BC’s Great Bear Rainforest (photo: Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild)
Canada is blessed with some of the last vestiges of pristine nature on Earth – unbroken forests, coastlines and prairies, thousands of rivers, streams and lakes, open skies, abundant fresh air. Many of us live in urban areas, but our spectacular landscapes are embedded in our history and culture. They define and shape us as people.
We are also defined by our Constitution, which is far more than a set of legal prescriptions. It embodies our highest aspirations and values. As our nation’s top law, one would expect it to reflect (Read more…)
Ex-Harper appointee Mark Jaccard trashed the Conservatives’ support of the tar sands industry during a key Keystone XL summit in Washington D.C. on Monday.
The post Ex-Harper adviser blasts Keystone XL, calls Canada a “rogue state” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
WASHINGTON – A former Harper government appointee used a keynote speech at a Washington event Monday to trample Canadian authorities’ message on oil pipelines while describing the country as an environmental “rogue state.”
Mark Jaccard became one of the first people nominated by the Conservatives to the environmental file when he was named in 2006 to the federal government’s now-defunct National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
Seven years later, the environmental economist delivered a lengthy rebuke of Canada’s climate-change performance at Monday’s event while the Obama administration grapples with whether to approve the Alberta-U.S. pipeline.
BC Energy Minister Bill Bennett
How do you know when a politician’s lying?
When you see his/her lips move.
Bill Bennett, the BC Hydro point man in the government, tells us that there will be a 28% increase in Hydro charges over the next few years, which NDP critic John Horgan says will raise a family’s costs by $300 dollars annually.
The NDP sent out a fundraising plea last week “to fund our work to protect British Columbians from these gigant rate hikes.” Simply campaigning to kill the increases without getting to the root of the matter will do nothing to (Read more…)
This is what ShitHarperDid activists had to say Wednesday during a peaceful protest against Harper’s $1.2B CSEC complex in Ottawa: “I SPY A WASTE OF MONEY”
The post Harper’s new $1.2B CSEC spy complex “a waste of money”: ShitHarperDid appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
When Prime Minister Harper is challenged on his environmental record, one of his standard replies is that between economic development and sustainable development, he must give priority to the economy. While it suits Harper’s ideological agenda to imply that economic and environmental objectives are opposing forces, the facts suggest otherwise.
In 2011, there were 372,000 people working in the nation’s clean energy sectors and the projections are such that these numbers are expected to be in the 400,000 to 500,000 range by 2020. Canada falling far behing world leaders like Germany
Indeed, as indicated in my previous Common Sense Canadian articles, (Read more…)
Stephen Harper is trying hard to convince other nations not to shun Tar Sands bitumen (Adrian Wyld/CP)
by Bruce Cheadle
OTTAWA – The Conservative government is spending $40 million this year to advertise Canada’s natural resource sector — principally oil and gas — at home and abroad.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver revealed the figure Wednesday as his department seeks another $12.9 million to augment an international campaign designed to portray Canada as a stable and environmentally responsible source of energy.
That will bring NRCan’s 2013-14 ad budget to about $40 million — $24 million for advertising abroad and (Read more…)
Fisheries expert Otto Langer and MLA Vicki Huntington take on Fraser River jet fuel plan (Brad Densmore)
A group of BC politicians and community leaders held an emergency meeting yesterday near the mouth of the Fraser River, in the Richmond community of Steveston, to voice their concerns about the plan to build a jet fuel terminal, tank farm and pipeline on the banks of Canada’s largest salmon river.
Independent MLA for nearby riding Delta South, Vicki Huntington, a vocal critic of the project in the Legislature, was joined by Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, retired DFO scientist Otto Langer, and the community group VAPOR (Read more…)
Friends of the Earth-UK shows its solidarity with the Arctic 30
Early November marked the 18th anniversary of the tragic murder of outspoken writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight colleagues by the Nigerian government. Saro-Wiwa and the others had waged a long campaign to stop multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell from drilling in the lands of the Ogoni people in the Niger delta.
Nigerian military harassed and intimidated members of the Ogoni community for years because they opposed Shell’s drilling program. Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues defended their communities and local environment from a notoriously toxic industry. In (Read more…)
The days of the family farm are numbered if we don’t act to protect BC’s ALR now, says ex-Minister Corky Evans
by Corky Evans
Imagine that you might, someday, want to farm for a living. Or imagine your kids might want to farm, or your grandkids. All over the world such dreams become harder and harder to achieve as land capable of supporting crops is paved over for roads or built into shopping centers or houses or is used for industry.
In B.C. during the 1960’s and early 70’s, we lost 6,000 acres of farmland every year to subdivisions (Read more…)
A new study is drawing attention to the health problems being faced by a First Nations community living near one of Canada’s most industrialized areas.
