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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Danyaal Raza discusses how climate change is manifesting itself in immediate health problems. And John Vidal highlights the latest research on the rapid melting of Arctic ice – making it particularly appallin… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Rachel West charts how higher wages and improved social supports can reduce crime rates and their resulting costs.- Lana Payne comments on the glass ceiling still limiting the wages and opportunities availabl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- J. David Hughes discusses the ultimate problem with new pipeline construction, as it’s incompatible with any reasonable effort to meet even Canada’s existing commitments to rein in greenhouse gas emissions:Under … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Danny Dorling writes about the importance of empathy and kindness in establishing the basis for a more equal society:When you cannot empathise with another group, it is very hard to think kindly towards them… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Carolyn Ferns writes that a long-awaited child care program would represent the best possible Mother’s Day gift for Canadian families.- Danyaal Raza and Ritika Goel remind us how housing affects a wide range … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones argues that public policy and social activism are needed to rein in the excesses of a corporate class which sees it as its job to extract every possible dollar from the society around it:A financial … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: B.C. must heed Mount Polley disaster’s lessons

“We need stronger environmental assessments,” says award-winning Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, reflecting on last year’s Mount Polley disaster in British Columbia.

The post David Suzuki: B.C. must heed Mount Polley disaster’s lessons 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…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Film tells real story behind Tahltan victory over Sacred Headwaters mines

As the BC Liberal government toots its own horn following its buy-back of highly contentious coal mine licences throughout the Sacred Headwaters, Beyond Boarding excerpts portions of its documentary film Northern Grease to tell the real story of what happened.

From Beyond Boarding’s Tamo Campos:

In the summer of 2013, we spent over 6 weeks camping up Klappan at Beauty Camp, eating wild meat, learning about the history of the land, taking over Fortune Minerals drills and dealing with daily police confrontations. (the cops having a camp consisting of a helicopter, a plane, 8 ATV’s & 6 Wall tents in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Imperial Metals’ offices raided in Mount Polley investigation

Tailings from Mount Polley Mine pouring into Quesnel Lake (Photo: Farhan Umedaly, Vovo Productions)

Read this Feb. 4 Vancouver Sun story by Gordon Hoekstra on the surprise raid of Mount Polley Mine owner Imperial Metals’ offices. The company and its Engineer of Record may have gotten off lightly with a government-appointed panel’s recent report, but this joint investigation looks to be digging deeper into the the company’s tailings dam disaster and could result in formal charges and fines.

Imperial Metals offices and mine site were raided Tuesday to obtain evidence in the provincial and federal investigation into the Mount Polley mine tailings dam (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mount Polley investigation: Whitewash follows tailings flood – culprits let off the hook

Aerial image after Mount Polley mine tailings spill (Cariboo Regional District)

The recently concluded “independent” investigation into the Mount Polley tailings pond rupture essentially exonerates the various culprits in what was likely the worst environmental catastrophe in BC history. The report can only be seen as a whitewashing of the world record 25 million cubic metres of mine tailings and other debris that swept into Hazeltine Creek and the formerly pristine Quesnel Lake.

Designing disaster

While the government-appointed panel behind the investigation acknowledges a design flaw in the containment facility, it downplays any real human negligence by attributing it to misinterpretation of the geology below the breached (Read more…)

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 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 Canadian Progressive: Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy

In Guatemala, indigenous Mayan communities’ participation in community consulta, or consultation, helps to engage the government, and push back against Canadian and multinational mining companies accused of human rights abuses.

The post Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

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 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: Audio: From Site C’s economic folly to update on Mount Polley

The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis and CFAX 1070′s Ian Jessop discuss the economic disaster that the proposed Site C Dam represents from British Columbians.

At a projected cost of over $100 per megawatt hour – and likely more than $8 billion for construction – the project stands to lose BC taxpayers and Hydro ratepayers $350 million a year, says industrial energy expert Dan Potts.

