Elizabeth May: An Oilsands Bargain that Actually Makes Sense

alberta oilsands

In December 2015, the world agreed to the Paris Accord; to slash greenhouse gas emissions to hold global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C (over what it was before the Industrial Revolution), and, if we miss that target, to as far below 2 degrees as possible.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is not an environmental agency. It advises governments about demand and supply of energy. Since 2012, IEA has warned that to avoid going over 2 degrees C, two-thirds of all known reserves of fossil fuels must stay in the ground until 2050.

Ottawa's Mandate to Promote Fish Farming at Odds with Tough Regulation

The Government Should Stop Pretending There's a Scientific Debate About Salmon Farming

Does Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFOs) science advisory process have integrity when tasked with answering questions on salmon farming?

Kinder Morgan is Blackmailing Canada and the Government is Letting it Happen

Justin Trudeau has faced protests over his decision to proceed with the Kinder Morgan pipeline

Kinder Morgan’s decision to suspend work on its controversial $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline looks like a another corporate attempt to blackmail Canadian governments.

B.C.’s Narrow Fracking Review Doesn’t Serve the Public Interest

Horgan, BC fracking scientific inquiry,

By Amy Lubik, Ben Parfitt and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Just two days before B.C. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced a completely inadequate “independent scientific review” of fracking in our province, an international team of scientists issued a stark warning about the human health risks associated with the natural gas industry's rampant use of this brute force technology.

“Our examination…uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health,” concluded the scientists, who were affiliated either with the Concerned Health Professionals of New York or the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Tellingly, the scientific review just announced by the B.C. government will expressly not investigate the human health impacts of fracking.

Why Building the Trans Mountain Pipeline Will Increase Gas Prices in B.C.

high gas prices, trans mountain pipeline

Last week gasoline prices soared in southern B.C., with the price at the pump in Vancouver hitting over $1.55 per litre. This was not due to a restriction of supply, although Alberta Premier Rachel Notley jumped on the opportunity to once again misrepresent reality in order to draw erroneous conclusions supporting the need for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.

There are a lot of ways in which the province of B.C. can assure an adequate supply of gasoline in order to combat the ridiculous prices that they pay,” Notley said in Calgary last week.

If B.C. wanted to keep gasoline prices low, she said, it should stop opposing the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion as it would increase “the ability of Alberta to ship more product to the West.”

Notley assumes B.C. needs more crude oil to supply the Parkland refinery in Burnaby and more refined petroleum product to supply the retail outlets that Parkland’s refinery does not. She also assumes that building Trans Mountain’s expansion means Alberta’s oil producers and refiners will ship more product to B.C. Neither assumption is correct.

Violence Against the Land Begets Violence Against Women

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

By Melina Laboucan-Massimo, David Suzuki Foundation Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change Fellow. This piece originally appeared on the David Suzuki Foundation website.

On International Women’s Day, I doubt industrial projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline are top of mind for most. But there is a direct link between natural resource extraction and violence against largely Indigenous women and girls, which serves as an important reminder: violence against the land begets violence against women.

Along with pipelines and the extractive economic engines they support — like Alberta’s oilsands — come so-called “man camps.” Located near extraction sites, these are where mostly male workers live in close quarters for weeks or months at a time.

Why Canada’s Promise to Explore Charitable Status For News Organizations is a Very, Very Good Thing

Emma Gilchrist Carol Linnitt DeSmog Canada

A brief paragraph on page 186 of Tuesday’s federal budget held some of the best news for Canadian journalism in decades.

Over the next year the government will be exploring new models that enable private giving and philanthropic support for trusted, professional, non-profit journalism and local news,” the budget read. “This could include new ways for Canadian newspapers to innovate and be recognized to receive charitable status for not-for-profit provision of journalism, reflecting the public interest that they serve.”

I had to read it three times to believe it. The alarm bells have been sounding on the state of Canadian media for, oh, about 50 years.

How the Media Failed Colten Bushie


By Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia and Mary-Lynn Young, Associate professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia

What can the events surrounding Colten Boushie’s death, the trial verdict and its media coverage tell us about the role of journalism and journalists in relation to Indigenous concerns in Canada? All too much.

There is a well-documented history of Canadian newspapers’ complicity with colonialism and state-sponsored violence against Indigenous people from pre-Confederation forward. And despite the last several decades of front-page coverage that includes the uprising in Oka to Idle No More and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, mainstream media are only doing marginally better than they have before.

Three Gaping Holes in Trudeau’s Attempt to Fix Canada’s Environmental Laws

Justin Trudeau London Ontario Town Hall

This piece originally appeard on Policy Options.

Windows of opportunity for transformative change are rare and can close suddenly.

The saga of Bill C-69 is a case in point.

The Pitfalls of Short-Circuited Project Reviews

Early Site C construction in 2016. Photo: Garth Lenz

Mark Winfield is professor of environmental studies at York University and co-chair of the university’s Sustainable Energy Initiative. This piece originally appeared on Policy Options.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball announced in late November a public inquiry into how the economically disastrous Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project was approved.

In reality, there is little mystery.


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