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The Common Sense Canadian: Canada, Quebec’s political leaders blind to clean tech revolution

Part 1 of a 2-part story from innovation expert Will Dubitsky on Canada’s missed opportunity to build a prosperous green economy.

The ardent defenders of our resource economy are in no way limited to the climate skeptics who support TransCanada’s Energy East project, the Keystone XL pipeline and the tripling of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline capacity to Vancouver. There are also much larger and perhaps more influential groups of traditional resource economy supporters – the greenwashers such as Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the majority of mainstream journalists, economists, Bay Streeters and more.

These stakeholders would have us believe that with a little tinkering of the status quo, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Leah Parsons’ Message To The Man Who Assaulted Her Daughter Rehtaeh

In a victim impact statement, Leah Parsons said the voice of her late daughter, Rehtaeh, “was not heard while she struggled to be heard, but it sure is now.”

The post Leah Parsons’ Message To The Man Who Assaulted Her Daughter Rehtaeh appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Oil prices drop as global warming rises: Suzuki

Cheaper gas means more fill-ups at the pump

With oil prices plunging from more than $100 a barrel last summer to below $50 now, the consequences of a petro-fuelled economy are hitting home — especially in Alberta, where experts forecast a recession. The province’s projected budget surplus has turned into a $500-million deficit on top of a $12-billion debt, with predicted revenue losses of $11 billion or more over the next three or four years if prices stay low or continue to drop as expected.

Alberta’s government is talking about service reductions, public-sector wage and job cuts and even (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: LNG shocker: Squamish rejects pipeline builder’s drilling permit

Squamish council rejects Fortis BC application for test drilling (Instagram/ Dan Prisk)

In a surprising show of municipal political power – even in a region that has demonstrated strong misgivings regarding proposed LNG development – Squamish council has rejected Fortis BC’s controversial permit application for test drilling in a Wildlife Management Area.

The vote came at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which revisited an earlier discussion regarding Fortis’ planned pipeline expansion to feed the Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish, proposed by Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto.

Plan gets bogged down in sensitive area

Proposed Woodfibre LNG plant

The application – which sought permits for (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: CRA Guts Dying With Dignity’s Long-Standing Charitable Status

Leading death with dignity lobby group announced Tuesday that it’s losing its charitable status after a recent political-activity audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The post CRA Guts Dying With Dignity’s Long-Standing Charitable Status appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Why BC Hydro always overestimates future power demand: Economist

What BC Hydro says about its own work clearly establishes the forecast as a foundation document for future planning for new generation and distribution investments:

Load forecasting is central to BC Hydro’s long-term planning, medium-term investment, and short-term operational and forecasting activities. (1)

Because of this importance, the forecast needs to be as accurate as possible and that is where matters get interesting.

Getting the numbers wrong

An illustration of getting the numbers wrong can be seen on page 21 of the 2012 Load Forecast: “Comparison of 2011 and 2012 Forecasts”. There is a forecasting error of about 4% in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian Environmental Group Uses Satire To Highlight Energy East Pipeline Risks

Environmental Defence’s “Great Canadian Migrations” satirical video says grave risks posed by TransCanada’s proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline include climate change and oil spills

The post Canadian Environmental Group Uses Satire To Highlight Energy East Pipeline Risks appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma

World-renowned environmentalist David Suzuki wonders whether Canadian mining and fossil fuel profiteers and their government promoters believe in the future.

The post David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Anonymous Targets Montreal Police For Attacking The Homeless

Online hacktivist collective Anonymous has declared war on the Montreal Police after the force bulldozed a homeless shelter in Viger Square.

The post Anonymous Targets Montreal Police For Attacking The Homeless appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Carbon Year: Pressure building for real global climate pact

French President Francois Hollande is pressuring Stephen Harper ahead of Paris climate talks (Twitter/@pmharper)

The pressure is building to reduce global carbon emissions. At each meeting of the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP), the urgency becomes more palpable.

The Lima meeting of COP 20 in December, 2014, failed to reach the preliminary commitments necessary for the binding international agreements expected at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December, 2015. France is getting nervous because its reputation will be sullied if the Paris COP is a failure — French President Francois Holland made this very clear to Prime (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Man Implicated Rehtaeh Parsons Sexual Assault Spared Jail

A judge in Nova Scotia has decided that there will be no jail term for one of the four boys implicated in the fatal gang-rape and online shaming of Rehtaeh Parsons.

The post Man Implicated Rehtaeh Parsons Sexual Assault Spared Jail appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma

A Toronto March in solidarity with Guatemalan Goldcorp protestors (Photo: Allan Lissner)

It sometimes seems people in the mining and fossil fuel industries — along with their government promoters — don’t believe in the future. What else could explain the mad rush to extract and use up the Earth’s resources as quickly and wastefully as possible?

Mining production doubles globally

Global mining production, including fossil fuels, has almost doubled since 1984, from just over nine-billion tonnes to almost 17-billion in 2012, with the greatest increases over the past 10 years.

