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DeSmog Canada

We believe Canadians deserve more constructive conversations on the issues that matter most to them. Just as we can pollute the physical environment, we also run the risk of polluting public conversations.

That’s why we started DeSmog Canada, the country’s only news source dedicated to exploring solutions for cleaning up Canada’s polluted public square.

At DeSmog Canada, we go beyond the headlines to cut through the spin clouding the debate on important national issues such as natural resource development, the economy, democracy, scientific research, government transparency and industry accountability.

Through our news, opinion and analysis, we seek to raise the level of public discourse. Our contributors include some of the country’s top writers and thought leaders on energy issues and public dialogue.

Our work is regularly featured in the Huffington Post, The Tyee, the Vancouver Observer and the Victoria Times Colonist and our research and reporting has sparked coverage by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun, CBC and Metro News.

Read more about DeSmog Canada.
Getty Images/Flickr RF

B.C. Shellfish Die-Off Illustrates A Future We Must Avoid

By continuing to promote the extraction and export of coal, tar sands, and fracked gas instead of sustainable sectors in B.C., our government is making a political choice to prioritize short-term profits over renewable industries. Let's work together to develop a smart and creative strategy to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a low carbon economy
03/25/2014 05:23 EDT
CP

A Short History of Joe Oliver, Canada's New Finance Minister

Joe Oliver, Canada's new federal Minister of Finance, made quite a name for himself during his tenure as Minister of Natural Resources. With Oliver moving to the helm of the country's finances, perhaps it's time to take a look back over his notable career. Is Oliver's selective use (and misuse) of the facts restricted to the oilsands?
03/24/2014 05:28 EDT
AP

Enbridge Covers Northern B.C. With Ads Before Kitimat Northern Gateway Vote

Enbridge's ad spend on the Kitimat vote so far is more than three times what the company would be allowed to spend in an electoral district during a provincial election. During a provincial election or initiative vote, Elections BC restricts how much companies and other third-party advertisers can spend -- but no such rules apply to the April 12 plebiscite.
03/19/2014 01:54 EDT
Getty

When It Comes to the Environment, We're All Hypocrites

We live in a society where it is impossible to live a functional lifestyle and not consume products made from petro-chemicals every single day. As such, the notion that environmentalists -- such as Neil Young for example -- have no right to criticize oil sands developments, pipelines or fracking because they "choose" to heat their homes and drive cars is downright nonsensical.
03/10/2014 12:37 EDT
CP

The B.C. Battle For Enbridge Northern Gateway Polls

I'm sure The Vancouver Sun's spotty coverage of the polling debate has much more to do with a lack of resources and the rush to get stories online than it has to do with the millions of dollars Enbridge and the oil industry spends with Postmedia -- but the optics aren't good.
02/20/2014 05:52 EST
CBC

Why Rex Murphy's Relationship With Oil Matters

There is a brewing controversy swirling around longtime CBC commentator Rex Murphy and his relationship with Canada's oil industry. The CBC expects Murphy's commentary to be "rooted in fact" and in turn the public has the same expectation. If it is the case that Murphy is being paid money by the same industry he publicly comments on, then this must be disclosed to the public.
02/18/2014 06:07 EST
Alamy

Nothing To Hide: Pipelines, Spies and Animal Print Underpants

More and more often, we are reading in the news about the federal government and various intelligence and law enforcement agencies allegedly "spying" on aboriginals and pipeline opponents. I am both of those things. I have no idea whether strangers are picking up shards of information from my emails and text messages. I have no idea what kind of beautiful stained-glass mosaics their imaginations might create.
02/11/2014 06:36 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

What's Good For Oil Sands Companies is Not What's Good For Canada

We're producing so much oil sands crude that we've overwhelmed cross-border pipeline capacity. Now the industry is stuck in a Catch-22. Profit margins have dropped dramatically. To reassure investors, bitumen miners talk about dramatically expanding production. But the more we produce, the more we exacerbate the supply glut.
02/05/2014 08:29 EST
Getty

Canada's Petrostate Has Killed Our Reputation

"Alberta is very much a petrostate," says journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk. "It gets about 30 per cent of its income from the oil and gas industry. So as a consequence, the government over time has tended more to represent this resource and the industry that produces it, than its citizens. This is very typical of a petrostate."
01/30/2014 03:48 EST
Getty

We Must Stand Firm and Demand Safer Pipelines

By the end of this month the federal pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), is expected to approve Enbridge's proposal for its 38-year old Line 9 oil pipeline in Ontario and Quebec, which would carry shale oil -- known for its propensity to explode as it did in North Dakota. With that in mind, the province of Ontario must hold its ground on Line 9 and ensure its demands for a safer pipeline are met.
01/15/2014 12:11 EST
MCT via Getty Images

A "Fair Price" for Canada's Oil Is a Slippery Slope

The basic argument goes like this: A barrel of oil sands crude currently trades at a lower price than other global oil benchmarks. That price gap means Canadians are losing money on every barrel sold. Access to world markets will fetch higher prices, elevating our collective prosperity. It's a persuasive story, tickling the part of the brain associated with loss aversion. No one wants to bleed money day after day. At the same time it paints a picture of one nation, our fortunes rising and falling in unity. It's good politics. But the reality is more complex.
01/11/2014 05:51 EST
Alamy

Why is the Harper Administration Throwing Away Entire Libraries?

With news of several governmental libraries being closed, and their contents being destroyed without first being digitized for archiving, many Canadians, especially in the scientific community, are wondering what these ominous acts could say about the Harper administration. The word 'Orwellian' comes to mind.
01/09/2014 05:20 EST
Shutterstock

The Day I Found Out the Canadian Government Was Spying on Me

It was a Victoria day like any other until I found out the Canadian government has been vigorously spying on several Canadian organizations that work for environmental protections and democratic rights. My colleagues and I had been wary of being spied on for a long time, but having it confirmed still took the wind out of me.
11/21/2013 12:34 EST
Getty

Why Should Canadian Taxpayers Fund Harper's $65,000 Keystone XL Advertising Trip?

The hotel bill for the luxurious New York Palace Hotel suggests Harper's speaking engagement was a staged promotional gathering for the Keystone XL, rather that a typical guest speaker event which is usually paid for by the host.The hotel charges include coffee services for $6,650.00, room rental for $33,500.00 and audio visual services of $14,709.15.
10/17/2013 05:11 EDT
Shutterstock

Totem Pole for Hope and Healing On Its Way to Vancouver

Lummi territory just south of the Canadian border is under threat of a proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. Known to its original inhabitants as Xwe'chi'eXen, the spot is located 17 miles south of the Canadian border. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would be the largest of its kind on the American west coast, transporting such dry bulk commodities as grain, potash and coal to Asian markets. The Tsleil-Waututh nation of North Vancouver is embroiled in a battle to keep Enbridge and Kinder Morgan out of its traditional territory. Both are fighting destructive resource development on their lands. Both are water nations, and their collective well-being depends upon the health of the Salish sea.
09/30/2013 05:58 EDT
AP

Canada in the Era of Unburnable Carbon

Investments in the oil, gas and coal industry are starting to lose their value and will become a liability based on a major UN report released Monday. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2,000+page report confirms that Canada must keep more than 75 per cent of its fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
09/30/2013 05:42 EDT