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.

Entries by DeSmog Canada

Big Oil Distorts Discourse To Fuel Its Bottom Line

(4) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 4:52 PM

We've all seen a chart like it: logos of corporations connected by thin lines to other logos, linking dozens of subsidiaries to spin-offs of even larger companies.

But such diagrams -- whether they attempt to illustrate the concentration of media ownership or linking music record companies...

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How Did Climate Advocates Get The Fort Mac Conversation So Wrong?

(11) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 11:50 AM

Connecting extreme weather events with climate change isn't exactly a new thing.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York and New Jersey in 2012, Bloomberg published a front page spread proclaiming, "It's Global Warming, Stupid."

For years, major storms, droughts, floods...

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Pipelines Or Indigenous Rights? Premier Notley Can't Have Both

(84) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 10:58 AM

The speech Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gave to over 1,000 federal NDP delegates on Saturday in Edmonton's Shaw Convention Centre was a stunning thing to behold.

In a mere half-hour, she received around a dozen standing ovations, cracked a pretty solid joke about Donald Trump and delivered a...

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Does National Unity Have To Be A Casualty Of Canada's Energy Debate?

(44) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 8:58 AM

Workers are laying down their tools across the Canadian oilpatch as the price slump draws on. Alberta had a net loss of nearly 20,000 jobs in 2015, with skilled workers being laid off and little hope in sight. The reaction, then, to talks of climate action has been...

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Site C Dam Permits Were Quietly Issued During The Federal Election

(18) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 12:36 PM

Former prime minister Stephen Harper's government issued 14 permits for work on the $9-billion Site C dam during the writ period of the last election -- a move that was offside according to people familiar with the project and the workings of the federal government.

"By convention, only...

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Logging In Ancient Walbran Valley Forest Spells Extinction for Unique Treetop Species

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 3:43 PM

High in the trees that have been growing in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island for up to 1,000 years, unique colonies of insects and invertebrates are thriving.

Carpets of soil which develop in the massive branches of the old-growth trees contain a plethora of species not found anywhere else...

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Inaction Scores Harper a Failing Grade on Climate Change

(9) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 5:05 PM

For more than two decades, Mark Jaccard has been penning "report cards" about Canada's environmental track record. The results haven't been pretty.

Jaccard, a veteran professor in Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management, notes his annual evaluations were harnessed in the mid-2000s by Stephen Harper...

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B.C.-Alaska Mining File Is A Tale of Two Countries

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 7:59 PM

When B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett visited Southeast Alaska this summer, his aim was to calm critics of the province's aggressive push to build at least 10 mines in northwest British Columbia, close to the Alaska border.

"I understand why people feel so strongly...

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What Is the Environmental Impact of Celebrities Visiting the Oilsands?

(1) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 12:11 PM

By now, it's an almost entirely predictable routine: a celebrity takes a tour of the Alberta oilsands for a day or two and quickly harnesses apocalyptic rhetoric in press conferences to detail the experience. Chagrined industry spokespeople lash out. News coverage dissipates after a few days. Rinse and...

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The Industrialization of B.C.'s Wilderness Puts Politics Before Posterity

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 12:31 PM

An ugly thread of misspent taxpayer dollars, environmental destruction and conflict-of-interest -- backed by a government beholden to the mining industry -- runs along the recently completed Northwest Transmission Line, charges acclaimed explorer and scholar Wade Davis.

The $716-million transmission line, budgeted in 2010 at $404-million,...

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Site C Dam 'Doesn't Make Sense,' Says Former BC Hydro CEO

(10) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 2:27 PM

In an exclusive interview, former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen says ratepayers will face a "devastating" increase in their electricity bills if the Site C dam is built and emphasizes there is no rush to build new sources of power generation in B.C.

"With Site C, BC Hydro...

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This Alaskan Fishing Community Is Worried About B.C. Mines

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 3:58 PM

Wrangell, Alaska -- A fishing boat chugs across the water in front of the patio at Wrangell's Stikine Inn, temporarily disrupting dinner conversation as residents of the tiny southeastern Alaska town tuck into heaped plates of rockfish and chips.

At the next table, where a group of friends are celebrating...

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'Grassroots' Canada Action Carries Deep Ties to Conservative Party, Oil and Gas Industry

(13) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 2:02 PM

"Our messages are not resonating," Natural Resource Minister Greg Rickford told a room full of oil and gas executives in a luxury Rocky Mountain resort last fall. "You are fighting an uphill battle for public confidence."

Rickford, who attended the meeting at the request of the Canadian Association...

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Alaskans Hope Century-Old Treaty Will Protect Salmon Rivers from B.C. Mining Boom

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 6:14 PM

Southeast Alaskans, anxious about B.C.'s mining boom along the Alaskan border, are pinning their hopes for stronger mine management on a treaty that dates back more than a century.

The International Joint Commission (IJC), operating under the Boundary Waters Treaty since 1909, is a...

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Alaskans Leery Of Bad Neighbours Amid B.C. Gold Rush

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 1:22 PM

Long-held perceptions of Canada as a country with strict environmental standards and B.C. as a province that values natural beauty are taking a near-fatal beating in Southeast Alaska, where many now regard Canadians as bad neighbours who are unilaterally making decisions that could threaten the region's two major economic drivers.

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Is There a Case to be Made for Letting Canada's Wildfires Burn?

(16) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 7:26 PM

As climate change is fingered as a culprit behind the early rash of forest fires across Northern and Western Canada, experts say the most prudent approach at this stage is to, whenever possible, let the fires burn.

It's a grim situation. But those studying the issue say the...

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Why Won't the NEB Order a Safety Test of Enbridge's Line 9?

(9) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 5:38 PM

Environmental and citizen groups in Quebec are demanding the National Energy Board (NEB) explain why it refuses to order a hydrostatic safety test of Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline, a west-to-east oil pipeline that could come online as early as next month.

A hydrostatic test or hydrotest is a...

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Before You Complain About Taxes, Read This

(17) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 5:09 PM

Open any newspaper and you'll find umpteen stories about taxes -- from Vancouver's ongoing transit tax referendum to Alberta's budget crisis to Toronto's property tax increase.

"It's probably safe to say that there was no golden age where everyone loved paying taxes," says Alex...

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5 Seriously Disturbing B.C. Political Donations

(15) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 3:29 PM

The 2014 financial reports from B.C.'s political parties are out and my face hurts from all of the eyebrow raising.

Donations to political parties from corporations are banned federally, but here in B.C. -- the wild west of political donations -- the corporate cash is free-flowing.

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B.C. Mine Approvals 'Too Much, Too Fast,' Say Alaskans Downstream

(6) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 6:04 PM

B.C.'s approval of a new mine in a trans-boundary watershed has added fuel to simmering Alaskan anger about the province's surge of mine development adjacent to the southeast Alaska border.

The province has granted an environmental assessment certificate to Pretivm Resources Inc. for the Brucejack gold...

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