Monday, November 20, 2017 - 14:02 • Judith Lavoie
Gibraltar Mine Taseko via Facebook

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS) abruptly resigned this month from the Technical Advisory Committee that keeps tabs on water discharges from Taseko’s Gibraltar Mine, the second-largest open-pit copper mine in Canada.

After eight years there has been “absolutely no progress” on improving the mine’s water management practices, society chair Bill Lloyd wrote in a letter sent to other members of the committee.

Gibraltar Mine, northeast of Williams Lake, is 75 per cent owned by Taseko Mines Ltd., which took over the mine site in 1999.

An application for a permit to discharge water into the Fraser River was made in 2005 and granted in 2009. In 2015 the province gave temporary permission for the mine to increase the discharge so the effects could be studied — the company now wants that discharge permit made permanent.

Friday, November 17, 2017 - 14:55 • James Wilt

There’s no telling if the 220 square-kilometres of unlined tailings ponds in the Alberta oilsands are leaking contaminated waste into nearby water sources, according to the government of Canada.

That claim was made in an official response to NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation despite strong scientific evidence suggesting a clear linkage between the oilsands’ 1.3 trillion litres of fluid tailings and the contamination of local waterways.

The response comes after a June 2017 submission by two environmental organizations and a Dene man alleging the federal government was failing to enforce a section of the Fisheries Act that prohibits the release of a “deleterious substance” into fish-frequented waters.

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 15:41 • James Wilt
oilsands Kris Krug

Eleven of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies have dozens of subsidiaries and related companies in known tax haven jurisdictions, according to a new report from the Ottawa-based non-profit Canadians for Tax Fairness.

Those companies include Suncor, Enbridge, CNRL, TransCanada, Imperial Oil, Cenovus and Husky.

The report, titled “Bay Street and Tax Havens: Curbing Corporate Canada’s Addiction,” examined the largest 60 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and found that just four didn’t have a publicly listed subsidiary in a known low-tax or no-tax haven.

If you can afford the lawyers and accountants and it’s legal to do, you’ll do it,” report author Diana Gibson, told DeSmog Canada.

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 09:53 • Sarah Cox
Site C Dam November 5, 2017

Site C jobs are often cited as a main reason to proceed with the $9 billion dam on B.C.’s Peace River. But how many jobs would Site C actually create? Are there really 2,375 people currently employed on the project, as widely reported this month?

DeSmog Canada dove into Site C jobs numbers. We found dubious claims, political spin, and far too much secrecy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 17:46 • James Wilt
Gogama oil train accident

In recent months, there’s been a re-emergence of one of the oil industry’s most adored tropes: that without new pipelines, companies will ship oil by rail and threaten entire communities with derailments, explosions and spills.

The jury’s still very much out on whether shipments will actually increase by much more than what we’ve seen in the past. Regardless, there’s one thing that strangely never gets mentioned by proponents of the argument.

Transporting oil by rail doesn’t have to be nearly as dangerous as it currently is.

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 10:12 • Ben Parfitt
Progress Energy Lily Dam

This article was originally published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The provincial government has ordered Progress Energy to drain virtually all of the water trapped behind two massive dams the company built in violation of key provincial regulations.

The company was told on October 31 to drain all but 10 per cent of the water stored behind its Town and Lily dams near the Alaska Highway north of Fort St. John by Chris Parks, assistant director of compliance and enforcement with B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).

The order comes after Progress Energy filed an extraordinary application this summer with the EAO asking the provincial environmental regulator to retroactively “exempt” the two dams from required environmental assessments. Both dams are higher than five-storey buildings.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 16:39 • James Wilt
Hurricane Harvey Flooding and Damage

A new poll on Canadian attitudes on climate change reveals some pretty stunning numbers about public desire for politicians to act.

The poll by Abacus Data found 85 per cent of Canadians are convinced the consequences of not taking action on climate change will result in “catastrophic,” “very severe” or “severe” consequences to wildlife and animal habitats, agriculture and farming, coastal cities and towns and human health and safety.

There’s a new normal in Canada on the issue of climate change,” said Abacus chairman Bruce Anderson.  “Half of voters won’t consider politicians who don’t take the issue seriously – and most other voters also believe action is needed and inaction will result in catastrophe.”

The poll was conducted via an online survey of 1,534 Canadians, resulting in a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 10:45 • David Beers
The Vancouver School of journalism is having an impact on the media landscape

Why has B.C. become home to Canada’s most vibrant news ecosystem? Credit the wellspring of creativity here — the province’s beauty and potential has long attracted change-makers.

Hidden amid gloomy tales of the decline of Canada’s news media is a success story in southwestern British Columbia.

Here, a cluster of digital outlets have flowered by paying for top-notch investigative and solutions-focused reporting. They are forging new business models and training the next wave of journalists.