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.

Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 16:33 • Sarah Cox
Site C dam construction

The Site C dam project faces “significant schedule and cost pressures” that could inflate its final price tag to more than $12.5 billion, according to a new report by one of Canada’s leading auditing firms.

The report, by Deloitte LLP, was commissioned by the B.C. Utilities Commission as part of an independent review of the BC Hydro project on the Peace River ordered by the new B.C. government.

The report substantiates statements from many prominent critics of the project, including former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen, that the $8.8 billion project faces serious risks of major cost overruns.

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 08:49 • Carol Linnitt
Invisible Horseman. Troy Moth

Troy Moth is an artist and photographer living on Vancouver Island. Moth’s iconic images are featured on art gallery walls and trendy t-shirts alike, famed for their stark, smoky portrayals of landscapes and creatures, of both the human and non-human variety.

Moth recently published a provocative photo of a wild bear slouched in the smouldering landfill of a remote Canadian community. We asked him if he’d speak to us about the image, why it elicits such strong reaction in its viewers and what the apocalypse has got to do with it.

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 14:26 • James Wilt
Entangled North Atlantic Right Whale

The summer of 2017 was an extraordinarily deadly one for North Atlantic right whales, a species already hovering on the brink of extinction.

Investigations are ongoing into the cause of death of 15 right whales off the Atlantic Coast of Canada and the U.S., although it’s not too soon to point the finger at human activity, Megan Leslie, vice president of oceans for WWF-Canada, told DeSmog Canada.

I’ve been frustrated by reports that we don’t know what’s killing these whales,” Leslie said.

We do. We know it’s human activity. There haven’t been necropsies on all of the whales, but the ones where there have been it’s clearly been blunt force trauma from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.”

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 14:00 • Emma Gilchrist
Bear Flats

BC Hydro violated its environmental assessment certificate for the Site C dam project, according to a B.C. government report released Thursday.

The inspection report, from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, detailed how BC Hydro failed to develop acceptable mitigation measures for an aboriginal sweat lodge and suspected burial site, and cannot legally proceed with a bridge related to Site C highway relocation until it does so.

This means BC Hydro's controversial highway re-location will need to be assessed again by the Environmental Assessment Office and an alternate route long supported by the First Nations may be considered after all.

BC Hydro has not developed mitigation for known cultural values in the Bear Flats area, including the sweat lodge (and nearby camp) and the potential burial site…” noted the report, which points out that BC Hydro is well aware of the cultural importance of the area for local First Nations.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 17:15 • Guest
BC LNG Christy Clark

By Maximilian Kniewasser and Stephen Hui.

Under Premier John Horgan and the NDP, British Columbia’s government is no longer promoting liquefied natural gas exports as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to snag 100,000 jobs, a $100-billion Prosperity Fund, and more than $1 trillion in economic activity. Nevertheless, proposed LNG development remains a thorny issue to be tackled by the new provincial government.

This week, the Pembina Institute and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions published Liquefied Natural Gas, Carbon Pollution, and British Columbia in 2017, an update on the state of the B.C. LNG industry in the context of climate change.

Here are three highlights from our report.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 11:47 • Guest
Justin Trudeau Natan Obed Nunavut

Danita Catherine Burke, University of Southern Denmark.

The Arctic is many things to many people. In Canada, this malleability has made the region an incredibly valuable vehicle for nation-building and identity construction.

As a Newfoundland-born international politics scholar and author who researches Canada’s relationship with the Arctic, I believe that very pliability of the Arctic is an important feature of Canadian society, one that’s been cultivated for decades. The Arctic has intrigued many of us for myriad reasons since Confederation.

Canada’s most famous painters, the Group of Seven, focused extensively on the Canadian North in their work and Lawren Harris, in particular, immortalized the imagery of a vast frozen landscape devoid of life into the national psyche and brand.

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 18:53 • Emma Gilchrist
Harry Swain

B.C. won’t need more electricity for many years and, when that time comes, there are less expensive alternatives than the Site C dam, says a submission filed with the B.C. Utilities Commission on Monday by Harry Swain, the man who chaired the federal-provincial review panel of the project.

Demand will not materialize at even the low limit of BC Hydro’s demand forecast,” Swain writes, as he cautions the commission from relying too heavily on BC Hydro’s forecasts.

The issue is that BC Hydro’s 2016 load forecast is no more credible than its numerous predecessors,” Swain writes. 

Swain calls on the commission to “undertake its own research and analysis,” rather than simply adjudicating among submissions received during the review.

Pages