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The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Runaway Simushir may be safe now; BC’s coast is anything but

The Simushir under tow from US tugboat Barbara Foss (via Maritime Forces Pacific Facebook)

The incapacitation of a Russian cargo vessel off Haida Gwaii caused great panic amongst all of us who watched the events unfold over the past weekend. The seas were very heavy – not an unusual state of affairs for that part of the world at this and other times of the year.

For very good reason, the Haida Nation was extremely worried and upset about the developments. It looked up for a while is if they might have to deal with this themselves and, course, although they (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper’s new fish farm laws would open floodgates to waste dumping

The following is a letter by salmon farming critic and Common Sense Canadian contributor DC Reid to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his government’s proposed gutting of aquaculture regulations, which would enable virtually unrestricted dumping of fish farm waste into our oceans. The public can comment on the proposed changes until October 22 by emailing: fpptr-rtppp@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Dear Stephen Harper et al,

Yardstick standing upright in waste layer below fish farm, up to 32 inch mark (Friends of Port Mouton Bay)

The people of BC do not want fish farms in our ocean anymore, so we do not want your (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Evidence shows no need for Site C Dam: Economist to Energy Minister

Energy Minister Bill Bennett

Dear Minister;

I know you have heard it all so I guess it is now all about the legacy you and your cabinet colleagues are willing to create. Thinking in terms of demand for electricity in BC, the reported record of sales by BC Hydro has flat-lined at about 50,000 GWhrs between 2008 and now. BC Hydro reports sales for four categories of customers.

Even with a 1.2% annual population growth, as estimated by BC Statistics, sales on a per capital basis are have been trending lower. It is a fact, long denied by the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian-American feminist cancels talk after “Montreal Massacre style” threat

Anita Sarkeesian, a prominent Canadian-American feminist cultural critic, was forced to cancel an appearance at Utah State University after receiving threats of a Montreal Massacre-style attack.

The post Canadian-American feminist cancels talk after “Montreal Massacre style” threat appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Pristine Coast doc reveals surprising, untold history of salmon farms

My first brush with the fish farming industry on our coast came around 2000 when I was broadcasting for CKNW. At that point, this was considered to be a “good” industry because their product would ease the pressure on the wild salmon.

The big issue became the escape of Atlantic salmon from the farms which were entering B.C. rivers and spawning. This was denied by the government but easily proved by the work of Dr. John Volpe, a fish biologist who was a regular guest on my show.

Enter sea lice, Morton

Alexandra Morton displays pink salmon smolt with (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper govt joins BC in backing Site C, despite “significant adverse environmental effects”

Bear Flat in northeast BC’s Peace Valley – which would be flooded by Site C Dam (Damien Gillis)

Read this October 14 story from Larry Pynn in the Vancouver Sun on the Harper Cabinet’s conditional approval of the controversial, proposed Site C Dam in BC.

B.C. Hydro’s planned $7.9-billion Site C dam on the Peace River should proceed with conditions despite the likelihood of “significant adverse environmental effects,” the Canadian government announced Tuesday.

The fate of the long-touted and controversial megaproject now rests with the B.C. cabinet, with a decision expected by November.

In announcing Ottawa’s decision, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Site C gets BC certificate; Feds, First Nations leave project in doubt

Location of proposed Site C Dam (photo: Damien Gillis)

Read this Oct. 14 story by William Stodalka in the Alaska Highway News on the BC Liberal government’s decision to issue its environmental certificate for the highly controversial proposed Site C Dam.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has approved an environmental assessment certificate for the Site C project.

The Federal government has yet to issue a decision about the proposed hydroelectric dam near Fort St. John, and the provincial government may still turn down the project, even though the environmental assessment certificate has been issued.

This recent decision will likely (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: As California drought drives up BC food prices…a dam to flood our best farmland?

California’s Central Valley is facing record drought conditions

As British Columbians share a meal this weekend, giving thanks for the food with which we are so blessed, year-round, let us pause for a moment to consider where so much of it comes from: California.

Let us also say a prayer for the last truly productive tracts of local farmland we have left, now threatened by industrial development – first and foremost being the Peace River Valley, in northeast BC, where the proposed Site C Dam could wash away enough good agricultural terrain to feed a million people.

BC depends on (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: It’s been all downhill since 1978, when real “prosperity” peaked

We never had it so good as 1978, says a new report on historical “prosperity”

“The good ol’ days”, is seems, were 40 years ago. A recent study of global wealth by the Australian National University — it analyzed the quality of life in 17 countries representing over half the world’s population — revealed that prosperity peaked in 1978 and has been declining ever since (NewScientist, July 13/13).

The study’s conclusion was that “social and environmental woes have outpaced the growth of monetary wealth” More to life than GDP

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the sum of all the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s “anti-democratic” Fair Elections Act challenged in court

Activists led by the Council of Canadians have filed a Charter challenge to the Conservatives’ Fair Elections Act or Bill C-23 in the Ontario Superior Court.

The post Harper’s “anti-democratic” Fair Elections Act challenged in court appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Tories will win in 2015 on Iraq position; what does that mean for Canada, environment?

Stephen Harper addressing UN Security Council (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The environmental policy of Ottawa will now depend upon what the Tories desire for the next five years.

Why do I say that?

Because their position on Iraq is the correct one and will win them the 2015 election. Canadians simply cannot abandon 100,000 Christians who will be killed if they don’t convert to Islam. They cannot ignore the creation of a new state made up of wild-eyed religious nuts prepared to decapitate those who don’t agree with them.

