"No intelligent person can doubt that if the present misuse of so-called fossil fuels and assorted broad spectrum poisons” continues, a whole range of irreversible ecological changes will undo the natural world. The renowned British Columbian philosopher and naturalist Roderick Haig-Brown made that warning in 1970 and now we are living the emergency.
Two years later he gave a speech to small fleet fishermen in English Bay about the Moran Dam then proposed for the Fraser River. That great and long river, he said, determined and sustained the whole abundance and character of Georgia Strait. It must never be damned. Nor should it ever be poisoned by fossil fuels."
"Another U.S. study has found that hydraulic fracking, which triggers small- to medium-sized earthquakes, can change the chemistry and quality of groundwater.
The report comes at the same time the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the final version of its five-year-long study on fracking, which confirms that all stages of the brute force technology “can impact and have impacted drinking water resources” and that impacts vary “in frequency and severity” depending on location, the scale of operations, and technologies used."
Canadian National Railway made hundreds of millions of dollars systematically overcharging Greater Toronto’s transit operator on contracts it carried out, according to a report from the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (SIRF).
The report alleges the company overcharged GO Transit and later Metrolinx by as much as 900 per cent on rail projects it carried out, and even charged the taxpayer-funded agency for work it did for its own purposes.
More than 205 billion litres of raw sewage and untreated waste water spewed into Canada's rivers and oceans last year, CBC News has learned, despite federal regulations introduced in 2012 to try to solve the problem.
A researcher has found that a federal subsidy intended to reduce astronomical food prices for northern families has resulted in stale-dated, unreliable food on store shelves without making grocery bills more affordable.
Tracey Galloway of the University of Toronto, whose findings are to be published in a scientific journal later this month, says the Nutrition North program should be reformed with mandatory price caps on essential food.
Despite the progress discussed above, the Canadian Government decision to approve the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is a step backward, casting doubt on the willingness of the Federal Government to address climate change with concrete and meaningful policies and actions. Our impact assessment indicates that this LNG project would be one of the largest point source of emissions in Canada and would increase BC’s emissions by 8.5%. Continued development of projects with high greenhouse gas emissions will compromise progress in other sectors. It will prevent Canada from meeting its emissions reduction target for 2030, and is incompatible with Canada’s stated goal to help limit global temperature increases to 1.5oC. Research indeed estimates that, to maintain global temperature increase below 2oC, half of existing gas reserves and one third of existing oil ones must remain unused.
In the next decade, a 60-metre-high wall of compacted earth will stretch more than a kilometre across the main stem of the Peace River, causing the waters behind it to swell into a 93-square-kilometre artificial lake, drowning the best topsoil left in northeast British Columbia. The waters will swallow 50 islands and a valley that is home to farmers, ranchers, trappers and habitat to innumerable creatures big and small.
"“Europeans want this deal fixed. Canadians want this deal fixed. Will the minister commit to removing the investor-state provisions from this deal?” — Tracey Ramsey, NDP international trade critic
“Frankly, I am astonished that the NDP cannot get behind a deal that today has the full support of all progressives across Europe.” — International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland
And so Freeland, the minister responsible for the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), confirmed in Parliament on Oct. 27 that she has no concerns about the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the deal. (While offering the rather inflated claim that 100 per cent of “progressive” Europeans agree 100 per cent with her.)
OTTAWA — An outspoken child advocate is accusing the federal government of dragging its feet in implementing a funding principle aimed at ensuring all First Nations children are able to access necessary services.
At the heart of the dispute is Cindy Blackstock, a long-standing champion of the rights of indigenous children, and Jordan's principle — named for a five-year-old boy who died in hospital in 2005 as the federal and Manitoba governments squabbled over who should cover his home-care costs.
The federal government reneged on a promise to close a tax loophole used by rich executives after being pressured by some of Bay Street’s wealthiest big wigs, and critics are demanding to know why the public wasn’t told about those exchanges.
"Advocates for foreign workers are launching a campaign to force the B.C. government to crack down on agencies from charging illegal fees for jobs in the province.
It is illegal to charge a person money for a job in B.C., but that doesn’t stop many employment companies from demanding fees from overseas workers, according to the West Coast Domestic Workers Association."
A House of Commons committee is recommending Canada Post come up with a plan to reinstate door-to-door delivery in parts of the country that lost the service in the last year and maintain a freeze on the installation of community mailboxes.
OTTAWA — An Ontario First Nation has filed a lawsuit seeking aboriginal title over much of downtown Ottawa, including Parliament Hill.
"The Algonquin Anishinabe Nation has never surrendered its title to the Kichi Sibi lands," says the band's statement of claim filed Wednesday in Ontario's Superior Court.
The claim includes islands in the Ottawa River, as well as a long portion of its south bank that includes Parliament, the Supreme Court, the National Library and the Canadian War Museum. It stretches southwest along the river to include LeBreton Flats, federally owned land that is the proposed site for major new developments that could include a new hockey arena for the NHL's Ottawa Senators.
On a reserve north of Saskatoon, University of Regina student Hanah Molloy had an experience she’ll never forget.
She sat with the medicine woman of Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, who showed her the natural remedies she forages and explained the significance of her position.
“To have a one-on-one experience with this woman was quite profound for me,” Molloy, 25, said. “We really got to feel the importance of her role.”
Molloy is white, but has Plains Cree siblings. She comes from a long line of activists — her grandparents advocated for health care services in Saskatchewan and her father, Brian Rands, lived on a northern Saskatchewan First Nation to build relations with the indigenous community there.
"[Editor's note: This series republishes in its entirety “Hell’s History: The USW’s fight to prevent workplaces deaths and injuries from the 1992 Westray Mine disaster through 2016,” commissioned by the United Steelworkers union and downloadable for free as a PDF here. ]
ALSO IN THIS SERIES: Hell’s History
Why It’s Still Too Easy to Kill an Employee THE WESTRAY ACT OF 2004
Bill C-45, the law the United Steelworkers and their allies fought to have passed after a preventable explosion killed 26 coal miners in Nova Scotia, explained.
“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.” – Robert Frost, “Fire and Ice”
For 26 miners deep in the notorious Westray Mine, the end came in fire. On May 9, 1992, every man underground in that misbegotten Pictou County mine died as untreated coal dust and poorly ventilated methane gas ignited, driving a hellish fireball through the tunnels. The dust and gases had been allowed to accumulate in the depths of the mine by a management team far more interested in maximizing profit for shareholders and fulfilling promises made to political sponsors than in worker safety. Safety regulators who were responsible for inspecting the mine failed to effectively identify and correct many defects to the recently opened mine’s ventilation, coal dust suppression and methane detection technologies."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promised ban on crude oil tankers on B.C.’s North Coast was missing from a costly marine protection plan announced Monday in Vancouver, sparking concerns of “betrayal” from a New Democrat MP.
"The proliferation of homeless encampments is a direct result of the housing crisis. They’re the developed-country equivalent of the shanty town, the infill of vacant lots and spare ground with collections of tents sheltering people with nowhere else to go.
And until recently — indeed often still — they are viewed as a nuisance on the civic landscape, especially in places that bank on their beautiful visual appeal. Officialdom’s usual response has been to try to “clean up” tent encampments, using police to move their tenants along. Or worse.
But attitudes to encampments are changing. In Portland and Seattle, authorities are conceding that for some, no better options exist. Vancouver and Victoria too are eyeing the possible opening-up of a new and more positive relationship with campers previously regarded as unwanted vagrants."
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