Members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation living on a reserve near Sarnia, Ont., have long suspected harmful chemicals were behind an unusually low male birth rate and slew of other reported health issues.
Now, tests performed by a McGill University professor suggest mothers and children are being exposed to higher-than-average levels of harmful hormone-blocking pollutants.
While the study doesn’t prove that the pollutants are to blame for earlier research that found baby girls outnumbered (Read more…)
Hurricane Earl strikes Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, in 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)
David Suzuki Foundation supporters who live in Western Canada often have eyes riveted on Ottawa to see what the federal government’s next move will be when it comes to environmental issues. So we sometimes too easily overlook Canadians in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador – coastal regions, like ours, on the front lines of climate change.
As oceans warm, water expands and sea levels rise. Melting glaciers, icebergs and ice sheets add to the water volume. Scientists predict oceans could rise by more than a metre before the (Read more…)
Asian investment explodes in BC’s LNG market, rivalling the scale of resource development in the tarsands, as new trade deals threaten to entrench foreign state ownership of Canada’s key energy assets.
“The relationship is suffering,” or so goes the mantra in our mainstream press.
For the last number of months, politicians, media and the talking heads have repeated the story that foreign investment – read Chinese – has fallen of a cliff and bi-lateral relations are frosty due to Harper’s “tough” new, yet undisclosed, policies on investments from foreign state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) in particular.
Chief among the irritants causing the Chinese-Canadian bilateral “suffering” (Read more…)
New documents released by the RCMP suggest that the Senate expenses scandal is closing in on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
The post Senate scandal: New RCMP docs suggest Harper is “guilty of corruption” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
by Emma Gilchrist – cross-post from Desmog Canada
Nov. 19th, 2013. A Tuesday. The day started out sunny, but hail fell out of the sky in the afternoon. It was a Victoria day like any other until I found out the Canadian government has been vigorously spying on several Canadian organizations that work for environmental protections and democratic rights.
I read the news in the Vancouver Observer. There, front and centre, was the name of the organization I worked for until recently: Dogwood Initiative.
My colleagues and I had been wary of being spied on for a long (Read more…)
by Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The House approved a bill Wednesday aimed at speeding up drilling for oil and natural gas.
The measure was one of three energy measures the House was considering this week as Republicans controlling the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that’s lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.
Another bill expected to win approval later Wednesday would restrict the Interior Department from enforcing proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands. A third bill (Read more…)
Damien Gillis stitches together the big picture of the impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the fracking from which it would derive if the BC Liberal Government’s vision to build five plants on BC’s coast goes forward.
From a Nov.18 discussion at Vancouver’s SFU Harbour Centre – alongside the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ben Parfitt. Hosted by Council of Canadians.
The post LNG in a Nutshell appeared first on The Common Sense Canadian.
The only thing keeping profits afloat for a number of Norwegian salmon farms in Canada is the hundreds of millions of dollars they net from taxpayers when their fish die of disease.
You might think the multi-billion dollar fish farm industry was a licence to print money. You’d be almost right, but not for the reason you might think. Norwegian aquaculture giants Marine Harvest, Cermaq Mainstream and Grieg Seafood comprise 90% of BC’s farmed salmon industry and Marine Harvest operates in 22 countries. What you don’t know is that taxpayers, meaning you and me, pay big money to them when (Read more…)
A new report by the Pembina Institute and Équiterre warns that the rapid pace of Alberta tar sands development poses economic risks to Canada, other provinces.
The post Alberta Tar Sands Boom Poses Economic Risks to Canada: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Four frackwater pits in Talisman’s Farrell Creek operations in northeast BC – photo taken in March. Pond A, on the far right, suffered a rupture, leaking contaminants into the soil and groundwater (Two Island Films)
by Damien Gillis and Will Koop
A pit storing contaminated fracking water in northeast BC was leaking into the surrounding soil and groundwater for up to six months before owner Talisman formally notified the Oil and Gas Commission and undertook clean-up efforts, The Common Sense Canadian has learned.
One of five lined pits connected to Talisman’s Farrell Creek operations north of Hudson’s Hope, referred to as (Read more…)
A new study released today at the UN climate conference underway in Warsaw, Poland finds that new coal plants cannot be built if we are to keep global warming below the 2° Celsius threshold.
That is, unless the coal industry can deploy commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The report, titled: New unabated coal is not compatible with keeping global warming below 2°C, finds that of all the fossil fuels, coal is the easiest to substitute with renewable technologies and that:
The current global trend of coal use is consistent with an emissions pathway above the IEA’s [International Energy (Read more…)
More than 150 protesters gathered on Parliament Hill today as part of the Canada-wide “Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities” national day of action against climate change and tar sands expansion.
The post In Ottawa, Hundreds Demand Action To “Defend Our Climate”, Communities appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.