"Alberta has among the continent’s most permissive policies on cleaning up inactive oil and gas wells, and that could saddle taxpayers with more than $30 billion worth of liabilities, according to a new report.
While most North American jurisdictions require companies to clean up and restore non-producing oil and gas wells in a timely fashion, Alberta doesn’t, says the report by University of Alberta economist Lucija Muehlenbachs, also a visiting fellow at the U.S. think tank Resources for the Future."
Fast-tracking Site C dam construction before May’s provincial election is an unusual decision driven more by politics than need, according to a Canadian expert in Crown corporations who suggests the relationship between BC Hydro and the Premier’s office may be “too close for comfort.”
Luc Bernier, the former head of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, said Premier Christy Clark’s vow to push Site C past the “point of no return,” when B.C. has a surplus of electricity and Clark is still searching for a buyer for Site C’s power, leads him to believe that that “there’s too much politics around BC Hydro.”
“What seems unusual to me is the idea of locking up this project before the provincial election,” said Bernier, who holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa.
A “landmark” wetland and birding hotspot in the Peace River Valley is slated to be destroyed by the Site C dam, after the B.C. government preserved it as a model conservation project. The area around Watson Slough, which provides habitat for two dozen bird, plant and amphibian species vulnerable to extinction, is scheduled for imminent logging by BC Hydro contractors in preparation for flooding the area for Site C. Preparations are being made for logging crews and security had arrived at Bear Flat near Watson Slough Wednesday morning in prepration for clear-cutting the Bear Flat/Cache Creek area. Peace region residents say logging the area around the slough this winter will prematurely rob them of a favourite outdoor spot, as treasured locally as Vancouver’s Stanley Park or Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. “It’s discouraging,” Karen Goodings, a Peace River Regional District director, said in an interview. “Watson Slough is one of the landmarks of this area and I really believe it is irreplaceable.”
The National Energy Board (NEB) is a “captured regulator” that has “lost touch with what it means to protect the public interest.”
That’s what Marc Eliesen — former head of BC Hydro, Ontario Hydro and Manitoba Hydro, and former deputy minister of energy in Ontario and Manitoba — told the NEB Modernization Expert Panel on Wednesday morning in Vancouver.
“The bottom line is that the board’s behaviour during the Trans Mountain review not only exposed the process as a farce, it exposed the board as a captured regulator,” he said to the five-member panel.
“Regulatory capture exists when a regulator ceases to be independent and objective.”
"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.
bizarre twist in a decade-long battle over a proposed mine on Tsilhqot’in Nation traditional territory could see the B.C. government issue extensive exploration permits for the mine this month even though the project has twice been turned down by the federal government.
The proposal by Taseko Mines Ltd. to build a $1.5-billion open pit, copper and gold mine in the Cariboo region — a plan which received vocal support from Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett — was approved in 2010 by the provincial government after a B.C. environmental assessment.
But, the same year, the Prosperity Mine was rejected by the federal review panel, which took a dim view of plans to drain Fish Lake, known to Tsilhqot’in as Teztan Biny, for use as a tailings pond.
#The national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the Liberal government’s record of broken promises has him concerned about the government’s campaign pledge to restore door-to-door delivery.
Mike Palecek met with Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote — who is responsible for Canada Post — Thursday morning on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to discuss door-to-door restoration and other issues.
Palecek described the short meeting as “productive.”"
When Donald Trump held his first news conference this month following his election as U.S. president, observers worldwide decried his shameless attack on the media and his critics.
In an onslaught against the press, Trump labelled CNN “terrible” and “fake news,” lambasted the digital-media powerhouse BuzzFeed as a “failing pile of garbage,” then turned his sights on the BBC, calling the news outlet, “another beauty,” and refusing to answer a reporter’s questions.
Could something similar ever happen in Canada? You bet it could.
On January 9, the National Energy Board (NEB) finally announced the new panel members that will review TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline, replacing the trio that recused themselves in September 2016 after revelations that panel members had secretly met with a TransCanada consultant. But within hours of news breaking about the new panel members, a notice of motion was filed by the environmental law firm Ecojustice on behalf of Transition Initiative Kenora, calling for the complete cancellation of the entire Energy East review based on an unresolved “reasonable apprehension of bias.” “The original panel presided over the review for years,” says Charles Hatt, one of the two Ecojustice lawyers representing Transition Initiative Kenora, in an interview with DeSmog Canada. “All of those important decisions that they made along the way occurred after the conduct that gave rise to the reasonable apprehension of bias, after those meetings with the interested stakeholders.”
"Water from a controversial landfill above Vancouver Island’s Shawnigan Lake exceeded B.C. guidelines for heavy metals in October and November, contrary to the project’s environmental permit, says a Cowichan Valley regional director leading the fight against the project."
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.
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