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The Common Sense Canadian: To the Ends of the Earth: Filmmaker One-on-One

David Lavallee talks with fellow filmmaker and Common Sense Canadian publisher Damien Gillis about the former’s project, “To the Ends of the Earth”, which connects the dots between society’s hunger for energy and the new wave of extreme fossil fuel projects wreaking havoc around the world. The two discuss the challenges of making a film in remote locations and running a crowdfunder, which Lavallee is currently in the midst of doing to help him finish his film.

From battling the elements to being confronted by CSIS after filming with a drone at Kinder Morgan’s North Burnaby terminal, Lavallee – director of (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible

Naomi Klein and environmental activists will call for a “long term sustainable strategy that leads to renewable energy” during the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in Toronto on July 5.

The post For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Ditch the expensive and risky F-35 fighter jet, Mr. Harper

A new study accuses the Harper govern of mismanaging Canada’s defence procurement, recommends ditching planned purchase of expensive F-35 fighters jets.

The post Ditch the expensive and risky F-35 fighter jet, Mr. Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Pope Francis offers hopeful perspective on global crises, says David Suzuki

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change contains a “scientifically and morally valid call for radical change”, says environmentalist David Suzuki.

The post Pope Francis offers hopeful perspective on global crises, says David Suzuki appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: BC govt hires accounting firm to give fracking a green stamp

A storage pond in northeast BC containing fracking fluids (Image: Two Island Films)

Republished with permission from the ECOreport

There are credible experts who believe that, with proper regulation and enforcement, it is possible to have a trustworthy fracking industry. They also say this does not yet exist in North America. Personally, I think the industry is out of control and BC’s government is desperate to get in bed with it.

Last week the government released a report from Ernst & Young (EY), based upon which Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman says, “British Columbians can have confidence they (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Halt Site C construction until courts have ruled, First Nations demand

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is among the First Nations leaders demanding a halt to Site C construction (D. Gillis)

BC Hydro is intent on bulldozing ahead with Site C Dam construction in the coming weeks, despite seven different federal and provincial court cases currently in progress over the $9 Billion proposed project. That attitude is rubbing First Nations leaders the wrong way.

Hydro above the law?

The First Nations Leadership Council, comprised of the three big provincial First Nations bodies – the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Nations Summit and the BC Assembly of First Nations – came out swinging Thursday in defence (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau’s defence of the Liberals’ support for Bill C-51 Falls flat, Michael Geist says

U of Ottawa professor and Internet law expert, Michael Geist, explains why the Justin Trudeau Liberals “made the wrong choice” by supporting Bill C-51

The post Trudeau’s defence of the Liberals’ support for Bill C-51 Falls flat, Michael Geist says appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Postmedia partners with LNG lobby to sell Woodfibre LNG – latest lapse in journalistic integrity

Resource Works ED and ex-Vancouver Sun deputy editor Stewart Muir (Resource Works – Flickr CC licence)

I am, as readers well know, a babe in the woods when it comes to matters of journalism. Ever naive, I read the papers in awe and know that all times they have my better understanding of affairs at heart.

Well then, imagine my horror when I found that my hopes and dreams had been dashed. I’m like that little boy seeing his idol, Shoeless Joe Jackson, arrested for cheating, mumbling through tears of disappointment, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Here’s how it happened.

About a year (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Exxon disses paltry clean tech subsidies while oil industry takes Trillions from taxpayers

Digital composite by AZRainman (Flickr CC licence)

A recent article quoting executives from Exxon is an incredible example of the misinformation, half-truths and contempt for solutions to climate change that we continue to see from the oil and gas industry.

In response to a question about subsidies for renewables, Theodore Pirog and Robert Gardner, two top dogs at Exxon’s Corporate Strategic Planning department, had this to say: …the government, through tax incentives, is pushing wind and solar, which cannot compete with other energy sources on a level playing field. Over the long term, government subsidies for energy production and policies that pick (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Pope Francis changes game with environmental message

Pope Francis (Catholic Church of England / Flickr)

Earth has existed for 4.5 billion years, humans for somewhere around 150,000. But in my brief lifetime — less than 80 years — human populations have exploded exponentially, from two billion to more than seven billion. In that short time, we’ve created consumer societies and decimated the planet’s natural systems, used up resources, filled oceans with plastic and pollution, altered water cycles, and upset the Earth’s carbon cycle, disrupting global climate systems.

Welcome to the Anthropocene

Our impacts on this small blue planet have been so rapid, widespread and profound that (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Richmond Council, Delta MLA question Fraser River LNG tankers

Harold Steves and fellow Richmond councillors voted unanimously for a public review of LNG tankers (Damien Gillis)

Richmond Council yesterday unanimously passed a motion calling for a full environmental review on plans to run over 200 LNG vessels a year up the Fraser River. The move comes in reaction to attempts by proponent WesPac to skip a proper, public review of the its proposal for an LNG terminal on the Fraser River.

How LNG Tankers would turn from from WesPac Tilbury Marine Jetty (Project Description – CEAA Summary)

Richmond Council’s vote follows a strongly-worded op-ed by local Delta South MLA Vicky Huntington in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Tar Sands Documentary: To the Ends of the Earth

A documentary warning of the consequences of the unbridled expansion of Canada’s destructive tar sands, and the rise of extreme energy, is in the works.

The post Tar Sands Documentary: To the Ends of the Earth appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Jon Stewart Disects Charleston Terrorist Attack, Its Rhodesia Inspiration

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart got serious about the racist Charleston church shooting, racial hypocrisy and the terrorist’s apparent Rhodesia inspiration.

