For 15 years, voters and those they elect have ignored the Environment Commissioner

Some in Canada will think it perfectly appropriate that Canadian governments have paid little heed to Canada’s environment commissioner annual warnings that Canada just hasn’t been getting it done when it comes to climate change. Others will find this review depressing that we have not got it done on climate change.

Whatever your view: Given the fact that we’ve had five general elections since 2000 (2 won by the Liberals, three by the Conservatives) and no party has been punished for failing to meet their own targets, it’s pretty clear that our politicians have gotten the message about how much heed they should pay the Environment Commissioner: Continue reading For 15 years, voters and those they elect have ignored the Environment Commissioner

The hypocrisy of Atlantic Canadians?


Two letters to the editor. One from the east. One from the west.

The first, from pollster Don Mills of Corporate Research Associates, based out of Halifax, published at the paywalled site on August 29:

No fracking? No problem. ~

Weak economic growth and out-migration of youth? No problem.

Aging population and rapidly rising heath-care costs? No problem. Continue reading The hypocrisy of Atlantic Canadians?

The pro-Keystone push begins


First there was the big news:

And within minutes the Conservative Party of Canada unveiled the ad above and various politicians took to social media to sell it. Continue reading The pro-Keystone push begins

Nikiforuk calls Canada "a rogue petrostate"

The audience for the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy (published by the same people who publish The Washington Post) is mostly American and, today, Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk is telling them that Canada has not only lost its reputation as “global Boy Scout” but we are now evil “petroleum bullies”.

Over the last decade, Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate. It’s no longer America’s better half, but a dystopian vision of the continent’s energy-soaked future.

via Oh, Canada – By Andrew Nikiforuk | Foreign Policy.

NDP MP Brian Masse makes the New York Times

Ian Austen, who reports for the New York Times about Canada,  only quotes opposition MP, New Democrat Brian Masse, in a piece that takes a look at one of the side effects of Alberta oil.

“Here’s a little bit of Alberta,” said Brian Masse, one of Windsor’s Parliament members. “For those that thought they were immune from the oil sands and the consequences of them, we’re now seeing up front and center that we’re not.”

Mr. Masse wants the International Joint Commission, the bilateral agency that governs the Great Lakes, to investigate the pile. Michigan’s state environmental regulatory agency has submitted a formal request to Detroit Bulk Storage, the company holding the material for Koch Carbon, to change its storage methods. Michigan politicians and environmental groups have also joined cause with Windsor residents. Paul Baltzer, a spokesman for Koch’s parent company, Koch Companies Public Sector, did not respond to questions about its storage or the ultimate destination of the petroleum coke.

Coke, which is mainly carbon, is an essential ingredient in steelmaking as well as producing the electrical anodes used to make aluminum.

via Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit –

NDP convention: 2-03-13 Resolution on a National Mining Strategy

The NDP convention in Montreal debated teh following resolution:

2-03-13 Resolution on a National Mining Strategy

Submitted by Nickel Belt

WHEREAS Canada, a major mining country, was a top 10 producer of 17 key metals and minerals in 2012; and

WHEREAS New Democrats understand the significance of mining to Canada’s overall economy and to our mining communities in particular;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following clause be added to Section 1.2 of the policy book:

New Democrats believe in

E. Supporting a national mining strategy that will contribute to sustainable development, job protection, training and skills development, responsible treatment of the environment, as well as community and Aboriginal partnerships for resource sharing.

A Steelworkers rep spoke in favour; another delegate was worried this motion omitted Canadian mining activity taking place outside of Canada.

Then Hélène Laverdière, MP for Laurier-Sainte Marie spoke. A member of the socialist caucus said this motion did not go far enough, that the NDP should nationalize mining companies.

MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) spoke on this motion, mostlly about conflict minerals.


Pick a fight with the auditor general? Great idea, Premier Clark! A real vote-winner!

Environment Minister Terry Lake
VANCOUVER – BC Environment Minister Terry Lake, pictured here in July, 2012, is picking a fight with B.C. Auditor General John Doyle. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)

I have a bright shiny loonie in my pocket that I promise to give to whoever can point me to an example of any government anywhere in Canada that wins a showdown with their auditor general. I start from the assumption that, if you are a prime minister or a premier and the auditor general says your government is screwing up, it’s likely best to quietly agree, say you’ll fix the problem and move on, even if you don’t agree, rather than pick a fight with your auditor general. The reasoning here is that voters tend to believe auditors general and they tend not to believe politicians. I fully recognized that there is a great variety in abilities of auditors general across the country and a great variety in politicians but, when these two worlds collide, it matters not and so, I give you this First General Rule of Politics: Auditors General Are Always Right.

And yet, in British Columbia, the B.C. Liberal government of Christy Clark, likely in its final weeks in any event, has decided to essentially declare that B.C. Auditor General John Doyle is incompetent, doesn’t know what he’s doing, and got it all wrong when he concluded that the B.C. government approach to making itself ‘carbon neutral” is not only a monumental waste of taxpayer money it is failing to reach any of the policy objectives that money was supposed to buy. Continue reading Pick a fight with the auditor general? Great idea, Premier Clark! A real vote-winner!

Wall to Obama: Approve that pipeline, Mr. President

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall sends a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama encouraging Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The letter, below, is signed by 10 U.S. governors but not, notably, by Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Continue reading Wall to Obama: Approve that pipeline, Mr. President

Apparently, apologies from Mssrs. McGuinty and Trudeau were not good enough

On Tuesday, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources met. And, after that meeting, our Daniel Proussalidis asked the only Liberal member on that committee, David McGuinty, what he thought about what he’d heard at that meeting. You know the results of that “Go Back to Alberta” conversation.

On Wednesday, McGuinty apologized for his post-committee comments and resigned his position as the Critic for Natural Resources for the Liberal national caucus. Continue reading Apparently, apologies from Mssrs. McGuinty and Trudeau were not good enough