Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 14:59 • Carol Linnitt

Canada’s great, white north seems to be getting a little less white as the years go by thanks to above-average increases in Arctic temperatures and increasing levels of industrial development.

Still, the north remains great, and there’s nothing more emblematic of that greatness than the astounding 1,000-kilometre seasonal migration of the region’s barren-ground caribou herds.

Named for their habitat — sprawling Arctic tundra which extends beyond the northern tree line — barren-ground caribou have experienced alarming population declines for years, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and those declines are occurring alongside unprecedented levels of climate change and habitat disturbance.

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 10:47 • Matt Horne

In case you missed it, Tweet: 93% of Canadians live in provinces & territories that have/will implement #carbonpricing http://bit.ly/2grqxq2 #cdnpoli93 per cent of Canadians now live in provinces and territories that have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, carbon pricing. The most recent step forward occurred last week in Nova Scotia.

Amid the excitement around Canada’s accelerated coal phase-out, Premier Stephen McNeil announced that his government will implement a cap-and-trade system in 2018.

This commitment puts another province in line with the federal government’s plan to price carbon pollution.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:56 • Kevin Grandia
justin-trudeau-kinder-morgan-pipeline
justin-trudeau-kinder-morgan-pipeline

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's decision this week to approve a major expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has negative implications that go well beyond the borders of the Great White North.

Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the United States. We export more oil to the US than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico combined. We are a secure, stable and reliable trading partner with the US for a product that can make or break their economy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 11:57 • Judith Lavoie

A precedent-setting case that could affect the ability of First Nations to protect their sacred sites and which has implications for indigenous rights worldwide, is heading to Canada’s top court Thursday.

The Ktunaxa First Nation, based in Cranbrook, in a lawsuit against the B.C. government and Glacier Resorts Ltd, is arguing the first Canadian case based on aboriginal spirituality and freedom of religion and the case has drawn interveners from faith groups, human rights organizations and business groups from across Canada.

Lawyers acting for the Ktunaxa Nation and Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair, will argue that, in 2012, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources violated the First Nation’s religious rights by approving the master plan for the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort in an area known as Qat’muk, the home of the grizzly bear spirit, where many key Ktunaxa spiritual beliefs and practices are centred.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 14:02 • James Wilt

The federal Liberals have issued an approval for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project, subject to 157 conditions.

In doing so, the government has granted permission for the Houston-based company to expand the capacity of its Edmonton-to-Burnaby network capacity by 690,000 barrels/day, fulfilling pleas by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to allow giant corporations to export more carbon-intensive bitumen.

And it completely undermines any alleged commitment to “reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples.

It’s not as if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t understand the stakes. In mandate letters sent to each of his ministers in November 2015, he emphasized a renewed “nation-to-nation relationship, based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.”

Trudeau also pledged that his government would “fully adopt and work to implement” the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which included the provision that “Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.”

That dream has been slowly dying ever since.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 11:56 • Carol Linnitt

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the federal government holds the constitutional power to force through the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline but that doing so would follow the “misguided position of the Conservatives.”

The comments, released Tuesday in a 2015 letter submitted by Wilson-Raybould to the democracy advocacy organization, Dogwood Initiative, comes as Canadians await the federal government’s decision on the Trans Mountain and other pipelines expected this afternoon.

In her letter Wilson-Raybould argues Canada needs “greater citizen engagement in decision making.”

In some ways Kinder Morgan is more complicated than Northern Gateway as it is a proposed expansion of an existing line,” Wilson-Raybould wrote. “I wonder if the Trans Mountain pipeline would ever have been approved in the first place if it was being proposed today?”

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 16:16 • Judith Lavoie
Koneline: Our Land Beautiful
Koneline: Our Land Beautiful

There are no good guys or bad guys in the documentary Konelīne and that extraordinary lack of judgement is what rivets attention as the film examines the changing landscape and lifestyles of northwestern British Columbia.

As massive machinery moves into the wild landscape, first to build the Northwest Transmission Line and then to work on the Brucejack gold mine and the Red Chris copper mine, lives are disrupted or changed and, whether it is a lineman, miner, guide outfitter, First Nations elder or Tahltan language student, director Nettie Wild captures the love that all the characters have for the wilderness.

What some call progress, others see as the end of a way of life. Some hunt on the land, some mine it and they all love it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 18:19 • Judith Lavoie
Grizzly bear trophy hunt
Grizzly bear trophy hunt

Grizzly bear trophy hunting will be banned, for both resident and foreign hunters, if the NDP form the next provincial government, leader John Horgan promised Thursday.

The NDP is walking a fine line between meshing the party’s views with the 90 per cent of British Columbians who say they oppose the hunt and supporting rural voters who fear a grizzly hunting ban could affect food hunting.

There has been active discussion in caucus, but there was a general recognition of the tremendous opposition to the hunt from both rural and urban residents balanced by the need to reassure hunters that New Democrats are not anti-hunting, George Heyman, NDP environment spokesman said in an interview.

Horgan, describing grizzlies as an iconic species, carefully emphasized that sustenance hunting will not be affected and said B.C.’s heritage and its future can thrive if government makes the right choices.

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