When it comes to energy security, Canada is number one out of a new listing of 130 countries.
But environmental sustainability is another matter entirely. Canada ranked a dismal 71st, next to countries like Venezuela and Pakistan.
Overall, on the recently released World Energy Trilemma Index, Canada placed seventh.
Published by the World Energy Council, the annual index ranks countries on energy security, energy equity – which is the accessibility and affordability of energy across a population – and environmental sustainability.
Joan MacNaughton, chair of the World Energy Trilemma Index, said Canadians should be concerned about the country’s poor showing for environmental sustainability.
"“The lobbyist” and “the lobby” are terms we often hear in political discourse and in the media.
I don't know how many times I have listened to, or been involved in, a conversation around a hot-button issue that has ended in something like: “Well, it all doesn't really matter because the lobbyists will just end up getting what they want anyways.”
This floating, nondescript spectre of “The Lobbyist” has served the lobby industry well, because the last thing a lobbyist wants is to have their name public. Better to remain an unknowable entity than, as Donald Rumsfeld put it, be a “known-known.”
But once you realize a lobbyist is just another person out there in the world trying to make a paycheck, the abstract idea of lobbying becomes more understandable and relatable.
After years of refusal by the Conservative government, Canada is preparing to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) — a decision that could herald the beginning of a new era in relations between First Nations and the federal government.
In a mandate letter addressed to Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requested the minister “renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.”
The first item on Bennett’s long list of to-dos is to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting first with the implementation of the UN declaration.
Implementing the declaration is a big deal for Canada, one of only four countries to not only abstain from voting on the declaration, but to actually vote against it. (The other three are the U.S., which has signaled its intention to revise its position, and New Zealand and Australia, both of which reversed their positions in 2009.)
The declaration, first adopted by the UN in 2007 after 25 years of consultation and deliberation, is meant to “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.”
Collision of Resource Extraction and First Nations Rights and Title
US firm’s plan to produce GM salmon eggs in Canada and ship them to Panama threatens contamination of wild fish in a ‘huge live experiment’, lawsuit argues Environmental groups are taking the Canadian government to court in an attempt to halt the...
Despite official data proclaiming Canada is creating more jobs every month, a new analysis from Capital Economics suggests the economy is losing good high-paying jobs — a first since the recession that began in 2008.
Over dinner one night, Liberal MP Scott Brison ticked off the big players who, he claimed, the Conservatives have ticked off: the United States, China, Mexico, the premiers, the aboriginal community.
“Relationships. They’re the key,” said the Nova Scotian. “You don’t get things done without them. You don’t get pipelines built. You don’t get the aboriginal community on board. There will be 400,000 from that community entering our work force in the next decade. You’ve got to get the relationships right.”
Mr. Brison will be getting a big economic portfolio when Justin Trudeau names his first cabinet Wednesday. He will join an economic team, perhaps even as finance minister, that is expected to include Chrystia Freeland, the former finance journalist and author, and Bill Morneau, the former chair of the C.D. Howe Institute.
Mr. Brison, he with the beaming eyes and sunny smile, was talking at that dinner before Justin Trudeau introduced sunny ways as a major theme piece for his stewardship – this to contrast the fractiousness of the previous power-holders.
Canada’s election was one for the history books: A third-place Liberal party won enough seats to form a government; Aboriginal voters cast so many ballots that in some areas they ran out; and across the country people demanded a reversal of a decade of Conservative policies.
Not that elections fix everything. In Canada, like the U.S., there is no ideal representation for Native voters. One phrase I heard on Aboriginal People’s Television Network last night summed it up well: A lesser of three evils. (Canada has five major parties, three of them with a chance of forming a government.) And, like the U.S., Canada’s elections are not exactly democratic. More about that shortly.