Proposed intervention gets the usual knee-jerk reaction from the NDP, laced with an (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Red Chris Mine: First Nations win round 1 with Imperial Metals in court

Tahltan and Secwepemc First Nations and supporters celebrate at the BC Supreme Court (contributed)

BC First Nations added a small but potentially significant notch to their legal winning streak yesterday, with a temporary victory over Imperial Metals in BC Supreme Court.

The company was seeking an interlocutory injunction and enforcement order enabling it to have Tahltan Nation protesters immediate, forcibly removed from a blockade of Red Chris Mine, Imperial’s lastest venture, in northwest BC’s Sacred Headwaters.

Red Chris Mine under construction (Unuk River Post)

After hearing from the company’s lawyers and three First Nations women fromt he Tahltan and Secwepemc Nations, Justice Grauer refused (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Principled Abstention: Why Liberal MP Irwin Cotler Abstained From Iraq War Vote

Did Liberal MP Irwin Cotler rebel against party leader Justin Trudeau when he abstained from Tuesday’s House of Commons vote on Harper’s decision to drag Canada into an unwinnable military campaign in Iraq?

The post Principled Abstention: Why Liberal MP Irwin Cotler Abstained From Iraq War Vote appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: 70 of Canadians support a national moratorium on fracking: POLL

A new poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians reveals that an overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose fracking, support “a national moratorium on fracking until it is scientifically proven to be safe.”

The post 70 of Canadians support a national moratorium on fracking: POLL appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Imperial Metals asks court to remove Red Chris Mine blockade

First Nations have been protesting several Imperial Metals mines since Mount Polley (Photo: Facebook)

Imperial Metals, the company behind the Mount Polley tailing pond disaster, is seeking an injunction today at the BC Supreme Court to forcibly remove Tahltan First Nations protestors from a blockade of the company’s newest project, Red Chris Mine.

In a media advisory this morning, the leaders of the Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp – established near Mount Polley mine by a group of local Secwepemc First Nations following the largest tailings pond spill in history – announced a protest of the injunction proceedings outside the Vancouver court house where they (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC sitting on enough geothermal to power whole province: New maps

Steam rising from the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station in Iceland (Photo: Gretar Ívarsson / Wikipedia)

By Erin Flegg – republished with permission from desmog.ca

At a time when B.C.’s politicians are considering flooding the Peace Valley for the Site C hydroelectric dam, a new project by the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association says the province could be sitting on a figurative gold mine of power with low environmental impact.

The project used publicly available data to produce a database of maps and supporting information that show all the areas in B.C. that have the potential to produce geothermal energy. The (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives urged to respect Federal Court’s ruling on refugee health care

A group of doctors dedicated to strengthening and improving Canada’s universal publicly-funded health care system is urging the Conservatives to drop their appeal against the Federal Court’s recent ruling on refugee health care funding.

The post Conservatives urged to respect Federal Court’s ruling on refugee health care appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Watershed Moment: Damien Gillis on Fracking, LNG, Site C @ Capilano

Fracking operations in northeast BC use enormous volumes of water (Photo: Damien Gillis)

Filmmaker and Common Sense Canadian publisher Damien Gillis takes us on a multi-media journey to northeast BC – the heart of the province’s industrial landscape – to better understand the implications of the government’s energy policy on our water, climate, and collective future.

Featuring highlights from the forthcoming documentary film, Fractured Land and an in-depth examination of fracking, liquefied natural gas plans, and the proposed Site C Dam.

WHEN

Oct. 8, 7-9 PM

WHERE

Bosa Film Centre, Capilano University – North Vancouver (see map)

MORE (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Ex-TD Bank Comptroller: Site C Dam too costly, unnecessary, rushed

Site C Dam will unnecessarily cost taxpayers billions, says one financial expert

The following is a transcript of Rob Botterell’s recent speech to the BC Select Committee on Finance and Government Services. Mr. Botterell is a lawyer, former senior government official and former comptroller of TD Bank’s BC division.

I’m here today to talk about the pending Site C decision and the budget and fiscal implications. This project will be the biggest public infrastructure project in the next 20 years if it proceeds. It’s estimated, currently, to cost $8 billion, which would increase the provincial debt by over 10 percent. (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau “cannot and will not” support Harper’s Iraq war motion

Responding to Harper’s Iraq war motion, introduced Friday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said his party “cannot and will not support this Prime Minister’s motion.”

The post Trudeau “cannot and will not” support Harper’s Iraq war motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Responds To Harper’s Iraq War Motion

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May agrees with Harper that “Canada cannot stand on the sidelines,” but warns that “bombings have never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist terrorist threat.”

The post Elizabeth May Responds To Harper’s Iraq War Motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: China’s war on coal means lots more renewable energy…and fracking

Shale gas is a big component of China’s future energy plans

China has declared war on coal and coal consumption is down as a result. But this coal war offers some good news, some not so good news for Canada, and some bad news, all at the same time.

China turns to clean tech, fracking

The good news pertains to: 1) China having become an unparalleled leader and investor in the global migration to a the green economy; and 2) China’s ongoing adoption of ambitious new policies and targets to accelerate this migration at a spellbinding rate.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned good (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: #GlobalNoDrones: First global day of action against surveillance and killer drones

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, thousands of people around the world are expected to protest the burgeoning use of drones for surveillance and extrajudicial killings.

The post #GlobalNoDrones: First global day of action against surveillance and killer drones appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Speech Announces Canada’s Air Strikes Against ISIS

Here’s an unedited text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech in the House of Commons on Friday, announcing Canada’s air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

The post Harper Speech Announces Canada’s Air Strikes Against ISIS appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.