts have issued directives, so far

Read more…

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Give Green Energy $5.3 Trillion This Year

What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?

Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.

So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine

Secwepemc Woman’s Warrior Society leads a strong movement against the re-opening of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mines following catastrophic 2014 spill.

The post First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Disaster Tourism at the English Bay Oil Spill

By Emily Griffiths

In the wake of the oil spill a few days ago, I set out this morning with my partner to see the aftermath first hand. I really didn’t want to go, because I don’t enjoy feeling depressed or enraged, but denial isn’t a healthy choice, either.

We arrive at English Bay around noon. It’s almost as if nothing has happened. It’s like any Saturday, folks are just out here, doing their thing; people jog, walk, or cycle along the seawall, a mass of tankers blocks the horizon. We know something’s up, though, as a helicopter hovers by (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The BC Oil Spill and the Con Clown James Moore

It couldn't have been a more monstrous or absurd sight.A day after a ship leaked about 3,000 litres of bulk oil into Vancouver's beautiful English Bay, And a few hours after the province's premier and the city's mayor blasted the slow federal response.The monstrous Con beluga James Moore broke through the oily sheen to spout off at his critics. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: British Colombia: Illiterate “cutthroat psychopaths” in the Harper PMO

Embarrassing typos as the illiterate “cutthroat psychopaths” in the Stephen Harper PMO change British Columbia to “British Colombia”.

The post British Colombia: Illiterate “cutthroat psychopaths” in the Harper PMO appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Does a Politician Define Contempt?

If you’ve ever wondered how a really really bad provincial MLA explains how to define contempt for the population, you must watch this.

At least twice!

February 2, 2015 The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped! (0) February 18, 2011 Endorsing Alnoor Gova for the Burnaby-Douglas Federal NDP (3) November 29, 2014 International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders (0) March 18, 2013 #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway (17)

Political Eh-conomy: Minimum wage workers not the only ones getting screwed

I have a populist piece in The Tyee this morning on how last week’s paltry $0.20 minimum wage increase in British Columbia actually reflects stagnant wages across the economy and why the Fight for 15 is everyone’s fight. Here it is in full.

Last week, the B.C. government reacted to the increasing push for a higher minimum wage… by giving minimum wage workers a 20 cent raise. Even Business in Vancouver magazine quoted UBC labour economist David Green calling the new higher wage “laughably low.” What perhaps hasn’t received enough attention is that the two-dime bump in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Reject the Slow Motion Privatization of K-12 in BC

Privatizing education in BC has been largely subtle and hidden. Absurd conflicts like this below [Restricted Vancouver playground access sparks angry exchange between [PRIVATE!] school principal, parent] help the general public see what’s actually been going on for a long time with private schools. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine. Not ours. This is unacceptable!

Note the editor conspicuously omitted the word “private” from the headline’s description of this school principal. Spin alert!

And why have we given a free pass to the premier for sending her child to a private school? That’s not (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Pink Washing: Does This Pink Shirt Really Say Enough?

By Emily Griffiths

Pink Shirt Day is almost upon us. The annual campaign to raise money and “awareness” on the issue of “bullying” takes place on February 25. As this date approaches, I’m sure you’ve noticed an inundation of bright pink. Even at this very moment, I am sipping my tea from a Blenz paper cup, wrapped in a festive Pink Shirt Day cardboard sleeve. Blenz is one of “a bunch of great businesses [that] are holding fundraisers during the month of February with proceeds going to Pink Shirt Day.” Blenz doesn’t actually give money; they just provide us (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?

Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Excuse Your Child from the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)

Well, it’s that time again: Foundation Skills Assessment in BC.

There are so many things wrong with the FSA tests. I won’t go into them here, but you can read about many of them in these places:

Foundation Skills Assessment: Another Dirty Trick The BCTF on the FSAs.

And so you know, the BC Ministry of Education has an information FAQ for parents and a brochure. Neither tells parents that/how they can exempt their students from this silly test. No surprise. While the government “says” it doesn’t support the use of test results for school ranking, the BC (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Cares About Fixing Poverty in BC?

Well, it’s the Poverty Reduction Coalition!

One of their many activities is to send recommendations to the government when the government deigns to ask people for their ideas. The Finance Committee is an all-party committee of the legislature, so the government usually ignores their recommendations.

As citizens, we need to make the government respond to our demands, particularly when legislative committees provide pretty good recommendations!

Here’s what’s going on this year, from the Poverty Reduction Coalition.

Read it, below Then email, phone [250.387.1715], tweet or Facebook the premier and tell her to listen to the Finance Committee (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Shhh, The Bold Revolution Has Started

We live in tumultuous times:

Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper’s racist editorial cartoons, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Pipelines, fracking, dirty energy, tankers The destructive Site-C dam (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion

Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Political Eh-conomy: No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Peace River Valley

No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Here’s a piece I wrote for Ricochet after getting riled up by *some* of the arguments against Site C. The full piece is here.

To shift off fossil fuels we’ll need more large scale, public energy infrastructure

As the movement against pipelines rapidly grows, more and more often you can hear the question, “We know what you’re against. What are you for?” The debate over the future of power generation in British Columbia offers some lessons for how to answer this question and not fall victim to a privatized (Read more…)