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The Common Sense Canadian: UBC-led panel tackles water worries, solutions

California’s Central Valley is facing record drought conditions

Common Sense Canadian publisher and Fractured Land co-director Damien Gillis will join a UBC Dialogues panel this Wednesday evening titled “Water Worries: What is the state of our most valuable resource?”

Moderated by CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, the discussion will examine the key challenges facing our water resources in an era of climate change and drought. Other panellists include:

Margaret Catley-Carlson – Vice chair of the Canadian Water Network Board and patron and past chair of the Global Water Partnership. She is also a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC Hydro breaks promises in logging eagle’s nest for Site C Dam; May have lacked permits

As the fog lifted on the Peace River Monday morning, it revealed this clearcut island (Donald Hoffmann)

BC Hydro’s clearcut logging this past weekend at the location of the proposed Site C Dam appears to have broken a promise about care for active eagles’ nests and may have lacked federal permits, critics charge.

See no eagle, hear no eagle

The work came within days of the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) call for a halt to Site C Dam construction until proper independent reviews have been conducted. While Hydro has provincial permits to cut down eagles’ nests on islands in the Peace River, spokesperson Dave (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: UBCM calls for delay to Site C construction as clearcutting set to begin

Location of proposed Site C Dam – slated for imminent clearcutting (photo: Damien Gillis)

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed several resolutions at its annual gathering this week calling on BC Hydro and the BC government to stand down on construction of the controversial $9 Billion Site C Dam, pending more review and consultation regarding the impacts of the project.

“We are very happy to hear that that the UBCM will be calling for work on Site C to stop until there’s a proper review by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC),” said Joe (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oil and Gas Still Not Four Letter Words?

Brad Wall, speaking directly to oil and gas men, remarked that he thinks Ottawa needs a “champion” of non-renewable energy. There’s been more than enough support for that industry in the past decades.

This is a good sector, that oil and gas are not four letter words. That they create untold quality of life and wealth for all Canadians. Let’s make that case.

“At one point, a list of dozens of items made from derivatives of petrochemicals were highlighted on a projector screen[…]

“The smartphones they use perhaps to send you angry Tweets about your industry or send you texts,” (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Dana Flavelle examines how many Canadians are facing serious economic insecurity. And Kevin Campbell discusses how the Cons are vulnerable on the economy due to their obvious failure to deliver on their promises, as well as their misplaced focus on trickle-down ideology: During this election it is essential to understand that we live in an era of persistent financial insecurity among the majority of the population. Household balance sheets are in a tenuous state throughout the industrialized world, particularly in Canada. This inevitably affects how citizens choose to vote. Healthcare, education, ethics (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC Hydro rushes to cut down eagles’ nests for Site C Dam, First Nations seek injunction

Treaty 8 First Nations are seeking an injunction as BC Hydro rushes to cut down a number of Bald Eagles’ nests along the Peace River, starting next month, for Site C Dam.

The news came by way of a 30-day notice issued to Treaty 8 representatives on June 30 (read here). Hydro received a package of permits from the BC Liberal government on July 7, authorizing a wide range of work on the controversial $9 Billion project – including one green-lighting the removal and destruction of eagles’ nests. Yet, with the dam facing multiple ongoing legal challenges, opponents are questioning (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Media let Liberals get away with murder on IPPs, now LNG

Construction of a private power project on the Ashlu River (Photo: Range Life)

A flash of anger came over me when Ian Jessup of CFAX 1070, Victoria, asked me to come on his show and talk about so-called independent power producers (IPPs), euphemistically referred known as “run of river”.

No, I sure as hell wasn’t mad at Ian – he’s is one of the few bright lights left in radio who is not afraid to do the tough subjects and to call it like it is. I congratulate CFAX for having the balls to do the show.

What angered me (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Malahat Nation intends to announce an LNG project.

Here is another shocker for Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities.

It appears that LNG Tankers may soon be plying our waters as the Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG forge a partnership that could bring

Read more…

The Common Sense Canadian: Cowboys and Indians keep gaining powerful allies in Site C Dam battle

Battle lines are being drawn and sides taken in what is shaping up to be an epic fight over the the $9 Billion proposed Site C Dam.

On one side is the “Cowboy and Indian” alliance, which continues gathering strength against the project, said chiefs and landowners at a recent press conference in Vancouver. The Peace Valley leaders were in town for a federal court hearing on their legal challenge of the highly controversial Site C.

Heavy hitters line up against Site C

While the alliance has suffered some recent setbacks, it continues picking up big backers. Early in July, the Metro Vancouver board overwhelmingly voted to call (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Will future of food be an election plank?

This piece comes from the Edmonton Journal and applies to all of Western Canada, very much including our Cowichan Valley. We can look back and see significant increases in our food production and array of

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Paul Rosenberg documents how Bernie Sanders is tapping into widespread public desire and support for more socially progressive policies: Sanders is right to think that Scandanavian socialism would be popular here in the U.S., if only people knew more about it. And he’s right to make spreading that awareness a goal of his campaign. In fact, on a wide range of issue specifics Sanders lines up with strong majorities of public opinion—and has for decades.

You can get a strong sense of this from the results of the “Big Ideas” poll (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Why British Columbians should get a say on $9 Billion Site C Dam

Part of the 80 km stretch of the Peace Valley that would be flooded by Site C Dam (Photo: Garth Lenz)

Reprinted from the ECOreport.

