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The Common Sense Canadian: Govt fears losing LNG, fracking social licence to social media: Internal briefing note

Rich Coleman tries to conjure up some good LNG PR with this youtube video (BC govt youtube page)

The BC government is worried it can’t control the way fracking and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are being criticized through social media, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveal.

As a result, the Liberal administration fears losing the “social licence” required to advance its LNG strategy – the core policy of its recent election platform and economic vision.

The June, 2014 briefing note (view full document here) was dug up by Propeller Strategy, a non-profit group with a focus on environmental and public (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Ernst wins right to sue Alberta govt over fracking water contamination

Environmental consultant Jessica Ernst on her land in Alberta (Colin Smith photo)

An Alberta woman has the right to sue the provincial environment ministry for allegedly failing to properly investigate water contamination she says Encana’s hydraulic fracturing caused on her property, a Calgary judge has ruled.

Jessica Ernst launched a $33-million lawsuit in 2011 against Alberta Environment, the province’s energy regulator and energy company Encana.

She claims gas wells fracked around her land in Rosebud, Alta., about 120 kilometres northeast of Calgary, released hazardous amounts of methane and ethane gas and other chemicals into her water well.

Ernst claims there (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Shell promises “green” LNG…we can trust them, right?

Christy Clark and Marvin Odum, President Shell Oil Company at recent BC LNG conference (BC govt flickr)

I’m sure, like me, you were excited to read in the Vancouver Sun for November 4 that LNG Canada (Shell and its Asian partners) will build a plant in Kitimat which will be very, very “green” and put even less greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere than the maximum prescribed by the BC government.

Oh, there will still be GHG escaping but just a teensy, weensy bit. And, of course, we all know that how strict BC government standards are. After all if you (Read more…)

Left Over: Money for Nothin’ and Your Work for Free…

Poloz’s prescription for unemployed youth: Work for free

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Nov. 04 2014, 12:40 PM EST

Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 04 2014, 7:03 PM EST

Anyone familiar with British politics has heard it all before..the government of Cameron, right wing nutjob with an unspeakable ‘coalition’ of Lib-Dems (sorta like our BC Socred-Libs) forced those without jobs to work for nothing in dead-end companies to get any sort of financial government help..not enough to live on or pay rent..sound familiar?

All these half- baked regressive policies are leftovers (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Politics, Hockey, Fall Sitting at the BC Legislature and Local Elections-Game on!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We are moving into autumn, our glorious climate change driven summer is wrapping up even though our confused tomato plants refuse to stop providing even more ripe tomatoes.

Last night our beloved Vancouver Canucks warmed our hockey deprived souls with a win in the season opener against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan is determined even as he is smiling.

Our BC Legislature has been a scene of activity featuring accusations and highly partisan posturing in a rare fall legislative session is in gear. NDP’s new leader John Horgan finally has the (Read more…)

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: 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.


Oct. 8, 7-9 PM


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

MORE (Read more…)

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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Andrew Nikiforuk–LNG and Petro State Politics-Video

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Like so many of you my concern about this runaway climate change train wreck that our politicians are allowing and in many case aiding and abetting is troublesome to the point that it has become the number one issue facing the planet today.

I have read, seen and heard Andrew Nikiforuk as have many of you have. He is one of the most informed and knowledgable challengers to the threat of climate change facing us today. He provides invaluable information allowing us to better understanding of the realities and, the dangers that we face from this mad (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Clark govt in over its head with big LNG players like Petronas

Photo: Tina Lovgreen / BCIT Commons

Many long years ago, when I was in first year Law, we learned a case called the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. This involved a patent medicine and great claims were made for its virtues. There was a lawsuit because a user of this patent medicine was not satisfied with the result, which he said was nil. This was apropos in those days, since in B.C. we were constantly exhorted to buy Dodds Kidney Pills, which had nothing to do with kidneys, and Carter’s Little Liver Pills, which had dick-all to do with livers.

(Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: “World-Class” BC LNG brings Third World deals with likes of Petronas

Most of Petronas CEO Abbas and BC Premier Clark’s discussions have been behind closed doors

It’s possible that the majority of British Columbians would agree with developing our natural gas resources – even for export – if our own energy security was guaranteed, the economic benefits accrued to British Columbians and we did it all in such a way that we are able to maintain our international reputation as an environmental leader and awe-inspiring tourist destination.

However, contrary to the BC Liberal election campaign rhetoric, the government’s LNG development model offers none of this and with the Malaysian state- owned behemoth Petronas as their (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC should not be bullied or suckered by Petronas over LNG taxes

Petronas CEO Shamsul Abbas addressing BC LNG conference (Damien Gillis)

News this morning that Malaysian energy giant Petronas is considering pulling out of the nascent BC LNG industry over the taxes the province wishes to collect from its gas resources called to mind a legendary story about Tommy Douglas when he was premier of Saskatchewan.

I cannot attest to whether the tale is true or apocryphal, but it’s certainly instructive to British Columbians in this particular situation. It goes like this:

After meeting with oil tycoons considering doing business in the province and trying to secure a royalty and investment climate beneficial to their interests, Premier Douglas emerged from (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Behn, Gillis talk Yukon, fracking on CBC radio

The Liard River Basin is threatened by proposed fracking (Two Island Films)

Listen to this 11-minute interview on CBC Yukon with First Nations resource management expert lawyer Caleb Behn and Common Sense Canadian publisher and filmmaker Damien Gillis – who has been co-directing a film about Behn for the past 3 and a half years.