All this for power we don’t need for BC’s homes and businesses, which are already self-sufficient in electricity well into the foreseeable future. BC Liberal government’s reasons for building Site C are either power liquefied natural gas projects or (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mount Polley disaster: More misinformation than facts

Likely resident Lawna Bourassa displays cloudy water taken from the shore of Quesnel Lake (Damien Gillis)

Since day one the claim has been that the tailings flowing from Mount Polley mine’s breached dam were “stopped”, yet one month after the BC Day Disaster occurred, the Ministry of Environment found Mount Polley to be “out of compliance”, and on September 9 – fully 5 days later – issued an “advisory letter” pleading that the company do more to bring the tailings discharge to a halt.

This pattern of misinformation permeates virtually every significant piece of information related to the disaster.

From conflicting data on the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mount Polley whistleblower lost job, then home

Larry Chambers warned Imperial Metals that its tailings pond was bound to fail – and he was fired for it, the Likely, BC resident told media in Vancouver earlier today.

He and his wife, Lawna Bourassa-Keuster, have now lost their home on once-beautiful Quensnel Lake – too afraid to drink the cloudy and discoloured water, which they brought with them to Vancouver in a jar.

Cloudy water from Quesnel Lake (Damien Gillis)

“Christy Clark did come to Likely and at that time, she informed us that she would make sure that Quesnel Lake would be brought back to its pristine state,” said Bourassa-Keuster. “We (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: BC teachers and First Nations on the frontlines

My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/podcast-140905-bc-frontlines1.mp3

My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mount Polley spill may be far bigger than initially revealed

Aerial image after Mount Polley mine tailings spill (Cariboo Regional District)

Volumes of water, tailings and other debris released into the environment by the August 4 breach of Imperial Metals’ tailings pond at Mount Polley Mine were at least 70% higher than initial estimates, the company revealed on its website yesterday.

Now, a report from BC Tapwater Alliance, using satellite imagery from NASA and the US Geological Survey to estimate the size of the containment facility, suggests even the company’s re-estimate may still be significantly underplaying the true scale of the disaster.

While the company boosted estimates from 14.5 million cubic metres of water and (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Imperial boosts Mount Polley spill estimate by 10 million cubic metres

The silty mud remaining in Hazeltine Creek after Mount Polley tailings dam breach (Carol Linnitt / Desmog.ca)

In an update on the Mount Polley mine disaster, owner Imperial Metals has boosted its estimates on tailings, water and debris released into the environment by the failure of its tailings dam on August 4.

Compared with earlier estimates of 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of solid tailings, the company is now figuring the following:

Supernatant water 10.6Mm3 Tailings Slurry: tailings solids 7.3Mm3; interstitial water 6.5Mm3 Construction materials 0.6Mm3

(Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Suzuki: Canada at risk for more Mount Polley-type disasters

A resident of the region surveys Hazeltine Creek following tailings dam breach (Chris Blake)

When a tailings pond broke at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in south-central B.C., spilling millions of cubic metres of waste into a salmon-bearing stream, B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett called it an “extremely rare” occurrence, the first in 40 years for mines operating here.

He failed to mention the 46 “dangerous or unusual occurrences” that B.C’s chief inspector of mines reported at tailings ponds in the province between 2000 and 2012, as well as breaches at non-operating (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mount Polley: Interior Health issues new warning against drinking Quesnel Lake water

Debris pouring into Quesnel Lake (Photo: Farhan Umedaly, Vovo Productions / Desmog.ca)

An advisory from Interior Health yesterday raises fresh questions about the quality of drinking water from Quensnel Lake following the Mount Polley tailings dam breach.

“Although test results continue to show that water sourced from Quesnel Lake is safe to drink, reports indicate that water quality is changing as lake water and the sediment plume shifts,” the advisory notes, raising doubt about the earlier lifting of a drinking water ban for the town of Likely, on Quensnel Lake.

The reappearance of water quality concerns on Quesnel Lake may be linked to (Read more…)