Such large segments of the province’s population have made their opposition to the proposed Site C Dam known, that this has become a defining moment of our “democracy.” Premier Christy Clark appears to be willfully ignoring the will of the people. If her government truly believes it is acting in the public’s interest, BC should hold a plebiscite on Site C – a project that would cost taxpayers at least $9 Billion dollars (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Pelicans on Wascana Lake

I never noticed Pelicans on Wascana Lake before about 3 years ago. Before that, they were common on the South Saskatchewan River through Saskatoon.

The Common Sense Canadian: Island communities could run out of water by August

Parksville gold course (BC govt/Flickr)

Read this July 9 story from on the dire water situation facing several Vancouver Island communities.

A popular B.C. seaside tourist zone is so drought-stricken that it faces the toughest water restrictions in B.C..

​City officials say if people continue to water and power wash at the current rate, Parksville and the area surrounding Nanaimo will run out of water.

“We will run out of water. Literally right now if we continue at the consumption levels that we are at right now we will have insufficient water by end of August.” said Fred Manson, Parksville’s chief administrative (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan writes that reliance on temporary and disposable labour is utterly incompatible with long-term economic development. And Joey Hartman and Adrienne Montani comment on Vancouver’s efforts to support a living wage rather than grinding down employment standards.

- Andy Skuce points out that our already-worrisome best estimates as to the effects of climate change may underestimate the damage done as land-based carbon sinks turn into carbon producers. And Charles Mandel reports that this summer’s spate of wildfires across Western Canada may become the new normal as droughts become more common.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Peaceful Paddle lands Site C opponents on terrorist watch list

2012 Paddle for the Peace (Damien Gillis)

The following letter was written by the Paddle for the Peace Planning Committee in response to an article in the Toronto Star which stated that events like the upcoming Paddle for the Peace (July 11th) were on terrorist watch lists.

Dear Editor,

According to the Toronto Star (March 30, 2015), the Federal government has included the Paddle for the Peace on a terrorist watch list. And here we thought we weren’t getting any attention. We are in good company, though. Also on the list is a physicians’ group (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Soylent is here, and its not green

Soylent Purple is purple people? They’d be purple people eaters.

It’s an actual meal replacement product that you make the day before, put into your fridge, and eat as liquid meals the next day.

“I wouldn’t eat you, cause you’re so tough!”

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

These videos are from the second day of the Shared Knowledge Conference at the Core Ritchie Centre, the second weekend of June.

Jim Elliott with many interesting (and terrifying) facts about Regina’s watershed system.

We are on the Plaza @MarketRegina today. Find us beside @TrogiFoods #honey #salsa

— Zee-Bee Honey® (@_zeebeehoney_) June 24, 2015

James and Brooke of Sound Solar Systems:

Next, I presented on Bitcoin and alternate currencies being used to build alternate economies apart from the monetary systems provided by governments.

Dan B. of Tradebank Regina

Lindsay H. wraps up with what’s in store for (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Regina and its citizens did fairly well responding to a water shortage – but has plenty to learn in applying the lesson to the wider collective challenge of climate change.

For further reading…- The water shortage began a month ago, with CBC’s coverage here and here largely describing the problem and the City’s initial response. And CTV reported on the end to the immediate restrictions here. – In contrast, Rob Kuznia reports on Rancho Santa Fe’s appalling response to California’s drought, which has given rise to mandatory water use reductions.- The National Resources Defence (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Daniel Tencer discusses the latest evidence that trickle-down economics are a fraud, while David Roberts and Javier Zarracina write about how the elite seems to get its own way even when the results are worse for everybody. And Heather Stewart reports on the IMF’s findings as to the connection between financialization, inequality and stagnation as the extraction of wealth comes to be valued more than the production of anything useful.

- Meanwhile, Simon Enoch and Cheryl Stadnichuk observe that Saskatchewan is headed down a well-worn path to ruin based on the Wall (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Steves–BC Doesn’t Need Site C Dam

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It is incredible that our BC Liberal government, prodded along by the foreign owned LNG corporations, are still pushing ahead with building a massive Site C Dam.

We do not need

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jim Stanford points out how the corporate tax pendulum is swinging back toward asking business to make an equitable contribution to Canadian society: The federal rate was cut virtually in half after 2000 (to just 15 per cent today). Several provincial governments followed suit. Alberta was the most aggressive, slashing its rate by more than one-third (to just 10 per cent) by 2006. This sparked a destructive race to the bottom among provinces – aided by explicit threats from companies to move head offices to Alberta if other provinces didn’t follow suit. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair’s Modest Proposal: Scrap environmental assessments

The 3-member NEB Joint Review Panel for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (Damien Gillis)

Do you enjoy being a raw hypocrite?

Well, if you’re a taxpayer in Canada that’s what you are because you support raw hypocrisy every day in the various hearings on environmental matters that take place.

I’ve written in the past, from personal experience, about environmental assessments of independent power projects (IPPs), the environmental disgraces of British Columbia, and how they are so biased in favour of industry that it defies all but spluttering language of anger.

Let’s call the whole thing off

Economist (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: With Millions To Spare, Here’s How to Save Thousands of Lives

This rich couple is doing good with their money.

Regina caught sight of a jacket in the water during the cruise, and when she asked about it, she was told it might belong to a dead migrant who was trying to find safety in Europe.

While some Europeans criticize the rescue operation, saying it draws more migrants to the sea, Xuereb says that’s just not true. People are desperate, undertaking the journey to find a better life. They deserve to live, he says.

Last year, about 218,000 people made this journey — a record. Some 3,500 people drowned. And the (Read more…)