Aboriginal voters appeared to have turned out in record numbers, electing ten Native people to Parliament (up from seven). But if that sounds like a lot, consider this sentence from the Canadian Broadcasting Service: “While there were a record 54 indigenous candidates running in this election, Indigenous people will end up occupying just three per cent of the 338 seats in the House of Commons.” Of course that compares to the United States where the two American Indians in Congress make up 0.37 percent of that body. At least in Canada there are enough Aboriginal voices to form a caucus; there’s the potential to raise voices for and against significant pieces of legislation and budgets.
That brings me to Lesson One from Canada: You gotta run to win.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called for the dismantling of the current child welfare system and the development of a completely new system. While this idea may seem radical, child welfare as it exists now in Manitoba is failing our children and our families, particularly our Indigenous children and families. What if we separated prevention and care services so that they are not delivered by the same agencies? This would encourage families in need to seek support services without worrying that admitting their challenges will result in their children being taken away from them.
Forget the election debate over budget deficits and tolerance of the veil. We have another deficit in Canada and it is neither looming nor veiled. We're in the midst of an incrementally created democratic deficit that after nine years of accumulated budget cuts, abuse of power, and muzzling diverse voices has now arguably put at risk our democracy's health and vigour.
Scientists, academics, and non-governmental organizations have recently demonstrated on Parliament Hill, published reports, and created websites detailing damage to national evidence-gathering and public conversations about ideas and policies.
Charges a 2015 report of the nonprofit leaders comprising Voices-Voix:
The government is dramatically impairing Canada's diverse knowledge base and eroding the ability of public servants, civil society and the general public to oppose or even simply debate government policies and hold it to account.
They should have worked. Maybe they could have worked. But they didn’t.
Corporate tax cuts were supposed to spur economic growth and job creation, but a new study looking at more than 90 years of data argues those cuts have done nothing to help growth — in fact, it shows they may have slowed the economy down.
That’s because businesses didn’t do what they were expected to do with their tax windfall, according to the study from the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Instead of turning the freed-up cash into investments that would create new economic activity and new jobs, large corporations started stockpiling larger cash reserves — or “dead money” as former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney called it in 2012.
Over the past three decades, the governments of Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney, Liberal Jean Chretien and Conservative Stephen Harper all reduced corporate income taxes. Today, the federal rate is at 15 per cent, down from a rate of 36 per cent in the 1980s.
It's the lowest the rate has been since the Great Depression, and the country’s “corporate cash hoard” is near an all-time high.
OTTAWA — The new Liberal government says the federal books passed down from the Conservatives are on track to drive the country billions of dollars deeper in the hole than expected — downgrading, perhaps, their pre-election fiscal vows into aspirational goals.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau maintained Friday that the government will fulfil its pledge to balance the books four years from now — before the next election — despite the weaker economic environment and the steeper fiscal obstacles.
To get there, the government will have to contend with an updated fiscal baseline about $6 billion lower per year than the forecasts contained in the Conservatives' April budget.
For example, the $2.4-billion surplus for 2015-16 — including the $1 billion set aside for contingencies — projected in April by the Tories is now expected to be a $3-billion deficit.
Canada’s fossil fuel industries are the recipients of $2.7 billion US ($3.6 billion CDN) in handouts each year, despite a promise from all G20 nations, including Canada, to eliminate subsidies in 2009.
About $1.6 billion US of those subsidies came from the federal government with the rest distributed by the provinces, according to a new report from Oil Change International.
The report finds G20 countries spend about $452 billion US each year to prop up their oil, gas and coal industries.
The Liberals promised to “fulfill Canada’s G20 commitment to phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry,” in their election platform. The party singled out the Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction as too generous to industry, saying the tax break should only kick in if companies are completely unsuccessful in their resource exploration.
“The saving will be redirected to investments in new and clean technologies,” the party platform says.
But the Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction isn’t the only place where companies can take advantage of a generous subsidy system.
So were else is the money coming from and going to?
Previous story Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a set of directives to his cabinet ministers Friday that included instructions to end oil tankers transits on B.C.’s northern coast — a move that observers say could finally kill the long embattled Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.
