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.
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.
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.
“What the frack goes on with the [BC] Liberal party?” says Vancouver 24 Hours columnist Bill Tieleman. Bill also notes — and I agree — “This has also been the most environmentally-minded campaign I’ve ever seen in B.C.”
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.
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.
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.