In-Depth

Kinder Morgan’s Canadian Executives Earn Millions As Governments Discuss Bailout

Ian Anderson Kinder Morgan Elizabeth McSheffrey

Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., must be laughing all the way to check on his stock options since the Trudeau government offered to use public funds to bail out the company’s stalled Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.

Anderson earned almost $2.9 million last year in salary, stock awards and other compensation, according to company documents — and that was only from June through December.

Kinder Morgan Canada’s vice-president, David Safari, collected $1.95 million in stock awards and other compensation during the same seven-month period.

But that’s latte money compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual dividend earnings of Texas billionaire Richard Kinder, who was the CEO of parent company Kinder Morgan Inc. until 2015.

‘They’re Not Getting How the Constitution Works’: Why Trudeau, Notley Can’t Steamroll B.C. on Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Notley Trudeau Kinder Morgan Pipeline Constitutional

In the fall of 1981, Jack Woodward was a young lawyer in Ottawa when NDP leader Ed Broadbent and prime minister Pierre Trudeau struck a deal to include aboriginal rights in the Canadian constitution.

I banged out a first draft,” Woodward recalls. “I typed it out on a manual typewriter. I had to do it in a hurry.”

In less than an hour, Woodward had laid the foundation of Section 35, the part of the Canadian constitution that recognizes and affirms the rights of Indigenous peoples.

In the ensuing 37 years, Woodward has come to know a thing or two about Canada’s constitution. For one, he fought the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s title case for a quarter century, resulting in the landmark Supreme Court ruling that the nation holds title to about 1,900 square kilometres of its traditional territory in B.C.

So when Woodward hears pundits and politicians bandying around the phrase “unconstitutional,” his ears perk up.

Seeking the Science Behind B.C.’s Wolf Cull

science bc wolf cull DeSmog Canada

Even if you live on Vancouver Island you’re not likely to have seen the elusive coastal wolves that populate its northernmost corners.

These genetically unique wolves, which are distinct from their land-locked cousins, live an atypical life for a grey wolf, living in remote estuaries and consuming a diet of mostly marine life.

There are an estimated 250 wolves on Vancouver Island, according to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the government ministry that is currently considering whether or not to expand the wolf trapping season in the province this spring.

The science behind the practice of culling wolves on Vancouver Island is being hotly contested by scientists and conservationists who say there’s very little evidence to support the province’s theory that wolves are responsible for a shrinking deer population.

Canada Moving to Exempt Majority of New Oilsands Projects From Federal Assessments

AOSTRA SAGD facility

After more than a year of public hearings, the federal government unveiled its new and improved environmental assessment legislation in February 2018 with much ado.

But the new rules — designed to restore public trust in Canada’s process for reviewing major projects — didn’t contain any details on what kinds of projects would trigger a review under the new legislation.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna skirted the issue, saying her ministry was still evaluating what kinds of activities would show up on a yet-to-be-released “project list” that was pending further consultation with Canadians.

But when pressed on the issue, McKenna told reporters she didn’t believe oilsands projects developed via in-situ methods should be included. McKenna reasoned that because Alberta already has a hard cap on emissions, future oilsands projects would be exempt from federal environmental review.

B.C. Government Suppressed Details About Potentially Dangerous, Unregulated Fracking Dams

Progress Energy dam Garth Lenz

Early last spring, provincial civil servants cut off virtually all communication about what the government knew about a sprawling network of potentially dangerous and unregulated dams in northeast B.C. on the pretext they could not comment because of the impending election.

The coordinated effort meant there was virtually no comment until months after voting day from front-line agencies on how 92 unlicensed dams were built on the then BC Liberal government’s watch.

'Time Bombs': 92 Fracking Dams Quietly Built Without Permits, B.C. Government Docs Reveal

unlicensed frack water dam

The number of unlicensed and potentially dangerous dams built in recent years in northeast British Columbia is nearly double what has been reported, according to one of the province’s top water officials.

At least 92 unauthorized dams have been built in the region, where natural gas industry fracking operations consume more water than just about anywhere on earth. That’s far more than the 51 dams previously identified in documents obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

How a First Nation Bargained to Build B.C.’s Largest Solar Farm

Solar installation

The language and culture of the Upper Nicola Band honour the natural laws of the tmixw — “that which gives us life.” One tmixw is the sun, which shines for more than 2,000 hours annually in much of the band’s traditional territory in B.C.’s arid Okanagan region.

Plans are afoot to harness the sun’s power to build B.C.’s largest solar farm on the band’s Quilchena reserve, a project that would create enough energy for 5,000 homes and deliver up to $4 million in annual revenues to the First Nation community.

The farm would be 15 times the size of Kimberly’s SunMine solar installation on the site of a former hard-rock mine, currently the largest solar project in the province.

We wanted to showcase something positive for the environment,” Chief Harvey McLeod told DeSmog Canada.

Conflict of Interest? Troubling Questions Raised About New BC Hydro Board Appointees

BC Hydro Board Conflict of Interest Site C

BC Hydro is the utility that keeps the lights on in B.C. and generally it does a fine job of restoring wind-toppled power lines and firing up our smart phones and flat screens.  

What isn’t going so well for the Crown corporation are its finances, which Energy Minister Michelle Mungall calls a “mess” and project finance expert Eoin Finn says are in the worst shape of any other public or private utility in North America.

Yet the NDP government has retained most of BC Hydro’s board of directors appointed by the previous BC Liberal administration — board members who were responsible for fiduciary oversight while the mess was gathering momentum — which raises troubling questions about the government’s readiness to fix problems at the deeply indebted utility.

Canada Pledges $12 Million to Research Endangered Killer Whales, But Critics Say Urgent Action Still Needed

Southern Resident Killer Whale

The federal government has announced over $12 million to enhance protections for endangered whales on the West Coast, especially the endangered Southern resident killer whale.

That population, at 76 animals, is at its lowest point since live capture for aquariums was banned in 1975, prompting urgent calls for federal intervention.

The Race for Adaptation in an Increasingly Acidic Salish Sea

dissolving pteropod NOAA

Underneath the picturesque Salish Sea there are churning currents, with water swooshing in from the open ocean and surges of nutrient-rich fresh water from creeks and rivers that alter the sea’s chemistry — and can make life tough for species trying to survive in a rapidly changing environment.

And that’s why scientists are increasingly interested in the Salish Sea as they study ocean acidification — often called the evil twin of climate change.

The impacts of ocean acidification range from coral reef bleaching in the Caribbean and South Pacific to the hardships faced by oyster and mussel aquaculture businesses in the Salish Sea because shellfish are unable to form calcium carbonate shells.

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