“This ban ends the dangerous Northern Gateway pipeline,” said ForestEthics campaigner Karen Mahon in Vancouver.
“Without tankers, crude oil has no place to go — and that means no pipelines, no oil trains moving tar sands to the northern BC coast.”
The controversial pipeline has been dogged for years by protests, opposition at federal pipeline hearings, and powerful Indigenous resistance.
Canadian newspapers overwhelmingly supported Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in the past two elections, much more so than they would have if they had reflected public opinion, a new study finds.
The report from the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project found that 95 per cent of newspaper endorsements in the 2011 election went to Harper. That’s every daily in Canada that endorsed a party, except for the Toronto Star, which endorsed the NDP that year.
It was “roughly three times [Harper’s] standing in opinion polls at the time,” Carleton University Prof. Dwayne Winseck wrote in the report.
Pierre Trudeau was a blend of “Marlon Brando and Napoleon,” Barbra Streisand would go so far as to say. Daunting in every way, other over-the-toppers would add.
Trudeau said there was only one constant about him: “Opposition to accepted wisdom.” That aspect of him fit the times to a T. He was the counterculture’s caped crusader. When elected in 1968, expectations were meteorically high in this country, higher than today for his son.
But Pierre Trudeau’s first four years were disillusioning in many ways, culminating almost in defeat, and they offer some lessons – should Justin Trudeau wish to heed them – on the vagaries of governance.
As the slowdown in northern Alberta deepens, tens of thousands of unemployed oil patch workers — rigger, welders, pipe fitters, and heavy-haul drivers — are heading home. During the boom times, Fort McMurray attracted workers from across the country, from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Now, those days feel like another lifetime ago.
But what is it like for those people who are already home? What happens to people who live in Fort McMurray — those who bought homes, enrolled their kids in school, got involved in their communities? What has the downturn meant for them?
Justin Trudeau has not been sworn in as prime minister yet, but First Nations leaders are already urging him to get moving on a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls in Canada.
The prime-minister-designate, whose Liberal Party swept to a stunning victory in Monday’s election, said at a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday that “we’re going to move forward on this [national inquiry] quickly.”
But he said he will spend the next two weeks selecting a cabinet, suggesting any announcement on an inquiry will have to wait until that is done.
In the past, he has described the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada as “a national tragedy” that needed to be immediately addressed by government.
“The Prime Minister must take urgent action … starting with a full, public, transparent inquiry mandated to determine the causes of the nearly 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women and girls,” he said last year.
Now, native leaders are asking him to act with that same sense of urgency.
The number of indigenous MPs will hit a new record after Canadians elected 10 candidates into the House of Commons Monday.
Justin Trudeau led his Liberals in a cross-country sweep of Conservative and NDP ridings, bringing his party’s seat count to 184 by night’s end — a stunning increase from the 36 the party held before the election.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed Trudeau and his new Liberal government, saying they’re ready to mend frayed federal ties under the promise of a renewed nation-to-nation relationship.
The stain of this shameful moment in Canadian journalism will never wash completely clean from the Globe and Mail and Postmedia. Not only did they tolerate the ugliest political episode in Canada's post-war era, they signed their names to it.
In the case of Postmedia newspapers across Canada, they sold their front page to it.
They can wear it now. A more ignominious betrayal of the venerable journalistic legacies entrusted to editorial writers can scarcely be imagined.
There's a special place in hell for those who would stigmatize and endanger vulnerable minority women for political gain, and there’s another one right next door for those in positions of power who enable it.
Tests of character are usually like car accidents—they come out of the blue and we react by instinct and hope for the best.
Canada is preparing to embark on a far-reaching program of financial surveillance of senior public officeholders, from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor-General David Johnston and Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin down to thousands of elected politicians and senior bureaucrats.
Many who will be affected by the program are unaware of what is coming. One who is aware, retired Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour, is stunned by its reach to her children.
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