It’s partly to meet rising demand from expanding human (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Public-Private Partnerships a bad deal for BC: Finance Ministry report

P3 skytrain construction by SNC-Lavalin killed many businesses on Vancouver’s Cambie St. (Wikipedia)

The following is republished with permission from Policy Note – the blog of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC office.

By Keith Reynolds

The BC Finance Ministry has produced a report much more critical of Partnerships BC and its activities around public private partnerships (P3s) than might have been expected by a province so committed to the practice. It raises issues of conflict of interest, dubious practices and questionable assumptions in the multi- billion dollar program. The story has received no media coverage.

While it is likely the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Energy shift requires shift in conversation

The infrastructure already developed to accommodate cheap fossil fuels creates a psychological barrier to rational discourse on energy issues, says David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Energy shift requires shift in conversation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Why Site C Dam isn’t a done deal

Damien Gillis and Kootenay Co-op Radio’s Keith Wiley discuss the hurdles still facing Site C Dam following the BC Liberal government’s approval of the project before Christmas. From 6 lawsuits to mounting financial challenges, Gillis explains why the $9 Billion-plus project is far from a done deal.

First broadcast on Jan 6 on Kootenay Co-op Radio’s EcoCentric program (25 min).

The post Why Site C Dam isn’t a done deal appeared first on The Common Sense Canadian.

The Canadian Progressive: Online Freedom of Speech Under Seige In “Democracies” Too

Legal suppression of online freedom of speech increasing in both repressive regimes and western democracies, writes Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The post Online Freedom of Speech Under Seige In “Democracies” Too appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Woodfibre LNG proponent has history of fraud, tax evasion

Sukanto Tanoto (right), the man behind the proposed Woodfibre LNG project

Permit me to make some observations about the LNG situation in Squamish. What the people of Howe Sound do is their affair. I can only give them the benefit, if any, of my experience over the years.

We are not dealing here with honest people – it is not hyperbolic to call them crooks. The powers behind Woodfibre LNG have been convicted of large tax evasion and substantial environmental degradation. Sukanto Tanoto, his family and associates have been consorts of the worst sort of financial manipulators in Indonesia – (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: To limit global warming, 85% of Canada’s tar sands must stay in the ground: Study

A new study published in the scientific journal Nature says 85% of Canada’s dirty tar sands must “remain in the ground” to limit global warming.

The post To limit global warming, 85% of Canada’s tar sands must stay in the ground: Study appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Squamish Council faces lawsuits from both sides in LNG pipeline dispute

Citizens line the Sea to Sky Highway to protest Woodfibre LNG (My Sea to Sky)

Former District of Squamish Councillor Meg Fellowes addresses current mayor and council over Fortis BC’s controversial application to conduct test drilling in a wildlife management area. The drilling is in connection to a planned pipeline expansion to feed gas to the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish. At a Tuesday meeting, council deferred its decision on the drilling permit issue, to be revisited in 2 weeks.

Mayor and Council – District of Squamish (Dos): Council is caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is a possible (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: President Obama Threatens To Veto Congress’ Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

U.S. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a Congressional bill that would force the approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The post President Obama Threatens To Veto Congress’ Keystone XL Pipeline Bill appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: 2015: Year of reckoning for Canada’s fossil fuel economy

On Monday, as Canadians got back to work following the holidays, the price for crude oil dipped below $50/barrel for the first time since 2009, offering a glimpse of the profound changes in store for the country in 2015. With some $60 Billion in oil/tar sands projects now in peril – harkening back to “dark days” of decades past – this federal election year promises to put the fossil fuel-dominant economic vision of Canada’s political leaders to the test.

Good news, bad news

Burnaby Mountain protests (Dan Pierce)

If 2014 was the year of the pipeline protest, 2015 may advance the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Assata Shakur: “I am a 20th century escaped slave”

Cuba-based black revolutionary Assata Shakur says she fled “from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.”

The post Assata Shakur: “I am a 20th century escaped slave” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: West, Weyler team up to battle Kinder Morgan

Ben West addressing a Vancouver crowd about Kinder Morgan in 2012 (Damien Gillis)

There’s big news on the environmental front!

Ben West, the eminent young environmentalist until now with Forest Ethics and, before that, the Wilderness Committee, has joined Rex Weyler fighting tanker traffic on the BC coast through Tanker Free BC. This makes a very potent combination indeed. (Full disclosure: My colleague, Common Sense Canadian publisher Damien Gillis, is a founding board member of TFBC along with Mr. Weyler).

For those who may not know, Rex Weyler was a founder of Greenpeace International and its biographer. He has been active in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadians still demand female representation on banknotes

The call for more female representation in Canada remains loud and clear as an online petition demanding that the Bank of Canada include women on Canadian banknotes opens 2015 with more than 52,800 signatures.

The post Canadians still demand female representation on banknotes appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Compassion creates happiness, freedom and better relationships

Kozo Hattori, a writer and counselor, explains how compassion creates happiness, freedom from gender stereotypes, and better relationships with others.

The post Compassion creates happiness, freedom and better relationships appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.