The post Jon Stewart Disects Charleston Terrorist Attack, Its Rhodesia Inspiration appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper says LNG tankers too dangerous for East Coast, but OK for BC?

I live on Howe Sound in lovely Lions Bay. I have lived my entire life in British Columbia, growing up in Vancouver and spending much of my boyhood on this lovely fjord.

Howe Sound belongs to all of us. It had been all but destroyed by industry until 20 years ago when rehabilitation was started with the closing of mills and Britannia Mines. Thanks to the work of citizen/volunteers it was enormously successful. We now have the salmon runs dramatically increased, herring runs back to where they used to be, and killer whales, which were so prevalent when I (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Anonymous Attacks Harper Government Websites In Bill C-51 Protest

Hacktivist collective Anonymous downs several Canadian government websites as part of a protest against Harper’s secret police force legislation, Bill C-51

The post Anonymous Attacks Harper Government Websites In Bill C-51 Protest appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Senate expenses scandal “the most Canadian of scandals”: John Oliver

For comedian John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Canada’s Senate expenses scandal is “the most Canadian of scandals”.

The post Senate expenses scandal “the most Canadian of scandals”: John Oliver appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: BC not ready for major oil spill, minister admits after Vancouver diesel spill

Minster Mary Polak Announces BC will move ahead on world-leading spill response team (BC govt)

Republished with permission from the ECOreport.

Within hours of Vancouver’s second oil spill of the year, BC Environment Minister Mary Polak was reassuring the public that the province will move ahead on a “world-leading” spill response team.

1,000 gallons of diesel

Fishermen’s Wharf in Vancouver – approximate location of diesel spill (Ruth Hartnup/Flickr)

An estimated 1,000 gallons of diesel spilled into the area around Fishermen’s Wharf late Sunday night. The accident was reported at 10:30 p.m. and, because the federal government closed Kitsilano Coast Guard station, (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian: BC not ready for major oil spill, minister admits after Vancouver diesel spill

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: The values of hope and happiness

David Suzuki on how our tendency to seek solace in material things as a reaction to threats such as terrorism and climate change causes more insecurity.

The post David Suzuki: The values of hope and happiness appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives ask Liberals to “apologize for decades of racism”

The Harper Conservatives accuse the Liberals of “decades of racism” dating back to Liberal PM Mackenzie King, who served from 1921 to 1930 and 1935 to 1948.

The post Conservatives ask Liberals to “apologize for decades of racism” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair: Civil disobedience against LNG plans is a must

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

It’s time to fish or cut bait, folks.

We’ve learned that some 200 LNG tankers and barges are slated to use the lower Fraser River and the company, WesPac, doesn’t even feel the public deserves a say through a proper environmental assessment.

We’re told by the company that LNG tankers have a 50 year safety record so there is naught to worry about. You should know, however, that the company lies through its teeth by leaving out four rather important words “on the high seas“.

(Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Fraser River LNG tankers carry explosive risk – Last chance for public comment

How LNG Tankers would turn from from WesPac Tilbury Marine Jetty (Project Description – CEAA Summary)

This article is republished with permission from The ECOreport.

Building a major LNG terminal in Delta would have a big impact on the mouth of the Fraser River. The diagram at the top of this page shows how LNG tankers would come into, and leave, the proposed WesPack Tilbury Marine Jetty. Even with the help of tugboats, they need most of the Fraser River’s width to turn around.

The National Energy Board has already granted an export license for a facility that could bring (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Fracking industry stonewalled EPA on data for safety assessment

Chemical and water mixing for hydraulic fracturing (Joshua Doubek/Creative Commons)

Republished with permission from The ECOreport.

After five years of research, the EPA’s painfully inadequate fracking assessment has been released. “It’s a bit underwhelming,” said Amanda Frank, from the Center for Effective Government. Dr Allan Hoffman, a retired senior analyst with the Department of Energy, referred to the draft report as “disappointing.” They were referring to the extent that industry was allowed to thwart the EPA investigation.

Said Hoffman:

My general reaction is ‘why bother?’ I have a lot of compassion for EPA, they must have really struggled (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Federal court ruling threatens bottom line for salmon farms

On May 6th, Justice Donald J. Rennie of the Federal Court ruled against Marine Harvest Canada and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, confirming that the transfer of young salmon infected with piscine reovirus into ocean net-pens was illegal. This victory by Alexandra Morton and her Ecojustice lawyers was dismissed by aquaculture giant Marine Harvest as having merely administrative effects that will not impair “the company’s day to day business” or impede “the ongoing transfer of farm-raised salmon between facilities in B.C.” But Justice Rennie’s ruling could have major implications for both salmon farming and wild salmon.

First, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: TRC report: Canadian party leaders avoided term “cultural genocide”

Last week’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report called Canada’s residential school policy “cultural genocide”. Reacting, both Trudeau and Mulcair avoided mentioning the two loaded words.

The post TRC report: Canadian party leaders avoided term “cultural genocide” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: “Captured” environmental regulator thinks of Kitimat smelter owner Rio Tinto as “client”

Rio Tinto Alcan’s Kitimat smelter (Rio Tinto Alcan/Canada Newswire)

Rweprinted with permission from DeSmog Canada.

Move over Duffy diaries. There’s a new black book in town.

That’s the detailed work journal of B.C. Ministry of Environment senior official Frazer McKenzie, which recounts conversations between ministry officials and Rio Tinto Alcan while the company was applying for a permit to increase aluminum production at its Kitimat smelter.

“Frazer McKenzie was a diligent and thorough employee. He documented ongoings with Rio Tinto Alcan within government that we’d otherwise never know about,” lawyer Chris Tollefson told DeSmog Canada.

The hen guarding the fox house

(Read more…)