Caleb Behn in Whitehorse

Behn and Gillis were in the Yukon this past week to discuss the pros and cons of shale gas development, in advance of the final public hearing by the Select Committee conducting a review into the industry. The Yukon has had a moratorium (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC govt bowed to oil lobby on deregulation of gas plants: documents

Premier Christy Clark tours BC’s natural gas industry (photo: Justin Tang/CP)

Read this Sept. 14 Canadian Press story by Dene Moore, revealing that the BC government’s controversial, failed elimination of environmental reviews for gas plants came under pressure from the oil and gas lobby.

VANCOUVER – In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers made a presentation to high-ranking officials in British Columbia’s Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for natural gas projects.

Those changes became law on April 14, but they didn’t stay that way for long.

An outcry from First Nations (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Behn, Gillis to talk fracking in Yukon as govt reviews moratorium

Caleb Behn, subject of the forthcoming film Fractured Land, will talk fracking in the Yukon (Zack Embree)

The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis and First Nations resource management expert and recent law graduate Caleb Behn will be in the Yukon from September 15 to 18, discussing the pros and cons of shale gas development.

Behn is the subject of the forthcoming feature documentary, Fractured Land, which Gillis is co-directing and co-producing. The presentations – in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake (more info below) – will feature some highlights of the film and observations from Behn and Gillis (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Fracking-related earthquakes prompt halt to Ohio wastewater injections

Read this Sept. 6 Associated Press story by Julie Carr Smith on regulators’ concerns over earthquakes in Ohio connected to post-fracking wastewater injection.

State regulators suspended operations at two deep-injection wells for fracking wastewater in northeastern Ohio yesterday after discovering possible evidence that the operation caused a 2.1-magnitude earthquake last weekend. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued a chief’s order to American Water Management Services for its Weathersfield site near Warren, an agency spokeswoman said. Messages seeking comment were left for the company after regular business hours.

Agency spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle called Sunday’s quake “relatively minor.” She said the suspension is effective (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Gas industry contributes just 0.01% of BC’s revenues, few jobs

Two of the province’s surprisingly few gas workers – in BC’s Horn River Basin (Photo: Damien Gillis)

By Norman Farrell

Regular readers are aware that British Columbia’s natural gas industry provides surprisingly little return to the province by way of royalties for depleting non-renewable public assets. In the last two fiscal years, after accounting for drilling and road subsidies taken by or owed to producers, the province’s net gas royalty receipts averaged $2.5 million a month. That is less than 1/10 of 1% of BC government revenues.

Defenders of government policy suggest the industry is contributing much economic value to BC (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking

An independent panel commissioned by the government of Nova Scotia to examine the impact of hydraulic fracturing has concluded that Nova Scotia is not read for fracking.

The post Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Amanda Connelly reports on the Alberta Federation of Labour’s latest revelations as to how the temporary foreign worker program has been used to suppress wages. And Jim Stanford reminds us that the employment picture for Canadians remains bleak even after Statistics Canada’s job numbers were revised: (F)ull-time employment is now estimated to have declined by about 20,000, instead of the original 60,000.  Not exactly something to boast about.  60,000 part-time jobs were created (same as the original report).  The unemployment rate is the same as the original report — and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development – especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.

For further reading…- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town’s water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey’s report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Duke Point Cited As LNG Shipping Point For Island Fracked Gas

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Several months back Cowichan Conversations contributor Don Maroc posted this story about potential LNG fracking on the island.

Stories in Nanaimo media point to an ambitious future for Duke Point expansion including facilitating the shipment of LNG to Asia.

CC readers please continue forwarding any information that you have on this issue. We must be vigilant.

Thank you


The Common Sense Canadian: Toxic fracking waste illegally dumped in BC water treatment system

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

Republished with permission from

Although city officials from Dawson’s Creek won’t disclose the names of the companies involved, they are confirming that fracking waste has been illegally dumped into the city’s water treatment system on at least two occasions.

Jim Chute, administrative officer for the city, told DeSmog Canada, that illegal dumping has occurred at least three times, but twice the waste was “clearly” related to fracking.

“It has actually been on three occasions in the last 18 months where we’ve caught inappropriate materials being dumped,” (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Study links extractive industries to rise in domestic abuse

A fracking drill near Dawson Creek in northeast BC (courtesy of Two Island Films)

Read this July 24 Globe and Mail story by Andrea Woo on a new study which exposes one of the trade-offs associated with expanded resource development, namely an increase in violence against women.

An increase in domestic and sexual violence against women is among the troubling social impacts of resource extraction industries, according to a B.C. victims’ services association behind a new $40,000 initiative aimed at drawing awareness to the issue.

Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association of B.C. (EVA BC), (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Pierre Beaulne discusses the inequality-related problems and solutions brought into the spotlight by Thomas Piketty, and notes that they can’t simply be swept under the rug: When all is said and done, the capitalist globalization has boosted economic growth for a certain time, but has by the same token greatly increased income inequalities and exacerbated wealth concentration. Tax breaks for the highest incomes and social spending cuts have intensified the trend. In Canada, for instance, the top marginal income tax rate at the federal level has gone down from 43% in 1981 to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Paul Krugman calls out the U.S.’ deficit scolds for continuing to invent a crisis to distract from the real problems with middling growth and high unemployment. And Bruce Johnstone singles out a few of the Cons’ talking points which have somehow become conventional wisdom without having an iota of truth to them. But in case there was any doubt why the Cons aren’t being exposed to their own patent wrongness, William Watson’s (hardly people-friendly) column explains why – as Jack Mintz manages to qualify as the least corporate-biased member of a (Read more…)