Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 11:41 • Gillian Steward
Trans-Alaskan pipeline. Photo by etherlore

As the leadership contest for Alberta’s newly formed United Conservative Party heats up, it’s no surprise pipeline politics are front and centre.

As four major oilsands pipeline projects from Alberta sit abandoned, stalled or awaiting review, one contender is proposing to beat the pipeline gridlock through an entirely new route.

It wouldn’t be through the west or east coast but through the Arctic — namely Churchill, Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world, nestled in Hudson Bay.

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 12:05 • Janice Paskey
Syncrude dead ducks, Photo: Todd Powell Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

The lethal mix of migratory birds and oilsands tailings ponds are in the news again this month.

On September 20 we learned another 123 birds died or will be euthanized after landing on a Suncor tailings pond. And on September 27, Syncrude Canada will appear in court for failing to prevent the deaths of blue herons at an Alberta oilsands site, the very same crime the company was convicted of in 2010 after an estimated 1,600 ducks met the same fate on one of its tailings pond.

Convictions like Syncrude’s are supposed to help to prevent the deaths of waterfowl on oilsands sites. So why are we here again?

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 17:42 • Judith Lavoie
Site C dam construction

A much-anticipated preliminary report from B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) has raised numerous questions about the Site C dam, underlined the extent of missing and out-dated information and pointed out unknowns surrounding the largest and most expensive infrastructure project in B.C.

The 205-page report on the economic viability of the $8.8 billion dam was released only hours before the midnight Wednesday deadline, reflecting the tight timeframe given the panel of commissioners when the NDP government referred the controversial project to the utilities commission in early August.

The utilities commission is the independent body responsible for overseeing BC Hydro and ICBC, both crown corporations that use public funds. However, former premier Christy Clark decided to go ahead with the $8.8-billion plan to build a third dam on the Peace River without a review by the utilities commission.

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:05 • James Wilt
A smokejumper makes a practice dive. Photo: August Gregg

With devastating hurricanes hitting the Caribbean islands and southern United States, massive wildfires displacing thousands in northern Manitoba and British Columbia and catastrophic flooding in India and Bangladesh killing more than 1,200 people, many Canadians are understandably anxious about what’s to come.

Climate scientists have long warned that the intensity, duration and frequency of extreme weather events will be greatly exacerbated in coming years and decades.

Yet Canada, which warmed at about twice the global average between 1948 and 2007, is still almost entirely unprepared for the impacts of those events, according to experts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 14:46 • Emma Gilchrist ...
Emma Gilchrist

Judges for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards have announced the 2017 finalists and DeSmog Canada has made the cut in two categories.

In the category of “Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story” DeSmog Canada was selected as a finalist for its reporting on the Site C dam, alongside Maclean’s, VICE News, The Tyee/Discourse Media and the National Observer.

With so much happening on the Site C dam file in the last year, it was hard to select just five stories to submit, so we highlighted a variety of multimedia storytelling, as well as in-depth investigative work.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:37 • Judith Lavoie
PEARL research centre. Photo: Dan Weaver

Essential information on Arctic climate change, ozone depletion and pollution reaching the Arctic from B.C.’s recent forest fires will be lost unless the federal government comes through with funding to save Canada’s unique high Arctic research station.

After years of funding cuts to scientific and climate change programs under the Conservatives, the Liberal government’s emphasis on making science-based decisions in response to climate change was a welcome relief to researchers, but some are now shocked that crucial projects are about to be lost because the 2017 budget did not renew the five-year Climate Change and Atmospheric Research (CCAR) funding which expires this year.

Unless the Trudeau government comes up with approximately $7-million a year, six projects, including the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) on Ellesmere Island, will close down next year. A seventh — Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution Network — will shut down the following year.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 17:18 • Emma Gilchrist ...
Ban Big Money BC Politics John Horgan Andrew Weaver

On Monday, the British Columbia government introduced new legislation that proposes to ban corporate, union and foreign donations in a move that will dramatically change B.C.’s political landscape and bring the province in line with other Canadian jurisdictions.

This legislation will make sure 2017 was the last big-money election in our province,” said Attorney General David Eby. “The days of limitless donations, a lack of transparency and foreign and corporate influence over our elections are history.”

Here are your Top 5 questions on the ban answered:

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 16:00 • Carol Linnitt
 Christy Clark Oil and Gas Climate Consultations

Documents released on Monday reveal that B.C.’s climate plan under the previous Liberal government was drafted by the oil and gas industry in a Calgary boardroom, just as the province’s new NDP government moves to ban corporate and union donations to B.C. political parties.

The documents speak to long-standing concerns over the influence of political donations in B.C.’s political process. B.C. has long been considered the ‘wild west’ of political cash for placing no limits on corporate, union or foreign donations.

I think this is deeply corrosive to our democracy and it encourages cynicism about politics,” Max Cameron, political science professor and director of the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia, told DeSmog Canada.

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